Sunday, December 31, 2017

2017 Reading Challenge Wrap-Ups

I've already joined all my challenges for 2018, so it feels a little weird to go back and revisit the 2017 ones now, but I still like to see how they all turned out right at the finish line. I already discussed these 2017 ones quite a bit back in October when I debated what I would (or would not) join again in 2018. I am standing by my decision to join very few this year which includes skipping a fun challenge I did really well on as well as two that line up perfectly with my reading goals, but I just don't want to be bothered with all the tracking -- or the "pressure"! I actually think I might do better reading from my own shelves and reading new books I buy if I don't have challenges hanging over my head. We shall see!

Goal: Read all the Sherlock short stories and novels.
Status: ABANDONED!

This one is not actually over yet, but I abandoned ship many months ago. I enjoyed the few stories and one novel I read, but I do not work well on a schedule. At all. I'll get back to these in my own time. AND there is now a fantastic Stephen Fry narrated Audible edition, I have so many hours of listening to look forward to :) :)

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Hosted by Novel Night
Goal: 50 books published prior to 2017
Status: COMPLETE!

I have 114 books logged for this challenge, plus tons and tons of backlist picture books (though I gave up on submitting those after September!). I'm in the middle of a couple more backlist books I may or may not finish before the end of today. I had not made myself any goals for the Hogwarts mini challenge which included 4 different (optional) scavenger hunts, but I've completed and submitted all of them! As of yesterday, I only had one book remaining for the Hermione's Library hunt, a title with the letter Q in it. I had not been counting any picture books for the scavenger hunts (even though they do count), but decided being one book shy, I would sneak one in. I chose The Rooster Who Would Not Be Quiet! by one of my very favorite storytellers Carmen Agra Deedy. It was definitely a book for me, rather than for my son, so I'm calling it good enough :)

This challenge looks like a huge success for me on paper (ahem, screen), but I'm still not joining it again for 2018 (tempting as it is!) because I feel I spent WAY too much time tracking and logging stuff for it. I'd rather get that time back for more reading or blogging.

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Hosted by Julie @Smiling Shelves
Goal: Konisgburg level which requires 75+ points
Status: COMPLETE!

I chose the highest level for this challenge and blew past my goal! I rounded out the year with 100 points and am so happy with all the wonderful Newbery and Caldecott books I read this year.

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https://blbooks.blogspot.com/2016/11/picture-book-reading-challenge.html
Original artwork by Charles Haigh-Wood (1856-1927)
Hosted by Becky @Becky's Book Reviews
Goal: Complete Checklist of 102 categories
Status: COMPLETE!

I loved this challenge! If picture books aren't your thing, I totally get it. And even if they are your thing, maybe it seems silly to have a challenge for books that often can be read in 15 minutes (or less!), but I really liked how this helped me pick up titles, authors, and illustrators I never would have before. Sure, I completed lots of categories without even trying, but having some categories I needed to seek out in order to cross them off was a little bit like a bookish treasure hunt :)

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Goal: My Shelves and I are Going Steady, 51+ books
Status: INCOMPLETE

I only read 37 books for this challenge this year. That might sound pretty good to a lot of people, but it's a lot lower than I was hoping for! I read lots more from my shelves if I could count books purchased during 2017, but those count for the final challenge below, not this one. I'm not joining ShelfLove again, but since I am giving myself a monthly book budget in 2018 (more on that soon!), I sincerely hope to read many more that are already on my shelves now in the coming year.

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Hosted by Book Date
Goal: Maximizing Returns, 61-80%
Status: FAIL!

I actually stopped tracking this sometime in the fall. I went to a few too many garage sales and made a few too many Book Outlet bargain orders and just got tired of logging everything (and watching my stats drop!) Maybe that should have motivated me to stop picking up new books altogether, but challenge stats aren't going to dissuade me from picking up a $5 bag of used books at a community fundraiser garage sale or $1 books from the library sale shelf. Even without official numbers, I know I didn't hit 61% and I quite likely missed by a LOT. While I still find reading books I buy in a timely manner to be a worthwhile goal, I don't want the pressure of tracking it all. In 2018, I'm giving myself a limited monthly book budget, so I'll have to decide if I want to spend it a pile of cheap used books, a cartful of bargain books, 1 or 2 brand new books or audiobooks, or some combination thereof. This should keep things in check by forcing me to be more discerning in what I pick up -- which should in turn help me read (most) of them in a reasonable amount of time. And if I pick up some $1 bargains that I don't read for a few years, so be it!

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How did your reading challenges go in 2017? Are you joining any for 2018?

8 comments:

  1. I'm impressed by your challenges! I really hope to read more backlist titles this year.

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    1. Thanks! Backlist books are great -- I hope you get to a bunch this year :)

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  2. Congrats on all your bookish achievements and Happy New Year!

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    1. Thanks! Happy New Year to you as well :)

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  3. I would say overall you did pretty darn good! Perhaps 2018 is the year you read more of your already owned books! :D I know I need to take a look at the books I own and haven't read yet. I may try small and shoot for one book a month that has been sitting on my shelf a while. Good luck and Happy New Year!

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    1. Thanks Kay! That is a great plan doing one a month! Realistic and achievable goals are the way to go -- then sometimes you even get to surpass them :)

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  4. 100 points? That's awesome!! I achieved the level above the one I signed up for this year, which is the first time that's happened. Made me happy. :) That Picture Book checklist was a lot of fun. I'm looking forward to doing that one again this year. I cheated a little on my Read the Books You Buy challenge...I "forgot" to record the stack of books I bought at the library book sale in October, so I'm not so sure I would have completed that one after all. I don't think that's one I'm going to sign up for again, either, because it is depressing to watch the numbers fall when you come home with a big pile of books.

    Overall, you did great on your challenges, even those that weren't technically completed!

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    1. That's the thing with the Read the Books You Buy challenge, by the time you get to October, that kind of thing happens -- especially with an awesome deal on used books!

      For the time being, I am recording a list of books I buy in my reading log and checking off when I read them. I'm hoping if I stick to my budget (with the help of those few exceptions I'm allowing myself) my list won't get so out of hand this year that it's overwhelming to log. And I'm not fussing with stats all year as I go -- if I want to calculate it out at the end of the year, I can -- but I know I don't have to for the sake of a challenge :)

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I'd love to hear what you think :)