Reading Challenges: An Aid or A Hindrance?

It is just past the halfway point of 2014 and it is time to look at how we are doing when it comes to the reads. That is what we are all here for, right? The reads.

I go back and forth when it comes to read-a-thons and reading challenges. So, for your enjoyment, here is a list of my personal pros and cons when it comes to this topic!

PRO: Motivation.

I am the type of person that needs a set goal sometimes. I think having a set number can definitely be a bonus depending on what kind of reader you are. Seeing the number go up as you read up and get close to your final goal can be hugely motivational. I go through stages where it can take me weeks to finish a book and other times where I can read 5 in a week so seeing numbers really helps me a lot!

CON: Pissing ContestsΒ 

I have no idea if there is a technical term for this. But pissing contests where I am from is basically where you are trying to outdo someone all of the time. I have seen snarky comments on Goodreads and screencaps of conversations of people constantly bragging about how much they have read and pulling people down for how little they have read. Don’t get me wrong, I love my somewhat high numbers. But getting caught up in things like that is tiresome. Also, people work and have lives outside the internet. Just because they have less spare time to read does not make them a better or worst reader!

PRO: Keep Count

This is just from a bookkeeping point of view, but taking part in some kind of reading challenge is so helpful when it comes to looking back and seeing what you have read. I have my Goodreads sorted in to genres and years so it is nice to see all of them together and also how the reads have progressed!

CON: Pressure – The Bad Kind

Unnecessary pressure is a huge turn off for me when it comes to reading. Sometimes I have put books down for over a month because I simply just hate the fact that I feel like I have to finish it, not that I want to. When people start getting unrealistic with their goals and then do not reach them, it puts a huge downer on things. This is more of an individual thing as I have not talked to many people that do this. I try my best not to do this to myself, but sometimes I just can’t help it!

PRO: Pressure – The Good Kind

I suppose this falls under motivation. I think that having just the right amount of pressure will induce a little more motivation out of me sometimes. If I see I only have a couple more books to go until I hit a landmark, it makes me read just that little but faster!

CON: Resenting Reading (the worst one, I think)

Again, this may come from being unrealistic sometimes. If I genuinely feel like I can’t reach a target or finish a book for something, whether it be for recreational purposes or school, I begin to resent it. There was one point when I started blogging way back when, that I took on far too many review books and it got to the point where I just hated reading all of the books that I picked up. I reviewed all of them and had to take a break. I think when anything you love starts to be a chore, you need to take some time out.

How do you guys feel when it comes to reading challenges or read-a-thons? Do you think they help more or less when it comes to your reading pace? I would love to know your thoughts on this one!

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6 thoughts on “Reading Challenges: An Aid or A Hindrance?

  1. Faye M. says:

    Wow, is there actually someone bragging about how much books they read? Talk about putting importance in the most simple of things! Haha. Thankfully I have not seen someone talk smack about others’ reading challenges. I would rage if I encountered one of ’em!

    The GR challenge is just that – a challenge for me that I hope I’d be able to keep up. It definitely motivates me and when I’m behind I don’t really get all depressed and stuff. I just try to read faster.I did decrease its number though from 200 to 150 because it was just hard to keep up XD

    Faye at The Social Potato

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    • Alex @ The Shelf Diaries says:

      Yes there is! I was thinking the same thing!

      I completely agree when it comes to the GR challenge. I do try and read a little bit faster! Sometimes it works just giving myself a kick up the butt!

      I would love to read 150 books!

      Thanks for stopping by! πŸ™‚ xxx

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  2. emreadseverything says:

    It’s nice to see that someone else feels the same way about these things as I do! I have to say that the positives far outweigh the negatives for me. Sometimes I need a kick in the butt to finish a book and my GR challenge has been a great motivation for me.

    -Em

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  3. Aimee says:

    Awesome points, Alex! I don’t give my GR reading challenges any sort of relevance–for me, it’s mostly just for keeping track of how many books I’ve read that year, and to see if I can read more than I did in the previous year. πŸ™‚

    I totally get the pressure part, though. It also pressures me when I see that other readers have already read like 200 books and I’ve only read a quarter of that! o_o And I just naturally hate disappointing myself with not reaching goals. >_<

    Lovely post!

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