Friday, January 6, 2012

How I did with my 2011 Reading Challenges

I signed up for 12 different reading challenges last year, two of which were short term challenges. The Once Upon a Time V, which spanned one season and the Holiday Reading Challenge that more or less spanned the month of December. I'm not counting the In Death Series Reading Challenge because it is a perpetual challenge that will span three or more years. Also, I had signed up for the Women of Fantasy Book Club and only read 3 of the 12 book selections--two of which ended up being among my favorite reads of the entire year.

In Death Series Reading Challenge  ONGOING
2011 Book Club "Women of Fantasy" I only read 3 out of 12 books.

As for the rest, here's a list of what I wanted to do ... and my results.

1. Steampunk Challenge 2011 June 8, 2011
I only needed to read and review one book, which I did. The Greyfriar by Clay and Susan Griffith, which was excellent. I need to read the next book in the series!

2. Out-Do Yourself Reading Challenge October 28, 2011
I needed to read one more book than I read in 2010. I met this challenge in October when I finished my 84th book of the year. I think that was the day I realized that reaching my goal of 100 books in 2011 might just be achievable.

3. What's In A Name 4 Reading Challenge November 27, 2011
This was the second year I did this challenge and again, I have to tell you this is a fun one. I don't know what it is about finding books on your shelf that fit the categories or reading a newly released book and discovering that it fits one of the requirements... but whatever it is, I find this challenge really fun to do. Check out the 2011 categories and what books I read for each:

1. A book with a number in the title:
A Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin
2. A book with jewelry or a gem in the title
The Amulet Graphic Novels by Kazu Kibuishi 
3. A book with a size in the title
Dream A Little Dream by Susan Elizabeth Phillips 
4. A book with travel or movement in the title
Into the Flame by Christina Dodd
5. A book with evil in the title
Kiss Me Deadly anthology edited by Trisha Telep
6. A book with a life stage in the title
Imitation in Death by J.D. Robb

I can't wait to do this one again! 

4. E-Book Challenge 2011 December 7, 2011
I thought having got an ipad for my birthday in fall of 2010 this challenge would have been a piece of cake, but I only finished reading my 12th ebook in the beginning of December! I guess I still I have a lot of paper books on my shelf to read and there's always loot from the library. I'm doing this one again in 2012 and I estimate that in another year or so, I won't need to "challenge" myself as my ebook reading surpasses my paper book reading. We'll see..

5. Holiday Reading Challenge December 26, 2011
I met the Mistletoe level of this challenge and read four holiday themed books in December. I have so many more that I want to read so I'll definitely do this one again in 2012. I think it would be fun to dedicate the entire month of December to holiday themed books! Something to think about.

6. Haruki Murakami Reading Challenge 2011 December 31, 2011
I think I spent more time debating which Murakami book to read than I actually spent reading. Talk about indecisiveness! In the end, I chose a book I wasn't even considering at all! I was literally at the library one day in December to pick up Sputnik Sweetheart and saw a smaller, shorter Murakami book next to it, and decided right there it was a wiser choice for me considering I was in last-minute mode for this challenge. I picked up after the quake which is a collection of short stories surrounding the disastrous 1995 earthquake near Kobe, Japan. I enjoyed it very much and am doing this challenge again in 2012.

7. 100 Books In A Year Reading Challenge 2011 December 31, 2011
Finally, my biggest challenge and honestly, the one I wanted to meet most. The Haruki Murakami book was my 100th book of 2011 and in fact, I finished reading it around 4 pm on December 31, 2011. I don't know about you... but I call that cutting it close!

My goal for 2012? Read 101 books. I know a challenge when I see one. ;)

Edited to add: January 8, 2011 I FORGOT ONE!
8. Summer Romance Reading Challenge 2011 July 8, 2011
I joined Book City Chick's Summer Romance Reading Challenge and signed up to read 8 books between between the first day of summer and September 30, 2011 and met that challenge in early July. I proceeded to read a total of 19 books during that time frame. I guess that wasn't so much of a challenge after all... 

Now for the challenges I failed. By the way, I'm not the least bit upset that I didn't meet these challenges below. Sure, it would have been really cool if I did, but why call it a challenge if it all comes too easy, right?

1. Once Upon a Time V Challenge [spring only] FAILED Completed 3/5
This challenge is hosted by Carl at Steel Droppings during the spring only, starting on the first day of spring. I met this challenge in 2010 and enjoyed it... but sort of forgot about it this year until mid May. I met 3 of the 5 requirements for the level I chose to do, but ran out of time with the last two. I'll try again this spring.

2. A-Z Mystery Challenge FAILED Completed 4/26
Well, this one I knew right out of the gate that I wouldn't complete, because I just don't read that many mysteries. However, I think it's a great way to try new authors in a new-to-me genre and it is hosted by my darling friend Michelle, so I am making it a perpetual challenge for myself and will simply work on reading books by authors for all 26 letters until I've finished the whole alphabet. Four down, twenty-two to go!

3. Big Book Reading Challenge FAILED Completed 0/1
There's a reason orannia--who hosts this challenge, asks that we chose ONE big book to read. It's because she knows we all procrastinate reading those big books because well... they're BIG! I was so good at procrastinating that I never read one. I'm signing up for this one again in 2012 and will punish myself make amends to myself by reading TWO big books this time!

4. Take a Chance Challenge 3 FAILED Completed 0/10
This challenge sounded so unique and fun and inspiring when I signed up for it last year but my interest fell short here. The categories for the requirements were really great... I even played with some book lists several times throughout the year, but I never followed through. Ah, well, live and learn.

5. Reading Challenge Addict Challenge 2011 NOT EXACTLY FAILED Completed 7/12
Finally, the end all and be all of challenges for reading challenge addicts like me. This one was a challenge to actually MEET all of your 2011 reading challenges. I didn't make it.  I own it.

Edited to add: January 7, 2012. 
Turns out I signed up to complete SEVEN challenges in the Reading Challenge Addict Challenge so it looks like I actually met that one!!! That makes 9 wins and 4 losses. :) 

Did you sign up for any Reading Challenges in 2011? How did you do?

Coming up soon on the happily ever after...  a whole bunch of 2012 Reading Challenge posts! Yay! So apologies in advance if I clutter up your feeds over the weekend!

Have a great weekend! :)


  1. Congrats on all the challenges! Succeed or otherwise - I'm so impressed with all you took on in 2011!

    And WRT the Big Book Challenge...those big books are tricky. I realized when I first tried it in 2010 that it had to be a book I really wanted to read. Good luck with this and all the other challenges!

  2. You did great considering how many challenges you, well, challenged yourself to complete. I don't think I signed up for any reading challenges last year. But, I may find one this year I like. Maybe. *g* Hmm, wonder what books qualify as a "big book"?

    Can't wait to see what's ahead for your this year!

  3. Congrats! You didn't do badly! I'm shocked that you didn't enjoy the ebook one more. Are you using the amazon or bn app? I enjoy reading more from the BN app than the amazon one. maybe that's the problem...
    & actually you did complete the RCAC - you only signed up to complete 7 challenges...

  4. Well, I fell for SLWendy's TBR Challenge officially this year--we'll see how that goes *looks at deadline for January*

    Then, there's orannia's Big Book Challenge.

    Other than those and your In Death Challenge, all I want is for my reading and reviewing mojo to come back. :-(

  5. orannia, haha! thanks! I don't know what it is with me and these reading challenges. I love signing up for them!! Must be my love for making lists.

    I think you're right about needing to want to read the big book, but procrastinate doing so. The three books I was considering reading all year long no longer held much appeal to me. Then I decided to read Eon by Allison Goodman at the end, but simply ran out of time. Now I really DO want to read that book so I'm sure I will get it--and it's sequel Eona read in 2012.

    Brandy, the Big Book Challenge is to read a book that you have wanted to read that you kept putting off because it was so long. Must be 500 pages or more. So if there's a book you've been wanting to read that's long like that, go for it! The What's In a Name one doesn't appeal to you?

    Regina, REALLY? I signed up to complete SEVEN? Sweet!!!! You just made my day! lol!

    I do spend time on my ipad almost every day.. but I think there were a few factors at stake here. One--I have a lot and I mean A LOT of paper books that I still plan to read. Books that are part of series that I'm still working on and books that my friend Mariana passed to me that still hold so much appeal. Two--I borrow from the library whenever I can. If a book is available at one of several libraries that are within 5 miles or so of my house, I'll borrow before buying. This year will be more, I'm sure.

    azteclady, I have wanted to do SLWendy's TBR Challenge but I prefer challenges that don't require reviews. I don't like that kind of pressure. I'll consider it, though..

  6. Wooohoo Christine! That's still very awesome ;) You completed more than you didn't.

    I know what you mean about ebooks. You think it'll be easier, but it really depends where and how you get your books. I still buy tons of print books and most of my TBR pile is of course in print. I do have an e-reader, but still haven't really done the switch when it comes to my purchases, so I still buy much more print than ebooks.

  7. GUESS WHAT? I forgot another challenge I had signed up for last year! A summer reading romance challenge. I signed up to read 8 romances over the summer and read 19. Uh... I don't think that was much of a challenge. Anyway, I added it to this post. So really.. 9 wins 4 losses. Woohoo! ; )

    Thanks, nath! I'm in the same ebook camp as you. I am buying new releases in ebook unless it is a keeper shelf series by my absolute fave authors.


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