I have seen quite a few reading challenges on social media in the few past days. A new year is coming and readers are posting their challenges on how many books they want to read in 2022. Or what types of books they want to focus on reading in the new year and so forth.
Well, I have decided on a different reading challenge for 2022. I will not buy any new or used books in 2022. I will be reading from my own shelf: both physical and digital. I’m beginning to realize that I’m becoming more of a book collector than a reader. I get it. We live in a culture that promotes and values what’s new. And the anticipation of something coming is much more interesting than something you already have. Unfortunately, many readers have enough books to read for quite awhile. I thought this type of challenge is worth pursuing and a great test for me.
I have only two exceptions to my reading challenge:
1) If someone buys you a new book as a gift (this was out of your control)
2) You get the book from the library (if you already have it as an eBook or audio book) and want to read the physical copy
The goal of this reading challenge is not to buy books ever again. Far from it. But, it is to take a step back and read what you have already and not something new. For example, I have several book twos in a series on my shelves to read like The Hidden Palace by Helene Wecker (the follow-up to The Golem and the Jinni), Shadowhouse Fall by Daniel Jose Older (the follow-up to Shadowshaper), Written in Starlight by Isabel Ibanez (the follow-up to the wonderful Woven in Moonlight), Bright Shards by Meg Pechenick (the follow-up to Ascending), & The Wizard by the late Gene Wolfe (the follow-up to The Knight) to name a few.
I’m looking to reading those books and many others from my own collection. I know this will not be an easy challenge because I have a couple of novels that are coming out next year I want to read. I decided to pre-order Kali Fajarado-Anstine’s Woman of Light & one of my favorite novelists, Guy Gavriel Kay’s All The Seas of the World a few days ago as not to buy them next year when they are released.
I’m glad that my friend Julie Strauss from Best Book Ever Podcast has decided to join me on this reader challenge. I discussed this challenge with her last month as we recorded a podcast about Octavia Butler’s Parable of the Sower. I’m looking forward to that podcast being aired in January. This blog post is now public record of that part of the conversation and hopefully we will both succeed in this challenge. If anyone else wants to join us, the invitation is open to you. I’m looking forward to it!