I started to write an article earlier this year about how some reading challenges aren’t challenging. When I originally went about picking the reading challenges I wanted to do, I picked out types and levels of books I was planning on reading already. So, it wasn’t a “challenge”, it was just signing up to reach a goal I knew I was going to reach anyways.
At this point in the year, I am on time for my reading challenges. I’ve got several under my belt. Which is all well and good, but I’m kind of annoyed at the moment. Why? I look at my plan for the year, and the little wiggle room I’ve allowed myself when it comes to my total for the year. Sure, I can read these books I’ve challenged myself to read.
I know I can do it, I just don’t want to do it.
Of course, I’m still going to keep plugging away at my Classics challenge because it really is challenging and I like that, and, well, it’s MY challenge after all. The E-Book challenge isn’t that hard either. The books I’ve chosen to read for it are ones I’ve been aching to read. And reading The Complete E.E. Cummings is enjoyable in between the books.
But when it comes to the TBR pile challenge, I want to throw something at the wall. Yeah, I want to knock out some books that have been sitting on my shelves for awhile. The ones I’ve read so far have made me feel like I’ve gotten somewhere. My issue lies with the fact that I challenged myself to read 21 books on my shelf. That’s almost half of the reading I’ve allotted for myself this year. Take out the other challenges (10 for E-Book, 8 for Classics), and that leaves me with 12 books that I can read otherwise. I’ve already used up 3 of those freebies in the beginning of the year, leaving me with 9 books that don’t count toward challenges.
Why is this a problem?
I’ll give you some examples: Pandemonium (Lauren Oliver), Insurgent (Veronica Roth), The Evolution Of Mara Dyer (Michelle Hodkins), Heat Wave (Richard Castle), Catching Fire and Mockingjay (Suzanne Collins), The Babysitter Murders (Janet Ruth Young), Catching Jordan (Miranda Kenneally), Don’t Breathe A Word (Holly Cupula)…
These are books that came out/are coming out this year (first three), I purchased this year (the next five), or I received an ARC of this year (last one). Add them up, and what do you get?
As you can see, that accounts for EVERYTHING this year. It doesn’t include any other books I purchase this year. It doesn’t include any books I decide to borrow from the library. It doesn’t include any ARC’s or review request books I get asked to read.
Can you see why I’m annoyed?
For a few weeks, I told myself, “Just keep going on the TBR challenge. You can make it. You don’t want to fail, do you?” I’m the type of person who doesn’t like failing when I don’t have to, so I reluctantly kept reading what I had to. But that just made me feel worse and less inclined to read. Until the day I thought to myself, “Does it really matter if you don’t complete a challenge? Or if you just drop out of the challenge entirely?” I mean, it’s just a linky you wrote your name on. Who cares if you quit? Nobody. Are you going to be listed as a challenge dropout or failure somewhere on the internet? No.
So, I’ve decided I’m going to just let it all go and see where the year takes me. Reading is supposed to be enjoyable. There are certain books that you just aren’t in the mood for. You shouldn’t read them because you feel obligated to. This isn’t school. It’s your free time.
How about you?
Have you ever wanted to just give up on a challenge? Have you ever felt overwhelmed with a challenge? Did you quit the challenge? I want to hear your thoughts in the comments below!