Why This Year's Goodreads Challenge Will be My Last

Let’s get this out of the way first. I love Goodreads.

I’ve been able to find all sorts of new reads on there. It’s my go to site to check book reviews. It’s where I list all the books I can’t wait to read. And, it’s where I connect with other readers.

In other words, I’m a fan for life.

There’s one part of the site that causes me problems: The Goodreads Challenge.

I’ve been doing these for the last few years, diligently setting a reasonable goal to reach and reading away.

goodreads reading challenge

In those years, I’ve averaged 49 books a year. Smooth sailing, right?

Not quite.ast year, I encountered a niggling problem. I started choosing books based on

Last year, I encountered a niggling problem.

I started choosing books based on how quickly I could read them not on interest or education. I always had that number in the back of my mind. Getting to 50 again.

So as time crunched down, I would crunch too.

I tossed aside books I really wanted to read because I knew they’d take me a few weeks. I squeezed in audio books that were a few hours long and I could bang out in an afternoon.

Sure they were fine, but when you find yourself searching for books based on how quickly you can finish them, that’s not exactly reading for fun.

That’s reading for sport.

Reading Isn’t a Competition


Here’s where my naturally competitive nature gets the best of me.

I saw a number, a goal, and I wanted to reach it.

Nevermind this number is completely arbitrary and literally, no one on the planet cares about it.

On top of that, I’ve always been a reader, no one who knows me has ever questioned that. So I wasn’t doing it to puff up my ego. But the number was stuck in my head.

This year, in 2017, I tried (keyword) to broach some sort of compromise with myself.

I would keep up my end of the Goodreads challenge buuuuut, I would dramatically reduce the number of books I would read.

This, I thought, was the best of both worlds. Then I could leisurely pick up some of those thick tomes I have been waiting to get my hands on and still be in the challenge.

So I started at 35.

This was actually hard for me. My ego was screaming, type in 50! But my hands ignored it.

Problem solved.

Except I still got that same feeling again. So a few months into the year, I knocked my list down to 30. Then I knocked it down again to 26. 

goodreads challenge

I went into this July knowing I was 4 books away from 26, so I read like my life depended on it. Ironically, I loved every book I read, but I wanted to get the challenge over with.

I wanted to be free of the arbitrary number I assigned to myself.

Now, I am.


Future Plans


Does this mean I’m going to stop reading, hello, have we met?

Of course not, but it means I’ve given myself more freedom to read some books that I’ve had sitting on the back burner for a while.

I’ve found, I don’t like having pressure on myself to read something. I even tried it earlier this year wanting to read a classic a month, that didn’t work either. Knowing it was hanging over me made reading not as much fun as it normally is.

Who wants that?

The only way this site might be impacted over the long run if I read less is my monthly reads might be a bit shorter. Or, I’ll be able to have the time to think about the books a bit more. Who knows.

But, for the rest of 2017 and for all of 2018, no more challenges.

Let’s see what happens.

Are you a fan of the Goodreads Challenge? Would love to hear your thoughts on it!