Running Away From Reading Challenges!


Reading Challenges are a hot topic, and there are A LOT to choose from.

There’s the super popular PopSugar Reading Challenge, and the equally infamous Book Riot’s Read Harder Challenge, then of course there is the Goodreads Challenge, as well as the vast number this community comes up with themselves, and this year I’m putting my foot down.

I’m saying “no” to reading challenges.

In 2014, when I was new to blogging, I didn’t even know what a “meme” was, let alone how to take part in one, and I definitely wasn’t aware that reading challenges were a thing. When 2015 rolled around, I tentatively signed up to a few, and tracked my progress at the end of the year:

Goodreads Reading Challenge: Goal – 52   Achieved – 60
PopSugar Reading Challenge: Goal – 50   Achieved – 37
ReRead Challenge: Goal – 12   Achieved – 1
Discussion Challenge

I was very happy with my Goodreads Challenge, and felt I could definitely improve on the PopSugar one with a bit more effort. Rereading was a problem then, and it continues to be a problem now, it’s just not something I prioritize even though I tell myself it’s something I want to do. As for the Discussion Challenge, I never post as many discussions as I’d like to, but I felt like taking part in the challenge reminded me to post one every now and then. 2015? Not too shabby. Feeling reasonably accomplished, I decided to try again in 2016:

Goodreads Reading Challenge: Goal – 52   Achieved – 48
PopSugar Reading Challenge: Goal – 40   Achieved – 23
Discussion Challenge

I dropped the Rereading Challenge, accepting that it just wasn’t going to happen. Even though I was tempted by loads of other challenges (especially Must Read in 2016 and the Goodreads Awards Challenge). I decided to be super realistic, and keep it simple. Yet it still didn’t work out that well for me, did it?

Essentially, what I’ve realised is this:

  1. First and foremost, I’m a mood reader. I really can’t read to a schedule, and if I’m not feeling something, I’ll not get through it. Simple as that.
  2. I also seem to be a mood discussioner (yes, that is now a word). I can’t force a discussion out. When I’m on point, I’m ON POINT, but I just can’t schedule this genius!
  3. I did the PopSugar Challenge to try and read more diversely, but found I was retrospectively ticking books off as I was reading them, as opposed to going out of my way to find a book to fit a category. This tells me I already do read quite diversely, and that my shelves are packed with an assortment of goodies. If I want to read outside of my comfort zone, I can do that, but a challenge isn’t what motivates me.
  4. Setting myself challenges makes reading and blogging feel like less of a hobby that I do for enjoyment, and more like a job/goal/task that I have to achieve. And that just kind of takes all the fun out of it.

THAT being said, there is one challenge I am keeping this year (I know, I know, I love to be a contradiction), and that is the Goodreads Challenge. However, I’ve set my goal at 52 (same as it is every year), and it’s not about hitting that goal, it’s just a really simple and organised method of recording what I read over the course of the year.

Are you participating in any Challenges in 2017? Have you decided it’s time for a change and are you running away from them like me? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!

About Rachel

Avid reader & #bookblogger. Lover of all things business. A fan of drinks & dancing. Ever optimistic. Feminist.

26 Responses

  1. I’m definitely a mood reader, too! That’s why I never really bother making TBR lists for months/challenges/etc. because I rarely end up sticking to them. It’s hard to tell what I’ll be in the mood to read next, so I usually just wait until the time comes to decide!
    Happy reading in 2017! 🙂


  2. Brandie

    I’m a mood reader, too. I just can’t do challenges. Except for the Goodreads one. And I always set it way low so I don’t disappoint myself. 😉 It’s better to just read what I want when I’m in the mood. Otherwise it sucks the fun out of it!


  3. I’m definitely a mood reader as well so challenges don’t always work out for me in the end. I am really limiting the challenges I am doing this year and cutting my Goodreads goal in half to take away some of the pressure and obligation I was beginning to feel towards reading.


  4. Natalie Gunderson

    I have done the for a few years, haven’t hit my goal yet (but I’m on my 3rd book of 2017 so I’m on track, haha), but I do like how the site is set up and that I can look back over the years at the collection of books I’ve read. I don’t feel pressured by reaching the goal, and I’m not afraid to put down a book and move on if I’m not feeling it.

    Enjoying your blog, thanks for the thoughtful posts 🙂


  5. I completely agree – I am also (mostly) saying “no” to reading challenges this year! I’m not even doing the Goodreads challenge as I want a complete break from my reading being goal-driven. The only one I am trying is Rock My TBR, with a very relaxed goal of 12 books for the whole year, as motivation to read a few more unread books on my shelves.


      1. Yes, bring on the revolution!

        I agree with what you say about reaching for shorter books to meet the goals – it will be nice to pick up a book without a niggling voice in the back of my mind! Good luck with your year of reading anyway – it sounds like you’ve got it all figured out! 😀


  6. Jinger Kat

    My 2017 resolution is to read 50 books, reading an hour a day should complete a book a week.
    If I read 5 x 1hs a week I’ll consider it a success


  7. I stopped joining challenges a couple years ago. Like you, I’m a mood reader. So in the first place I’d only join ones for stuff I read anyway…so is that even a challenge? I’m also just bad at keeping track of my reading and updating my progress, and I mostly find it annoying, so I decided to cut that out of my life and just do what I want. :p


  8. I’m also a mood reader and I tried to find challenges that would fit around that and be more open. I don’t know how I’ll go but I have 8 challenges lined up for this year


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