Reading Challenge – Progress? HELP

I’m currently completing a reading challenge on Goodreads  – how many books I am going to read in 2018.

Now I like commitment, I’m committed to my job, friends, my dog, but this reading challenge…I’m sorry to say but I have not been committed. I may have overestimated how many books I would read in a 12 month period. Just a little.

I have to go easy myself, because it is the first reading challenge I’ve attempted in a looooong time. Those of you in my age group and from Australia will remember the primary school reading challenge for charity – the MS Readathon (raising money for multiple sclerosis). So, it has been quite a long time since I attempted such a task. Back in the day, I did quite well at the MS Readathon and I was always an avid reader. Especially in primary school, when just turning up to school and the MS Readathon were my biggest and only obligations. Back when life was easy. So perhaps…I was a little eager and excited to complete this challenge.

I’m also quite a slow reader, so we do need to give consideration to that.

I committed to reading 50 books in 2018.

I know what you are thinking.. that is a lot, especially for someone who has not completed any sort of reading challenge since early school years and who is a self confessed slow reader.

I am a little embarrassed to disclose my progress to date. I’m hoping we are all friends here and there will be limited judgement. 

So out of the 50 books…I have read…

Wait for it…

wait for it…



Yep. I have read 12 books for the whole of 2018. Sad but true.

I admit it. This is a poor effort for someone who has a reading blog. I want you to know that I am willing to change. Despite my renewed motivation to read more, I have to face facts that I am not going to complete 50 books by the end of the year. In fact, Goodreads reminds me every time I log in that I am 28 books behind schedule.

So I need advice from other bloggers, book nerds and avid readers as to how to integrate reading back into my life. Any tips and hints are appreciated.

I already have several ideas.

  1. Cut down TV time for book time
  2. Choose good books ( this requires lot of research on my part, but I figure the more I enjoy the book, the more likely I am going to be able to complete it and possibly the faster I will read)
  3. My new blog will give me a sense of renew enthusiasm for reading
  4. I’m committed to reading on the train every day to and from work

Ok, that’s it.

That’s all I have for now. Pleeeeeeasee let me know if you have completed a reading challenge before and any strategies or advice you have for me. I may not end on 50 books in 2018, but I would like to increase that number a little by the end of the year. I will update you on my progress of course.

The Art of Reading

There are many choices to make when reading. First our choices are about the book, topic, genre or author. These decisions are arguably the most important. I will blog about this in the future.

A good read is also about the setting. Is it possible to be fully immersed in a book if you are uncomfortable, there is too much background noise or the temperature isn’t right? Those who know me well know that I don’t like too much noise when I’m trying to concentrate, whether I’m reading or otherwise. Other really enjoy having music playing or background noise whilst concentrating. The environment is a key factor when it comes to reading.

My favourite places to read currently include the train (on my way to work) and the bathtub. I love to relax in the bath with candles burning and soapy suds. Its is heaven. Even if it is difficult to get out of the tub when the story gets exciting.

Lots of people like to read in bed and do I too, although I tend to relax a little too much and fall asleep much sooner than I would have liked. I love reading on the beach, with the sea air and sand all around me. Sand is probably a nightmare combination with a Kindle, but I just love laying on my back or tummy on a towel, with my feet burrowing into the sand. There is something sensory about the experience that adds to the reading.

Where do you like to read?

These days I read books on my kindle. I know some people will never enjoy reading books on a Kindle and more power to them for not conforming to technology. I have to say though, I really love my kindle. I love that it is easy to hold, convenient for travelling and if I’m bored with a book, there are many others in my library to choose from. People use different devices from Kobos to other readers. The one thing I miss about paperbacks is not seeing the blurb and the cover (in colour anyway). I used to spend hours in bookshops when I was younger just reading blurbs of books with interesting covers. I still do this, but now I spend more time online browsing the NY Times Best Seller List and  Goodreads for suggestions. It’s great, but it’s not quite the same.

How do you like to read?

There is also another part of reading which I enjoy immensely. I love to find out what great books my friends or family are reading. I like to discuss storylines, the author’s writing style and what I have or haven’t enjoyed about a particular book. For me, it’s not enough just to read a great book. I feel a strong urge to share it with others and discuss it.  I liken it to watching a great movie. I’ve never really been one to just passively watch a movie. I want to learn more about it. I find out who the director or writer is. I watch interviews with the cast members. I discuss the plot with others. There is something in the sharing of a great story that connects us with other people. I love that stories can connect us together that way.

Do you share your books with others? How?

I’d love to hear from you about how you read, where you like to read and how you share your reading with others. I always get great ideas from other people about books to read and how to read. I recently discovered digital libraries and I’m enjoying  a new way of borrowing books (another future post!) so all recommendations are fantastic.