I made the decision this weekend not to finish any challenges for 2009. Actually, the only one I had to finish by the end of December was the 9 for ’09 Challenge challenge. I had only one book left to read, but I had five reviews left to write, and I realized: my heart was not in it. I seem to be in a bit of a reviewing slump. I am reading every chance I get, but when I finish, my main impulse is simply to pick up the next book. I have started and stopped reviews for Hummingbirds, Norwegian Wood, The Poisonwood Bible, and Reading Like a Writer. All of these are good books–each in its own way–but I can’t seem to string together the necessary coherent sentences to tell you why they are good and why you would not be wasting time if you read them.
In addition to dropping the 9 for ’09 challenge, I have also decided not to go ahead with the 1% Well-Read challenge, which is to finish in March of 2010. I’ve also decided that I will not join any challenges in 2010, not even the Flashback challenge (re-reading some old favorites) although I have already prepared a list of books I want to revisit in 2010 (which I am reluctant to share, just in case I change my mind!). My reading style is simply too haphazard, something I have lately come to appreciate. It’s a bit like setting off on a road trip without a map. It’s more fun to read whatever strikes my fancy and share thoughts as they occur.
It makes me a bit sad, because I like the camaraderie challenges provide. I love joining and making the lists, seeing what everybody else is reading. It also seems like a good way not to get lost in all the shuffle, because there are so many of us book bloggers out there. Challenges ensure we at least have a few people to talk to, some old friends and some new ones. It feels terrible, though, to start something and not finish it, and I have other areas I feel need more focus in the new year, like writing. Thanks to all of you out here who host and participate in challenges, though–you all make the blogging world that much more fun.