At the end of each year in this community, we see a large amount of discussion revolving around Goodreads reading challenges. A Goodreads reading challenge is a challenge Goodreads has where you can set a specific number of books to read by the end of the year. We see people who don’t set one at all, people who set it to one book so they can beat it by a lot, people who set an amount they feel like they can reach…
We see all different numbers, because everyone reads at a different pace and has more or less time to read. And then we see people talking about why they don’t set a number of books to read. As someone who has always set one and enjoyed it, I wanted to write a post talking about both the pros and cons of these goals, and why some people love them and some people hate them.
Holds you accountable to read all year
A set reading goal can push you to read more and not spend your time on other things such as watching TV or browsing social media for hours (which are still great, believe me, I know).
Helps you keep track of the books you read in a year and what you rated them
Do you honestly think that in December, I remember the books I read in January, much less what I thought of them? Nope. A thousand nopes. By the end of the year, I’m lucky to remember what I wore the previous day.
Shows you what (and how many) books friends read in a year and what they thought of them
I love seeing what books my Goodreads friends are reading and the ratings they give, because if it’s a person I trust, it can convince me to pick up a book or to skip it. I add so many books to my tbr because of the books my friends on there read in a year. And before you say, “You can do that on the regular Goodreads without the challenge!” realize that I know that, but it’s even easier for me to scroll through the challenges and see the books and how my friends are doing on their challenges then other ways of navigating Goodreads.
Enables you to share your own goal and books you read with friends
This is so similar to the above one that it doesn’t need an explanation. You get it.
Sense of competition makes you want to read more
When I see so many people at the end of the year about to hit their goals, it motivates me to read more, try harder. This past year, I had 10 days left in 2016 and 10 books to read. I can’t read that fast normally, but I pushed myself and read some great books because of it.
Stresses you out
If you’re getting stressed by the number you chose, it’s either too high or Goodreads goals aren’t right for you. It shouldn’t be there to create stress. They exist for fun. Reading shouldn’t be stressful.
Pressures you to read
You could look at what happened to me last year, that I just talked about above, and yes, I was pressured to read by my Goodreads challenge. For me, that was a good thing, but for a lot of people, I’m sure it’s not.
Makes reading less enjoyable
Like I said before, Goodreads goals can make you stressed, and then make you not even want to pick up a book. That’s obviously not the point of them, but I’ve heard a lot of people say this.
Turns reading into a competition
This one just makes me sad, but I know it’s a legitimate negative of these challenges. I can see why: it’s easy to compare how you do to everyone else.
After making this list of pros and cons of Goodreads challenges, I can see why people don’t do them, but I also see why people do. It’s interesting! I can now see both ‘sides’, if you will, and it intrigues me because I agree with the points made for both. Still, I love setting and (usually) reaching the goal!
This year is different, because instead of setting a goal of 100 for myself like I normally do, I’m setting it for 60. Inside, I know that I’ll be trying for 100. I can’t just turn that part of myself off, the part that wants to read 100+ books every year. But if I set my goal for 60, hopefully I will teach myself that it’s not necessary, and I don’t need to stress to read a certain goal.
Do you set a Goodreads goal? Why or why not? Did you meet yours of last year? If you set one, what did you set yours at for this year? What do you think of Goodreads reading challenges?
Thanks for reading,