my thoughts

My thoughts on winning my Goodreads challenge early

Hey there!

At the beginning of the years, as usual, I set my Goodreads challenge goal to 50 books. That’s pretty average for me, as I’ve been reading around that many books for the last few years. It’s still a challenge though, but an achievable one; even if I do have to cram some reading during the Holidays to do it.

But then, the COVID pandemic happened and I haven’t left my house in over 6 months (grocery shopping not-withstanding). I haven’t been watching much tv (as usual), but I’ve been reading a lot more lately. Towards April I also got Scribd, which means I now have access to so many more audiobooks. So I wasn’t exactly surprised when, in the second week of July, I completed my goal of reading 50 books. As of right now, I’m currently reading book #61 and it’s still just past mid-August.

More than just numbers, I feel like this year I have rediscovered my love for reading. I have found so many favorite new books and authors, and I’ve fallen in love with this community all over again. I’m proud to say that ever since the year started, I have picked up a book and read at least a page every single day.

Reading matilda book GIF - Find on GIFER

If you’d have told 2019 me that I’d accomplish this, I’m not sure I’d have believed you. Last year I spent most of the time in a terrible reading slump, very busy with classes and an internship, barely even reading at all. Worse than that, I wasn’t finding joy in most of the things that I did read and it was making me even more unmotivated to pick up a book.

I guess the point of this post is to let you know that it’s ok if you’re currently going through a slump, or don’t feel like reading, or no longer feel the joy that reading used to bring you. We all go through ups and downs. Give yourself permission to slow down, to do what feels right rather than chase the perfect numbers to achieve an arbitrary goal. Focus more on enjoying what you are reading, on selecting books that call to you (even if they are chunkier), on the people and the community.

I can’t remember the last time reading made as happy as it does right now, and as it happens, I started to read more and more. I’m also more active in the community, and I’ve made some amazing friends that always recommend me the best books. I started a reading journal because it felt so right to combine 2 things that bring me joy, and I’ve been using it consistently ever since.

Reading Gif - Smart Money Mamas

Yes, there still are hard days when I feel awful and don’t want to do anything, much less read. Days when I can’t seem to focus, and it feels like it’s taking me forever to reach the end of the page. Days when plans of tackling my TBR seem so daunting that it leaves me paralyzed with fear of failure. And still, no matter how awful, those days pass and I’m back to happily reading my days away.

This post turned out to be longer and way more personal than originally intended, but I hope it made sense to you. If it helped even one person who was feeling discouraged with their reading progress, then it was worth all of the nervousness I felt while typing it.

How is your reading going this year? Do you have a new favorite book, author, genre, or even a moment that made you remember how much you love books?

Until next time,

juli

11 thoughts on “My thoughts on winning my Goodreads challenge early

  1. it is going really well since i put my new book goal @ 100 instead of 300! i don’t count re-reads, so it’s amazing that i’ve enjoyed most of the new books i read this year. i am at 76/100 and slowed down a bit since i have dual enrollment stuff, but i really like that i can slow down and really re-read more.

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  2. I set myself fairly attainable reading goals every year because I don’t want the added stress of feeling I am not going to reach the finish line. But this year, I specifically made it a goal to read mindfully! Sometimes I just gobble up books but don’t take the time to sit with them and think about what I read. I changed that this year.

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  3. I’m so glad you were able to reach your goal and rediscover a love of reading! ❤ I feel like, during quarantine, I have been unreasonably hard on myself when it comes to reading. Although I am several books ahead of my goodreads challenge, I still feel like I’m reading very slow! But I guess what really matters is that I’m enjoying what I read, and going at my own pace.

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    1. Exactly! Reading is supposed to be something enjoyable and not a struggle you have to make yourself go through. I gotta say I also feel like I’ve been reading super slowly lately, despite reading more than ever 🤷🏻‍♀️ 2020 has just been a strange year for everyone I guess

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  4. I set myself a low reading goal (for me) this year of 25 books and it was so nice to finish it early! I do love the goal setting because for me it’s always fun to check off that extra book on GoodReads and see that % of how many books I’ve exceeded my goal by haha. But at the same time, I don’t see the point of setting it super high? Reading is supposed to be fun so I never get when I see people saying like ‘Oh I read this book because it’s short and I wanted to reach my GoodReads challenge’. Great if you want to read that short book but there’s no point doing so just to reach a number!
    As for my book that made me fall in love with reading again – definitely Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo. That duology just hits different haha. I was in a slump for a lot of 2019 and reading was not something I did regularly, but 2020 has been so great for reading and I’m so happy to have fallen back in love with it.
    Great post!

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