Bookish Chat – Why Reading Challenges Don’t Work For Me

December 18, 2017 Bookish chat 14

Confession time today.  I want to share why reading challenges don’t work for me.  At this time of year, I see lots of bookish challenges cropping up on blogs I love.  And my bookish heart wants to support all my blogger friends, and join in all their challenges.  But I have to remind myself to hold back.  Because for me a challenge becomes a must-do, that’s just how my personality works.  And when I make reading a must-do, I inevitably end up digging a book slump for myself.

Why Reading Challenges Don't Work For Me


Why Reading Challenges Don’t Work For Me


Do you love reading challenges? Today I'm confessing all the reasons they don't work for me. #bookbloggers #ontheblog #readingchallenges Click To Tweet

All The Guilt

Somehow even a challenge that is meant to be fun, and motivate you to read more, just doesn’t work for me.  Instead all I feel is book guilt if I fall behind, and it makes me watch the numbers too closely.  I tend to get too competitive in all areas of my life, and I don’t want books to be another area where I have an eye on a goal post.

I Feel Too Restricted

Instead I want to be free to read as many or as few books as I want.  Maybe I want to rip through all my arcs, or sit down and go a binge reread of all my Harry Potter books.  Or splurge all my cash on a new series, and ignore all the books on my to-read in favour of new haul.  Basically, I want freedom to read what I want, when I want.


My work is dictated my deadlines, and cut off dates.  In no way shape or form, do I want deadlines on my reads.  Obviously ARCs have publication dates, and I do keep those somewhat in mind.  But nothing is set in stone, and my most important question is what book do I feel like reading next.  Not what book must I read next.

I Don’t Want My Reading To Be Stressful

Reading is my constant form of stress-relief, and I guard that fiercely.  So when I see myself thinking maybe I’ll just join this challenge, I haul myself back.  Instead I’ll just keep doing what I’ve always done.  Reading and reviewing whatever book catches my eye, with no limits, no wondering if it fits with a challenge.

Does it help me, is it fun for me?

No and No.  Enough said!

Before you think I’m knocking reading challenges.  I’m not.  They just aren’t my thing.  Even if I feel I’m missing out on a fun blogging activity, I have to learn from previous experiences.  In the long run, they bring me down and I’m preempting that by avoiding them like the plague.


Talk To Trish:  Do you join reading challenges?  Have they been positive or negative experiences for you?


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14 Responses to “Bookish Chat – Why Reading Challenges Don’t Work For Me”

  1. Tanya Patrice

    I totally get where you’re coming from – although I like them. For me, I choose it because I want to be challenged – so I have zero expectation of completing it 100%. If I knew that – then it wouldn’t be a challenge to me.
    Tanya Patrice recently posted…19 Things This Week

  2. Angela

    I like reading challenges, but I try to limit myself to only a couple per year. Like you said, I don’t want to get too caught up in them and get competitive and stuff. I like challenges that are longer, like the whole year instead of just a week or two. I try to set TBRs for most of them, but I make sure they’re books I really want to read.

  3. Amber Elise @ Du Livre

    I love the idea of reading challenges but I can never stick too them. Like you said, it feels restricting and sometimes I’m not in the mood to read some sort of book. I like the challenge because of the sense of community, but I haven’t done one since 2015 because I suck at them!
    Amber Elise @ Du Livre recently posted…My Most Anticipated 2018 Releases

  4. Kathryn Trask

    Totally see your points and agree they aren’t for you. I do host one and join in with them. For the first time this year I won’t complete some of the ones I joined. Like you I push myself because I like completing but this year I just feel philosophical about it! So many of the TBR books still sit on my shelf unread. However I did complete some. 2018 will see me join some challenges but ones that don’t tie me down too much. I just like reading and then seeing if the book I read fits any category of a challenge! Sometimes a challenge makes me read a book that otherwise I would have raced the other way from and I end up loving the book.
    Kathryn Trask recently posted…It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

  5. Kristin T

    Trish…what a great post! I am just like you – I tend to be quite competitive and feel guilty when I don’t complete or finish a challenge. And when I first started blogging, I was signing up for a ton of challenges – I thought they were great – and a great way to read more books and hit different targets. BUT…I’ve learned my lesson…now, I only sign up for a few and really use them more as a tracking tool. If I finish them, great, if not – OH WELL! I don’t put pressure on myself. And it seems each year, I tend to sign up for less and less. I’m still debating whether I’m going to sign up for any in 2018 or if there is some other way I can track what the challenges I am doing this year can give me w/o making me insane 😉

  6. Chrissy

    The only “challenge” I do is the Goodreads Challenge, and that’s mainly to keep track of what I read in a year. I want to join these other challenges, but I’m like you, I don’t like the pressure and restriction.

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