The whole family have been enjoying the 2017 Christian Reading Challenge, all working towards different levels. Michael and I are both hoping to finish our last couple of books this week, Michael finishing the Committed level while I am planning to read the last on my list for the Obsessive level. All three boys have also read most of the books that they chose, and have all generally enjoyed the experience, and have certainly read a wide range of books as a result.
One of the highlights for me was having a certain level of structure as I chose what to read. This meant that I considered books that I would never have picked up otherwise, many of which were highlights of my reading this year. I usually read a fair amount of fiction and Christian books anyway, but I found that the non-fiction reading, especially some of the history books, very rewarding.
I've been up and down over the last few weeks about whether or not to try the 2018 version of the challenge in the new year (here). In the end, I have decided not to this year, but I may try something similar another time. I like the structure, but I think trying to fill lots of similar categories again straight away will be less fun without a break - and I want reading to continue to be something I look forward to! Furthermore, I am considering training for a marathon next year, which will probably mean I should plan to read slightly fewer books.
With this in mind, I am giving myself nine loose categories to shape my reading next year. I'm hoping that this will keep me from just re-reading Jane Austen, but make sure that I don't overly burden myself.
My rough outline for the year will be something like this:
5 Books recommended by friends/family
5 Non-fiction books
5 Christian books (theology)
5 Christian books (any)
5 Books I need to read
5 Books I want to read
5 Children's books
10 Fiction books