On Reading: Challenges

by Jennifer


Raise your hand if blogging or reading blogs has increased the number of pages you read each year. I know that it has me. Bloggers write and most writers read — or used to before the demands of kids or housework or marriage or full-time employment stole away our time. Reading about the books that others have enjoyed piqued my interest, but that wasn’t enough.

I still had to find the time, or at least the motivation.

Back before I started reviewing books for 5 Minutes for Mom, Katrina’s Fall into Reading Challenge in 2006 at Callapidder Days reminded me of my past love of reading and spurred me to make an effort to read more. I haven’t looked back since.

There are SO many interesting challenges out there that help us find other book bloggers with the same interests as us, or push us to expand our reading borders — in content or simply in volume.

I thought I’d open up the comments here and invite you to share about your experiences with challenges. Answer any of all of these questions in the comment field:

  1. Which challenge was your favorite to tackle and why? If you want, you can leave a link to your wrap-up post.
  2. Which challenge really interests you, yet you’ve never joined?
  3. Which challenges are you participating in for 2010? Leave a link to the challenge host or your introductory post, so that others can join in if they want to.

Here at 5 Minutes for Books, we are dipping a toe into the challenge realm. We just announced our Children’s Classics Mystery Challenge, which will replace our Children’s Classics carnival from January – June. We are also going to run the Classics Bookclub more like a challenge, where you can select the books you want to read throughout the year. Look for more on that, and a signup on December 29.

Jennifer Donovan loves the book blogging community, whether they are participating in challenges, regular community events like What’s on Your Nightstand here at 5 Minutes for Books, or just sharing their thoughts on a book they’ve recently read. She blogs (about books and other things) at Snapshot.

Email Author    |    Website About Jennifer

Jennifer lives in Houston with her family. In addition to reading, she enjoys travel, Bible study, food, and fun. She blogs about some of these things -- when her nose isn't in a book -- at Snapshot.

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jennifer, Snapshot December 20, 2009 at 9:48 am

1. I loved the Armchair Traveler Challenge: http://jennifersnapshot.blogspot.com/2007/06/whats-your-favorite.html

2. I have never quite been able to join any of the 24/48 hour reading challenges. The Dewey Readathon and Mother Reader’s 48 Hour Reading Challenge come to mind.

3. This year, I am joining the South Asian Authors challenge (my post here: http://jennifersnapshot.blogspot.com/2009/11/reading-south-asian-authors.html). I am also going to do the Children’s Classics Mystery Challenge and the Classics Bookclub Challenge, and of course I’ll do Katrina’s Fall Into Reading and Spring Reading Thing.


2 monica December 20, 2009 at 12:33 pm

I’ve never done a reading challenge. Not sure why. Next year I’m going to give them a try.

I’m doing that same Asian book challenge as you and maybe the 451 Challenge (it’s on the front page of my blog if you must see; too lazy to link.)



3 monica December 20, 2009 at 12:34 pm

ok, I see you wanted a link. lol. Here it is:



4 Carrie K. December 20, 2009 at 7:32 pm

I’m joining a ton of challenges this year – just like I did last year. I love the way they help book bloggers connect with each other – even if I don’t always finish each and every challenge, it’s certainly fun to try. Plus, it helps me read outside my comfort zone and habit genres.

Here’s the list of challenges I’m joining for 2010: http://booksandmovies.colvilleblogger.com/2009/12/16/reading-challenges-for-2010/

I’m also hosting the Essay Reading Challenge – here’s the link, if you’re interested in signing up:



5 Carrie, Reading to Know December 20, 2009 at 8:25 pm

I’m, at this point, committing to three specific challenges in the coming year. This past year I participated in Callapidder Days Spring event, but skipped on the fall (due to a variety of life demands).

The Challenge that probably interests me the most and yet I’ve never joined are the 24 hour Read-A-Thons. Maybe one day when the kids are old enough to fend for themselves during the day? Otherwise I can’t quite see how that would happen!

This year I’m hosting two challenges (same as last year): Lucy Maud Montgomery & Chronicles of Narnia. Other than that, my grand focus for the next six months is the Children’s Classics Mystery Challenge (which I am WAY hyped about and even went scrounging around local used bookstores the other day hunting up new titles and series!).

I’m with Carrie K. – they are a great way to connect with other bloggers!


6 Katrina December 21, 2009 at 9:14 am

I’ve really enjoyed hosting my fall and spring challenges — I love meeting other book-loving bloggers and just sharing the book-love with everyone.

This coming year, I’d like to join you guys in the Children’s Classics Mystery Challenge, and I’m thinking of tackling the Nancy Drew challenge over at Books, Movies, & Chinese Food: http://books-movies-chinesefood.blogspot.com/2009/11/nancy-drew-challenge.html


7 Robin of My Two Blessings December 21, 2009 at 11:39 am

I love the challenges because they expand my reading and get me to read books would never have considered before. I also like interacting with the other bloggers and finding out what they have been reading. I’m participating in quite a few challenges in 2010. The list is located at


There are a couple more I’ve joined that aren’t on the list yet – Jenners Take Another Chance and BookChickCity’s Speculative Reading Challenge. One thing I am doing differently for 2010 is trying to concentrate on the books already have on the shelves. Made sure they matched up with the challenges.

I’m also hosting a couple challenges this year: Mind Voyages, a science fiction/fantasy reading challenge and Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks.


8 Heather J. December 21, 2009 at 12:49 pm

I just wrote a post about why I love reading challenges, and it also include a roundup of my 2009 challenges: http://age30books.blogspot.com/2009/12/my-2009-challenges-recap-questions.html

They can be intimidating to new participants at first, but once you try it, you’ll LOVE it!


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