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How do you challenge your reading?

2020-03-16

Do you set reading goals for yourself? Every year since 2014, I’ve set a myself a goal of reading a certain number of titles. What I read can be anything and it usually ends up being a mix of comic books and fiction for all ages.  

This year my goal is to read 70 books, but I’ve been really motivated to read this year, so I’ve already read 29 books. I’m quickly working my way through books 30 and 31. Like most years, I suspect that I’ll surpass my reading challenge, which got me wondering: am I really challenging myself? 

For the last few years, it feels like I've been reading all fantasy all the time. I love being transported to a different world (especially these days), joining a hero on an epic quest, learning about different magic systems, and encountering magical creatures. Every once in a while, I’ll pick up a science fiction title or a contemporary teen novel, but I hardly ever read literary fiction, mysteries, or romance.  

Should I be challenging myself to read outside of my comfort zone? Should a read one book from a different genre every month or even dedicate an entire month to only reading within a certain genre? Either option would certainly help me to have better reader’s advisory conversations with you at the library, but I worry that I wouldn’t enjoy my reading time as much.  

Do you challenge your reading? If so, how do you challenge yourself? I’m looking for your great ideas and challenges so that I can become a better reader.