As the year comes to a close, so does the 2011 Goodreads Reading Challenge. (For those who do not know what a reading challenge is: it is a challenge set, usually by bloggers, to read a set amount of books on a certain subject, in a specific genre, from a particular region etc. by a specific deadline. Think of it as a triathlon for bookworms). I did dismally – falling embarrassingly short of my goal. But I really enjoyed taking part. I think the reason is that, though I’m not that enthusiastic about reading challenges in general – I love games. And the way Goodreads set up their challenge really catered to that. I found myself planning out my To Be Read list, constantly updating the page numbers on my Currently Reading shelf. Re-checking how many books I’d read towards my goal, how many books (and what percentage) I was behind. Now that I think about it, all that time probably would have been better spent reading.
It wasn’t until November that I noticed that if I reached my goal I’d get a badge! And by then I was too far in the hole.
Well not this year! A friend & I have built a small side-bet into our Goodreads Reading Challenge experience. Think of it as a way to stoke the competitive spirit. And if you have a friend who is also a fellow-bibliophile you might want to set up your own reading challenge side bet. Lori @TNBBC has agreed to go head-to-head, reader-to-reader, mono e mono…and we’re setting the goal at 100 books. Whoever gets there first (or comes closest) gets the prize. Well, it’s not really a prize. The loser has to read a book of my… um, I mean the winner’s… choosing and then blog about it. Titles thrown around in these giddy early days include: Bridges of Madison County and any novel by Danielle Steel (The Klone & I is a serious contender).
So here are the qualifiers –
- Audiobooks count.
- Graphic novels count, within reason.
- There is no page minimum. That having been said, either party can call foul on the other.
- Any book over 400 pages counts as two books. Audio books, regardless of length, can only be counted once.
- Twitter trash talk is not only allowed, it’s encouraged.
Now we need to come up with a badge…
Looking forward to our 2012 Reading Challenge (well, it’s actually GoodReads 2012 Reading Challenge that we’ve hijacked) got me thinking. Which, as usual, led me to Google. Type in “2012 reading challenges” and 5,360,000 results appear. If you don’t feel like coming up with your own reading challenge, here are some great ones:
- A Novel Challenge is hosting the 2012 Zombie Reading Challenge. BBBBBoooooookkkkssss…..
- Not exactly a challenge – but I do like Savidge Reads‘ Books to Read Before the World Ends Manifesto (complete with a new regular feature entitled “Books for the Bunker”)
- Kim at Sophisticated Dorkiness is taking part in The Roof Beam Reader blog’s 2012 TBR Challenge (I probably should take part in that one myself).
- Literary Escapism has a New Author Challenge 2012
- The Black Sheep Dances is continuing her 2011 Eastern European Reading Challenge into 2012 (a.k.a. 2012 READ EAST).
- Books and Movies announced the 2012 Graham Greene Reading Challenge earlier this month. Because we can’t get enough of Graham. (I find it very interesting that I could not find a 2012 John le Carre Reading Challenge).
- I love, love, love Simply… Challenging‘s Death by Gaslight Reading Challenge in which you get to choose from 4 levels of participation: The Merry Widow of Windy Nook; Palmer the Poisoner; Burke and Hare, Body Snatchers; and Jack the Ripper. Special Bonus Challenges include Serial Killers; The Great Detective; Arsenic & Airships; and Penny Dreadfuls.
- And last, but not least, Notes from the North‘s Nordic Reading Challenge is back by popular demand in 2012. Snow covered expanses and huge, dripping icicles as far as the eye can see.
- OK, not quite last – I know I’ve mentioned it before and technically it started in October – but the Around the World in 80 Books group on GoodReads is sooo much fun! And if you’re looking for something to combine with a friendly wager – oh come on, I can’t be the only one thinking of The Amazing Race!???