Pizza Party Reading challenge

One of my resolutions is designed specifically to placate my inner twelve year old. Because her favorite escape is to curl up with a good book, I thought “reading for fun” would be a silly and fun way to treat her.

And, because resolutions are best when finite, measurable, easy to track and clearly rewarded, I’ve decided that I get a big Pizza Party at Pizza Fusion if I meet my reading for fun goals. (This is the same program we used in class when I was 12, so it’s totally appropriate.)

Since these “pie charts” will be colored and posted on the fridge, we are going to have print one for Ethan too (maybe he can set an annual goal for a trip to Chuck E Cheese instead of the “too healthy and weird” Pizza Fusion?)

Hilariously, my inner 12 year old is friends with a lot of people’s inner 12 year olds, because I’ve already gotten at least 8 responses of people who will participate!

What do you think? Want to take the Pizza challenge?

Here are the “rules”:

  • What if I just finished reading a book? All books finished between January 1, and December 31, 2009 count.
  • What about books I have to read for my book club? It all depends. The focus here is about having fun and enjoying reading. If you hated every minute of a required novel, it doesn’t count. If you enjoyed it, it counts. Yes, it’s subjective. But it’s pizza on the line, people, not world peace.
  • Does it have to be fiction? Another subjective answer: if you truly enjoy informative non-fiction, it counts. I get a lot out of reading books about Marketing, but my inner 12-year-old doesn’t derive pleasure from it (she gets squirmy and bored). If it relates directly to what you do for a living, that’s considered “homework”, and doesn’t count.
  • What about listening to audio books or reading with someone else? Audio books are still fun, and they still stimulate the imagination. They count toward books read, but not toward page counts. Reading with someone else scores you both the points toward your goals, hours and page numbers, so team up!
  • Do magazines count? I’m going to have to draw the line somewhere…. Isn’t that scanning and skimming more than reading anyway? Same goes for reading online. … However, a caveat: short stories and essays DO count – regardless of where / how they are printed – just specify that as your goal!!! (oh, and moms & dads: reading to the kids totally counts)
  • So what should I be keeping track of? Qualifications for the Pizza party are (1) having set your personal goal for the month & reporting it in advance and (2) meeting the goal. We all read at different speeds & capacities. We all have different amounts of free time. {e.g. Ethan might try to read “Hop on Pop” and “1 fish, 2 fish” by himself in January, and finish reading “Superfudge” with his dad. That’s a very laudable goal for a 1st grader. (We are also going to do shorter goals for monthly ones with him – such as a “pick the activity” evening where the person who meets all his / her reading goals first gets to pick what we do one evening together.) As for me, I’m going to try to read 8 schlocky fiction novels in January 2009, which is a sort of low number for me, basically because I’ve got relatively little free time this month.}

Final year-end prizes will also be awarded for:

  • Most Pages Read (so track your # pages read to be eligible – audio books don’t count, and e-reader pages must be normalized to the paperback page count to be eligible!
  • Most Hours Spent Reading (audio books do count. keep track if you want to qualify!)
  • Most Books Read (for the speed readers….)
  • Most Reviews / Recommendations written (50 word minimum. Book club reviews count, as do Amazon, Facebook or informal email recommendations)
  • Widest Variety (Have you read everything from petroglyphs to science fiction just for the heck of it this year? This award goes to those who stretch their horizons the most. Note your genres to be eligible.)
  • Other suggested prizes include: Least Books Read, Most Rules Bent, Most Children’s Books read, most creative book-related activity … Suffice to say, we could have quite a few prizes…. 🙂


  • What if I don’t live in Atlanta? If you’re unable to travel to Atlanta for the celebration(s), alternate dates may be arranged. (e.g. I’m tentatively planning a trip to Ohio in Late spring / early summer this year. Perhaps we can schedule our mid-year pizza party then?) ….. Also, the reward doesn’t have to be pizza. For me, it was reminiscent of the Pizza Hut days in grade school, and there’s a special joy in having found pizza I can eat. What does your inner 12-year-old want?
  • How do I report my reading? Er… email? Blog comments? Facebook? (thoughts? suggestions?)

3 thoughts on “Pizza Party Reading challenge

  1. Pingback: 2009 in Review « A.K. Anderson | Science Fiction and Fantasy Author

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