5 Reasons Not to Do the Goodreads Reading Challenge

This year was a very strange reading year for me. I read more than I ever have before—I’ll finish out the year with 60ish books marked as “read.” My professional world started to center on books, too—writing for Book Riot, Kirkus Reviews, NoveList, Psych Central, etc…my writing career was (is) headed towards “books” as my niche specialty. I also bought a ton of books, invested in bookshelves (which I promptly filled), and even got some awesome review copies. But something felt off. Starting in August I felt this kind of choking anxiety as I realized I was sick of books. I didn’t want to think about books at all, didn’t want to describe books, write about them, write descriptions of them, or even look at them or read them. Yeah, I was having an off year of reading. And now, as I wrote on Book Riot, I’m trying to bounce back. One of the ways I will try to “bounce back” is by not doing a Goodreads Reading Challenge like I’ve done in 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015. My colleague at Book Riot, Jess Pryde, wrote a really insightful article reflecting on her time this year when she did not set a reading challenge on...

9 Reading Challenges to Try in 2016

Accept the Challenge: Read Like a Champ Ahhh, the reading challenge. Who doesn’t love a good reading challenge? The first New Year’s resolution I ever kept was to read 52 books in a year. I felt triumphant when I closed the book on A Visit from the Goon Squad last December having finished the 52nd book. After that, psshh, anything was possible! This upcoming year I’m setting my sights high in a different way. I’m not going to concentrate on just a number of books read but instead a more mindful reading approach. Here are 9 reading dares I challenge you to try out in 2016. By trying out some of these dares you should be able to read more mindfully, more widely, and more diversely. Think Global, Read Local: Read books by local authors My library will often affix a “Local Author” sticker on new books in the library. We have many awesome authors from my area (Greater Philadelphia region), and I always appreciate that sticker because I think it’s important to read local writers from the area. For local authors, many of whom are published on small presses or even independently, it is important to have the backing of your community. Also, it is surreal—and...

What I’ll Be Reading for the October 17th Dewey’s 24-Hour Readathon

This Saturday, October 17th marks the fall occurrence of the twice-annual Dewey’s 24-hour Readathon. This is my first time participating, and I am super excited. Even if I doubt I’ll be able to stay up for 24 hours straight, it will be a nice little vacation, and maybe I’ll be able to accomplish something. (And, bonus, avoid housework!). You could definitely aim to finish as many books as possible in 24 hours. I admire that route. Go forth and read, little one. I of all people know what it’s like when you’re down to the wire with your Goodreads annual personal challenge and you’re cramming as many “Read”s as possible in the final weeks of December. Or you could opt to read one huge book, and that’s also an entirely worthy pursuit. Imagine if you had 24-ish hours free to devote to A Little Life or The Goldfinch or A Brief History of Seven Killings? Wham, bam, you’ve crossed a big white whale off your TBR list. I’ll be aiming for something in between. The three books I’ve picked to read for Saturday’s 24-Hour Readathon include a new release, a book I need to finish to get me through a series I...

How to Read More Books: Read Shorter Books

How many books should you read each year? This is a topic I go back and forth about and can never come up with an answer that satisfies me. Since I interact with books on a daily basis in my various writing and editing roles, books are basically my life. Obsessed with trying to determine just how many books I should be reading to be well read and current in my profession, I secretly stalk my Goodreads friends’ Reading Challenge counts while neurotically adjusting my own reading challenge in small ways (from 52 to 75 books a year) to large ways (from 75 books to 175 books and then back to 52 books…all within the span of two days). A little much? It’s just another timesucking casualty of the book nerd life. The core question, though, is something I wrestle with, and the only answer I’ve arrived at that works is: “more.” There’s the answer: there is no magic number of books you should read in a year—read as many as possible and preferably at least if not more than the previous year, with allowances for longer books thrown in the mix. Simply, you can never read too many books....

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Welcome to Broke By Books, a blog by Sarah S. Davis, where the guiding mission is to spread a contagious love for reading through helpful, thought provoking, and enjoyable writing about books. Please join me in growing an inspired, engaged, and fearless reading life.

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