A few years ago, probably when I became a member of Goodreads, I tried to set reading goals for myself. They were often twofold: one, to read so many books each year, and the other has often been related to the types of books or certain titles I wanted to finally read.
Last year, my goal was to read 50 books in the year, which I accomplished, plus a few more. This year, I thought I’d try to push myself to read 55, since last year I came close at 52. With only a few weeks left to the year, I’ll fall short of that goal, but like this Book Riot essay talks about, it doesn’t entirely bother me. As of today, I’m at 49 books and I’ll finish 2 more ( one audio nonfiction, one hardcover fiction) probably in the next few days, bringing me to 51. They are both library books so I feel that pressure to read and return. I may knock out 2 more that I’ve been slowly reading by the end of the year since we don’t have a lot of holiday plans, but if I don’t, I’m not going to stress about.
Reading is one of the greatest joys in my life and has been since an early age. But it’s not just books that I love reading- it’s blogs, newspapers, magazines, and even random brochures that come in the mail. I even like reading product descriptions in all the catalogs that end up in my mailbox this time of year. A love for the written word often has me reading lots of things at the same time, all with the quest to feed my curious mind and desire to learn something everyday.
So while I may not hit my 55 books, I know I’ve challenged myself a bit in the book reading I have done. There were a few titles that had been on to-read shelf ( both the digital and physical shelves!) for a while that I was able to knock out. I did read or listen to a few of the classics that I never was assigned in my school days, so feel accomplished about that.
In the end, I want to read what I want to read, not something defined by a desire to win a challenge or knock off things on a list just to say I did. That might change in the future, but for now, the reading is what I want it to be.
Did you meet any reading goals this year? How do you feel about these book challenges?
I usually do the Goodreads challenge, but I don’t get too stressed out about it. I tend to set a lower goal than I will normally read (this year it was 75 and I’ll probably come in 10 books over that).
I also did the Book Riot reading challenge, which I loved but also loathed. Ha. I read some really fantastic books that I probably wouldn’t have read if not for the challenge, but I also slogged through some books I only finished to mark a category complete. That’s not what reading is about for me! I’m on the fence about reading challenges because I like that they force me out of my reading comfort zone, but I also don’t like that I feel that I *have* to continue reading a book I’m not enjoying because “the challenge said so.”