Friday, January 5, 2018


I never mean to sign up for challenges, because I'm such a mood reader, and anyway, I already read a ton, so it's not like I need inspiration. I should probably be doing challenges like "get off the couch" or "maybe change your damn sheets" instead.

But every year around this time there are all! these! fun! challenges! floating around the blogosphere, and I just can't resist.

I lowballed my Goodreads challenge this year (or sandbagged it? I never really quite get those terms.). I said 52 books, knowing I've read over 200 the last few years. I just didn't want it to create any pressure.

I considered re-upping for the Mt. TBR challenge, but then I came across the Backlist Challenge hosted by NovelKnights, and I so liked the idea of teaming up with others that I decided to try that instead.  For this one I'm going to set a goal of 100 books, which just goes to show how silly my Goodreads goal is. I love shiny new books that everyone is talking about as much as the next reader, but I have been reading backlist books way longer than I knew there was a term for them, and I still use my library a ton.

Speaking of libraries, the other challenge I am signing up for is also not so much a "challenge" as "recognition of my own reading habits."  The Library Love Challenge is hosted by Angel's Guilty Pleasures and Brooke Blogs. I'm going for the "Library Card on Fire" level of 60+ books from the library. To put that into perspective, I currently have 72 items checked out on my account. Granted, this includes a dozen Garfield books my kids are reading and another dozen audiobooks my students are listening to, but rest assured, I will read 60 library books without even noticing.  I have my library card number memorized. I have my daughter's library card number memorized. I don't quite have my OTHER library system's card number memorized, but I'm getting there. My library is glorious, so I will happily celebrate it all year long.

(If the gifs that pop up are any indication, Neil Patrick Harris spent most of HIMYM accepting challenges.)

I almost forgot! The Discussion Challenge! It's a blogging challenge more than a reading challenge, so I always forget to think of it in this context. Chances are, if you're reading this, you are already familiar with Nicole of Feed Your Fiction Addiction and Shannon of It Starts at Midnight, and with their fabulous monthly link-up of discussion posts from book bloggers.  I love the link-up and am more likely to seek out blog posts from it than just about any other meme out there, because they are always so interesting and varied. Since I don't post anything near daily though, I am only going to sign up at the Discussion Dabbler level again: 1-10 discussions this year. I suspect I have written at least a few more posts than that in past years, but I don't want to overestimate my writing creativity.

ALSO, I was inspired by a conversation on a teachers' Facebook group I belong to to create my own personal challenge. My backlist challenges are all about reading my classroom library, but I'm going to additionally push myself to choose at least two books from each of the following categories:

  • scary
  • romance
  • manga
  • sports
  • illustrated novels (like Diary of a Wimpy Kid)
  • books my students bring in on their own that weren't assigned by another teacher
The logic here is that I want to be able to recommend books to kids with precision, and I want to be able to engage them in readers' conversations even if they are students whose taste doesn't mirror mine. And let's be honest--my extensive fantasy and sci fi collection gets very little attention from the vast majority of my students. It would be different if I were working with on-grade readers, but I'm not, so it's a moot point. If you have any suggestions in any of those categories (especially manga which I am 99% ignorant about, the 1% being that they exist, originate in Japan, and are read back-to-front), then I would LOVE to hear them!


  1. Good luck! I need to do challenges that say “back away from the computer,” “vacuum,” “Eat something that isn’t frozen pizza.” Those would be harder than reading challenges.

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

  2. That's a great challenge! I'll take that over "be a better person" or "get healthier" any day. :D
    I rely on my library for 90% of my reads (even though I keep buying books at those Friends of the Library sales), and basically all of my TV/movie watching and audiobooks.

  3. OMG, that gif is awesome, and so are these challenges. I do challenges, but don't officially do them. I cannot keep up with the linking up and what not, but I love the idea of them, so I let them guide my reading. I do like the team concept, but I am terrible at the follow up. Good luck with all your challenges.

  4. Hey, which team are you for the Backlist? I also did the same, like literally the same as you! I ditched the Mount TBR (not enough participation) and set my Goodreads goal to 52, although I read 100 last year. Same reasons :) great minds! :D

    1. I am on Story Sorcerers. It's going to take a bit more organization that I normally have, so I'll probably occasionally update a ton, then forget for awhile again. Should be fun all the same!

  5. First off, yay that you're joining us for the discussion challenge again! It's sort of like my blogging baby, and I adore it. ;-)

    As far as manga goes, I highly recommend Library Wars---I think it's my favorite that I've ever read. Another great one is A Silent Voice, which highlights bullying and is really touching.

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction


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