For the last few years, I’ve done a Goodreads reading challenge each year. For those who are unfamiliar, Goodreads allows you to set a goal for the number of books you’d like to read throughout the year and when you mark a book as completed, it will add it to your total for the year.
While I’m still going to count the number of books I’ll be reading just to see where I end up at the end of the year, I’m not going to be setting a goal this year. I want to take the stress out of reading and go back to fully enjoying it, focus on quality over quantity, and feel okay with not finishing every book I start without feeling guilty about all of the reading time I wasted on it.
One of the most important factors in my decision is that I just like to read long books. I don’t like reading short books just for the sake of increasing my total (though there are plenty of short books that I love as well). I’d rather read what I’m in the mood to read rather than read lots of short books because I’m trying to reach my goal.
Another reason I’m not doing the challenge is that I hate comparing how much I read with how many books others are able to read. I have struggled for the last two years to reach my goal of fifty books and I see others reading more than double that, but in reality it really doesn’t matter whether you read five or fifty books or five hundred books if it is the right amount for you and your life.
Goals are generally great to have but I think sometimes they can do more harm than good. For me, a reading goal starts out as motivating and then ends up discouraging when I’m struggling to reach it. Sometimes life gets in the way of reading and that’s perfectly okay. This year, I want to focus on just enjoying reading without worrying about a number.