Friday, February 9, 2024

Discussion - Why Have Reading Goals?

This Week's Topic

Why have reading goals?



This post was inspired by one I saw on Dini's blog. It was a Let's Talk Bookish where she discussed if reading goals were worth it. When I saw that question, I immediately thought, "YES!" 

I am actually quite surprised by the passionate response Dini's post elicited from me. I tend to not get too impassioned about anything, but I have a fire in me for goals. I tend to be goal orientated. I need something to work towards, no matter how big or small. Checking it off the list or seeing something to completion gives me a sense of accomplishment. 

I will admit that back in the day, I used reading goals to shape my reading. I was heavily influenced by other bloggers that I should be reading XYZ type of books, and I used reading challenges and goals to push me outside my comfort zone. I found I didn't really enjoy doing that, and you know, hobbies should be enjoyable. 

So, I adopted a new attitude about my reading and my goals. I picked reading challenges that I found fun and would allow me to read (more or less) freely. They serve as a guide without being oppressive. I have to tell you, I smile when I check an item off my list. I also use my goals to keep me focused and moving forward. 

I used to be a school teacher, and as such, I had the summers free. I thought I would get so much done, but with no structure, I pretty much wasted a lot of time. I personally need goals. They guide me and keep me heading in the right direction. I don't make them hard, but I need something to work towards. 

For me, reading goals are not only worth it, they are vital to my reading success. 

Now it's your turn!




How do you feel about reading goals?
Let us know in the comments!

32 comments:

  1. I like reading goals - like you, I love the satisfaction of checking something off a list. I like having something to work towards, too. I used to sign up for a lot of reading challenges, which were fun, but I started to feel like it was informing my reading a little too much? Like, it's good to read outside your comfort zone sometimes and try new things, but I felt like I was spending too much time trying to find books to fit certain prompts. At this stage of my reading, I don't necessarily want to always be searching something out, but rather just read the books I want to read, since I don't have a lot of time. My reading goals now are just extensions of what I want to read - in 2024, I want to reread more and read more nonfiction, so I set concrete goals to remind me and guide my reading. So, we are very similar!

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    1. I was also guilty of trying to do too many challenges (though I never did official sign ups). I cut back and found it more satisfying. I agree, that some of the challenges were controlling my reading, and I wasn't enjoying it as much. I think we are on the same wavelength with this.

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  2. We really diverge when it comes to reading goals. I wouldn't say I'm particularly goal-oriented in general, and definitely not when it comes to reading. All the various reading challenges have never held any interest for me and would suck the joy of reading right out of me. lol I do set one goal a year (Goodreads) but even then it's not something I think about or concern myself about reaching. (I think I set it out of habit more than anything.) My reading style tends to be much more laid back and totally without any goals in mind. :)

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    1. I used to do challenges that "pushed" me, and they pushed me into reading books I really didn't enjoy. Since I have changed my tune, the challenges have been a lot more enjoyable.

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  3. I am goal oriented too. I like to have some goals to work towards. I don't need goals for everything, but I do need some to stay focused on. I get that they aren't for everyone but I love being able to have the satisfaction in completing a goal. Goals can also push you to complete tasks you might not do otherwise and can allow you to stretch yourself.

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    1. I like the bit of guidance the challenges give me, but I don't let them run the show. I think I do need a little push sometimes.

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  4. I think I started the Goodreads reading goal challenge because so many other bloggers were doing it and I thought, I'm already going to be reading so why not set a goal.

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    1. I am such a fraud with the GR challenge. I set the same number of books every year. I read about 5 a week and sometimes finish some audiobooks. I know I will make or exceed my challenge. I was honest with myself about other challenges not really being challenges for me, but I still do GR.

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  5. I personally am not one for reading goals. It would put too much pressure on me. I try to do my best with my reading and that is all I can really do. Good to hear that challenges help you keep up with your reading.

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    1. I used to feel pressured by my reading challenges. I don't any more because I am doing ones that fit my reading style more these days.

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  6. I think as long as you make reading goals work for you then they’re good and fun and I like them. I used to try and push myself way outside of my comfort zone and try and do reading challenges which looked hard and I hated it. I still don’t always manage to finish a reading challenge in the year because of reading slumps but I like ones like the Monthly Key Word Challenge where it guides my reading but doesn’t force me too far outside of my comfort zone. I usually use them to try and push me to read more of the books I own because otherwise I’ll never clear my shelves and that works for me. I think the most I want to be pushed is to be made to read more of my own books and not need to buy a load of new ones just to complete a challenge.

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    1. OMG! I so related to doing hard challenges that I HATED. Glad it's not just me. I think we all need to clear our shelves, so why not have a challenge to help us along.

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  7. I rely on my reading goals to keep me focussed and on track too. That being said, I don't take them as seriously as I used to. I'm much kinder to myself if I don't meet a specific goal. Reading should be fun, after all. This year, I am trying to double my usual reading goal and do 2 books a week. So far, I'm right on track!

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    1. It seems we have lived and learned when it comes to setting those goals. You have been reading quite a bit. It only made sense for you to up that number.

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  8. I have to agree with you. I like reading goals. But I'm someone who needs them, as well. I would LOVE to be the type of person who doesn't need them, though. 😃

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    1. You do those hard challenges though. I always give you a lot of credit for the ones you choose.

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  9. Great post, Sam! I agree with you about having goals to motivate you but also choosing the right ones that keep this hobby fun. I'm not so great at doing all the challenges (even though they sound like a good time in theory) but I've found the ones I do enjoy and I stick to those. :)

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    1. I think these is some trial and error, as with all things in life, when trying to find the right challenges/goals for you. When I was trying to keep up with the Joneses, I was miserable. I am a much happier reader these days.

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  10. If I don't set goals, I end up watching a ton of Netflix and doing nothing. That's why I write my weekly goals in my planner every Sunday. I like checking stuff off. I used to sign up for a ton of reading challenges and then fail them all, so now I only do the Goodreads Challenge. It motivates me to read but isn't hard.

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    1. HA! That is me when I take days off with no planned activities. I look up, and the whole day is gone. Good to know I am not alone in this. I did one last year where I did NOT complete all the prompts. I skipped the ones I didn't like, and I still had fun. I agree with you, it's about finding that balance where it's sort of challenging but not difficult.

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  11. I should be better at goal setting. I don't feel the need to do it with reading, but I wish I had it in other aspects of my life.

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    1. I think it depends on your needs. Maybe you don't need them to get things done. I just can be a total time waster without my items to check off

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  12. Sometimes I need goals to push me in a direction I know I want to go with my reading, but I have to be careful not to push myself into a slump as a mood reader.

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    1. I think it's about knowing your limits and what you want to get out of it. I have changed my approach to challenges drastically for that very reason

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  13. Well at work I am very goal oriented but not for my reading! I just choose a low goal for Goodreads and do the Audiobook Challenge. But too many goals and it feels like a chore.

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    1. I had felt like that when I was picking the wrong challenges, but I understand some wanting no constraints as well

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  14. I think we use the goals similarly! I found that left to my own devices, I do not read (or watch, or post, or whatever) as much as I really want. So, goals (and review books!) keep me accountable. Also I am kind of competitive and like having that number to like, compete against year to year!

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    1. Yes, they are those guidelines that provide a little "push" in the right direction. I do try to keep my 5 books per week pace, but I have been falling short of my previous totals with my dwindling audiobook reading.

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  15. I love having a reading goal every year. I'll admit that I set it a little lower than I probably should so that it's attainable and not stressful, but I do think it's high enough to keep me motivated. I stopped doing most of the challenges and just the ARCs and mood reading be my guides but for me, there's just something so satisfying about surpassing whatever number I've set for myself.

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    1. It is supposed to be fun, so set it to what makes it something enjoyable to do. I have been embracing challenges that I know I can complete without compromising my reading choices. There is no Pop Sugar or Read Harder going on here.

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  16. "I used to be a school teacher, and as such, I had the summers free. I thought I would get so much done, but with no structure, I pretty much wasted a lot of time. I personally need goals."
    Good reason enough. I started to be more productive in terms of blogging (not reading - that wasn't particularly needed) when I began scheduling. Now I couldn't even blog if I didn't LOL. But I don't like reading challenges of any kind.

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    1. Yes! I like a due date or something guide me. I need to be held accountable. It's so easy not to do things, you know, especially when your days are busy. Schedules are my friend

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