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Past Reading Challenges > Reading Challenge Feedback (2019)

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message 1: by Carrie (brightbeautifulthings) (last edited Sep 04, 2019 07:58AM) (new)

Carrie (brightbeautifulthings) (brightbeautifulthings) | 329 comments Mod
We've officially wrapped up our first ever Summer Reading Bingo Challenge at Forgotten YA Gems! Whether you read one book or 24 for the challenge or you were just cheering on your fellow readers from the sidelines, I want to thank everyone who participated. We had so much fun with this, and we hope you did too!

If you participated, we'd love to hear your feedback on how it went. What would you change? Which categories were too challenging for repeat use? What categories would you like to see instead? Would you be interested in participating in the challenge again next summer?

We're also open to ideas for some kind of mini-challenge over winter break! What would you like to see at Forgotten YA Gems?


message 2: by Andrea (new)

Andrea | 106 comments Mod
I had a great time with the bingo 😊 I managed to complete the card and I read a lot of books I'd been postponing so overall it was a great experience!

However, here are some things to maybe have in mind for the next one:
• I think three months is excessive, because people tend to lose interest when events run too long. Half the time it would have been more of a challenge.
• Maybe offer different card sizes: not everybody can complete a 24-square card, but by offering cards of 6/12/18 squares people can complete their own card! I think it would be motivating 😊
• I liked almost all the categories, but the "last book in a series" was a bit weird for me. I managed because I read the Grisha trilogy in its entirety for the challenge, but otherwise it would have been difficult. Also, "banned" and "first person POV" were a bit of a drag.

But overall it was fantastic and I'd love to participate in more events like this one! Thank you for organizing it ❤


Carrie (brightbeautifulthings) (brightbeautifulthings) | 329 comments Mod
Oooh, I like the idea of having different sized cards with different time spans. A one month, two month, and three month card might be nicer (or, you know, pick the small card and take as long as you need to). I had a lot of fun and absolutely crushed my backlist, but I was definitely feeling burned out by the end. I've read way fewer books in September as an unintended backlash. I just can't seem to get into anything.

Hmm, yeah. We could leave some of those weirder squares for the larger cards. I like the series ones because I'm a control freak, and knocking off an entire trilogy (I did Anna & The French Kiss) was really satisfying. I really struggled with unreliable narrator. It's hard to know if a book has an unreliable narrator until you've already read it. 😂 Nonfiction and historical were hard for me too, though that may be because I picked the most sad and horrific books I could find. Hindsight.

Thanks so much for participating! I loved seeing everyone's progress. 💛


Carrie (brightbeautifulthings) (brightbeautifulthings) | 329 comments Mod
Hey everyone! We're gearing up for a second annual Summer Reading Bingo Challenge here at Forgotten YA Gems. We learned a lot from last year's challenge about what works and what doesn't, and we're taking some of your advice for this year.

Specifically, we'll only be doing individual challenges, since teams fell apart quickly last summer. Much as I'd love for this to be a more interactive challenge, it's simply too hard to coordinate. However, I was considering adding a Buddy Read square. Is that something you'd be interested in? I think we're also going to open the challenge up to any books rather than just backlist YA to make it a bit easier, although you can still choose to follow the group's guidelines if you prefer!

In addition, we're taking Andrea's advice and creating different sized cards/different time lengths for people who want to participate but can't commit to 24 books or an entire summer. We'll probably go with small/medium/large cards and give everyone the option to choose one-three months for the challenge. This way, it's more customizable to everyone's preferences.

Thoughts? Suggestions? The challenge doesn't start until June, so I'm open to more ideas while we're still in the planning stages! Are there any categories you'd like to see this summer?


message 5: by Raquel (new)

Raquel (mahayhay) | 50 comments I wasn't here for the last bingo challenge, but everything you've suggested sounds great! I really appreciate the different size cards to make it easier to read at my own pace, and I would also love if you opened the challenge up to all books.

I'm not sure if this would be too difficult, but if they'll be different size cards will there be multiple options for the smaller sizes? I'm just wondering how the categories will be split up between sizes?

For category ideas, I've really been enjoying the themes that have been coming up in our BOTMs (found family and authors of color). I wouldn't mind seeing them come up again, especially since I've been adding books I see on the polls to my TBR list.


message 6: by Marja (new)

Marja | 10 comments Raquel wrote: "I wasn't here for the last bingo challenge, but everything you've suggested sounds great! I really appreciate the different size cards to make it easier to read at my own pace, and I would also love if you opened the challenge up to all books.

I'm not sure if this would be too difficult, but if they'll be different size cards will there be multiple options for the smaller sizes? I'm just wondering how the categories will be split up between sizes?..."


I didn't participate last year because it felt too much of a commitment to try to read 24 YA books in one summer but I basically agree on everything Raquel said above. I'd definitely want to participate if can do a smaller challenge and maybe read non-YA books as well. I also like the idea of customizing the length of the challenge.


message 7: by Andrea (new)

Andrea | 106 comments Mod
Carrie (brightbeautifulthings) wrote: "Hey everyone! We're gearing up for a second annual Summer Reading Bingo Challenge here at Forgotten YA Gems. We learned a lot from last year's challenge about what works and what doesn't, and we're..."

You're taking my advice yay!! I feel so cool hahahahah

I think everything you've suggested looks great, the Buddy Read square sounds a bit weird for me but I'm willing to try!

Can't wait to see this year's cards :)


message 8: by Raquel (new)

Raquel (mahayhay) | 50 comments Oh yeah! I forgot about the buddy reading square.

I like the idea of a buddy reading square as I think it'll help kickstart more buddy reads for the group in general. I also think it'd be a great way for members to interact with each other.

That being said, I can see how it could be difficult if someone isn't interested in any of the buddy reading options, or if they can't find someone to buddy read a book with them. Maybe have two separate cards for each card size? One that has a buddy reading square and another that replaces it with something else? I'm not sure how much extra work that would be but it's a thought!


Carrie (brightbeautifulthings) (brightbeautifulthings) | 329 comments Mod
LOL you are very cool! It's good advice. 💛

Hmm. It shouldn't be that hard to make a couple different cards for each size, that way everyone has some say in the categories they're choosing. That won't make it unnecessarily complicated for you guys? Would you prefer to have different ones to choose from? I could try to theme them a bit, so there's a card that has more diversity squares, or one that encourages more buddy/group reading, etc. Then the people who always hated group projects in school don't HAVE to buddy read if they don't want to. 😂

So, possibly adding:
- buddy read
- found family

Here's a list of last year's categories:
- #ownvoices
- first person pov
- summer romance
- historical
- june botm
- july botm
- august botm
- unreliable narrator
- mystery/thriller
- illustrated
- nonfiction
- first book in a series
- last book in a series
- award-winning book
- lgbtq+
- one word title
- graphic novel
- fantasy
- ensemble cast
- paranormal
- disability/mental illness
- banned
- retelling/adaptation
- made into a film

I was thinking of dropping unreliable narrator, since it's hard to tell if a narrator is unreliable before you've read a book, and maybe limiting BOTM to two, tops. It almost killed me to have to finish Red Rising, and having to read all three doesn't give people the option to DNF books they know aren't working for them.

If you can, give me an idea of what you'd like to see/what doesn't interest you, and I'll try to come up with some cards that work for everyone. 💛


message 10: by Andrea (new)

Andrea | 106 comments Mod
Yes to deleting unreliable narrator and yes to two BOTM instead of three! It will give us some choice. I would also take out banned and last book in a series.

As to what I'd like to see, well, you have some great ideas! Other things I would like to suggest:
• Rom-com [instead of summer romance, that way the romance can happen anytime because I got crazy trying to discover a book with a summer romance last year hahahah]
• Feminism
• By an author of colour
• By a non-American author
• Recommended to you


Carrie (brightbeautifulthings) (brightbeautifulthings) | 329 comments Mod
Banned, historical, and nonfiction ended up being really heavy for me last year. Maybe a card for more serious reading, and one that's more geared toward lighter genres?

Definitely agree with switching to rom-com! I went loosey-goosey with summer romance and basically picked a rom-com whenever anyway. 😂

Ooh, I love those categories! Feminism and non-American would be awesome, and recommended fits in nicely with the buddy read/botm categories in trying to make it a more social experience. #ownvoices can also be applied to LGBTQ+, so I think it'll be nice to have a separate author of color category too.


Carrie (brightbeautifulthings) (brightbeautifulthings) | 329 comments Mod
Thoughts on these categories?

Chosen one
Anti-hero
On TBR forever
Given as a gift
Middle grade


message 13: by Raquel (new)

Raquel (mahayhay) | 50 comments Given as a gift will probably be hard since I personally don't receive books as gifts and I'm sure there are other people who don't either.

I can see anti-hero falling in the same category as unreliable narrator because you probably won't be able to tell until you start reading.

I think chosen one is cool, but I can see where it's so specific it doesn't allow for much leeway. Kind of like the summer romance category.


message 14: by Andrea (new)

Andrea | 106 comments Mod
Totally agree with Raquel on everything!


message 15: by Raquel (new)

Raquel (mahayhay) | 50 comments I have a question on the Summer Bingo Challenge. Does it go from June to August? I would love to participate but looking ahead to all of the summer challenges I'm a part of I'm worried that if it only goes for part of summer I won't finish. I know most summer challenges go all summer but I thought I would double check.


Carrie (brightbeautifulthings) (brightbeautifulthings) | 329 comments Mod
Last year, it ran from June to August! I think we'll give people the option this year to do one month, two months, or three months. That way, everyone can pick the timeline that works best for them.

I'll try to get some guidelines up in the next week so people can start preparing if they want.


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