Ultimate Popsugar Reading Challenge discussion

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2018 Challenge - General > I am the anti-list!

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message 1: by Catherine (new)

Catherine Stewart (catherine_stewart) I cannot make a list of books to read for this challenge. I think my anxiety would hit an all time high if I had to stick to a list or consult a list. This is mostly why I never join book clubs. I hate having to read things at certain times or follow lists. I think I'm gonna wing it. Read what I want, when I want, and see what I can tick something off the list. Am I the only one that approaches the challenge this way?


message 2: by Edie (new)

Edie | 58 comments I'm not as hard core anti-list as you are, but I don't plan ahead. I leave myself open to read what I want. I am in a great book club which has wonderful discussions, so those are assigned, but don't feel so to me. Then I look at my TBR list (over 400 books and counting) and see what I feel like reading and what prompt it might fit... and reserve it at the library. This works well for me, although I did have some "have to" read books in December to finish off a couple of challenges.


message 3: by Susan (new)

Susan (yetanothersusan) | 45 comments I have several books in mind for prompts and will gladly check off prompts when I read a book that works. I figure I won't even worry about tracking down books for prompts until October or so. I'll see where I am and see how much I care! lol!


message 4: by Maureen (new)

Maureen | 7 comments I feel the same way about book clubs. I like to change up my genres and may not be in the mood for what they want me to read. The challenge works better for me because I can pick and choose as I go through my TBR list. I didn't finish the 2017 challenge but Oh well.


message 5: by Tara (new)

Tara Bates | 1008 comments I am the same. I do have a few books in mind that I want to read and a general idea of where I’ll put them but the first year I did it I planned it all out and by November I was burnt out and it felt like homework! So now I will look at ones that might be difficult by around April so I have time to slog through any big or hard ones or find difficult to fill ones, but mostly I just read what I want and find places to put the books.


message 6: by Jacqueline (new)

Jacqueline | 381 comments I don't have a plan as such. I slot books into prompts and some prompts might have a few books in them and some might satisfy more than one prompt (and yes I'm only satisfying one prompt per book). It's more for an indication of where they might fit rather than a rigid "read this book for this prompt". A basic guide if you will. I might find another book for that prompt altogether that I didn't even think of earlier.


message 7: by Catherine (new)

Catherine Stewart (catherine_stewart) I'm glad I'm not the only one. I wish I liked lists but I don't. My reading palette is so diverse. I will read anything from mindless smut to the biggest most complicated books I can find. I love to challenge my brain and I also love to zone out. But I like to choose based on how I feel in the moment. Right now I just finished The Pillars of the Earth and I'm currently reading Philippa Gregory's Plantagenet/Tudor series and on my kobo I'm reading Calender Girl series at night for some light sexy fun! I usually have 2-3 books on he go at any given time all different genres. 😊


message 8: by Becky (new)

Becky | 8 comments I'm the same way. The first time I tried the challenge I went through for hours and gave each prompt a book and a back up book. And then went through a panic attack when I realized I didn't wanna actually read what I had chosen. Now I just choose a book that sounds interesting and look for a prompt that works for it or chose a prompt I wanna read and find a book. I can't plan ahead anymore it just makes me so nervous and I think the first time it just completely burnt me out to where I refused to read.


message 9: by Gabi (new)

Gabi (eeclayton) | 30 comments I don't plan ahead much, either. If I made a list of books to read, to me it would feel like compulsory reading at school -- no thanks. I have a few books in mind which might work for some prompts, and there're some books I'll definitely read regardless of the fact that at the moment I have no idea where they will fit.


message 10: by Conny (new)

Conny | 130 comments It's funny: when I did my first PS Reading Challenge in 2015 I thought I'd approach it the same way. I didn't want to be tolf which book to read, I wanted to choose freely. However, as my TBR pile grew larger and larger and I still kept getting new books and ignoring the pile, I found it was a great way to really look and consider what I already had. There is something deeply stisfying about ticking off items in a list, and I managed to match almost 90 % of the prompts to books I already have, waiting to finally be read. And I can still choose which prompt to complete next, plus, there is no law against interrupting the challenge and read something non-related in between if I feel like it^^


message 11: by Theresa (new)

Theresa | 1706 comments I do a list but that's just a way of 'making a pile of books' to read that fulfill prompts. Since a big part of my goal is to read books from my extensive print and ebook personal library, advance work is needed to identify specific books. This also helps me scatter tougher reads throughout the year.

However, it is by no means writ in stone. Indeed, many sudden reading impulses will disrupt that 'list' throughout the year! In fact, I still have a few books in a stack that I originally intended to read as part of 2016 challenge, not just 2017!


message 12: by Brandyn (new)

Brandyn (brandy_k) | 82 comments My end of the year actual list has very little in common with the beginning of the year plan. Doing the research for the prompts to create a plan puts so many books I was unaware of on my radar that I find it a fun exercise.

Although this year I forced myself to make a plan using entirely books I already own, even though I know I’ll fill in prompts with library books as the year progresses. I hope it helps me winnow down my owned TBR a bit.


message 13: by Nicole (last edited Jan 01, 2018 12:05PM) (new)

Nicole | 77 comments I'm making a list, but I have several choices for each prompt and I'm not being super strict about any of them. If something more interesting comes along that fits a prompt, I'll read that instead of what's on my list. I just want to make sure I don't get stuck and have ideas for each of the prompts.


message 14: by Chinook (new)

Chinook | 731 comments I did it completely no list in 2016 and didn’t finish. Then I went no list for six months and then slightly more list-like (I’d put several books on hold per prompt on Overdrive and then read things as I felt like it when they came up) for the next six and finished in 2017. This year I have a third challenge, so that one I have a list but there are anywhere from 1-10 options per prompt on it, and pop Sugar and Book Riot I will just free read until summer and then reevaluate.


message 15: by Rococo (new)

Rococo | 1 comments Rather than try to hold myself to a strict list, I came up with 3-5 options for each prompt (yes, it was time consuming... but will hopefully pay off.) I feel like this will leave more space for spontaneous mood reading, which tends to be when I enjoy reading the most.


message 16: by willaful (new)

willaful | 38 comments I enjoy fitting what I'm reading into prompts -- my all time favorite reading challenge was BINGO based, and I loved finding ways to make my books fit. But I'll also search out books for an interesting prompt and get some new reading ideas that way.


message 17: by Marisa (new)

Marisa Bisaccia [book whisperer] | 194 comments Last year I loved making a list for this challenge. It opened me up to reading outside of my comfort zone but, this year I am not impressed with the list. It just doesn't seem that exciting to me. I think I am going to change out a few of the topics that I do not like and then go from there. I did make a yearly goal to hit 40 books this year so I think that is going to be what I am mostly focusing on this year. I am just really not a fan of this list. Like I said last year it was a lot easier to find books for each prompt. I wasn't dreading trying to do this, like I am this year.


message 18: by Jeanna (new)

Jeanna I usually fail when I make a list which is why I'm approaching this one differently. Just read and see where it fits! I also enjoy that you can count books you've already read which feels like less pressure to me. I've promised myself 25 books this year but hopefully I will be able to read more than that.


message 19: by Nikki (new)

Nikki | 3 comments One of the things I've most enjoyed about doing the PopSugar challenge for the last few years is the flexibility. It makes me expand my reading without actually telling me what books I'm allowed to read - I do not deal well with imposed book lists! Mostly, I can fit books I was going to read anyway to the prompts, which can be very entertaining, and then I can go looking for books that fit the ones I didn't automatically have but that I genuinely want to read. I also give myself a pass on 4 general prompts if I can't or don't find anything I really want to read. I love reading, and it should be a joy not a burden.


message 20: by Cendaquenta (new)

Cendaquenta | 692 comments I'm taking it easy with this challenge. I did make a list, but it's all books I already had, that happened to fit a prompt. There's some prompts I didn't have a book for or don't interest me, so I just won't do those.


message 21: by Johanna (new)

Johanna Ellwood (jpellwood) | 232 comments I write down several possibilities for each prompt. Sometimes I have the same book several times. Sometimes I check the book off for one prompt, but then find another book to read (not on my original list) and it bumps the other off. I do try to get all my books fit into a category.


message 22: by Katie (new)

Katie (wifeofbook) I'm using the challenge to widen my reading and try genres and topics I don't normally read...such as sport or books set at sea.
I don't plan to worry too much about ticking everything off by the end of the year, so long as I've read some books that I wouldn't normally have chosen, I'll be happy!
I am the same as many others on this board, I don't like being told exactly what to read either!


message 23: by Melissa (new)

Melissa (mageofmip) I attempted to make a list, but since my immediate TBR lists tend to be subject to the whims of my library's "new arrival" shelves, I decided it would be better to approach it the way you are instead! I will pick up a book and see if I can tick off a challenge with it. That way I'm not forced to read from a list, and I can prioritize the books I check out from the library.

However, I will probably still use the challenges to find specific books I wouldn't have necessarily picked up otherwise, but those are more back burner plans, while I read books I'm excited for first.


message 24: by Ruth (new)

Ruth Lanton (ruthla8) | 148 comments That's how I always do it. I find a book I enjoy and then see which challenge(s) it fulfills. Later in the year, I'll go to the library with a specific prompt or two in mind, and search the shelves looking for a book that fits it/them. It did help me find some books that were really fun reads.

Last year, I did end up reading a few picture books to fulfill some prompts that I was otherwise really stuck on (audiobook, book set at a holiday other than Christmas, and a book you loved from childhood, but I didn't think it was "cheating" for that particular prompt.)

I make absolutely no attempt to read books "in order" of the prompts! The numbers are just there to make it easier to find the prompt later.


message 25: by Kelly (new)

Kelly (kelly_) | 5 comments I usually pick a few books that fit specific prompts that i planned to read anyway, then as I get through those, I pick out another 3-5 books that work and keep cycling through. I didn't come close to finishing 2017 though, but I had lost interest in it by the end of the year.


message 26: by Agnès (new)

Agnès Denie I'm sort of in-between-ish. I do have a bunch of prompts that I know which books to read for, and that may or may not pan out hta tway. Otherwise, I keep the pdf of printable on my phone for when I browse the shelves at the library to see if anything strikes my fancy.


message 27: by Leona (new)

Leona (mnleona) | 195 comments I am using suggestions and taking books from my book shelf I need to read.


message 28: by TR (new)

TR I usually just read what I want and then see where/if it fits somewhere. As the list narrows down and it gets closer to year's end I might get a little more picky, depending on how badly I want to finish, how close I am. But I don't plan it out in advance like I've seen some people do.


message 29: by willaful (new)

willaful | 38 comments Planning what to read in advance is a sure way to make me not want to read it.


message 30: by Agnès (new)

Agnès Denie willaful wrote: "Planning what to read in advance is a sure way to make me not want to read it."

(potentially off-topic: I listen to the "Happier" podcast and they use a personality typology, whereby they sort people into obliger, questioner, rebel, upholder. I think a bunch of people here would be considered rebels, whereas listmakers are obligers or upholders)


message 31: by Angela (new)

Angela (junethebookworm) | 6 comments I've got titles tentatively selected for about a dozen of the prompts, but I plan to follow the same basic plan I did last year -- read pretty much whatever I want during the first few months of the year and try to fit them to a prompt if I can, then as time starts running out and the list is getting narrower, actually have to pick specific books that fit!


message 32: by Sara Grace (new)

Sara Grace | 123 comments This is my second year doing the challenge. I don't make a list of books I'm going to read, only book ideas. I finished the challenge fine without a clear list. I'm to indecisive to make it that strict.


message 33: by Kristin (last edited Jan 21, 2018 03:53AM) (new)

Kristin (trickpony1820) | 68 comments Angela wrote: "I've got titles tentatively selected for about a dozen of the prompts, but I plan to follow the same basic plan I did last year -- read pretty much whatever I want during the first few months of th..."

That's how I did it too because there are so many books I want to read, and sometimes I don't know a book will fit a certain category until I read it.


message 34: by Harshmi (new)

Harshmi | 13 comments I have a huge TBR pile and I usually just read books off of it as per my mood and try and tick the boxes in the challenge if I can. I have never been able to make a schedule and stick to it. I usually just wing it.


message 35: by Molly (new)

Molly King (mkaudio) | 6 comments I made a list of books to read for each topic then went ahead and read the next 3 in my TBR list and they managed to fit in categories so I just Modified the list


message 36: by Heather (new)

Heather (heatherbowman) | 715 comments Agnès wrote: "willaful wrote: "Planning what to read in advance is a sure way to make me not want to read it."

(potentially off-topic: I listen to the "Happier" podcast and they use a personality typology, wher..."


I'll happily be called a rebel!! Like a lot of people here, I read what I want and find a category for it later, even if it's a stretch. I want to do the challenge to grow as a reader (and a person, if the books are inspiring), but I will not be forced to read within a strict list or someone else's definition of what a prompt means. The prompts I struggle with the most are the unambigous ones. True crime, for example, is one I'm going to whine about all year. The only prompts I've pre-filled are TBR (purchased and sitting my bookcase) and group reads.


message 37: by Johanne (last edited Jan 24, 2018 06:43AM) (new)

Johanne *the biblionaut* | 1301 comments Heather wrote: "Agnès wrote: "willaful wrote: "Planning what to read in advance is a sure way to make me not want to read it."

(potentially off-topic: I listen to the "Happier" podcast and they use a personality ..."


I feel exactly like you Heather. But luckily I found a book called "the big booktheft" for true crime. Sadly for other people it´s only in Danish. But I´m so happy I found it: It´s about a man who worked at The Royal Library in Copenhagen through many years, and after his death it was discovered, that he had systematically stolen valuable, irreplaceable books form the library. My kind of True Crime :)


message 38: by Dottie (new)

Dottie Hall | 14 comments Another rebel here. I just wing it too. Thankfully I read fast and have plenty of time for it, so I can get sidetracked and still have time to get back on course.


message 39: by Allegra (last edited Jan 24, 2018 07:24AM) (new)

Allegra | 36 comments Heather wrote: "Agnès wrote: "willaful wrote: "Planning what to read in advance is a sure way to make me not want to read it."

(potentially off-topic: I listen to the "Happier" podcast and they use a personality ..."


I agree completely. I'm another non-planner--obviously, if you knew my life. Some of my best reads are books I find while relaxing in the stacks. My reading groups make "suggestions." I use my lengthy TBR shelf as a memory prompt, not a To-Do list. About the only thing I quasi-plan is my "Annual" read, which started as a way to spread out the fun of a great series, but this year will be used to attack Moby Dick (which is why I knew how to fill in the Sea prompt). Besides, if timing gets tight, I want the option to move to novellas.
Three cheers for spontaneity!


Anne - ReadingfortheWeekend | 1 comments I'm not a fan of these prompts. I'm going back to the 2016 list because I feel those aren't as constricting as these prompts! "Nordic noir" and "true crime" and "a book with song lyrics in the title" are just genres/too specific of things I won't find. To the past I go!


message 41: by Kim (new)

Kim (kmyers) | 97 comments Six weeks in I've completed 23 prompts, with just 2 chosen specifically to meet a prompt. As many of you, I've been reading what I want and finding a prompt that it meets. But I think at least 25% of the list will require advance planning, if I want to complete the challenge. Given that one of my reasons for joining was to push myself a little out of my comfort zone, I'm okay with that.


message 42: by Lily (new)

Lily (joy1) | 61 comments I love this discussion, even if I didn't read all of it! It felt like it was about reality.


message 43: by Isaiah (new)

Isaiah (jugglingpup) I switch between planning and flying by the seat of my pants. There are books that I pre-plan if they are super specific or outside of my normal realm of crazy reading, but I try and have a few options that meet that challenge so I can read a book I really do want to read. What little planning I do is not set in stone. I often throw it out the window by going to the library.

I just found out about this reading challenge today on Facebook actually. I just started plugging books into it and found I read 25 that fit into the prompts without any planning.


message 44: by Debbie (new)

Debbie Phillips (debbie_phillips) I have a list of books I have read, paper copy, and I have a list of suggestions. I read what I like when I like and if something comes up that isn't on my list I have the freedom to read that instead of one I thought I might read. I like having a plan, for most of the prompts, but I don't always follow the plan.

I am in a book club at the library where I work and I fit those books into my challenge if they fit. The book club and this challenge both really open me up to books I wouldn't read otherwise and keep me from getting in a rut and I like that.


message 45: by Brooke (new)

Brooke | 273 comments Last year was my first year doing a reading challenge like this, and I got really excited about planning. I have a very large number of books on my shelves and Kindle and thought the challenge would help me reduce the number of titles on my TBR. (Wishful thinking on that one....my TBR is probably double in size in just a year because of all of the great recommendations from Goodreads.) Anyway, because I love planning and organizing, I came up with at least 2 options for each prompt. But by the end of the year, only about half of the prompts were crossed off by books on my original plan! The same was true for my Around the Year challenge.

This year I decided to list a few options for the prompts that didn't immediately bring to mind a title that would fit, but other than that I did no planning. Last year taught me that while I love planning and making lists, I am a mood reader and don't like it when I have no choice but to read a certain book. So far I've been able to read what I want and find a prompt that will work, but as the year goes on I'm sure it will get tougher to do it that way. Until then, I'll continue to read a title and then find a prompt that fits.


message 46: by Tricia (new)

Tricia | 119 comments I usually pick books for the prompts I know will be harder to find books for (eg the allegory category this year). The rest I can normally fit in around them. The favourite categories from previous year prompt is almost like a wild card. I hope they have that again in future years.

I usually finish the challenge pretty early so if I want to read a book and it doesn't fit a prompt I will just read it and not worry too much about it.


message 47: by Heather (new)

Heather (heatherbowman) | 715 comments How is everyone doing with avoiding lists?

So far, so good for me. My owned books are on my list, but I've checked out plenty from the library and bought a few I wanted to read right away. I've been surprised at the categories where I put some of my books. I didn't use a murder mystery for "a book about death or grief" and I didn't use a sci-fi book for "set on another planet." I'm trying to fill the harder-for-me categories first.

Some of the prompts will be tough without a little bit of intention. This week I read a book with song lyrics in the title. I definitely had to hunt that one down. I felt like checking off that category early, and I found a fluffy book that sounded like a nice break from the heavier plots I've been reading.


message 48: by Ellie (new)

Ellie (patchworkbunny) | 1156 comments Heather wrote: "How is everyone doing with avoiding lists?

So far, so good for me. My owned books are on my list, but I've checked out plenty from the library and bought a few I wanted to read right away. I've b..."


I'm on my 13th book for the challenge, although I guess it's a lot easier at the start to slot books in. Sometimes I'll have picked up a book thinking it isn't a challenge read and by the end I've picked a prompt for it. I'll take stock of where I am in July and might have to switch to a list if it's all turned to chaos!

To be honest, hanging out in the group is helping me realise I have loads of books for many of the prompts I thought would be hard.


message 49: by Candice (new)

Candice This is my first time reading the PS challenge. I would describe myself as a rebel. I read what I want, when I want and then look for a category. I’ve only now been reading books that don’t fit my remaining prompts. Some jumped out at me that I thought might be difficult. I read FallenFallen for a book with a song lyric in the title. I have several songs in iTunes with that name. Occasionally, I search for a specific book to fill a prompt but not every time. I just recently purchased an ebook that was written by two of my neighbors for the local author category. The prompt discussions on this forum are helpful and I’ve added a bunch of book ideas to my “to read” shelf. It’s definitely giving me some ideas and exposure to other genres. Good luck and have fun!


message 50: by Ruth (new)

Ruth Lanton (ruthla8) | 148 comments Heather wrote: "How is everyone doing with avoiding lists?

So far, so good for me. My owned books are on my list, but I've checked out plenty from the library and bought a few I wanted to read right away. I've b..."


So, out of curiosity, what DID you use for "set on another planet?" I used a fantasy novel that clearly takes place somewhere other than Earth where a form of magic is real.


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