July has been one hell of a month. I’m going to go ahead and crown it the worst month of 2020. Things were hectic and tiring so in hindsight this was probably not a great month to read 30 books in 30 days but how was I to know…
So how many books did I read???
Despite my valiant efforts, I was unable to complete the challenge but I still ended up reading 25 freaking books! I definitely count that as a victory and I’m glad that I didn’t push myself over to finish five more books.
Here are all the books I read, not including the ones I decided to DNF.
My favourite books that I read during the challenge were:
1. Girl, Serpent, Thorn by Melissa Bashardoust
An f/f persian mythology inspired fantasy story with plot twists and revenge.
2. You Should See Me In A Crown by Leah Johnson
An f/f story about being yourself and speaking out, told through Liz the prom queen candidate’s narrative.
3. I’ll Be The One by Lyla Lee
Incredibly inspiring story about fat girls in the Kpop industry with a bold and cute writing style.
4. Check, Please by Ngozi Ukazu
Adorable and beautifully sketched graphic novel about Bitty the hockey player and pie lover.
5. Lore Olympus by Rachel Smythe
A web-comic that takes a modern twist on the Greek story of Hades and Persephone.
But what did I learn from this challenge?
First off, I want to quickly analyse my progress during July as I attempted to read 30 freaking books.
I started out strong with some graphic novels and shorter books and I remember being confident that I would ace this challenge if I kept up the pace. But of course, life came in the way and pretty soon I was at the point where I was just on track with the challenge. I was absolutely loving what I was reading and I might have read most of my favourite books in the first half of the month.
Day 15 is where I really felt it. The exhaustion of reading so much started seeping in and at the same time I was having a particularly slow time with Robinson Crusoe. I slowly made my progress with it for over 10 days before I gave up and DNFed it. Even after that I was able to ready some pretty great books but I wasn’t reading with the same vigour. Reading felt like a chore.
And to top that off I ran into some personal troubles which basically sapped me of all my energy and somewhere around day 20 I decided to just stop. I was also running the third edition of Indian Lit Readathon with my friends and co-hosts so things were really intense towards the end and I’m so thankful that I decided to give up.
It’s the 8th of August and I still have no motivation to read. That challenge really burnt me out.
Lessons I’ve learnt from this challenge
1. Quality over quantity. If I didn’t know this earlier I definitely do now. I would rather read 5 books I know I’ll end up loving than 30 books which are a mix of okayish and good books.
2. Never force yourself to read. Not gonna lie, I do that sometimes because I feel the pressure to catch up on the hyped books as well as the backlist ones. I’ve only been in a minor reading slump once in my lifetime so I honestly didn’t treasure my mental health much when it came to reading.
3. You don’t forget what you read as fast as you would think. When I told my mom about this challenge she was concerned that I would hurry past these books and forget 80% of what I read and even though I brushed her concerns aside, I was secretly worried too. But that definitely did not happen and despite having a horrible memory in general, I remember quite a few details from the books I read in July.
4. What’s the point of reading? Always take time to pause and ask yourself why you’re reading. I could keep on reading acclaimed bestsellers one after the other, back to back, but not enjoy them if I don’t feel the urge to read them but force myself ahead. I read for pleasure and making reading a chore is the last thing I want to do!
5. Don’t attempt this challenge again. It’s safe to say that I won’t be attempting this challenge again. Hell no. I’m in awe of people who continue to read 20 to 30 books on an average every month but I’m not that kind of a person and I’m going to be reading at my own pace from now on. As soon as I get out of this slump…
Have you ever taken part in the 30 books in 30 days challenge? Do you plan to?
How’s your reading been going these days?
What pace do you normally read at? I usually read about 6 – 13 books on a monthly basis.