Goodreads Blog

Want to Read More This Year? Join the 2017 Reading Challenge

Posted by Cybil on January 01, 2017
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It's time to bring on the 2017 Reading Challenge! Give yourself a resolution you'll want to keep: a promise to spend more time reading this year. Goodreads makes it easy to set your own reading goal, track your progress, and celebrate your success with our much-loved Reading Challenge.

In 2016 alone, more than three million readers joined the Challenge and collectively read 37.8 million books. Wondering what all those people read? The top new books read in the 2016 Challenge were: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts 1 & 2, A Court of Mist and Fury, and When Breath Becomes Air (see more of the most-read 2016 Challenge books).



Want help achieving your goal this year? Here's what many of our members do:

Set your goal:
  • Make this fun, not stressful! Start off with a small, easily achievable goal to avoid feeling daunted by your Challenge. If you hit the number early, you can always stretch yourself and increase your goal.

  • Need help settling on a number? Some members like to set a goal based on the year: 12 books (one per month), 24 books (two per month), or even 52 books (one per week).

  • The Reading Challenge is all about what you want to read. If you're focused on tackling long, literary classics, account for the time you'll need and set a smaller goal. If you're breezing through lots of great graphic novels, you can be more aggressive.

Find great books to read:
Adjust your settings:
  • Pro tip for Kindle readers: Connect your Goodreads and Kindle accounts for more features to help you reach your goal. To connect your accounts, click here and scroll to the Amazon section to connect your accounts.

    • U.S., U.K., & Ireland members: Goodreads is available on most Kindles and Fire tablets so you can easily update which books you are Currently Reading and have Read from inside the book. There's no need to switch to Goodreads to update the books you've read to make them count for your Challenge.

    • U.S. members: If you use the Kindle app on your iPhone or iPad, keep your Reading Challenge count up-to-date by switching on Autoshelving. When you finish a book, both your Read shelf and progress toward your goal are automatically updated!

Productivity tips:
  • Whispersync on Kindle: This Kindle feature allows you to read in bed on your Kindle ereader and then pick up where you left off with your Kindle app on your iOS or Android device during your morning commute.
  • Use your local library's website to request books online and have them waiting for you. Plus, that due date provides an extra incentive to finish the book! Add your local library link as one of your Book Links so that whenever you discover a great book on Goodreads, you can easily open up the page on your library website and order the book.

  • Listen to audiobooks. Our members say this is an easy way to read more books—you can listen while making dinner, exercising, or driving. Find some great audiobook suggestions here.

Be a Team Reader:
  • Join one of our thousands of online reading groups that span across topics, themes, and genres. You'll be sure to find the perfect reading community waiting for you.

Find the time:
  • Take some great advice from our Facebook and Twitter followers! We love this one: "Cut off all outside distractions. If your phone dies, let it die. Don't plug anything in until you're finished with your book. And get cozy. Make yourself a hot tea or hot chocolate and throw on some flannel pajamas."

What is your 2017 goal? And how to you make time to read? Tell us in the comments!

Comments (showing 1-50 of 163) (163 new)


message 1: by Kangoor (new)

Kangoor Would it be possible to set reading goals for either the number of books we want to read, or the number of pages? Or maybe both for some readers. I would really love such an option.
Also, how about a separate statistic for pages read from books we dropped? I drop a lot of books, mostly I don't even bother to mark them on goodreads, but last year I dropped - among others - 4 books over 800 pages long, halfway. That's a lot of pages I would like to remember I read when I think at the end of the year that I'm a poor reader.. :D


message 2: by Sara (new)

Sara Hufnagle Kangoor wrote: "Would it be possible to set reading goals for either the number of books we want to read, or the number of pages? Or maybe both for some readers. I would really love such an option.
Also, how about..."


I think that is a fantastic idea about adding pages from books that were dropped. I, too, started many books and decided halfway through that I couldn't finish.


message 3: by Marios (last edited Jan 01, 2017 06:20AM) (new)

Marios I know I will get a lot of hate for this but it's all up to y'all people.

I don't think the reading challenge is worth it. It puts a lot of unnecessary pressure on people to finish books or skim them as fast as possible so that they can 'click' the 'Finished' button.

Reading should not be about duress on finishing a book as fast as possible but a pleasant experience that provides a serene and informative escapism from stress (no matter what you read). It shouldn't be a 'challenge' to read books. It ought to be an everyday activity and a colourful filling bar means nothing.

Just a hasty comment and my 2p.


message 4: by Sue (new)

Sue I would also like to see an option of number of pages. I know, though, that it's possible to see that under stats and I (at times) will sort by pages instead of books to compare against other years.


message 5: by Cindy (new)

Cindy IAmBroke wrote: "I know I will get a lot of hate for this but it's all up to y'all people.

I don't think the reading challenge is worth it. It puts a lot of unnecessary pressure on people to finish books or skim t..."


I agree to a point...I had that trouble the first year, when I set my goal at 200. I didn't skim, but I did read a few of those kindle shorts! When I finished I averaged out the total pages, and it came to 224 per book, and I felt that was respectable and didn't feel that I'd cheated at my challenge, but last year and the year before I set my goal at 150 (and will again this year). In 2015, when I divided my books read by 224, just to compare, I had actually read more. I haven't figured 2016 yet, but I'm sure it will be even more than last year. I like having a goal, just to challenge me a little bit, but I just don't set a goal that's too ambitious. Maybe that misses the point of setting a challenge, but it works for me!


message 6: by Linda (new)

Linda Spyhalski I love the Challenge! It keeps me on a pace of reading all year long! I used to quit reading in the summer but now I've learned to read all year long. In the summer I read shorter and lighter books which I used to overlook and some of those books have turned out to be my favorites! I don't think it matters if your goal is ten books or a hundred and it certainly doesn't mean you can't go or under but my goal of 45 books is just right for me!


message 7: by Crystal (new)

Crystal IAmBroke wrote: "I know I will get a lot of hate for this but it's all up to y'all people.

I don't think the reading challenge is worth it. It puts a lot of unnecessary pressure on people to finish books or skim t..."


No hate here. Just ignore the challenge. I LOVE IT because it is an encouragement to me. I don't race through my books but I love just keeping count this way. The world is full of all kinds of people. I agree with your premise but don't get rid of the app because many find it very useful. Goal setting for many is a very important part of success.


message 8: by Badger (new)

Badger Lawlor Do the pyjamas have to be flannel?


message 9: by Badger (new)

Badger Lawlor Do the pyjamas have to be flannel?


message 10: by Nyssa (new)

Nyssa IAmBroke wrote: "I know I will get a lot of hate for this but it's all up to y'all people.

I don't think the reading challenge is worth it. It puts a lot of unnecessary pressure on people to finish books or skim t..."


The key is figuring out what works best for you, not reaching for the highest number.

I'm always amazed at the people who can read more than a book or two a week, but I feel no pressure to match them. Between work, school, and family (plus the lack of rereading support on the site) I will continue to set my goal to 12 (one book a month) and hopefully continue to exceed it every time.


message 11: by Maria (new)

Maria IAmBroke wrote: "I know I will get a lot of hate for this but it's all up to y'all people.

I don't think the reading challenge is worth it. It puts a lot of unnecessary pressure on people to finish books or skim t..."


I somewhat agree with you. Last year i read 262 books but realized that I enjoyed reading more when my challenge goal wasn't so high.

This year my goal is only 100, but if i don't happen to read it for some reason, it will be okay. Good luck on your reading and just have fun with it!


message 12: by Beate (new)

Beate My 2016 count would have been triple if I could add books I've re-read. I know you can add same book multiple times by various formats, but I'm a little OCD when it comes to books, and when I've read a Kindle book, I like to make note I read a Kindle book. I wish there was an option to add multiple started/finished dates to each book. Some books I've read 3-4 times, but here on Goodreads I can only add that I've read it once and have it count towards my reading challenge. One of the reasons I've been using Goodreads less and less these past couple years.


message 13: by Jean (new)

Jean Salvas IAmBroke wrote: "I know I will get a lot of hate for this but it's all up to y'all people.

I don't think the reading challenge is worth it. It puts a lot of unnecessary pressure on people to finish books or skim t..."


The love of reading is what is promoted here. No one should feel stressed to read any more than they are capable of. I see the books promised to be read and it is way out of whack, compared to what has actually been read. I try to be realistic, my goal which has been achievable the last 2 years is to read a book every 10 days. I am not talking about 800 page books that would be unattainable. Usually 200 or less pages gets my goal. One other thing, I have a couple of books going at the same time, but the book that I put on What am I reading now is the main book, the others I call as a warm up.


message 14: by Mohammed (last edited Jan 01, 2017 07:56AM) (new)

Mohammed El Mochoui After such a great experience in reading 60 books in 2016, now I am excited to start a new challenge and read more books. May 2017 be a year of expanding more the horizon and more and live plenty of lives in fantasy...


message 15: by Bjoern (new)

Bjoern IAmBroke wrote: "I don't think the reading challenge is worth it. It puts a lot of unnecessary pressure on people to finish books or skim t..."

That is only a problem when you let yourself get hung up on the highest number and aren't honest with yourself what you really CAN reach.

It's not the bloody pageturning olympics where higher thicker longer will bring you eternal fame and big industry endorsements so you'll train to go for all you possibly can and maybe too much., it's meant as a motivation tool to stay with a good book most of the time and not slack off with other hobbies whenever the mood hits you instead ;) Who hasn't had the choice of either reading another nice novel or simply hang out in front of the telly or Playstation and waste a few hours... having a challenge you WANT to beat can help you make the decision but it doesn't need to make you anxious or feel threatened if you don't beat it.

Ultimately it's just a fancy icon / widget for your website to show how much you like to read. Nobody will be shot for failing in their challenge (I should know i failed a lot in the last years. Nothing ever happened except for me being disappointed in how much time i spend with useless stuff like internet or videogames)


message 16: by Brandy (new)

Brandy Ackerley Beate wrote: "My 2016 count would have been triple if I could add books I've re-read. I know you can add same book multiple times by various formats, but I'm a little OCD when it comes to books, and when I've re..."

Omg, yes. I read series from book 1 whenever a new one comes out, so I always end up reading at least one book more than once. I keep a file titled, "read again" and clear it out every year, but the challenge can't count them. Its disappointing.


message 17: by Amanda (new)

Amanda Pfluger IAmBroke wrote: "I know I will get a lot of hate for this but it's all up to y'all people.

I don't think the reading challenge is worth it. It puts a lot of unnecessary pressure on people to finish books or skim t..."


I see your point, but also respectfully disagree. I think it really depends on the person.
Personal experience: With or without Goodreads, I make a list (12 books at a time) every year with the loose goal to finish them by December 31. Goodreads just helps me keep track of them easier. I am also aware of many of my friends who use it for the same purpose.

If somebody uses it and feels "pressure" to hit their goal, well, that's a shame. There are no incentives for hitting your goal or reading the most books. Maybe if you feel pressure, you should look into a smaller goal based on a list of books you already want to read anyway.

(Also, for clarification: no hate, no aggression, just my two cents as well. :) )


message 18: by Nyssa (new)

Nyssa Brandy wrote: "Beate wrote: "My 2016 count would have been triple if I could add books I've re-read. I know you can add the same book multiple times by various formats, but I'm a little OCD when it comes to books, an..."

This is part of why I keep my reading challenge goals low. I got burned in 2012 and 213 because of this and ended up adding filler books to gain my "Completed challenge" badges back.
The fact that my numbers are now purposely skewed bothers me to no end!


message 19: by Leslie (new)

Leslie Goddard I've never joined one of these challenges because I have no idea how many books I read in, say, a month. Because I can never seem to find on GoodReads how many books I've read so far in any given year. Does anyone know how to check your progress as the year goes along? Do you have to be doing a challenge to see this? Or count them manually, which is way too much work --?


message 20: by Beate (new)

Beate Nyssa wrote: "Brandy wrote: "Beate wrote: "My 2016 count would have been triple if I could add books I've re-read. I know you can add the same book multiple times by various formats, but I'm a little OCD when it..."

I usually read 150-200 books a year without even breaking out a sweat; but there is no way to reflect that here on Goodreads as things are right now. I hate that I have to set my reading goal so low. With the re-reads I'll hit that goal around May. They really need change things so that we can add multiple started/finished dates. 2016 was a comfort reading type of year for me, meaning I re-read well over 100 books. It was just that kind of year. Every year I re-read books, not as much as last year, but always around 20+ any given year - those don't count towards the reading challenge.


message 21: by Beate (new)

Beate Leslie wrote: "I've never joined one of these challenges because I have no idea how many books I read in, say, a month. Because I can never seem to find on GoodReads how many books I've read so far in any given y..."

https://www.goodreads.com/review/stats


message 22: by Nyssa (new)

Nyssa I'm more like Brandy, in that my rereads are usually series based, and that I reread from book one if there has been a significant gap between my reading the last series book and the newest one.
The lack of rereading support actually halted my reading series altogether (other than the first books for group reads). I found that abandoning my love for series, however, was part of the cause for the reading droughts I experienced, so I'm dedicating this year to getting back on track and reading what I love.


message 23: by Amanda (new)

Amanda I'm a re-reader of books as well and while it's an imperfect solution, you can include re-reads in the challenge if you select a different edition of the book and mark it as read. It get problematic if the book you've re-read doesn't have many editions available though to do this.


message 24: by Gina (new)

Gina Sara wrote: "Kangoor wrote: "Would it be possible to set reading goals for either the number of books we want to read, or the number of pages? Or maybe both for some readers. I would really love such an option...."

I created a status called "Couldn't get through" for books I stopped reading for any reason. Books in that status do still count against your Reading challenge number.


message 25: by Gina (new)

Gina Bjoern wrote: "IAmBroke wrote: "I don't think the reading challenge is worth it. It puts a lot of unnecessary pressure on people to finish books or skim t..."

That is only a problem when you let yourself get hun..."


I agree. One year I got hung up on the number and felt pressure toward the end of the year to reach my goal. But no more. Now I set my goal to a lower number, just for fun with my friends. If I go over, great.


message 26: by Gina (new)

Gina IAmBroke wrote: "I know I will get a lot of hate for this but it's all up to y'all people.

I don't think the reading challenge is worth it. It puts a lot of unnecessary pressure on people to finish books or skim t..."


You can start with a lower goal if you like and adjust it up or down throughout the year.


message 27: by Leslie (new)

Leslie Bluto I would love an option for books that I re-read to contribute towards my challenge numbers.


message 28: by Norman (new)

Norman LaVelle That would actually be a great idea. I can't count how many times I would go back and read a book again because it was just that good. There should be a way to get credit for that simply because it was another book read.

Leslie wrote: "I would love an option for books that I re-read to contribute towards my challenge numbers."


message 29: by Norman (new)

Norman LaVelle I am going to stay moderate with my goal again this year and just do 36. I am in the middle of my Master of English and Creative Writing, and I am always tasked with so many reading and writing assignments that I just don't have the time to read for the sheer enjoyment of reading. But at least I do have a goal. I can't understand how some people go years without ever reading a book.


message 30: by Karen (new)

Karen I have never included audio books in the list. But now will. If i could recall the titles I've listened to in 2016 I'd exceed my goal for the year! Now I know for 2017.


message 31: by Gina (new)

Gina Beate wrote: "My 2016 count would have been triple if I could add books I've re-read. I know you can add same book multiple times by various formats, but I'm a little OCD when it comes to books, and when I've re..."

Interesting thought. I'm not a person that rereads many books but I've just run into this very problem. I "read" all the Harry Potter books way back when they first came out. But I've just recently started listening to the audio versions and my status/dates are overwriting the original. I agree with you, that's very annoying. I do wish there was a way to track them separately.


message 32: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Hello.
Considering I was just 5 shy of my 2016 target - 150 - I think I might do this again but with a slightly lower number.


message 33: by Kathleen (new)

Kathleen Not sure about the -re-read thing -- is it forbidden? When I have indicated (in the How Many Times Have You Read This Book? box) that it is a 2nd or 3rd reading, I don't notice that the count leaves that book out. Or am I misunderstanding the comments about that above? I re-read books all the time, and sure, it's not a Personal First, but I'm still reading it -- it takes time, gives pleasure and satisfaction.


message 34: by Noora (new)

Noora Leslie wrote: "I've never joined one of these challenges because I have no idea how many books I read in, say, a month. Because I can never seem to find on GoodReads how many books I've read so far in any given y..."

It counts them automatically once you join a challenge. :)


message 35: by Norman (new)

Norman LaVelle Kathleen wrote: "Not sure about the -re-read thing -- is it forbidden? When I have indicated (in the How Many Times Have You Read This Book? box) that it is a 2nd or 3rd reading, I don't notice that the count leave..."

It's not that it is forbidden, lol. But I think she was saying you can't re add it to your read list again after taking the time to read it. Therefore not counting toward your book goal


message 36: by Nyssa (new)

Nyssa Kathleen wrote: "Not sure about the -re-read thing -- is it forbidden? When I have indicated (in the How Many Times Have You Read This Book? box) that it is a 2nd or 3rd reading, I don't notice that the count leave..."

A book will only count towards your reading challenge once unless you shelve a completely different edition of the same book.

So if you read edition one of Harry Potter in 2012, and then read that same edition in 2016, the edition will be removed from your 2012 challenge and placed in your 2016 challenge. In order to have it show up on both challenges, you would need to add edition 2 of Harry Potter to one of the challenges.

While some feel that this workaround is "okay", many like myself do not, because we prefer our challenges and shelves to reflect exactly which edition we read. This is also a problem with brand new, or very old books as there may only be one edition available.


message 37: by Bunnycore (new)

Bunnycore Beate wrote: "My 2016 count would have been triple if I could add books I've re-read. I know you can add same book multiple times by various formats, but I'm a little OCD when it comes to books, and when I've re..."

I agree with you here. I just change the date on my 'read' option. So that way it counted. But i would have rather been able to have an add option so you can have a multiple dates. That would be convient.


message 38: by Michelle (new)

Michelle IAmBroke wrote: "I know I will get a lot of hate for this but it's all up to y'all people.

I don't think the reading challenge is worth it. It puts a lot of unnecessary pressure on people to finish books or skim t..."


Then don't do it. No worries.


message 39: by Antonio (new)

Antonio Gallo There are 365 days in a year, 52 weeks, 12 months. If I read one book a day I'll keep my ignorance away ...


message 40: by Josephine (new)

Josephine IAmBroke wrote: "I know I will get a lot of hate for this but it's all up to y'all people.

I don't think the reading challenge is worth it. It puts a lot of unnecessary pressure on people to finish books or skim t..."


That's the wonderful thing, isn't it? You don't have to join the reading challenge, and if you do you can always readjust the goal or quit anytime if you want to :-D
Also, I second the idea of being able to add reread books to your list!


message 41: by Kandice (new)

Kandice I am frustrated at the number limit for the challange. The highest number it lets me enter is 199. My yearly total is around 300


message 42: by Nyssa (new)

Nyssa Kandice wrote: "I am frustrated at the number limit for the challange. The highest number it lets me enter is 199. My yearly total is around 300"

Then something else is wrong because I have friends who have entered 200, 250, and 300 without a problem.


message 43: by Amy (new)

Amy Beate wrote: "My 2016 count would have been triple if I could add books I've re-read. I know you can add same book multiple times by various formats, but I'm a little OCD when it comes to books, and when I've re..."

Are you using just the app? I've noticed the desktop version has a lot more functionality than the app. On the website you are able to change the read date so it will count for your current year and there's a place to indicate how many times you have read the book. This is how I was able to count rereads towards my 2016 challenge.


message 44: by Suvi (last edited Jan 01, 2017 01:36PM) (new)

Suvi IAmBroke wrote: "I know I will get a lot of hate for this but it's all up to y'all people.

I don't think the reading challenge is worth it. It puts a lot of unnecessary pressure on people to finish books or skim t..."


Like others have said, it all depends on the person. To me, trying to achieve a goal and considering reading "a pleasant experience that provides a serene and informative escapism from stress" don't have to be mutually exclusive. I, for one, consider my hobby escapism, an everyday activity that keeps me sane, and I also like to challenge myself with classics.

Just because some of us like to keep track of their reading, doesn't mean we're not enjoying it. If there are people who feel pressure and skim through books because they consider this a race, it's a shame, but it's also their choice.

The beauty of this is, after all, that no one is forced to do anything. Let's all just love what we're doing, which is being around books! :)


message 45: by Beate (new)

Beate Amy wrote: "Beate wrote: "My 2016 count would have been triple if I could add books I've re-read. I know you can add same book multiple times by various formats, but I'm a little OCD when it comes to books, an..."

I mostly use the website in its original form. The app annoys me. Problem is if I move a book say out of 2015 to 2016, then the count for 2015 goes down. That is just not an option. I've been doing the challenge since they started it in 2011, and this has bugged me every single year.

It's just one of those things that really shouldn't be an issue to begin with.


message 46: by randy (new)

randy i do like the challenge, it helps motivate my reading. the challenge is a personal thing so there should not be any pressure to reach it. you should have a good idea what you are capable of reading and that should help set your goal. enjoy your reading and don't take the challenge to serious.


message 47: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl Hager For all those talking about the re-reading. Mine always goes toward my count, but I do change the dates to make it work. It does over-ride the last date, but you can still see all of previous dates if you click on the book, then click the reading progress. You can see all the status updates there. I personally like to stay true to the edition I read, but I just note the previous date in my comments so I can track them easily.


message 48: by Nyssa (new)

Nyssa 1.The point is that the book is removed from your previous challenge. Therefore, if you read 3 series books in 2012 and then reread those 3 books in 2016, your previous challenge will be depleted by those 3 books which means you may also lose the previous challenge. It depends on if you had additional books that could buffer the loss.
2. You do not always see previous dates. It might depend on whether or not you updated your progress along the way vs. just marking the book as read when you are done. But your official start and end dates do get lost once you change them. Your original add date, however, remains.


message 49: by Bunnycore (last edited Jan 02, 2017 06:26AM) (new)

Bunnycore Cheryl wrote: "For all those talking about the re-reading. Mine always goes toward my count, but I do change the dates to make it work. It does over-ride the last date, but you can still see all of previous dates..."

Exactly if you dont care that the previous challenge number goes down. ---->that doesnt bother me <-----


message 50: by Jasmine (new)

Jasmine I'm not a fast reader, the length and difficulty of books I read varies, and I have all sorts of things in my life to keep me busy, so it can be hard to predict how many books I will be able to read in a year. In order to not feel pressured to rush through books just to accomplish my goal, I set a realistic and achievable goal for myself, and increase it if it looks like I will surpass it.

For example, in 2016, my goal was 25 books. As the year progressed, I could see I would surpass that, so changed my goal to 30. As I was nearing my 30 book goal with a month or two left in the year, I was tempted to change it to 35, but wasn't confident I could achieve that, so left it at 30, and read 33 books this year.


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