Since I started actively keeping track of my reading in 2007, my reading has increased. In 2007 I read 78 books. In 2008, I actively set a goal to read at least 100 books. I ended up reading 113. Since I was so close to averaging 10 books a month, I set 120 for my 2009 reading goal. I hit my target coming in at exactly 120 right under the nose.
At the start of 2010, I didn’t actively set a new goal. I just wanted to keep pace. I read a challenge idea somewhere in the blogosphere about paying yourself a dollar for each book read. I didn’t officially sign up but I participated anyway, assuming I’d have 120 dollars at the end of the year.
Towards the end of the summer, I realized that I wasn’t on track at all with keeping pace with previous years reading. At first it bugged me a little. Then I just stopped caring. I got busy. I fell into reading slumps. I went long (for me) periods without reading. All this goal setting and failing was sorta stressing me out.
At the end of the year, my total was 80 books. A good 40 books less than previous years, but I think this is what more on par with what my normal reading trend is (if 2007 is any indication) when I’m not trying to fulfill a million challenges and keep reading goals.
Looking back, I can see that my reading ebbs and flows. I usually start the year with a bang reading in spurts. I read a lot in the spring, which is naturally boosted up by the readathon. In the summer my reading slows down a bit and trends more towards light and chocolate-y. The fall brings an influx due to colder weather and curling up with blankets and hot chocolate. Then it slows down again as the holidays get closer.
This year, I’ve decided only to participate in a couple of reading challenges. I have decided to not set any reading goals. I will continue to branch out and read outside my comfort zone, while also fitting in favorite authors and new releases I’m looking forward to.
However, I will accept that I won’t read the same amount of books every month. Some months are busier than others. Some months I am less inspired. Other months I am super inspired and gobble up books like a dessert binge. I’m okay with that.
What about you? Do you set reading goals? Does it ever interfere with your reading habits? Perhaps even stress you out a bit? (Or is that just me?)