Any regular readers here will know that each year I set myself a challenge to read a certain number of books each year. For 3-4 years I read 52 books each year, one for every week. Then, last year, I decided to up that number to 60 books in a year as I was finding 52 books wasn’t stretching me enough.

This year, I went even further and decided I’d challenge myself to read 70 books in 2019.

Everything was going great and I was racing through books for the first month of 2019 and then things slowed down considerably.

Sadly, I had to say goodbye to my beloved 12-year-old Miniature Schnauzer Ben at the beginning of February. He had been in great health until the last couple of weeks of his life and it hit me really hard. Ben was my constant friend and companion for 12 years and I was heartbroken (and still am) when we had to make the awful decision to end his suffering.

at the beginning of February. He had been in great health until the last couple of weeks of his life and it hit me really hard. Ben was my constant friend and companion for 12 years and I was heartbroken (and still am) when we had to make the awful decision to end his suffering.

Whilst he was ill and for a long few weeks afterward, I just wasn’t interested in diving into books. I just didn’t want to read and so I didn’t force myself to do so just so I could keep up with my challenge.

Then, less than 6 weeks later I travelled more than 400 miles to get a new little addition to our family – Poppy the puppy!

miniature schnauzer puppy

And so began weeks of early mornings, toilet training, crate training and general puppy training. It meant that most of my spare time was spent training Miss Poppy and not reading or doing any of the other things I normally do. When I climbed into bed at night I was excited just to go to sleep, rather than open up my Kindle and get stuck into a good book.

So, here we are in the month of June and I’ve only read 22 books!

In reality, by the end of this month, I should be halfway through my challenge as we hit the halfway point of the year. I should have read 35 books by the end of June…not 25 as is looking far more likely.

I know I’ll be able to make back some of the deficit during my travels later this year. I’m in France for 10 days in the summer and will be travelling around India for almost 3 weeks later in the year. I’m great at reading when on planes and trains, so I know I’ll race through a few extra books then.

Basically, I’m really going to have to up my game and dedicate myself to reading so much more if I want to achieve my challenge of reading 70 books this year. It’s time to knuckle down…if you need me, you’ll find me with my head in a book!

Have you ever taken part in a reading challenge?