Random Rants and Rambling #38 | Reading Challenges

Hello, hello! Welcome back to another Random Rants and Rambling. Today, I wanted to talk about Reading/Bookish Challenges.. There have been many thoughts about them running through my mind and I wanted to discuss!

Last year, I only did ONE challenge ( Goodreads challenge not withstanding). I attempted to do A Series A Month and needless to say, it did not go well. 

This year, I signed up for 6 between both blogs. I was VERY selective on which ones I was going to do – based on my reading habits, what I’ve wanted to read and what would challenge me the most.

See, to me the CHALLENGE aspect of bookish/reading challenges is just that, A CHALLENGE. If all I read was contemporary romance, then I wouldn’t sign up for the contemporary romance challenge. If I read & liked contemporary romance but wanted to read more, THEN I would sign up. TBR challenges. To me, these are a good challenge to get those books you have been meaning to read and take off that never-ending TBR that have been there for quite some time. You set the parameters for how many you want to challenge yourself to read. Now, you have a goal and something work towards. That doesn’t mean every book you read counts towards that goal.

Make sense?

Another example. I have been TERRIBLE at finishing series over the past two years. So that challenge was perfect for me to set a goal and work towards it, otherwise I would probably NEVER finish them.

If there is a challenge that I am going to continue to do each year, like say the audio book challenge – the number will increase each time. That way, I am continuing to challenge myself and work towards a goal. At some point, I may reach the limit and call it quits when it doesn’t become challenging anymore.

My point is — it seems silly to me to sign up for a challenge when said challenge isn’t a challenge to you at all, ya know? What’s the point? It’s slightly different for the host I suppose – what better person to push you to make your goal, recommend books/topics then the host of said challenge? It makes sense. But as a participate, I don’t get it.


Tell Me Your Thoughts

  • What are you thoughts? Agree/disagree? I want to know! 
  • Do you participate in any bookish/reading challenges? If so, which ones and how often are you reading towards them?
  • Do you participate in the chats, link up your reviews and/or enter the giveaways?


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20 thoughts on “Random Rants and Rambling #38 | Reading Challenges

  1. Braine

    Great points, it’s useless to challenge oneself of its not going to have you step outside your comfort zone.

    I haven’t signed up for any for two years. The monthly updates can get much and the hosts from the previous challenges I signed up for weren’t good ones. They just want you to sign up and that’s it. Not one of them visited my updates. That turned me off
    Braine recently posted…Loved It: The Brontë Plot by @Katherine_Reay #contemporary #litficMy Profile

    1. tonyalee

      Hosts can make or break a challenge, that’s for sure! I actually haven’t linked ANY of my posts to anything because they are always hard to find on their blog. *shrug*

  2. Melanie Simmons

    I don’t do a lot of challenges. Hot Listens does an audiobook challenge, so I do that one. I’m also doing a month long one that Caffinated Book Reviewer is hosing. That is it (besides Goodreads). The Hot Listens Audiobook Challenge has two link ups, once in June and another in December, both with giveaways. I quit doing all the others because it just became too much work. I do like reading some people’s posts about how their doing on their challenges. It helps me to catch any reviews that I might have missed. I do check linkys for possible new blogs to follow for genres that I enjoy.
    Melanie Simmons recently posted…Fire Touched Audiobook by Patricia Briggs (REVIEW)My Profile

    1. tonyalee

      Yes I do the audio book challenge, which I love. They CAN become too much work, I agree. I don’t read around them per se, but if I am favoring on challenge to another, it makes me antsy lol

  3. Nicola

    The only challenge I really bother with is the Goodreads one, and I tend to set an annual goal that requires some effort but is attainable (last year, for instance, my goal was to read 100 books, and I clocked in on the evening of December 31st at 103, so this year my goal was 104, which shakes out to two a week). However, I also tend to do personal reading goals that, again, require some effort to achieve but are pretty attainable, and these tend to focus on reading outside of my ‘default’. I’ve tended not to participate in actual challenges for this simply because I’ve never really found one that ‘fit’ what I was trying to do, though I think I’d enjoy the community aspect!
    Nicola recently posted…2016 Reading Goals March UpdateMy Profile

    1. tonyalee

      That’s awesome you do personal goals! It’s always fun to set goals for ourselves and work towards them.

      There are a few chats here and there with the ones I am doing, but not many. Maybe I am missing the other parts but I don’t feel like there is a HUGE community around it?

  4. Sheri @ Tangled Up In Books

    I failed miserably at the Series a Month challenge last year as well. Though if I’m being honest I don’t really think my heart was in it. But I’m with you. I have, well had at least, been awful at finishing series in the past. My track record is pretty spotty. But I’m actually really excited for all of the series I’ve picked for this year so far so I’m pretty hopeful I’ll follow through.

    I do see your point about signing up for things that aren’t really a challenge if it’s something you already do a lot of anyway. I feel like I did error slightly with that this year. in 2015 I think 95% of what I read was contemporary so I’m trying to figure out why I signed up for the contemp romance challenge…I guess the only thing I can reason that with is to make sure I don’t burn myself out on fantasy/sci-fi/paranormal this year and mix it up a bit. Which is why I didn’t sign up for any fantasy challenges because I knew that’d be the majority of what I planned on reading.

    I don’t know. Stuff to think about when I’m making my decisions next year am I right?

    Fun discussion lady :)!

    1. tonyalee

      I mean, at least 1 or 5 books i read are contemporary romance. I didn’t feel like it was a challenge for me. Now, other genre like Romantic Suspense (after hours) was perfect because it’s a genre I love and it would push me to read more, ya know?

      Thanks! Remind me to tell you the story what sparked it lol
      tonyalee recently posted…Weekly Wrap Up (100) – 100th Edition!My Profile

  5. Jessica@Lovin' Los Libros

    I didn’t do the contemporary reading challenge for that same reason. I already read so much, it would have been too easy- thus not a challenge. Now I’m a little more lenient on my Rock My TBR challenge. If it’s a book that I want to read, I’ll include it. Even if it hasn’t officially been on my TBR for a long time. But I definitely do not count ARCs as part of that.

    I feel like I have chosen all true challenges, and I like that. That’s why I’m doing them. I needed the push. If I didn’t challenge myself, what would be the point? Like, it kind of bothers me when people will constantly lower their GR challenge. I don’t want to be someone who does that. If I don’t meet my goal, then I don’t meet it.

    1. tonyalee

      I thought about including those too – simply because it could be a book 2 and only book 1 was on my TBR. So for those, I will include. But I am using the challenge as way to read books I own and have MEANT to read. Not saying the way you utilize it is wrong. lol and yeah, 2016 arcs don’t count.

      I think I lowered my GR challenge one year – back in 2012? or 2011. But I wouldn’t now because you’re right, it’s suppose to be a CHALLENGE.
      tonyalee recently posted…Weekly Wrap Up (100) – 100th Edition!My Profile

  6. Tiffany @ The Bookish Thought

    Great discussion! I agree with you. Bookish challenge is supposed to challenge yourself to reach some goals. I participate in 4 challenges this year, Goodreads, debut author, discussion, and commenting. I’m terrible at those things (I only read like, 3 debuts and write 2 discussion posts last year) and I hope I can exceed last year’s numbers 🙂
    Tiffany @ The Bookish Thought recently posted…Review : The Young Elites by Marie LuMy Profile

    1. tonyalee

      Thank you! ANd yes exactly. If it’s not challenging, why do it?

      I am good at discussions, but I bumped my number up by 12. lol here’s hoping I can catch up!

  7. No Post On Sundays (5) – Young Adult At Heart

    […] Tonyalee from Lilybloombooks talks about reading challenges. […]

  8. Sara

    I’m blogging about reading challenges later this month and I’m going back and forth myself on this topic. I used to be BIG into challenges (like having over 50 going at a time). And now I’m going the opposite direction this year and I’m currently not doing any challenges at all. And after a few months of this, I’ve found that I really miss doing them. But, I also like not having the pressure of challenges anymore. What to do, what to do 🙂

  9. Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

    You make some really great points here! The first year that I did challenges, I just signed up for a ton of them and then pretty much all the books I read applied to some of them – not really much of a challenge. So, last year I didn’t really do any challenges at all (except the discussion challenge) and then this year, I tried to be much more deliberate about doing challenges that actually challenged me (the Shelf Love challenge and series challenge are both perfect for me!).
    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction recently posted…The Fine Line Between “Inspired By” and “Copycat” – Let’s Discuss!My Profile

  10. Valerie

    I agree with this! The thing is that ALL reading challenges have been challenges for me, so I do want to have that one reading challenge that I know I’ll finish (maybe) just to get my confidence up. Though sadly I have yet to finish a challenge even with signing up for the ones I know I can do 😛
    Valerie recently posted…ARC Review: Beyond The RedMy Profile

  11. Wendy @ Book Scents

    I really like this post! And I totally agree about them being actually challenging. That’s the reason I did my challenges and last year i was so happy I did — for example, I hadn’t reread at ALL since i started blogging and doing the reread challenge last year gave me that push to do it. And I love rereading and while I didn’t meet my goal, that was still 15 more rereads than I would’ve had if I hadn’t been pushing myself! Same with the fantasy one — last year I did it bc I realized while it’s my fave genre, I hadn’t been reading as much of it and having that goal in mind helped me actively read in that genre and it made me happy, haha. plus the rock my tbr one is something i’ve really wanted/needed to do — PUSH myself to read the books I’ve owned for a long time and STILL haven’t read.

    ohh and the series a month one was amazing last year because I always feel like everyone has read certain series and it was great to be like, okay, well you’re reading a series this month! do it! I got to so many last year because of the challenge that I honestly don’t think I would’ve if I hadn’t been thinking, “it’s almost the end of the month, time to finish that series!”
    Wendy @ Book Scents recently posted…The Monday Musts (7)My Profile

  12. Bemused Bookworm

    I tend to look at challenges more like a goal or checklist. Even if the ones i sign up for are in my favorite genre, i still like to have a list to check off at the end of the year. Also, if im reading a genre already, why not sign up for a challenge and share it with the other participants?

    1. tonyalee

      Challenge and goal are pretty close in meaning. Or, you can challenge yourself to reach a goal.

      And sure, if you sign up to share with others that’s great. But for me, it’s a challenge. Not saying there’s anything wrong with signing up or anything.

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