Shocking, isn’t it? I’ve been participating in a reasonable capacity these past years. But that’s the thing; it’s purely a casual, coincidental thing. I’ve just read a contemporary romance? Oh, look at that, let’s count that towards the challenge. I’ve never once looked at my list of challenges before picking out a book. In fact, I don’t really pick out my books anymore. I am mostly doing blog tours lately. So if a book sounds good, I’ll sign up, and I’ll read it by that date. (Almost 100% of the time I read it the night before it’s due.) There’s no time to consider if I even want to read it then. If I’m in the mood for it. I don’t have a choice. I just have to rely on the fact that at some point in time I did want to read it. I’ve only been disappointed once so far.
Anyway, reading for challenges just puts unnecessary pressure on me. I know that’s the point; a lot of the time we sign up for challenges because we’re trying to branch out or we have a lot of unread books in that genre/category. But I don’t have a set way of reading books. I own over 400 books and I haven’t read between 30 and 40 percent of them. I always say I’ll get to it eventually. Maybe I will. I no longer have a TBR pile. I have a list, yes (several hundreds of books), but no actual pile that determines what I’m going to read next. I suppose that makes me a mood reader. (Except when it comes to blog tours.) See? I’m very inconsistent. In fact, I often take breaks from reading that last months long while I pursue other hobbies. I start a new craft every month. (Now it’s sewing, if you were curious.) This summer was my reading slump, sadly enough (because that’s when I have the most time). However, I was still able to hit my goal of 100 books this year because earlier this year I was reading a book every single day. It was alarming. Once you factor in textbooks and books for school + blog tour books, it adds up quickly. I’ll probably increase my goal for next year in optimism that my reading slump will be shorter. That’s the only goal I’m willing to set for myself- number- because I know there’s a huge chance I’ll reach it. I can’t even strongly consider the possibility that I’ll read, say, 20 horror novels. (For you information, I don’t even think I’ve read one actually scary novel, as much as I’d love to. I know, I’ve said Stephen King is on my TBR forever, and it is, but who knows when I’ll get to it. I sure don’t know.)
So I’ve finished a few challenges in previous years because I’ve set reasonable goals. I’ve failed a couple. (The ones that would require me to branch out.) But I never actively participated. I didn’t read books for challenges. I didn’t do the read-alongs or discussions or linkups or even giveaways for the most part. I did do the COYER Twitter chats because I usually win something. (Heh. Call me predictable. And devious.) But that was about it. So I’m being reasonable with myself. Let’s be real here. Things are probably not going to change next year. I’ve started college this year and so far it’s not much different from high school. I’m still rolling in free time. I could actively participate if I wanted to. But I probably won’t. I’m lazy and unmotivated when it comes to those things, for the most part. I like doing what I want, when I want. (Hello, college.) I don’t like pressure. Sure it’s nice to knock out a few challenges by happenstance, but there really isn’t any feeling of accomplishment. (I really prefer tangible prizes, haha. Don’t we all.)
So, long story short…now that you know my each and every reading habit and thought process…that’s why I won’t be doing reading challenges next year and possibly ever.
This post in two words: I’m lazy.
This post in a slightly longer and less self-deprecating sentence: I’m a mood reader.
Are you doing reading challenges next year, or have you decided to throw in the towel as well? Let’s chat.