When Goodreads first introduced their reading challenge, I could not have been more excited. A challenge to read more books? Count me in! Over the years however, I’ve learned that just trying to reach a number of books is (A) not all that exciting, and (B) not what it should be about.
We’ve all seen those readers that already reach their goal in January as they set it ridiculously low, or those readers who read a bunch of short books to get to their goal at the end of the year. And I’m not judging! Trying to finish that challenge can take over your life. But, is that really what it should be about? Goodreads has an amazing tool at their hands, and I don’t think they’re using it to their full potential.
Every year, I cross my fingers that Goodreads updates their reading challenge in a positive way, but so far it (still) hasn’t happened. It has come to a point where I’m already thinking about it in August 2017. So I’m putting my thoughts in this blog post.
We need to get away from setting ourselves a certain amount of books. Instead of marking a goal, it would be better if Goodreads set a challenge more like Popsugar’s Ultimate Reading Challenge where you need to read a book over 500 pages, a book published this year, a book you can finish in a day… It will challenge readers to read out of their comfort zone and probably still read more books in the process. Wouldn’t that be infinitely better?
Yes, reading should be about relaxing and having to reach a goal is completely the opposite. This is why the challenge shouldn’t be too easy, but not too long either. We’re looking for that healthy middle ground!
I’m keeping my fingers crossed that we’re going to see a different reading challenge in 2018. Maybe even one where you can win badges if you complete one of the points in the challenge? If we don’t… then I’m sticking to my usual plan: set my goal at 75. I tend to reach it easily somewhere in the fall.
Do you have any ideas on how to improve the reading challenge? Let me know in the comments!