Reading Is Amazing – A Review and My 2014 Book Challenges

I absolutely love to read! I have loved reading from the time I could pick up a book, as evidenced here:

My early love of reading ;)

My early love of reading πŸ˜‰

There is just something truly magical about sitting down, opening those wonderful smelling pages, and getting immersed in its world!Β  There is nothing quite like it.Β  I love all types of stories and read pretty much every kind of book out there.Β  I used to get lost for hours on end once I started a good one.Β  Unfortunately, I had to grow up, and it really seems harder and harder to find the time to read these days.Β  I am trying to set up a routine so that I make sure that I get an ample amount of reading time each day, but that only seems to happen on occasion.Β  I will eventually get there, I am definitely determined! So, back to what made me begin this post.Β  I was on Facebook today and came across an article in TIME about reading speed and how browsing the internet could hurt how fast we are able to read.Β  So, I took this little test they had, try it out here:

ereader test
Source: Staples eReader Department

My reading speed was 416 words per minute.Β  Slower than I used to be and slower than what I was expecting, so I definitely have a new motivation for reading more.Β  Because practice has to help right?!? πŸ™‚ What speed did you get? Was it what you were expecting?

Book Review –Β Elsie: Adventures of an Arizona Schoolteacher 1913-1916

This is an excellent book on life as a teacher in the new state of Arizona. It was compiled by her granddaughter, who used her diary, letters, and research surrounding the time Elsie Hayes spent in Arizona. She was a school teacher from California who ventured in the “wilds” of a state newly brought into the union. She first taught at Cornville, where they did not have any of the modern conveniences of the time. From there, she taught at Williams for two years. It was quite a fascinating read! I enjoyed learning about how different it was then. I also grew up near that area, so it was fun reading about some landmarks that I am familiar with.

One thing that I did not like was the choppiness of the writing. It was taken directly from her diaries and letters that she wrote and received, but there are a lot of gaps. She had burned a lot of letters that would have been great to fill in a lot of the questions you develop as you go along. With the limitations though, it was quite well put together. I really enjoyed the extra research her granddaughter, Barbara Anne Waite, did to help fill in the gaps that Elsie left.

I would definitely recommend reading this book to get a look at the early times of Arizona statehood!

2014 Book Challenges

And now, I’ll get to the book challenges I am going to join in 2014! I have actually never participated in book challenges before. Β I am so excited to try some out this year. Β The toughest part is going to try to limit myself on how many I do πŸ˜‰ I am coming a little late to the game, but it’s not too late to start!

2014 Ebook ChallengeΒ 2014 Ebook Reading Challenge

This one is to challenge you to increase books read on your eReader. Β This will be fun, I just got a Kindle for Christmas πŸ™‚

My goal is to reach DVD Level – 25 eBooks

Book to Movie Challenge

Book to Movie Challenge

Reading books that have been turned into movies and then watching the movie.

Goal:Β Movie DevoteeΒ –Β read 6 books and watch their movies

Back to the Classics 2014

Back to the Classics 2014

I am looking forward to this one. Β You have to read 6 books in the 6 categories given.

Banned Books Challenge 2014

Banned Books Challenge

Reading banned books.

Goal:Β Β Trouble-Maker: 3-5 Challenged Books

Lucky No 14

Luck No. 14 Reading Challenge

This one will be fun. Β There are 14 categories you have to complete.

2014 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge

2014 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge

Challenge to read historical fiction. This is one of my favorite genres!

Goal:Β Victorian reader – 5 books

Okay, so that is six book challenges! There are so many more that I want to join in, but I should really try to keep these goals achievable haha! Have you ever tried a book challenge? Β What book challenges have you joined in this year? Leave the links in the comments, I’d love to check them out!

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77 responses to “Reading Is Amazing – A Review and My 2014 Book Challenges

    • I totally understand that! Time slips by way too quickly. I am hoping to have more time to read this year, but it generally does not work that way. Thanks for stopping by πŸ™‚

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  1. I enjoyed your post! I took the reading challenge and only scored 181 words per minute. I do tend to read very slowly because I really make an effort to understand what I’m reading. And that passage slowed me down because the writing style was unfamiliar to me. I honestly don’t do much reading, though I did enjoy reading when I was younger. After college I was burned out from being force fed dry reading material! I just didn’t want to pick up books anymore. Nowadays I mostly read for information. Whenever I have a question, I google it. I did discover free ebooks, I love downloading books I think I will be interested in, but I have actually read very few of the hundreds of ebooks I now have. I should participate in the ebook challenge because it is a goal of mine to read more of those ebooks and to review them on my blog. Thanks for the inspiring post!

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    • I totally understand that sentiment Anastasia. I was pretty burnt out after college too. Good luck with your ebooks, those are always nice and super portable πŸ™‚ Thanks for stopping by!

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  2. I also love to read even though I don’t get to as often as I’d like. I also still prefer the good ‘ol book, not on a device. I like to have the pages to flip & maybe even dogear. I didn’t take the reading speed challenge because I was a bit scared LOL

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    • I am with you on that, I never read as much as I would like to and I do always prefer books to ebooks. There is just something about picking up a physical book and opening it’s pages! πŸ™‚ One thing I do like about ebooks is it’s portability, and my husband definitely appreciates not having to lug around ten books when we go on vacation lol πŸ˜‰

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  3. I got 440 words! Not bad considering it’s not my native language. πŸ™‚ I love reading, too, but lately it’s been like the greatest treat. It’s not easy to find time for it. I also find that reading makes it so much easier to read. Probably because it’s training your mind and your creativity?

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  4. I will have to take that test. I could get completely lost in a book, and have, finding myself reading into the wee hours of the night. That doesn’t bode well for early rising though. πŸ™‚ I heard my librarian say once that she chose to make reading a reward for herself so she could make the time to read. When the day was done, rather than watching TV or something else, she would cuddle with a book and a blanket and read. It has become a blessing to me to make that time to journey into a book and just enjoy the story.
    Thanks for sharing!
    Blessings,
    Dawn

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  5. You will be busy reading! Good luck with the challenges. We like to read a lot and our Kobo Glo ereader keeps us up to date with old and new books by favourite authors! We have a TV but we simply don’t turn it in, we enjoy our books so much more.

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  6. I love to read, too, and my challenge for this year is to read fifty books. I’m borrowing books from the library for my kindle and it’s been the best. When I couldn’t get to the library because of snow or cold I could still get books I wanted. Knowing the books would disappear in a few weeks motivated me to read fast.

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    • That is a great goal! I keep forgetting that you can borrow ebooks from the library. And that is definitely a motivating factor πŸ™‚ I still haven’t been to the library since I moved to my current city, I so need to.

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  7. I loved reading when I was growing up but its really difficult to find the time these days. I think the books are always better than the movies they are made into. I don’t understand why the producers have to change so much.

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    • I completely agree with you there. I do not think I have ever liked a movie as much as the book, and most of the time I am so disappointed! I am really hoping that one of these days I will come across a good transition…

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  8. Last year, I was in the Savvy Reader Book Challenge and read 257 books; I am doing it again. I’m also in the Good Reads 2014 Reading Challenge and have set a goal for 200. I love reading – and so does my husband and my teen loves to read, too. We are all bookworms! I try to find time during each day to read….sometimes I’m up until 1:00 a.m., because that’s the ONLY free time I have!

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    • Oh wow! That is awesome πŸ™‚ I would love to get to that point someday, I used to and then I just let life get in the way and time flies! I am hoping these challenges keep me on track.

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  9. It’s great that you love to read! From time to time I can get caught up in a book, but I typically don’t enjoy reading. I wish you all the best with your book challenges.

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  10. My goal is to read the bible from cover to cover. I have started and stopped many times but I plan to keep with it. I’m not a great book reader. I prefer magazines as shallow as that sounds. I stare at a computer all day while at work and the last thing I want to do is read a thick book. I wish I had it in me but I’ve tried many times and just don’t.

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    • That is one of my goals as well. I have done the same thing, stop and start, stop and start. I think I have read Genesis a dozen times haha. I am really trying to make it this time πŸ™‚ And I totally get that, it is definitely nice to get a break from staring all day long and just relax! Magazines are nicer because they can go so much quicker, and you can read an article and put it down for a while! Good luck with your Bible reading πŸ™‚

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  11. I am an avid reader. I read at least 30 minutes before bed every night. Where do the book challenges come from, I think I might like to try a few. Also, it took me a long time to get a kindle, now I wouldn’t have it any other way! I don’t know what to do without it.

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    • That is great! I am really enjoying the challenges so far, it is keeping me motivated πŸ™‚ I found them through various blogs, I linked each one back to the original challenge. There are so many out there, it’s great!

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  12. I love reading books of any kind. I just bought a Kindle and can’t wait to start using it. I always have a book in hand and I read during commercials when watching TV.

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  13. My score was 366 words per minute – that seems about right. I can read a really good book in less than 24 hours. An “okay” book in about 48 hours. I read fast. I don’t typically do book challenges just because I review back to back books on my blog so I don’t have time currently for “fun reading” but good luck to you on your challenges! If you ever are looking for book tours to review on your blog, let me know! I have a group you can join – we are always seeking new reviewers! πŸ™‚

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  15. That was fun! I got 586 words per minute. Which is about what I average I think. I fell down to about 400 rdurong my last year of college and was exhausted all the time. I love book challenges and I really should sign up for one. Right now unfortunately it seems like my goal should more be along the lines of “open the book dad sent 6 months ago”. I did a challenge back in 2009 I believe it was, of reading 100books in a year. That was a GREAT year. I read almost anything I could get my hands on and it really did broaden my taste in books. Thanks for a great post!

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  16. I love to read too, but I’ve never been part of s reading challenge. I think that I will have to join one of the challenges. I’ve never even kept track, I would be really interesting to see how many books I read in a year.

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  17. I know exactly what you mean by the “feel” of a real book. I’m a kindle reader right now as I’ve adapted a more digital library living in a smaller place – but I definitely make a visit to the library to get myself a good old fashioned book. I’ve never participated in a book challenge – as it’s very challenging to pick up a book these days. But I imagine a book challenge would keep me accountable and more committed to reading. What a great idea! Great post!

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  18. Oh my gosh! Reading is my favorite!! When I was a child we only had one shady spot in our backyard, and I would RACE to that spot in the summer times so that I could enjoy it and a good book. I seriously could sit under that tree for HOURS (and sometimes did), it was amazing. It was typically a Babysitters Club book or Sweet Valley High. πŸ™‚

    I need to find more time to read, and make it a priority, instead of something that I set aside to do another day.

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  19. I too love to read. I just no longer really make the time, were always here there and everywhere. I never knew of book challenges…but they are intriguing. I just might have something new to try… thank you!

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  20. My grandmother encouraged me to read. She had a closet in the living room she called the book closet. She would go to bargain sales and find old school books of all types. This closet had shelves all the way to the ceiling. I would go in there, turn on the light, and close the door. I would stay in there for hours. Sadly, these days unless I’m waiting on school to get out or at an appointment waiting room I seem to not have much time for reading. I am trying to get back though. I love Nicholas Sparks books, and my hubs found me one for 3.00 that I’m reading called The Choice.

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    • That closet sounds great! I love that πŸ™‚ I too really enjoy Nicholas Sparks books. I haven’t read The Choice yet, but I have loved each book I have read from him so far.

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  21. I love to read, but at the moment don’t get the time that I used to have. I do read stupidly fast though but have realised I often don’t take a lot in. I skim the plot and don’t concentrate on the details. I’m trying to get myself to slow down.
    I have never tried a book challenge before, but I’m loving the look of some of those so I think I will be giving them a go – thanks for the heads up!

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    • You should definitely give them a try πŸ™‚ Most of them give you control on how many books you want to read throughout the year, which is nice. It is so hard to find time these days, so most of them I picked a very low, but achievable goal. So far I am not feeling too overwhelmed by any of them πŸ™‚

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  22. I too love to read! Right now I’m on modified bedrest so I get through about a book every 2 days but I’ve always been at least a book a week kinda mom. My kids (5, 4, 2, & 1) have just learned to deal with it and it’s fun to see them go get their books and blankets when they see me sit down with mine.

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  23. I love to read! it is really hard to find time to read with all the business of life, lately I’ve been squeezing some reading in on my kindle after all lights out, i use a little reading light, it’s great. I dont have to get up i can slip it under my pillow when my eyes get tired.
    I never measure my personal speer reading before so I dont if I got worse or improced LOL

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  24. I love to read! I read all Nicholas Sparks books & other romance/drama type books. πŸ™‚ I could read those all day!
    I’ll have to read some of the ones that you have suggested when I have down time. πŸ™‚ Thanks for the list! (bookmarking it)

    Becky @ Your Modern Family & Blogging on the Side

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  25. I love, love, love to read and wish I had more time in the day to be able to enjoy books. I do manage to steal a few moments and have read so many good ones lately. I think I’m going to check out your reading challenges. I’ve never done one but they seem like they might be fun.

    I do need to ask though…do you like your kindle? I’m on the fence about getting one. There’s something about holding a book that I love, but I like the ease and versitility of the kindle. What do you think of it? Would you recommend?

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  26. I love to read, but its only one of my hobbies so it doesn’t get as much attention as others. I have discovered listening to some of the books I want to read as an audio book. That way when I am in the car for long periods of time, at least I am getting to “read” a book on my list instead of never getting to it. It also makes long car rides or workouts go much faster!

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  27. I have never joined a Book Challenge but this year I joined a Book Club and I have been loving it! I also had a love for reading early on. Every Saturday morning my mom used to take me to the Library. The Kid Section was my favorite place to visit on the weekends. πŸ™‚

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  28. I love to read too but in recent years with kids and work and everything I don’t do it as much. My only goal now is to finish the book I bought – The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert.

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