Voracious reader and DPhil candidate blogs about books and scholarly life.
When I checked Goodreads yesterday to look up some information for a new review I’m writing, I noticed a new icon on my home page.
Apparently, I’ve read over a hundred books this year, which means I’ve completed the Goodreads Reading Challenge I’d set for myself. Woo!
In case you’re wondering, though, no, I did not take this challenge very seriously. I only joined in August, anyway, so the largest part of my challenge was completed through me adding books I’d read at some point in the months before. The challenge, then, was not very ‘challenging’ to me – in fact, I kept editing the challenge as I added more books, to prevent myself from completing it too soon. Eventually, I decided to set my target at 100 books – and apparently, when I added Laline Paull’s The Bees to my ‘read’ list yesterday evening (review upcoming, by the way), I completed the challenge. In nine months, I’ve read a hundred books.
It’s not the challenge part that fascinates me, it’s this fact that for the first time in my life my reading has actually been quantified. I wonder whether it’s an accurate indicator of my reading, 100 books per 9 months. Actually, I guess I’ve been reading a lot more than average since I’ve become a reviewer, but perhaps the insatiable reading in my youth would come close, too – I remember reading several books a day (well, they were thinner and had bigger letters).
But this doesn’t change the fact that, apparently, the people at Goodreads thought reading should be a quantified challenge. Would anyone read more if they were challenged to do so via a Goodreads link? Perhaps you’d read one more book, if you’re very competitive and your friend is one book ahead of you. But what if this was the year you were going to read Ulysses, and your friend studies children’s lit?
Perhaps it’s a lot more fun as a new year’s resolution to make a list of 10 books you definitely want to read during the year. Hmm, let me see what would be on my list for 2015…
That’s only five, but 2015 is still a while away. I’ll give you a full list in January. At any rate, it’ll be much more interesting for you to read than a post saying, “This year I’ll also try to read a hundred books, regardless of which they are!”
Edit: at the time of publishing, I’m already at 101 books…