Full of confidence at the start of 2012, I was sure I'd be able to complete loads of challenges in the year ahead. After all, a year is a really really long time, isn't it? Nine challenges should be no problem, right? Well, as it turned out, I couldn't quite manage it, though I gave it a pretty good bash and finished seven out of nine.
The first unfinished challenge was the TBR pile challenge, hosted by Bookish. I thought I'd have no trouble reading 40 books from my TBR as it stood at the end of 2011, but in the end I only got through 27 of them. It's funny how all those books you're so desperate to read gradually start to lose their lustre as time goes on and others edge ahead of them on the pile. I look at the list now and I seem to have lost the urge to read at least half of them as newer and shinier books have come along.
The other challenge I'm going to have to mark as failed is the War through the Generations WW1 challenge. If I'd have only stuck to my original intention of reading four books for this challenge I would have completed it ages ago. But I got all keen and cocky and upped my target to eleven, which was a little bit too much First World War for me, and after eight books I'd had enough. I bought some great-looking books for this challenge though, and I would like to finish them at some point, once my war fatigue has abated.
I'm also going to miss my Goodreads target of 150 books for 2012. By the time I've finished the books I'm reading now I should make 140 or 141, which is still pretty good. I had originally set a target of 120, but put it up after I sailed past that figure a couple of months ago, so I don't feel too bad about not making this new target.
All these challenges are partly responsible for my lack of posting in November and December. Every single one of the books I've read in the last two months have been for challenges, and there's nothing like knowing a book is compulsory for making you not want to read it. So rather than encouraging my reading, they've actually slowed it down lately, as all the books I really wanted to read were out of bounds and the books I had to read never quite managed to pull me away from the television, the computer and all the other distractions vying for my free time.
Now at last I'm free! I can read whatever I want, spend ages scouring the shelves for whatever fits my mood, or allow one book to lead to another in the funny, fascinating way that books can. Now, what shall I read next?