Fantasy Bingo, Completed!

It is done! The Card is complete!

For those of you who don’t know what I’m talking about the /r/Fantasy community over on Reddit have been participating in a Fantasy Bingo reading challenge for the past year (since April).

You can find all the details over here.

In short though: There is a bingo card which has twenty five different categories covering lots of different sub-genres of fantasy or different criteria, like Literary Fantasy, a novel written be an underrated author, or a female author. Read a book in the category and you tick it off.

Simple!

Instead of following the bingo card and pasting a cover over it, I found it easier to create a google document detailing all the categories and then I could add in any books that I added to my To Be Read list (yes, that was a lot) that fit into the categories. This (theoretically) made it easier to keep up with the challenge and complete it.

What actually happened was that I had about fourteen in two different categories and every so often had to shimmy them about so make it look a little tidier.

Here’s a finished version of the google document, with all the ‘to be read’ books removed and just the books I’ve actually read. 

But seeing as it’s all done with now I’ve done my own filled out image of the Bingo Card here.

It was fun! And although I’ve cut it a bit close to the wire getting them all read I’m looking forward to next year and the next Bingo Challenge!

I think that I enjoyed most was that I learned a bit about my own reading habits. At times it felt as though I were just trying to read some things for the sake of the categories. Perhaps surprisingly this has made me more resolved to find things to read in the categories that I wasn’t looking forward to.

For example one was the category for a book originally written in any language other than English.

I was really keen on the concepts of the novels that I added into the ‘to be read’ part of that category but when it came to picking the books up I couldn’t bring myself to start them. In the end for this category (and the Pre-Tolkien category) I went with an old saga, which I greatly enjoyed.

I’ve also learned that it would seem like my natural inclination is to favour male authors. Purely on the numbers I read 26 books and stories by female authors since April last year and 40 by male authors.

That’s definitely something that I would like to change. I don’t want to get into the whole issue that female authors ‘don’t write epic fantasy’. There’s plenty of great discussion out there already dispelling such notions. But I would like next year to make a more concerted effort to have at least a 50/50 gender split or a more weighted ratio if it’s in favour of female authors.

So I’m excited for next year’s Bingo Card and at trying to stretch my reading horizons even further! I may also try and see how many of the books on the NPR Top 100 Sci Fi & Fantasy books!

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