Something I’ve been thinking about lately is the concept of a Reading Challenge. I’m a reader but like, not to be stressed out. The reading is to RELIEVE the stress. Does a Reading Challenge enhance the stress? Can the stress really even *be* enhanced right now, as we enter the third year of COVID, raise children, work at our jobs, cook the dinner, find the shinguards? I am a longtime if infrequent goodreads user and I mostly use it as a long and ever-updating TBR (that’s To Be Read for the uninitiated) list. Last year, in the midst of Covid Year Two, I decided to set a goal and track the books I read. Do you do this? I thought I’d read 25 books - roughly one every two weeks. But I read 49! That’s a lot of books! This year I upped my goal to a solid 36. 3 books a month. I think I can do it, especially because I can typically read 3 books in one week of vacation. I have finished one book so far this year. I am on track to meet my goal. Does participating in a Reading Challenge make me a competitive reader? I struggle. The whole world is about turning hobbies into a lucrative side hustle, and I want to opt all the way out of anything that puts more burden on people (myself) to deliver, deliver, deliver. I just want to exist, uninterrupted. I am not trying to win at housekeeping or parenting (and trust me, I will not be offered any awards in either of these categories) but I am trying to win at relaxing, and I guess that is what a Reading Challenge is all about. It’s REWARDING myself for doing the thing I want to be doing. Dishes can wait, family, I’m working toward my GOAL. I’m DOING SOMETHING. I’m READING.

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