Reading challenges make me nervous. They can create a competitive dynamic where it’s unnecessary and unproductive. They can set expectations that, if not met, cultivate feelings of failure that drain the pleasure from reading.
Who needs that kind of negativity, especially from an activity that one engages in by choice, presumably for pleasure and enrichment?
I don’t know. Maybe some people like negativity (that would explain a lot, actually). But I don’t. So I’m very wary of engaging in reading challenge, generally speaking. And yet!
This was the challenge that convinced me to do a challenge this year. I needed it desperately. My book hoarding had achieved intervention levels. I’ve bought two and even three copies of the same book because I no longer have any idea what books I own, and trying to find them on my overstuffed shelves takes hours and days. It’s ridiculous.
One major difference resulting directly from Read My Own Damn Books: My impulse buys are way, way down. I’m still buying new books, but I’m actually reading them too. As opposed to sticking them on a shelf where I’ll promptly forget them. Imagine that! E-book sales were a huge temptation for me. My new policy: I only buy the on-sale e-books if the titles were already on my to-read list.
This year, I’ve bought 45 books and read 24 of them. So I’m over 50 percent in my buy-to-read ratio. The numbers become even more favorable in the last three months. I’m most pleased by that! Continue reading “2016 Reading Challenges: The Quarterly Report”