My 2019 reading challenges

New year: new reading challenges. The Goodreads Challenge is about as straightforward as it gets: read X books in a year. I’m going to be reading anyway, so I may as well get reading challenge credit for any book that passes before my eyes (or though my ears, if I ever tackle another audiobook). But then there’s the fine art of choosing a personalized challenge. A challenge that interests me, that is more complicated than the Goodreads Challenge, and yet doesn’t repel me, make me feel guilty when I read a book that won’t fit, or has me reading so many books that are challenging that I read fewer books that I wholeheartedly enjoy. I have pored over The Master List of 2019 Reading Challenges, and am going with the 2019 Good Rule Reading Challenge. Or as I think of it, the 2019 But I Thought You Wanted to Read/Reread That Book Challenge.

Last year, while doing my A-to-Z challenge, I needed to reread books to get all my letters. I’d also reread some books in 2017 as I weeded my collection. It’s sinking in that I’ve kept a lot of books because I’m sure I’ll read them again someday, but then I don’t. Time spent rereading a book is time not spent reading a new one, and I feel like I’m shirking a duty. Meanwhile, a large portion of my home is filled with these books I think I’m going to reread. Well, this year, I’m committing to doing some of that. The bulk of this challenge is on reading new books—I still want to shrink that TBR pile! However, I’m adding a number of must-rereads, for a total of 40 new books and 10 old ones. I said I’d read 60 books for the Goodreads Challenge, so that still leaves 10 books to learn of in 2019 or get from the library or whatever.

A few of the proposed books, new and old.

Of course, some books won’t work out, from either category. That’s fine. But I plan to keep my initial balance of new to old books. So if I give up on a reread partway through, I will replace it with another old book. And just selecting books for the challenge is proving to be informative. I look at the books and ask myself, Do I want to read this one? With some of them, I’m instantly saying No. Really? Like I said, didn’t I want to read these books? If that’s no longer the case, I can let them go now and free up the shelf space.

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