2018 Challenges

Every year I tell myself I want to do something about my tbr-pile and by now I have slowly begun to realize how my reading-mind works and what is a good way to challenge myself:

  • just saying ‘read X books from your pile’ is not good. If I aim too low and finish after half a year I’ll just end up going ‘yay! I finished! Let’s reward myself by buying more books’ and if I aim too high and realize I’ll never finish it I’ll just get anxious and not read at all
  • most reading-challenges out there have a theme of ‘broaden your horizon’ which is great but not what I want. I don’t have that book for squares like ‘post-apocalyptic novel’ or ‘GR choice award winner’ and I don’t want to buy new ones because that’s not why I challenge myself.

So I was very happy when I found this group on Goodreads that lets you mix and match from a selection of yearly, quarterly and monthly challenges. So I went and picked some and intend to combine those with a personal one just for myself:

Personal Challenge:

For every five books from my tbr-pile I read I can buy one new one. If I read about as much as last year that would mean I got to buy 12 new books which should cover the books coming out that I want, and a few instances of ‘this looks really good’ or ‘I do not feel like reading anything except this one book I don’t have’.

Further rules:

  • no buying in advance
  • the only exception for that are deals/2nd hand finds of books that are already on my wishlist. My actual wishlist is not that huge.
  • Kindly Freebies count as new books bought
  • I have an Audible subscription. Spending credits/buying audiobooks doesn’t count. I mostly listen to audiobooks when I go for a walk/drive longer distances aka occasions where I couldn’t read anyway (that also means listening to audiobooks does not count as diminishing my tbr-pile)
  • any books that are on my (real and virtual shelves) on January 1st count as part of my tbr-pile. Including review-copies and the books I started reading in the old year
  • I ordered two books and requested a review-copy in the old year. They will also count as tbr-pile
  • apart from those anything I acquire after January 1st will not count
  • after some thought I decided that books I dnf-ed will count as one read book. I’ll still do separate counts to avoid the temptation of dnf-ing too many books just so I can buy more

tbr-pile books read/dnf: 7/5
Books bought: 3

Additionally, I am a NetGalley member. More recently I have managed to cut down on randomly requesting books because they sound nice. I read and reviewed everything I requested last year (with the exception of one I only got towards the end of December) but I still have some I requested ages ago and that fell behind the virtual cupboard. I don’t want to do the same ‘For X review copies I read I get to request another one’ because it’s not that easy to plan that since you never know which of the books you requested you actually get.

So plain and simple: Currently, I have twelve review-copies on my kindle. By the end of the year, I would like to have five or less.

Review copies on my reader: 9

Now for the group challenges I signed up for:

The A – Z Challenge (Yearly)

Read a book for every letter of the alphabet. Any first letter of a word in the title (that is not an article, a conjunction or a preposition) counts. (In other words: A Game of Thrones could be read for G or T but not for A or O)

Letter Planned Read Read
B Before the Storm Before the Storm
C The Code of Love The Poisoned Chocolates Case
D Death Comes to Pemberley  I’ll be Gone in the Dark
E Empire of Ivory
F Fields of Blood Foreign Bodies
G The Ginza Ghost
H The House of Shattered Wings  Have His Carcase
I  A Fashionable Indulgence
K The Santa Klaus Murder
L A Lily Among Thorns The Lake District Murder
M Murder in Belgravia Murder In Belgravia
P In for a Penny In for a Penny
Q A Quiet Life in the Country
R Red Seas Under Red Skies Murder takes the High Road
S Stalking Darkness Seven Dead
T A Country in the Moon: Travels in Search of the Heart of Poland
V Victory of Eagles An Unnatural  Vice
W The Woman on the Orient Express
Z The Henchman of Zenda

The Colour-Challenge (Yearly):

Read a book with a cover in the following colours + two bonus tasks:

Colour Planned Read Read
White  5129yWW1uOL
Red  36364384
Yellow Death Comes to Pemberley
Green  30178957
Light Blue 30082530
Dark Blue Empire of Ivory  13417841
Purple 27128512
Brown Murder in Belgravia 37481550
Black Victory of Eagles  35264980
Metallic The House of Shattered Wings
Five Colors Stalking Darkness cover136379-medium
Color Word in the Title Red Seas under Red Skies   2171498
Descriptive Word in Title (Rainbow, Stripes, Polka Dots, Etc)

Places and Spaces (Quarterly)

For this challenge, see how many places and spaces you can visit. The place or space should be a primary element of the story or historical account and may include natural, man-made, and imaginary terrains and structures.

Signed up for 4

  1. A Victorian Mansion: Murder In Belgravia
  2. A clubhouse: The Poisoned Chocolates Case
  3. A train: The Woman on the Orient Express
  4. A Castle: The Henchman of Zenda


The Bibliophile Challenge (Quarterly)

Signed up for 6 of the following:

1. Read a book about books or reading. Son of A Gun in Cheek
2. Read a book-in-a-book.
3. Read a book that is an author’s memoir.
4. Read a book about language or linguistics.
5. Read a book that takes place in a library or bookstore.
6. Read a book before you see the movie/watch the tv show.
7. Read a book whose main character is a bookworm. – Murder takes the High Road (I think the fact that he’s taking a tour to see the sights his favourite author set her books in should count)
8. Read a book that is mentioned in another book.
9. Read a book that is a retelling of a classic or modern classic.
10. Read a book that has a palindrome in the title.
11. Read a book that uses an alliteration in the title. The Mystic Marriage
12. Read a book that has a full sentence as it’s title. I’ll be gone in the Dark
13. Read a book with a title that rhymes.
14. Read a book with a one-word title.
15. Read a book with an oxymoron in the title.
16. Read a book with a homonym or homophone in the title.
17. Read a book with a homograph in the title.
18. Read a book in translation or a book that merges two or more languages, e.g., Spanglish, Pidgin, or Creole.
19. Read a work of epistolary fiction or nonfiction.
20. Read a book you can’t get as an ebook.


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