Every year Goodreads hosts a reading challenge. Every year I participate. And every year I fail. So what’s the point? Why do I keep joining?
For those of you who don’t know, goodreads is a webside, kind of like facebook, but for books. And they host a yearly reading challenge where participants pledge the number of books they wish to read in that year. With a lot of speedreaders on the site, the average number of books pledged each year is usually around 55-60 books. Which is a lot. More than I will be able to read, at least!
This year I have pledged to read 52 books, one for each week. The reason for this is that I want to push myself to read every week. Sometimes I finish one, or maybe two books in a day (!), so 52 books does leave space for reading slumps.
So far this year, I have read 12 books. 12 books in 6 and a half months. That means I am 16 books behind schedule.
So why do I keep participating even when I lose year after year? This has been a discussion in the book-community, whether this challenge has a positive impact or a negative. On one hand, the challenge often leads to speedreading and reading for the number of books on the challenge, rather than reading for joy and pleasure. On the other hand it can have a positive effect in pushing us to read more.
To me, this challenge is a reminder to keep reading. I often put down books just because I’d rather be playing on my phone or watching youtube videoes. Participating in this challenge helps be remember to read more, and because I am incredibly competitive it helps me push myself to pick up the book I’ve been putting of reading.
I do not take this challenge too seriously, and I often have to reduce the number of pledged books quite a bit… If I’d not allowed myself to do this, I would have felt like a failure every single time. And that I do not want. Especially not in relation to reading.
Every year I try to make a shelf on goodreads called the year and tbr (2017-TBR). In this shelf I place books I want to read that year, and only as many as I think I can accomplish. I try to not add books I do not own, or that have not been published yet. When I have read a book, I remove it from the list. When I buy a book that I know I want to read, I add it. So in the later months of the year, the amount of books on the self are equal to the amount of books left to read on my goodreads reading challenge. This helps me stay motivated and helps me plan my reading a little better, so I avoid reading slumps.
What are your thoughts on reading challenges like this one? And how to you avoid bad reading slumps?