I did it! I made it! I finished my Goodreads reading challenge of reading 50 books in 2016. And what a ride it’s been. In this post I will tell you all that I experienced while doing the challenge and will share some titbits about my favorite and least favorite reads.
A bookcase filled with books definitely helped!
To be quite clear, I will not tell you about all of the 50 books I read this year. I reviewed all the books I read each month and I also kept track of my read books via Goodreads. You can see the overview of all 50 books by clicking here.
Completing this challenge has not been too difficult, but definitely put my reading habits in perspective. I was quite capable of reading 25 – 30 books a year without a challenge pushing me forward. Despite that number, I always felt I should read more. Not sure where that feeling came from, but it was just how I felt.
One thing I discovered about my reading habits is that I love to read but find myself too distracted at home to sit down and do it. I had to make a concious effort to not watch Netflix or listen to music to complete the challenge. In short, I had to prioritize reading, which is something I had never done.
Secondly, my usual policy of reading a more difficult book after an easy one was no longer feasible. I found out that the many reading slumps I encountered in the past were caused by precisely that policy. It’s not that I don’t want to read more difficult books, but I figured I do want to have to read them. Rather than making it a chore of some kind, my main goal was to enjoy the books as much as possible. Who cares I read mostly YA fantasy this year?
Thirdly, I also found out that ANY book you read counts. So that Tales of Beedle the Bard Harry Potter fairytale book? Yep counts as a book. I definitely used novellas and companion novels to speed up the reading process. Heck, I even through in some make up books for the heck of it.
The most important insight I gained though, must be the fact that there were so many books that had been sitting on my shelves unread and a tad forlorn. It felt great to dust some of them off after years of owning them, but not reading them. Seeing my potential TBR get a substantial dent was an incredibly great feeling.
Some books truly surprised me. The Night Circus was one of those books I have owned for years but never got round to. I read it and absolutely loved it. I also fell in love with the Throne of Glass and Percy Jackson series. Books I would not have been likely to pick up without this challenge.
Of course not all I read was amazing. In fact the book I read to complete the challenge was the worst I read all year. The Wish to Kill sounded like an interesting enough premise but ended up being horrible. The plot was jumbled, didn’t make sense and the characters were non-existent.
I also felt sometimes that reading just to read and getting those pages in isn’t always motivating. That is why, come summer time, I had a solid 5 weeks without touching any books. It took me some time to catch up again as I kept on reading books that I couldn’t read fast enough to get back on schedule. Eventually I managed but I think it is better to try and read 5 pages or just anything every day rather than breezing through as many pages as you can every day.
Ultimately, my experience was a very positive one. My wish to read more definitely came true and it felt good to just pull of my shelves whatever I felt like reading. 2017 will definitely see me complete a new challenge, but 2016 is not over yet. I am about to start book 52 as we speak!
How many books have you read this year?