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Saturday, 8 September 2012

Reading Challenges and I: 2012 Update

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I am beginning to think that I might be terrible at reading challenges. I had an inkling when I first started blogging that I might be, which is why I only signed up for two at the beginning of the year - Kinna Reads African Reading Challenge and Helen's Book Blog Middle East Challenge. Both challenges were fairly straightforward. Kinna's challenge asked for 5 books over the course of the year - shouldn't be too hard, I thought. I average around 4 or 5 books a month. For Kinna's challenge I decided to focus on North African literature (my reading list is here). To make it even easier for me Helen's challenge included North African literature, and she didn't specify the number of books to be read. I figured I could cheat a little (terrible, I know) and make the two reading challenges overlap. Simple! I didn't want cheat too much so I felt that for Helen's challenge I would try and read 2 or 3 additional books not included in my list for Kinna's challenge. I should add that I also gave myself a personal challenge to read an iconic African author a month (as I realised I read a lot more contemporary African books than I do the classics).

How have I done? Well, we are now in the 9th month of the year and I have read 2 out of 5 (if I am honest 2 out of 7, as ones's a trilogy) books for Kinna's challenge and 2 books for Helen's. I have done even worse on my personal challenge 3 out of 12. I keep a record of my reading challenges here.

I realise I have just confessed that I might actually be terrible at reading challenges (and I'm not sure how that makes me feel. Actually, I do! It makes me feel a little sad), so I am not going to give myself another challenge to finish my challenges, but I'm also determined to finish these challenges. There's more than enough time - 3 months to try and read about 16 novels (5 for Kinna's challenge, maybe 2 for Helen's challenge, and 9 for my personal challenge). Shouldn't be too difficult, especially as for Kinna's Challenge I chose books I wanted to read, and as for Helen's and my personal challenge I decided instead to not make a list but to choose books I felt like reading that were either North African or iconic. 

Am I the only one who is terrible at reading challenges? Has anyone started and finished one? If you have what's the secret to your success? How do you finish reading challenges, because I would really love to know. Also with a few months before the year ends, how are your reading challenges going? I really hope better than mine.

Here's to the next 3 months, my reading challenges and I. Wish me luck!

3 comments:

  1. I'm doing Kinna's challenge. I'm only successful because I've altered my original list (some books just didn't hold my attention).

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    1. Thanks for the advice. I genuinely didn't even think about altering the original list (and if I'm honest didn't even think it was a possibility). I just thought I'd try and stick to the list I made and see if I could read them all. Thanks, and I'm glad your challenge is going well. May I ask what's your theme/focus for the challenge?

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    2. I didn't have a theme/focus, my aim is to cover different regions since I more familiar with West African literature. I'm glad I did this b/c Wainaina's memoir has turned out to be my favorite of the books I read.

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