This week's Weekly Geeks topic was suggested by Sheri of A Novel Menagerie. She writes:
"Reading Challenges: a help or a hurt? Do you find that the reading challenges keep you organized and goal-oriented? Or, do you find that as you near the end of a challenge that you've failed because you fell short of your original goals? As a result of some reading challenges, I've picked up books that I would have otherwise never heard of or picked up; that, frankly, I have loved. Have you experienced the same with challenges? If so, which ones? Do you have favorite reading challenges?"
As we pass the halfway point of 2009, how are you doing with your reading challenges? Did you participate in any challenges this year?
I have been thinking about this quite a bit lately; although not necessarily for the reasons listed. First, I love the reading challenges. I love completing them, and that is where my problem comes in. I sign-up for the challenge, look at my list for that challenge, and start reading. The problem is stopping. I'm having difficulty picking up books that aren't part of a challenge; I'm reading way too fast because I want to finish.
For example, in the past two and a half months, I have joined five challenges. The most difficult, The Chunkster Challenge, calls for books over 450 pages in length and no YAL. I have already read three books for this challenge. The What's in a Name Challenge - 4 books done. Dream King Challenge - 4 books and 2 movies. Technically, I'm done with The Chunkster Challenge, and I only have two books left for What's in a Name. And I have until the end of the YEAR to finish these challenges. It's ridiculous!
My other problem is that this is not the way I'm used to choosing books. Typically, what I read is the result of randomness, not planning. I pick a book off my shelves on a whim. It may be one I've never read or one I've read 20 times. But now, with reading challenges, I feel like I have to be more structured, like I have to read a book off my challenges lists.
All of this is very odd as I'm generally not a goal-oriented person. I don't make timelines for projects at work or lists of what to do on my day off. I'm perfectly happy starting something and not finishing it because something else came up. I wouldn't exactly call myself "flighty" but well, yeah, I can be flighty....easily distracted....ummm, refreshingly spontaneous and laid back!
For some reason, though, these reading challenges cause a great desire to finish within me. I really like adding the "strike" tags. If I don't slow down though, I'm going to burn out. So I'm going to take a deep breath, relax, and remember that the world won't end if I don't finish each of my challenges in record time.