2020 Reading Challenge

Now that I have talked about my 2019 Reading and 2020 Reading Goals, it’s time to lay out more details for what I hope will be my favorite and most successful Reading Challenge (and year) yet. Find my monthly TBR lists and discussion posts directly below this paragraph, and keep scrolling for all the specifics.

JANUARY TBRFEBRUARY TBR

2020 Reading Challenge Header Photo

For the past couple of years, I tried mostly reading books I own. If I was to give an honest guess, I would say nearly 3/4 of the books on my shelves sit unread or unfinished. I don’t often buy books, so the library is really the biggest distraction from the books in my possession. When I do buy a book, it is often a special edition of a book I have already read (or not); either way, my own books remain neglected (in the I-have-never-read-them sense).

I say all of this because once again I am going to attempt to make my reading selections primarily from my own shelves – this is my main goal for the year. I plan on partaking in a couple of readalongs and continuing series that will require me to find books at the library or elsewhere, but I’m going to try to keep those exceptions at a minimum.

Additionally, I have set a numeric goal and edition-specific goals that will aid (hinder?) me along the way. I wrote about them in this post, but because I’m making this my primary point of reference for my 2020 Reading Challenge, I have written and elaborated on them below. The main points are in bold text in case you are not interested in the finer details, which I have written as a way to talk through the purpose and “rules” of the Challenge [with myself]. I can be quite wordy, so scroll at will!

Numeric Goal

  • Read 6 – 8 books per month
    • 72 – 96 books by the end of the year

If I pull this off, it will be the most books I have ever read in a year. This number is quite high for me (averaging almost 50 books per year in the last couple of years), but I’m excited about it. With the exception of three books and my January TBR, I will be choosing the titles based on whatever I feel like reading.

Now about those three exceptions.

Special Edition Goal

  • Read 1 Book of the Month edition per month
  • Read 1 Penguin Classics edition per month
  • Read 1 Barnes & Noble Classics edition per month

Why the edition-specific goals? In the case of the Penguin Classics and Barnes & Noble Classics, I have a tendency to purchase them on a whim because of their price and because I enjoy Classic literature. Most of them, however, sit unread on my shelf, so I hope that this gives me that little push I need to actually read the editions and the stories to decide if they are ones I still want to keep. In the case of the Book of the Month editions, well, I just rarely read the books as they came to me each month (I am no longer a member), so there is a huge backlog of titles piled up in my apartment.

To choose which one of each edition I will be reading, I have written down all the titles (with their respective editions) and will pull them out of my READ. mug at random. Now, I do have a couple of duplicates between the Penguin Classics and Barnes & Noble Classics, and I’m not really sure yet how I am going to deal with those. On the one hand, if I read, say, Mansfield Park via Penguin, do I really want to spend time reading it via B&N when I could be reading something else? But on the other hand, I love literary analysis and comparing the editions sounds marvelous. So I’m just going to cross that bridge if and when I get to it.

One final thing about this edition portion: I have read some of the stories published by Penguin Classics and B&N, just in other formats or editions, or within the past couple of years. If I decide to read them, I will choose another Penguin Classic or B&N Classic to read as well. I own 12 Penguin Classics and 19 B&N Classics, so it’s bound to happen at some point.

Blog Posts

  • Write a TBR post at the beginning of each month
  • Write a discussion post for each book I read for the Challenge
  • Write a quarterly wrap-up

The first bullet point is self-explanatory, but the second is a nod to my initial Reading Challenges. When I first started to blog mainly about books, nearly all of my content was book discussion posts. I set a monthly TBR, and as I read the books I talked about them in their own blog post. I want to start doing that again, because those are my favorite type of bookish post to write. Unless I decide otherwise for a specific book, these posts will not be book reviews. I enjoy writing book reviews and will continue to do so outside of this Reading Challenge, but I have learned that they take me much longer to write because they require a certain amount of structure and objectivity that book discussions do not. Plus, per my previous Reading Challenges and book discussion posts, I have found that they are incredibly engaging and lead to, well, more discussion outside of my own words.

The third point is quite a change to the monthly wrap-ups that I do every year. But since I will be blogging about each book I read every month, the monthly wrap-up format just doesn’t feel necessary. So instead I will be posting a wrap-up post at the end of March, June, September, and December to talk favorites, non-favorites, and anything that happened over the course of the quarter that I feel is worth mentioning.

All of my Reading Challenge blog posts will be linked above so you can find them no matter the time of year.

Series

The following are series I want to read in 2020.

  • START
    • The Lord of the Rings Trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien
  • CONTINUE
    • Daevabad Trilogy by S.A. Chakraborty (The Empire of Gold)
    • Broken Earth Trilogy by N.K. Jemisin (The Obelisk GateThe Stone Sky)
    • The Nyxia Triad by Scott Reintgen (Nyxia UnleashedNyxia Uprising)
    • Celestial Creatures Series by Olga Gibbs (Harbinger)

And with that, I think I’m ready to officially start my 2020 Reading Challenge. I hope you have great success in your reading this year, in whatever way you define success, and if you are particularly excited about a new release, revisiting an old favorite, starting your own reading challenge, or have any other bookish things on your mind, feel free to share in a comment below!

Happy reading!
-Kelsey

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