Reading challenge for 2016


A Boxing Day walk, Petworth

I’m having a lovely Christmas break with family this week, and going on lots of Sussex walks (exhibit A above). And I’ve had plenty of space to think about the coming year. I’m not a resolutions person exactly, but I like having some ideas about what I’d like to achieve in the coming months.

Getting lots of nice books for Christmas and my birthday last month, plus a spare 2016 diary, has got me thinking about keeping a record of what I read in 2016. Not the things I read for work, because that would be (a) lots and (b) something I more or less keep track of already, but the things I read for fun. In 2015 I read several things I’d been meaning to read for a while (The Luminaries, Anna Karenina) plus some excellent books recommended to me written by authors I hadn’t read before (Americanah was a favourite). But I’ve no idea how many books I even read in a year, and I definitely couldn’t list them all.

I know several people who have done Book Challenges on Goodreads or other sites, and I’ve decided that the spare diary will be a great opportunity to keep track and maybe challenge myself to read things I don’t normally read. None of the existing challenges quite suited me, so I’ve made my own, combining some ideas I’ve seen elsewhere – feel free to follow it too, share my list, or make your own. (Some criteria, like the “Devon” and “Cambridge” categories, are a bit specific to my upcoming 2016 experiences, so you might want to change those!)

There are 24 challenges, so around 2 per month – but I think some books will probably meet more than one criterion. I’m hoping this will give me plenty of ideas for the year, while also giving me time to return to a favourite Terry Pratchett from time to time. I’m hoping especially to get a bit more geographic variety in my reading, hence the different continents – but the biggest challenge is of course #24. I’ve been wanting to read something recreational in Italian, and I hope this is the year I’ll finally do it!

Reading challenge

My draft list went down well on twitter last night, and people have already made some great recommendations. I know a few people have already said they might try something similar, or adapt it as a film or writing challenge instead. I can’t wait to hear more about everyone’s challenge lists, and how their choices shape their year.

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