Claire Fallon wrote this article The Problem With Reading Competitively on HuffPost and… well, let me talk about the title first. It makes it sound like readers are elbowing each other in the library. So many broken noses. I don’t think the title reflects the contents of the post. It starts out as a poke at the Goodreads Challenge but turns into the writer’s resolution to read “slow.”
As usual, I signed up for the Goodreads Challenge again this year. I hope to read 60 books in 2015. Last year I read 55, so 60 seems doable. So far I have read 0. One year I read 100 and it was a slow trot to the finish line.
I don’t see the Goodreads Challenge or any other challenge as a competition, unless the competitor was a past me. I have a book blog, obviously I read books, a lot of books. I’m not waving that around in people’s faces. It’s just a thing that I do. I’m not looking at Andi’s list and saying, “I bet I could out-read her this year.”
I have cut back significantly in challenges involving numbers. I just became overwhelmed with the idea of reading a lot of books within a set of parameters. I’ve even cut back on the number of books I wish to read over a year. I know that 100 isn’t going to happen right now. At the very least seeing that little chart reminds me that I have to read to have material for my occasional blogging.
As I said, the challenge isn’t about my reading vs someone else’s. If it was a sport, it would be a marathon. Yes, a marathon has winners, but most of the runners participating aren’t there to beat someone else. They want to see how far they can push themselves. They want to do better than the last race, but even when they don’t finish how they wanted, they’re still proud of what they’ve achieved. There is a goal, but the goal isn’t everything. What leads up to that moment is important too.
What I’m saying is if you want to read 100 books, the entire works of Dickens, Moby Dick, or every Goosebump novel this year, do it. You do you. If you succeed, that’s great. If you don’t reach that goal, I hope you get something out of it anyway.