Last year I made a disturbing discovery: I’d stopped reading. (Let me give you a second to pick yourself up off the floor and calm your racing heart…)

Sad but true, I’d become so focused on the writing and editing and teaching that I stopped reading for fun. I read books that I thought would help my career and I read books to review, but that’s not the same a finding a title that intrigues you so you stay up too late because you can’t put the book down!

That’s why, earlier this year, I decided to make an effort to read more. Then, when I took the hubby away for his birthday weekend, I left my laptop at home and only brought books. I even made myself step out of my reading comfort zone (contemporary and historical romance) and try some new genres and new authors.

Talk about refreshing!

I’ve enjoyed it so much that I want to make sure I keep reading in 2019. Before I return to my favorite books and re-read those (which is what I tend to do), I want to give my library card a work out. And since I’m not always sure which books to read, I decided to join a reading challenge for next year. I’ve never done anything like this, but I love the way this challenge makes you pick books! Here’s my goal for next year:

  • A friend or family member recommended
  • Based on a true story
  • That has won an award
  • Set in your home state or province
  • With a blue cover
  • With a one-word title
  • Written by a male author
  • Originally published in a different language
  • With a number in the title
  • That is an author’s debut novel
  • That has at least 500 pages
  • Written by a new-to-you author
  • Independently or self-published
  • Chosen strictly due to the appeal of the cover
  • Set during WWII
  • Written by an author with the same initials as you (middle initial not included)
  • That you can finish in a day
  • With a protagonist with the same occupation as you (if you never worked, choose an occupation that you would have liked to have had, or wish to have)
  • Outside of your comfort zone
  • That has been made into, or is in the process of becoming, a movie
  • With a coming of age story
  • With either, north, south, east, or west in the title
  • Published this year
  • Set in the mountains or wilderness
  • That is humorous

Doesn’t that look fun?? I already have a couple of books on my to-be-read pile that fit onto that list, so I’m going to job them down to make sure that I read them.

Have you ever done a reading challenge? How do you decide which books to read?

Karin Beery – Writer. Editor. Novelist. Karin writes contemporary and speculative fiction with a healthy dose of romance. Represented by literary agent Steve Hutson at WordWise Media, Karin is a newly-signed author with Elk Lake Publishing. Her debut novel, Summer Plans and Other Disasters, releases September 15, 2018.

When she’s not writing fiction, she’s editing or writing business copy through her business Write Now Editing. And when she’s not doing either of those, she teaches Substantive Editing for Fiction and Romance Editing through the PEN Institute. You can connect with her on FacebookTwitterInstagram, or at her website,

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