Reading Challenge for 2019

Reading Challenge for 2019

Reading Challenge for 2019

Since last year, I’ve gotten comments both appreciating the structure and value of doing our reading challenge here, while also thinking that it was too constricting, tight, and ambitious. So I’ve changed things up for our next year of doing this together. I hope to keep those who have been doing this with me, as well as encourage others to join in.

Some of you asked for a “series” category to be included last year, and then complained that all that reading only counted as one book, putting you behind on the rest of your reading goals. I not only heard this sentiment, but totally concur with it; I felt it myself.

Also, those of you in book groups found that increasingly the categories we’d chosen don’t always fit the book group assignments, again requiring extraneous reading not included in our 52 book challenge.

Thirdly, I’ve heard from a lot of you that you love to read, but you want to (officially) count in audiobooks, podcast series, and even rededicating yourselves to a positive newspaper (or periodical) experience. These things all count as reading to me, and I feel I would do better with more of them in my life as well, so I have specifically included them for next year.

Everyone seemed to agree that given those caveats, they still liked the idea of striving to read one book per week, even though it is a stretch.  So for our new challenge, I’ve taken this all into account. I’ve reexamined too my own goals for reading, both for edification and entertainment.

When considering structure– I guess the structural engineer in me is leaking out here– it is important to not have the framework burdensome, while still having it do its job of being supportive. I came up with loose categories we all seem to want to hit in some way, and I tried to give them both balance and proportion.

You can see how I’ve done it below. I think this is still challenging enough, and is diverse and open enough to give us breadth and depth in our reading progress. I’ve included a print button at the bottom, so you can print it out and easily fill it in, but feel free to copy it and paste it in your own document or app to track your progress digitally if you prefer.

Regarding professional development / special interest books, this category could include whatever learning you need to get done right now. It could be parenting books, or books about a place you are going to visit. It could be about WWII in Paris, or dog training, or Bible study. It could be about entrepreneurship, how to build websites and traffic on social media, or how to navigate the political process. For myself, I’m interested in understanding creativity more and how it relates to spirituality, so will be pursuing that (at least to begin with).

If you are not in a book group, I recommend –urge– you start one or find one. Most libraries and bookstores can help you with that. The benefits of relating with others over what you are reading cannot be overstated. As you may remember from this recent blog post I love mine, although I was skeptical in the beginning. If you really are antisocial or loathe a sense of community and conversation, use the book group portion of the list as a miscellaneous category. But with all the technology we have these days, you don’t need to be even geographically close to people you want to put together to read with. I encourage you to open your thought here and don’t offhandedly dismiss the book group category. Also, even though my book group meets every month, sometimes I’m away and I don’t always read everything they do (drawing the line at too much violence, supernaturalness, dystopia, or negativity) so I only put in nine books to aim for on the list.

Regarding audio books, CD’s are great from the library, and digital versions are available for download from many libraries. Also consider a subscription to libros.fm which is a monthly subscription benefiting your local independent bookstore; if you don’t have one that you want to support, support mine (www.byrdsbooks.com)– you can enter into Libros.FM from their website in the sidebar. This subscription is approximately $15/month for one title, with others at discount prices. If you subscribe, you’ll end up with more audios than the number of audio books listed on the challenge below, but I listen to a lot of my bookclub books that way.

Regarding podcasts, there are some terrific ones out there that are very engaging and illuminating. I think it is an increasingly relevant way people are getting stories, conversation, and content, and quite valid because of that. If you are new to podcasts, there is a podcast app you can get on your phone, ipad, computer, or device, where you can search or subscribe to podcasts for free. There is a huge amount there, but for me, I will see what three I most enjoy this year, and count as good the ones I find myself listening to multiple times. I’ll soon have a blog highlighting the ones I am considering.

We all seem to report that we own way more books than we’ve read, so that is something we should get busy doing. Otherwise, if we don’t want to read them, we should donate them to someone who will. Additionally, when I posted encouraging people subscribe to and read the Christian Science Monitor, many said they wish they would devote more time to it. So in support of that, I have included one newspaper on the list to count as at least one book, to help us get done what we say we want to do. If there is another newspaper or periodical you want to consecrate to reading this year, great. Do that and count it there.

So without further ado, here is our reading challenge for 2019! Please join us in this. I’ll make posts during the year updating my progress and hopefully hear from you about yours as well.

Reading Challenge for 2019

Self Help / Self Care / Inspiration

1.

2.

3.

other:

Professional Development / Pursuing Interests

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

6.

7.

8.

other:

Book Group / or Misc

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

6.

7.

8.

9.

other:

A Book Series (or two)

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

6.

other:

Older books (prior to 2000)

1.

2.

other:

New books (2018 or 2019)

1.

2.

other:

Audio Books

1.

2.

3.

other:

Podcast Series:

1.

2.

3.

other:

Books you already own but haven’t read yet:

1.

2.

3.

4.

other:

Nonfiction, Essay, or Memoir:

1.

2.

3.

other:

Fiction (substancial)

1.

2.

3.

4.

other:

Fiction (breezy)

1.

2.

3.

4.

other:

Newspaper or periodical  (regularly)

1.

other:

Let’s go!

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I work to amplify good wherever I find it. I love color, texture, beauty, great ideas, nature, metaphor, deliciousness, genuine spirituality, and exploring new territory. I encourage authenticity, nurture creativity, champion sustainability, promote peace, and hope to foster a new renaissance where we all are free to be our most fulfilled, multifaceted, and terrific selves. Read more here.

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