I Broke up with my Goodreads Reading Challenge

I broke up.jpg

Ever since I discovered Goodreads in late 2013, I never stopped obsessing over it. Accepting every single friend request, adding every single book to my to-read shelf, spending hours discovering new books, and more.

You probably already know this, but I’m saying it anyway. Goodreads is like the Facebook of bookish people. Actually, not really, but it does involve socialising with people from the bookish community and sharing each other’s opinions, reviews, current reads, and more.

Here you can separate books according to your liking, create lists with shelves, take quizzes, join giveaways, and keep track of your reading progress.

Goodreads is a really nice platform when it comes to discovering new books and sharing book recommendations to your friends. But I have a slight problem with it: the Goodreads Reading Challenge.

See, for 2 consecutive years I was part of the many who set a reading goal; I did so with 40 and 50. It’s not much when compared to most people who can read a hundred and more in a year, but I did accomplish both goals and even surpassed them, and maybe that’s where my ‘problem’ started.

Looking back at the books I read in those 2 years (you know, you can always view your ‘Read’ shelf on Goodreads. Amazing, right?), I realize I don’t remember some of them. Heck, many of them! But when I look at the ones I read in years before that, it turns out I remember most of them. So what seems to be the problem? And why is that the case?

After months of deliberating, I finally came to the conclusion that the Goodreads challenge is a huge pain in the bum. For me, at least.

It has its pros and cons. The pros being:

  • You can set a reading goal for the whole year;
  • Quit procrastinating and just read as much as possible;
  • Earn a pat in the back for accomplishing it;
  • Umm, also, bragging rights.

And the cons being:

  • Your friends’ reading accomplishments can sometimes be discouraging;
  • Become disappointed with yourself upon failure to accomplish reading goal;
  • Forcing yourself into reading as much as possible to reach desired goal;
  • It has a little reminder like, “You’re 4 books behind!” which is also translated to: DISAPPOINTMENT AND ANXIETY;
  • And especially in my case, you don’t get to enjoy a book as much because you’re too focused on accomplishing your reading goal.

I’m a university student, a graduating one more so. And as much as I’d like to read all my stress away, my responsibilities at school take most of my time.

That’s why I decided to stop obsessing over the Goodreads challenge, but not altogether, no. The reason being I want to find out how I performed during the whole year, see which book I read is the longest and which one the shortest. But really, I don’t care if I end up reading 50 or 30 or 10 this year. It’s July, I’ve only read 15 books, and I’m completely fine with it.

As a student whose extra time is super limited (ugh), you gotta spend some time watching movies or reruns of your favourite tv series, spend time with your family, socialise, read some news, enjoy the nature, practice something new.

My case is different from many others—that I’m sure of. But if you’re like me who don’t have the luxury of time, you shouldn’t stress yourself into reading a specific number of books just because everyone’s doing it. You have the rest of your life to read that book. You don’t have to be discouraged, don’t have to be pressured, because time is in your hands and you gotta enjoy it while it lasts.

This post was originally posted on Fiction Over Reality as I was her chosen guest for her Special Feature Friday! Thanks, Rachel, for being so kind and sweet!

How many books are on your Reading Challenge?



5 thoughts on “I Broke up with my Goodreads Reading Challenge

  1. I understand how it could be quite hard to follow a GR Reading Challenge, especially during very busy times. Though for m,e I still challenge myself to read despite being really, REALLY busy. I just aim for a lower number of books than usual, so that I know I can actually achieve something.

    My current challenge this year is 50 books, and I’m already ahead of it with 60-something books read. It’s pretty awesome to overachieve, I gotta admit that haha.


  2. I feel the same way. I got caught up in a lot of stuff this year, so I wasn’t able to focus much on reading. i learned to detest checking goodreads cause the 22 BOOKS BEHIND SCHEDULE would be screaming at me. I’d not want to stop this, but I’d prefer to set a lower goal next year. This year is 100 and it’s such a huge struggle. I’d probably lower it to 75 or 60 nest year.

    Liked by 1 person

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