Reading is a hobby but I am on a warpath to make it more challenging than it has to be.
2019 Sumedha was avoiding reading challenges and readathons because she was a mood reader and could never read books for the prompts. 2020 Sumedha decided to make readathons bend to her books instead.
Did it work? Let’s review.
2020 Popsugar Reading Challenge
My initial plan of attack for this challenge was to pair books my TBR with prompts, if possible. And that worked, to an extent. But in the last few months I threw that plan out and simply read whatever I wanted.
Because of that, I was falling behind on this challenge. So I desperately went through my “2020 read list” and, surprisingly, was able to tick off more prompts than I expected! Who knew my reading was already so diverse that I’d have to put minimal effort to ace this challenge?
As of now, I have crossed off 47 out of 50 prompts! The last three are tricky, 1 involving me picking a random book from a shelf, but I’ll get there.
My goal this month is to cross off 2 more prompts so that I’ll only have 1 left for December. 2020 Sumedha has also learnt how to pace herself.
GoodReads Reading Challenge
Even though my official annual reading challenge was 100 books, in my mind I was always aiming for 150. Assuming that I would be really busy, I lowballed the official number so that I won’t feel too bad if I don’t hit 150.
I clearly did not anticipate the pandemic and having lots of reading time.
But since we are still in the middle of a pandemic, and I’m still largely home, there is enough time to read and hit 150. I finally raised my official goal to 150 a couple weeks back, and I will hit that number easily.
Right now, my progress stands at 143/150 books. Watch me ace this challenge.
South-Asian Reading Challenge 2020
Primarily hosted by Fanna, this challenge encourages us to read more South Asian books.
It’s been a few months since my last update and during that time my mind conveniently forgot about this challenge. So.. I wasn’t consciously striving for it.
BUT that doesn’t mean that I failed this challenge! I still read South Asian books, just not with this challenge in mind. Which is essentially the goal, right? To read SA books without being too conscious about it?
Since June, I read 9 books by South-Asian authors, which is not a bad number! Compared to the overall number of books I read, it’s not great, but I’ve also been working at other challenges. I’ll take this.
Let me start by saying that we had a couple sales recently which pushed me to buy books. The point of this challenge is to prioritize reading what we already have over buying new books. I sort of failed it because of the sales.
But that does not mean that I’m hopeless! I’ve been working at reading at least 2 paperbacks every month. Considering that I have only 12 unread books (including the new ones), its not bad!
Sure, I’d like the number to be higher, but I’ll take what I can get. In 2021, I’ll make a stricter goal regarding my physical TBR.
The Ace Race Readathon
The Ace Race is a readathon focused at reading books with asexual protagonists. Ever since I felt seen after knowing the ace spectrum, I’ve been looking forward to books with ace protagonists. This readathon gave me motivation to dedicate some time for it.
My goal was to read 5 books for this readathon and I barely managed it. I had a couple hiccups but managed it by the end.
The books I read were:
- Soft on Soft by Mina Waheed which was REALLY NICE and just.. very sweet and heartwarming. It made me smile and swoon.
- Blank Spaces by Cass Lennox was SO GOOD, wow. It blew me away. I’m definitely going to check out more books by the author.
- The Cybernetic Tea Shop by Meredith Katz was AMAZING. For a book with only 65 pages, it packed a ton. I cannot recommend it enough.
- The Stars We Steal by Alexa Donne was a bad read. The ace character was just a supporting character who was conveniently ace for the plot to work. Also, they were kind of used as a punching bag. I hated it.
- Baker Thief by Claudie Arsenault had a good premise and plot but the writing was so dense. There was too much embellishment and unnecessary scenes. I felt like the book was dragged on. It could have used a couple more rounds of editing.
All-in-all, I’m quite happy with my reads. 3/5 reads were really good so I take it as a win (and yes I only added book covers for the books I liked).
The Poppy Warathon
We read The Poppy War in September, which I barely managed because my book arrived very late. Then we read The Dragon Republic in October, which was really good. This was my #1 priority last month.
I haven’t written a review for The Dragon Republic yet because I feel like I didn’t do justice to the book. I didn’t read it well and.. I’m quite guilty about it. Once The Burning God is done, I think I will reread the entire trilogy next year.
While City of Brass has been on my TBR for very long, I never got the motivation to pick it up. I wasn’t going to read it in October but I heard about the Daevabad Readalong and jumped in.
I am really glad that I pressured myself by adding another huge book to my list because.. wow. City of Brass was GOOD. I haven’t written a review for it yet but you can get a glimpse of my thoughts in this blog post.
I already started listening to Kingdom of Copper which we’re reading together this month. And it’s good so far!
Overall, I barely got by with all these readathons. It’s just luck that some books worked well for multiple readathons, because I would not have managed otherwise.
Also, I always unofficially try for the A-Z Reading Challenge every year and finished it two months this time! Check out my A-Z Reading Challenge Wrap-up for more details.
For November, I’m still going to be juggling 7 readathons/reading challenges. In place of The Ace Race, I’ll be trying for the Taylor Swift Playlistathon (announcement here) where I’m aiming for thirteen books. Will I make it through? Keep a lookout for my updates to know more.
I am also planning to read Pachinko for which is there is some readalong happening somewhere. I’m using it to motivate myself to read this, and also because it’s available on Kindle Unlimited. Oh and I’m reading Black Sun which also has a readalong… somewhere.
(I need to stop pressuring myself. Wish me luck.)
Are you participating in any readathons or reading challenges? Do we have any in common?