The Reading Challenge

Since joining Goodreads in 2013-ish, one of the things I have done is take part in is the annual reading challenge. In the reading challenge; you pick a number of how many books you want to read and then by the end of the year you will find out if you have accomplished your goal or not. Over the last several years I have read a great multitude of books and my progress has been recorded on Goodreads.

In 2017, I set myself a lower challenge than previous years, the reason for this was so I could have a go at reading some of the larger books in my collection; books which included Battle Royale, Stoneheart and The Rest of Us Just Live Here. I am a pretty slow reader, and some of these books had been on my shelves for years unread, and so I wanted to give myself that opportunity to read them. Thing is though, I didn’t really enjoy reading quite a few of them. In fact, most of the books I read in 2017, I was quite happy to finish and not think about again. There were some I enjoyed such as Pirate Latitudes (which I technically finished earlier this year) and Burning Midnight to name just a few.


Reading has always been some part of me since I was a lot younger, and since 2012 have become a huge reader since the release of The Hunger Games film which prompted me to read the book. I have read quite a lot since then, and I especially enjoy reading teen/young adult fiction. I have purchased a lot of books in the intervening years and a large number of these are waiting to be read on my shelves in a special ‘to be read’ section. The thing is, I have purchased/acquired books faster than I can read them. For the most part though, I realised that over the last couple of years, I have concentrated too much on trying to do the reading challenge rather than actually enjoy the books, a to some degree it has felt like I have been rushing them, rather than actually reading them.

One day when I was in town, I went into Waterstones and had a look at some books on the offers table, and I saw an interesting book called The Sacrifice Box. I also picked up a copy of a book called Scythe. As I bought them though, I decided that from that point on I would concentrate on reading the books, instead of rushing them. Not trying to meet my challenge for the year, just enjoy the books; and while it took me some time, I actually really enjoyed the book I chose; that book being The Sacrifice Box. It felt like the last time I had enjoyed such a good book was in the third quarter of 2016 when I read Evil Star.

Since then I have, of course, bought several more books; but also taken my time reading and enjoying the books I have read. I have nearly finished Fir by Sharon Gosling, and that has been a great book too. I have also started reading Who Let the Gods Out? by Maz Evans for my bed time reading. Altogether it is just fun to be able to enjoy reading again. As for the challenge on Goodreads, I think next year, I might just set it at one.

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