Monday, July 21, 2014

BookTube-A-Thon Wrap Up Or, How I Reading Challenges Always Come Up at the Worst Times

If you were ‘round these parts last week, you’ll remember that I set a half-hearted BookTube-A-Thon TBR.  In my TBR post, I hedged my bets and made it clear that I knew I probably wouldn’t make much headway on my TBR; naturally, I lived up (or down, actually) to my expectations.  The only book I managed to complete was The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie, which I was two-thirds of the way through by the time the reading challenge began.  I did, however, begin reading Siri Hustvedt’s The Blazing World, which is an engrossing but not rollicking read.  As of today I am forty-two pages into the novel.

My latest TBR failure hasn’t put me off reading lists or reading challenges, though.  I’m a competitive, goal-oriented person by nature and these kinds of personal benchmarks as a strong motivator for me . . . even when my motivation is decidedly lacking.  However, this latest read got me thinking about the nature of these group reading challenges. Perhaps these types of literary sprints are best left to the young’ns.  Hear me out:

It’s hard to devote nine hours a day of focused reading when you have a job and responsibilities to home and family.  Free time is luxury good that is in short supply when you get older.  I’m sorry, I can’t participate in a reading sprint when, you know, I am at work helping nontraditional students format their term papers.  Soz, folks.

Also, has anyone else noticed that a majority of the people on BookTube who post about their epic week of five novel readin’ have usually read Young Adult novels?  Don’t get me wrong, I love YA lit more fervently today than I did when I was a teenager, but reading a YA novel is easier than reading literary fiction.  I’m not saying that literary fiction is better than YA, but you have to read literary fiction differently, slowly, in order to fully grasp the content.  So, really, forty-odd pages of Siri Hustvedt isn’t the same as forty-pages of John Green.  Sorry, it’s not. 

What would a literary fiction reading challenge look like?  What would the parameters be?

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