“A goal is not always meant to be reached, it often serves simply as something to aim at.” – Bruce Lee
Last November, I confessed to you all that I am a slow reader. The blog post is here for anyone who wants to revisit it. My habit is still the same one year later. I go to bed with my book and usually fall asleep reading it. However, I have been trying to read on my sofa more than before now that I am teaching less.
In 2018, I set my Goodreads target to ten and read all of eight books. Eight. I am embarrassed.
In 2019, I reached my goal of twelve and I think I even surpassed it by one. For 2020, I set my Goodreads challenge to fifteen, hoping I could beat my previous record. Since Covid-19 has thrown a spanner in the works of life, I am well on the way to achieving my goal and then some. But my personal promise is to always aim higher. So, I might have shot myself in the foot with this one... I allowed the books I read for marketing and research to be a part of that list and read a couple of short novels amidst the longer ones (looking at you Maas and Mahurin) to guarantee I’d meet my goal.
I’ll put up a rundown of the books from this year later, since it is only September. But for today, I wanted to focus on the pros and cons of Goodreads reading challenges.
Let's start with the Pros.
1. The challenge encourages readers to read more.
It is fairly obvious that setting a Goodread's challenge has helped me to read more. My reading numbers are on the up with each passing year. And it would be nice if that continued.
2. Readers can track what they read.
I absolutely would not remember what I'd read if it wasn't for Goodreads. As long as I remember to input the information, I can access my reading history. This helps me bring up memories associated with the books, or reminders of series that I need to continue, or authors that I should read more of. It's so handy!
3. Get a sense of achievement for reaching a goal.
If you are the kind of person who likes to have targets and surpass them, then setting a Goodreads challenge for the year can be a great motivator. And that feeling when you reach your goal! Awoohoo!
4. You can see what your friends are reading.
If you need a nudge to read more or need some inspiration, seeing the books your friends have read can help with that.
As for the cons...
1. Readers feel pressured to read.
It is one thing to set yourself a realistic goal. It's another to set your goal too high and feel burdened to reach it. Reading should be a pleasure not a chore.
2. Reading choices are made according to progress in the challenge
Well, I admitted doing this. I read a number of e-books that I knew to be short and am currently reading a novel at least half the length of a Sarah J. Maas to compensate. I am baffled that some readers are capable of finishing hundreds of books in a year. I really don't know how they do it!
3. Readers can get reader anxiety.
Have you ever looked at the progress of another, noticed you are way behind and feel like a failure? This isn't just a reader's mind. It is human to look at others and judge ourselves against them. More so now thanks to the perceived awesomeness of other's lives on social media.
4. Emphasis on quantity not quality
Some books are better than others. We all know this. But the Goodread's challenge only focuses on the amount of books read. It would be interesting if they added additional challenges related to book ratings or prize winners, genre etc.
Well, that's it for today. Happy Reading. I hope you all get to complete your challenges.
Stay Safe, Stay Healthy, Stay Gold.