At the start of the year, I decided to use Goodreads’s annual reading challenge in a new way to help alleviate some of the pressure that comes with trying to pick a reasonable goal for a year’s worth of reading. My scaling goal was set at a reasonable 10 books, and now that I’ve hit that marker, it’s bumping up to 20!
As a celebration of sorts, I’m posting a brand new list of reads I hope to squeeze in this year.
Challenges have been my go-to resource for getting through my massive To-Read Pile. I’ve relied on Goodreads’s annual reading challenge for several years to help track my progress, and while I love the handy counters and end-of-the-year statistics, picking a reasonable goal has always been a sticking point.
This year, I’ve decided to use tools that I know work for me — lists and colorful graphics! I’ll be setting my Goodreads goal for 10 books. When I finish those, I’ll bump it up to 20. Upon completing that, I’ll set the goal to 30. And so on, until we reach the end of the year.
In the spirit of trying new things, I’ve also decided to create a reading list to work from. Ideally, I’ll be getting through these and posting a brand new set around the same time I bump my Goodreads goal up to 20… but we’ll just have to wait and see. It’s always got to be mystery with us mood-based readers.
I enjoy a good challenge. A challenge gives me the tools I need to succeed. Special criteria or themes allow me to get creative. Time limits provide motivation. Being judged and receiving feedback drives me to make a good impression. If I want to get something done, the first thing I do is turn it into a challenge.
One of the things I challenge myself to do is read more. And, thanks to Goodreads groups and the bookish community on social media, I’ve found lots of fun ways to conquer my To-Read stack while engaging with other enthusiasts!
I may not have completed my Goodreads goal of 50 titles this year, but I did a decent job with just under 35 books, mostly from the Middle Grade shelf. I won’t bore you with copy/pasted summaries of every book I read (you can hit up my Reading Challenge page for that if you like, though) but I will share some of my highlights.
How to Train Your Dragon by Cressida Cowell
“For a Hero cannot triumph all the time. Sometimes he will be defeated, and how he faces that defeat is a test of his character.”
I finally completed the How to Train Your Dragon series this year. What starts out as a short and silly lower Middle Grade series quickly becomes a fast-paced adventure with a hero who can’t seem to do anything right, a naughty little dragon, and a tribe of Hooligans that will keep even the most reluctant reader turning pages eagerly. My favorite detail is the abundance of illustrations that decorate nearly every page. They’re informal, sketchy, and perfect for setting off a child’s imagination. Just be prepared for a little dragon dung humor in the first couple of books.
Goodreads is a little corner of the internet especially for us readers. It makes it easier to track your reading, leave reviews, share your favorite books with friends, and find more books based on the ones you currently love. And they also run giveaways so that you can add more books to your ever-growing To Be Read pile! Here are two MG reads that I think are worth signing up for: