It’s that time of year again: resolutions, new goals and reading challenges.
Personally, I love reading challenges, readalongs and readathons of all types. They motivate me to read more, meet new fellow readers, dig the depths of my TBR, and try books I otherwise wouldn’t.
Last year I took part in (at least) a readathon of some sort almost every month. This year I’ve already signed up for several year-long challenges (Beat the Backlist, Retelling Bingo, A Daye A Month and PopSugar) along with setting some solo targets of my own (check them all out here). I’ve also got my eye on plenty of week/month long events such as the Magical Readathon and the two I’ll be hosting: Hamilthon (March) and Mythothon #2 (September).
But seeing so many “2019 Goals” posts go up this month has got me thinking: are we putting too much pressure on ourselves?
I think the Goodreads Challenge is the most obvious offender for this. I saw loads of tweets in December looking for short reads, or fanatically trying to cram in a few more books. I hit my Goodreads goal comfortably last year, and I’ve lowered it even further for 2019 to an even 100 books. But to be honest, it’s not Goodreads which gets to me. With all my readathons etc. I clocked up enough books this year that I didn’t even really pay attention to it.
It’s the shorter challenges where my personal problems lie. I love them, but I also really like ticking things off and marking them as done. It’s why I love bullet journaling so much! And, instead of being selective and setting reasonable goals within a challenge I just want to read all the things! To be honest, there were a few times last year when I was so keen to squeeze more books in, I don’t think I really appreciated what I was reading. And, while I hit my yearly numerical target, I think I played things too safe on a monthly basis: avoiding longer, or more challenging books — even those I’m desperate to read — because I knew they’d slow me down.
So, this year I’ve lowered my Goodreads goal. I’ve also decided to be a lot more selective about the challenges I take part in, and to use them to guide my TBRs instead of controlling them. I’m focusing on the longer challenges and some ‘one a month’ groups to space things out more.
Hopefully this way I’ll be able to pick up what I’m in the mood for a bit more often, remove some completely unnecessary stress and have a really enjoyable reading year.
What do you think about setting yourself reading goals?
Do you do it, and if so what are they?
Do you ever feel pressure to meet your targets?
Let me know.