Sunday, July 27, 2008
The Sunday Salon: Google Group; Challenge Woes
Today I bring you two topics that are barely-related to one another. The first is that I'm announcing (or announcing again) the creation of my google group, Reading With Becky. I did post this earlier in the week, but since TSS *may* bring in a few new readers, I wanted to take this opportunity to promote it. If you've joined, by the way, this is something I encourage. Promote, promote, promote! There is a little box on the right-hand side of the blog that should allow you to join the group--or express interest in joining the group. (It is moderated, so your membership would be pending until I approved.) Or you can email me at and I'll send you an invite.
What is the group? Why should you join? I originally started the group and had it on WordPress as a blog. Participants would join in by commenting. But it wasn't so user-friendly, and it was really really limiting as far as how "group" an activity could be. The google group makes it very user-friendly, and very group-oriented. The new group will be less about me, and more about you! Our August selection is THE ACCIDENTAL TIME MACHINE by Joe Haldeman. And our September/October selection is tentatively The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas. This hasn't been put to a final vote yet, but it is the title getting the most attention at the moment. If you like discussing books in a very casual-non-threatening way then you should consider joining. You don't have to participate in every group read in order to join. But you can join in on as many as you like. I mean for the group to be just casual chatter amongst friends.
Now to transition....
Challenges. Reading challenges. I'm addicted. Are you? I've already begun to think about 2009. I'm really trying to figure out the plan. Or perhaps for the melodramatic THE PLAN. You see, I've committed a bit too much in 2008. To the point where I'm beginning to question my sanity. To the point where I'm thinking that I should never be allowed on the computer unguarded. It's too late for 2008. But it's not too late to save myself from this drama in 2009. I'm not saying I'm dropping out of the challenge world. I'm not. Have no fear. But for me to have committed to over seventy challenges in 2008...well...I think we can all agree that wasn't the wisest thing I've ever done.
So here are the rules I'm thinking about implementing for myself.
1) Just because I have an idea for a challenge doesn't mean I have to create and host it.
2) Just because I host a challenge doesn't mean I have to join it.
3) Just because I've found the perfect image to be a challenge button doesn't mean I have to create and host the challenge.
4) Just because a challenge has a cute button doesn't mean I have to join it.
5) I shouldn't join a challenge unless I've already got books that fit the challenge that I was already planning on reading at that time or in the near-future.
6) When I discover a new challenge, I should bookmark it, yes, but not join on the spot. I need to think about it for a few days at least and see if I really, truly need to join it.
7) I should not feel guilty for not joining a challenge even if it is a) hosted by a blogger I love b) a challenge that I've joined in the past c) a challenge hosted by a newbie that is just getting started.
8) Just because I've joined a challenge doesn't mean I need to go overboard with it. If it says six books, then I don't *need* to read twenty.
9) Just because I've joined a challenge doesn't mean I have to finish it.
So last night I was reading and I got distracted by a challenge idea. I went to my computer, went to my favorite imaging site, and created not one but two (or four really) challenge buttons. I then started to write a challenge post. I was almost finished with the post before I realized that I didn't have enough books in my tbr pile to complete the challenge without adding more books to it. And that is the LAST thing I need to do is to go out in search of more books at the library, online, or in the store. So I saved it, but restrained myself. Here are the two buttons I created.
The challenge would be to read a minimum of four--maximum of twelve--books written by women authors 1700-1900 throughout 2009. But most of the books in my TBR pile are for challenges I've committed to reading in 2008, but in all likelihood won't be able to finish. I just don't know if there is enough interest to have a challenge. This is when one and three come into play. Yes, I had an idea. And yes, I did without any extra searching on my part, have two images that make super-cute buttons (in my opinion) but is that really enough to justify giving birth to another reading challenge? If you should happen to like the idea for this one, then let me know.
I'm thinking about setting a horribly strict rule with myself. No more--absolutely no more--than 12 Challenge books per month. For a total commitment of 144 for the year. What that would mean is that I'd be able to a) read more 2009, 2008, and 2007 books. (I'm still playing catch up on 2007.) b) I wouldn't feel obligated to seek out extra books at the library "just because" they'd fit in great with a challenge. It's one thing to read a book because you WANT to read a book. Quite another if you read a book just because you NEED to read a book because it's on your challenge list. I have no problem with adding a few spontaneous (if genuine) reads to the list. Especially if I see books being reviewed on other blogs that I can't help myself with. But I don't like feeling I have to read something no matter what. This new restriction would NOT include group reads for my group.
© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews