Like many book-lovers out there, I use Goodreads to track what I’m currently reading, rate how much I enjoyed what I have already read, and find recommendations for new books. Unfortunately, there is one time of the year where a website that I typically love fills me with dread, and that time is coming up again.
I am, of course, referring to the Goodreads reading challenge. For those who don’t use Goodreads, this reading-based social media application has its members set a goal for how many books they intend to read every year. This seems like a simple task to complete, as all I have to do is pick a number, right? Regardless, I agonize over this choice every year.
If I set my reading goal high, it seems like I am stretching myself to read more. Instead, I spend my year in constant worry about whether I will hit my goal, refusing to read anything over a certain page count so I can get more books in. This often results in a months-long reading slump because I read books I’m not into for no reason other than to finish it and increase my count. On the other hand, setting my goal low makes me feel like a bad reader because I see so many others around me with much higher numbers.
Over time, however, I’m trying to turn off the part of my brain that worries so much about what others think of my reading. It can be so easy to look at someone who reads 200 books and feel inadequate, but as long as I’m enjoying everything I pick up, who cares what others are doing? I need to just focus on reading what I love at a pace that I’m comfortable with, instead of constantly sprinting to the finish.
Part of the process of being my own reading cheerleader is to redefine what the Goodreads challenge means for me. In past years, I’ve set my goal to be ambitious, but in 2019, I’m trying something different. I’m going to set my goal to the minimum amount of books I wish to be reading in a year. On average, I want to be reading at least two books a month, or 24 in a year. Therefore, that’s my new challenge number. It’s definitely conservative, and I’ll likely far exceed it by the end of the year, but this amount allows me to comfortably read what I want without constantly panicking about whether I am reading enough. I will have other personal 2019 reading challenges that will push me harder, which I will discuss more in a future post.
Do you experience fear or dread over the Goodreads reading challenge? Go ahead and comment down below so we can worry together!