Books · Discussions · literature · reading

Reading Goals

Am I the only one who hadn’t heard of setting reading goals before joining the blogging world?

Reading for me has always been fun, a way to escape. And like anyone else, I read at different speeds. If I love a book I might have it finished in a night, if it’s boring it could take me weeks, yes WEEKS! I always finish a book, even if it’s as awful as Fifty Shades of Grey. If I’m busy, I obviously won’t get as much reading done and then some times I’ll read three or four books in the space of a week (If I’m ill or in hospital it might even be a few more!). Reading isn’t really something I set aside time to do, it’s just something I, well, do. Whether it’s a chapter or two before bed or an all out, day of reading.

What is the motivation behind it? I’m curious as to why people set goals of reading so many books in a year. I guess the closest I’ve ever come to it was while doing my degree. In a single module I might have fifteen books to read, so I would have to make sure I set a goal for what books needed to be read by when. Honestly, this didn’t really work! I still ended up all night reading a book I needed for an assignment. For me, knowing it had to be done seemed to add an extra pressure to reading that I wasn’t comfortable with. While doing my degree I had to alter the way I read books, they were no longer just for fun.

I’m also curious as to whether setting reading goals becomes a competition? Do you worry if you haven’t read as many books as other people? These reading goals are made so public it must be almost impossible not to compare yourself to how other people are doing. Or does it actually help you keep up with your goals?

I do keep track of what I’ve read and which books I have written up a review for but I don’t see me ever setting a goal. The added pressure seems like it would take some of the fun away, if I wasn’t on track with my goal I think it would make me feel bad! Do you end up reading shorter books to keep up with your goal? If you have to choose between reading one book which is easily three smaller books long, would you read three smaller books instead? Does that mean that you inevitably dismiss really long books because they won’t add much to your final count?

I suppose I’m just wondering why people do it. I think for me, if anything, it would hinder me. I would spend too much time worrying about how many books I’m getting through rather than just enjoying reading. I guess it depends how realistic your goal is, but if you set it at a number you think you are likely to get through then why set a goal at all?

Let me know your thoughts or experiences with a reading goal in the comments!

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