As I mentioned yesterday, I wanted to do a post to talk about one of my favorite little corners of GoodReads – the Seasonal Reading Challenge. I know I mention it a lot, but I’ve never gone into a lot of detail before and thought it would be fun to explain what we’re all doing over there.
The current challenge for Fall started on September 1st and will go through the end of November. Each time the challenge resets, there are new tasks and/or reading prompts that will earn you a certain number of points, from 5 point tasks to 30 point tasks. The easier ones only take one book, while harder tasks might take two books to complete (but are worth more points).
Let’s see an example.
This time around, I am going for as many points as I can, so once I started finishing books in September, I started from the bottom of the task list to see what I had read that could fit. Task #30.2 (worth 30 points) was submitted by a user named Robin.
I had just finished Shadow Rising by Yasmine Galenorn – the main character is a vampire, so that is perfect for part 2 of the task, but what about part 1? I started scanning through my shelves, but nothing was coming up (turns out, “The Monster Mash” doesn’t have a lot of common words in it). I did finally find one though – the word “door.” Which led me to start my re-read of Lock Every Door by Riley Sager. Ta-da!
Once I finish reading Lock Every Door, I can post in the “Completed Tasks” thread, stating the task I finished and which books I used to fulfill the requirements. Every few days, one of the moderators goes through and checks through the completed tasks and updates the Readerboard. They do have quite a few requirements to make sure that books really count, and if you don’t get the points you think you should, there is a place where you can question it. Sometimes graphic novels don’t count unless specified. Children’s books don’t typically count unless they can be verified in a certain way (more rules can be found here).
The other fun thing that they do every season is have four group read books with discussion threads. You can only claim one group read for points, which is what led me to pick up The Cartographers by Peng Shepherd, but I think I want to read all of them this season just because. The other books for group reads this year are Pachinko by Lee Min-Jin (which I’ve mentioned before on my WWW posts), Becoming by Michelle Obama (I adore her and can’t WAIT to read this one), and The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton (a classic that I have never read before). The group reads are always a very diverse panel of books with different topics and or genres each time (this time was Murder Mystery Fiction, Asian Fiction, Non-Fiction President or President’s Spouse, and Gutenberg Classics).
Another optional part of the challenge is Big Books (reading books over 500 pages) and Golden Oldies (reading books published in 1950 or earlier). For these, you collect “tickets” and the person with the most tickets gets to design a task for the next season’s challenge. I don’t usually pay attention to these, but lots of other people do!
While usually doing something that earns points like this is a competitive endeavor, I don’t think most of the people who participate take it that way. It’s more of a personal challenge. Some people even try to complete the entire challenge, i.e. complete every single task. I know I would never be able to do that. I usually just try to read as much as possible and participate for the entire season (although in the past, I usually stop after the first month for whatever reason).
But that’s it! It’s kind of fun to see how many points you can get. If any of you decide you want to check it out, my readerboard name is “Denise M.” Be sure to let me know if you decide to jump in!