Friday, December 16, 2016

Expand Your Horizons Reading Challenge

As 2016 draws to a close, and 2017 looms ahead, it's time everyone to start contemplating new goals to set for themselves. For me, I tend to think about Reading Challenges.

I've always been a spectator of Reading Challenges, but never a participant. The fact is, most Reading Challenges are simple "Read X number of books this year!", and I read far too slowly for any of that nonsense. However, that doesn't mean I don't challenge myself. Most of my goals, however, are personal. I like to expand my horizons and read new books in different genres and categories, attempting to push my expectation and knowledge of the world. Also, hopefully, such endeavors will make me a better person. (one can only hope)

So, with that in mind, I decided to create my own Reading Challenge. One tailored to suit me, but could also be adapted to suit anyone who wanted to expand their horizons and reach out of their comfort zone.

The way I see it, there are two ways to do this challenge:

1) Easy Mode: For every book you read, check off each item that applies. If you find a paperback Science Fiction Dystopia written by a woman pre-1950 featuring an LGBT character originally published in a foreign language, go ahead and mark all those off. This a great mode for slow readers, ensuring you'll still be well rounded in the end. This is the mode I will be doing, for sure.

2) Hard Mode: One book, one check. The only exception is #52, which you'll see why when you read it. That gives you 52 weeks to read 51 books, because life is hectic and we all need an extra week sometime. I think this is more than aggressive enough, though maybe some avid readers don't agree, but they can find their own damned challenges! 51 books a year is crazy to me, and I'll never be able to do that unless I read every day like a job.

Anyway, here's the list. The "Expand Your Horizons Reading Challenge" that can be applied to any year:

1. Read a book originally published in a language you do not know
2. Read a book by an author born in the same country as you
3. Read a book from the Horror genre
4. Read a Romance and/or Erotica book
5. Read a book written before 1950
6. Read a book written by a man
7. Read a book written by a woman
8. Read a book in the Science Fiction genre
9. Read a book in the Fantasy genre
10. Read a book labelled as Young Adult
11. Read a nonfiction book
12. Read a book with a contemporary setting
13. Read a book written after 1949
14. Read a book published this year
15. Read a popular book, with at least 1 million ratings on any one website
16. Read an unknown book, with no more than 100 ratings on any one website
17. Read a book that was turned into a movie
18. Finish a series
19. Read a History book, fiction or nonfiction
20. Read a short story, one with less than 5,000 words
21. Read a short book, one between 5,000 and 100,000 words
22. Read a long book, one between 100,000 and 250,000 words
23. Read an epic book, one with over 250,000 words
24. Read a self-published book
25. Read an indie book, where the publisher is a small or niche house and not one of the top 6 publishers
26. Read a book published under one of the Big 6 publishing houses
27. Read a Biography, whether normal, Auto, or Memoir.
28. Read a book labelled as a Best-Seller from this year
29. Read a book about Politics and/or Religion
30. Listen to an Audiobook
31. Read a book on paper
32. Read a book that was, or currently is, banned by a government
33. Read a book in the Thriller or Suspense genre
34. Read a Mystery book
35. Read a book labelled as Dystopian
36. Read a debut book from this year
37. Read a book by or featuring a character that is LGBT
38. Read a book in the Paranormal genre
39. Read a book with pictures in it
40. Read a book for the second time
41. Read a book that’s been on your to read-list for more than a year
42. Read a book that features animals
43. Read a book where the main character goes on a journey
44. Read a book where a stranger comes to town.
45. Read a book labelled as a Satire or Allegory
46. Read a book from the Self-Help, Health, Travel, or Guide category
47. Read a collection of poetry
48. Read the first book in a series
49. Read a book that won a literary award
50. Read a book set in your country
51. Read a book not set in your country, but exists today
52. Combining all the letters of all the titles of all the books you’ve read this year, complete the Alphabet

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