Saturday, July 23, 2016

RW Update 6 and Melancholy

I am reading…
Twilight by Stephenie Meyer
City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
How to Love by Katie Cotugno
46/30 books finished

Girl reading
Flickr Credit: Pedro Ribeiro Simões
Reaching the end of my summer reading challenge has more melancholy moments than I expected.

Of course, I’d be lying if I omitted the fact that I’m excited. I really, really, really, really, really want to reread something by Mark Walden before the summer’s end. Probably Escape Velocity. Maybe Dreadnought. And let’s not forget to recall the feels present in Rogue. You have no idea how often I walk over to my bookshelf and allow myself to skim a page or two before replacing the book among its siblings. I’m getting to be desperate. Breaking my ban will be nice.

And that goes for other books, too. I’d like to reread Tesla’s Attic and Mothership and a few other works authored by guys. I can’t forget the unbelievable talents I’ll get to return to.

Then again, thinking about my TBR dredges up all kinds of regret. One of my goals this summer was to cut down on my physical TBR and I was very successful. As we speak, I only have two books solely authored by women that I haven’t read yet. And both will be rereads.

Breaking this ban means that if I want to work on my TBR, I’m going to read a lot of male-authored works. There’s nothing wrong with male authors, per se—there’s as much to adore in them as with anybody else. But I’m also wary. There are a few problems you’re more likely to find in books authored by white men and I’ll be undertaking those risks again. I’ve kind of being spoiled with such an interesting and enjoyable range of fictional women written by women. It’d be nice to keep that up.

(Admittedly, plenty of books I read this summer were disappointing, but the reasons are a little different.)

Ah, well. I’m sure it won’t be terrible. As much as The Odyssey and The Things They Carried may not be the stories I’ve grown accustomed to, they’re still worth reading. There’s always the library. My Kindle. School will be starting soon, and that brings its very own book list.

Still, I feel as though I’m going to have to lose touch with a system I’ve come to enjoy.

It’s funny. At the beginning of this summer, I doubted my ability to read thirty books by women because I wouldn’t have the willpower to stick to it. I was so sure that I’d cave and want to read male authors more. Now, at the end of this exercise, I’m looking at my diminished TBR and wishing I were reading women for another month.

Then again, I hear my rereads calling to me… Eight more days. I can do this.


Have you ever completed a reading challenge?


12 comments :

  1. It can be hard to maintain challenges that you make with yourself. If I challenge myself I always try to have a clear end goal and reason for challenging myself. I try not to do things just for the sake of suffering, haha.

    Glad that you saw enough value in your personal challenge to keep you going. It's never a mistake to broaden your reading horizons:)

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    1. Yeah, doing hard things for no reason can be a big mistake in the long run. Nothing will get done when that happens.

      Yep! And doing this has given me the desire to keep broadening those horizons in the future. :)

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  2. I have never really done a reading challenge. (except one lent when I was younger and more obnoxious and challenged myself to only read 4 books a week.) But this lent I think I want to only read non-fiction... I have a while to decide. I've really loved your updates for this feature, Heather! And I identify with that melancholy--not with reading challenges, but with other things in my life, where you force yourself to do something and it's that much more wonderful than you expected and it's like taking a break from the rest of your life and should never end because then normality will return.

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    1. Only four? *giggles* That's interesting, that you'd choose Lent for a reading challenge, although that actually makes sense. And yeah. I think it's a little bit like how other people feel about camp. But I never felt like that about camp, lol. XD

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  3. I try to read about a 100 books a year, which is kind of ridiculous, but it does help me to keep reading, even when I'm in a book slump.

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    1. That's a good goal to maintain! I'm glad it keeps you motivated all year long. :)

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  4. No, I haven't done any reading challenges. I guess I'm a bit of a mood reader? I don't have a proper TBR, just thoughts 'I should read this' which are forgotten unit the right moment arrives. But library books make me panic because I'm worried I won't finish them before I return them I then I get way ahead. Your motivation on this task was rather inspiring, and I think it's made me think about the female authors I read. *nods*

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    1. I do that without a reading challenge before me. XD Library books have a due date, which I think also helps motivate me, if necessary. I'm glad that my posts helped you think a little! (Not that you don't think most times, anyway.)

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  5. I'm glad you found this challenge was really enjoyable instead of just difficult. I've never done something of this nature, but maybe I would really like it. I think I can understand why it would be difficult to want to leave the safety of better representation for women. I find it frustrating when books by men feature women as trophies or toys or cardboard cutouts.

    Congratulations on doing so well! :)

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    1. Well, I would highly recommend it if you decide to give it a try! And yes, that's the deal. It isn't that women don't write women in such a distasteful light, but they don't do it so often, which makes swinging back to the majority rule is harder.

      Thanks, Liz!

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  6. Aw, I get what you mean: that bittersweet feeling of wanting two things at the same time that seem to conflict. On the bright side, you've found a lot of great female authors you can always return to when you get sick of the boys, lol

    I don't really do reading challenges, other than trying to read a certain amount of books in a year. I don't know, I guess I'm just kinda of a SeeBook reader: if I see a book I like, I read it (or at least stick it on the NEVERENDING TBR). But it's cool that you were able to stick with this challenge and try out other works. Hey, maybe you can make it (or something like it) an annual thing?


    Alexa
    thessalexa.blogspot.com
    verbosityreviews.com

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    1. That's true! There are definitely a handful of books that I know I can reread whenever my schoolwork gets me down in this coming semester. I am very glad of that.

      I get that, because I have a neverending TBR as well! It is overwhelming to say the least. I like the idea of making it an annual thing, though. It's definitely something I'd consider doing next summer! :)

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