In a bloggy and real-life first, I’m signing up to the Australian Women Writers 2012 National Year of Reading Challenge. I’ll probably be a “Dabbler” (more than one genre; concentrated in crime and romance fic at the rate I’m going) and am aiming to be at the “Franklin-fantastic” level (read 10 and review 4, with at least 1 more substantial review).
The last time I read for a challenge was in high-school and I was fundraising for something worthy. I’ve avoided them till now because:
a) the challenges never engaged me,
b) I didn’t like feeling like I was under the gun in my leisure time, and
c) I didn’t quite see the point of the challenge’s outcomes (when it wasn’t a straightforward fundraising read-a-thon-type gig).
So, what has changed?
Well, I’d have to say it’s partly Twitter and its ability to create instant cohorts, momentum, and connections that cut-across so many traditional social barriers. I like the idea of blogging alongside others who are doing the challenge and taking on their recommendations and suggestions. This blogging challenge format has been around for ages, and I’ve seen it used for projects such as book writing (e.g. NaNoWritMo, AcBoWriMo), crafting, baking, and other pursuits, and I’ve always liked peering vicariously at the results of others’ efforts. Thought it was time to step away from the sidelines.
Another reason that’s led me to take up the AWW2012 challenge is that, since I started commuting to the CBD and reading on my phone, I’ve churned through novels at a rapid rate. I read the entire series of ‘A Song of Ice and Fire’ (aka Game of Thrones series) – 5 novels – in an unhealthily short time because I was totally sucked into Westeros. I’ve also discovered Tess Gerritsen, finished all the Corinna Chapmans to date, read the biographies of Tina Fey and Simon Pegg (not to mention Gok Wan and Stephen Fry), consumed The Passage (Cronin) and am most recently reading Zone One (Whitehead).