Reading Challenge Cheats


Setting a reading challenge is the easy bit.
  • Go to Goodreads homepage
  • Click on annual reading challenge
  • Pick a number of books to read for the year
  • Go to…
  • Read!


I’ve done the 100 book challenge previously as some of you know. When it was completed I vowed Never Again! Obviously, like those who experience the pangs of childbirth and then go on to deliver countless more sprogs despite the agony – I too decided to feel the burn just once more.

“So why put yourself through it?” I hear you ask.

“To encourage reluctant readers I teach by getting them to do a mini challenge of their own and compare notes. To see their excitement when they tell me they’ve finished a book I set. To read, just for the love of reading. And because I’m just a little bit crazy too.”

So here I am, more than half way through the year and only at 70%. My Goodreads dashboard informs me I'm 6 books behind schedule. I’m feeling the pressure, especially since I pulled it off by the skin of my teeth once before. I only did that because I read tons of children’s books to help get me through the numbers. A couple could even be considered as picture books if you’re being really picky.

I’m tempted to do it again. Not just because they’re quick reads but because there are some sensational offerings out there. Recently a lovely student, Rose, recommended the Ruby Redfort series by the Children’s Laureate – Lauren Child. Rose was totally on the money as I’ve just devoured 3 from this series in record time. I'm also about to take possession of an offering by Benjamin Zephaniah from the library and have just finished reading a great fantasy book called Children of Blood & Bone. As October is #BlackHistoryMonth here in the UK I'm ramping up my reading of fiction from different cultures.

For the longest while now I’ve been partial to a good children’s book. At first I read them surreptitiously, not wanting the world to know that adult me enjoyed them immensely. Bizarrely, I didn’t read that many when I was growing up. The sum total of my childhood fiction, as a child, goes as follows:

Black Beauty
The Water Babies
The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe – only this one. Not the rest of the collection. They’d come later when I was already a qualified teacher. Weird right.

My main reading back in South Africa consisted of Reader’s Digest versions of Little Women etc. There was also all my mother’s Dick Francis and Wilbur Smith collections on every available shelf as well as piles of National Geographics. When’s a child supposed to have time for children’s books when she’s got all these to get through. And let’s not forget the odd Asterix from the school library along with the regulation set texts.

I reckon my deprived reading childhood is what’s led to my obsession with children’s fiction now. Luckily it’s no hardship but does sometimes get in the way of my other reading. But then again – there’s no such thing as a TBR list which is too long. So I’ll just keep dipping in and out of children’s fiction as often as possible. It’s a hard life but someone has to live it and it might as well be me.

Are you taking part in a reading challenge? If so, which one. Do you have any challenge cheats to share with the rest of us? Go on, tell. We promise to keep it between us.

If you've recently read #Palindrome I would love, love, love it if you'd take a moment to write a review. 


Thank you!


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