Growing up, I was a voracious reader. I read and reread dozens of books a month, and would devour books in a single sitting. Those were the golden years for reading!
My life is so different now than it was in those preteen years when there were plenty of carefree hours perfect for curling up with a favorite book. I love good books even more than I ever did, but quiet hours don’t just happen anymore.
It is way too easy for other needs and responsibilities to crowd out books altogether. And when that happens, something in my soul starves a little for words and ideas.
Last year, I realize that I need to read to keep my heart full. But more than that, I need to read stories too.
That’s why I switched up the reading challenge that I’ve done here for so long. It’s too easy for me to fall into reading ruts and read the heavy book and never make time for the stories. But I need stories to speak truths into my heart that other books can’t. In a balanced reading diet, both kinds of books are important for different reasons.
For me, last year’s reading challenge was a good success. I read more books than I have for years and it felt good to have stories back in my life again.
This year, I wanted the reading challenge to retain the simple, reasonable goals of last year but give a little room for those who may want to read more than 12 books to join in. So each month we have themes. You can read one book each month (Like I probably will.), or a dozen books if you like. The point is reading quality, variety and making sure we challenge ourselves just enough but not too much.
A few details
- 2017 marks the 10th year anniversary of the very first reading challenge I ever did! That’s a big deal and a lot of reading. I’m super excited to celebrate reading and good books with you all again this year. And… psst. I may even be giving away a few little surprises along the way just for Reading Challenge participants in the group! And if I can swing it, maybe a giveaway or two on the blog for those of you without facebook.
- This year, the Reading Challenge group is going strong. If you would like a place to talk books, get recommendations or have accountability for this or your own version of a reading challenge, stop in and say hello! Most of the month-to-month chat is now there to make it easier for bloggers and non-bloggers to interact and stay on track.
- I’ll still be writing about all the books I read here, and I have a lot of things planned for both the blog and the group in 2017!
- You can set your own goals and track your reading easily on goodreads! I love the reading challenge set up here because seeing the bar progress and having a place to give a quick glance at my progress is really motivating and fun. I set my goal this year for 20 books, which is the number I read in 2016. But I’ll be perfectly happy if I read just 12 this year, too.
- If you’d like to get free eBook alerts, you can join this group. I’ve gotten a few favorites that way, and it helps stretch the budget since once again, I no longer have local library access.I’m really excited about this year, and I hope a lot of you will join me! Feel free to drop a comment, leave me a note or head over to facebook and join the group.
Here’s to another year of good books!