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If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have time to write.” Stephen King

Last week I wrote about Breakthrough GoalsGoals “that reach outside your comfort zone, change you forever and are worth following with passion.”

I knew one of my breakthrough goals for 2012 would be to read more. In her book Chapter After Chapter author Heather Sellers suggests that a new writer should read at least 100 books like the one they intend on writing. She calls it the Book 100.  It’s about deep diving into your genre and although she suggests you can round it out with inspiration, how-to’s and writing craft she says, “Writers learn more from reading (in their genre) than from all the how-to plot books in the world.”

I reflected on my reading for 2011 and discovered I was a little puny in the fiction department. I read from mostly the paranormal and literary genres and most of my reading weighed heavily in research, writing craft and healthy living categories. Not a bad thing. BUT I only read three time travel books last year. Granted, I’m not a new writer and I’ve read tons of time travels over the years but still, I couldn’t believe it. Only three. I write time travels!

I’m happy to report that 2012 will be different. While I was doing research on something totally unrelated I found out about a time travel reading challenge. From there I found  hundreds of reading challenges for every genre and topic you can think of. Challenges are hosted by big-time readers and some of the most well read people on the planet. Check this out:

Laura at the  Library of Clean Reads  is hosting the Time Travel Reading Challenge.

Here are the Rules:

  • Challenge runs from January 1, 2012 to December 31st, 2012. You can join anytime.
  • Books from other challenges count as long as they are about time travel.
  • Books can be children’s, middle-grade, YA or adult fiction.
  • Write a post and link it below including the URL to that sign-up post.


  • Surprise Trip: 1 to 3 time travel books.
  • Great Adventure: 4 to 6 time travel books.
  • Fantastic Journey: 7 to 9 time travel books
  • Mind-boggling Voyage: 10 to 12 time travel books.

Note from Laura: Linking your reviews is optional but I encourage it so that we can discover what time travel books you’ve read and I can add them to the growing list that Alyce started. Here is the Link Review Page.

How perfect is this?

Here’s a sample of other challenges like this one:

Horror and Urban Fantasy

Mystery and Suspense Reading Challenge

New Authors Reading Challenge

Sookie Stackhouse Reading Challenge

Thriller Reading Challenge

Historical Fiction Reading Challenge

If these categories don’t enchant you, believe me, this is a teeny tiny sampling.  If you google your favorite genre and attach the words reading challenge, I’m certain you’ll find what youre looking for plus more challenges you might never have thought of. You can join as many as you like. Some require you write a review for each book read so be sure and read the instructions. I hope you’re as excited as I am!

I’m going to read 10-12 time travel books putting me in the Mind Boggling Voyage category and I’m going to push myself and see how many books I can read from now until December 31 in my very own version of Book 100.  I know with everything on my plate this year that it isn’t possible to read 100 books. Will I read 30, 40 or 50? I’m going for 40. It’s setting the bar a tad high (breakthrough goal material) but it’s not unreachable.

How Many Books?

If you want to challenge yourself to a specific reading goal or if you think you might join one of the “official” reading challenges like the ones above,  I started a hashtag on Twitter #howmanybooks. We can talk about our official or unofficial reading challenges, tally our numbers, celebrate our successes, and ask for book recommendations or a kick in the pants 🙂 I hope you’ll join me!

Did you read lots of books in your genre last year? Celebrate and tell me about it in the comments. You earned the bragging rights so dish. How many books will you read in 2012? Tell us your plans. I love hearing from you.

Have a happy reading, writing day!