Monday 18 January 2021

Reading Challenge Wrap-Up post 2020

 New year, new challenges. I've had a lot of work already this year, which is why I'm already terribly behind on my reviews, and on writing this post, announcing my sign-up for the many challenges which will help me plan my reading lists over the course of 2020. By now, I've been doing so many varied challenges for so long that I'm not entirely sure how I'd plan my reading without various prompts. Just pick up any old book I fancy - that's just madness.

Challenges 1 and 2: The Cannonball Read. This is the primary reading challenge I take part in every year, to be the first to read and review 52 books. As I'm writing this, Vel Veeter, the winner of the last, I want to say three, years has already reviewed 24 books, so being number one isn't really going to happen. Still, it's challenging enough reading and reviewing 104 books by the end of the year, in 2020, I managed with an hour to spare. I finished in 8th place, which is all I can hope for these days. Hence I count this as two challenges, entered and completed. 

3. Goodreads 2020 Reading Challenge: I signed up to read 100 books and managed to complete that goal. 

4. 52 Books in 52 Weeks: Exactly what it sounds like. Read 52 books over the course of the year.  Books counted need to be at least a hundred pages long. I finished this one by mid-July.

5. Alphabet Challenge: Read one book starting with each letter of the alphabet. For Q, X and Z, the word that starts with the letter can be anywhere in the title. This challenge proved tricky enough to complete (last book finished just before Christmas) that I won't be continuing it again this year - I need a year or two to "collect" suitable books. 

6. 2020 Audiobook Challenge: I signed up for Level 4, Socially Awkward. 15-20 books. I ended up having read 31 at the end of the year, so I'm proud of that. 

7. Beat the Backlist: Read as many books from your backlist/TBR as possible. As long as the books were published in 2019 or earlier, they are fair game. My final tally was 54 books. 

8. The Backlist Reader Challenge 2020: For this one, you also read books from your TBR, but here the book has to be published in 2018 or before, and has to have been on your TBR list from before you actually read it. Here the final tally was 34

9. Colour Coded Reading Challenge 2020: This is a challenge I've been doing for years, and I really like it. Read at least nine books, one for each category with blue, red, yellow, green, brown, black, white, any other colour or which implies colour in the title or on the cover. Before the rules changed so the primary colour of the cover could count to fill the category, it was a much more difficult challenge to complete. This year, since the Cannonball Read Bingo Card also had squares that involved colour, I had additional motivation to complete this challenge. I only needed to read 9, I ended up reading 27 books. 

10. Contemporary Romance Challenge: Here I signed up for 3rd base, 11-15 books, and since contemporary romance turned out to be the genre I read more than anything else last year, it wasn't very difficult to complete, even though no paranormal, historical, time travel, fantasy, sci-fi or mystery/suspense/thriller were allowed. I ended up hitting my goal in February, and read 31 books over the course of the year.

11. Diversity Reading Challenge: I strive to challenge myself and read more diversely, so challenges like these are good to make sure I hit my goals. For this challenge, the author and/or one of the main characters (preferably a POV character) has to belong to a diverse group, including, but not limited to LGBTQIA, native, people of colour, gender diversity, people with disabilities, ethnic, cultural or religious minorities. I challenged myself to read at least 40 by the end of the year, and managed by the end of October. In the end, I read 51 books that qualify for this list.

12. For the Love of E-books Challenge: I set myself the most difficult challenge level here, Legend Status, with 60 or more books, because I wanted to make sure I read more than in previous years. Since I listened to more audio books this year, it took longer to complete this challenge than I was expecting. I didn't actually finish it until Christmas Eve, and by New Year's Eve, I'd only read 62 e-books this year.

13. Finishing the Series: I read far too many multi-book series, and frequently get bored and/or distracted halfway through. To encourage me to actually complete some of the many series I read, I signed up for this challenge again, I've set myself a harder goal, going for A-list, to finish 9 or more ongoing series over the course of the year. Obviously, it doesn't count if you also START the series during the year (if it did, my total would be way higher). I ended up finishing 13 series, some are still ongoing. 

14. Historical Fiction Reading Challenge: Once upon a time, I could easily finish the most difficult level of this (50+ books), but nowadays, I just don't read as many historical novels as I used to. Hence, my goal for this one was a more achievable 25-50 books (the Ancient History level). As it was, I only reached my goal in mid-December and only read 28 books that would qualify as historical fiction all year.

15. Literary Pickers Challenge: Making my romance reading that little bit more fun, this challenge is like a book scavenger hunt, where you are supposed to tick off a list of items in romances, or books with a strong romantic element. I signed up for level 2 - Garage Sale Guru, where I had to tick off 25 of the 100 items on the list. Some of the categories were absolutely more difficult this year, but I still managed to find 25 items by mid-April, and by the end of the years, I'd ticked 44 different items off the list.

16. Monthly Keyword Challenge: This is one of the challenges that really helps me get through a lot of the older books on my TBR and especially encourages me to read books I actually own, not just get them from other sources. It also allows me to start each month by making a long, comprehensive list, which I absolutely love doing. There are six keywords for each month, and you can be pretty creative in interpreting the words as well, so my selection of books is rarely limited. Obviously, the minimum amount of books to complete in a year is 12, I ended up reading 28.

17. Monthly Motif Challenge: Another list that helps me work through my ever-expanding TBR list. With each month given its own motif or theme, it gives the reader a pretty wide scope to choose from. I needed to read 12 books, I completed 29.

18. New Releases Challenge: This challenge was all about reading books released in 2020, and there are enough new and exciting books coming out any given that I was pretty certain I was going to manage level 2 - New Release Pro - 31-60 books. I finished my 31st book about a third of the way through December, and ended on 37 new releases at the end of the year.

19. Retellings Challenge: I exceeded my expectations for this challenge in 201, and so decided to do it again in 2020. I signed up for the level Warrior Princess - 6-10 retellings. Sadly, this is the only one of my many challenges that I completely failed at this year - I managed only three retellings over the course of the year, despite having so many worthy candidates that would have fit the bill on my TBR list. Guess my heart just wasn't in it. 

20. Tackle my TBR list: For this challenge, I set myself the goal of 37-48 books (Field Goal). Until about halfway through the year, I also did pretty well on the various monthly challenges, but that fizzled out as the year progressed and my work became more demanding. I completed 37 books by the end of July and managed to cull 54 books from my TBR in total (I bet I added more than that to the list again - sigh)

21. Mount TBR Challenge: For this challenge, the various levels are named after various peaks and mountains. Matching my other TBR challenge, I chose 37-48 books, Mount Vancouver. I like when I can complete two challenges at once, with the same amount of effort. 

22. What's in a Name 2020: This was a challenge that I took a break from for a few years because I didn't like the categories offered. In 2020, the list seemed achievable, and I'd finished it by the end of November. 

23. The RIP 15 Challenge: This challenge, now hosted on Twitter,  is one that I take part in every September to October because I like the genres it suggests you read, and it's another easy one to complete. I frequently do seven books for this one, but only did the minimum required of 4 this year.

24. The Cannonball Bingo: For the past two years, the Cannonball Read has arranged a Bingo in the latter half of the year to keep the readers interested and motivated and the reviews on the site from dwindling. I've managed to complete the full card each time and obviously set myself that same goal in 2020. I had filled my card with about three weeks to spare, so this one felt good. 

25. Reading Challenge Addict: As with pretty much every year since I started doing reading challenges, I have chosen "Out of this world" - 16 challenges or more entered and completed. Since I entered 25 challenges and completed 24, this challenge is well and truly met.

That concludes my reading challenge round-up of 2020. Stay tuned for my announcement post for 2021!

No comments:

Post a Comment