Sunday, July 28, 2013

2013 Reading Challenges: Mid-Year Check-In

In January of this year, I started some reading challenges.  This is the first year that I have participated in any challenges and I have been steadfastly working through my piles and piles of books.  The presence of said challenges does help at times when I am unsure of what to read next.  I can always look at my shelf and say, "That book is one on my _________ list."  As it happens, we are now halfway through 2013 and I felt that the time had come to check on my progress and evaluate my goals for the rest of the year.

First, this is a shorter challenge but the bookaday challenge for summer vacation is in full swing.  Today marks the 45th day of my summer and I have read 34 books.  Yikes!  Better get some more graphic novels and picture books out!  I have to say that it doesn't really bug me that I am this far behind.  I have recently banished the self-criticizing voice that puts guilt-trips and pressure on me.  I have a summer vacation to recharge and prepare for the best year ever, not to stress myself out over completing some self-imposed super-human impossible goals.  I want to read, but I need to back off and enjoy the reading.  I want to write, but I need to back off and enjoy the writing.  I will most likely reach my bookaday goal by the end of the summer, but if not, I will still have read some amazing books and will still have some great new additions to my class library.

This year, on Goodreads, I gave myself the goal of reading 200 books.  According to Goodreads, I am 14 books ahead of schedule on that goal.  Awesome.

The challenge that I enjoy the most is the NerdPrintz challenge.  I am reading through all Printz award and honor books.  I try to read somewhat in order, but I end up reading the books that I happen across in whatever order they come.  In this challenge there are 68 titles, including the 2013 titles.  I have read 31 of these books so far.  I have at least 4 more of these books on my shelves, so I will be looking to them in the coming weeks so that I can continue to make progress with this list.  What is interesting is the way that I have read the entire list for some years, but none of the titles of other years.  It is not intentional (except for the first year since I started out trying to read them in order).  I will be also making a more concerted effort to publish a review of the books when I finish reading them.  You can see more about my progress on my Printz challenge page.

I also decided to try the Steampunk'd challenge.  This is a genre that I really don't read that often so I signed up for the lowest level, geared.  I have five titles on my list for this challenge, and have only read 1 of those titles.  I did bring home Behemoth and Goliath to read this summer, and just acquired The Perdido Street Station, so I should be able to get caught up with this one soon.

The last challenge that I gave myself for 2013 is the Dystopian challenge.  I knew that many of the books that I had on the TBR list would fall into this category so I signed up for the Contagion level of 15 books.  So far, I have read 9 out of those 15 books so I am doing well with this one.

You can see the titles for both of these lists on my 2013 challenges page.

Overall, I am quite pleased with my progress at this point.  As the year continues, I am going to try to be more consistent with choosing titles from my challenges at least once every two weeks.  Even though I have always had piles of books in my house, the idea of making reading goals was a relatively new one to me.  I always just read whatever I felt like reading.  Participating in blogging has made me think about these types of goals and the role they can play in my classroom.  If nothing else, it helps me to feel as if I am accomplishing important work, even as I sit in my reading chair and avoid housework. After all, it is important to work towards your goals, right?

Did you participate in any challenges this year?  How well are you doing with those challenges?  I hope you will share with me in the comments.


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