The last couple of years, I’ve done the Goodreads Reading Challenge, where you set a number of books to read during the year and try to meet it. The first year, I met my goal (and I think I might have exceeded it, but I can’t recall for sure, and that was with starting late!), and this year, not so much. This year, I’m actually two books behind right now, with less than a week left in the year.
The thing is, I find that “2 books behind schedule” to be frustrating. It makes me feel more like my reading is a chore than a pleasure, and makes me feel like a failure that I’m unable to meet the goal I set for myself – especially since that goal is less than it was the first year, and also because I lowered the goal later in the year because I knew I wouldn’t meet the original goal I set.
So, I decided that for 2017, I wouldn’t do it the same way. I may still do the Goodreads challenge, but I’m not going to set a very high number. I’ve got a very specific list of books I intend to read in 2017, and that will be my reading challenge: to read those books. They are books that have been on my TBR list for a while now, some recommended by family or friends, some that simply caught my attention somehow and got added to the list before being promptly forgotten. Some are series books (an entire series is on the list, as well as a couple of books that are continuations of a series I’ve already started), some are standalones, some are by some of my favorite authors while others are by new authors (or new to me, at any rate). There tons of fiction, of course, but there’s also a few nonfiction titles on there that intrigued me enough to want to check them out.
I’m hopeful. By focusing on reading the books I really want to read, I’m hoping that my real love and pleasure in reading will return, and I’ll be able to truly enjoy the books I read again. I won’t be focusing on finding books that are short enough to read quickly. Nor will I be skimming pages in an attempt to finish books more quickly so I can move on to the next and keep up the pace, or pick up the pace. I won’t watch that number of books to be read, or the number of books behind schedule, and feel pressured. I’ll be able to savor the worlds I’m inhabiting, get to know the characters and locations, and come away with the satisfaction of not only having enjoyed the book, but being able to actually remember the whole book.
What are your reading goals for 2017? Are you counting books? Reading what you want to read? Trying a new genre, a new author, a new format (maybe you got your first ereader for Christmas this year?)? Let’s all share our goals for this year, and see if we can meet them!
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