Let’s Talk Bookish: Are reading goals worth it?

Hello! Today, I’m very exited to post this week’s Let’s Talk Bookish, which is going to be all about reading goals. I definitely have a lot to say about this topic, because my reading is always changing, and I’ve seen a lot of shifts in my goals over the last couple years. And before I started blogging, I didn’t really set any at all. So, let’s talk about reading goals!

Let’s Talk Bookish is a weekly bookish meme created by Rukky @ Eternity Books and has been hosted by me since April 2022! Each Friday, there is a discussion topic for bloggers to write about. This week’s topic is are reading goals worth it, which I came up with!

We’re two months into 2023 – how are you feeling about your reading this year?

I’m not feeling amazing about my reading so far. I’ve read four books in 2023, A Million to One, by Adiba Jaigirdar, and the first three books of The Selection series, by Kiera Cass.

I really liked A Million to One, and it was fun to read, especially since I’ve been looking forwards to it coming out for a while now! The Selection books were rereads, and I got pretty sick a couple weeks ago and decided to listen to the audiobooks!

In the past, I’ve read a lot more than that, and I’ve been sad I haven’t had as much time for reading. Hopefully, I’ll be able to read more this spring, and definitely in the summer when I have a lot less going on!

Do you have a yearly reading goal?

I do – every year since I started blogging I’ve set an overall reading goal for the number of books I want to read. I also make some other reading goals about what genres I want to read most, and that sort of thing.

This year, my goal was originally going to be 52 books, but I decided to lower it to 40 because I think that will be a more manageable goal to reach for! I also have a goal of reading more queer historical fiction this year, since it’s one of my favorite genres, and one I want to read more of!

Do you think that those kinds of goals help you to feel motivated to read more books, or just causes stress?

Sometimes they help, sometimes they don’t. But I do like having a goal to work towards – it just needs to be a goal that’s manageable, and isn’t going to be impossible to reach. I already decided to lower my reading goal for the year by 12 books, because I want to make sure that I’m aiming something more realistic.

There have definitely been many times when I’ve felt stressed out because of reading goals, and I’ve wondered if it might be better not to have them at all. But I do think that they help me more than anything, and that I feel more encouraged to read books when I’m working towards a goal.

If you set yearly reading goals, when and why did you start setting them? Would you consider reading without aiming for a number? 

I started making reading goals for myself when I started blogging, three and a half years ago. Before that, I had mental lists of books that I wanted to read, but I didn’t use any reading trackers, or have any written-out tbr lists. I definitely didn’t set any yearly reading goals, and I didn’t pay as much attention to the number of books I was reading.

The one time I did set a reading goal was in 3rd grade, when I made the goal of reading 1000 books in 2017. I then changed that to 1000 books through 2017 and 2018. It was definitely a very lofty goal, and one that I didn’t even come close to reaching! But, that was the only time before I started blogging that I actually kept track of the books I was reading, and I only kept up a list for a little while.

I think the main reason why I started making reading goals was that I saw everyone else doing them – through monthly wrap up posts and goodreads reading challenges, they were kind of everywhere.

I don’t thing I would consider reading without aiming for a number, or without setting any goals at all. I like keeping track of what books I read, and when I read them. I use Storygraph to track my reading, and I love all the charts and graphs that they have!

When I think about anything I might want to do differently when I’m setting goals is really about figuring out how to set goals that encourage me to read more, while also setting goals that are manageable, and not too challenging.

And that’s what I think I need to work on – finding that balance between helpful goals that are motivating, and also not too difficult.

This week’s posts:

Lotus @ Pages of Starlight | Dedra @ A Book Wanderer | Laurie @ Laurie is Reading | Kristina @ Books and Dachshunds | Bianca @ Binx Thinx | Fives @ Down the Rabbit Hole | Kristina @ Books and Dachshunds

How do you feel about your reading so far this year? Do you set yearly reading goals? Do you think that reading goals encourage you to read more, or do they stress you out? Chat with me in the comments below!

12 thoughts on “Let’s Talk Bookish: Are reading goals worth it?

  1. I’m not big on goals personally just because I am a mood reader. But I do think it can help sometimes to have some structure that will motivate you to get to those books you keep meaning to read, but don’t. It really depends on the reader!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I think that’s really true. If your goals aren’t manageable, then they become a stress and a problem, or you just give up, neither of which are helpful. Hopefully reducing yours means that you won’t feel stressed about it.

    Liked by 1 person

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