It seems a bit sacrilegious as a reader and book blogger to say this out loud, but here it goes…
I am deeply considering not having a Goodreads goal this year?
Why would I do such a thing? Well, a few reasons.
- Reading shouldn’t be about racing through books to meet a goal.
The enjoyment of books for me is deeply rooted in the time I spend with the plot and characters. You build relationships with books and appreciate them much more when you take your time. When you have a number you are chasing, it makes things a bit less patient and a little more rushed. While it’s good to have a goal for yourself and it feels SO gratifying to meet and beat those goals, I keep asking myself how much more I would enjoy reading if I didn’t have a quota. Chances are, it would be a lot more.
- Having book quotas and a number to reach really makes you shy away from reading longer books.
I have noticed this issue a TON with not only myself, but other book bloggers I have talked to have said the same thing. With my current Goodreads goal in place, I have avoided books longer than 300 or so pages like the plague. Why? Because I could read 2 books and make a higher number at the end of the year if I just set it aside. There are so many big books I want to read in the New Year and if I am chasing a quota, I will never get to them.
- I am slowly letting myself come to terms with the fact that number of books read does not equal my “worth” as a reader.
It’s hard to deny that when you see someone who has read 200 books in a year, you immediately become impressed with their ability to read that much. But does that make them a better reader, a more dedicated reader, or anything more than someone who read 2 books in a year? Nope. Not even remotely. While reading a ton of books IS impressive and proves that you are totally dedicated to your hobby, those who read less books or read just a bit more slowly are still just as valuable and worthy of being a part of the “bookworm club” as those who are speed demons! This is not a competition, we are all friends here. I used to think that if my number at the end of the year was a super high one, I would feel better about myself. But now that the year is coming to a close, I realize that what I gained from reading, what I learned from the books I read, and the friendships that I have made that have been formed around books are so much more valuable. Screw numbers!
- I TOTALLY smashed my reading amount from last year, and improvement is all that matters to me.
Last year, I read 20 books for the entire year. That’s it. While that may be a lot to some people, that is very small compared to the fact that I am sneaking up on 80 read this year. THAT fact alone made me feel proud of myself, simply that I improved. I could have read 25 books this year and still been just as happy. But what made me more proud was that the books I read improved. As someone who was stuck in a cycle of always reading the same types of books from the same types of authors, I really broadened my horizons this year and read books I never would have considered before and tried out some new authors who have become lifelong favorites.
I still haven’t made a final decision on this yet, but I have the rest of December to think about it and make a final decision. What do you guys think? Are you into Goodreads goals? Do you set other goals for yourself that aren’t tied to number of books read? Let me know!
Thanks as always for reading and I will keep you updated on what I decide!