So I’ve reached the target in my book reading challenge for the year and it’s not even the end of October yet! I’m really pleased with myself for many reasons and I’d like to share my 5 reasons for doing a book reading challenge:
- Give your brain a break! I’ve made a big effort to stop at a certain point in the evenings (and at weekends), turn my screens off and read an actual book. This is huge for me. If you’re a fellow blogger reading this, you understand when I say that there’s always something to do and you can never quite switch off. If you’re not a blogger reading this, trust me, there’s so much more to blogging than typing a post and publishing. So to at least shifting my brain away from multi-tasking and take my head into another world regularly really makes a difference.
- Discovering new genres but not reading stuff you’re not enjoying. I got the reading bug again back in January when I discovered the facebook group Bookish Mamas. I loved the first few books we read and the discussions that followed but hit a stumbling block with one of them. I’m not to going to name the book here but by chapter 3ish I was having to read each paragraph, if not sentence, several times to ‘get’ it. I wasn’t enjoying it and didn’t see the point, so I didn’t persevere. I stopped. I gave up and moved on to something else. This meant that I was out of synch from the Bookish Mamas. I tried to short book to see if I could squeeze one in before the next month’s read but like I said, I was out of synch. But no matter, I carried on regardless along my own reading path!
- I haven’t had a glass of wine and chocolate every time I’ve sat down to read (seriously!). I know this is a cheeky random point to make but actually, it’s a big achievement for me so I’ve slotted it in at number 3 🙂
- Use your library instead of buying your books! One of the Bookish Mamas reads was Kirstin Thomas ‘The Great Alone’. I was lured to read this book and really wanted to but to be honest, I couldn’t justify buying the book, so I reserved it from my library and have done the same for several of my book challenge reads. This has egged me on to read more because of the timescale given to read a library book!
- Ditch the mini-series and turn the page instead! I’m up to season 3 (I think) of Game of Thrones and was hooked but since I’ve been reading again, I’d frankly much rather curl up with my book! And that means less TV, less ‘blue light’, less stimulation for my brain and better sleep. Note that I didn’t say more but ‘better’!
- It’s a win-win! So number 3 was a bit random… If you join a book group as part of your challenge, there’s a sense of community and if you don’t, you’re still doing yourself a favour by relaxing with a book!
Which have been my favourites?
Hands-down the best one I’ve read in this challenge and easily one of my best reads ever was ‘The Great Alone’ by Kristin Thomas. Life literally fitted around me reading this book in 2 weeks-ish. It’s not a short one either.
The house was more of a mess, tea was regularly fish fingers (well not really but you get my point), I didn’t speak to my family for the duration (again, not quite but humour me!). If I were to write a review of this book, which I’m not because I’ve never been good at reviews, I’d use words like gripping, tragic, warming, beautiful… I defy anyone to not enjoy this book.
The 2nd favourite one is definitely a tie between Tubing, How to Stop Time, The Secret of Nightingale Wood and This is going to Hurt. They’re all very different genres which makes it difficult to even justify ‘ranking’ them in my opinion. Should we even do that when they’re all words of art in their own right and genres? Tubing was one that I read earlier in the year when I was getting them from Amazon; it was a pre-ordered one that I’d forgotten about and bought on a whim to be honest. It arrived and I settled down to start it with a list of jobs to do but I still began reading and found it very hard to put down.
How to Stop Time was very clever and I loved the historical background and the London setting. Such an amazing book.
The Secret of Nightingale Wood handled depression/post-natal depression through the eyes of a child if I remember (it’s been a while since I read it!) but in any case, it was an easy read, had a good story line, if a little stretched at times and I remember thinking that was one of the best I’ve ever read (then along came The Great Alone).
As for This is Going to Hurt – Adam Kay the author deserves a medal for this book. I agree with the blurb – I laughed out loud, cringed and was drawn in to the unbelievable conditions that the NHS junior doctors worked and still work. I’m passionate about the NHS in the UK and will defend it to the hilt. Maybe this was why I got behind the book so much. Perhaps it’s because it’s in diary form and easy to read. Whatever the reason, it’s a must-read and I’m so glad I did. Our library has a rule that you’re not allowed to renew it either because it’s a popular reservation. I read it within a week!
How about you? What reason would you give to do a reading challenge? I’d love to know! Comment below or tweet me @AllSortsHere Thanks 🙂
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