This will be my third year setting a reading goal on Goodreads. The stated purpose of the Goodreads goal is to help you stay on track to “read more,” but there seems to be a difference of opinion on what is ‘allowed.’

  • Do graphic novels count? Picture books?
  • How about ebooks or audiobooks?
  • What if I’m re-reading a book?
  • What if I didn’t like the book, but finished it anyway? Does that count?
  • How low is too low? How high is too high?
  • What’s going to happen to me if I set a goal and miss it? Will they take my library card away? How about my ‘street cred’ as a reader?
  • What if my goal doesn’t match what someone else thinks is appropriate? Will it still count towards my ‘internet points’?

Getting a little silly, you say? Agreed. Because it’s silly to worry about what anyone else believes about your personal reading goal. You don’t even have to announce it on Goodreads (or anywhere else) if you don’t want to.

When you go to set your reading goal for the year (if you choose to set one at all), you really only need to ask yourself one question: What do you want out of your reading this year?

It’s your goal. You set it. You choose whether (and how) to stick to it.

One person I know set herself the goal to read 2 personal improvement books per month. She set her Goodreads goal at 24, and only tracked those books that met her goal. If you want to track every book you read, that’s your choice.

Someone else wanted to re-read a few series she loved, so she counted re-reads in her goal. If you don’t personally count re-reads, you can take that into account when setting your number; that’s your choice.

Another person reads tons of graphic novels, and counts any that appear on Goodreads as working towards her goal. You don’t think graphic novels should count, you say? Then don’t count them towards your goal. Your choice.

So, what do you want out of your own reading?

  • Want to read more than you ever have before? Set a high goal.
  • Want to just make sure your reading doesn’t fall by the wayside during a busy year? Set a lower goal, or maybe just try to match what you did last year.
  • Worried you might not meet your goal? Goodreads makes it super simple to adjust your goal (up or down — there’s really no shame in it!) as your year changes.

You do you. No need to worry about whether anyone else agrees with how your personal goal is structured. Or whether they think it’s high enough. And if you’re setting a goal that makes you sigh with frustration (yes, someone on social media the other day was actually expressing frustration with their OWN goal that they’d set for themself) maybe rethink whether that’s a good goal for you.

Because, in the end, a non-mandatory reading goal that results in nothing more important than internet bragging rights should not add to your worries, or feelings of inadequacy.

Reading should be fun. It should be challenging. It should feed a part of your soul.

Are you setting a reading goal this year? If so, feel free to share about it in the comments. Or not. It’s not for anyone but yourself.

Happy reading!

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