Monday, January 18, 2016

Regarding My Goodreads Reading Challenge

This year, I set my Goodreads reading goal for 100 books. I know that that's a very respectable goal, and that many people aim for that many books as a reach. However, it still feels like a step back for me. The last time I set my goal for 100 books was in 2013, and since then, my goals have been significantly more ambitious.

So why the giant step back? I have a number of reasons, most of which go back to the fact that I have no idea how this year is going to go. I don't want to have to lower my reading challenge again - in 2015, I originally set it to 200 books, but I figured out pretty quickly that that wasn't going to happen. I knew it was a long shot, but I was still disappointed.

The biggest reason that this year is a giant mystery is that I'm starting college this fall. That's still a bit of a scary thought, and while I am looking forward to it, I'm apprehensive because I don't know how much time I'm going to have for leisure reading. My school days will be shorter, but I'll have much more homework to do, and I don't want to feel torn between getting caught up on my Goodreads challenge and getting caught up in my classes.

On top of that, I don't really know what kind of books I'll be reading this year. I got into comics and graphic novels last year, and while I really enjoy them, it started to get to a point where I was thinking "Oh, I'm behind on my Goodreads challenge, so it's time to read a comic book or two." I want to read those books when I want to, not when I feel obligated to cram in half a dozen within a few days. On the other end of the spectrum, I want to read longer books this year. One of my New Year's Resolutions was to read at least one American history book every month. I really like most of the ones I read, and yet I ten to avoid them. Most of the ones on my tentative list are pretty long, and no matter the length, nonfiction takes me longer to read than fiction. I don't want to think that I can't read nonfiction because I have to catch up on my reading challenge.

Also, as I touched on before, I'd much rather raise my reading challenge than lower it. If I miraculously read 100 books by the end of August, I'm not just going to keep going above it. I'm going to slowly raise my reading challenge (maybe by 10 books at a time) until the beginning of December.

I'd like to reread a lot of books this year. I know that I can count rereads on my Goodreads challenge by changing the date read, but that means that according to Goodreads, I won't have completed some of my previous challenges, and I care about that (probably a bit too much). I've read somewhere that there's going to be a solution to this problem soon, and while I hope that there will be, I'm perfectly happy to just not include them for now. If I set a reading challenge that I know I can accomplish, I'll feel free to reread books whenever I want without worrying about getting behind. I'm going to post a list of books and series that I want to reread a few weeks from now.

I'll provide further updates on my reading challenge throughout the year. Who knows - maybe I'll end up reading more books than last year after all. We'll see.

What's your Goodreads challenge for this year? How does it compare to previous years? Are you doing any other challenges this year? Tell me in the comments! 

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