As 2010 came to a close, I had no idea that book challenges existed. I have a habit of starting things and then quitting in the middle when I get bored with it. So when I learned that Bookchickcity.com was hosting a number of reading challenges I was intrigued. Challenge myself to complete a certain number and type of genre within a year? What a perfect way to get past my issue of starting things and leaving them incomplete.
I was amazed once the New Year hit to see just how many of my fellow book-aholics signed up for 2011 challenges! I discovered that this was not just something that was restricted to Bookchickcity.com but something people all over the world have been participating in for years. I ended up signing up for three challenges: twelve books by Stephen King, twenty-four horror or urban fantasy novels, and twelve mystery or suspense novels. As it stands I have read eight of the books for the Stephen King challenge, seventeen of the twenty four books for the horror or urban fantasy challenge, and three books for the mystery and suspense challenge. Needless to say I am far ahead. It kind of makes me wish I had signed up for the “Read 100 Books in 2011” challenge, which I still can but I am waiting to see how much longer it takes me to finish the three challenges I have already signed up for.
Fellow readers have been very encouraging about finishing the challenges and we even discuss some of the books that we have read on Goodreads.com discussion boards. Over the past six years books have really been my saving grace. Since the age of five I have wanted to be a writer, there was never any debate over career path for me. I may have been interested in becoming a chef on the side and even a massage therapist (which I actually took many classes for before the schedule became to difficult for me to handle) but these were always side jobs for me, with the intent to write full time and work part time simply to make ends meet.
Unfortunately I was a stupid teenager who married the wrong guy at the age of nineteen. Luckily I came to my senses before it was too late and made things right. I read to escape the sorrow that seemed to overwhelm me at that point in my life. I also met some amazing people on the message board at CharlaineHarris.com and have made close friends for life. Through my writing and urge to learn as much as I could for the sake of my stories I met an amazing man who I am happy to be celebrating two years of courtship with today. After five years of working at the city library I became ill and had to call it quits. Devastated and concerned about what would become of me financially, I turned to books to ease the nervousness that I felt and began to think: wouldn’t it be incredible to find a job that allows me to review books for a living? At this point I had been writing reviews just for the fun of it on Blogger.com, so I decided to do a job search for book review bloggers and lo and behold, here we are today discussing reading challenges.
It’s safe to say that not only are books my entire life, they have saved me on more than one occasion, casting away my problems through enchanting worlds of fiction, allowing me to work from home during my illness, and giving me a goal to attain through reading challenges. So I ask you, what are your thoughts on reading challenges? Yea or nay? Do you have any stories about positive experiences with reading challenges? If so feel free to share your experiences. In the words of Charles W. Eliot, “Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are most accessible and wisest of counselors, and most patient of teachers.”