Well, let’s just put this out there, 2020 was a rough year for a lot of us readers. The craziness of everything going caused a lot of us to shift away from our ‘obligated reading’ and focus more on mood reading as a whole.
For me, this was tough. I set a ton of goals for myself and I also joined in a lot of reading challenges. I had goodreads challenge, the Start on Your Shelf-a-thon challenge, r/fantasy Book Bingo challenge, Twenty Books of Summer Challenge–just to name a few! I was also trying purposefully, to read more books that I’ve had in my TBR for some time but of course that didn’t work out the way I wanted either.
So over the past year I’ve come to the following conclusion–I’m a mood reader and I have to stop setting up so many arbitrary book lists for myself because it takes SO much fun out of reading for me. If reading isn’t fun, what’s the point? It’s hard because I LOVE participating in challenges. But I also have a tendency to take on too much and this is something that I need to work on. (Am I the only one who feels like they’re a constant work in progress?) When I can’t make my goal, finish my list, complete the challenge, etc, I wind up feeling a tremendous amount of guilt. I made a commitment and now I can’t honor it and I feel terrible! The last thing I want to do is associate reading with feeling terrible.
So, my plan for 2021 is:
- Limit the challenges I participate in. This is going to be tough because, like I said, I LOVE PARTICIPATING in things. But, I also have learn to have some self-discipline when it comes to jumping into things.
- Customize the challenges I do participate in to make them ‘easier’ or ‘less stressful’. For instance, only doing one row for r/fantasy bingo instead of the entire card, or doing 10 books for 20 Books of Summer.
- I’m not going to pick out a full TBR pile for any challenge I choose to do. I need the freedom to read what I want to read when I feel like reading it. I may pick a ‘limited’ TBR or a couple of books I want to read but it won’t be an exhaustive list.
So that’s it. I’m going to try and read like a normal person for most of the year and see what happens. I love reading challenges, so I won’t be giving them up completely, but I do need to take a step back and be more realistic with myself. What do you think about participating in reading challenges? Do you participate in any? Do you think you do too much or do you want to do more? Leave a note in the comment, I’d love to chat!