Reading Goals: Take 2

An update on my current reading goal and how it’s changed my thoughts on them.

The Past:

I had managed to read 50 books during 2020 and I wanted to achieve the same in 2021, despite key changes in my life, including full-time work and a part-time MA, leaving me far busier than I had been in 2020.

To track my reading I use Storygraph, which I wrote a previous blog post on here. I set my official goal at 45 books but in my mind I still wanted to read 50.

I wanted to challenged myself to read as much as possible this year so I decided to set a high goal for myself even if I didn’t meet it.

Why not? It’s not as though there’d be any real consequences from not meeting my goal.

The Present:

I am 2 books behind my goal. And I am frustrated.

I desperately want to meet that goal of 45 (50) books this year but I just don’t think I can.

I am working, studying and I have chronic health issues so I just don’t have as much time to read anymore. And that’s fine.

I don’t need an arbitrary number hanging over my head, creating another item on my to-do list.

Reading is one of my favourite hobbies, so why am I turning it into a goal-driven task? I am putting more pressure on myself for not doing something that I enjoy because I am so busy with everything else.

Sometimes I just want to watch TV because I am knackered and there’s nothing wrong with that.

So screw the reading goals!

The Future:

….Sort of.

I am going to try to forget about how many books I’ve read but I am also going to keep tracking what I read.

I really like being able to look back on the types of books I’ve over a year and when I read more or less. I like being able to see trends in genres I read or whether I like long or short books (it’s actually medium for anyone wondering).

But I am going to let go of the pressure to read as much as possible and to always be reading more.

It doesn’t matter if I read 20 books in a year of 50 books in a year. What matters is that I enjoy reading.

So screw reading goals! (but also add me on Storygraph: my_literary_life)

Goodreads vs. The Storygraph

So I was recently introduced to The Storygraph, a new platform comparable to Goodreads but without being owned by Amazon, through Leena Norm’s Youtube channel (which you should definitely check out) and having now used The Storygraph for a couple of months, I thought I would review how The Storygraph and Goodreads compare and whether I’ll be switching for good. The answer to which is…maybe.

My overall experience of the two websites is that The Storygraph is a resounding success. My favourite feature is the more in depth review options, beyond a rating out of five stars. The reader can review the pace of the book, character development and key words that would describe it. This provides more insight into what the user is reading, which was particularly useful when looking for more things to read.

The one aspect of The Storygraph that I disliked is not being able to track your progress as you’re reading a book. On Goodreads, you can input what page you’re on and see how far through the book you are, there is no such option on The Storygraph. However, it is still in beta so perhaps that is something that will be developed going forwards.

Despite this, I have much preferred using The Storygraph over the last few months. You are able to mark if you own a book, in addition to the usual ‘read’ and ‘want to read’, which, as a frequenter of libraries, I appreciate. The layout of the site is also both easy to use and aesthetic. There is now an app version, which is major bonus, as I would often forget to use it before this was created.

Overall, I would definitely recommend that every book lover tries out The Storygraph. You can transfer all of your Goodreads data across so you need not go back to square one, you can simply make a very easy switch across.