Around the Year in 52 Books discussion

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message 1: by Marina H (new)

Marina H | 1315 comments I really enjoyed last years challenge, and I'm also enjoying the challenge this year. But I've joined other challenges as well, and now I'm starting to feel like my only goal when it comes to reading is to read as many books as possible. I've found myself reading books I didn't really care about and where I just read the words but didn't read the sentence. After reading a page I wasn't able to tell what I had just read. And that's not how it's supposed to be.

I found myself with a bad conscience, when Goodread's reading challenge told me I was 2 books behind schedule, and I was doing something else than reading. And that not's right.
So I'm not leaving the challenge and I'm not leaving Goodreads, but I'm definitely going to lower my goals for the year when it comes to reading books and completing challenges.

I love reading, but I also love to do other things. And right now I want to be able to crochet a cardigan to my best friends baby or just lay down and listen to music or do yoga without feeling guilty. I also want to read and discuss books with all of you, but I think I'll bring more to the discussing if I'm enjoying the book and not just reading for the sake of reading!

Maybe some of you have the same feelings? Or maybe you are all just superheroes, who can do everything at the same time and therefore don't get a word of what I'm saying :-)


message 2: by Barbara (new)

Barbara Pereira (babitix) | 757 comments My family asked me to stop reading for a while, and I realized that I was going crazy! I couldn't imagine they were missing me, my mom wants me to go out with some friends, my grandmother wants me to watch TV with her, and even a fiend from a book club (!!!) told me I should do something else!

I love challenges, but you are so right of taking a time to crochet, or even laying down! I hope you have a great time taking care of yourself! (:


message 3: by Ana A (new)

Ana A (anabana_a) | 498 comments I've felt this way a few times during last year's challenge, but this year I put in a lot of short books so that it says that I'm "ahead" of my reading goal, and that actually helped me a lot.

Go ahead and take a one month (or however long you need) break, Marina. We'll be here when you come back. :)


message 4: by Jody (new)

Jody (jodybell) | 3489 comments I'm feeling exactly the same way. I'm just not in the reading zone at the moment, and I shouldn't feel guilty about that, yet somehow I do. I'm currently battling through a book for a challenge and feeling bad about not getting through it quickly, when I should just be enjoying it at my own pace and not worrying about how many books I read or how far ahead or behind I am of the 'schedule'.

Challenges are definitely a double-edged sword. On one hand, I've read some books that I never would have picked up and absolutely loved them ... but on the other hand, I've found myself plowing through some absolute crap just to tick off a challenge topic. Reading is supposed to be fun, my escape from the crappiness that is my life at the moment, and I definitely don't need anything else to make me feel like a failure.

So I'm with you - I've already decided that I'm not going to finish any of the challenges this year, and that it doesn't matter. I've made some wonderful book friends here through the challenge last year, and also this year. And I still enjoy reading what they have to say about books, or anything else, for that matter. :) So if I don't read another book all year, I don't care. I still win!


message 5: by Abigale (new)

Abigale (ladyabigale) I have a friend who always asks if I've read that day when I see her, and makes me feel guilty if I've been cross stitching - other people have other hobbies other than reading. It's important to do what we love, otherwise, who are we?


message 6: by Laura, Celestial Sphere Mod (new)

Laura | 3821 comments Mod
I started to feel that way towards the end of last year's challenge because I realized I was falling behind. I think a really important takeaway that I learned was that the topics are meant to be broad for a reason. I fit in quite a few short stories and graphic novels and I don't feel bad for that. I also tend to be a little lax when it comes to fitting a book into a prompt. I believe the point is to push myself but not force myself to be miserable through a book. For instance, this year I read Psycho as the short classic. Many people probably would only consider the literary classics but since I'm a huge horror fan then Psycho fit to me.

I would say to take on fewer challenges and to focus more on discovering great books than finishing challenges per se. At the same time, there are plenty of "friends" who give me crap for not hanging out when in reality I would rather read my book :P

Life's too short so we all really should do what makes us happy, whatever that may be.


message 7: by Jen (new)

Jen Juniper (jenjuniper) | 60 comments I felt the pressure last year, several challenges I just couldn't finish and horrible need to dedicate all the free time to reading. Although I discovered several awesome books outside my comfort reading zone, sometimes the speed felt too rushed, I wonder how much I still remember of those books in a years time.


message 8: by Marta (new)

Marta (gezemice) | 784 comments I joined the challenge after I figured how much I was reading and I am a bit ahead in two challenges - and dropped a third one when I realized it was too much and not even fun.

I also try to alternate "fun" and "challenging" , long and short, and vary my genres. And I let myself be distracted and read a book I want, even if not on my plan - I just work it into the challenge.

The problem comes when we become obsessed - it is important to remember that the goal is to have fun. This is a very flexible challenge so adapt it!


message 9: by Marina H (new)

Marina H | 1315 comments I'm glad to hear that I'm not the only one feeling like this! And you are all absolutely right, it's supposed to be fun, and I shouldn't force myself to read books I don't enjoy or read a certain amount just to be able to say I did better than last year.

Jen wrote: " I wonder how much I still remember of those books in a years time"
That's exactly one of my concerns. I feel like I'm plowing through books without even noticing what they are really about, and I honestly don't think I can remember much about the books I've read the last couple of months.
I've actually marked quite a few books as books to re-read because I don't feel like I have given them the time and attention they deserved.

I know that I could just pick some shorter books, but that also makes me feel like I'm reading just for the sake of reading and ticking of challenges. I have a few door stops I want to read, and I've decided that I should choose the books I feel like reading at this moment, and not what's next on the list for a challenge. And maybe I can fit the book into the challenge, but if not it doesn't matter!

Jody wrote: "So I'm with you - I've already decided that I'm not going to finish any of the challenges this year, and that it doesn't matter."
That's also the conclusion I've come up with. I enjoy being a part of this group and reading what you guys think of books and other things, so I'm in the challenge but I don't care if I'll complete it.


message 10: by Silvia (new)

Silvia Turcios | 1071 comments I share your feelings. Last year was a crazy year with all the reading :-D I am a very slow reader and therefore to accomplish with the challenge of 52 books, I had to read all the time. I made it! I enjoyed it! but I can't have another year like last year, so I am doing half challenge this year and doing it at my own pace. :-)


message 11: by Zaz (new)

Zaz | 3034 comments It's totally fine to decide to do a shorter challenge and to increase the number if you finish early and want to continue it more later (I do this for the official GR challenge, I set a goal and change it regarding my progress and mood).

I probably can live just on reading-sleeping-eating-being annoyed by the cats. I decreased a lot my tv show watching last year and I'm still not in the mood to increase it or to do something else than reading. I decided to try a "day free of reading" per week, to see what I'll do with my time :)


message 12: by Rachel (new)

Rachel A. (abyssallibrarian) | 2717 comments I'm not at the point yet where I'm feeling overwhelmed, but then again I'm only focusing on two challenges (ATY and PopSugar). I have found that I've devoted a lot more time to reading this year, but so far I've been enjoying my books. I think for me, it helps that I've been a little picky about which books I'm putting on my list and that I don't have too many other time commitments right now.

For me, what really helps it making sure the books I pick are books that I really do want to try. I'm really trying to avoiding just reading for the sake of reading or rushing through books just to cross things off a list. Luckily, I've had quite a bit of time to actually read recently but who knows if it will be the same the rest of the year.

Also, for me a big part of it is consciously making time. Several of my co-workers have asked how I manage to read so much and so quickly (I average one book every 2-3 days, depending on the length of the book). To be fair, they are all married and have kids, and I do not. I've also been choosing to read instead of watching random Youtube videos or TV shows, and for me it's actually been a big help. Last year, I finished my PopSugar challenge early and found I had no idea what to do with all my time in the evening when I wasn't reading.

So I guess what I'm trying to say is although I'm not at that point quite yet, I can definitely see where people can very easily get overwhelmed. There are several other challenges that seemed so interesting, but I know it would not be realistic.


message 13: by Samantha (new)

Samantha | 1008 comments We may have never communicated directly but I have appreciated your voice in both this year and last years challenges so glad you are still going to be around even is it is on a lesser scale.

What you said about reading a page but not knowing what you just read resounded with me quite a bit. I had a few books like that recently and that feeling that I just didn't want to read anymore. I took a week off and then read my readers choice book. I also revised my list to to reads that perhaps aren't stretching me but will let me get my grove back.

I get my books from the library and this year seems like I will put some on hold and they all become available at once so then I have to much to get through in a limited time. I need to manage that better so I don't feel pressure to read because I am on a timer.

In any case, I don't think reading should ever make one feel guilty about doing other things so good luck of luck with that cardigan and enjoy reading when you have the time for it.


message 14: by Marta (new)

Marta (gezemice) | 784 comments Zaz - day free of reading, that's a good idea - I am implementing it today. Well, mostly free of reading, I guess. A few minutes before bed are allowed :)


message 15: by Marina H (new)

Marina H | 1315 comments Silvia wrote: "I share your feelings. Last year was a crazy year with all the reading :-D I am a very slow reader and therefore to accomplish with the challenge of 52 books, I had to read all the time. I made it!..."

I'm a slow reader too and that definitely doesn't make it any easier. But as you, I will be doing the challenge at my own pace and if I get through half the challenge, then I'll be happy about that :-)

Zaz, I like the idea of having a day free from reading. Maybe I'll have more than one day though!


message 16: by Marina H (new)

Marina H | 1315 comments Rachel wrote: "I'm not at the point yet where I'm feeling overwhelmed, but then again I'm only focusing on two challenges (ATY and PopSugar). I have found that I've devoted a lot more time to reading this year, b..."

I think you have some good points. First of all, I haven't been picky enough when it comes to choosing books. Instead of focusing on which books I want to read, I've been looking for books that matched a certain criteria without always considering if I actually was interested in the book. I started a book a few weeks ago, which I had only chosen because it fitted into a specific topic, but when I started reading it, I really didn't care about the book. I gave up after a few pages, and that of course resulted in me feeling like I was behind schedule and now I had to find a new book. But it really doesn't matter, does it? So what if I don't find a book for that topic. It wouldn't be the end of the world.

I also think some of the pressure comes from me having other things to take care of right now. My best friend, whom I've known for 26 years is having a baby and at the same time she's having some problems with her mother, who's a little mentally ustabile and therefore I really want to be there for my friend. My husband and I just moved to a new house and there's things that needs to be taking care of. And I've had some busy days at work, so all in all I'm probably just tired and not really in the mood for reading.
I'm not used to that feeling, but I think I've accepted now, that sometimes there are other things more or at least just as important as reading books :-)


message 17: by Marina H (new)

Marina H | 1315 comments Samantha wrote: "We may have never communicated directly but I have appreciated your voice in both this year and last years challenges so glad you are still going to be around even is it is on a lesser scale.

Wha..."


Thanks Samantha! I'm really glad to hear that. And I enjoy to hear from all of you guys, so I don't see it as a possibility to leave the challenge :-)


message 18: by Laura, Celestial Sphere Mod (new)

Laura | 3821 comments Mod
It sounds like you have a lot going on right now! Personally, my situation tends to go up and down throughout the year so I really try to let the reading go whenever things get hectic and then make up for it at another point.

I abandon books fairly often and a lot of the time I try to just pick a book in a different category and then I can take my time choosing a new book for the one I abandoned. You should definitely make the challenge fit what you want to read though! I have had plenty of "stretches" in my challenge choices :P


message 19: by Marina H (new)

Marina H | 1315 comments You know what... According to Goodreads I'm 3 books ahead in this challenge, so I'm actually doing really well and most of the pressure is probably only in my head.
But it's nice to be able to just write my thoughts and get such positive response, so thank you all :-)


message 20: by Aglaea (new)

Aglaea | 374 comments I think it is easier to stay on track if it is a book selection immediately available to us, but I depend on many library loans. I also don't like to read steadily but it goes in jumps so to speak. Nobody should put excess pressure on oneself, but it should be fun! Race against yourself only, is my one piece of advice.


message 21: by Rachel (new)

Rachel A. (abyssallibrarian) | 2717 comments Actually, I've been finding that where I'm getting most discouraged is when I try to set myself a goal for a specific day. For example, I just started reading I'll Give You the Sun today, and I was hoping to read the first third tonight. I only got up to page 75 or so.

For whatever reason, I'm horrible at judging how long it will take me to read things. Even when it's a quick and easy book, it always takes me a lot longer to read it than whatever I think it will take. I'm trying to figure out if I underestimate my reading speed, or mostly just underestimate the amount of time I have.


message 22: by Pauline (new)

Pauline C | 71 comments I'm a slow reader and have a lot of other time commitments so I never even considered trying to push myself to finish the challenge.. I just use it as a prompt to give me ideas and to enable me to discuss my reading. I am in awe of people who can read a book every couple of days but that's just not me .. In week 9 I'm only on my 4th book but hey that's ok ... It has helped me already to get round to 2 books which had been on my TBR list and languishing on my Kindle, both of which I've really enjoyed. So it's all good


message 23: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer Barstad (maidenoflight) Marina, I know how you feel! There are days when I just don't have time to read because I'd rather spend time with my kids and do other things. Especially right now because both of my girls are sick.


message 24: by °~Amy~° (new)

°~Amy~° (amybooksit) | 2990 comments I'm not feeling overwhelmed by the number of books so much, one because I only joined one challenge and two because I very carefully picked books that I strongly suspected that I would enjoy. I also am not reading them in order. I am reading whatever the library sends me or that I am in the mood to read that week, not what the list TELLS me I should read. I've also dumped a couple books and found replacements for those categories just because I found something at a bookstore or on my bookshelf that interested me more, but still fit a challenge category. Flexibility is key to a fun challenge, in my humble opinion.

I do have one slightly overwhelming issue however. My "problem" is that I put a lot of ebooks on hold at the three libraries I am a member of. There were a lot of people in line ahead of me for most of the them but apparently a TON of people either read quickly, or cancelled their holds because it seems like EVERY book I have on hold is now available to download. Two days ago I had SIX library books to read within 14 days. Given that the one I was currently reading was several hundred pages long, there was just no way that I could read that many in that time frame. I finished one, started a second and let one go back unread. The other three I may or may not get to. If I have to go back on the end of a long waiting line, so be it. I have 10 more months to wait. :-)

I think that reading is supposed to be fun and relaxing. If you aren't having fun, and it isn't relaxing you, take a break! This isn't high school, there isn't an exam at the end of the semester to cram for. It's OK not to cram. Just read what you like, when you like. :-)


message 25: by Pauline (new)

Pauline C | 71 comments Are evokes big in libraries in the US? I'm not particularly aware of them over here so I buy all mine .. I tend to put them on my wish list on Amazon and then often I can get them when they are on offer


message 26: by Abigale (new)

Abigale (ladyabigale) ebooks here at GCPL (Greene County Public Library; OH) are a growing thing. Patrons come in with ereaders their kids bought them as a gift and some catch on and like it and use them and some find it difficult and a fuss. I have a nook myself and I barely use it. You have to download an app to download the books onto and it's confusing even for me. I can't speak for anywhere else, but here it seems patrons prefer a physical book.

Of course, we've turned into a Blockbuster and most of our patrons check out movies....... but I won't get into that (;


message 27: by Anastasia (new)

Anastasia (anastasiaharris) | 1355 comments My library lends ebooks, and audio books through the internet. We can stream movies and music. I live in Southern Ontario, Canada.
My family tends to use whatever form of media, paper books, audio, or ebook, to read the books we are interested in. Libraries are the best public institution ever. :)


message 28: by Samantha (new)

Samantha | 1008 comments I live in the Seattle area and am lucky to belong to two really wonderful libraries systems. They both seem to have an amazing selection of e books; my understanding is that the Seattle Public Library has one of the largest selections in America. I stared reading on a kindle in 2008 and slowly became and ebook only kind of person so really happy that I am able to get my books for free.

I am also able to get downloadable audio books which they also seem to have a pretty great selection of.

Seattle is the home of Amazon so maybe we get special treatment...


message 29: by Laura, Celestial Sphere Mod (new)

Laura | 3821 comments Mod
The Ohio and Boston library systems both have really great e-book systems. I very rarely come across a book that isn't available. I haven't paid for a book in years, which is awesome :)


message 30: by Valerie (last edited Mar 19, 2016 06:56PM) (new)

Valerie | 357 comments My library has ebooks. They are rather hit and miss, however. Recently, I put a hold on an ebook and was able to check it out right then. However, normally, they take, at least, 3 weeks, and some times months. So it isn't usually advantageous for me to put challenge books on the list, unless they are ones I plan to read later in the year.

So much of their availability depends on the number of licenses a library buys for a specific book. For The Girl on the Train our county system has 32 licenses, but I was number 200 of 500 requests, when I finally just gave up and bought it.


message 31: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth | 0 comments with me i'm just taking my time, so I've came up with an idea , in the morning I read for a few hours , then then the afternoon I do stuff with either my puppies, or I watch TV with my mom for a few hours, we ended up getting the Amazon fire stick though a friend and we're watching Hawaii five o that's on CBS, then after that I get on my laptop and play a few games before I go to bed or read some more.or I go to eReaderiQ and see what free kindle books they have .that's how I ended up with a lot of kindle books on my kindle app.


message 32: by Aglaea (last edited Mar 29, 2016 03:59AM) (new)

Aglaea | 374 comments Valerie wrote: "My library has ebooks. They are rather hit and miss, however. Recently, I put a hold on an ebook and was able to check it out right then. However, normally, they take, at least, 3 weeks, and some t..."

Oh that made me laugh out loud! We usually have a measly one licence per book here via OverDrive. Only in fewer than a handful of cases have I seen a royal two instead of the usual one.

I really like having OverDrive, because the app is super nifty on the iPad, where I also have the Kindle app (the few I buy myself) and Zinio for magazines (we get a bunch for free via the library). Maybe you (general you) can suggest to have it added to your service, too, if your library isn't in the system yet?

Now that I'm participating in a bunch of challenges here on GR, I've noticed that if a book isn't available as ebook, it usually is to be found in paper format. Out of several hundred challenge books, many of which are in my own bookshelf and the other half of which are to be borrowed or bought, of the latter category I can borrow almost all of them.

I just love books, but there were years after my time at uni that I didn't read at all, so now I'm pleased about even low numbers. Just keep reading at your own pace! It's great!


message 33: by Brittany (new)

Brittany (gamerkiti) There is nothing wrong with feeling this way!!! Reading is supposed to be fun and enjoyable. Even as a mod I love doing other things (I'm looking at you Black Ops 3 Zombies). I've been in a "reading funk" lately where nothing really is keeping my interest. The important thing is to take time to do other things too, or you'll go crazy and never want to read again!!! Take time for you, after all, the books and all of us will still be here when you get back !!


message 34: by Megan (last edited Mar 29, 2016 10:55AM) (new)

Megan (megabou) | 36 comments Let me tell you, you are not the only one that needed to take time away. I set a goal to read 90 books this year, and I jumped off to a terrific start. However, I changed jobs in February, and then moved to a new place shortly after. I've read one book since the beginning of February as I am more focused on settling in my new position, and making my new home a home. I still have a ways to go in setting up my apartment, and the only way I feel comfortable and enjoy it is when I am happy with it. I will pick up where I left off eventually and finish the challenges I set out for myself even if it carries over to next year.


message 35: by Marina H (new)

Marina H | 1315 comments Thank you guys for all your support! I haven't really been active here on GR for the last month or so, but I've read all your words and follow the discussions. Soon spring will really kick off here in Denmark (or at least I hope so), so I hope to get a boost of energy :-)
My new house is taking up a lot of time, but we are getting closer to where we want to be, so hopefully we'll be able to sit back and just enjoy the house and our garden soon, and I'll have more time for challenges.

Ohh, and today I'm going to see my best friends baby for the first time, and I'm really looking forward to it. The cardigan didin't work out well, so I have crochet a small pair of boots and little hat/beanie :-)


message 36: by Sophie (new)

Sophie (sawphie) | 2920 comments Boots and beanies are a great achievement! :D


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