When a Challenge is Challenging

I decided to do my 52 books in 52 weeks challenge on a whim. It was the beginning of the year and a lot of people were tossing around challenges (one of my favorite bloggers is doing  365 photos, one for each day, of her home, some others are taking a photo a week of their children or loved ones) and I wanted to partake in a way that I thought would be fun for me. I already do my Fat Mum Slim photo a day challenges, so I went with one of my great loves, reading.

52 books might seem like a lot to some, a lot less to others. For me, it made sense. A book a week.
I knew there would be bigger books that would require more time. I also knew that, when I really enjoy a book, I can clear it fairly fast.
And I knew, though there are many books I want to read, it might be hard to figure out what to read next/obtain the books I want (thank God for the library!). But I kind of forgot about the part where I maybe don’t really like a book. Or I can’t get into it at all.

I am not the type to give up. There are books I’ve read and promptly forgotten because they were fluff or didn’t make much of an impression, like your favorite guilty pleasure TV shows or silly movies that make you smile for a while. But what happens when a book is actually difficult for you to read? When it’s just not jiving in your brain and all you can think about is reading a different book?

This just happened to me. I added The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao to my list after my trip to Boston. Barry and Shani have a great selection of books on an excellently organized bookshelf…


…and I was told I could borrow a few things. The book stood out to me for two reasons. 1. I had heard good things about Junot Diaz’ s recent book, This is How You Lose Her and 2. It won a Pulitzer. Must be good then, right?

I shouldn’t say it wasn’t good. It just wasn’t for me. I tried. I really did. 
The story is unique, both in premise and in presentation, the way it hops back and forth in time. There’s also a sort of mystical, spiritual aspect thrown in. I just didn’t care about the characters. And, I feel silly saying this, but the mixture of Spanish in the book made it harder. I’m ashamed to say I only took very little EspaƱol with me when I left high school. So I had a hard time understanding with my language block.

So what to do? I didn’t want to give up. I hate doing that. I wanted to know what happened.
But then all these other books I have that seemed more appealing were calling me. And then I had to admit that maybe I should just stop.
I know that a challenge is supposed to be just that…a challenge. But actually, giving up means I have to make up for that break in time.
I’m trying.

Before, I was sure I’d complete this challenge. Now, I’m not. But it’s only one month in, there’s still plenty of time, and it’s good to remember that it can’t always be easy. You do it anyway, because you love it.

Check out my Goodreads account for progress updates and a full list of books I’ve read and want to read!

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