Wednesday, August 20, 2008

I'm with you, Chris!

We arrived home from a mini-vacation to Ithaca on Monday evening. We're off again tomorrow morning. Been hectic, all these mini-vacations. Packing, unpacking, laundry, repacking, trying to fit in school and lesson planning on the days we're home. So, I decided to just sit down for a few minutes and try to catch up with a couple of friends. Though I know it's hopeless to even dream of catching up with all the blogs I really want to. :(
(In fact, I'll probably have to do another "click all as read" maneuver by the time we get back from our next trip...though I really hate that idea.)

Anyway, having just read Chris's "...Not Adhering..." post, I thought I'd just jump on the bandwagon. I've been contemplating this idea for the past few weeks, too. I just have such a love/hate relationship with reading challenges! It's just so fun putting together possible lists and filling in lists with the books you get read. Seriously, I LOVE that part...not much excites me like making a good old list, after all. But the pressure. Ugh. I've gotten to the point where I've not let myself read something I really want to read just because it doesn't fit into a challenge. Talk about ridiculous!

So I quit. Sort of. And mostly.

For the sort of part, I just mean that I "officially" quit. But I'm still going to fill in books on my lists at my reading challenge blog when they fit. Maybe I'll even finish a challenge or two, but without the stress. And I'm still going to "unofficially" join new challenges that sound fun, too. I won't actually sign up...I'll just keep track for fun.

And as for the mostly part, there are a few I'm going to stick with. Annie's, of course. And Carl' way am I missing out on RIP or Once Upon a Time! And I'm also going to stick with Bellezza's Japanese Lit Challenge and Becky's 42 Challenge since I joined those blogs. And I'm going to stick with Becky's Celebrate the Author Challenge, because those books are all read-alouds with the boys, and they've loved being part of a challenge.

So thank you, Chris, for the courage to come clean! I've got to say, it feels mighty liberating, doesn't it?


Trish said...

Ha ha! Good for you Debi. I love making the lists as well and I do love reading the books (most of them), but I don't like the pressure AND not being able to pick up a book just because I want to read it. What to do, what to do. I think next year I'll start with a clean slate and take it really easy.

Have a great mini-vacation (again!). :) You guys have been going non-stop lately!

Nymeth said...

Noooo! Now I'll be left all alone in my craziness :P

Seriously though, good decision, Debi. If it was ceasing to be fun and becoming a chore, then quitting is the best you can do.

You know what I've been noticing? I love making lists, but if I stick to a list for too long, then I sort of get bored with it. The idea of reading the books listed no longer appeals to me, even though I know I'll probably still enjoy the books themselves when I get to them.

So what I think I'll do for next year, other than joining fewer challenges, is try to avoid year-long ones. The challenges I enjoy the most are the ones that only require me to read 3-5 books. That way, I can go through my lists while they're still new and exciting.

Rebecca said...

Oh my gosh,if I knew you were coming to Ithaca,I would haver insisted we get together!Pooey!

Carl V. said...

I can certainly understand this side of things and totally get what Nymeth is talking about regarding lists of books. The enthusiasm I have to read a book, or a certain pile of books, always wanes before I get through the whole pile and new books take their place in my enthusiastic eye. What I prefer to do with year long challenges, really, is simply to keep an eye open for those books I choose to read on whatever whim I am on that actually do fit in the challenge. That way I can have my cake and eat it too as far as those challenges go.

I too love making lists. I love taking and sharing pics of piles of books. It is always inspiring to share what I am reading and to in turn see what others are reading. But the reality is that I am not a 'stick to a list' type of guy which is why it is almost impossible that I will ever read an exact list of books for a challenge. I may hit the number, but I am lucky if one of those books on the pile or list actually gets taken care of!

Debi said...

Yep, that's exactly it. The pressure was killing me. And just having said that, I feel totally revived...and even excited to read some of those books I have on my lists. How weird is that?

"The idea of reading the books listed no longer appeals to me, even though I know I'll probably still enjoy the books themselves when I get to them."--I couldn't agree with you more. And despite the fact that I even realize that in my head, it doesn't stop me from feeling that way. There's just something about "having to" read a book.

Want to hear something silly? I swear I looked for you, and my other Ithacan blogging friend Melissa, the entire time we were there. And I kept thinking "What exactly am I going to say if I do see her?" Of course, it was silly to hope I'd see anyway, but it didn't stop me. By the way, Ithaca may just be the coolest town ever!

I think I've definitely learned that I'm not a "stick to a list" kind of gal either. But I do love the suggestion you made with your challenges in the past...making a book pool, instead of a rigid list. Kind of the best of both worlds. And you know, as fun as it is putting together lists, I think it may be even more fun reading everyone else's. Of course, that always makes my wish list grow even longer. :)

Megan said...

Way to liberate yourself from your challenges. They're all well and good and fun once in awhile, but when they get to be burdensome instead of fun, it's time to cut them loose. Hope you enjoy your newfound reading freedom! =)

Chris said...

Oh god...I'm a horrible influence, lol. I'm convincing people to give up now! Just kidding. I'm so glad I'm not alone in this to be honest with you! It had gotten to the point where I was stressed about reading and I knew that it should never be there, so this was definitely the right decision. I'm still doing like you though and scratching off the lists...just not "reading for challenges" now.

And don't worry Nymeth, you're never alone in your and Debi are still crazy..well er...I am at least :p

Carl V. said...

I don't know Chris, it doesn't sound to me like folks are 'giving up' so much as just trying to look at challenges in moderation. It is very easy to feel the pressure to don't want to hurt anyone's feelings...but we cannot join everything or we wouldn't have time to do something else. If things like this aren't taken on in moderation then they become a chore and reading, something we do for pure pleasure, becomes something that is no longer fun.

Rebecca said...

I'm trying to think if I actually left the house when you might have been in Ithaca LOL. Probably not :P Who is this other blogging Ithacan?? Introduce me!

And Ithaca WOULD be the collest town ever IF it was in a Southern locale where it didn't snow and get cold.Haha! One of my biggest fears about moving to another part of the country is that we we'll find the climate we're looking for but not nearly as nice an area,people and attitude-wise.

Kailana said...

I never read the books on my lists anyway, so I generally stay clear of reading challenges. Except for a few select few...

DesLily said...

Reading has always been a real enjoyment to me and I've never been a big "commit" person, so I can safely say I've never "over commited" to the challenges. But even the 2 I do (both Carl's) I make a "potential" list.. and then wind up choosing other books from reviews!

Bellezza said...

I am SO glad you're sticking with Japanese Literature 2 Challenge! :)

Dewey said...

I'm glad you're going to take a step that will make your reading challenges work for you! It's the perfect way to still have the fun of challenges without feeling the pressure. Though I have to say, I never personally feel that much pressure from challenges. I just figure I can be the slacker who makes everyone else feel good! ;)

I love what Nymeth says about shorter challenges, and maybe I'll make my own challenges shorter!

kreed said...

I'll believe it when I see it :) Had to give you a little bit of a hard time at least!

Jennifer said...

I know what you mean about keeping up - it just seems hard these days! Good decision about the challenges - when you wrote "I quit" I knew it couldn't be everything. Sounds like you have a handle on it. I hope you get to read more of the books you really want to now that you've taken the pressure off yourself!

By the way - you've been tagged!