Reading Challenges: My Thoughts + How I’m Challenging Myself in 2019

IMG_0473Welcome to my very first book-ish discussion! One of my goal for this year is to get back into blogging, so I decided to try and work in more discussions about bookish topics.

The idea for this post comes from reading other bloggers talking about reading challenges: why they like them or hate them, and what challenges they’re interested in. I was specifically motivated by Simone @ Simone and Her Books as well as Jackie @ Death by Tsundoku’s guest post on my friend Wendy’s blog.

When I started thinking about reading challenges, I wasn’t really sure how I feel about them.

In the past, I’ve generally avoided tying myself down to any specific challenges other than the yearly Goodreads challenge of seeing how many books I can read. I don’t really consider myself a mood reader; in fact, I generally like focusing my reading in a particular direction for a month at a time. Still, I’m not good at limiting myself to one topic completely and I’m petrified of falling short of my goals.

Right after Trump got elected in 2016, I was inspired to really diversify my reading.

As a white straight-passing individual, I realized that I needed to take it upon myself to read diverse experiences in order to really understand my own privilege. So when I first started a book blog called The Story Salve, I participated in the Diverse Reads 2017 Challenge. This involved monthly mini-challenges that focused on a particular aspect of diversity, and I discovered a lot of great books through the suggested reading list. Although I tried to read at least one book from each category, I still allowed myself to read books outside the challenge as well, so this worked well for me.

Since coming back to blogging last month, I’ve been trying to think about how I want to be involved in the book community.

I’m not really one for Twitter (tbh, it gives me a lot of anxiety trying to keep up with the conversation), and I’m not really all that popular as a bookstagrammer either. Even though I don’t like limiting my reading choices, I think it would really help me to get involved in some challenges, if only because it’s an amazing way to connect with other bloggers—namely, you! if you’re reading this.


Challenging Myself in 2019

The Unread Shelf Challenge

I love Whitney’s Instagram, and I have a book buying problem, so this challenge is great for me. It’s really flexible with your lifestyle too: basically, you count up how many unread books you have and set your own goal about how many you want to read. Since I have about 50 unread books, my goal for this year is to read at least 25 of them. Whitney also posts monthly challenges as well, where you select one book based on a prompt and either read it or ditch it after the month is over. I started this one at the beginning of 2019, and as of this posting, I’ve read 9 books from my Unread Shelf!

rwc2019-igThe Reading Women Challenge

Hosted by the lovely ladies of the Reading Women podcast, this challenge is all about “reclaiming the other half of the bookshelf.” Particularly when I was just out of college, it was so easy to get sucked into the world of white male literary fiction. As a Women’s Studies grad, I’m a huge fan of this challenge. It comes with a set of 24 prompts, and the goal is to complete as many as you can. Some of them will be relatively easy (like reading a YA by a woman of color) while others will require a little more seeking out, but I’m excited about that process as well.

#OwnVoices 2019

I discovered this through Feed Your Fiction Addiction’s masterlist of challenges, which I highly recommend if you’re looking to add on any challenges. This one is just on Goodreads and comes with 26 prompts to track. I love this idea because, while I want to read diversely, I definitely want to focus on reading books by marginalized authors specifically.

2019 Year of the Asian Reading Challenge

badge_tapirI discovered this through the lovely CW @ The Quiet Pond, one of my favorite diverse book blogs, but I’ve seen YARC around on a lot of blogs this year. While I was initially anxious about signing up for such a specific challenge, this one takes place over the whole year as well, and comes with some neat monthly prompts. I really like the set-up of levels as well, so everyone who participates even by just a couple of books is included! I’m going to challenge myself to read 20 books.

Book Blog Discussion Challenge

2019-discussion-challengeThis challenge is hosted by Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction AddictionNicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction & Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight. I had no idea that there was such a thing as a blogging challenge so I’m really excited to join this one. In starting this new blog, I decided I want to focus specifically on discussions, so this will be a great challenge to keep me motivated in writing more posts! The goal is to write one discussion post per month and link up. Since I’m always looking for more blogs to follow and connect with,  the link up will be the best part of this challenge.


Do you participate in reading challenges? Why or why not? What challenges are you doing this year/month? Let’s connect in the comments!

7 thoughts on “Reading Challenges: My Thoughts + How I’m Challenging Myself in 2019”

  1. I’m not much of a reading challenge kind of person, because they tend to stress me out and I don’t like strict TBRs, either, but I’m making exceptions this year as well with the Year of Asian Reading Challenge just as well! I’m aiming for the lowest goal, in order not to put too much pressure on myself. I’m also doing the discussion challenge, I’ve been doing it every year for the past two years and have been loving it so much! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You hit on what I think is the most important part of challenges: we have to decide for ourselves what’s going to be fun for us without putting too much pressure on living up to impossible goals. I was a little worried about the Year of the Asian, but the more research I’m doing, the more books I’m finding that I can’t wait to read!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Love this! I’ve not heard of Ownvoices 2019, going to check that out immediately! I’m also doing YARC. I like that it is a yearly challenge, like you. Sometimes shorter ones make me a bit anxious.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m definitely intimidated by time constraints, especially because I never know how my mood is going to be on a given month. But I do like the guidance provided by a reading challenge. I like the sense of community, and finding recommendations for various prompts. Although I’m definitely already behind on YARC…good thing that’s my entire TBR for next month!


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