I’ve noticed that a lot of readers and bloggers have different feelings and opinions about Goodreads/reading goals.
I’ve been making a yearly reading goal since last year. In 2014, my goal was to read 100 books and I ended up reading 130. So, when setting my goal for this year, I wanted to push myself a little more and made my goal 150. I figured that if I read 130 the previous year, it shouldn’t be too hard to read 20 more.
I was wrong.
I hadn’t anticipated starting a blog – which in itself is a lot of hard work and takes time. Time that could be spent reading books.
Not to mention that I’m also still in school and that takes away so much time from my reading.
This year, in 2015, I read 111 books. Meaning, I was 39 books away from my goal of 150. Overall, even though the volume of books I read last year was greater, 2015 was more successful. I reviewed many books this year, which takes more time and energy than just reading, as I had been doing the previous year.
I always thought that setting this “reading challenge” was something fun and, well…challenging.
At the end of this past year, I found myself getting very stressed out. Because if I set a goal like this and I don’t reach it, it’s really disappointing and upsetting.
I found myself thinking “I really need to cram to reach this Goodreads goal before the end of the year!” When in reality, NO I didn’t need to. Do I really want to have to read almost a book a day for two months just to attain an arbitrary number only put in place by myself? No, I didn’t. This is a reading challenge based only on the number of books you’ve read. It doesn’t take into account any other things you’ve done or how many of those you spent time reviewing.
Is my “Reading Challenge” helping me and encouraging me, or has it become something (based only superficially on a number) that I feel like I need to attain, lest I feel like I’ve failed? I think this is something I’ll really need to think about when considering doing it this year, in 2016. I fully believe in the importance of setting goals for yourself and definitely plan on setting some for the upcoming year. However, I’ve started to feel like this ‘challenge’ type of goal is something that in reality may be hurting me instead of helping me.
Some important questions that are great to keep in mind and ask yourself if you’re wondering or struggling with this (like me):
Are setting ‘Reading Challenges’ encouraging you and helping you or are they becoming something that make you feel like you need to reach in order to be successful?
If I didn’t reach my challenge goal this year, how would I feel or what affect would that have on me?
Is this challenge something that is still fun and encouraging, or has it become a point of stress and anxiety?
Have I become only concerned with finishing this certain volume of books that I find myself rushing through them or trying to cram?
Am I comparing my challenge progress to others’ who may have read more than me?
For me, it’s not something that has yet affected how I read, but is a definite source of anxiety. I know I’m going to feel disappointed and upset about not reaching it, when I shouldn’t feel that way. I haven’t “failed” in anything, because the volume of books I read isn’t what’s important, but what I take away from them.
Some things I’d like to get your viewpoints on:
How do you view reading challenges? Do you think they are something that is fun and helpful or stressful and harmful? Do you participate in them?