I became an avid reader in late 2015. If you’re not new here you might already know that, otherwise I posted my reading journey here. I was 26 years old in 2015. I started doing the Goodreads challenge then. I’ve done it every year since 2015 (I didn’t always start it at the beginning of the year but usually I did).
At first I truly believe it got me to keep reading and to become an avid reader. It pushed me and motivated me. But eventually, it started to stress me. So I set it lower once I got to a point I was happy with in my reading, no stress about the numbers. But, it no longer feels right to me to have a reading challenge goal on Goodreads at all.
It’s so gamified in the book community. A source of stress for some. Turning reading into a numbers game when it should be an enjoyable hobby or way to learn. Not a chore, but fun. It wants quantity over quality, and by quality I don’t mean you have to read classics (unless you want to) or hard stuff. By quality I just mean books one really wants to read and enjoys. But instead, you gotta hit those numbers, so short books it is. And if one wants to read short books, that’s fine. But when you want to read those chunkers? It’s no longer fine.
You can still see anyone’s books they’ve read in any given year on Goodreads even without a reading challenge goal set. On their profile on Goodreads go to their bookshelves, hit “stats”, and then any years they’ve logged books into Goodreads will show up and you can look at them by year. Sure they have to have read dates on them but generally those are automatically added when you choose “currently reading” and then “finished”.
By not having a Goodreads challenge my reading will feel just a little more private (even though it really isn’t but it still feels different since not everyone knows you can still see people’s read books by year even without a challenge and it has more steps to do so so even someone who knows is less likely to do it than they are to click a reading challenge and quickly and easily see all the books).
I stated how I just want to read what I want when I want and mood reading and all that in my previous post 2023: The Year of Mood Reading. I love to read now. I needed a kick in the ass to get here, I know I did, but the kick in the ass has done it’s job now and i’m in love with reading. I don’t see myself not reading, that seems absurd to me now. Not read? But why not? I wanna read so many things! But at the same time, i don’t have to read anything, and if I didn’t read anything ever again? That could be ok. Confusing, but ok.
So no Goodreads reading challenge goal feels less stressful, no matter what I would’ve done with the challenge. I thought about setting it to 25 (i’ll most likely crush that), thought about setting it to 1 “to make a point” or nothing at all. And now i’ve decided, none at all. And I don’t think i’m going back to it. The ones i’ve done already will stay up on my Goodreads. I just won’t have any new ones.
But as the title says, i’m not against it. I already said I needed the kick in the ass it gave me to become the reader I am now. I’m grateful for it and I know it works wonderfully for some people. We’re all different. And things can change with a person to, like they are for me. But even so we’re all different and our brains and lives work differently. Do what is truly best for you, and have fun!