Year after year, Goodreads asks the same question: “how many books do you plan to read, Natacha? 12? 24? 1001? They never receive my answer, though. It must be the rebel in me, I think; but, honestly, I can’t do that to myself. I love reading so much to ruin it like that.
Every person is different, so this might not apply to everybody, but in my case, if I said “well, I’ll read 50 books this year,” then it all would be about “how many” books I’ve read so far instead of what I’ve learned or what I’ve loved about a specific story.
I’ve seen it before: people completely obsessed with numbers trying to impress everybody with all the books they’ve read; or worse, trying to impress themselves.
Don’t believe me? Two years ago, I heard about a guy who chose a certain novella because it was short, and it helped him achieve his goal that year, and I was like “what?” What a terrible reason to pick a book!
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not judging him (well, yeah, maybe a little, but not on purpose). On the contrary, I’m terrified because I could be in that position too. If I allow myself to get into that trap, it’s very likely that I’ll end up reading novellas the whole year just to say: “I did read 50 books.”
Of course I’m not saying nobody should set reading goals in numbers, it’s just not the wisest thing for me. I wish I could see it as a way to keep myself encouraged, but I have to admit that it would become a nightmare in 2 weeks.
So, here’s the thing: if you can do it without losing your mind in the process, if it’s healthy for you, if you do it because it helps you, go ahead! Just make sure you that there is a right motive behind your goal.
In my case, I have to admit that I do set goals but from a different nature. For example, this year I want to read “Les Misérables”, “The Everlasting Man”, and “Jane Eyre”; those are classics and a more complex kind of reads, but I hope I can share my thoughts about them at some point this year.
Long story short, my reading goals are number-free because I want to read for the right reasons. Numbers won’t control me. That’s the plan for 2017… and the years to come.