I Accept: Reading Challenges in 2013

January 04, 2013

Even though I read a lot in 2012 (112 books!), I was unorganized about it, I didn’t read the classics I wanted to read, and I allowed my to-be-read (TBR) stack to proliferate ridiculously. I also didn’t participate in any reading challenges, and I missed that. I don’t need prodding to read, but I like the feeling of working towards a goal. So this year, I’m going to participate in two reading challenges, both sponsored by Bev at MyReader’s Block.

I desperately need to do another “Off the Shelf” challenge, and there are several floating around out there with varying degrees of rigor. I chose Bev’s TBR challenge because it’s simple, I like the button and the mountain references! I’m shooting for the Mont Blanc level: 24 books from my TBR pile, and if it goes well, I might upgrade to the Mt. Vancouver level (36 books). Even so, I really am going to have to put myself on a book-buying diet. Even 36 books will barely put a dent in my stack. Perhaps it’s time to go through and purge the piles again.

Vintage Reading  Challenge 2013 Signup
The second challenge is another Vintage Mystery Challenge. I participated in Bev’s VMC in 2011 and loved it. I found some great, new-to-me authors (and revisited some old favorites). This year, Bev has come up with categories that sound like lots fun.  To be eligible for a prize, there’s an eight book minimum using the categories she’s provided, which include things like “Colorful Crime: a book with a color or reference to color in the title” and “A Calendar of Crime: a mystery with a date/holiday/year/month/etc. in the title.” I haven’t chosen all my titles yet, but I think my first choice will be Gladys Mitchell’s Spotted Hemlock (“Murderous Methods: a book with a means of death in the title”). I’m planning to look for new authors and books instead of just rereading old favorites…though I’m sure one or two will sneak in.

Do you participate in reading challenges? Which ones? Do you have any reading plans for 2013?

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  1. Well, as you already know, I'm doing the War Through
    The Generations Challenge again this year with the theme being the American Revolution. I read a lot too, and last year I read the most books I've read in the few years I've been keeping track, but it was only 41 books. I can't imagine reading 112 books! But then I'm a pretty slow reader. Good luck with your challenges this year!

  2. Both sound fun! I said I was not really going to join in any challenges but already I have been tempted by a Postal Reading Challenge where you read book(s) of correspondence, which very much appeals to me. I already plan on reading as much from my own shelves as I can (though I suspect I will keep buying books....as long as I am reading them, right?), so I don't think I will formally join any group for that, but I bet something else will come along that I can't pass up. As a matter of fact I think I will have to check out that mystery challenge--I am into cozies at the moment--just finished an Agatha Christie and have started a Bess Crawford by Charles Todd. I can never say no to books!

  3. Cheryl--I'm a pretty fast reader, and I read for the blog and for other research as well as for my own pleasure. Still, 112 books is the most I've ever read in a year since I've been keeping track.

    I will be interested to hear about what you read on the American Revolution--I can't say I've heard of many books that take place during that time frame.

  4. Danielle--I think they both will be fun, and hopefully I'll clear out that guilt-inducing TBR pile. I don't have a problem with buying books if I'm reading them, but lately I just seem to be stockpiling them! The postal challenge sound interesting, and I love epistolatory books as well--does the challenge include fiction and nonfiction?

    I discovered Margery Allingham (her main detective is Albert Campion) through the first VMC and I really like her books. Hoping to find more fun cozy mystery authors this year by seeing what everyone else is reading!

  5. Good luck on your reading challenges this year, Kathy! I'm not a big fiction reader... I tend to read how-to and knowledge stuff, so they are pretty boring instructional books, although I do consider combing through cookbooks a "good read" too! My list includes such books as learning Photoshop Elements, more photography skills, watercolor and journaling instruction, etc.

  6. Thanks, Krista. I think they'll be fun. I don't think instructional stuff is boring, either! I read a lot of non-fiction in 2012--actually more non-fiction than fiction, which was a little surprising.

  7. Wow - congratulations on such a large number - your brain must be ready to explode! Seriously, the Vintage Mystery Challenge sounds like a lot of fun!! I read a lot but don't participate in any reading challenges...perhaps I should. Lately I've been reading mysteries in 2 categories: those set in Florida (Randy Wayne White and James C. Hall) and those set in Europe in Ye Olden Times (Ellis Peters and Peter Tremayne). I also have several nonfiction library books out on children's arts and crafts and 2 on chronic pain. One can never have enough books on hand; they are like old friends always ready to have a conversation!

  8. Elizabeth--Sometimes it feels like my head's going to explode!

    I'm interested in books set in and/or about Florida--that's a challenge I've been working on privately. I'll add White and Hall to my list. I've never read anything by Ellis Peters, though I've often seen the name on the library shelf. I love to have more than one book going so that I can read what I feel like reading when I have some free time. Having plenty of books on hand gives me a comforted feeling.

  9. Glad you're back for more! And that you're joining me for both challenges.

  10. Bev--I'm off to a good start on the TBR challenge (thanks to long waits on jury duty) and I can't wait to get going on the Vintage Mystery Challenge. Thanks for hosting them both. I look forward to seeing what everyone is reading.


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