Summer 2018 Reading Challenge: Backpack Across Europe
Welcome to our summer 2018 reading challenge where together we will read our way across Europe! The goal of the challenge is to backpack (a.k.a. read) across Europe and amass the highest points. The challenge will begin July 2 and will end September 30 at midnight EST.
How to play:
All players will begin in their home country and will fly to one of the following airports: Heathrow (UK), Charles de Gaulle (France), or Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (Netherlands). Once you arrive you must read a book from that country in order to begin your travels and move on to the next country.
To travel across the Europe you must read and review books corresponding to each country that you visit. The book either must be predominantly set in that country or the author has to be from that country. You will be awarded points for each country that you visit. To fully participate you must travel to at least 4 European countries prior to arriving back home. You must move across the continent in the same way you would travel over land. You can’t skip over countries (see exception below) by using water travel. You may only use water travel to visit island countries.
To move across a continent you must complete your book and post a mini review (or link to your review on Goodreads or your blog) as a comment on this page.
Four bonus points will be awarded for visiting landmarks. To get credit for visiting a landmark, you must be able to draw a link between your book and the landmark. This can be a quote, a reference to a historical event, a central theme of the book, or another type of tie-in (character in the book visits the location, etc). A moderator (Book Worm or myself will determine whether the reason you provide is sufficient to merit the landmark points). The landmarks are the following:
The Charles Bridge, Prague
La Grand-Place, Brussels
The Gran Bazaar, Istanbul
Old city of Dubrovnik
Your trip will end when you arrive back in your home country and complete a book for your home country. To travel back to your home country, you must depart from one of the following airports: Frankfurt (Germany), Istanbul (Turkey), or Adolfo Suarez Madrid (Spain). If you live in Europe you may travel back to your home country over land, bypassing the final air travel requirement.
Travel Exceptions: Each Monday (starting July 2) three types of major events will happen that can impact your game. One event type will advance your game and the other two event types will delay you. In addition, a fourth type of event will pop up periodically and could help you.
- Travel hubs: Each Monday we will use random.org to select 1 country that will become a travel hub for the week (Monday-Sunday). If you arrive in this country any time in the week it is the designated travel hub, you will be able to move to any other European country from that travel hub. In order to take advantage of this opportunity you must declare that you are using the travel hub and where you are going before the end of the week.
- Travel delays: Two randomly selected participants will be picked each Monday to experience a travel delay. If you are selected, then you will not be able to advance to a new country until the following Monday. You can finish your current book but will not be able to start a new book until your travel restriction is lifted. You may be delayed multiple times throughout the game. We want you to take your time “traveling” and enjoying the sites. Speeding through countries too fast may result in more frequent travel delays. Each week players’ names will be entered into the randomizer for travel delays based on how many countries they visited in the prior week. So if you didn’t complete any books your name won’t be entered into the randomizer but if you complete 5 books in a week, your name will be entered 5 times and the likelihood that you will be delayed will increase.
- Weather warning. Two countries will be randomly selected as blackout countries each Monday. This means that for that week, you will be unable to travel through that country. If you are already in that country when the weather warning occurs, you may finish your current book but may not start your next country until the blackout is over. If you are adjacent to that country and want to travel through it, you must either wait until the end of the week OR find a alternate route.
- Special events. At periodic times through the challenge, special events will be announced that impact a specific country. If you happen to be located in that country in the week of the special event, you will have the opportunity to participate in a special (non-reading) mini-challenge to earn more points.
- You can only read one book/country at a time.
- You may only get points for a country once. If you travel through it again, you need to read a new book in order to pass through the country BUT you will not get points for reading that book. We suggest you plan a trip that avoids visiting the same country more than once.
- You must complete the book and write a mini review BEFORE you move onto the next country.
- Please keep track of your own score on this page. You can start a thread for yourself by posting a comment with your name. Then each time you return to update, just hit reply to your original comment with the mini review and score update. I will double check all scores.
- Books must be over 120 pages.
Travel by Ferry. We are limiting ferry travel. You are backpacking through Europe and are strapped for cash so you can’t afford to travel by Ferry or airline. You may use ferry for the following:
–Iceland to and from Norway & any UK country
–UK to and from France
–Greece to and from Italy
Be Creative and make it fun!
For a truly immersive experience, go the extra mile. Post photos, journal entries, maps, quotes, etc! Photoshop yourself into travel pictures, write short stories about your experiences “visiting” each country. We want you to tell your travel story. At the end of the game, we’ll be picking 5 people who’ve done the best job in creating a complete travel experience and our readers will pick their favorite. You can post your updates on Litsy (but make sure to tag both me @jenP and @bookwormM and use #backpackEurope. You can also post your journey on your own blogs, goodreads, or instagram – just make sure to let us know so we see the posts.
Points & Prizes:
-Country points: 1 point per country completed. NOTE: You will only receive point the first time you visit a country.
-Landmark points: You can earn 4 bonus points for each landmark visited. Your must post how your book ties into the landmark and a moderator must approve the tie in for you to receive these bonus points. NOTE: You will only receive points the first time you visit a landmark.
-creativity points: Each week I will award one participant with 1 bonus point for creativity. The person who is most creative in their posts (photos, stories of their travels, tie-in, etc) will be awarded with an extra point. I will announce that person at the beginning of the week.
Grand Prize: TBA. To win this prize you must a) reach your home country AND b) have the highest number of points among all those who also reach home. If you have the most points but fail to reach your home country by end of game (September 30) you will not be eligible for the grand prize.
Creative Reader: One lucky winner will be selected who best represents the spirit of the game and immerses themselves in the experience. Myself and Book Worm will select 5 top contenders and everyone will have a change to view their posts and vote on their favorite. Prize TBA.
Early Bird prize: $25 Amazon gift card for the first person to arrive home (must visit at least 4 countries prior to returning home).
TO SIGN UP: Simply create a thread in the comments section here for yourself. See the example I created for myself.
List of participants:
- Diane S
- Jen (Goodreads & Litsy)
- Jamie B (Goodreads & Listy)
- The Other Jen (Goodreads 1001 member)
- Paula S (Goodreads 1001 member)
- Claire B (Litsy @Dulcinella & Goodreads)
- Kelly (Goodreads and Litsy)
- The other Diane (P) (goodreads 1001 member)
- Liz M (goodreads 1001 member & Litsy)
- Tatjana (Goodreads 1001 member)
- WanderingLynn (Litsy)
- Tatiana (TCLinrow on Litsy)
- Katja (Litsy)
- Cindy (Litsy @cinfhen)
- Tanya D
- Jan H (wordpress)
- Rachel O (Litsy)
- Molly G (Litsy)
- Allissa (@lapreader Litsy)
- Jessica H (Litsy)
- Nicole D
- Rachel N
- Tessa B
- Denise (jerdencon Litsy)