Crowd Sourcing a Reading Challenge

Tell me what to read.

I love Reading Challenges. I became somewhat obsessed with them a few years back when I discovered the Seasonal Reading Challenge group on Goodreads. This group creates four reading challenges every year. Each challenge lasts 3 months and consists of approximately 50 tasks, some of which require you to read multiple books to complete. And the crazy thing is that quite a few people are able to complete the entire challenge. I think the most tasks I ever completed was 10. It is a bit like a scavenger hunt, finding books to fulfill each task, or finding the task that fits the book you happen to be reading. It finally got a little overwhelming, just setting up some sort of spreadsheet to keep track of it all took me hours, and once I took a break, I never got back into it.

I suggested the idea to the bookstore where I used to work and now they do a reading challenge bingo every summer. It’s fun because all ages can use the same bingo board, the challenge tasks can all be completed by reading adult books, children’s books, or even picture books. I usually post a link to the summer bingo page on their website when they get it up each year.

And a few times, I made up my own reading challenge for Thoughts From the Back. It was entertaining for me, but I don’t think any of y’all ever cared so I eventually dropped that feature.

The Tournament of Books was kind of like a reading challenge for me, and now that it’s over, I find myself in a mini reading funk. I just can’t really decide what I want to read next. I refuse to admit or even to count how many unread books I have in this house. Things I’ve bought or borrowed or rescued from the outgoing ARCs at the bookstore. I went to the library yesterday to pick up two books I had on hold and ended up checking out five. But still, what I really need to get me going is a new reading challenge.

So here’s the deal:

I want to get 10-12 of YOU to tell me what book to read. It can be a specific book or it can be something by a specific author. Maybe an all time favorite or the current book you like to recommend. It can be a book in a specific genre, or with a certain publication year, or it can have something to do with the title, the author’s name, or even the cover. Straight forward or wacky, I just want you to give me a reading task. Leave your task suggestion in the comments, email me, leave a note on the husband’s facebook, or just tell me.

As an incentive to you, if I get 10-12 suggestions before next Friday, I will make a donation to a literacy group or library here in Houston (I’ll take suggestions for that, too, tho I have something in mind.) As soon as I get enough tasks, I will put together my reading challenge and set an end date, probably something very reasonable like one task per month. As a reverse incentive to me, if I don’t complete the challenge in time, I will have to decrease the home’s book mass by 10.

My reading fate is in your hands.

13 thoughts on “Crowd Sourcing a Reading Challenge

  1. Read a book written under a pseudonym or where the author uses initials to obscure their gender (both Mark Twain and JK Rowling count). Inspired by a discussion at my book club.

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