2023 TBR: readathon plans

Readthons and reading challenges have been a staple in my reading for a couple of years now. I find them motivating and often the extra boost that I needed to finally pick up some of my most intimidating books. So it’s no surprise that for 2023 I also have a number of these challendes lined up.
Its quite possible that more will be added when the year progresses, but these are the readathons for which I knew at the end of 2022 that they were going ahead in 2023.

A-Z Challenge (year 2023)

Last year was the first time I tried to complete this challenge. A very simple concept, but fun to do.
You can interpret this challenge in different ways, but I prefer to try to read titles starting with every letter of the alphabet.

Magical Readathon

Ah, THE readathon from BookRoast which kind of started my love for this concept of readathons and reading challenges. So no question about it that I will continue participating in 2023!

For those who don’t know what this is and are curious, BookRoast recently made a video detailing the whole readathon for beginners.

But in short, the Magical Readathon is a two-part readathon each one a month long (usually the months of April and August).
This readathon was once based on Harry Potter, but in 2021 BookRoast completely reinvented her readathon based on her own invented world called Aeldia, where participants become students of a prestigious school of magic called Orilium Academy.

This readathon is huge and comes with loads of extras and each year BookRoast adds a new layer as she lets her imagination run wild!

Adventure in Aeldia (year 2023)

And this is already a first such new layer for 2023! A year-long challenge in a choose-your-own-adventure style! All details and the link to the full map can be found here.

The concept is fairly self explanatory.
Each month you choose a direction in which you want to go and then read a book based on the assignment you find in that direction.
For example, the choice for January was “go left” or “go right“. In the first choice, the assignment was to read a first book in a series; with the second choice you inversely had to read the last book in a series.

In this concept of choosing between two options will have to be made each month – with BookRoast already taking into account the next two events in this readathon – until you get to the end of the path at the end of the year. At the end of that path you will find a new magical companion or ability to take with you in your further adventures in Aeldia and the Orillium academy.

Spring Equinox (month april)

This is one of two month-long challenges within the Magical Readthon, which is equivalent to completing one semester in the Orillium Academy with your created character.
This readathon usually takes place in the month of April and, depending on your chosen field of study, equates to reading between 2 and 10 books.

Autumn Equinox (month augustus)

The second semester within the academy follows in August, which is equivalent, again depending on your field of study, with reading between 4 and 14 books.

Catch Up Book Club: First Law Along (year 2023)

Sometime in 2018, Becca from the YouTube channel Becca and the books founded a book club called Catch Up Book Club, with the aim of reading large intimidating fantasy series together.

I myself only learned about this club sometime last year.
At that point, they had been doing the Elderlingalong for a while, reading and discussing the full series of 15 books in Robin Hobb‘s The Realm of the Elderlings.
Although Robin Hobb is also quite high on my TBR, it was too late for me to join, since they were nearing its completion. But this also meant that a new series might be selected for 2023, so I decided to keep an eye on it in case this series would also be one from my TBR.

And yes! In December, Becca announced the First Law Readalong. In it, during 2023 and about half of 2024, Joe Abercombie‘s First Law World would be discovered, which currently consists of 10 books!

Back in 2021 I bought a box set of the first trilogy in this world at a sales promotion, because I had seen it highly praised in various places. But as is often the case with me, I haven’t read these books yet. This new book club is therefore ideal to get cracking: not only does it give me a boost to pick up the first book, but the interactive/discussion element gives it an extra dimension!

Here’s the schedule for this readathon:

When Book Liveshow: 2nd Sunday of
January-February ’23 The Blade Itself March ’23
March-April ’23 Before They Are Hanged May ’23
May-June ’23 Last Argument of Kings July ’23
July-August ’23 Best Served Cold September ’23
September-Oktober ’23 The Heroes November ’23
November-December ’23 Red Country January ’24
January ’24 Sharp Ends February
February-March ’24 A Little Hatred April ’24
April-May ’24 The Trouble with Peace June ’24
June-July ’24 The Wisdom of Crows August ’24

As you can see we will be busy for a while with with this.

Well, this is of course the planning, but I have resolved that if it turns out that this series does not suit me at all, I will not force myself to read all 10 books, just for this readathon.
Conversely, if it turns out that I am completely sold after reading the first book, then I can certainly see myself getting ahead of this schedule, as I will want to read the sequel more quickly.
We’ll see how it goes!
spoiler: Since I’m very late with my posts here I can already tell you that my experience so far with this series falls into the latter category rather than the former!

BookRoast Stormlight Readalong (year 2023)

Given that 2023 is clearly author Brandon Sanderson‘s year, thanks to his hugely successful Kickstarter campaign, many buddy reads and readathons are popping up for his books.

Initially I had my eye on two.
Elliot Brooks Sanderson Readalong where all the books of the Cosmere and the 4 secret books of the Kickstarter would be read.
Or another one from BookRoast, but this time via her Patreon, just for Brandon Sandersons Stormlight Archive.

While I’m certainly interested in Elliot Brooks’ version of the readathon, especially for the secret projects, I found it a bit too challenging to include everything I already read in addition to the books I haven’t read yet. Especially considering all my reading plans already for 2023.
So I’m just going to focus on BookRoast’s version and try to read the entire The Stormlight Archive.

I already read the first book of this in 2022, so I already know that I will definitely want to read all the books in this series. This is the reading schedule:

When Book Liveshow
December ’22 – January ’23 The Way of Kings 04/02/2023
February-April ’23 Words of Radiance 22/04/2023
May ’23 Edgedancer 28/05/2023
June-August ’23 Oathbringer 26/08/2023
September ’23 Dawnshard 29/09/2023
October-December ’23 Rhythm of War 30/12/2023

Patreon Book Clubs (bi-monthly)

Right now I’m supporting a number of booktubers through Patreon that I really enjoy watching. Several of them also have an exclusive Patreon book club, in which one book is usually chosen every two months, read together and then discussed.

The patrons I currently support that each have a bi-monthly book club are:

Now I see these reading clubs as extremely optional.
If a book is chosen that is also on my TBR, then I like to read this book within the chosen period, so that I can participate in the discussions.
If I don’t get there within that period or if it’s a book I don’t have or isn’t very high on my TBR, I’ll let it pass me by.

It’s a nice option to have, such a book club where you can get more involved in a book, but if it doesn’t work, it’s not a problem.

The 2023 SFF Title Challenge

Finally, just in the nick of time for this blog post, I discovered this readathon by Annemieke.

Annemieke blogs via A Dance With Books and launched this fun year-long challenge specifically for Sci-Fi and Fantasy books. The goal is to read Sci-Fi or Fantasy books with one of the words on the board in the title.

Since I have a lot of Fantasy and Sci-Fi books on my schedule this year, I think it would be great fun to try to tick boxes with this as well.

I approach this reading challenge just as I do with the A to Z challenge:
It’s a nice motivator to check off items, but mostly as a nice-to-have and not an obligation set in stone.

And voila, that’s it for now.
Perhaps overwhelming if you read it like this here, but for me above all an extra motivator to finally actually read books that I put off for too long as too intimidating. And that’s the most important thing, I think. I’m not going to punish myself or anything when I’m failing any of these plans 😉

Are you participating in a particular reading challenge or readathon this year