August has ended – why I didn’t meet my challenge for the month

My 12 in 12 Challenge is designed to reduce the number of physical books I have on my to-be-read shelves by reading 12 books grouped around a theme in each month. I usually read more than 12 books in a month, of course, but the others are often rereads or genre fiction which don’t meet the theme. For August the theme was Women about Women where I read books written by women and featuring women. Some were fiction and some were factual. I have published reviews of only 10 books for the month and I have to confess now that this is because I haven’t read 12 books which fall into this category during August. This is the eighth month of my challenge and the first where I have failed.

Of course this challenge is only for myself so it isn’t important that I haven’t achieved my aim to anyone except me but it is disappointing. I was actually doing quite well until about a week before the end of the month when I still had two to go and was actually reading three books, one Kindle, one physical and one audio, which met the criteria (regular readers of my blog will remember that I do tend to read multiple books at once). Somehow I became stuck which happens sometimes. The books were not really holding my attention and a number of other things were happening in my life which meant that I reached for some easy reading – mainly romances and crime novels.

The main thing which is changing my life at present is that we are selling our house and looking to move in the next month or so. Those of you who have done this will remember how emotionally wearing it is, how many delays occur and how tiring all the uncertainty makes you. We are looking to downsize so we are disposing of items, making decisions about things we own and are starting to pack things into boxes (I have ten boxes of books packed already and estimate that I will need another 30 to 40 box to cope with my book collection – and this is after I have culled it !). Sometimes you just need the comfort of a genre fiction book which is not challenging and where all ends happily – I recommend the following authors I have read this month who fit that bill; Nora Roberts, Robyn Carr, Julia Quinn, Elly Griffiths and Charlaine Harris.

We move into September which is likely also to be a chaotic month. I have debated pausing my challenge for a while but I think that I will continue with the understanding that I may not achieve my aim in any month from now to the end of the year. I am hoping that the physical move will not prohibit me from blogging or from reading and I shall do what I can to keep posting during this period.

I did enjoy the books I read in August and at least one of the unfinished ones fits my theme for September anyway. I will try and get through those which are still partly read as it is never ideal to have too many books on the go at once and when you stop reading for too long you risk completely losing the thread and never being able to resume because you can’t remember what is going on.

My theme for September is Stand Alone Novels. This nicely complements June’s challenge of reading Series Novels. I have said before how much I enjoy reading books which are in series but there is a place for a stand-alone story which is satisfying in itself. Many of my favourite novels are one offs (Kim, Tigana, and Pride and Prejudice to name a few). I have found at least 20 books which match this theme on my shelves and it remains to be seen how many I finish by the end of the month. They are in all sorts of genres – fantasy, crime, historical and literary fiction mainly.

It may be a bit of a challenge in more ways than usual in the month ahead but do join me and keep reading !