Where I Throw Up My Hands in Resignation and Yell, “I’m Giving Up!”

There’s no graceful way to post about this, so I thought I might as well let my Inner Drama Queen take over.

(If you have any pots and pans handy, feel free to bang on them and add to the general noise and ruckus.)

Are you ready?


So, what exactly am I giving up on?

My reading challenges.


So this is my official notice that I have totally failed at almost all of the reading challenges I’ve signed up for, and my declaration that I will be exercising more discipline henceforth when it comes to all the gorgeous, glorious reading challenges that I just KNOW will be coming up now that we are in the final quarter of this year and heading into the new year.

And I’m trusting all of you to hold me accountable. From now on, if I find myself accepting another reading challenge, I will include in my post all the reasons why I will be able to succeed, and if I can’t think of enough reasons, I will not accept.

See, it’s not even that I’m not reading the books that I challenged myself to read. The fact is, I don’t have a clue whether I am or not.

There’s no getting around it. I just have a tough time keeping track of the books that I’ve read. And when I write reviews, I can never seem to remember to check on my challenges and see if the book I’m reviewing fits into any of the categories.

Take J. Kaye’s 100+ books challenge as an example. I’m pretty sure I’m on track to meet my goals for this challenge, but for the life of me, there’s no way I can list the all the books that I’ve read this year – I just haven’t kept track and can’t remember them all.

So this post is my not-so-graceful way of admitting that I simply fail at reading challenges – even when I’m technically fulfilling the challenges, I’m still failing them.

Sad, but true.

From now on, I’m only going to take on challenges that I know I will be able to meet; yes, I know this rather defeats the point of challenges but so be it. I might, for example, tackle a Betsy-Tacy reading challenge if I come across one (I’m sure I will). Or an Anne of Green Gables rereading challenge. But that’s the extent of it. No thrill of discovering new-to-me authors for me, no ecstasy of reading newly published books, no triumphant reading-across-the-finish-line posts.

As for my current challenges, I am letting myself stick with the following challenges:

The Harry Potter Reading Challenge


The Sookie Stackhouse Reading Challenge

And now, as gracefully as I can after admitting to so many stupendous reading challenge failures, I will exit this post …

21 thoughts on “Where I Throw Up My Hands in Resignation and Yell, “I’m Giving Up!”

  1. Anastasia

    Keeping a list of what book you’ve read is pretty central to completing a reading challenge, yeah. 😀 I can’t even imagine not keeping track of just what I’ve read during the year; I think I just like making lots of lists!

  2. Stephanie

    I’m not very organized either, so challenges don’t necessarily come easily to me either. I don’t think I have enough structure or drive to be very successful with them, at least not 100% of the time. Right now I’m just participating in some laid back challenges (Fall into Reading and Clear off your Shelves) plus the RIP challenge.

    The only challenge I’m really having trouble with is the 999 challenge because I still have quite a few Joyce Carol Oates and classic books to read.
    .-= Stephanie´s last blog ..I’m a Day Late: Fall into Reading Challenge =-.

  3. Jen - Devourer of Books

    I’m bad at checking for my challenges too. I didn’t see if I’d completed my 999 challenge (81 books in 9 categories) until I’d read well over 100 books. Luckily I just had 1 category where I was short a book. I am pretty good at keeping track of what I’m reading in general, though. Nicki of Fyrefly’s Book Blog created a spreadsheet to track reading that I’ve been using for a couple of years and, let me tell you, it is amazing. I also color code the titles of the books I’ve read so I can tell whether or not I’ve actually reviewed them already. You can include audiobooks, set goals for number of books read, see graphs, all sorts of stuff!
    .-= Jen – Devourer of Books´s last blog ..The Tudor Rose – Book Review =-.

    1. Belle

      Jen, thanks for the link – that spreadsheet sounds amazing! I’m not sure I’m organized enough to stick with it, but despite being disorganized, I’ve always loved the thought of being organized!

  4. Violet

    I totally understand where you are coming from. Even though I do track my challenges, it’s becoming difficult. I add books read to my list, the moment I finish them, so thankfully I don’t have to remember them and then write them down, that would be really difficult.

    All the best with the 2 challenges that you are doing though :)

  5. Audrey

    I’ve never participated in a challenge for this very reason; BUT I’ve decided that I really SHOULD keep track of the books I read (to avoid rereading ones that I didn’t like – this has unfortunately happened a whole one time).
    I think in 2010 I am therefore going to be doing the opposite of what you’re doing.: signing up for as many challenges as possible in an effort to discover new books and keep track of what I read.

  6. Amy

    Sweetie…doing challenges/not doing challenges/beating self up over what hasn’t been done…..you don’t need to do this. I know you…..You can trust yourself to read or not read what you want. To blog or not blog what you want. And absolutely not to beat yourself up over any of it!!!! Plus I believe…at least for me…..reading is fun….not an organized sport 😉

  7. Barbara

    I vote with Amy. Reading is supposed to be fun. Otherwise why do it? When it becomes like a job, you need a break. If you like to make lists, keep track, but if you don’t, just go with the flow and enjoy reading. Besides, moody readers can’t predict what type of book they’ll want to read at any one time. Right?
    .-= Barbara´s last blog ..No Books in House! =-.

  8. Dorte H

    I think it is amazing when I come across bloggers who are able to tackle dozens of reading challenges. So far I have taken one challenge at the time – just about what I can handle. I want to blog & review books, but I also want to write so sometimes my blog, blog rounds and reading must wait.
    .-= Dorte H´s last blog ..Jo Nesbø, Headhunterne (2008) =-.

  9. Margot

    Yes, you are quite the drama queen. It was fun to read your rant. I’m glad by now you feel better. Let it all go. You are in the time of your life when there are so many other more important things. Reading should just be your release, your stress reducer. Don’t let reading add to your stress level. I love it when I can come over here and over you my advice. lol
    .-= Margot´s last blog ..My Favorite Reads: A Culinary Mystery =-.

  10. mee

    Funny thing, for me keeping track of the books I read and which ones count toward my challenges is one of my favorite pastime. There’s just an indescribable feeling of satisfaction that can’t be rationalized 😉


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>