Let’s Talk: Why I Lowered my Goodreads Goal

Lowered GR Goal

On New Year’s Day I posted all of my goals for the year, which included my Goodreads goal, to complete 120 books (same as 2015).  I posted again this week for Top Ten Tuesday, and again, talked about my resolution to read 120 books in 2016.

As this week has gone on, I keep looking at my bookshelves and all the books I want to get to, and thinking about all the things I want to accomplish this year (buying a house, summer travel plans, etc).  I’ve realized that I am putting way too much pressure on myself to read X number of books, rather than just reading for fun. Reading has started to feel like homework.  I’m continuously picking up shorter books because I can read them faster, when I have so many chunkier books I’ve been wanting to get to.  I started Queen of Shadows in September (my most anticipated 2015 release) and I’ve yet to even read 100 pages!

I also want to finally start writing reviews this year, and in order to do that, I have to slow down a little bit and think more critically and deeply about what I’m reading. I have a terrible memory, so this means taking notes on what I read, and sitting down to get my thoughts out on paper as soon as I finish a book. I don’t want to rush through a read and subsequent review because I’m so worried about picking up my next book.

My original goal meant I had to read an average of 10 books every month to read 120 by the end of the year. Some months I just don’t feel like reading that much, or I want to read a book that’s 800 pages without feeling guilty because it takes me an entire week (or longer). or to be honest, sometimes I just feel like reading fan fiction!

So I’m saying goodbye to the pressure of a big reading goal…

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And hello to a goal that is more comfortable and manageable for me.

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I’ve set a new goal for 80 books, an average of 6 per month.  Last year, some months I read 4 books and others I read over 15, so this is a good, comfortable number for me.  My goal is to get through the year without feeling any pressure to hit that magic Goodreads number.   I imagine that I’ll probably still surpass 80 books by quite a lot, but now I won’t feel pressure to do so. I considered deleting my Goodreads goal completely (gasp!), but it is the easiest way to keep track of what I’ve read and it’s always fun to scroll through the page at the end of the year to see all those pretty covers when I’m reflecting back.

This post is in no means meant to make anyone else feel bad for setting high reading goals!!!! This is just something that I had to do for myself this year.

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How are you feeling about your goals so far this year? Do you ever change your GR goals (or other reading goals) after you’ve set them? Do you raise your goals towards the end of the year when you realize you’re going to reach your goal early, or lower them when you realize you’re not going to reach them in time? 

21 thoughts on “Let’s Talk: Why I Lowered my Goodreads Goal

  1. Excellent post. It really resonates with me. I wrote a post a few months ago about reading not being a chore. Last year, I set a reading goal of 52 but didn’t actually get back into reading until July. Nonetheless, I still wanted to reach that goal of 52 but of course, in the end I had to revise my Goodreads challenge and lower my goal to 35. This year, seeing as I’m starting in January, I’ve set it for 52 (which may seem low to some, but is a good goal for me) and I’m a lot more confident this time around. But I don’t want to pressure myself. I like reading, therefore I read. That should suffice!


    • That’s why I set mine low this year. I set it at a number I know I’ll surpass. That takes a lot of pressure off. This year, I’m really just using the Goodreads goal to keep track of the total number of books I’ve read.


  2. Last year I didnt meet my goal of 60 books for some of the reasons you mentioned but also because I had some anthologies that I just got sick of and didn’t want to read any more of like sherlock holmes. Also because I was working on starting a business and my focus and energy was on that the last half of the year. One thing that killed me was a book I got in september that wasnot holding my attention at all. When December came around and I got queen of shadows I put off reading it trying to force myself to finish this other book. I finally gave myself permission to give up the other day. Now I’m almost finished with queen of shadows. I have the same goal for goodreads this year but I’m not pressuring myself


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  4. I love this post Amber! I’m so happy that you’re doing what is best for YOU and your stress level, rather than trying to work towards a number. I am sure that you’ll easily surpass 80 books, but hey- stress free reading is the best! ❤ Kudos to you!


  5. You have no idea how stressed I was because last year, I read 99 books out of 100. 99!!! Like I was really close, but I just couldn’t even fit a novella on the last day because I had NO TIME at all. And then I was like, well that’s ok, 99 is fine, whatever. But it was even more sad that Goodreads didn’t even acknowledge the fact that I read 99 books in 2015 (the GR challenge did not appear on my profile because it wasn’t completed), so that made me a little sad/mad, and so I added a children’s book into the mix. Yep. That’s how upset I was.

    I guess what comes from this is that you shouldn’t let the challenge bother you, and things come up. Even now I’m 1 book behind, and I’m a little sad, but I just don’t feel like reading at the moment. Gah. I really admire how you lowered your challenge. I always want to outdo myself the next year, and I always feel like I have way more time than I usually do. 😛


    • That would have drove me crazy to be one book short! I understand your frustration. I think children’s books are totally fine to count towards your total 🙂 I hate that it’s such a pain to get re-reads to count. I think there should be a way to make it work automatically without needing to switch to a different edition of the book.

      A couple months in, I’m still really glad I lowered it. I have quite a few books at the top of my TBR for this year are over 500 pages, and I don’t want to be discouraged from reading them because I’m too caught up in reaching that magic number on GR!


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  8. Great post! I’m focusing on being a ‘free range’ reader this year and decided to not set any sort of reading goal. I’m also not tracking how many books I’ve read this year. This is the first time I haven’t set goals, but it’s nice to just read for the sake of reading, and not have that goal number always in the back of my brain 🙂


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  10. I can understand why you decided to change/lower your reading goals. It’s a perfectly sensible decision. I have not lowered mine and for the past few years it has been set at 150 b/c I have yet to reach it. One of these days/years I will LOL


    • umm.. ok nevermind… i got it… But for other people who couldn’t figure it out on their own : click on ‘view challenge’ and then at the ‘edit’ at the right, on the top. There you can increase/decrease the number of books you want to read.


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