Monday, January 2, 2012

Reading Challenges!

There's a fresh new year here, and it's time for some fresh new reading challenges!

Last year, I set myself a low bar--I figured I'd be doing well to read 35 books in a year. Imagine my surprise when I read nearly 50!

I credit the upsurge in reading to several things:

  1. I got an e-reader. I had played with them before, but I thought I was getting the e-reader mostly to aid in quickly reading friends' manuscripts. I was shocked to discover that I actually read faster on an e-reader, and now prefer it as a format for many books. Additionally, it's so easy to snatch up samples, short stories, and on-sale books this way. Easily half of my reading this year was done with my e-reader, and I never would have started some of the giants (GRR Martin, anyone?) without the Kindle.
  2. I got more books for free. There's something about being sent an ARC that makes me want to drop everything and read :)
  3. I read more books of friends. I feel truly blessed to count some of my writer-idols as friends now, so of course I wanted to be sure I read every single title of theirs I could. Also, writer friends make great recommenders, too. After the last retreat I was on, I bought five more books before catching the flight home (on my Kindle, natch)!
So, this year, I wanted to challenge myself a little more, and set my GoodReads goal to 45. I think I should probably have set it to 50, but I want to write a little more this year than last, so I compromised. 

But of course, there are also some great reading challenges online, too. This year, I'm going to try to participate in the Story Siren's 2012 Debut Author Challenge. This is a great challenge that features books written by debut authors. A debut year for an author is often one of the most important years--a successful debut can carry an author a long way. So support the new authors in the world and their baby books!

The official challenge is to read 12 books...but I'm going to be slack and challenge myself to read six debut YA books in 2012.

But there's a new challenge that I just heard about recently (from The Hardcover Harlequin) that I also want to participate in. 

It's called the Sophomore Reading Challenge, and I'm really excited about it--partly because in just 10 days I'm looking at my own sophomore release! It's hard to believe that I'm on my second book release all still feels so new! And from where I'm sitting, I feel just as fresh and inexperienced as last year, with my debut, so I definitely feel the love of having a challenge to continue supporting the authors you found last year in their debut year.

The official challenge is to read 10 sophomore novels, and she's got a great list of titles here. I'm going to stick with simplicity for myself, and challenge myself to read six sophomore titles this year.

What about you? What are your challenges for your reading life?


Litza said...

My goal for 2011 was to read 45, which I *barely* completed in time. This year I've decided to shoot for 50 reads... and I'm participating in two (so far) reading challenges: MG/YA Mythology Challenge & a re-read challenge I'm hosting (Repeat Reading Challenge). I'm so excited!

Happy reading!

P.S. A Million Suns is on the tip top of my 2012 reading list. I simply can't wait!

Unknown said...

I'm also participating in the Goodreads challenge, the Debut Author Challenge, and the Sophomore Reading Challenge! My overall challenge is to read 104 books again! Last year I made it to 122. I'm challenging myself to read 20 debuts and there are over 25 sophomore books I'm eagerly anticipating-most definitely including yours! So I'm well on my way to my goal. I hope you accomplish yours Beth!

Angela Brown said...

I've challenged myself to read more books this year. These sound like reading challenges to participate it to 'encourage' me in reading more.

And YAY! Soon you'll be a Sophomore. How cool is that!

heather said...

My challange for the new year is to read three books a month and to write more in the two books that I am working on right now =]]

Anonymous said...

I know what you mean about e-reading being faster. In 2011 I put 40 plus books in my Kindle archive and including the print books, I have read much more than I did in 2010. My goal is to finish revising my 2011 WIP and begin and complete a new project.l

Shannon Messenger said...

I have a feeling my year is going to be CRAZY. So I'm not making any *official* reading goals (I'm stressed enough by all my writing goals which are less goals and more DEADLINES, *meep*) BUT, I did at least create a new shelf where I can track all the books I read this year. And I'm really hoping I'll have at least 30 on there by the end of 2012. We'll see how it goes!

Thanks for the links!

M. Dunham said...

I put my reading challenge on Goodreads at 50 because I'm going to focus really hard on getting my manuscripts done and out this year, and some other big goals as well. Last year I challenged myself to 100 and hit 74.

I think it's great the debut/sophomore author list, but I'm a little sad to see it's YA only, not adult. I wonder if anyone does adult?

Kelsey (Dominique) Ridge said...

My reading goal for this year is to get through 65 novels. I went for 50 the first time I set a resolution, and last year I went for 65. I barely snuck the last one in under the wire, so I'm keeping the same level, but I'm raring to go on this particular resolution.

mshatch said...

I read 29 books this year (not counting manuscripts for writer friends) which was better than I thought. I'd like to try for 40 next year.

Sarah (saz101) said...

My goal for 2012 is 100 books... I read 107 in 2011 (only counting from March onwards), so it should be achievable... but then again, I don't need to be writing my next amazing novel :D

eReaders! Yes! I've actually found I read quicker with ebooks, too! I think it's because I read on my phone, and I take my phone EVERYWHERE. It means more opportunities for reading (like, walking downstairs from lunch, walking to the kitchen, a few extra pages at night before I close my eyes). But like you said: it kind of makes books more accessible. Reading eBooks has allowed me to get my hands on books I never would have been able to otherwise!

Abby Minard said...

I don't know how much I read this past year, but I"m sure the number is so low it's embarrassing. I've started off pretty good this year though, and I really do want to read a lot more than I did last year. I'm going to MAKE time, darn it! It will be easy in 10 days when your book comes out! Squeeeee!

Slamdunk said...

Congrats on the 50 Beth. I agree, readers and other tools have made us better able to be productive in times that used to be spent waiting on this and that.

B.E. Sanderson said...

My reading goal for 2011 was 100. I missed it by 10. So this year, my goal is to read 90 books.

Considering how busy last year had to be for you, reading almost 50 books is awesome. Good job. =o)