Book Buying Addicts Anonymous discussion

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Been Buying, Been Reading? > Does anyone else feel restricted by the Reading Challenges?`

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message 1: by Pete (new)

Pete | 42 comments I am current participating in the 2011 Reading Challenge and am right on pace to complete 50 books for this year. Actually I'm one ahead right now. But I find that the pressure to complete this goal dictates which books I choose to read. Earlier in the year, I was reading longer and/or more challenging books, but as we get closer to the end, I find that I'm reading easier books just to avoid getting bogged down. I keep looking at my copy of Foucault's Pendulum, but I don't want to tackle it for fear of not making my goal. I know I shouldn't let this bother me, but once I issued the challenge to myself, I don't want to let myself down.

Does this make sense to anyone. Does anyone else feel the same way?

(BTW, I'm in awe of you readers who can complete 100 or more books in a year!)


message 2: by Teawench (new)

Teawench I sort of felt the same way. Back in July I was more than a few books behind on my reading challenge of 50 books. I was seriously freaking out. I have a nasty competitive streak. But I also didn't let it dictate the books I read. And now I'm 2 ahead. I happened to get lucky and read a few books that were one nighters. But that was mostly because my brother loaned them to me and I wanted to get them back to him. I'm not sure if I'll up the number for next year or not.

I guess if you let the challenge dictate the books you'll read, you'll never get around to reading things like Foucault's Pendulum. Reading should be fun, not a chore.


message 3: by Lee (new)

Lee | 5 comments The challenge definitely dictates what I'm going to read next. Currently, my goal is 100 books and I am always a book or two behind pace. If I read a book that takes me longer than I thought, my next book will be a YA or quick romance novel.


message 4: by Ellie (new)

Ellie (elliearcher) I was going crazy with one particular challenge I'm participating in-more so than this one-although I feel more pushed by this one than I'm really comfortable with. The other one I found so restrictive I finally let it go. But that was after months (6 to be exact!) of struggle & I definitely feel like something of a failure.


ஐ Briansgirl (Book Queen)ஐ (briansgirlkate) What you need to do Pete, is not care. Sounds odd. When I first joined Goodreads, I loved reading challenges. Not just how many to read in a year, but monthly challenges with 10 books, quarterly challenges, themed challenges, etc. It pushed me to read stuff I wouldn't have otherwise and I was having fun. Then I got to the point the following year, when I resented having to find something to read to find a narrow category, and books I wanted to read (mostly non-fiction) never fit categories so they never got read. So this year, I didn't join in all those challenges. I'm reading what I want, when I want to, and I don't care about the challenges. Did I sign up for the GRs yearly reading goal. Yeah, and I'm 11 books ahead even though I only read 2 books last month because one was over 700 pages. If I meet the goal at the end of the year fine. If I don't, that's fine too. Reading is suppose to be fun and relaxing. If it isn't, then stop whatever's complicating it. The challenges should encourage you. If they aren't and you're finding them restricting, then don't worry about them.


message 6: by Joseph (last edited Nov 06, 2011 07:03AM) (new)

Joseph  (bluemanticore) | 1866 comments Mod
I'm probably the wrong person to ask about this. I'm a non-stop reader, I practically go through a book a day. The goal I set for myself was 300 books, and I reached it on Oct. 10. I'm currently at 328 and still going strong. The way I went at the challenge was I set a goal I was pretty sure I would achieve easily with the way I read, I actually am a bit more interested in seeing how far past it I can go by the end of the year. :-)


message 7: by Chris (new)

Chris I do a little bit. I'm way behind my goal, but if I actually included all the books I read this year, I'd be a lot closer. I choose not to count some of the books. However, I've been looking at it the last couple weeks to figure out a way if I could actually meet my goal. Well, I just had to start a 1,200 page book (my step-dad is anxiously awaiting me to read it so he can discuss it with me). And I was a little upset about it because I know this is practically the final nail in the coffin of the fact I won't be able to meet my goal this year. After I finish this book, I'll probably try to fit in a few short books to try and at least make it more respectable. So in that way it will affect my reading.

I'm a little bit different then most members on Goodreads though. Although I do enjoy reading, I want to read a lot to gain a lot of knowledge. I read nonfiction military history books almost exclusively. Those take a lot longer to read and more effort than a romance novel that would only take a day to read. So I don't get caught up in my number versus a member whose number is in the hundreds because we most likely read vastly different types of books and for different reasons.

Overall I'm bummed I won't be able to meet my goal this year. I thought it was a pretty obtainable goal, but stuff happens. Next year I'll do the challenge again though, and I'll probably be more motivated with a clean slate to make sure I accomplish my goal that year.


message 8: by Karen M (new)

Karen M | 418 comments I started out reading whatever I wanted but I have to admit I had one short moment of panic. I had been reading a few 400 to 600 page books and had almost fallen behind. I immediately switched to 300 pages or less for the next 3 or 4 books which put me comfortably ahead and then realized what an idiot I am. I'm back to reading whatever I want but I am almost at goal, maybe that's why I'm not stressing?? LOL


message 9: by Pete (new)

Pete | 42 comments They should issue a challenge to read x number of pages instead of x number of books. It still wouldn't be comparing apples to apples, but it would be closer.

If I typically read 50 - 400 page books in a year, that would the same as reading 25 - 800 page books (or two Russian novels).

We could even take that a step further by reading a set number of words per year, but that may be difficult to figure out.


message 10: by Lee (new)

Lee | 5 comments I definitely agree with you on keeping track the number of pages vs. the number of books. I think that I would enjoy reading more of what I want to read in order to reach my goal.


message 11: by ஐ Briansgirl (Book Queen)ஐ (last edited Nov 06, 2011 03:18PM) (new)

ஐ Briansgirl (Book Queen)ஐ (briansgirlkate) I keep track of books on my own that I've read, and have never relied on the new GRs book count for the year. If you add something to your shelves that you've previously read, if it's marked read with a date from this year, it'll count it. I sometimes mark anthologies read, if I've read the only novella's in it that are related to series I currently read, yet I havn't read the entire novel. GRs is going to count that too. If I list a book I read to my son (which I don't, but could) it would count that too, but I wouldn't. If I mark an ebook novella that's only 10 pages, GRs would count it as a book read on their count. I keep my own count (a list actually) of all the books I've read for the last 6 years. I don't count children's books or books under 80 pages. It's what works for me. I read on average 10 books a month. Some months I've read 15, last month I read 2. lol My book count so far this year is 91. GRs has me at 94. Not bad, it's only 3 off. lol


message 12: by Chris (new)

Chris Pete wrote: "They should issue a challenge to read x number of pages instead of x number of books. It still wouldn't be comparing apples to apples, but it would be closer.

If I typically read 50 - 400 page bo..."


If you go on your profile, you can click "Stats" and see how many pages you've read so far. Although not as simple as seeing a reminder on the home page, you can easily set a page goal for yourself and periodically check your progress toward your goal


message 13: by Tiffany (new)

Tiffany (herbtiff) | 411 comments My reason for joining any challenge is to beat myself. I did the mere number of 50 books and I did reach that goal, but now I will see how many I have over the course of this year and maybe increase my goal for next year. I read a lot to my nieces and nephew and found that as I have been doing that I get more pages and more in because I have a book for each of them and at least one book that I am reading for my own enjoyment.


message 14: by Sonya (new)

Sonya marie madden | 411 comments Tiffany, its great you get your family involved in the joy of reading.


message 15: by Veronika (new)

Veronika (vforveronika) Joseph wrote: "I'm probably the wrong person to ask about this. I'm a non-stop reader, I practically go through a book a day. The goal I set for myself was 300 books, and I reached it on Oct. 10. I'm currently..."

WOW!!!! just.....WOW!!!! o_O


message 16: by Kerra (new)

Kerra | 127 comments Well I do feel a little stressed by the challenge. I am currently reading 10 books. Assuming that I spend the same amount of time on each book a day I would finish more at once. Found out that that doesn't always work. So I have only read 15 books out of the 35 that I challenged myself to. Starting to think that maybe I should just start off with 25 instead of 35 for next year :D


message 17: by Tajma (new)

Tajma I'll never do the challenge again. It really took a lot of the natural joy out of reading for me. I finished books that I didn't even like because I had invested too many pages and I knew it would affect my stats. That being said, once I reached my goal I felt like upping it because it seemed too easy. I read some really silly books on a few long flights and I felt ashamed that they were part of my reading challenge. It's too much. I going back to being a regular bookworm.


message 18: by Mackenzi (last edited Nov 16, 2011 03:03PM) (new)

Mackenzi (werewolfmack) | 21 comments I haven't challenged myself to read a certain amount of books since the 3rd grade reading competition that I got 2nd place in only because that other little girl tried so very hard to read while I just went at my normal pace...
My bitterness at that made me hate the idea of rushing to get through books. So when I knew I wouldn't be reaching the goal of 25 in a year, I actually just lowered my number to 20. Now I'm super confident that I can reach it, and I've still read more books this year than I have since high school.


message 19: by Stefani (new)

Stefani (steffiebaby140) I don't really find that it limits me. I read whatever I feel like reading whether it will take me a week or a month. I also set my own goal. For example, my GR goals are 60 books in 2011, and a themed challenge.

My own personal goal is to read 30,000 pages, and 50% of my books read to be non-fiction or classic literature.

If I meet one of these, fantastic! None? It doesn't really bother me either way because I had fun.


message 20: by Patricia (new)

Patricia Herr (patriciaellisherr) | 5 comments Tajma wrote: "I'll never do the challenge again. It really took a lot of the natural joy out of reading for me. I finished books that I didn't even like because I had invested too many pages and I knew it would ..."

I was thinking about taking the challenge for 2012, but I'm worried about exactly this.


message 21: by Joseph (new)

Joseph  (bluemanticore) | 1866 comments Mod
I think the way to go about the challenge so that you have fun is to think realistically. Consider what your usually reading pace is, say you find you read a book a week, and set the challenge at that, so then it would be 52 books for the year. Then if you make, great, and if you find you can beat it, even better! :-)


message 22: by Sonya (new)

Sonya marie madden | 411 comments I'm going to do the 2012 challenge for the heck of it.


message 23: by RB (last edited Nov 23, 2011 07:03AM) (new)

RB (rblindberg) Tajma, you are NOT alone!

For the first time I tried out the reading challenge this year, and I must admit that I find it completely stupid.

I felt my readings rushed, as if it's a competition and that took away some of the reading pleasure from me. Reading became a chore, not a relaxing pleasure as it should be! So, it resulted in me reaching a plateau a few monts ago, but luckily it seems to be dissipating. My reading goal was not extreme, it was rather modest infact (30), but still, I don't want to do this again. If I really want to track how many books I read in any given year, then what I'd do in the future is to create a shelve for the actual reading year.

Joseph, I must say I'm impressed that yo were able to read that many so soon! What is your secret? Did you at any point feel saturated? And how do you find the time?


ஐ Briansgirl (Book Queen)ஐ (briansgirlkate) People need to do (and read) what's comfortable for them. The first year here on GRs I LOVED the challenges. I read twice as much as normal and read all sorts of stuff I normally wouldn't have and had fun and enjoyed it. The second year I started to feel stiffled and had resented having to find books to fit categories I didn't like, and the stuff I wanted to read never seemed to fit categories, so this last year I only joined broad themed challenges without really narrow categories to make it easier, and only took part in quarterly, seasonal, yearly, or challenges with no time limit (like read a book from all 50 USA states). That way, I can still read whatever I want basically and still feel a bit like I'm taking part in the challenges. I also set the goal of how many books to read for the year at a very realistic number (for me) so it wouldn't push me unnecessarily.


message 25: by Coqueline (new)

Coqueline I always take part on the challenge for three years in a row now, and each year I failed to reach my goal (but I'm getting more realistic about the goal each year, though). I think I will also fail this year, my goal was like Rita, 30, and I'm 4 behind.

But hey, it's a challenge I set for myself, I don't really feel I'm obliged to complete it.


message 26: by Laura (new)

Laura I take part in challenges but at times I don't even end up reading a book for the challenge at all and then other times I'll quickly go through my list.

I really try to use my TBR pile when I go into any challenge this way if something doesn't match then I'll simply skip it. It's also a way of trying to keep my TBR pile under some control.


message 27: by Beth (new)

Beth (vanburren) | 69 comments I set my goals to where they're still fun but not too high that I feel rushed. I think, like Joseph, I like to set it at a realistic goal and then have fun seeing just how far over that I can go.

Also, I like joining in on the various monthly challenges every so often when I feel overwhelmed trying to pick out a book to read; the challenges narrow down my choices to about 6 or 7 books instead of trying to pick from over 600. I actually like it when the challenge "picks" the book for me.

Rita....I love your idea of creating a shelf just for the books you read in a given year. I may start doing that myself.


message 28: by Joseph (new)

Joseph  (bluemanticore) | 1866 comments Mod
Rita, the way I'm able to read so much is for one, I'm a bachelor so I have no one at home to interrupt me and two, I'm a very fast reader, I can go through about 100 pages an hour so in the evening when there is nothing on tv to watch after dinner I really have no trouble finishing off a 300 page novel before bedtime which makes it pretty easy to go through a book a day.

And like you suggested with the shelves, I do have shelves for what I read each year, but I go so far as to divide it by month. For example: read-in-2009-04-april.


message 29: by Pete (new)

Pete | 42 comments Beth, I thought about setting a lower goal, but that kind of defeats the purpose of a challenge. A challenge should be, well, challenging. A number that you can reach but only if you really work hard. I wouldn't feel right about setting a number if I knew that it would be easy to reach.

Joseph, I would LOVE to be able to read a book a night. There are so many books on my to-be-read shelf, and they just keep coming!


message 30: by Holli (new)

Holli Rahl | 1 comments I was doing really well when I was unemployed but now I am super busy, but still reading when I can. I changed my challenge to 50 books. I have 5 weeks left in the year and 10 more books to go!!! Bless you all!


message 31: by Alpha (new)

Alpha (janomega) | 20 comments Pete wrote: "I am current participating in the 2011 Reading Challenge and am right on pace to complete 50 books for this year. Actually I'm one ahead right now. But I find that the pressure to complete this goa..."

The challenge can be daunting if you make it daunting. If I decided to make my challenge per say one book, well... I am sure you get what I mean.


message 32: by Beth (new)

Beth (vanburren) | 69 comments Pete wrote: "Beth, I thought about setting a lower goal, but that kind of defeats the purpose of a challenge. A challenge should be, well, challenging. A number that you can reach but only if you really work ha..."

I still make it a challenge for myself. I've set my goal at 100 books a year; last year I just made it to 100, but I really had to push. This year, I'm at 115 so far. I'll still keep it at 100 next year, and if I go over that again, I'll up it by maybe 15...just enough to make it a challenge again, but not so unatainable that I'm getting frustrated or rushed or overwhelmed. I still want it to be fun.


ஐ Briansgirl (Book Queen)ஐ (briansgirlkate) Laura wrote: "I take part in challenges but at times I don't even end up reading a book for the challenge at all and then other times I'll quickly go through my list.

I really try to use my TBR pile when I go i..."


I also try to use books I already own but havn't read (that's about 5k books!) for challenges. I refuse to buy anything just for a challenge although I have raided the library on occassion. The goal however to me was to read more of what I already own.


message 34: by Pete (new)

Pete | 42 comments Wow Briansgirl! I thought I had a lot of unread books. You'd better get cracking!


message 35: by Alondra (new)

Alondra Miller Pete wrote: "I am current participating in the 2011 Reading Challenge and am right on pace to complete 50 books for this year. Actually I'm one ahead right now. But I find that the pressure to complete this goa..."

You shouldn't put so much pressure on yourself; books are to be enjoyed; but I do understand what you mean. maybe keep your list real conservative, so you have much-needed wiggle room. I joined in August and had never set a goal, so i put it at 10. Once I hit that, i only increased by 2 or 3 books at a time. I hit 18 and may get 2 more books before January 1. I know I can read 40 -50 books next year and refuse to commit myself to more, unless I actually surpass that. Good luck


message 36: by Vikki (new)

Vikki (silverstarz) | 65 comments I was a few books behind around May/June when I had exams etc on. I think I was 3 books behind at 1 point which I guess wasn't too bad. I ended up having my challenge completed the first/second week in November.

I've also got a VERY competitive streak, so it wasn't going to determine what I read as such. I did throw in a couple of shorter ones, not only to get a quick number but just for some variety as well.


message 37: by Erin (new)

Erin Germain (demiguise) | 97 comments This kind of challenge didn't make me feel restricted, since I was going off of my TBR pile or new books I felt like picking up. I also set the number to something I knew I'd be able to make without feeling overly stressed.

I'd much rather do this sort of challenge than some of the others out there that are defined by genre, author, etc. Having the feeling that I have to read "Book XYZ" because it's on the list, instead of reading it because it looks like a fun and/or interesting read, is more restrictive to me.

I didn't make my goal until last week, but even if I fell short this year, I still would have had the satisfaction of seeing a list of books I had read and enjoyed, and I figure that's more important than racking up the numbers.


ஐ Briansgirl (Book Queen)ஐ (briansgirlkate) Pete wrote: "Wow Briansgirl! I thought I had a lot of unread books. You'd better get cracking!"

Yeah, I know. I'm at the saturation point now in my house with nearly 6k books. I havn't been getting too many lately although did get the kids some for christmas and moving some out via PBS. Still need to read more though...


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