POV: In a sea of internet people who read 100s of books per year, you have finally stumbled upon me, who recently forced myself to read 50 books over the past two years.
Don’t get me wrong, 50 books in one year is still a lot! I’m giving myself a pat on the back as we speak. But as I was asked to input a new Goodreads challenge for 2021, I decided to lower my standards by a lot, and I went for it.
I only signed up to read 25 books this year.
Accidental Peer Pressure
When I first started blogging, one of the most surprising things I found was that some people here (and actually, quite a lot of people in the community) read more than 10 YA books per year.
I was shocked, for some reason. There I was, fresh out of high school and believing that I read “a lot” of books, but in reality, I hadn’t even fathomed the massive levels this community was at to read 75-150 books per year. Compared to my in-real-life peers, I was an avid reader, but here, I felt very behind.
In the first few months of my Starry Sky Books Goodreads account, I managed to read almost 20 books, and I ended 2018 with 28 books on my challenge. That was a miracle for me, but it also made me feel great. I really could do anything if I put my mind to it.
No one was telling me I needed to read more, but I could feel it in my bones. Every day, it seemed like new books were popping up on my radar, and if I didn’t read them soon, I would start to get even farther “behind” in book blogger culture.
But now that I’ve been gone from the internet for months… I can tell you that “being behind” doesn’t really matter to me anymore. *shrugs* At least, it wasn’t the amount of books that caused an issue.
I’ve recently discovered that some of my blogging burn out comes from the pressure I put on myself to read new books all of the time. And for what? I’m missing out on some great older books by doing that!
Self-Motivation and Goals
In theory, telling myself that I would like to reach the goal of 25 books this year should help my relationship with books a bit. I didn’t quit the challenge all together, though, because I knew I would definitely be able to reach 25.
According to the past two years of Goodreads challenges, around 20 of the books I completed each year were books I read for university classes… meaning that only about 30 of the other completed books were for leisure.
With that in mind, 25 books in 2021 should be a breeze for me. While I love doing easy things, it’s also more important for me to set goals which are well within my reach. As I’ve noticed in my past, setting realistic goals really helps with my motivation! So far, I’m already 2 books ahead of scheduled, and that makes me feel great! It’s all about feeling accomplished, people. 😌
Though I won’t ever be taking that amount of English Literature classes again (I over-worked myself by almost completing my university major too early haha), I’m sure I will still have to read a few books in some classes this year.
Look, the real reason why I made the number so low by my own standards is because I want to feel like I will be achieving the goal early. And let’s face it – I need all the motivation I can get.
Lately I’ve been feeling like I tend to force myself to do things I used to find fun, like blogging and posting on bookstagram. These things are supposed to be fun, so why am I so hesitant to do them?
I think it all comes down to how I see things. If I give myself little goals (such as 25 books per year instead of 50), it will help me feel like I’m doing a great job. Because in reality, reading any amount of books is already great. And I just have to let myself see that.
In the end, I’ll probably end up reading the same amount of books as last year. But at least I’ll feel more accomplished while doing it.
Well, I hope this post made some sense to you. 😅 Do you agree with any of my points? Did you set a Goodreads challenge this year? How many books did you used to read every year before you joined the community?
(Also… Hello! What have you been up to lately? Feel free to send me your recent posts so I can catch up with you!)
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Happy reading! Have a lovely day! Please stay safe!