Friday Fun: The 2014 Reading Challenge

Jan 3, 2014 by

Every year Goodreads challenges its members to pick a reading goal for the year.  Then throughout the year the sidebar on their site lets you know how woefully behind (or spectacularly ahead – though this happens less often for me) you are.



After much self-reflection and trying to remind myself to be kind to myself, I challenged myself to read 90 books this year.  This is a pretty dramatic increase from my goal last year of 60 books (which I met! Yay me!).  I want to spend more time reading this year as I truly feel it positively affects my writing.  In my perfect world I’d be reading 2 books a week (104 a year)…the world is not perfect.  So I went slightly easier on myself than would be my normal tendency and came up with the 90 number.



Aw, look how positively it starts out…


One of the ways I plan to meet this goal is to stop trying to force myself to read books I’m just not that into.  Earlier this year I gave myself permission to stop reading books that I’m struggling with mid-book, but I still try to read things because I feel like I should instead of because I really want to.  I also wait WAY too long into a book to ditch it.  This is going to stop.


I’m also going to try to invest more in books this year.  I tend to feel guilty about spending money on myself – I think this is a mom thing, but I’m trying to get over it!


What is your reading goal for the year?  Are you on Goodreads (and if you are I hope we are friends)?  What are your strategies for meeting your reading goals?

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    1. I think your goal is fantastic. It’s just shy of two books a week so it’s a wee push but nothing outrageous. AND the awesome thing about GoodReads goals is you can monitor your progress and if three, six or even eleven months into the year you feel 90 is too much, change that bad boy immediately without ANY qualms. It’s all about fun. And if it’s not fun attempting to read 90 books in a year than make it 60 and call it a year of good reads! (I so clever, But honestly, I think you can TOTALLY get ‘er done! And I’ll be cheering you along the whole time!

    2. I totes agree reading makes a person a better writer! Now, if only I could get on that *writing* thing I’ll be AMAZING. *rolls eyes at self*

    3. My biggest hang up (until recent years) was shame over the things I enjoy reading. As an avid reader of comics and kidlit it’s more often than not that someone will judge my reading habits and tell me I’m doing something wrong, to which I say “shut yo mouth when your talking to me!” Hang ups over how much of a book we should read before passing or shame over the types of books we love to read can lead to unnecessary stress. I say TREAT YO SELF to all the books you can read and stop feeling pressure. (p.s. My favorite place is the library complete with a kids section and YA & comics Oh and free books. *winks*)

    4. My goal this year is a 100. I read 150 last year and debated trying for it again but I really am looking forward to the writing thing this year. Pending less emos and more I’M FOR WINS. *crosses fingers*

    5. I just read. I make it a priority. Turn off the TV. Set aside some time. Carry a book in my purse at all time. Ignore the dishes. And let everyone in the house know this is part of who I am and what makes me me. And that without books I’m sorta a bummer. So it’s really for the greater good.

    Annnnnnnd you’re welcome.
    End Ramble.

    • 1. Thanks, Ang! I think it’s a decent enough goal and do-able (I hope) but I want to make sure I keep it fun and not pressure filled.

      2. I can’t wait for you to write more ;)

      3. The “what I’m reading” issue crops up for me too even though I try not to let it. I always feel like I should be reading more in certain genres than others, or supporting indie writers more (I do, but I realized I was trying to read things I didn’t really want to read just because they were indie), or less fluffy romance (even though I LIKE fluffy romance).

      4. 100 is an amazing goal! I cannot believe how much you read last year, that’s just staggering.

      5. I’m trying to make it more of a priority…and letting myself embrace who I am, it’s hard though ;)

      Thanks so much for your lovely and thoughtful comment!

  2. jen

    I did the challenge for the first time last year and had a goal of 60, which I thought was a lot for me. So I lowered it to 50 in October, thinking that was more attainable. Then lo and behold, by the end I’d read 62! It was a nice surprise.

    One thing that helped me was reading shorter books as a palate cleanser — in my case I read some graphic novels when I felt stuck in a rut.

    Good luck on your challenge!

    • Jen, the palate cleanser is a great idea. I am part of a book club this year so I have to remember to reward myself for the big, hefty novels they seem to prefer with some lighter material!

  3. I set my goal for 100. Last year I started at 40 and eventually bumped it up to 80, which I still passed.

    One thing that’s helped me A LOT is the Goodreads currently reading shelf. Basically, I use it as the stack of books on my nightstand reminding me of what I’m reading. Since I read about 75% ebooks and audiobooks, it helps a lot to keep my current reads in sight. I also have a table in my living room with the current physical books I’m reading.

    I give a book 50 pages, and then I’m done. There’s no point in forcing myself to read something I’m not digging. I quit audiobooks too, if I hate them.

    My secondary goal for the year is to get through a lot of the things I’ve purchased and then never touched. Since I’m on a serious budget right now, I can focus on reading what I own instead of buying new stuff.

  4. Sophia Rose

    I’m on GR too and I do the challenge each year.

    I like how you now give yourself permission to stop reading a book you’re not into. I haven’t gotten that far yet particularly with review books I’ve committed too.

    Best of luck!

  5. My problem is less making myself invest in books, and more getting around to reading my investments ;) My primary goal for 2014 is to knock out the stacks (no, literally: STACKS) of To Read books in my room. Technically there’s a shelf too, but they overflowed. So yeah.
    I’m also becoming ever more a library junkie, because All The Books! hahahaha … I have this insane compulsion to read every new book that comes in (er, almost every – specifically YA and MG, you know, the ones I’m ordering ;) ) … But the saddest thing of all is how “lost” my To Reads get on the Kindle. Must fix that. Trying to keep one eBook going at all times …
    Meanwhile, I love your goal, and look forward to seeing what you read! :)

  6. Michelle Fidler

    I’ve been on Good Reads a while and have done the challenges. I usually finish three books a month, but I do like to read more than one at a time. So I always put down 36 as my goal. I finished 37 last year (reading marathon to finish that last one). I haven’t finished putting into Good Reads all the books I read last year! I guess they only show the current year’s progress. I don’t have a computer at home so I go to the library and use the Internet there. I have tons of books to be read and I’m sure I’ll never read them all. I’ve finished two books this year so far, in part to snow days (the library was closed last week from Monday to Wednesday so I couldn’t use the Internet). I do like to watch T.V. too, so I’m not reading all the time.

    I mostly read cozy and historical mysteries and some Y.A., especially paranormal. I finished Jessica Shirvington’s Embrace this month and just started one of the Mortal Instruments books. I also like Richelle Mead’s Vampire Academy and Bloodlines series.

    I’ll be friending you on Good Reads.

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