July 26, 2015 by Bernadette ~ The Bumbling Bookworm
Hi guys! Welcome to my new feature, Ponderings of a Bookworm. It’s where I talk about different topics, bookish and non-bookish, whatever’s on my mind really! I wanted to have an outlet to channel my thoughts, and what better place than my blog 🙂
Today’s topic is The Joys of Finishing My Goodreads Reading Challenge!
Now I’m sure you all know what the Goodreads Reading Challenge is, but for those who don’t allow me to explain… Goodreads has this nifty feature that allows you to set yourself a challenge of how many books you want to read in a year, tracking your progress as you read throughout the year. It doesn’t count rereads, because Goodreads doesn’t record that, so it’ll only show books that haven’t previously had a ‘date read’ set on Goodreads.
In 2014, I originally set a goal of 100 books. I thought this would be doable, until I was behind almost right from the outset. To reach 100 books in the space of a year, I needed to read on average 2 books per week. I fell behind pretty quickly and remember being 4 books behind, and then this grew and grew. The further behind I got, the less I wanted to read. My time was also being taken up with work and constant travelling to and from Melbourne on the weekends.
At one point, I fell so far behind that I reduced the challenge to 75 books. A little while later, I reduced it to 50 books, and then down again to 40 books. In 2014, I finished up on 35 books. I did not complete the reading challenge. A number of reasons contributed to this, but the main one I felt was setting an unrealistic target given my commitments and also my reading habits over the preceding years. I’d have been lucky to have read 10 books in each of the years before last year since I finished high school in 2005, there was no way I was suddenly going to read 100 books! What was I thinking? Nonetheless, this was incredibly disheartening and I was determined not to make the same mistakes again.
In 2015, I decided I would set a far lower goal of books to read, yet still more that the 35 I read last year. I felt that I could DEFINITELY improve on that, and I was right! I set a goal of 50 books for my reading challenge, and today I have achieved that. Needless to say, I’m pretty stoked! I’ve read more books this year than I did last year, and we’re not even in August yet!
This year, I found the reading challenge to be a far more enjoyable experience. I didn’t start it on the back foot, having to play catch up the entire way through. I did fall behind on occasion, but it was never more than one or two books, which was easy for me to make up as time went on with my reading habits. The more I was hitting my targets, the more I wanted to keep reading! The end result, finishing the challenge waaaay ahead of schedule 🙂
I’m looking forward to seeing how far I can get this year, and how many books I actually read. I’ll be increasing my goal again next year, but I don’t think I’ll be bouncing back to 100 books just yet… I’m still a bit gun shy after last year!
How about you, do you set yourself a Reading Challenge? Have you completed it yet or are you still working your way up to your goal? Do you struggle with a high target, or do you set yourself something more manageable?