Hello and welcome to a bookish discussion about reading challenges! During the last few days I gave some thought to the idea of taking up a reading challenge, and I want to share with you the pros and cons I came across.

To begin with, I think there are 2 main types of reading challenges:

  • simple challenges, with only a numerical dimension – eg: read 50 books in 2019
  • complex challenges, with numerical and content-related dimensions –  eg: read 50 classics books (picked from the beginning of the challenge) in 5 years (The Classics Club)

For this discussion I refer to the numerical and content-related challenges, as I personally find them more attractive than the simple numerical challenges.

Let’s start with the yay arguments:

§ Reading towards a greater goal – apart from enjoying the reading activity per se, the content-related challenges will also contribute to other aims (eg: read more diverse books by reading books from every country in the world)

§ Avoiding decision fatigue and/or lack of options – having fewer options to choose from (in case you have a pre-defined list of X books you want to read) or more constraints (eg: read books published in different years), you might decide easier what book to read next

§ Getting motivation from the commitment – making the commitment to complete a reading challenge can bring some motivation when you’re not really in the mood to read

§ Joining a bookish community – in case you choose an already “defined” reading challenge, such as The Classics Club, being part of a community of people who are completing the same challenge might boost your motivation

There are also some nay arguments:

§ Feeling constrained to a limited selection of books – the positive argument of avoiding decision fatigue can come with the disadvantage of feeling that you want to read other books than the ones chosen for the challenge (eg. a recently released book that does not fit the challenge criteria)

§ Feeling stressed by the countdown – constantly counting the books that need to be read and keeping an eye on the time left until the end of the challenge might be stressful at some point

In my opinion, committing to a reading challenge has the potential of bringing more positive vibes in one’s bookish life, while the cons can be easily mitigated with a bit of planning and flexibility.

My final verdict is: yay!

What do you think about reading challenges? Have you started/completed any reading challenge? If yes, how did you feel during the challenge? I am very much looking forward to reading your comments!

‘Till next time … happy reading!


Image from Slack.com

4 thoughts on “Let’s talk about reading challenges: yay or nay?

    1. Hello, Debbie! I can totally relate to you, especially when it comes to challenges that extend to a longer period of time (more than 1 year) … who knows what will happen ’till then?


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