Sunday Salon and Weekly Geeks: Reading Challenges Plans for 2011

Good morning! It’s a chilly Sunday morning here and of course, I have my cup of coffee in front of me while I type. The weather’s perfect since I made a huge pot of beef stew yesterday and I have a huge research project to work on today.  If today ends up being sunny, I’ll probably try to take a walk instead of doing homework!

This weeks’ Weekly Geeks question is about reading challenges:

Do you plan on participating in any reading challenges in 2011? Are you planning on hosting any reading challenges? Perhaps you’d like to share an idea for a reading challenge–to see if there is any interest!  Share with us which challenges look tempting to you! (You don’t have to “officially” join any of the challenges for this weekly geek. Just let us know which ones you’d be most interested in.) You might want to spend some time browsing A Novel Challenge. Are there any challenges you are looking forward to that haven’t been announced yet? Regardless of your challenge plans, are you starting to plan ahead for next year? Do you make lists or goals? Are you a person who enjoys reading more if it is structured? Or are you all about being free to read what you want, when you want?

I love reading challenges. It was reading challenges that pushed me to start blogging years ago. I swore that I wouldn’t join any challenges next year  after failing most of the challenges I signed up for this year. I ended up changed my mind when I offered to host the Graphic Novels challenge next year!

I think one of the best things about reading challenges is making lists. There’s something so interesting about finding books to fit a particular challenge. I can easily spend hours finding books by old and new-to-me authors. Once I finish my list is often half-a-page long. I always have this optimism that I’m going to read every single book on the list and then some. By the time the end of the year comes around, I’m lucky if I read two books off the list.

I think it’s because I’m a pretty moody reader. I read what I want, when I want. The only exceptions  are for school or reading obligations. I’ve been known to go on reading binges and just read one subject or genre for weeks at end. That won’t change next year but I would love to read more and outside my comfort zone.

Another great thing about reading challenges is finding new blogs to follow. Before the days of Twitter, that was often how I would find a new blogger.

There are so many new challenges next year and several of my favorite challenges are returning. Here’s a few that I’m signing up for:

  1. Amazon.com best of 2010 challenge – I’ve read very little of the books published this year. After reading a few “best of” lists, I think there’s a few books I really need to read.
  2. Jewish Literature Challenge. I sign up for this challenge almost every year and fail every year. It’s a shame since I have a ton of books by Jewish authors sitting on my shelves.
  3. GLBT.
  4. One Two Theme. I’m prepared to bring out my inner geek!
  5. Quirky Brown Reading Challenge.
  6. South Asian Challenge
  7. A Year of Feminist Classics (A book a month.)
  8. Back to the Classics Challenge 2011
  9. Outdo Yourself (Read more books in 2011 than you did in 2010)

So that’s just a few of the challenges that I’m planning on joining . Are you planning on joining any challenges next year? If so, which challenges look interesting to you?

About Vasilly

Mother, daughter, sister, college student, bookworm, lover of chocolate and coffee.
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23 Responses to Sunday Salon and Weekly Geeks: Reading Challenges Plans for 2011

  1. Wendy says:

    Like you, reading challenges were part of what drew me into the blogging world…and I love the list process!! But, I have decided to forego most reading challenges in 2011…I need a break from them I think!

  2. christina says:

    Ahhhh! You linked to more challenges. LOL. I have this awkward love/hate relationships with challenges. (A common ailment to all of us book bloggers, I think). But I agree with you, making the lists are so much fun. I never finish but I feel like I end up becoming a better person and reader know what’s out there.

    And your beef stew sounds yum! Come to Florida and bring over a bowl.😛

  3. Megan says:

    There is something very comforting in writing liss for me, especially in writing lists of books. I like being able to remind myself of the books I own and the books I have access too and all the subjects and genres they fall into. I also find it a great way to refocus and re-motivate myself placing everything out in front of me.

    To this extend this has been a rough reading year for me, and I am not sure why. In part, a lot of other things have caught my interest. But also, listing books this year didn’t seem to help me the same way it has in the past. Maybe I just haven’t been as dilligent with it as I used to be. It can end up being more time consuming than it needs to be, even though I forget how much I need it to order the chaos in my mind.

    I did not know you were hosting a graphic novel challenge and I will have to consider joining it. I still have to decide if I am going to join challenges this upcoming year or not. I keep having mixed feelings and vacillating. I figure there is no rush to decide, if I want to join a challenge then I can just sign up and if I don’t meet it, I don’t meet it. I don’t think I met any of my challenges in 2010. One of the challenges that has really caught my interest is the Outdo Yourself. I think that would be a nice, low stress challenge for me.

    Sorry, this has turned into the longest comment ever.
    Megan

  4. bermudaonion says:

    I like signing up for challenges, too, but I’m not always successful in completing them. I don’t stress about it anymore.

  5. Christina says:

    I guess I’m a moody reader too. For a while I tried to read to finish challenges, but that was just not working for me. Especially now that I have required readings for school because they dictate what I read when. I’ve tried to focus more on reading what strikes me rather than finishing books for challenges.

    That said, I am signed up for three challenges — One, Two, Theme!; Victorian Literature; and What’s in a Name?. I’ve had good luck with the later challenge in the past, and I’m excited about the other two. (Cannot wait to see your themes and the books you select!) I’m trying to hold of on joining just for the sake of joining. I would like to do the Feminist Classics project, but only one of the books selected is in my TBR pile and it would be just too hard with school.

  6. JoAnn says:

    I love making the lists, but have opted out of challenges this years. Instead, I participated in some group reads and read-alongs. That worked out pretty well… not sure about 2011 yet.

  7. vivienne says:

    I am going to be really brave this year and not sign up for any challenges at all. I feel too pressured by them and never complete them, so I am going to try and create my own personal challenges next year instead.

  8. I love the One, Two, Three Themed Challenge, which will no only increase my nonfiction reading, but can lead to booklist pairings for classes and displays Your Graphic Novel challenge will help me build our GN collection.

    These would be two worthwhile challenges to join because they can help me overlap my personal-reading and work-reading life! Now, to decide on my themes…

  9. I’m not usually one for challenges because, aside from books, I’m not a “finisher” of…things. :O) The feminist challenge looks great, though! Although…I’m sort of reading A Room of One’s Own RIGHT now! I actually started it, this afternoon and will probably finish it before bed time. It’s very good and very funny. Enjoy all of your challenges!

  10. zibilee says:

    I always get the itch to sign up for challenges, but I never actually get around to reading the books, and always fail with my grand plans. I think I am going to try to join just one this year. Possibly a classics challenge, as I wanted to read more classics in the upcoming year, and had been planning on that.

  11. Michelle says:

    I always tend to sign up for challenges and then never get in the swing of things. I’m hopeful that this year I’ll be a bit better at it. One, because I’m not signing up for loads of challenges and two, because the challenges I have selected are all surrouding my reading preferences. I don’t feel compelled to broaden my horizons.

  12. Ash says:

    I’m not planning on joining any year long challenges next year since I failed so miserably this year. Honestly, I think a lot of challenges lack community support which makes them difficult to keep up with. I’m a moody reader as well, so what sounds good to me in December will not sound good to me in March, and that’s when the problems start.

    Instead I’m going to do some self challenges because I know I will keep up with those. I want to read all of Montaigne’s essays next year and I’m going to create a self challenge for that. I’m also doing two readalongs over winter break with good friend. I’ll come up with other self challenges along the way.

    I prefer short challenges like the November Novella Challenge or the To Kill a Mockingbird readalong this past summer. Not so daunting and I think I get more out of them as a moody reader.

  13. bookmagic says:

    I actually have decided not to join any challenges this year after giving up on them about halfway though this year. I just blogged about that today. Like you, I read what I want, when I want.
    However, I do like to look at challenges and get inspired for a new read. But not signing up for a thing. I signed up for tons for 2010 and even created a separate blog to keep track. I enjoyed that and making the lists more than the reading. So this year, none!

  14. Mel u says:

    I am cutting back on challenges this year to at most ten-reading challenges combined with Twitter is a great way to find new blogs and get to know other book bloggers

  15. Gavin says:

    I enjoy challenges but will probably avoid them this year, except for the ones that run mid-year to mid-year. Oh, and Once Upon a Time and R.I.P., can’t forget those. I do plan on joining some read-alongs. Have a good week!

  16. Those look like great challenges. Wish you luck for all those!

    Here is my Weekly Geeks post!

  17. I’m trying to avoid signing up for lots of challenges since I have a big reading project set up of my own–but they are so tempting that I have already given in to several!

  18. Nymeth says:

    So glad to have you join our project, Vasilly😀

    I’m trying to cut back on challenges next year, but we’ll see what happens. I have zero will power really😛

  19. Frances says:

    Have avoided challenges for a while because I find them restricting but really enjoy the shared reads or read- a-longs I have participated in for a while. The focused conversation on one book is very satisfying to me. Happy challenge reading to you though!

  20. I’m not signing up for challenges this year because they tend to stress me out, and, like you, I tend to be a moody reader. But I do love making the lists and thinking about new books and blogs. I do read lots of other bloggers challenge lists, which can also be fun.

  21. Kailana says:

    I think with the exception of a few favourite challenges I am going to stay away from them next year. Some years I just need to have no pressure.

  22. writing lists are damn fun, it’s undemocratic not to write lists

    yet reading challenges do nothing for me. i suppose i balk at the idea of structuring my reading, like i have these set of books to read. i rebel and that’s why i always leave work to the last minute and i;m sticking with it…wait what are we talking about?

  23. Sandra says:

    I’m doing the Jewish Lit challenge too -just posted about it and the books I’ve chosen. This one’s my favourite. Not organized enough yet to know which others I might do. I look forward to your thoughts on those you read.

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