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Personal Reading Goals > Are reading goals fun or stressful?

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message 1: by Tracie (new)

Tracie Nicholson | 31 comments Hi all! I joined the Goodreads challenge and chose 50 books as my goal. I've read 41..which is good..but I have to get cookin' before the end of the year.

I've noticed as I've come to the end that I have MUCH less patience with books. In the past, I've very rarely shelved anything. Now, I've shelved a handful in the last few months! High on the list of shelving? Memoirs and and any sort of single-topic non-fiction.

I normally love the historical fiction 'epic novel' but hesitate to pick one up due to the length.

So..a mixed bag for me. How have reading goals gone for you?


Jayme(the ghost reader) (jaymeiltheghostreader) | 2837 comments My reading goal every year is 100 books. I came close with 92. I like setting a goal because I read so much. For the last two years I haven't reached my goal. I keep trying.


message 3: by Eileen (new)

Eileen Iciek | 463 comments Tracie wrote: "Hi all! I joined the Goodreads challenge and chose 50 books as my goal. I've read 41..which is good..but I have to get cookin' before the end of the year.

I've noticed as I've come to the end ..."


Pick up a few Bernard Cornwells, if you haven't already. They aren't too long and are well-written, so you will speed through them.


message 4: by Susan (new)

Susan (susanw610) | 12 comments I never set a goal for reading it would be too stressful. I love to read but with a family and a career my time is limited. To me reading is a wonderful fun “thing” I get away on a mini vacation for an hour or so or it makes my time waiting in line or for an appointment a pleasure instead of a chore. I set goals for work and life not for having fun. I set a goal to get a report done, I set a goal to lose those five pounds (ugh), and I set a goal to save for retirement. For me, goal setting is target to work towards the operative word is “work”. Also, if I set a goal for X number of books would the length of the book be more important than the contents of the book? I wouldn’t or should I say couldn’t select a book based on length instead of the amount of enjoyment I would receive from reading the story. If I do set a goal it would be to have as much fun with my family, at my job and with my books as I possible can.


message 5: by Tracie (new)

Tracie Nicholson | 31 comments I have a few Bernard Cornwells on my To-Read list. I'll check them out - thanks!


message 6: by Eileen (new)

Eileen Iciek | 463 comments Tracie wrote: "I have a few Bernard Cornwells on my To-Read list. I'll check them out - thanks!"

Most of the ladies seem to have a decided preference for Cornwell's Uhtred, who is the main character in a number of his books, beginning with The Last Kingdom.

My husband has enjoyed the Uhtred books, but I think he prefers the Sharpe's series.


message 7: by Cheryl A (new)

Cheryl A | 961 comments I just realized that I don't mind the challenge of either reading a set number of books or participating in the group challenges, but I really don't like writing reviews. That's where the stress of Goodreads comes in for me - coming up with something intelligent sounding about a book I've read. I always feel a bit pretentious setting my opinion in writing, when how I "feel" about a book often has more to do with me than the book (bad week at work, sick, etc).


message 8: by April (new)

April Christensen I think they are fun! I always look forward to marking my progress and saying I finished one and to find a new one as wonderful!


message 9: by Nell (last edited Nov 18, 2013 03:05AM) (new)

Nell I joined the GR reading challenge and have for the last 3 years. I met and slightly exceeded the number I set the previous years. This year I reduced the number of books and still fell behind by 6 over the summer. I'm now 2 books behind so slowly catching up and may meet the goal. Remember that we set the number of books to read. You can always update the challenge by lowering the number.

There are a number of other challenges on GR hosted by discussion groups. For the most part, I enjoy them - it's a fun way to organize my reading. However, I often set my own time frame for completion because I am very busy. For example, I may take 2 or 3 months to do a 1 month challenge. Those I track on a personal log and do just for fun.

I no longer participate in the HF challenges because I found the score keeping made it feel too competitive and the rules were too cumbersome. It's not my cup of tea. When reading began to feel like a chore, I stopped participating.


message 10: by Nancy from NJ (new)

Katz Nancy from NJ (nancyk18) Tracie wrote: "Hi all! I joined the Goodreads challenge and chose 50 books as my goal. I've read 41..which is good..but I have to get cookin' before the end of the year.

I've noticed as I've come to the end ..."


My reading goal for this year had gone quite well since I read 138 books but I to shelved los and found some old fave authors n longer faves. Like muh in life I find that some writers are now writing formula books ad I've grown tired of them.

But you are right - there is a certain amount of pressure on me as a reader to keep adding to my original goal of 100 books and sometimes I don't tackle those bog books since it's easier to read smaller ones. Next year I hope to slow down and smell the pages if you know what mean.


message 11: by Nancy from NJ (new)

Katz Nancy from NJ (nancyk18) Nell wrote: "I joined the GR reading challenge and have for the last 3 years. I met and slightly exceeded the number I set the previous years. This year I reduced the number of books and still fell behind by 6 ..."

I do agree about challenges that are confusing and too involved which take away from the reading pleasure. I joined one group, not from HF, that took me almost three weeeks to understand what was going on and then the mods nit picked over every little entry and made me so befuddled that I ran as soon as my misery was advancing more and more. Even their answers to my questions were confusing and believe me I am highly educated but I felt as if I was drowning a book pool. LOL


message 12: by Jo Ann (new)

Jo Ann  | 376 comments I am not a fan of challenges where there is a point system you have to keep track of with too many rules to follow. I'm also an eclectic reader and enjoy many different genres, it's hard for me to participate in group challenges where only one kind of genre is focused on. Also my available "free" time and my moods have a huge impact on my reading life.


message 13: by Nancy from NJ (new)

Katz Nancy from NJ (nancyk18) Jo Ann ❤ wrote: "I am not a fan of challenges where there is a point system you have to keep track of with too many rules to follow. I'm also an eclectic reader and enjoy many different genres, it's hard for me to..."

I so agree - I am definitely a mood reader and could never stick to a list for on e year.


message 14: by Laura (new)

Laura | 38 comments I did a challenge last year and started out well but then had to do a little scrambling at the end to finish. I thought about doing one again this year but then decided not too. I decided instead to try and get some of my books off of my shelves rather than get ones to fit a challenge. What happened - i read more books that I already had but need to get more to fill up the empty spaces on the book shelf :)


message 15: by Nell (last edited Nov 18, 2013 12:19PM) (new)

Nell Laura wrote: "I did a challenge last year and started out well but then had to do a little scrambling at the end to finish. I thought about doing one again this year but then decided not too. I decided instead to try and get some of my books off of my shelves rather than get ones to fit a challenge...."

Congratulations on creating shelf room. There's a Mount TBR challenge for that too! :D
I use the challenges to read books I already have and whittle down my TBR. I won't buy books to fit a challenge.

btw - The GR Challenge in the 1st post is number of books read in a year. We diverged a bit from there.

And I am a mood reader also.


message 16: by [deleted user] (new)

I do not set challenges, for me it would take the enjoyment away and I probably wouldn't read 900 page books like I am enjoying right now.


message 17: by Becky, Moddess (new)

Becky (beckyofthe19and9) | 3617 comments Mod
I like challenges, though right now I'm abysmally behind on my 2013 challenge, which admittedly does stress me out a little. I might have to read really short books to catch up... (I'm not above cheating! LOL)


message 18: by Tracie (new)

Tracie Nicholson | 31 comments Becky - that cracks me up. I was just wondering how short is too short? There is a 100 pg ebook on my to-read list. I probably shouldn't feel guilty about that considering how many 700+ pg books I've read this year!


message 19: by Allie (new)

Allie I don't join in Goodreads challenges, I do however use a lot of their ideas. I keep a notebook of challenge suggestions I liked and do them on my own time. It helps tame my tbr pile and mixes up my reading material, something that may not have happened otherwise.


message 20: by Liza (new)

Liza | 39 comments I've felt a little bit intimidated by some of the challenges, but I love reading what others are doing for the challenges and finding new books that way.

I haven't set any reading goals for yself yet, since some books take me a day to get through, and others will take a month, even if I'm enjoying it. I am a little curious about how much I could read in a year tough!


message 21: by Michele (new)

Michele Wolfe (michelewolfe) Usually I like a good challenge. At work, with writing, definitely. But not with reading. Reading is pure pleasure - a different kind of high than meeting a goal or a challenge. I don't want to mess up a good thing!


message 22: by Nell (new)

Nell Liza wrote: "I haven't set any reading goals for myself yet, since some books take me a day to get through, and others will take a month, even if I'm enjoying it. I am a little curious about how much I could read in a year though! ..."

I have a non-exclusive GR shelf for 2013 that records what I've read.


message 23: by Ioana (new)

Ioana | -11 comments Nancy wrote: "I so agree - I am definitely a mood reader and could never stick to a list for on e year."

Same here. I can set my goal to x number of books, but never to a certain list. My goal this year (in terms of number of books) was lower than last year's, only because I knew I wanted to read some big ones. But I think, I did better in terms of pages...I like the flexibility of picking up whatever book I feel attracted to at the moment.


message 24: by Nea (new)

Nea (neareads) I make my reading goals fun rather than super challenging or stressful. Things come up in life and that can get in the way of reading for pleasure. So, I take that into consideration when setting the goal.

My goal is the MINIMUM number of books I want to read per year **no matter what happens**. I can't imagine ever reading less than 1 or 2 books per month, so I'll keep my goal at 24 or less books per year. Of course, this doesn't include anything I may have to read for school or work.


message 25: by Becky, Moddess (new)

Becky (beckyofthe19and9) | 3617 comments Mod
Tracie wrote: "Becky - that cracks me up. I was just wondering how short is too short? There is a 100 pg ebook on my to-read list. I probably shouldn't feel guilty about that considering how many 700+ pg books..."

Nah, don't feel guilty. 100 page books are still respectable. I'm a 31 year old woman trying to cheat in an arbitrary self-set goal by reading 18 page toddler books online from WeGiveBooks.org. LOL


message 26: by Jackie (new)

Jackie (thenightowl) | 2424 comments Becky wrote: "Nah, don't feel guilty. 100 page books are still respectable. I'm a 31 year old woman trying to cheat in an arbitrary self-set goal by reading 18 page toddler books online from WeGiveBooks.org. LOL "

Pathetic ;)


message 27: by Becky, Moddess (new)

Becky (beckyofthe19and9) | 3617 comments Mod
Desperate times call for desperate measures. O_o


message 28: by Charmaine (new)

Charmaine (empress_charla) Reading goals and challenges are a lot of fun for me, and motivate me to read even more, so I always do them every year. I always get a little disappointed when I don't reach my yearly goal, though. ;-) I'm always a couple books short. Hopefully this year will be different. :-) It just drives me a bit crazy when I can't read so much when I'm in school, and that puts me really behind with my goals. XD


message 29: by Tracie (new)

Tracie Nicholson | 31 comments If I can count Knufflebunny, then I've totally hit my goal!!! :D


message 30: by Jackie (new)

Jackie (thenightowl) | 2424 comments I've set my goal for 100 books this year. I figured that with a longer commute to work I would be listening to more audiobooks, so that would inflate my numbers. Turns out I went through a period of not listening to audios at all. It's only recently that I got back into them. However, I still surpassed my reading goal thanks to do two reading challenges this year.

They were both scoring challenges, which I do find get quite competitive. I highly enjoyed the one I did for this group because it was a team challenge, which was a new kind of challenge for me. It helped me read books I otherwise wouldn't have picked up. I even got into graphic novels! I also read at a faster pace because I didn't want to disappoint my teammates.

I find that the best part in partaking in group challenges is trying to find books that fit the tasks. Also, being able to discuss the books with other participants. It's a great way to expand your friend and recommendations list.


message 31: by Charmaine (new)

Charmaine (empress_charla) Jackie wrote: "I've set my goal for 100 books this year. I figured that with a longer commute to work I would be listening to more audiobooks, so that would inflate my numbers. Turns out I went through a period o..."

team challenges sounds like a great idea to read even more and to discover new books :-) I'd love to try that sometime soon!


message 32: by Denise (new)

Denise (drbetteridge) I only decided to set my 100 book goal this year because I noticed I'd read that many last year. Now, I'm not even going to be able to meet it. I think it actually slowed me down, and I haven't enjoyed it as much. No goals next year.


message 33: by Becky, Moddess (last edited Nov 19, 2013 11:39AM) (new)

Becky (beckyofthe19and9) | 3617 comments Mod
I originally set my goal for 160 this year, and then lowered it again and again until I dropped it to 100, and I'm STILL behind.

I blame Skyrim for this, and QI on Youtube.

That is all.

I'm slowly but surely catching back up, but it's a painful process since I haven't yet stooped to reading The Hungry Caterpillar.

It'll have to happen soon though. I need to read 18 books by the end of the year in order to make my goal. LOL


message 34: by Jackie (new)

Jackie (thenightowl) | 2424 comments Charmaine wrote: "team challenges sounds like a great idea to read even more and to discover new books :-) I'd love to try that sometime soon! "

I think JoLene will plan one for next year or at least I hope so :) It seemed like everyone enjoyed themselves.


Becky, what is QI on Youtube?


message 35: by Charmaine (new)

Charmaine (empress_charla) Jackie wrote: "Charmaine wrote: "team challenges sounds like a great idea to read even more and to discover new books :-) I'd love to try that sometime soon! "

I think JoLene will plan one for next year or at le..."


Ooh that would be great :-) I'll be on the look out for the next one.


message 36: by Becky, Moddess (new)

Becky (beckyofthe19and9) | 3617 comments Mod
QI is a British kind of quiz show hosted by Stephen Fry. It stands for Quite Interesting, and it's funny and quite interesting, coincidentally. :P

I like it, and I watch episodes of it on Youtube.


message 37: by Linda (new)

Linda Bridges (lindajoyb) | 757 comments I love the challenges. Through them I have been encouraged to read books and discover authors that I probably would not have attempted on my own. I only do them to challenge myself. I've never "won" one and I don't care. I do not change my reading habits to fit the challenge. Surprisingly, having an eclectic reading style actually fits in with many of the challenges.


message 38: by LemonLinda (new)

LemonLinda (lwilliamson0423) | 691 comments I have enjoyed the challenges I participated in this year especially the HFU one here. It is fun for me because it forces me to search for books that I normally might not pick up but yet I still try to find for those tasks books that I do want to read. The treasure hunt for these books is a great part of the challenge, I think. And yes I do set a goal but I set it beneath what I think I will most likely read as I do not want to feel pushed. And if I did not get to that number, I would just adjust it down and not worry about it. I like having something set to work towards, however.


message 39: by Cheryl A (new)

Cheryl A | 961 comments @ Becky - Thanks for the comment about the toddler books! My guilt at reading a bunch of YA novels is totally gone!

Before GR, my personal reading goals were at least 10 books a month and I tried to read at least one NF, one "literary" novel and one YA book, with the rest being whatever struck my fancy. Once I started participating in the challenges in this group, I found I was reading more and reading more variety. My original goal this year was 200, which I bumped up after the summer team challenge (which was wonderful!). The year long challenge had me making choices of books I probably wouldn't have ever read without "direction".

I am blessed in that I work in a library and have an overwhelming selection of titles to read - talk about so many books, so little time. While I can't read at work, the more I read and learn about books, the better I can do my job. This is the only group I actively participate in - great members, challenges and moderators!


message 40: by Becky, Moddess (new)

Becky (beckyofthe19and9) | 3617 comments Mod
Hehe... I might go for children's instead of toddler. Aim for the 3-5 range, maybe. One should always aspire to their best. :P


message 41: by Nancy from NJ (new)

Katz Nancy from NJ (nancyk18) Cheryl A wrote: "@ Becky - Thanks for the comment about the toddler books! My guilt at reading a bunch of YA novels is totally gone!

Before GR, my personal reading goals were at least 10 books a month and I tried..."


I would be so overwhelmed if I worked at the library not knowing what to read first.

I set my overall goal at 100 books which I do each year. Some years I go over like this one and some I don't make.

As for smaller books, reading is reading IMO and I list everything.


message 42: by JoLene, Mistress of the Challenge (new)

JoLene (trvl2mtns) | 1346 comments Mod
I'm a goal-oriented person so having an overall reading goal doesn't bother me. However, I did notice that I was looking for shorter books at the end of the year to reach my goal.

This year, I dropped my goal because I wanted to read some big books. but then I signed up for a team challenge (another group) which lasted 6 months and I discovered audio books.

I also like some of the other types of reading challenges. As other have mentioned, it fun doing the planning. However, I'm not a super fast reader so I know going in that I probably won't even be in the running to win. I'm a mood reader as well, but most of the challenges are flexible enough since I am never close to finishing, that I can read my mood :-)


message 43: by Diana (new)

Diana | 35 comments I pretty much gave up on setting reading goals since I would sometimes get a bit overwhelmed. Nowadays I only join the reading challenge here on goodreads, usually I just set it to 50, and usually I pass that goal sometime in September.
I don't think it's so much the reading goals that stress me but the time frames I set (which I guess could still be considered a goal). I'll decide that I want to read a certain book at a certain time and get frustrated when I can't because I'm distracted, or in the middle of, another.
It's also why it's so hard to join in on group reads.


message 44: by Lesley (new)

Lesley | 59 comments Cheryl A wrote: "I just realized that I don't mind the challenge of either reading a set number of books or participating in the group challenges, but I really don't like writing reviews. That's where the stress o..."

You've said it perfectly Cheryl. I was trying to think how to put down my feelings on goals and challenges which I enjoy very much. When I read your comment regarding writing reviews I thought that's exactly it - I don't like writing the reviews for just those reasons.


message 45: by Lesley (new)

Lesley | 59 comments Cheryl A wrote: "I just realized that I don't mind the challenge of either reading a set number of books or participating in the group challenges, but I really don't like writing reviews. That's where the stress o..."

You've said it perfectly Cheryl. I was trying to think how to put down my feelings on goals and challenges which I enjoy very much. When I read your comment regarding writing reviews I thought that's exactly it - I don't like writing the reviews for just those reasons.

I have particularly liked the HFU challenge this year and was going along quite well thinking I might actually achieve the Masters, but when I had to slow up in order to do professional reading relating to the new cataloging rules, and attend a week long course for that, I lost a lot of time. Still I push on hoping I might get there.

Luckily I no longer work in a public library where the temptations are greater than the time to read them. Not much tempts the leisure reading working in a small academic library where the collection focuses on what is taught.:)


message 46: by Cheryl A (new)

Cheryl A | 961 comments @ Ella's Gran

Sometimes I actually want to write a review - especially when reading one of the wonderful books that you just want to wax poetic about to any and everyone. Unfortunately for me, that's only about one book out of four. The rest of my reading is like last Friday's lunch - I know I ate, because I wasn't hungry anymore, but I couldn't for the life of me tell you what I ate.

I read ALL of the time. You're right - the temptations in a public library are greater than the time to read, but I try. I love the direction that the challenges give me and have discovered so many wonderful books.

And speaking of wonderful, JoLene, you are the best! The time and attention you devote to the challenges is awesome and I greatly appreciate your efforts!


message 47: by Lesley (new)

Lesley | 59 comments Yes, the wonderful JoLene who sets up all these brilliant challenges that are truly challenging, answers our endless questions, and somehow manages to read herself! Thank you JoLene.

The HFU is the biggest challenge I have taken part in. It has certainly caused to me to read authors I may have not read otherwise, and recalled authors I have read many, many years ago that I enjoyed then and mostly still enjoyed this time round.

I'm looking forward to 2014 with this group.


message 48: by JoLene, Mistress of the Challenge (new)

JoLene (trvl2mtns) | 1346 comments Mod
Aw shucks. -----
Thanks so much ---- it's nice to know that you appreciate it.

The real problem is that I add to my TBR list as I see some of the interesting books that you guys read.


message 49: by [deleted user] (new)

Stressful. A friend of mine asked me to tell then when I finish my current book to tell them if it's a good gift for Christmas. It would be for his mom and I don't know her. It's hard to say if she'd like it. I don't know if I like it because I'm just starting it. Now I feel pressure!

I don't read very fast so I don't set goals. I feel like I'm back in school with a deadline then it takes away the pleasure of reading.


message 50: by Ruth (new)

Ruth Chatlien | 656 comments Reading goals are stressful for me. I'm a freelance writer who works primarily in educational publishing, and I never know at the beginning of the year how full my writing schedule will be or how much research will be required, so I just can't predict how much of my reading time will be taken up with that. Plus, I write historical fiction, which requires a lot of research / reading, but I rarely have to read a whole book. Anyway, long story short, I love the idea of deciding to read a set number of books and reaching it, but I think trying to make that goal would frustrate me.


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