Let’s Talk Bookish | Are Reading Goals Worth It?

Let’s Talk Bookish | Are Reading Goals Worth It?

Let’s Talk Bookish is a weekly meme that was originally created and hosted by Rukky @ Eternity Books starting in August 2019, and was then cohosted with Dani @ Literary Lion from May 2020 to March 2022. Aria @ Book Nook Bits has been the host since the beginning of April 2022.

Prompts: We’re two months into 2023 – how are you feeling about your reading this year? Do you have a yearly reading goal? Do you think that those kinds of goals help you to feel motivated to read more books, or just causes stress? If you set yearly reading goals, when and why did you start setting them? Would you consider reading without aiming for a number? If you don’t set reading goals, why not?

I’m not gonna lie, when I saw the prompt, I immediately thought about Missy Elliott’s song Work It, which is an amazing song! Tell me you know how this goes, right? Right? I’ll probably post the music video link at the end of the post for posterity.

Anyway, let’s work on answering these questions.

How am I feeling about my reading this year? Well, I’m feeling pretty well about it for the most part. Somehow I actually read more books in February than I did in January, although I did have a long book I was getting through in January so that could be part of it. I’m not going to push myself to be double-digit amount of books every single month, and I’ll just be proud of reading as many as I can. If I can even finish ONE book in a month, I’m proud of myself, especially with how much I’ve been working lately and the new position that I’ve been enjoying.

Do I have a yearly reading goal? I have a few yearly reading goals that I want to accomplish or at least work towards. I actually posted about it on Instagram so that I can have a record of what I wanted to do, and it’s not just reading a certain amount of books. One such goal that I feel goes with reading is to be consistent with my tracking and journaling, which I have been doing so far. That is something that I usually stop early on in the year, so the fact that I’ve been staying consistent for the first two months of the year has been nothing short of amazing.

Do you think that those kinds of goals help you to feel motivated to read more books, or just causes stress? Honestly, I think it’s both. When I’m doing well, I feel motivated to keep going and read as much as I can. But when I’m not keeping up daily, and feel like I need to catch up, then I get stressed and eventually stop doing it because what’s the point if I can’t catch up? That’s actually similar to what happened with my project of cataloging all of my physical books. I don’t remember how far I got, but I just got so overwhelmed by the sheer number of books and feeling like I was drowning in them that I stopped my progress. Even though I was doing only 20 books a day, it just felt like I was never going to get through them all. Which is a shame, because even though it was going to take a bit, it didn’t mean I wasn’t going to finish eventually. Maybe I’ll eventually try again, figure out where I stopped and then continue on, but it’s definitely not going to be anytime soon.

If you set yearly reading goals, when and why did you start setting them? I think I started setting them when I first got into Goodreads and blogging because I was trying to have a record of what I read moving forward. I don’t remember everything that I read before I started consistently using Goodreads and then when I got more involved in the book reviewing community. Especially when I was using Netgalley and Edelweiss like religiously. I got to the point where I requested way too many books and then got approved for way too many books and I need to catch up with that as well. I absolutely refuse to start my Netgalley account over when I worked so hard to get approvals. But the ratio is definitely down and not where I want it to be, and I’ve stopped requesting books, I’ve stopped asking to be on blog tours all the damn time, and just stopped doing too much to stress myself out. If reading stops being fun, then I’ll lose my biggest passion and I don’t want that to happen.

Would you consider reading without aiming for a number? Numbers help me to see how much I’m actually reading, so while I may not actually aim for a specific number, it’s nice to know how many books I’m reading every year or every month. I usually keep this number fairly low so that I can make it attainable and it’s a low stress goal. This year I was more concerned with the kinds of books I read and the other aspects of reading besides the sheer book count. And I think moving forward, I’ll focus more on those goals than the number of books.

So that was pretty longwinded of me, but I wanted to make sure that I answered all of the questions that pertained to me. That was a pretty good exercise too, and I had fun with it. I definitely changed the way I’ve looked at reading goals from when I first starting setting them, and I’m happy with it. I’ve been doing well on my goals so far, and I’m happy for that. I also like that I did a goal recap post for Instagram, and I plan on doing that every month. It was also nice to see what my stats were and share it with my bookish friends.

And after all that, I would love to hear from you! You don’t have to answer all of the questions, but please let me know what your approach is to reading goals. I’d love to hear the kinds of goals you have or why you don’t set certain types of goals when it comes to reading. I always love hearing from my bookish friends and seeing what everyone else is doing in their corner of the world.

See you next time!

3 thoughts on “Let’s Talk Bookish | Are Reading Goals Worth It?

  1. I think it is a bit of both when it comes to stress and reading more as well! I do feel like reading challenges make me strive for high numbers haha. I know with readathons I want to do every prompt. I do tend to keep a low goal on goodreads though even though i know I could up it.

    Liked by 1 person

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