Earlier in the year I joined Book Chick City's 100 Books in a Year 2011 Reading Challenge because I felt like I needed the motivation to get me reading and blogging a lot more. The challenge is an awesome one, and I admire any and everyone who is able to complete it, or even get close. However, for me, it did not go very well.
When I entered the challenge it was because I was determined to improve my blog, give it more attention, and despite being quite an ambitious challenge - it seemed like exactly what I needed to motivate myself. But I was wrong.
Challenges can be such good motivators and really help you along with your reading, but you have to choose the ones that are appropriate for you and that are truly helpful. My issue is not with reading, it is with blogging - put simply, I do not do as much on my blog as I would like, and I have an awful habit of finishing a book and starting another and then never getting around to writing the review for the previous, until I end up with 10 books read but no reviews. As I spend all day in front of a computer, mostly online, it means that in the evenings I prefer to kick back and read rather than blog. Getting the right balance is important this year. Also, while I can read fast if I need to, I do not necessarily read very fast when reading for pure pleasure. Therefore, challenging myself to read such a large number of books within the year was playing into my weaknesses rather than focusing on what I really wanted to do.
So, on reflecting on this I have decided not to do the 100 Books in a Year 2012 challenge but rather to watch in awe all those who are able to meet their target. Instead, I have set myself a target of sorts using the Goodreads 2012 Reading Challenge where one can set a personal target. My goal is to read, and most importantly review on my blog, 50 books (roughly one per week). I think that is a sensible enough number to allow me to put my blog first, whilst maintaining my reading and allowing myself to read slowly when I desire to do so.
However, I have not given up on challenges completely - the right challenges are so much fun - and so I have signed up for Book Chick City's Mystery and Suspense Reading Challenge 2012 and for The Eclectic Bookshelf 2012 Young Adult Reading Challenge.
I am glad I took part in this challenge - failing it made me take a good look at what I wanted to achieve and the best ways of doing so. Book Chick City is such an awesome host and cool blog, and if you are a confident blogger, a relatively quick reader, and really want to challenge yourself this year then maybe this is for you. You don't know until you try, after all.