At the start of every year (or even a few days before), Goodreads asks users to set a reading challenge for themselves. Uses can then put in any number of books they’d like to read within that year. Book clubs also do that. However, at the end of the year, those who read the most (well over one hundred books, at least) also get the most praise. It’s intimidating, to say the least.
When I logged onto Goodreads on the first of January, it prompted me to start setting up my reading challenge. I declined and then unsubscribed from all notifications on the website. It’s true that I’m not a fan of Goodread – the UI is awful – but I’m also not a fan of pressure when it comes to one of my more relaxing hobbies.
Last year, I managed to read six or seven books – I can’t quite remember the exact number. Compared to everyone else I know, that a hell of a lot less than the average. I’ve come to realise that the number of books you read doesn’t really mean much… to me, at least. Every day, I read through multiple articles for research, stories in video games, and even a bit of fanfic here and there. To me, I read far more text than the number of books I’ve put forth on some reading challenge.
I also have a full-time day job and a freelance writer after hours, so I just don’t have the time to devote everything to a single hobby.
Seeing other readers finish more books in 365 days than I have in my collection is disheartening. It makes me feel a bit inferior and that I can’t keep up with those that shout the loudest. By removing myself from challenges, it’s a way that I can enjoy my hobby more without the unnecessary and unintentional peer pressure.
Please bare aware that I hold no ill-will towards anyone that can read more than me in a year. More power to you! This has nothing to do with you. This has to do with me and my own insecurities and inferiorities.
But yea, that’s just how I feel.