An alternative title: I read seven books in seven days and regretted it. As someone who has being doing Goodreads reading challenges since 2013 you would think that I cared a lot about the number of books that I read. But, I really don’t. I set a goal that I think I can “easily” meet and then just read what I want when I want (mood reader here). You’ll read more of my thoughts at the end of this post, but reading a certain number of books stressed me out.
Partly because I am prioritizing my physical TBR and partly because I wanted to try a reading challenge this idea was born.
Some background info: I work, go to school, and have like actual life stuff to do. Without all of that I probably would not have suffered as much attempting this. I wanted to do this challenge during a “regular” week in my life rather than a week that I was off from school or work. Otherwise this would have been way less of a challenge.
Thoughts Before Challenge: I have been wanting to make a dent in my physical TBR all year and yet, I somehow keep accumulating books? This has nothing to do with the fact that I keep buying them and reading books from the library instead of books I own. NOTHING.
Anyways, I also want to get a Book cart/TBR cart or whatever you want to call them, but I wanted to give myself a bit of a challenge to get there. I told myself I could buy one once I read 25 books off my physical TBR. So far (as of October 19) I have read 11. I own a fair number of short books that have been just sitting on my TBR and I figured I should read those first.
I have no idea how many books I’ll be able to read. I also am choosing to do this challenge during a regular week. Meaning I have schoolwork and work to do during the week already.
I am not sure if I will just read one book at a time or if I will pick up multiple ones of them. I got two of them on audio so I will read those at the same time.
My tentative goal is about 7 books which is one a day and theoretically doable.
TBR (shortest to longest)
The Little Prince (93)
The House on Mango Street (110)
Soft in the Middle (153)
Because of Winn Dixie (182)
The Witch of Blackbird Pond (256)
Little Weirds (304)
A Match Made in Mehndi (320)
The War Outside (336)
I also got the audiobook for Lincoln’s Last Trial (320) It’s an 8 hour audiobook which on 1.5x speed will go quick! & the Stargirl audiobook which is 4.5 hours. Lincoln’s Last Trial is not on my physical TBR, but it’s been on my Goodreads TBR since 2018 so I don’t feel bad about it. Plus an audiobook will allow me to get some extra reading in.
(All page numbers taken from Goodreads)
DAY ONE: October 21, 2019
I started the audiobook for Lincoln’s Last Trial and listened to it while getting ready for work in the morning. I also listened to a bit more when I got to work early. I listened to it for about an hour over the course of the day.
After getting overly emotional about the Star Wars Trailer, I started Soft in the Middle and got about 80 pages into it.
I am such a mood reader and was in the mood for something cute and I wanted a royal story so I almost picked up a romance that I just got from NetGalley! But I stuck to my TBR for once in my life (no promises if this will continue). But I picked up A Match Made in Mehendi right before I went to sleep and read like 20 pages of it.
Overall, I am happy with my progress. I think I read a bit more than I usually do. I don’t usually listen to audiobooks in the morning unless they are due soon and I would not usually pick up a book in the evening. But today I also slacked on the homework front so we will see if this continues. I also did not read during my lunch break because I forgot my book.
DAY TWO: October 22, 2019
I finished Soft in the Middle. I bought this poetry collection a year or so ago, but never got around to reading it. I’m glad I waited because a couple of the poems hit close to home. I gave it 4/5 stars.
Other than that…did not read that much. I read a few chapters in A Match Made in Mehendi and listened to like 15 minutes of my audiobook. But I went out to dinner and did some homework which took a lot of time up.
DAY THREE: Wednesday October 23, 2019
I am on part four of my audiobook which has nine parts, so I got to get cracking. I also wanted to finish A Match Made in Mehendi tonight, but that did not happen, and I left about 60 or so pages for tomorrow. I started The House on Mango Street solely because I don’t want to fall behind!
I did not get to as much reading done as I wanted to because I had so much school reading which was disappointing.
DAY FOUR: Thursday October 24, 2019
I finished A Match Made in Mehendi! I gave it 3.5/5 stars. It was cute, but I felt a bit old for it. I’m now on part 5 of my audiobook. I also read 20 or so pages of The House on Mango Street. I would like to be a bit further along, but I guess that is life. I was in a ~mood~ today and thus did not do much after work. I ran some errands and went for a walk and before I knew it was time for me to sleep. have finished two books…in four days…got to catch up.
I uh also started a NetGalley romance book (My Best Friend’s Royal Wedding) that I should not have started. The thing with this challenge is that it is part read short books (or books I can read quickly) and to read books on my physical TBR. The NetGalley romance is a short book but isn’t on my physical TBR. I got to about 14%.
DAY FIVE: Friday October 25, 2019
Wow this challenge is not going the way I wanted it to. Maybe because my life is just too chaotic and busy for me to add additional things to it. One of my classes also assigned a ton of reading this week. Like I’m talking like almost 200 pages of academic texts. Grad school am I right? But anyways I did read today. I listened to my audiobook when I got the chance and read some of The House on Mango Street while I went to Starbucks to work on homework.
[Later]: I finished another book! I finished The House on Mango Street. Here is my brief Goodreads Review. Loved the lyrical prose. I gave it 4/5 stars.
I also got to about 40% into My Best Friend’s Royal Wedding, it isn’t the best and if this wasn’t a NetGalley I would consider DNFing since I have so many other books to read at the moment. Hopefully I’m able to get through it quickly. I might read more before I go to sleep but might not either.
I also started The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint- Exupéry and got 30 pages into it.
DAY SIX: Saturday October 26, 2019
I finished the romance novel last night. Tbh was not the biggest fan of it. I gave it 2/5 stars and here is my Goodreads Review if you want more details. But I’m now up to 4/7 books! I then finished The Little Prince around 1pm today which I did enjoy. I did not rate because it is a children’s book and thus felt like it wasn’t written for me and it felt unfair giving it a rating.
I ended up finishing Lincoln’s Last Trial which I did not give a rating to either. I enjoyed it, but I am not the biggest fan of legal procedures, but I do love Lincoln. I also started Because of Winn-Dixie before I went to sleep. I will be able to easily finish that one tomorrow and then I will be done with this challenge. Thank goodness. Honestly, can’t believe I managed to get this far.
DAY SEVEN: Sunday October 27, 2019
11:51am I FINISHED BECAUSE OF WINN DIXIE! I finished seven books in seven days. I did it. I never want to read again (jk). I enjoyed Because of Winn Dixie, but again did not rate it.
Overall Thoughts/Reflection: I wanted to do this challenge now because November is going to be crazy busy and I was excited to finally do this challenge. The books have been in a pile under my desk for a month or so. Unfortunately this week was not the best week to do it. I had close to 200 pages of academic reading and work was extra busy. I was coming home from work very tired and lacking the desire to do anything. For most of the week I did not think I was going to meet this challenge, which would have been fine since it is a completely arbitrary goal that I set for myself. That being said, I still wanted to meet it and I did. If I’m being completely honest this challenge was too much for me to do right now. I’m proud of myself for accomplishing it and am exhausted (lol).
But, I’m also proud of myself! I did the thing! I read seven books in seven days which is something I am not sure I have ever done before. Was it maybe a mistake? Perhaps! But it’s still an accomplishment. I also read five books off my physical TBR, listened to an audiobook that had been on my Goodreads TBR since summer 2018, and sped through a NetGalley book I needed to review. I’m five books closer to my book cart and read some books that I have owned for a while. I will be donating Because of Winn Dixie, A Match Made in Mehendi, and The Little Prince to my work’s new library and I hope the kids there enjoy the books. I’m also happy that I get to unhaul them.
I think this challenge is an important reminder to myself that I do read for fun and enjoyment. I never want reading to become a chore which is why I read what I like and tend to read lighter books. But, with all my school reading and the stress of my life I see why I do that. I probably will never do a challenge like this again, but I am glad I read these books, some of which had been on my TBR for years.
Thanks for reading!