Sunday, January 23, 2011

Reading Challenges for 2011: only two

In my somewhat delayed wrap-up post for my 2010 reading challenges, I said that I planned to participate in two of last year's challenges again in 2011. One of them, the Persons of Color (POC) Reading Challenge, is up and running, but the other one, Read Your Own Books (RYOB), doesn't seem to be offered for this year, so I found a replacement.

I'm going to sign up for Level 3 again, between seven and nine books. I really think I could have completed the challenge in 2010 if I hadn't gotten Horner syndrome, and also (starting with those couple days in the hospital) spent several weeks taking a medicine that made my brain fuzzy and made it almost impossible to read. I'm off to a great start for 2011, in carving out time to read, and I'm going to make a concerted effort to have more authors of color on my radar, so when I finish a book and don't have the next one already lined up (usually the selection for my book discussion group), I'll scan my TBR Mountain for authors of color first and see what grabs my attention.

For the RYOB Challenge last year, I'd hoped to read thirty books that were already in my TBR Mountain on January first. About a week ago, searching for a replacement for RYOB, I found the Off the Shelf Challenge, hosted by Bookish Ardour. I'm glad that there's a 30-book level, because that seems like a reasonable goal for me again -- and as I said above, if I can maintain a reading pace close to what I've done these last three weeks, I'll make good progress. Level 4 is 50 books, which I haven't reached in any of the last three years (2008 is when I started keeping track), so I'm selecting Level 3, "Making a Dint," which is 30 books.

Sometimes other challenges pique my interest -- I did look for another poetry challenge for 2011, but didn't find one -- but these two are all the commitments I'm planning to make. Reading more of the books I already own is a goal that just makes sense -- plus it's really convenient and doesn't cost anything! Reading more books by persons of color exposes me to different perspectives, enriching not just my reading, but my ways of thinking, my whole interior world.

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