Sunday, 17 June 2012
Sunday Sundries: Burnt Out on Challenges... So Here's Another Challenge!
So, because of the lack of having anything to say, the sensible thing would be to not write a Sunday post AT ALL, I realise, but when have you really expected sensibleness from me? (Basically everyone I went to school with, I suspect, expects me to be sensible, but that was then and now I'm an idiot. Burst that bubble, huh!) ANYWAY, so instead of just stopping, I'm going to have a bit of a whinge and then go away. Sounds good, right?
SO. I signed up for a few challenges this year which felt like a good idea because I own so many books that I haven't read, and they need to be read, and so I thought I'd make a conscious effort to get them read. But, by the time of my mini-progress report at the end of March (quarterly, guys!) I was sorely disappointed in myself because, well, who only reads TWO out of thirty books in 3 months? Nobody does that badly at anything, ever! So I thought, hey, I'll step it up a bit, and I did and I'm doing pretty well thankyouverymuch (next progress report in 2 weeks, I know you're all excited!) BUT this comes with a downside too.
Cause, like, it's like, if I read a book that isn't something I can like 'tick off' any of my challenges (i.e. add a link to in some kind of category in the 'Current Challenges' section up there) I feel sort of disappointed about it, even though I probably really really enjoyed it (this was the case for, for example, Why Be Happy When You Could be Normal) and it's stupid and it SUCKS. And I realise it's just me and my brain being absolute idiots, but it's still what I do and I can't really help it. And thus I blame and resent the challenges, making me less likely to want to read a challenge book even though it brings me the gratification I desire in the end.
BASICALLY, I'm an utter moron.
So. I realise this is something that probably nobody else ever even has a problem with because they're normal and well-adjusted (hey, what's that like?!) and I also realise that I could just stop the challenges and just read whatever books I like (which I can do anyway. Because I'm in charge of my own reading and all) but, well, the whole point of the challenges was to like, shop my own bookshelves, which, to be fair, it has made me do. So actually what I need to do is to not be a crazy-daisy and just accept that the challenges are making me read more things and buy less (probably... I haven't been properly monitoring that, but I'm sure I've bought less books this year than I had at this time last year... maybe...) and that these are all good things, BUT if I need to read, say, War and Peace but I only got it this year, well, then, I need to read War and Peace (Note: I don't need to read War and Peace. Not yet. Crime and Punishment is going to be my Russian Literature for this year.)
So. I say all this, but who knows whether my mental brain can accept it or not? Let's just say that there will definitely be less challenges next year (maybe none) and that I still love my Stephen King 'challenge' beyond words (since the aim of that was basically to read all the Stephen Kings that I'd acquired and yet hadn't read yet. Totally working!) AND Let me also say that I'm taking part in another reading challenge!!
I know. Moron. Did we get that yet?
BUT listen up! Cause Frances alerted me on twitter to the fact that someone was doing a Fuck the Patriarchy Readathon, and hello, can I resist something with a title like that?! So, the readathon is not what we book bloggers would call a readathon, BUT it does involve reading 20 books that you haven't read before over July and August. Which I pretty much do every two months, only not quite, and so I've chosen short books to read and I should be fine! So basically, if you want to sponsor me then the justgiving page for the event is here and all the money goes to Rape Crisis, so, you know, that's a pretty great cause! Also, if you want to sign up to read 20 books in 2 months (go onnn, I know you can do it!) then you can do so here. AND, if you want to know what I think I'll be reading, here's my non-finalised but sort of accurate list (although, if you can think of any short-ish/easy books that are awesome, let me know them and I'll maybe substitute some of these. Maybe.)
1. Anthony and Cleopatra by Shakespeare (plays seriously take no time to read)
2. Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf by Edward Albee
3. The Second Sex by Simone De Beauvoir (literally the only long book on this list. And it is about fucking the patriarchy...)
4. Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe
5. Once There Was A War by John Steinbeck
6. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
7. In Love and Trouble by Alice Walker
8. The Invention of Solitude by Paul Auster
9. Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami (oh yeah, another long book... but Murakami!)
10. Neither Here Nor There by Bill Bryson
11. A Visit From The Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan
12. The Life of Charlotte Bronte by Elizabeth Gaskell
13. The Private Lives of Pippa Lee by Rebecca Miller
14. Beloved by Toni Morrison
15. Sputnik Sweetheart by Haruki Murakami
16. Needful Things by Stephen King
17. Gerald's Game by Stephen King
18. The Reader by Bernard Schlink
19. Postcards by Annie Proulx
20. Mildred Pierce by James M Cain
And yeah, I'm going to read these and hopefully make some money and, well, fuck the patriarchy by having chosen some (mainly?) books by and/or about women. And also a couple of Stephen Kings and Murakamis, but hey, whatcha gonna do?
Subscribe to: Post Comments (Atom)
I have been going through challenge reading guilt too! I'm battling with resenting the challenge for making be read certain books (that I picked out) and then being disappointed when I read a book that's not part of the challenge. Too. Much. Pressure. Good luck with your other challenge/readalong though! Sounds like it's for a very good causeReplyDelete
Exactly! And it's ridiculous, made up pressure because like, firstly yeah, we chose all these books, and SECONDLY, I literally own all these books! So obviously I want(ed..?) to read them all! It's so stupid. It's just contrary craziness! Thank you for the good luck! It is a good cause, and also I feel like, if I can read all of these, NO MORE challenge stressing cause I will have done such a good job!Delete
Seriously: NO more challenges next year. Except maaaybe the TBR challenge... Hm.
I cheat at challenges :/ Actually, I choose challenges to fit the reading that I know I do or usually do. It just gives me a little bit more incentive to read what I want rather than adding pressure. Right now in my life I need pressure to prioritize something that means a lot to me. Maybe someday I'll use challenges to "really" challenge myself but who needs that from books?? :pReplyDelete
See, the thing is, I never really know what I'm going to read next, so I'll probably just go for the thing I've most recently bought- so as an incentive to read the books I have owned for aaages, I thought challenges=the way to go! But clearly not. I feel like, at the end of the year when I've read all these books I'll appreciate the challenges (and, well, I have been until quite recently) but right now it just feels like MLEURGH. I'll probably be over this, like, next week hahaDelete
Er, yeah, I've been failing at the many...many challenges I signed up for. ALAS. But good job, you, tryin' to fix it. I think I've essentially given up.ReplyDelete
See, but I've been doing well! But resenting the challenges for it! It's literally insane! ps giving up is good. Go with that urge.Delete
Dude, I just finished reading Gerald's Game, so I'm excited to see it on your list! It seems to really separate the fans, but I freaking loved it and it definitely fits the fuck the patriarchy theme!ReplyDelete
Also, Things Fall Apart...gooooood book!
Oooooh, exciting! I tried to read it once before when, I think, I wasn't in a very S&M mood (I literally read like 3 pages or something, nowhere near enough to make a decision on it!) but I'm a lot more excited about it if you like it! (How sucking up is that?! I just mean... you like some good stuff! :) ).Delete
And another yay, cause that's a challenge book in another way as well, so I want it to be good! I literally bought it cause I liked the title and I know nothing else about it, so that's fun! :)
I signed up for a bunch of challenges too and I'm failing miserably... but the thing is I WISH I felt guilty about it because then it would make me attack those challenge books more, but instead I'm like "Oh I'm failing miserably at my challenges... Alright then." and go back to reading non-challenge books. I'm too lazy to care, lol.ReplyDelete
Good luck with this readathon thingy though and yay for it being for a good cause!!
I wish I didn't care! It would be much healthier hehe. I'm thinking, if I manage to do this 20 books in 2 months thing, I will have read SO many books that I can literally read whatever I want for the rest of the year. Plan? I think so! HeheDelete
I don't think you're alone - I think everyone gets bogged down by challenges. Especially newer bloggers/first time challenge people (not that you're either) - but it's one of those too much of a good thing is a bad thing situations.ReplyDelete
Hopefully you'll sort it out! Good luck.
I definitely think too much of a good thing is a bad thing in this case! It's just really irritating feeling bad for like writing a review that I can't like 'tick off' any of my lists, especially because, you know, reading a book is always a good thing! I'm just crazypants really!Delete
I no longer sign up for challenges because I never complete them. I have this bizarre thing where as soon as I decide to put a book on my list for a challenge, I promptly lose ALL INTEREST in reading that book. I have only ever completed one challenge, and that is one I co-hosted, Women Unbound. When I hosted a challenge on my own about re-reading books, I did not finish it. Oh, well :-)ReplyDelete
I HAVE THAT THING TOO! And I thought that, if I did a challenge where you don't have to pre-decide books but you just read books you already own then I wouldn't have that problem, but actually then I just resent ALL the books I own!Delete
Seriously, MENTAL PROBLEMS!
I love signing up for Goodreads challenges, plotting out all the books I could read for each prompt...and then forgetting all about it after a few weeks. Maybe the planning is the best part?ReplyDelete
Gah, if I wasn't moving/starting grad school this summer I'd be totally doing this with you. Great book list!
See, I don't know if I like the planning so much as the having done it... like, sense of achievementness! It's just the actual doing it that's the hard bit!Delete
You are NOT a moron. I have this exact same problem with reading challenges. I think it has something to do with me not wanting to do what I'm told...ever. The minute I HAVE to do something, I no longer have any desire to do it...even though it's something that I otherwise would gladly do. I'm stubborn beyond all reason.ReplyDelete
And I feel bad when I read books that aren't part of my challenges too! But I refuse to feel bad about reading The Sisters Brothers. I REFUSE.
Also...we're supposed to do a quarterly progress report for our challenges? I really...have not been doing that. I fail at more things!
Mary Mary quite contrary... Yeah, this is my LIFE. I like to call myself Mary when I'm being a particularly contrary asshole. Cause, yeah, it's like "ooh, all these books I have to read! Yay!' but then putting them in a challenge, I'm like 'I literally want to read anything else right now' because I'm an idiot!Delete
We totally don't have to do quarterly progress reports for challenges, I just do cause I like to see where I'm at (or not, as the case may be). But, because I compare this to like Alley's monthly reading stats, I'm like 'should I be doing this every month? OMG!' to which the answer is of course no because they're not even the same thing! I seriously have issues.
That is the most excellent challenge title! I am so looking into that...ReplyDelete
My problem is comparing myself to other book bloggers and seeing how much more than me everyone seems to read. So I don't do YA and I have a full-time job, I still feel like I'm falling behind somehow.
Yeah, we all have a little bit of crazy.