Monday, January 5, 2015

New Years Resolutions as Reading Challenges

The New Year is always ripe with personal resolutions - to eat healthier, exercise more, budget better... More and more in recent years I've seen the growth (in popularity) of reading resolutions.  You've seen them; Book and/or Reading Challenges that push you to your reading limits or to extend your literal horizons.

One example is to set a reading goal for the number of books you wish to read throughout the year.  The Goodreads community has a good, simple one each year (click here to see more) and I think one of the great benefits of this challenge is that the site will offer book recommendations if you're stumped for your next read, while the community board allows you to interact with others participating in the event, garnering (or offering) encouragement when needed.

Another challenge that I stumbled on while scrolling through my Facebook feed over the holidays, this one coming from POPSUGAR, has a list of 52 challenges which push you to try new things, widen the variety of genre or subject matter that you read, and more.  I actually like this kind of challenge a bit better then the Goodreads challenge because of that push for expanding your horizons in what you read versus merely expanding the quantity of books that end up on your read list.

For myself, I'm notoriously bad at holding to any resolution I make - and am actually of the opinion that if you're only making a resolution in the first place because it's the New Year and you "have to", that chances are you won't succeed anyways.  I'm moderately better when the resolution involve my kids, reading or writing, but even then find that sometimes all you do is the best with what you've got and go from there. Circumstances and situations change too much and too frequently in my busy life for anything to be certain, and while I may have the time in January to work on resolutions, especially if they require a departure from the norm, I may not have the same availability come February.

When it comes to resolutions that show themselves in the reading (or writing) sphere of my life, I'll give myself monthly challenges or themes in my reading rather then annual goals.  One month I may resolve to read only books about vampires, while another month I choose to find and read only stories set in Scotland.  I've had myself read only novels and books by a specific author for a month, and once I challenged myself to read only books whose title included the word "Midnight."

There are literally (and yes, the pun is intended) an endless number of ways you can challenge yourself to read this year... So what will it be?