Rules & FAQ

brainThe good news is, there are no real rules. Just commit to reading fifty books and watching fifty movies during 2013! But if you’re looking for some structure and guidelines, keep reading. If you have any suggestions, feel free to contact us or leave a comment below!

Some Guidelines:

  • Recognize you’re doing this for bragging rights (only); although we promise some fun along the way.
  • Join anytime you like, but you only have til the end of 2013 to finish.
  • Read and watch at your own pace, just get to 50/50 before January 1, 2022
  • Finish that stack of half-read books, finally! We’ll let you count them.
  • Read/watch in any language. is global, yo.

Questions You Are Asking or Should Be!

1) What is is a personal reading contest and movie-watching challenge for 2013. The tagline says it all: 50 books. 50 movies. 1 year. 1 you.

Participants keep individual track of their accomplishments, but celebrate their shared nerdiness in an online Overachievers community throughout the year, swapping recommendations, reviews, and motivation to cross the finish line.

2) Um…What happens if I don’t read 50 books and watch 50 movies this year?
Easy: we send a bounty hunter to your house.

Actually, there is no punishment (not this year, anyhow). It’s your personal challenge, so all we ask is that you try. No matter what, you’ll probably consume more books/movies than you’ve ever done before. This, my friends, is what we call win-win.

3) Do I have to read the books, or can I just skim?
I can see how this would be confusing. Oh wait, no. C’mon people, it’s a reading challenge! Same as fast-forwarding through a movie isn’t the same as really watching one, this is about taking the time to really enjoy. For the avoidance of doubt, please read the book for it count.

4) Do long books count as two? What about movies?
If your book is over 500 pages, you can count it as two books if you like. We still consider you an Overachiever. However, if the book is 2,000 pages, it’s still just two books — not four! We want to encourage you to read longer pieces. This answer has been posted for the benefit of all you Game of Thrones fanatics out there. Go forth and prosper or whatever it is.
No matter the length, a movie is still just a (one, 1, “ONE”) movie. That said, installments in a movie series (example: the individual Godfather movies) would each snag an individual point. Go you.

5) What if I’ve read a few pages or seen a few clips of a movie already?
As long as more than half (50%) of it is new to you, you’re good to go – count it!

6) Do textbooks count?
You poor thing. Let’s see here: A book’s a book, but are you really reading all of it or just a chapter here or there? Be honest with yourself!

Books you read for school count as well, if you’ve read them in their entirety.

7) Can I re-watch a movie I’ve seen before or reread an old book?
Of course you can rewatch and reread… it just won’t count towards your 50/50! We hope you will use to inspire you to explore new stuff! Maybe next year we will include a “Reminiscing” theme, but this year around we’re asking you to go fresh.

8) Do I need a blog to do
No! You do not need a blog in order to do We suggest keeping track of what you consume on this here fancy website. You can link from your profile to other free sites such as Blogger and Tumblr or Pinterest or Goodreads if you want your own independent record or to share your in-depth reviews with others.

This year, we’re working on the honor system- just keep a list on your fridge or in a notebook if you aren’t interested in doing it online. The main focus is on participating- your free time is better spent on reading/watching.

9) What should I read/watch?
Anything you like! We have offered a lot of themes on the website, and you may want to borrow from them should you declare a Major/Minor.

For example, one thing we have suggested is that you dive deeper into someone’s work and experience a few in a row (whether it’s an author, director, actor, etc.). What this does is allow you to justify why you stayed home all weekend watching Ryan Gosling’s filmography. It will also allow you to use “oeuvre” correctly in conversation with people… people who rightfully probably won’t want to be your friends for long, but that is neither here nor there.

10) Can kids participate in
Yes, definitely! We encourage families and people of all ages to sign up for this movie and reading challenge, although you should prepare because the kids we know will double up and read more like 100 books in the year.

We just suggest you read age-appropriate(ish) material. If you are under 18, please have the oversight of a parent or guardian- get them to participate too.

11) How do I get my school/library involved?
Tell them about it! We are sure your school or library would encourage this adventure. If your library or school does decide to participate, let us know and we’ll be happy to post about it on our website.

While we do not offer prizes this year (other than our respect, membership in the cool kids club, etc.), schools or libraries may want to support the with local awards for Overachievers, or a ceremony to recognize those who accomplish this huge task.

You might also want to create a club to meet once in a while and discuss what you are reading/watching, and share recommendations in person. Libraries, local independent bookstores, and theaters would be great venues for these – get your local community involved!

12) How can I find people around me doing
Go through profiles and see who you can meet! Participants may volunteer where they are writing from.

13) Are there events? is based out of San Diego, but no live events are planned at the moment. We’ll keep you posted when/if those happen, so please be sure to sign up for our mailing list so we can reach out to you about relevant news and information.

Got a question to ask? Email us at fiftyfiftymeATgmail or find us on Twitter @fiftyfiftyme.

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