I’ve set myself a new challenge for 2015, and I invite everyone else to join me. For the third year in a row, I’ll be participating in the 50 Book Pledge.
In 2013 I read 148 books and in 2014 I managed an even 500 (yes, I count picture books, they’re books and HarperCollins lets you include them on the list. The number would be truly ridiculous if I included all the fanfic I read, and no I still don’t have a reading problem I have a lack of shelf space problem.). I’ve pledged to read 200 books again, since that’s the highest number it will let you pledge for, though it will count the books you read after 200. You just can’t get badges for any amount over the 200–maybe something to fix in the future?
I’ve discussed the website before here and here, and they’ve updated the website again with a few more welcome changes. They’ve added some shelves for Currently Reading and Favourites, and your Currently Reading items show in a sidebar. You can also add a custom shelf if you feel like it. Otherwise, the site is pretty much the same as last year, but it works fairly well. It’s still nice that you can look through previous years’ shelves to remind yourself what you’ve read.
You can find my 2015 shelf here, and I’d love to see your shelves in the comments! What books re you most excited for in 2015?
Last year I participated in HarperCollins’ 50 Book Pledge. I managed to get up to 148 (yes I’m counting graphic novels and kids’ books, they’re books, they count. Be glad I’m not including fanfic.) I found it useful, not just for the count of how many but for the visual representation to remind me what I’ve read, since the covers are posted on the shelves. Plus, it’s kind of fun, especially when people say “Nobody reads anymore” and I can see thousands of people participating in just this one reading program.
One thing that I’m happy about is that they’ve vastly revamped the website for this year’s pledge. I can look at the books I read last year as well as this year’s Read and To Read shelves, so it’s a good way to keep track of my history. Any books on my 2013 To Read shelves were automatically transferred to my 2014 To Read shelves, so I can still remember what’s on my list.
They’ve also fixed a few criticisms that I had last year. Now you can search for people’s shelves, and you can register via email as well as Twitter and Facebook. There are shelves for Featured Reads from HarperCollins and Top Reads among the community, as well as a page for the contests they run. The home page also provides icons for any Facebook friends who are participating in the challenge or who have in the past, as well as showing how many people are participating and how many books they have pledged to read. You can include a short profile of yourself, which includes how many years you have been participating in the 50 Book Pledge, your favourite author and your favourite book that you read last year, and a short About Me section. The new site is much less basic, is user friendly, and a little more attractive than last year’s. You can find my new pledge here, and I hope more people join me. If you’re participating, why don’t you leave your pledge link in the comments- like any true bibliophile, I love browsing through other people’s bookshelves. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some reading to do…
The 50 Book Pledge
This is something I found out about recently. HarperCollins has a website where you can pledge to read 50 (or 12, 25, 75, 100, 150, or 200) books in 2013. You can keep track of both your ‘read’ and ‘to be read’ books on a visual bookshelf, and you can give them starred ratings and short reviews. You can also share your bookshelf via Facebook or Twitter. The site gives you badges to display with your bookshelf when you reach specific goals (first book read, 10th, 25th, etc.). You can also add a ribbon (the Twibbon) to the corner of your Facebook or Twitter profile picture.
It’s a cute idea to encourage reading and to tie it into social media. I read so much that I tend to lose track of what I’ve read recently unless I specifically keep track, such as for my Today I Read project. So far I seem to be reading a lot of steampunk this year.
The website is a little basic, especially since they seem to have done this project before. There isn’t a FAQ or About page that I can find, and you can’t really search for other people’s bookshelves from the main website. You can click on people’s shelves from the Twitter feed on the main page, but not people who have signed up through Facebook, and you can’t sign up on your own without Facebook or Twitter. This seems odd if the point is to share what you’re reading, since not everyone is on Twitter quite yet (waves hand). Still, it’s a nice way to share what you’re reading. Speaking of, here’s my bookshelf. And I’d love to hear in the comments if anyone else is participating and what you think of the pledge.