Enjoying New Ways of Life

This entry is part 1 of the series Outdo Yourself: Reading Challenge

At the rate I’m going, 2018 is going to be remembered as the year I took up new challenges!

I stumbled upon the “Outdo Yourself Challenge” which has evidently been going for some years. This year, it’s being hosted by Corinne Rodrigues for the third year in a row.

Reading the instructions, participants are supposed to “up their game” of how many books they read last year, and read more this year. However, I have no idea of how many books I read last year, so I’m starting from scratch.

I’m setting my level of reading to Level 4 – “I’m on Fire!” and my goal for this year is to read 50 books, fiction or non-fiction. I also plan to write at least 6 reviews.

It is my belief that reading is a necessity for all writers. I know of writers who say they don’t have time to read but here’s what Stephen King has to say:

If you don't have time to read, you don't have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that. ~Stephen King. RT if you agree! Click To Tweet

So I’m linking to this challenge for several reasons:

  • Because I’m a writer, I need to add to my tools.
  • As an older person, I need to fight dementia as detailed on Dr. Amrita Misra’s recent blog post.
  • I love traveling, and seeing I don’t have the finances to go globe-trotting, what better way than to fly from home on the wings of a book!
  • I have a very active mind, and if I don’t feed it thoughts of my choosing, it takes me into places I don’t want to go, especially when I’m trying to sleep!
  • And I may as well be honest. I like reading . . . !


Currently Reading:

I’ve added the genre according to the Amazon ranking as chosen by the publisher. These are all good reads!

Please note that unless otherwise stated, these are all books by Christian authors, not because I’m narrow-minded but because I like to enjoy my books. I like to be able to read without fear of having to dodge foul language or lurid sex scenes. Where they are specifically devotional or study books, I have said so.

Score to Date: 

January 20: 7 down, 43 to go!

2018 Outdo Yourself Reading Challenge

About Shirley

Shirley Corder is an author who writes to inspire and encourage. She has a passion for helping other writers and cancer survivors.

32 comments on “Enjoying New Ways of Life

  1. Pingback: Thankful Thursday Week 4 and Tip for Customizing Colors

  2. I fully agree with all that you said about books and about reading, Shirley! I, too, have set a challenge on Goodreads – I plan on reading at least 30 books this year. I wanted to do something doable and enjoy the process rather than worry about meeting my goals! Reading is so necessary, not just to help us in our writing, but to keep us sane, as well!
    Wish you the best for your reading goals! <3

    • Thank you, Shilpa, and the same for yours. I have just watched a video on the latest FB algorithm, and it recommends more interaction with Goodreads and less on FB. So it might be an idea to set the same challenge on Goodreads as well. It wouldn’t involve me in any more work apart from remembering to update my shelves on GR!

  3. I love reading Shirley and have just finished Ken Follett’s ‘Columns of Fire’. He writes epics so took a few days to read but I was hooked from the beginning. You have certainly started your challenge well. I’m short on time to write reviews and join the challenge but you have inspired me to at least write down each book I read this year. I’m sure the list will be long as it is one of my favourite past times. Have a beautiful week and I look forward to your book reviews. xx

    • Thanks Sue. I write reviews for Revell so it’s just a good reminder to do them! It’ll be fun to see how many books I actually read because as I said 50 was just a thumbsuck. I will definitely try to reach that but it’ll be fun to see how hard it is!

  4. I love to read. For some time, though, I was caught in the trap of thinking that only nonfiction books were worth the effort. Silly me! I’ve since refound the joy of fiction and especially mysteries.

    • Yes, for a long time I read only non-fiction, but then realised I needed to be able to escape from constant learning and relax with a good story. Now I only read fiction at night.

  5. Yes, books need to be a priority, even if we only read at a specific time each day. I always read at night once I’m in bed so it’s a habit I don’t ever forget.

  6. Shirley what a fantastic post. I’m definitely lazy when it comes to reading – blog posts, fine, but books, I lose interest too quickly. Definitely going to make it my mission this year to pick up a few more books and broaden my horizons.

    • Max, thanks for the visit. I only read books that grip me! If I get bored, the book gets dumped for another. I reckon my time is way too valuable to waste it reading things that are not entertaining or at least helpful in some ways.

      • So true, Shirley. I think my problem is that, in today’s always-online world, I just struggle to find the time and motivation to sit down with a good book. Need to retune my brain to switch off from everything else.

        • Yes, it’s not easy. In fact, I rarely read except in bed at night. That’s my way to transition from the business of the day to the calm of the night. Of course, it often leads to a late night if I’m absorbed in the story!

  7. This is an interesting concept, I must say. Though a bibliophile I have not once year, unfortnately, stuck to my reading challenge. I am somehow always lagging behind. So, this year I decided not to give myself a number, but to just read and read without thinking of achieving the goal. But,again after this post, I wish to take.up a reading challenge. For I now believe a community helps you greatly in achieving your goals.

    • Yes, Rashi. I think it will be easier to keep at it if you are sharing with others. This is the first time I’ve tried a reading challenge. I just love reading anyway. But I thought if I joined this challenge it works two ways. It gets me to track my reading. It is also an extra blog post to publish on a regular basis, but it doesn’t need to be done weekly.

  8. I churn through books and read a wide variety – but steer clear of anything that is dark or scary or ugly (life is tough enough without reading stuff that makes it worse). I am a big fan of free online books and my local library because buying books is just not an option for my budget. Good luck with your challenge Shirley – I’m sure you’ll easily make the distance 🙂

    • Thanks Leanne. I’m exactly the same – hence I tend to stick with Christian authors. I don’t like dark or scary or sexy stuff – or filthy language. That always seems to unnecessary to me. Like you, I enjoy the free online books as my budget is also very limited. But you can get lovely books as freebies nowadays, and there’s no long delivery period either.

  9. Ok! So we meet again! 🙂 47 books to read! wow all the best! Hope you achieve your goals. I do love to read books but of late my eyes seem to be growing tired soon due to blogging, reading others blogs and then reading books gets too tiring.Just finished reading THE ORIGIN- Dan Brown lately after almost two and half weeks way beyond how much i used to read in a 2 days.

    • My hubby, Rob, is busy with The Origin right now. Did you enjoy it? I’m wondering if I should tackle it when he’s done, but it is a huge book!

      • Initially reading it was boring until after a few pages it picked up momentum …I think you should read and everyone else too. It is a huge book yes..But I read it parts everyday

        • Thank you Sudha. I hadn’t planned to read it, but I will get it from him when he finishes. It’s good to know I must push through the first few pages until it picks up momentum!

  10. Shirley, I go by every word of your blog. If you can’t visit new places due to any reason, you can at least fly on the wings of the book. I am currently managing the house, family, kids and my writing. But still, I want to take out time to read.

    • Yes absolutely. I cannot stop reading. Then I would know for sure I’m too busy! But as I said to Lisa on the previous comment, I usually only get to read late at night.

  11. What a great goal! I’m impressed with what you’ve already done! I’ve always loved reading for pleasure, but have found that it gets taken away when life is busy. Great way to be intentional!

    • I don’t often get to read during the day, Lisa. I do most of my reading in bed at night . . . which tends to lead to late nights if I’m into a good book! But yes, when I saw this challenge it resonated with me. I actually have no idea how many I usually read in a year so 50 is a total thumbsuck! We’ll see how it works out.

  12. Wow, mind boggles and threatens to shut down like the USA government! You are a glutton for punishment! And I will no doubt eat thise words later!!! Go for it, Shirley.

    • LOL! Thanks Val. I don’t have to update this on a daily basis or even weekly, Val. I’ll probably update it when other blogging tasks are quiet. As long as I keep track of what I’m reading anyway! 🙂

  13. OMG… Shirley…you are a Superwoman! 7 down and just 43 to go…thats awesome! I have finished just one in couple months and now have started with a new one. I must learn a thing or two from you!
    Do let us know which ones are good reads.

    • LOL! Thanks for the visit, Anagha! I suppose I should give them some sort of rating, but I don’t want to add to my workload! So far they’ve all been good. It depends what you enjoy. Maybe that’s something I could do – add what sort of books they are. I’ll do that now.

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