Book Challenge Failure

Christmas Tree hunting takes a long time for a family of five…A Very Long Time.

I failed, friends. I set a book challenge for myself, and then I became a complete book challenge failure. I did not complete even ONE of the books I set out to read, not even one. I’m using this failure as a learning experience and would love to share what I’ve learned about book challenges and how I can better challenge myself in the future.

1 – Timing is everything. The book challenge I chose was for the month of November, and I did not even start it until something like November 11th. That would have been FINE except for the fact that the majority of books were outside my normal genre of preference and I can be a very slow reader when dealing with something that I don’t just love. This is especially true when reading nonfiction for me. ALSO, it was Thanksgiving holiday which means our little family had a great deal going on that distracted from my reading more than usual.

2 – All but one of the books I chose were on my kindle. I did not know how long they actually were. Turns out the nonfiction book I chose is actually 464 pages in real life. That might even surpass a Diana Gabaldon novel, probably not actually, but I could read the Gabaldon novel much faster, being as it’s fiction and all… So to finish the story, I chose The Accidental President: Harry S. Truman and the Four Months That Changed the World. It is a very serious read, and every detail feels so important. Not to mention that it seems downright disrespectful at a very gut-wrenching level to skim through the decisions leading up to dropping nuclear bombs in Japan. I should not have set a time limit on this book any shorter than six months.

3 – I borrowed one book through the County digital library and let the loan run out due to the book mentioned in #2, then somehow didn’t get it back through renewal process. I don’t think it was a technical glitch. I just think I was over the challenge by this point, and did not want to try that hard.

4 – One of the genres in the challenge was sci-fi. Sci-fi/fantasy just really isn’t my jam. And when I switched from the nonfiction to the sci-fi book in desperation to get some easy reading done and AT LEAST ONE BOOK COMPLETED in this dang reading challenge, I hated it so much, I gave up probably by chapter three. People, I HATED the book. Everything was just so boring and science-y. If I’m going to read fiction, at least I should enjoy it.

5 – Finally, I had one book I was excited to read as it was a recent fiction purchase. But after points #1- #4 had played themselves out, I was just over the whole situation and did not feel like reading…anything.

So, there you have my dramatic book challenge failure story! I honestly feel pretty great about it because I’ve played with setting up challenges for others, and it never seems to work out that great. Now, I better understand why not. It’s not that book challenges can’t work out ever, it’s just that a challenge might look different for different people. And seriously, if the challenge makes me stop reading, it is definitely a sign that the book challenge is not the right one for me.

As I look forward into 2020, I would like to find a book challenge that is accomplishable for me (other than the 52 books in 52 weeks, pshaw, is that even a challenge? I could be reading Goldenbooks for all they know!). I look forward to seeing what some of my favorite book bloggers put out there. Do you have any great ideas? Please share them in the comments. Oh, and if you have a great book challenge failure story to share, I’d love to commiserate!

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