The South Asian Challenge is something I’ve been running since 2010 in an effort to promote the reading of South Asian authors and books about South Asia. (For more information on the challenge, or if you don’t know what challenges are, visit the South Asian Challenge F.A.Q.) That was a time when reading challenges were at their height; everyone wanted to join a new challenge and explore books they wouldn’t normally pick up.
But since then, the reading landscape has changed. People are still reading, but challenges have been less popular in recent years. I myself am one of many that have contributed to this: I joined zero challenges in 2013. I wanted the freedom to read what I wanted when I wanted, and others felt the same way. Challenges seemed to be on their way out as quickly as they’d burst onto the scene.
I was surprised, then, that in late 2012, people started asking me about the South Asian Challenge for 2013. “Where is it?” they’d ask. So I dutifully put up another challenge post and was surprised that people were still interested in it. Though I’d seen the decline of challenges firsthand, there were those that were still engaged and interested in the South Asian Challenge. I’ve always said that as long as people were interested in participating, I would keep hosting. But for 2014, I wanted to do something different. I thought long and hard about how to change the South Asian Challenge, to preserve the aspects that people like, but to perhaps make it more appealing. And I think I’ve got it.
For 2014, I’d like to introduce you to The Perpetual South Asian Challenge.
What does this mean? Well, instead of having a new challenge every year, this is an ongoing challenge. As long as you’re reading, I’m challenging you to read books by South Asian authors and about South Asia. Beyond that, you can set your own goals. There’s no minimum or maximum, and no obligation to review books or post about the challenge; this challenge gives you the flexibility to read whatever you want while still encouraging you to diversify.
If you’re confused about how to participate, the answer is “any way you want.” If you want to post about it, go ahead. If you don’t, but want to read books that fulfill the challenge, that’s fine too—it’s all about doing as much or as little as you want.
I’m taking a bit of a blogging break at the end of this year, so I won’t be around to answer your questions right away. Leave them on this post, though, and I’ll make sure to get to them early in the new year. I’ll also be waiting until the new year to update the F.A.Q. and information on the new challenge.
If you’d like to sign up for The Perpetual South Asian Challenge with a post on your own blog, you can do so below. But you don’t have to—this is all about making this challenge work for you. My goal with this is to spread the word about South Asian authors and books about the region; I hope you’ll pick up a book or two soon!