Happy Saturday, guys!
I hope you’re all having a fantastic weekend. 🌷
I’m still in disbelief about the fact that the first half of 2018 has passed us by, is gone, done with, and [insert various other euphemistic variations of the aforementioned sentiment]—but at the very least, dwelling on this realization and trying not to freak out about it again, inspired this very ramble-y [you’ve been warned!] blog post. 😌
We’ve all been sharing our favorite 2018 reads, our reading struggles, and our highly anticipated upcoming book releases in Mid-Year Freak Outs, and June wrap-ups—and a considerable number of those also included mentions of the 2018 Goodreads Reading Challenge. (I followed you guys’ advice, and increased mine to 200 books!)
But as amazing as it can be to see to how many books we’ve (managed to) read so far, and take pride in the number, if we’re on track, or even ahead of our challenge, numbers aren’t everything.
In the end, the reason we read books to begin with is to enjoy them, right? At least, it’s mine.
And I hope that no one is breezing through books just so that they can accomplish reading the arbitrary number of books they challenged themselves to read at the beginning of this year, and ends up collapsing in a bundle of exhaustion, after doing so.
Sleep deprivation is dangerous, guys!
(Says Lily, typing this half-asleep, bleary-eyed, and running on five hours of sleep.)
But, I digress. What has become very apparent to me very quickly, is the answer to following question: What do I feel most accomplished about so far, book-wise?
A not-so small hint: it’s not the number of books I’ve read.
So, just for fun, and not meant to be taken all too seriously, here’s my reading challenge (a.k.a. the only reading challenge that actually matters, hence the title of this blog post*); a list of bookish accomplishments that I personally feel are worthy of being celebrated, if only with a figurative pat from yourself on your own shoulder.
Because—not to talk down the Goodreads challenge, since I wouldn’t have read as many books as I have without it, but—here, you’re actually rewarded with stars (albeit virtual ones), and if that’s not incentive enough to participate, I don’t know what is.
*Just in case my upside-down-smile-emoji got lost in translation; I’m not being serious.
You read a book that you’ve been looking forward to [for a while] +⭐️
There are so many books I’ve been looking forward to reading for what feels like an eternity, but still haven’t—Pride and Prejudice, Autoboyography, The Great Gatsby, something by Anna-Marie McLemore &c.—and so many books that keep getting added to that list. [And I know you relate!!]
So I feel like it’s such an accomplishment to actually manage to shorten the backlist (even if it’s only by one book), and don’t get sidetracked by other new and shiny releases.
You finished a book you enjoyed +⭐️
I know this may not seem like much of an accomplishment at first glance, but it is!!
Remember the last book that you were so entranced by, that you had to force yourself to continue reading, because you didn’t want to finish it, and for it to end?
But you persisted, nonetheless. (Go, you!!)
You finished a book you didn’t enjoy +⭐️⭐️
Time is precious, and most of us have an endless amount of books on their TBRs, which is why spending time on reading a book that’s not exactly riveting can at times feel like, well, precious reading time that’s being wasted.
So finishing the book, nonetheless, is definitely an accomplishment.
You talked about a book you read [in depth], or wrote a review +⭐️⭐️⭐️
Putting your thoughts about books into words is hard.
Not only can it be challenging to arrange your thoughts into a coherent structure; most of the time, even though our heads were brimming with unspoken thoughts while we’re reading a book, words simply choose to elude us just when we sit down to write our review, and need them most.
And by “we”, I mainly mean “I”, because that’s what happens to me all the time.
You recommended a book to someone, or
read a book that was recommended to you +⭐️
I love getting book recommendations, especially when someone personally sends me one. I just … feel so special? I mean, I basically imagine someone reading a book, and going “I think Lily would really like this, because [insert a reasonable argument]”, and my mind goes “… you thought of me?? And you know me well enough to think I’d like it??” Awww. :”)
And reading books that were recommended to you is just such a huge compliment—I always feel so incredibly honored, when people read books I recommend!—because as we’ve established: 1) huge TBRs, 2) time is precious, 3) it shows that you trust that person
not to waste your time ‘s taste.
You read book reviews +⭐️
I mean, reading book reviews is basically the same thing as reading the books themselves.
Okay, not really. But you’re honing your research skills, so there you go.
You made a bookish friend to scream about books [and other things] with +⭐️⭐️⭐️
A big part of why I hesitated to create a blog for the longest time is that I have (social) anxiety.
However, I’m so incredibly lucky to have met the most amazing people online, who made me believe I can keep up with running a blog in addition to socializing in real life, because I love chatting with them, and actually manage to do so regularly, regardless of my anxiety (and without dropping off the face of the earth all of a sudden), which led to me wondering if … maybe I can blog without getting overwhelmed, after all?
(And if you feel personally addressed at this point, it’s very likely that I’m talking about you.)
Bonus: You read my blog post(s) +❤️
This actually doesn’t have anything to do with the challenge itself, but is basically my excuse to send you a virtual heart, because I’m so very grateful and humbled that you choose to read my ramblings.
This is probably going to be counterproductive, and will lead to you thinking “Lily is right!! Why am I wasting my time reading her blog posts, when I could be reading books instead??” And wow, am I setting myself up for failure here, because I don’t have a good argument to counter that, but …
I love reading your thoughts and opinions, and screaming about books and everything else with you guys, so … here’s a huge thank you to all of you for reading my posts, and leaving me such sweet comments, I appreciate it a lot. 💗
Do you also get reviewer’s block? (If this term doesn’t exist, I’m officially coining it here and now.)
Do you give personal book recommendations?
Do you actually read books that were recommended to you? 😼