Book Bingo Challenge - some concluding thoughts

Author: Anne

Date Published: Feb 26th 2017, 7:37pm

I have now finished my Book Bingo Challenge. I had 25 squares to fill and I have read and blogged about all 25 books I read (and mentioned in passing one I didn’t finish). I had hoped to finish the challenge in three months and actually completed the reading in just over that – I started at the beginning of July and finished the last of the books on 8 October – not bad ! It has taken a bit longer though to write and publish all the blogs.

I like book challenges. I find that they make me read different books from those I would normally choose for myself. I enjoy, within reason, having my boundaries widened and I have found some brilliant novels in the past this way and broken down some self-imposed reading barriers. I also made a point with this challenge of trying to include some books that have languished unread on my shelves for some time, often because they were a bit longer than usual – the longest was over 800 pages and several had more than 500.

I challenged myself earlier this year to read 26 books each with a title starting with a different letter of the alphabet. That was fun and I spent a lot of time finding the titles which was part of the enjoyment for me. I also read books in translation during the month of June which I did find made me read books that I might not otherwise have tried. This Book Bingo Challenge has made me do the same and I shall maybe consider doing a similar thing next summer..

I like to have a target in my reading although I am very aware that this is a personal trait (I have a bit of an obsessive and competitive nature). I certainly don’t think that everyone has to do the same and nor do I think that anyone else has to read different books from their normal diet – I think that everyone should read what and how much they want. I read a blog recently (and many apologies but I failed to note the author) commenting that book blogging and reading was becoming very competitive – I am only competing against myself and then blogging about what I discover and enjoy for those who are interested. Lots of people have a very enjoyable reading life without challenges, blogging and reviews but those things have added real depth and enjoyment to my reading which is why I continue.

In this challenge I have read autobiography, biography, satire, history, a classic, travel writing, humour, literary fiction, poetry, a play and crime novels among others. Fourteen of the 25 books have been written by women and at least three by people from a very different culture than mine. The books have been set in the UK, Canada, USA, Ireland, Germany, France, the Caribbean and Afghanistan. Some have been set in the past and some in the future. I read most in print but three on my Kindle. I have given up on one and enjoyed most of the rest, to varying degrees.

It’s been fun – and also enjoyable to see what my colleagues Debra and Sara have read to fill their Bingo Squares.