I just read my 50th book this year, completing my Goodreads 2016 reading challenge.
I didn’t really pick up my reading habit until the end of 2015. To make sure I kept up with my reading I decided to participate in the annual Goodreads reading challenge.
At the start of the year I set myself a goal, read 50 books before the end of the year. This means on average finishing one book each week. Since I have a fairly easy time with school I build up quite a big head start during the first 6 months, finishing about 70% of my books.
When I started my internship in September I had a lot less time. I ended up reading a lot less during these months. I was still able to finish the remaining 30% with about a month left.
The obvious pro of a challenge like this is that it pushes you to read more. It also rewards finishing books instead of reading partway into them and switching to another book.
Another pro (I consider this a pro anyway) is my to-read list. It quadrupled in size over the last year. The combination of further reading sections, better recommendations from Goodreads and other sources gives me tons of suggestions for future challenges.
The challenge wasn’t entirely without downsides. I found myself gravitating toward shorter books. While I read two 1.000+ page books this year, I tended to pick books in the 300 to 400 pages range and avoiding 500+ page books. At times I felt rushed, trying to read faster to finish more books.
Am I going to set a new goal for next year? Yes, absolutely. I read a lot of awesome books the last year. I haven’t decided yet what goal I will be setting for next year. I want to push myself to keep reading, but at the same time focus on reading material that is interesting to me and is of value to me, which in some cases means a 2000 page book.