Every year in January we (or at least I do…I can’t be the only one, right?) see a whole hoop of reading challenges crop up.
For the uninitiated, a reading challenge is essentially a list of types of books to try and read during the calendar year. They can range from topical (e.g. a book about mothers and daughters), to genre (e.g. something classified as contemporary Christian fiction), to obscure details (e.g. a book with a butterfly on the cover) and…well really anything!
Often, reading challenges will have multiple levels, so you can choose how many books you want to commit to. I think most of y’all who read our blog are big time readers, so you’re probably already consuming a minimum of 50 books each year, but there are reading challenges out there that feature smaller levels, too.
Once you find your reading challenge (or challenges for those over achievers out there), you generally proclaim it loudly and track your progress in some sort of communal location where all challenge participants gather.
Or so I hear.
I’ll be honest, I’ve never actually participated in one. Every year I see them. Every year I think, “Oh, what a fun idea! I should do that!” And then, every year, I don’t.
Part of it, I think, is that I like re-reading and generally speaking, reading challenges don’t take that into consideration. And also? I like to read what I want, when I want. Because I’m kind of ornery that way.
Despite all that, this year? I actually made up a reading challenge.
You see, I’m the primary admin in the Facebook group associated with the InspyRomance blog. The Christian Romance Reader Gathering is a fun little group where we try to promote conversation about only contemporary Christian romance. There are some weeks when it’s quiet and some weeks when we get a little rowdy, but it’s always fun. And if you’re ever looking for a CCR recommendation, it’s the place to be. And I thought it might be fun to put together a little reading challenge that encouraged folks to read InspyRomance authors this year as part of what they’re reading.
So I asked in our IR author group for people to give me a hook that might feed into one of their back list books and one that might hook into a book they’re expecting to release in 2020. And then I took those and played with them a little, and we ended up with this:
As you can see, our challenge is pretty small — just 12 books. So only one a month to add to your list! It’s accessible to everyone! I think they’re all (well, maybe not the singing personal chef one, but maybe even that one!) generic enough that it’s not just a straight up riddle to figure out a specific book I mean. And you’re more than welcome to read any book that meets the bill. But over in the CRRG, if you do the challenge and post what book you chose for each prompt, we do have points and, eventual prizes.
If you want to read along, we’d love to have you join in! (If you’re not a member of the CRRG, hop on over to Facebook to join – please do remember to answer the 3 entry questions when you ask to be added.)
Let’s talk reading challenges — have you done them? Loved them? Dislike the idea of them? Think they’re something you might do maybe? Or if you have a suggestion for a book that fits one of the prompts above, feel free to list it as an idea, maybe someone who’s stuck will appreciate the tip!