Friday, December 21, 2012

Reading Challenge: Outside the Box 2013

I still consider myself a blogging newbie.  I began this blog about a year and half ago after considering it for a good six months or more.  I've participated in memes like The Broke and The Bookish's Top Ten Tuesdays and Regular Rumination and The Written World's Poetry Project, both of which have kept me blogging regularly when I didn't have the time or energy for full-blown reviews.  However, I've never participated in a reading challenge.  A few days ago, I stumbled across a year long challenge hosted by Kate at Musings of a Book Lover, and it seemed like the perfect challenge to get me started.  It's unique yet low key and customizable, which seems doable with my busy work schedule.  The challenge is called "Outside the Box" and encourages readers to pursue books outside of their comfort zone.  I'm shooting for "No Box can Contain Me!" by participating in all 13 mini challenges.  I'm really excited to get started.  The parameters of the challenge are listed below, and if you want to join in, head on over to Musings of a Book Lover to sign up.  The more the merrier!

Image from Musings of a Book Lover

Choose your level – just how far out of the box do you want to go?
I’m a little Scared: 3-4 categories
It’s not so bad out here!:  5-7 categories
Look at me, outside my comfort zone!:  8-10 categories
No Box can Contain Me!: ALL 13!

This challenge will run from 1 January 2013 to 31 December 2013.   
Grand Prize Drawing will be 7 January 2014!

1. Sign up any time. Though, it’s best to do it by the 31st of December, 2012 – that way you will have more chances to WIN! (However, sign-ups will close 1 December 2013)
2. You cannot use any books or reading material that was read before 1 January 2013 (except for #9 – but you DO have to REREAD that one to count!)
3. At the End of each month, you must post a link to your review for it to count! If you don’t have a blog, be sure to link up the review you did in GoodReads, Amazon, Library Thing, etc. We need to read your review! (There will be a one week grace period to get in the review. i.e. January 31st rolls around and the linky will be up, but you have until 6th of February to get your linky in!) Each review will get you a ‘token’!
4. Share the Love (PLEASE!?!) – Write your intentions on your blog, link back to this post, have the button on a side bar, so others will know what fun you are having, and they can have it too!
5.  Overlaps are okay, but the purpose of this is to try other books, not grabbing ONE book to fit four categories! You only get ONE token in for each review, so the more the merrier.
6. Comment below with how comfortable you are of climbing out of your literary box!  BUT, don’t feel you have to be tied to that level! You are shy and want to start slowly but love the feeling of the air outside of where you are…go for it!  You thought you could be a book sphere, but the box is warm and comfy, that’s okay too!
7. Be encouraging!  Sometimes it’s a little frightening coming out of your comfort zone. Go to the other participants’ sites and give them words to help free them. Offer suggestions on the best ways to climb out of the box – give them a ladder that they can use!
8. Optional – share books.  Be willing to swap books with other participants (unless they are library books, or books that are not yours, then you might find yourself in a whole other type of box, and I can’t help you then!)
9. Make sure you post your reviews every month.  Who knows, I just might have a surprise giveaway that month! 

Now… to the categories!

#1   To the Screen
Read a book that was adapted to the screen.  Try to read the book first, then see the movie – how did they compare?
#2   Another Voice
Do you typically read books that focus on a Female Character? Try a male protagonist. A male point of view usually? See what it’s like from a woman’s perspective.
#3   Opposites Attract
 Are you always reading young adult or historical fiction? Try something that would be opposite – a contemporary read for those stuck in the past, for instance.
#4   5 Star Day
Is there a book you’ve seen featured on another blog and everyone raves about it? Even if it isn’t your cup of tea – give it a try to see what the hype is all about.
#5   XyZ pdQ
You’ve seen them – ABC book challenges – well this one is light! Grab a book that has either an X, Z or Q in the title!  Too tough? Try going for the author’s name!
#6   It’s my Birthday!
So, have a party! Read a book that was published in either your birth month or birth year!
#7   From one place…
It’s neat to read a book that was first published outside of the United States (or your country – we won’t hold it against you if you don’t live in the Good Ol’ USofA).  Make sure to pull up a slang dictionary of that country, though, otherwise you will always wonder why they put the ‘kettle on the hob’ (and, no, it has nothing to do with short hairy guys with big hairy feet!)
#8   It’s All About ME!
It seems that everyone has written a memoir of one kind or another – or someone wrote about their favorite person.  Read about their life and know that yours is still marvelous, even though you didn’t climb Mt. Everest by the age of 2!
#9   Visit an Old Friend
Do you have one of those books that you tell everyone is your favorite, because of the fond memories you have when you read it eons ago?  Read it again, just to make sure it still is your Favorite!
#10  Look at the pretty pictures!
It seems that Graphic Novels are all the rage.  Check on out and see for yourself! If you have read the original, how did the graphic novel compare?
#11  She made me do it!
You read about the book on another site.  It wasn’t necessarily something that everyone raves about, but this person spoke so well of the book, you just had too! (I know, it’s kind of like #4 – but this one is special, you were moved by the blogger’s recount of the story, you just had to!) Don’t’ forget to mention who made you grab that cookie from the jar!
#12  I couldn’t help myself!
We all do it! We walk through the book store (or even one of those super stores) and it strikes you! You stop in your tracks and you have instant Cover Love! Grab it, buy it, and READ IT! Well, was it worth it?
#13  To be or Not to be…
Time to break in to that section that very few of us fear to tread!  Read a play, memorize a poem and analyze it since it’s rolling around in your head!  Give the Bard (whoever she may be!) a chance!


  1. Love this idea! This year I started reading a lot more YA, but a lot of the big books of this year that people have loved I just haven't got around to reading - I should probably work on that!

    1. I'm a very YA heavy reader, so I'm hoping to broaden my adult and non-fiction reading this upcoming year. I did read some great adult fiction this year including Gillian Flynn's Gone Girl and Robin Sloan's Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore. Visit Kate's blog to join in the challenge!

  2. Hi Kristin
    Thanks for joining my challenge! I look forward to your reviews...and learning which level you are shooting for! See you at Musings of a Book Lover!