End of the Year Reading Blues

I’m behind on my Goodreads reading goal this year. Yet again.

According to Goodreads, and they don’t soften the blow, I am currently 29 books behind. OOPS.


And this happens every year — well before Goodreads had this little widget. Back in the day when I just made goals for myself on a spreadsheet. I always fall short. Maybe it’s my goal making abilities and I need to aim lower.

And so then I think OKAY MAYBE IF I STOP LIFE I CAN READ THOSE 29 BOOKS!! But then I’m like, “No, I choose life. And I don’t think bed sores would be a good look for me if I stayed in bed all day reading.” OR I COULD READ REALLY SHORT BOOOKS??? But then I feel bad neglecting the chunky ones.

And then every year I get jealous of those who have achieved their reading goals. Jealous of the ones who’ve read zillions of books because THERE ARE SO MANY BOOKS I WANT TO READ IN THIS LIFE AND SO LITTLE TIME.

But then I remember that even though I aim high every year…I chose to not read that much. I probably could. And I remember that everyone is in different places in their life with different responsibilities and different social lives and just different circumstances and values and none of them or right or wrong or better or worse. For the most part, I don’t regret the things I did while I wasn’t reading. Okay maybe the mindless internet browsing or the months when I was addicted to Candy Crush would have been time better spent reading but I wouldn’t trade the other memories in the world for a few extra books to tack on at the end of my BOOKS READ LIST number.  And that’s just my choice.

Instead this year I’m going to focus on:

the number of pages I read because some of the books I read were bigger but worth it even though I could have read 2-3 in that time frame.
the amazing books I DID read this year because they all changed me in some way.
the new authors I DID discover this year because they are inspiring and I am thankful for them.
the armchair adventures I DID have this year because without them I would have been bored this year being unemployed.
the characters I DID meet this year because they taught me things or made me see myself or the world in different ways. They made me laugh. They made me cry. They made me swoon. They made an impact.
the beautiful words I DID read this year because some people don’t even have the ability to read or the freedom to choose the books that I do.
the times I DID spend letting those stories linger or those words set in before moving on because it reminds me that reading is not a race. I often just jump right into the next book.

So you there —  if you are feeling that pressure of your Goodreads challenge widget telling you how behind you are…ignore it if it’s really getting you down. Instead of feeling jealous of your friends who read 200 books or completed their challenges — celebrate their awesomeness with them and be okay with what you did! Reading inherently isn’t a competition. There might be fun competitions (I’ve participated in them!) but your reading journey is your own! Be proud of it whatever you were able to get in!

Did you set reading goals this year? Are you on target with it or are you behind like me? Do you ever feel that craze to fit in all the books you can before the year ends? Do you ever get a twinge of jealousy of the amount of books other people read?

Before & After #6: Books Read Per Year

So you guys. Since early 2012 I’ve been working on this post I wanted to do about the differences between myself as a reader before I was a blogger and after I became a blogger because my habits have changed SO MUCH. I kept putting it off because of wedding plans. I wanted to make this cute graphic that was a list but, when I finally started to work on it this year, it was just looking TOO crowded with about 30 different things and overwhelming and not AT ALL what I had in mind. Then I decided…why not make it a series? The more I thought about it — it would lend to a better discussion if I just give you one at a time. I’m kind of glad my original idea didn’t work out because I’m liking this better. Check the end of the post for previous Before & After’s.


 This one, besides the book real estate thing, is definitely the biggest change in my life. I read probably 20-30 books a year — which I know was more than a lot of my friends or the average human being I’m sure. Like I said in my first Before & After, I waited a longer amount of time before I would pick up a book upon finishing one. Sometimes I would wait a few weeks before I picked up my next book so I definitely read at a slower rate PLUS I wasn’t spending as much time per day reading a book — I’d read for an hour maybe before bed. There were times when I would spend a whole day reading on a rainy day but most of the time it was just a little time here and there.


I definitely read WAY more than I did before blogging — probably between 75-100 books a year (though last year was only 55 because of wedding planning, my job stress and moving). I definitely read more often and take less breaks in between books. I think there definitely is a pressure to read MORE as a blogger to make sure that I can have reviews for the blog. I confessed this in my Things I’m Afraid To Tell You post but I often feel bad because I know I can’t review as many books per week as many other bloggers because I’m simply not reading as much as them but that’s the choice I’ve made and have decided that 2 reviews a week is doable for me at the rate I WANT to read books. I don’t push myself to read when I don’t want to and there are times when I go for days without reading. I think I also read more as a blogger because I am so hyper aware of all the books out there –especially with all the habit of anticipating all the books as I mentioned in another Before and After.



Let’s Talk:

If you are a blogger — Has the amount of books you read per year increased or stayed the same since becoming a blogger? How much of a difference is there? Do you feel the pressure to read A LOT more so you can have reviews? If you aren’t a blogger — how many books would you say you read per year? Does this number fluctuate or stay pretty much the same?  For everyone — How much reading time do you think you put in per day? Do you ever go days without reading or do you pretty much read even a little bit every day?

Previous Before & After’s:

The Time In Between Two Books – 2/27
Being Up On New Releases — 3/6
Book Real Estate — 3/15
Re-reading — 3/20
Meeting Authors + Myths About Them — 3/27

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