The Sunday Salon: Personal Reading Challenges

In this week’s Sunday Salon post I thought I would mention some of my personal reading challenges for 2010 and beyond.

You can see my current list of 2010 challenges elsewhere on this blog, but there are also a few other challenges I want to set for myself. These will be perpetual challenges – no time restrictions.

Short Stories

Although I read a lot of novels, I don’t often read short stories. One of my personal ongoing challenges is to read as many short stories as I can, particularly by writers I’ve never read before. I know there are existing short story challenges and groups out there that I could join but I’ve decided not to as I don’t know how much time I’ll be able to devote to this and I don’t want to feel under any pressure. I’ll just see how much I can fit in around my other reading.

I will try to read at least one short story every week, (though sometimes I might read more than one and sometimes I might not read any). On Saturdays I’ll post a wrap-up listing the stories I’ve read and a mini-review of each one.


I have read most of Shakespeare’s tragedies, but only a few of his comedies and histories. So, I’m setting a personal challenge for myself to read all of Shakespeare’s plays, including the ones I’ve read before and to post my review/thoughts on each play.

I have Shakespeare’s Complete Works sitting on my bookshelf, so all I need to do is find the time! I don’t expect to progress very quickly through this challenge. If I can read at least 3 or 4 plays this year I’ll be happy.


I feel ashamed of my lack of knowledge of poetry and would like to do something to change this. I want to refresh my memory of some of the poems I’ve read and enjoyed in the past, as well as discovering other poets whose work is new to me (and there will be a lot of those!). This is a huge challenge for me, as I’ve never read very much poetry at all. I don’t want to set any targets for this – I’ll just try to read some poems when I’m in the mood for it and will share my opinions with you.


These are not public challenges, though you’re welcome to join me if you want to. They are simply personal ‘reading resolutions’ to motivate me to spend some time reading in areas I’ve been neglecting.

Do you have any personal reading challenges of your own? What are they?