One happy discovery for me upon joining the blogosphere was the connection with fellow bibliophiles. There are countless book reviews and reading suggestions, as well as character references and theme dissections. Discussions are always enriching and inspiring, causing my books-to-read-someday list to grow ridiculously long.
Reading challenges are another facet of the blogging world. The challenges themselves are quite creative, from the 1% Well-Read Challenge—in which you read 10 of the top 1,001 books from 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die (Peter Boxall, ed.)—to the Books Into Movies Challenge—for which you read any two books that have made their way to the silver screen.
I’ve joined two such challenges so far: One was the Well-Seasoned Reader Challenge, which was designed to stretch your book selections based on various criteria for the book’s title. The other was the 24-hour read-a-thon I completed in April.
These blogosphere challenges have awoken a long-slumbering competitive vein in me—not to crush the competition, but to push myself to read and expand the sort of books I choose to consume.
So when my sister mentioned that she and her kids were joining a summer reading challenge again, I jumped in too. This one is old-school though: through the local library.
This challenge is called A.R.K.S.: Adults Reading Kids’ Stuff. There are various categories to complete, for a total of 25 books:
Juvenile Nonfiction (2)
Picture Book or Fiction (4)
Your Choice (4)
Monarch Award or Honor Book
Coretta Scott King Award or Honor Book
Series or Graphic Novel (3)
Rebecca Caudill Award or Honor Book
Caldecott Award or Honor Book
Beginning to Read or Easy Reader (2)
Newberry Award or Honor Book
Poetry or Illinois Author
And there are prizes! Incentives aren’t necessary to get this gal to read, but it does make it more fun. Who wouldn’t want a free cookie or milkshake? Cookies and books just go together, I think.
So my summer reading will be full of books that I wouldn’t have read otherwise. That’s what makes it a good challenge. Let’s just hope I pick some good ones! Feel free to drop some suggestions, as this is really not a genre I’m familiar with anymore.
And come back soon for more thoughts on ARKS and my progress—books reviews, reading suggestions, character references, and theme dissections. You know, all that good book stuff.