Reading Goals can be really encouraging and effective. They can make you read something that would normally be out of your comfort zone — a graphic novel, biography, etc. However they can also put a lot of pressure on readers to focus more on quantity than quality.
In 2014 my Goodreads Reading Challenge goal was to read 15 books. I was just getting back into using Goodreads so I didn’t want to be too ambitious. I don’t know how but I was able to read 31 books! It’s kind of nice to be able to look back and see that I surpassed my goal. I’m very proud of it.
Flash forward to 2015 when I decided that if I was able to 31 books last year then I could definitely read 35 this year. I was wrong. It’s August and I’ve only read 19 books. I’m going off to my first year off college next week (EEEEP!!!) and I know I won’t have much reading time. So, every time I logged onto Goodreads I would be reminded of the fact that I was three books behind schedule or four books behind schedule. How daunting. It was starting to feel like no matter how much I read, I wouldn’t be able to catch up before school starts. I felt like I was failing.
I struggle with anxiety and depression, and reading is one of my coping mechanisms. I just like to run away and read my books. But
stupid unnecessary reminders telling my that I’m falling behind make me more anxious and so I read less.
Today, it dawned on me that I could lower my 2015 Reading Challenge goal and it would be an instant relief. So that’s precisely what I’ve done. Now my, much more manageable, goal is 25 books. Some may see it as “quitting” but I’d rather have an easier goal than a crappy reading experience. I believe that as long as your goal still pushed yourself, than you’re not “quitting” or “giving up”.
To those of you who are falling behind on your reading goals, don’t be afraid to lower the number a bit. Everything will be okay, I promise! There’s no “right” or “wrong” way to read. It’s your reading challenge, do what ever you want with it. And remember that just because you read 50 or 100 or 1,000 books last year it doesn’t mean you have to read that many (or more) this year. We all have lives to lead, and sometimes personal stuff takes up reading time. 2015 marked the end of my High School career, so I was far too busy prepping for college and studying for exams to keep up with my reading goals.
How do you guys feel about reading goals? Do you think they can be good, bad or both? Let me know in the comments!
– Queen Celine