January 16, 2013 by Heidi
So if there’s one thing I can assert from blogging in 2012, it’s that I’m not a huge fan of reading challenges. This time last year I was all gung-ho and about participating, and then I grew completely apathetic. I’m not great about arranging my reading habits to fit needs. I read what I want when I want to, and that’s that. PLUS I just don’t see the point of most of these challenges. I mean…some didn’t do anything with them, and some completely fell apart midway through the year (some for very justifiable reasons, I will say…others, not so much). To me, a challenge is something you do to better yourself or achieve something. Do I feel like I did that here? Not really, no. Nevertheless, considering how after about a month or two I didn’t actively try to complete the challenges, I didn’t do too poorly:
I challenged myself to read 10 MG/YA 2012 debuts. I actually read: 30
Easy peasey lemon squeezey.
I challenged myself to read 10 MG/YA 2012 sophomore books. I actually read:5?
Hey…you know what’s a pain in the ass? Figuring out if a book’s a sophomore book! This challenge would be easy for me this year since I read so many debuts and series starts last year, but in 2011 I was still in grad school and barely reading for fun, and certainly didn’t read enough series starts to put me in a good position for this challenge in 2012. It was hard. Particularly as a reader who just doesn’t start most series until they’re finished. Maybe I read more, but quite frankly I cbf to comb through my books and figure it out.
I challenged myself to read 8 contemporary MG/YA books from 2010, 2011, and 2012…each (har har). I’m too lazy, so let’s just count all the contemp I read total: 21
That’s right, I threw out the year published requirement and still didn’t hit 24 books. El oh el. Let’s just say, contemporary is so not my genre, and pushing myself out of my comfort zone as often as I did is pretty good. I do feel like I did something here.
I challenged myself to read 10 Printz/Newberry books in 2012. I actually read: 9
Still fell short, but you know, I actually put some effort into this one, and if we use the ambiguous ‘award winning’ to its full potential, I read many more books that won wonderful awards.
I challenged myself to read 10 MG/YA fantasy from 2012. I actually read: 38
Yay for “challenging” yourself to just read what you normally read so that you can then pat yourself on the back like you achieved something after all.
New Year, New Outlook
So it shouldn’t surprise most of you that going into 2013, I wasn’t planning on doing any reading challenges. I’ve found that they just don’t work great for me. I love participating in events and read alongs where I feel as if I get good interaction with other readers, but felt this was lacking in my challenge experience. Then, Mandee mentioned this one to me, and I decided, what the heck? The community surrounding this one seems fantastic (and the gorgeous logo doesn’t hurt), I’ll give it a go:
Why this challenge? Well, the blogoshpere has helped me to discover the sheer awesomeness that is Aussie lit. I say I don’t like contemporaries, but those Aussie women? They pump out the best of them. I’d like to make a conscious effort to read more Australian literature this year.
I challenge myself to read 10 books by Australian Women Writers in 2013.
This is a challenge for me, as many Aussie books are very hard to come by. I was going to shoot lower, but decided that I’ll probably be counting Juliet Marillier books, so I needed to push myself a bit more. Marillier was born in New Zealand, but has lived in Australia long enough that all of her children and grandchildren reside there, so I do believe she counts, and Mandee said they like to adopt people who live there. =)
So, between Marchetta, Marillier, Eagar, and Höst, I should be able to nail this one!