Our Book Challenge: The Backstory

Outdoor reading, The Hunchback of Notre-Dame

It’s a tough reading challenge, but someone’s gotta do it.

On New Year’s Day 2017, my sister invited me to join her in a book challenge.  The rules were simple:

  1. Read 52 books in one year (an average of one per week for those doing the math at home).
  2. For every quarter of the challenge she completed (13 books), I would reward her with a new book, & vice versa.
  3. Everyone wins.

I don’t normally enjoy games where everyone wins (I prefer to crush my enemies into a pulp, especially if my enemies are playing Mario Kart), but I can’t say no to my sister or to books, so challenge accepted.

Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes, with flowers

Taking pictures for Instagram is another great way to waste an hour or three of precious reading time.

Shockingly, it’s been more of a grind than I expected.  Even if you love to read (which I do) & even if you’re a fast reader (which I am), at one book per week, you don’t have time to dilly dally.  Life keeps butting in, trying to make me go to work & do chores & other soul-sucking tasks of this nature (as if anybody in history has ever lain on their death bed & wished they’d done more laundry).  And some days, I’d just rather turn on Crunchyroll & let my brain gelatinize while I count it as my Japanese language lesson for the day (currently binging: Gintama).

Fortunately the Force is strong in yours truly, so those days are few & far between.  I’ve read dozens of fascinating books this year as a direct result of this challenge, so all I really need now is to suddenly & effortlessly become rich, & I’ll be living the dream.  Plus, if I’m gonna do this challenge, I want to do it right, as far as effort-per-book is concerned.  I mean, the books don’t all have to be Les Misérables (i.e. super long), but nor should they all be Heart of Darkness (i.e. under 100 pages).  Every Passage to India (i.e. highbrow stuff) should be spaced by a Harriet the Spy (i.e. catch your breath, brain) & a few of her friends.  And they should definitely… hopefully… probably not all be fantasy & sci-fi.  But a lot of them will be.

This blog picks up 2/3 of the way through our 2017 challenge (don’t ask me for the logic behind that decision, there is none), so next week, I’ll catch you up on exactly what I’ve read so far.  And even though I’ve yet to complete the challenge for 2017, the crazy part of my brain that lacks even a shred of logic thinks I should continue this challenge indefinitely.

Lead the way, crazy brain!

P.S. If you’d like to know a bit more about me, click here.  If you’d like to follow the crazy part of my brain down this rabbit hole, please subscribe to 799books!.  You can also follow me on Twitter & Instagram!.

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