Reading Challenges: Past, Present & Future

With the end of the year fast approaching so is this year’s Goodreads’ challenge and I am once again reminded how Goodreads changed my reading life.

For most of my life, I have been a fairly voracious reader but once I had kids, reading became lower and lower on my priority list. Fast forward to 2008: my kids were now teenagers so I was reading on a more regular basis when I discovered a local author through a display in a now closed book store. I joined the author’s Yahoo group where I met like-minded readers who introduced me to the wonders of electronic readers. Now I was so far behind the curve in eBooks that I fervently shopped all the on line retailers and I amassed a huge TBR pile. The only problem? I spent so much time searching for bargains and chatting with my on line friends that reading once again fell low on the priority list.

In March 2010, a friend told me about Goodreads and I eagerly added all of my eBook purchases to my Goodreads “to read” shelf. I was immediately embarrassed to discover that my TBR pile was actually a TBR mountain range . Well, I decided right then and there that I needed to get my rear end out of the computer chair and into my recliner so I could start making a dent in that shockingly huge TBR mountain. I continued to buy books, but, at long last, I was finally reading as much as I was shopping.

Since I was mainly using Goodreads to track my “to read” and “read” books, I was blissfully unaware of all the wonders of the site so it wasn’t until 2011 I learned about the Goodreads’ Reading Challenge. Suddenly I had a way to not only track the books I read in one year (!), but I could set a goal for myself too. Since the year was partly over, I set a modest goal of 275 books and Yay! I went over my goal and read 283 books. In 2012, I set a goal of 300 books and again, I went over by two books. In 2013, I left my goal at 300 and whew, I read that 300th book on New Year’s Eve.

Even though I barely met my 2013 goal, I decided 300 books was still a realistic goal for 2014. Using the handy little tracker, I noticed I was lagging behind for the first few months of this year. Then summer hit and somehow, I had managed to get ahead. Suddenly, not a day went by that I wasn’t reading one book and sometimes two, if they were short. And low and behold, by December 1st, I had already met my 2014 Goodreads’ Reading Challenge!

2014 Reading Challenge

2014 Reading Challenge
Kathy has
completed her goal of reading 300 books in 2014!

(Please feel free to friend me).

So, what does this mean for my 2015 Reading Challenge? Well, I’m going to go the safe route and stick with 300 books. I know I can knock that out and if I go over? Well, that’s just an added bonus!!

Oh yeah, remember that shockingly embarrassing TBR mountain? Well, I’m still climbing that mountain but I have my doubts I’ll ever reach the top 😉

How about you? Do you set reading goals or participate in the Goodread’s Reading Challenge?

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14 Responses to Reading Challenges: Past, Present & Future

  1. Natalija

    Congratulations on completing your challenge! Are you going to write a post/make a list of your favourites? As for me, so far I have read 235 books. My goal was 200.

    P.S. Best wishes for 2015, and keep up the good work on your awesome blog!

    • Book Reviews & More by Kathy

      Oh, my, I have too many favorites to list 😉 That was my original idea for this post, but I just couldn’t decide!!

      And thank you-I have no plans to discontinue blogging any time in the foreseeable future

      Happy New Year, Natalija 🙂

  2. Eileen

    I started on Goodreads to track my books and keep track of my series and all the books I read. It was a bonus to finally see a number to the books I read in a year. I was surprised and I’ve challenged myself every year.
    I’m considering doing it again but give myself some leeway because I plan to knit more this year.
    congratulations on making your goal.

    • Book Reviews & More by Kathy

      I belong to some groups, too, but I’m not active in any of them. I doubt I’ll ever use Goodreads than a place to keep track of my books.

      I hope you do decide to participate in the Challenge. I really enjoy it and I like looking back over the books I’ve read throughout the year!

      Happy New Year, Eileen 🙂

  3. Angie M

    I did the Goodreads reading challenge for 2 years after I joined in 2010. I made my goal the first year but not the second. Since then, other things have taken over and I rarely go on Goodreads anymore!
    Like you, I have a to be read mountain. I read more Christmas books than last year, which was awesome! Because we have company this holiday I have only read one book since they got here so I probably won’t read much until after New Years.

    • Book Reviews & More by Kathy

      I hope you decide to participate again, Angie. Sometimes the challenge is just the nudge I need to get reading and I am always SO glad I did!

      Happy New Year 🙂

  4. Timitra

    My reading goal was 105 books so far I’ve 131 books. Next year I might try for 150 or 200 books.

    • Book Reviews & More by Kathy

      Yay!! So glad you exceeded your goal! You could easily hit 150 next year 😉

      Happy New Year 🙂

  5. Well done with your Goodreads goals – I don’t see them as modest – they are double what I set!!
    Like you I have found the internet a wonderful way to track books and get new recommendations. An author board and Goodreads are my story too. Although the author board is closed now due to spamming problems reading is still shared by her readers on Facebook but for some reason I don’t like it as much.

    • Book Reviews & More by Kathy

      Thank you, Kathryn. I love to read and it’s fun tracking my progress and seeing the books I’ve read over the year.

      I’m not too thrilled with Facebook groups either. It’s sometimes hard to follow/find threads!

      Happy New Year 🙂

  6. Cindy DeGraaff

    I haven’t really gotten into Goodreads very much until this year, but I forget to mark off my books, once I finish them. I have a huge bunch of reviews I need to do for books I’ve read on my Kindle and library books as well, but I’m so used to doing them on Amazon, that I forget to bring them to Goodreads. Unfortunately, I don’t have the HD Kindle version that automatically shares your reviews between the sites. Congratulations to you on making your goal! Well done!

    • Book Reviews & More by Kathy

      I read so many books that I don’t know how I kept track of the books I’ve read until Goodreads! Covers, titles, authors and series begin to blur after a while, so I like that I can track them. And it’s so quick to look them up when I can’t remember if I’ve purchased a book or if I’ve read it.

      Happy New Year 🙂

  7. Katherine

    I belong to the M/M Romance group on Goodreads, and participate in monthly challenges for the group. I haven’t done anything Goodreads-wide as far as challenges. I keep track of books read or TBR, no matter the genre. When I am inspired – good or bad – I write reviews. Rating is easy. Reviews take more time.

    • Book Reviews & More by Kathy

      I’m in the M/M Romance group, but I don’t ever have time to participate in challenges. Most of the books I read are review books, so I don’t review the ones I read for pleasure. I need a break from reviewing every week 😉

      Happy New Year 🙂