The What? When? Where? Why? and How? of Challenges

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I’ve been thinking a lot about challenges in the book blogging community.  At some point, I may want to host a challenge, so I’m curious about preferences in the book blogging community when it comes to challenges.

(I’m kind of hosting the HTR&W challenge, but really, that is just my personal challenge that I’d love for you to join as well!)

When I first started book blogging, I decided I wouldn’t join any challenges. I didn’t want to change my reading list to meet a challenge list! But then I ended up joining a few anyway, mostly because I considered them challenges to read books I already wanted to read. Why do you join challenges?

The challenges I joined were mostly ones with either an open time frame (Read the Nobels, The Pulitzer Project) or a time frame that I knew I was going to read the books in already (Nonfiction Five and the Short Story Challenge). I know some challenges are time-frame specific: one-year, six months, one month. What time frames do you prefer for challenges? Why?

I’m only in a few challenges. For a couple of them, I’m supposed to go to Blogger and post to a special website. For another, I have to remember to return to the site and sign Mr. Linky with each post about my books. At first, I really liked these methods, because then other people could find my posts and read them. After a few months of blogging, however, I’m finding that I forget to go back to those sites. I only have so much blogging time! Are there other methods of challenge reporting? How do you prefer a challenge to work?

Most of my challenges are ongoing challenges. However, one asked for a list of what I’m going to read beforehand. I liked that idea, but of course I changed my list many times by the end. Do you like having to make your reading list at the beginning of a challenge?

I am in New Zealand for nine days, so I may not be visiting your sites or responding to your comments while I am gone, but I’ll make up for it when I return!

Reviewed on August 18, 2008

About the author 

Rebecca Reid

Rebecca Reid is a homeschooling, stay-at-home mother seeking to make the journey of life-long learning fun by reading lots of good books. Rebecca Reads provides reviews of children's literature she has enjoyed with her children; nonfiction that enhances understanding of educational philosophies, history and more; and classical literature that Rebecca enjoys reading.

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  1. I haven’t joined in a lot of challenges myself. They have to catch my fancy and I want to feel somewhat sure that I can meet it. That being said, my entire blog started out as my own personal reading challenge. I decided to read 52 books last year and I reviewed my way through it. Partly to keep at it and partly to “journal” what that experience was like. Now it’s an ongoing project that I can’t live without. I understand not wanting your reading to be dictated by anything. I think that sometimes, however, it can be good to focus specifically for a while. That’s what I like about your How to Read and Why challenge. I hope to be a much better reader and reviewer for the experience.

    Have fun in New Zeeland! I wish I could be there with you.

  2. Hmm…challenges. This is a relevant topic for me at the moment, because I’m hosting my first challenge.

    I tend to join challenges that comport with my already-existing reading goals. Still, a really interesting challenge might get me to chance my reading goals.

    Also, I like a challenge that extends over 6-12 months, so I have plenty of time to complete it. As for the list thing, I don’t mind when they ask for a list up front, as long as I’m not held to it.

    In all, I’ve found the challenges that I’ve completed to be satisfying experiences. (I’m hoping the hosting experience will be similarly rewarding.)

  3. I’ve only joined a few challenges, and they’re all ones that fit the reading goals I already have (1% Well-Read Challenge, Book Awards Reading Challenge, and 100 Books in a Year Challenge). The longer the time frame, the better. That way I can read something different if the challenge books don’t suit my mood.

    I really like reporting with Mr Linky. Posting to a different site seems like too much trouble, and I like having all the comments come to one place and being able to follow them easily.

    Choosing ahead of time is great if the books have to fall into a specific category–it helps me know which TBR books to turn to first, but I don’t like being held to that list. If the challenge is more indefinite, like 100 books in a year, I don’t want to choose the books.

  4. Literate Housewife, I likewise love what “journaling” my reading has done for my reading!

    Jessica, thanks for your feedback and I hope you enjoy hosting your challenge!

    Teresa, Me too! I like finding ones that fit what I’m already doing.

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