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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

South Asian Author Challenge

When you were in elementary school, do you remember the reading challenges that would reward you for reading from a set list of books? Those were awesome right? I remember being given certificates, ribbons, medals, and even a special assembly once. Being rewarded for being a voracious reader was kind of cool, even if it kept you up late at night and your mom got mad at you for reading at the dinner table. "I gotta finish all these books Mom, there's a medal coming!"

Well maybe like me you're a little past middle school, so what happens when there's nobody to give you shiny metal (or plastic) for reading? Where's the motivation? As we all know, the motivation to read should intrinsic; reading expands your mind and makes you stand out from your non-reading friends, I'm convinced of it. Don't believe Glee's Sue Sylvester's declaration in a recent commercial, "Why should children be burdened by the tyranny of reading? Words are hard!" The only hard thing about reading is not being able to read fast enough to get through everything you want.

In the book blogosphere, there are quite a few reading challenges and many of them are themed. Take this one for example, the South Asian Author Challenge hosted by Swapna Krishna. The challenge is to commit to reading three, five, seven, or ten books about or by a South Asian author during this calendar year. Which countries might fall in that categorization? India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka. Next year that list will be expanded to include Bhutan, Maldives, and Nepal.

Swapna is a very prolific book blogger and is also highly organized so she's got challenge info, sign ups, author lists, and her own reviews all up at the challenge main page. As 2010 is already winding down, there's a 2011 Challenge being put together. So no complaining about not having enough time to jump on board. If you start now you can even get a head start. Then next year we'll see about getting some medals around neck...if you deserve them.

Here's a fun and intimidating tidbit: Swapna has read 330 books this year already. As she details in her post, that's 116,598 pages. I have entire groups of friends who haven't read that many books in their lives combined. And if that sounds like a lot, last year she breezed through 450 books! When you get the chance, go thank Swapna for putting such a great challenge together.


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