Monday, 26 December 2011

Reading Challenges

Australian Women Writers
As readers may have noticed, my initial reaction to the Australian Women Writers challenge's "top level" challenge being 10 books was flat incredulity.

There are reasons for this.  The main one being that my previous exposure to reading challenges has been through communities on LiveJournal such as "50books_poc" - a challenge to read books by authors of non-white origin - and the sister community "queerlit50" (books by authors who are not straight), where reading 50 books in a year is the aim, and is met by a lot of people.

Secondly, by the end of this year I will have read more than 75 books (actually, just added my 75th to Goodreads this evening), and that doesn't include those I didn't note on Goodreads (there's at least a couple).  Which means even if 50 books had been directed at a particular challenge focus, I've read enough books to do said challenge plus some to spare.

Thirdly, when I first heard of the challenge, I started a bookshelf on Goodreads for the challenge.  I didn't add any books - all I did was go through what was already in my shelves written by Australian women, that were not marked as read.  I had fifty within 15 minutes.

As an example, of the 75 books I've complete this year, I just did a count and 21 of those, just under a third, were by Australian women.  Now, I'll admit that 16 of those 21 (or over two thirds) are by one woman, Stephanie Laurens.  I know, I know.  But it's escapist reading, okay?

All of that said, I think my goal for the AWWChallenge for 2012 will be 40.  My total goal for the year is going to start at 75, and a side goal is going to be clearing out my On Hiatus shelf.  (This will be interesting, as there are currently 45 books "On Hiatus", only a few of which are by female Australian writers.)  Finally, as I still want to complete 50books_poc and Queerlit50 within a calendar year, clearly Queer Australian female authors of non-white backgrounds get top billing.  And now I'm trying to think of some...  suggestions, please?


A sidenote: I'm no longer a member of 50books_poc, however I continue to set myself the challenge to a) read 50 books by authors who are not white within a calendar year and, more broadly b) continue to be aware of the breadth of life experience among the authors I read.

1 comment:

  1. I've popped in here from Good Reads. I think it's great you're planning to read more than 10 books, I plan to as well, but I can totally understand why Elizabeh has set the bar relatively low at 10's a failry attainable goal and not intimidating which means it'll attract a much wider range of participants aiming for the high level which means the challenge - and Aussie women writers - will get talked about in more places. And I'm sure no one will get told off for reading more than 10 books :)