Why Accepting a Reading Challenge Made Me Cry

Reading challenges are becoming much more popular. So much so, that it’s hard to find a site without a challenge of some sort. Everyone wants in on the fun, and for good reason.

That is, everyone except me.

I grew up hating reading. I was a slow reader, losing concentration mid-sentence. My eyes would pull words down from other parts of the page until what I read was a confusing mess. I was a good student, but my reading problems made it that much harder to keep my grades up. I never had testing done to see if I had a learning disability because 1) I was homeschooled and didn’t really have access to that kind of testing, and 2) I was ashamed and frustrated with myself, so I never told anyone what was happening.

By the time I reached college, I found more interesting things to read, things that I knew were worth the incredible effort it would take me to finish it. And a whole new world was opened up to me. I still struggled, but I had a reason to keep trying. The thing is, once you struggle with something for so long, you begin to think it’s normal. You don’t question it because that’s how it’s always been.

It was brought back to my attention, though, earlier this year when my husband and I were both sitting on the couch reading. I noticed for each page I turned, he would turn four or five. I chalked it up to him being a fast reader. Then in February, we went to see a new eye doctor. I hadn’t been checked in several years because I couldn’t afford it, but we finally got insurance. The doctor looked at me for a while, then told me I was part of the club.

“The club?”

She went on to explain this muscular condition I apparently had. She had it too. And, according to her, I probably had it my whole life. She asked me if I had problems reading and ran down a list of all the problems I had that I thought were normal. She said I just needed to change my lenses.

“I can’t believe no one found this before!” she said.

“Neither can I.” I was nearly in tears.

Last year, I did the Goodreads challenge for 12 books and I BARELY made it on time. The whole year was a struggle and I was petrified to try again this year. But since this change (just since February this year), I’ve almost read the same number of books that I did the entirety of last year!

So, I decided to take on a new challenge because, for the first time, I feel like I could actually finish it! A friend over at Lantern Leaf Press mentioned her book challenge that she got from Modern Mrs Darcy, and it sounds like so much fun that I’m going to try it as well!

Here goes!

#1:  A Book Published This Year – I am currently reading Glass Sword, which is book 2 in the Red Queen series. I liked Red Queen and have heard that Glass Sword is even better, so fingers crossed!

#2:  A Book You Can Finish In A Day – I actually just read the novella Those Were The Days in one sitting, so I think this would be perfect. Plus, it’s an indie so double win!

#3:  A Book You’ve Been Meaning To Read – For this I actually didn’t pick 1 book. I’ve been wanting to read the Divergent trilogy and I just completed it.

#4:  A Book Recommended By A Local Librarian or Bookseller – Got a recommendation for The Princess Bride. I love my Half Price Books team 🙂

#5:  A Book You Should Have Read In High School – There are a LOT of those. But, To Kill A Mockingbird seems the most timely.

#6:  A Book Chosen For You By A Spouse, BFF, Etc. – My BFF recommended Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children for me a while back, so I just picked up a copy. It will happen now!

#7:  A Book Published Before You Were Born – Another one from my TBR pile, I’m going to go with Sense and Sensibility. Love me some Jane Austen!

#8:  A Book That Was Banned At Some Point – I did a little research on this one and I decided to go with The Perks of Being A Wallflower. I’m on a contemporary kick right now, so this fits right in.

#9:  A Book That You Previously Abandoned – I must have started and stopped Jane Eyre a dozen times but, due to the length and language, I could never make it past the first few chapters. It was too difficult. But I finished this one this month and I’m so glad I did.

#10:  A Book You Own But Have Never Read – I bought Us by David Nicholls as soon as it came out but still have not read it. I loved his book One Day, so I wanted to check out something else by him.

#11: A Book That Intimidates You – I had a hard time with this one since I found MOST books intimidating before. Now, I decided to do a book that intimidates me because of the subject matter. For this,  I decided to read It’s Kind Of A Funny Story, which is about suicide. It hits close to home emotionally.

#12:  A Book That You’ve Read At Least Once – I decided I wanted to read back through the Harry Potter series this year, so I’ll start with Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. Looking super forward to this!


You can follow along the challenge with me on Goodreads and see how I do in real time.

Are you doing a reading challenge? Or, if not, what are you reading right now? Let me know in the comments!



One thought on “Why Accepting a Reading Challenge Made Me Cry

  1. A quick update: I changed #11 (A book that intimidates you) to A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas. At over 600 pages, it’s one of the biggest books I’ve attempted. Wish me luck!

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