Unless, that is, I can read 10 books before Sunday. Unlikely.
What is the Hub Challenge, you say? It’s put on by YALSA and their blog the Hub (I write for them, even as we speak I’m writing a post for Friday!). The goal is to read 25 of the books from YALSA’s award lists like the Printz, Morris, Best Fiction, Popular Paperback, etc. They are lots of options and you just have to get to 25 between February and June.
I figured I could do it because I can definitely read that many books in that amount of time. The thing is is that I’d already read a lot of the books on the list that interested me. I read Winger when it came out and Beauty Queens, Ash, Etiquette & Espionage, Far Far Away, etc. But you can’t count them unless you read them in the February to June time period. For the record, I think it’s a great challenge but I just needed more freedom! Freedom within a framework of . . . um books or whatever.*
So I’m at 15. If you add in the books that I’ve read previously – which you’re not supposed to do – I made it to 25 at least. I didn’t really want to force myself to read a bunch of books that I wasn’t super interested in just to finish the challenge. By the end it was feeling a bit summer reading list-esque to me. I found myself thinking, “You can’t tell me what to read! I’m going to read Cloud Atlas because I want to and it’s going to take me a long time. So THERE!”
In a previous life, or you know, like a few years ago, not finishing this would have really bothered me. Maybe now because I’ve let the perfectionistic side of me go a bit or just that I value my reading time a lot more but I’m feeling ok. I tried it and it did encourage me to read a bit more widely than I might. I probably wouldn’t have read Dodger which I really enjoyed and it really reminded me to read The Sea of Tranquility.**
Overall, I’m glad I attempted it but also glad I let myself have the choice to read other things like Cloud Atlas and re-read all of Laini Taylor’s books in preparation for Dreams of Gods and Monsters. I’ll mostly likely try again next year, but no promises on holding off on good books. I just can’t wait that long.
What about you? Does a reading list make you chafe and yearn for the freedom to read what you want? Tell me your woes just in time for the compulsory summer reading happening all around the country!
*Sorry. Sorry. Terrible undergraduate inside joke. Points for Gordon people!
**I also read that because of Jenny and her impeccable taste in books.