Book Challenges - Reading Promotion or a Race?

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Reading books definitely broadens our horizons, allows us to practice writing skills, shapes linguistic correctness, increases our vocabulary and simply relaxes and brings peace. Nevertheless, in 2014, almost 60% of Poles did not read any publications. These sad figures mean that day by day, especially in the early months of the year, there are more and more book challenges aimed at increasing readership. Do the book challenges really fulfill their role?

Book challenges 52 books

52 booksis one of the most famous initiatives. It's about reading one book a week a year. It was intended to make people develop the habit of reaching for reading every day. In order to motivate and support each other, a Facebook group was set up where members shared their readings. It would seem that this is a great opportunity to make up for what we have always put off, to develop the said habit and break away from everyday life.

The book challenge has been organized for several years, so you can observe recurring situations. First of all, there are often questions about how to count, whether, for example, a novel divided into two volumes is one book, whether you can include audiobooks or comics. All to increase statistics and try to catch up with people who read a lot and very often. The only question is: why do we want to force our stats? It is worth reading at your own pace, not worrying about the "space you take", reaching for the book ABOVE ALL for yourself, not for numbers. Reading whatever you can just to get closer to your goal won't really help your readership, it's just going to be kind of a rat race, not a race thing here.

Sometimes it's amazing how many books some people read. The numbers can be so impressive that the question is often asked how to do it. Disputes also arose against this background, as engaged readers often admonished less readers that one could read almost anywhere and that the lack of time was just an excuse. A beautiful initiative becomes a kind of competition, and whoever reaches the finish line later is reprimanded. Is this really the way to go?

Are book challenges bad initiatives?

Book challenges are really popular. Some of the most interesting this year are, for example, "I will read as many books as I am tall" or "The Book Challenge 2015". The initiatives are really enjoyable, and if people were to take them a little less seriously, they certainly wouldn't generate so many conflicts. Each campaign aimed at popularizing reading in our country is very important, and persuading someone to read books seems to be something incredibly good and comforting. It is also clear that not everyone reads only for statistics. However, it is worth emphasizing that it is happening and fighting it. If, for a challenge, someone reaches for 100 thin children's books, just to make the numbers look impressive, it brings absolutely nothing. In this case, it is quality that counts, not quantity.

Book challenges - for whom?

It should also be clearly stated that usually people who read on a daily basis engage in book challenges. Probably not as much as they would like, but definitely more than the average Pole. It is certainly difficult to persuade someone who does not like to read to read one book a week, even if it brings many positive results. Therefore, it is difficult to clearly indicate whether the campaigns really promote readership or simply encourage people to read more publications. However, it is worth trying and checking what books we always wanted to read, make a list and take up the challenge. At our own pace, what we want and how we want - without looking at the statistics of others. We have the right not to have time, not to read every second of our lives, and celebrate this process. Nobody can tell us otherwise.

Book challenges are really interesting, well-prepared, well-thought-out initiatives. However, it is worth not to get caught up in races, not to count the statistics carefully and stop comparing yourself with others. Books are supposed to be a pleasure first of all, otherwise they will become a chore, and as you know - these are usually disliked.