Sunday, February 3, 2019

2019 Reading Challenges - #BookJar Project and Random #Reading

There are TONS of reading challenges on offer every year, as we all know. Heck, I even have a group on Facebook where people post reading challenges. I compiled all the posts into documents, listing each challenge, and a link to the sign up post. There are literally tons! (If you're curious about the group, and aren't already a member, it's Sleep Less, Read More.) For people like me, it's SO tempting to sign up for a lot of them (or all of them. lol). However, every year I sign up and fail miserably. Most of the failure stems from not reading enough, but also, not keeping track and updating my progress. So, though I thought about signing up for a few, on top of the yearly challenges I host myself, and a couple others I committed to, I decided against it.

One of my biggest problems is thinking about the long term and perpetual challenges (many hosted by me) I take part in. I find I'm not making much headway and I started thinking of a solution.

Here is a list of those long term and perpetual challenges:

13 Ways of Looking at the Lifetime Reading Plan
The Classics Club
The Fantasy Project
The Michener Challenge
The Never-Ending Anne Rice Challenge
A Non-Fiction Adventure
The Stephen King Challenge

My other dilemma is my massive home library of over 3000 books. I know I'll never read them all, but I know there is a way to read more of them (I mostly read from my own books, but I'm always buying new ones...I'm sure many can relate).

I had been kicking around the idea of a book jar for years, but then it dawned on me. Why not include in the book jar only the books on my lists for the above long term and perpetual challenges? So that's exactly what I did.

#BookJar Project 


  1. Draw one book per month
  2. Three draws allowed, in case I'm just not in the mood for that one, or I can't find the book (because I'm living with my mom, the way my library is set up, there are some books I can't get to. lol).
  3. That's it! Easy!

To tackle the second part of my dilemma, I came up with Random Reading. This involves my book catalogue which I use to keep track of the books I own. It is arranged by author last name, alphabetically. Each letter has it's own section and I number each book (see image above). What I will do is randomly select a letter of the alphabet (1-26) and then randomly select a number from the section of that letter. So, if the letter 'A' has 115 titles, I would randomly select from 1 - 115. Same guidelines as above...

  1. Draw one book per month
  2. Three draws allowed, in case I'm just not in the mood for that one, or I can't find the book
Other Challenges
Here is a list of the other challenges I'm participating in. The first three are the ones I host at Gather Together and Read. I've included full info on the 2019 Reading Challenges page (tab in the blog menu above). 

I guess this is kind of my 2019 reading resolutions as well. My reading numbers have been on the mediocre side the past couple of years. Back in 2014 and 2016, I read over 50 books. 2014 was actually almost 60. I want to get back up to that and beyond. My Goodreads goal each year is 75 and I'm going to hit it one of these years. I know it! Then, the sky's the limit!

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  1. It's a great idea to think through your reading strategy periodically. What you share makes a lot of sense! Any system, such as the one you've devised, is rejuvenating to the TBR stack-on-the-desk problem. A nice combination of variety and surprise to reset and refresh the process of book choice and goal setting.

    My own reading has gotten pretty desultory. I have my finger in a LOT of books at the same time (endless supply of bookmarks!) and get to the finish line with them at irregular intervals. Our book club is one of my few motivators to read a book in a month--a refreshing deadline for me. When I was writing chapters or reviews on a deadline, I kept up a fast reading and note-taking pace and pushed the limits on what I could read and absorb. Now I savor and read as slowly as needed, given all of life's demands. A bigger problem for me is where to put the books! I have culled my books and donated many to our library sale, but I still have way too many piles on the floor! :)
    Best of luck with your delightful Book Jar Project!

  2. I used to enjoy the What's In A Name? challenge but it appears to not be running this year so I've made the decision that other than GoodReads I won't be participating in any challenges this year until your Christmas spirit challenge that is.

  3. I LOVE the book jar idea! I may have to do that myself. It's so easy to get caught up in the new books & pass up what I already own but I have culled my books regularly and feel like I really do only own books I do want to read.

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