15 August 2010

Sunday Salon 14 Aug 2010 - focus on Challenges

Yesterday I wrote a post for my Weekly Geeks task in which I listed the challenges that I have been participating in during 2010. I know some fellow bloggers feel that taking part in challenges in some ways puts a strait-jacket on their reading, and that they cease to be the chooser of the books they read.

My experience with challenges is a little different to that: I feel you can still read the books you want to read - you just need to keep an eye on the requirements of the challenges as well, and complete those that you can. Take the Global Reading Challenge for example - what this does is encourage you to choose books set authentically (often translated titles) outside your usual geographic boundaries.

So I'm interested to know how you feel about reading challenges, how many you have on the go at present (including those you've already completed this year), and what you feel participation does for you. Equally, if you have decided against challenges, why have you done that?

Over at the top of the right hand column you'll find a poll where you can record the number of challenges you are (or have been) taking part in this year. But do leave a comment too. If you have a page on your blog where you list your challenges, leave the URL in your comment. Or alternatively just list the challenges so others can Google for them.

** Do you read Agatha Christie novels? or watch Agatha Christie films? How about writing a blog post about them?
Put your hand up for the celebratory Agatha Christie blog tour in September
There are tour stops available so think about when it would suit you to host a stop on your blog.

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Bernadette said...

This year has been my first foray into reading challenges and I have signed up for 5 so far. What I've learned is that I enjoy the ones that actually challenge me to read books I otherwise wouldn't have read but I only want 1 or 2 of them on the go at any one time. The reason I signed up for the Canadian Book Challenge recently was that I am nearly done with the Global challenge (all my remaining books are here waiting to be read anyway) so I will use the Canadian challenge to keep me going for a few months. Other challenges that I tried - the audio book one, the aussie authors one and even the Scandinavian one have been a bit pointless as they didn't challenge me at all - for all challenges I have simply counted books that I had every intention of reading anyway and I haven't needed to go out and source any new books or authors. I can't see myself doing those again in the future but I can imagine having 1-2 challenging challenge on the go at any one time just to keep things interesting.

I have enjoyed the personal challenges like reading all the shortlist for the International Dagger award and can also see myself doing something similar each year - though I will pick my awards because I find most award lists to have a fairly high number of books I am not remotely interested in (or in the case of the Ned Kelly awards there is no shortlist so I can't do it even if I wanted to).

kathy d. said...

I joined the Scandinavian Book Challenge so that I would read at least 6 books from that region this year within the 10 months of it, to push myself to do that. However, if I read what I plan to read, I'll have read 9 Nordics by the end of the year.

I informally, just to myself, am fulfilling the basic Global Challenge, to push myself to read books from regions I don't usually read about.

And I did plan to read the Dagger shortlist, but my library wasn't cooperative, in that 3 of 6 books were not available. I'm waiting for Theorin's to be available and the system just ordered one copy of 13 Hours, so I'm waiting for that and one is noncirculating, so that ends that. I may just skip that one.

The challenges are good for me, expanding my reading choices. I would probably read mostly U.S. crime fiction with a few English, Scottish and Scandinavian books added, and Hyland and Temple's latest books.
But that would probably have been it.

I'm reading more about global mysteries online, am more aware of what's out there and what I want to read--and I've discovered that great store, the Book Depository.

It's all good.

BooksPlease said...

I've joined 5 challenges this year, including the Agatha Christie Reading Challenge. I've completed just 1 - the Cozy Mystery Challenge. I keep track of them on my blog on my Reading Challenges Page.

I like challenges for three reasons - to encourage me to read books I already own. Unlike Bernadette I seem to need that, because newer books or library books often get in the way. The other reasons are that it does widen my reading experience and I enjoy looking for books to fit the challenge - either from my own stock or elsewhere.

I haven't joined the Global Reading Challenge, but it does interest me. Am I too late to join in?

kathy d. said...

Oops: Meant to say if I read what I plan to, added to what I've read, I'll have read 11 Scandinavian mysteries by the end of the year, 9 within the boundaries, 2 before.

Kerrie said...

Margaret - the Global Reading Challenge is a January to December one - but it is definitely not too later to join. You have probably already completed some bits of it. It is a good place to look for recommendations too

Kerrie said...

As you and I have discovered Bernadette sometimes it is a good thing to put extra constraints on what we "count" in the challenge - I suspect in some cases the challenge will come when we try again next year - e.g. to do the Scandinavian one with each book coming froma a difefrent country would be quite demanding

Kerrie said...

I agree Kathy - some of what we learn in doing the challenges is almost incidental - like where the best place to get the books is.

gautami tripathy said...

I found out I am not very good at completing challenges. It is not that I read any less but somehow I found challenges controlling!

And yes Kerrie, we do celebrate our Republic Day on 26th of January.

Marg said...

Now you've done it! Made me count my challenges, and there are a lot!

I tend to choose challenges that fit what I am likely to read rather than challenges that make me add yet more books to my reading list.

You can see my reading challenges here

Gavin said...

At the end of last year I had decided to limit my challenges for 2010. Ha! I've joined at least a dozen, have drop 3 or 4 and feel like I am doing well on the rest. Certain challenges, like the 2010 Global Challenge and the Japanese Literature Challenge have definitely expanded my reading.

Kerrie said...

Marg, I think you were the one who introduced me to the idea of challenges!


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