Happy Friday! I hope you’re all having a good day and hanging in there, finding little ways to stay positive and be kind to yourself. Like last year, I have a few challenges I want to give myself and my reading, some inspired and joined by the community, and others I just want to commit to myself. I will say that I normally don’t join too many challenges, because it adds an extra layer of stress that I don’t want to put onto reading. However, the year-long challenges seem to really be where I thrive (read: when my reading is *not* impacted by a global pandemic). I’m always impressed by those who can do a ton of challenges throughout the year, but I keep mine a little smaller.
So, what challenges am I actually going to do? Check it out below! Hopefully, I’ll do better at actually staying on top of things in regards to these challenges this year. *fingers crossed*
2021 Discussion Challenge
I took part in this challenge last year and I loved it (it was one of the only challenges I actually succeeded in, oops). Since I wrote 13 discussion posts last year, I want to see if I can make it up to the next level of Chatty Kathy! I also want to do a better job of actually blog hopping and reading others discussion posts from the past month (as well as linking up my own), as I didn’t do a great job of that before.
Curious about this year-long challenge and want to know more? Info here.
Goal: 21-30 (Chatty Kathy)
This one is pretty simple: read 50 books this year. I definitely want to read more than 50, but with experiencing the greatest reading slump last year that I’ve had since starting college in 2011, I want to aim for something that is traditionally achievable for me, but this year, will actually be challenging (but hopefully not, if I can beat this reading slump).
I am also still using Goodreads to mainly cross-post reviews on, as I know that helps authors. However, I am hoping to use StoryGraph *much* more.
Read More Diversely
As we saw in my 2020 Reading Recap, even though I want to always be championing diverse books, my reads were not reflecting that and that needs to change. This goes for race, gender identity and sexual orientation. I recognize that some of these aspects, I want know about an author and that’s okay (it should never be an expectation that an author has to reveal an identity in order for a reader to be able to say they read ownvoices from that group!!). But, I could still do a better job in reading less white, cishet, male authors!
Goal: Every month, read equal to or more diverse reads than those written by authors who (or feature characters that) match my identity.
Make progress getting caught up on ARCs
I am currently….very behind on ARCs, for various reasons. That is one of the main reasons that I closed for any review requests outside from publishers and am limiting the amount that I request from publishers that are new, as this is guilt that’s been hanging over my head and I’d really like to get acught up.
Goal: Read at least one ARC a month
Read more backlist titles
The main reason I don’t have “get caught up on all ARCs” as my goal (despite wanting to work on that, even if slowly) is because I really, really want to read more backlist titles. While it’s been really fun to follow the hype and support authors I love by reading their latest releases, I also want to read the books that are a few years old and I just haven’t gotten to yet; those bookstore snags that I bought ages ago and never got around to reading.
Goal: Read at least one backlist book a month
Read books I own
This one is going to be pretty easy, as the pandemic is making it to where I’m not using my local library currently, as I’m trying to stay home as much as possible. Where it is challenging is that I want to really limit buying too many new books because I have so many I want to read and already own (and it turns out that buying books was a pandemic comfort for me, even though I hardly read anything; go figure).
Goal: Each month, read equal to or more than the number of new books purchased from books that I already own.
What about you? Do you have any reading challenges this year? Do you like to participate in reading challenges or do you like to avoid them? Let me know in the comments below and may your reading this year be exactly what you need it to be (and without the stress that book blogging sometimes makes it out to be).