Summer ’18 Reading Challenges Update

With September and the Labor Day (U.S.) holiday right around the corner, summer is beginning to wind down. (Although there’s a heat wave hitting my area, so summer seems to be trying to hold on.) But regardless of the weather, it seems like a good time to give an update on all my summer ’18 reading challenges.

I committed myself to several reading challenges this year.  In fact, I committed myself to 5. that’s right FIVE reading challenges. And I’m a bit behind on 3 of them. In fact, I got behind on a few bookish things including pen pals, swaps, the Christmas ornament exchange, and postal book club.


I have no one to blame but myself . . . (and maybe Litsy as my TBR continues to grow exponentially because of all the great books I see other people reading. Seriously, my TBR jumped from just under 300 to over 600 since March.) But really, the fault lies just with me. Life likes to roll over you like a tidal wave once in a while. But instead of fighting the current, I’m trying to stay calm and roll with the wave. Part of that is getting organized and seeing where I am and where I need to be.

So here’s where I am and where I need to be on all 5 reading challenges:

(1) 2018 Goodreads reading challenge – I’m actually “winning” this one.

My goal is 78 and as of yesterday, I’ve read 73 books. So no worries about making this one. In fact, I’m debating whether I should up my goal or just stick with 78 and see how many I read beyond that.

(2) Mad Libs Reading Challenge 2018 – not only did I finish this one (it ended June 23), I won a book. So YAY!

(3) Great American Read (GAR) Bingo board – I committed to read 24 books (plus 1 bonus book) off the GAR list.

GARbingo Apr-Jul.jpg

The #GARbingo challenge runs from April 23 to October 23 (26 weeks). So we’re more than 1/2 through as week 19 started August 27. To date, I’ve read 12 GARbingo books (plus 2 others that weren’t on my list).

Now, it’s awesome that I’ve read 12 (+2) books. But with only 8 weeks to go, I’m going to be hard pressed to read 12 more + the bonus book. Especially considering that 3 of these are chunksters:  Don Quixote (1072 pages), Atlas Shrugged (1188 pages), and the bonus book, The Pillars of the Earth (1008 pages).

I read fairly quickly, but 13 books is still a lot to get through in 8 weeks. That’s 7,138 pages in fact. In other words, I’d have to read 892 pages per week just to get through these 13 books.

Think of it this way. The average novel has between 50,000-70,000 words. Assuming  a double-spaced page with 1-inch margins holds an average of 250 words, the average novel is approximately 200-280 pages. So I’d have to read the equivalent of 4 books per week to hit my goal. Not impossible, but unlikely because of other priorities and obligations.

So my options are:
(A) remove 2 unread books and replace them with the 2 that I read but that were not on my board (Joy Luck Club and The Giver). That would put me at 14 books read with only 10 left to read.
(B) remove the middle column of 5 unread books, leaving a total of 20, leaving 8 to read.
(C) do both (A) and (B), so that I’d only have 6 left to read for a total of 20.
(D) do none of the above and just push myself to get through 12 + 1 books by October 23.

(4) #SFFTBR reading challenge – read 50 SFF books that fit one of the listed criteria. This started July 1 and is a year-long challenge. So I still have 10 months to finish this one. But because of the other challenges, I’ve been ignoring this one. Although, I primarily read SF/F books, so I should be good. But then this challenge requires me to read approximately one book a week and the book has to fit one of the categories. See the challenge?

I may have to take a staycation or a long weekend to get this challenge really going.


(5) Backpack Through Europe Summer Reading Challenge – started on July 2 and ends September 30. My goal was 1 country per week.

I was maintaining my 1 book/1 country per week, but then life happened & I got derailed.

I ended up in Belguim for nearly 2 weeks and now I’ve been “in” Germany for the past 2 weeks and haven’t even started my German book. With 5 weeks to go, I’m either going to have to blow through some countries to get to Turkey (Istanbul, one of the 3 hubs we can take home, was my final destination) or I have to cut my trip short and come on home (Frankfurt, Germany is another one of the 3 hubs we can take home). And if I push on through to Turkey, there’s still some countries I’d have to get through in which I have no book yet.

Guess I’ll be using Labor Day weekend to figure this out.

In other bookish news, despite life that through me a curve ball for about a week, I have gotten caught up on my Litsy Mark-up Postal Book Club (mailed out that book this morning) and I got my 3 summer book swaps mailed last weekend. Now I have to respond to all my pen pal letters, shop for my 3 fall swaps, and get back to work on the Christmas cross-stitch for the ornament exchange.

I’m slowly but surely catching up from where I fell behind.

And that’s how my summer reading is stacking up.

How are your reading challenges going? What goals did you have and where are you in achieving them? Share in the comments below.





3 thoughts on “Summer ’18 Reading Challenges Update

  1. My Goodreads goal is 75, and I’m 10 books behind on that. I’ve decided to focus on books by female authors this year, and especially classics by female authors. I didn’t set a hard and fast goal for the classics, but I’ve been reading fewer classics than I hoped lately! Kudos to you for following so many challenges at once.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! 🙂

      The nice thing about the Goodreads yearly challenge is that you can change the goal because sometimes life happens and sometimes you commit to books that are a bit more than you thought. And that’s a great challenge to read more female authors, particularly classics, as there are so many great ones. I’m trying to read more female sci-fi/fantasy authors. Good luck and let me know how the rest of your reading year goes. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Good luck with your reading challenges whatever you decide to do. Remember, reading should be fun and enlightening. Read the books you think you’ll really enjoy.

    Liked by 1 person

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