Challenging challenges


January is filled with people posting challenges. Every January I join the reading challenges craze and look for one I can challenge myself with. Sometimes I look for a way to keep my TBR monster under control but usually I’m just delighted to see what kind of challenging ideas people come up with. I’m not talking about challenges by number of books read. The thematic and weird reading challenges come to mind.

b0963-worldatwarreadingchallengeSome of the themes are totally out of my general reading scope and I could never hope to try them on. There is challenging oneself and then there is simply putting yourself up for a year of torturous reading.

What I really like seeing are smaller month-to-month challenges that make you spell out a word or a theme. Recently I stumbled on one such challenge in one GR group. It made me reminiscence of few years back when I was a devoted Shelfari member and I did those group challenges successfully. It made me read 7-10 books a month that fit the letters I needed for the challenge. As much as I admire these challenges I am not confident I could really complete one anymore.

rc-flexIdeas in the picture above do not belong to me and I’ve taken a screenshot from one GR group.

I tend to read trough many different genres and searching out the book where “someone practices or teaches yoga, tai chi, or ballet” seems like a rather challenging bother on it’s own.

Getting the letters and numbers are doable for me but when it comes to certain themes and plot twists I’m out of it.I believe this has something to do with the way I pick out books for my TBR monster. I see something I like I simply add it. Therefore I’ve concluded that these kind of challenges are for people who need ideas on what to read. I don’t need ideas since my TBR monster is quite chubby as it is.


What I’m looking for is a way to trim my TBR and a way to organize how to do it. My TBR is rather versatile and thematic challenges are not a good choice for me. My reading choices vary from classics, graphic novels and manga editions to popular new editions, less known self published books and really obscure books never translated into English. Add to that a sprinkle of erotic genre which is not for sharing with most people and reading groups and I’m really struggling to find a reading challenge to fit my needs.

I get jealous when I see a really interesting thematic reading challenge since I know I could never really fit it in. Then there is a guilt trip for not trying hard enough which usually ends with not doing any reading done at all..

I’m actually torn up about reading challenges I can’t be a part of and on account of that I’ve made my search for organizing my reading with reading challenges a whole year round experience. I’ve stopped thinking about time limits and started perceiving it more about small victories and enjoying my reading.

So there, this was my reading challenge rant post for January to make up for not having an actual fun and interesting themed reading challenge to be a part of!