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.
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.
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!