Friday, 20 October 2017

Chuckles Chat #39 Reading Goal Pressure

Welcome to Chuckles Chat where great blogging minds unite to discuss the topics of the day mainly in the book and blogging world. I'll be sharing my thoughts on a topic and then inviting you all to share your thoughts. It's ok to disagree but PLEASE be respectful of each other's views! All of the comments on my blog are moderated and offensive posts ie racist, bigoted will not be published! 

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This week, I'm looking at the pressures of reading goals.

Pressure comes in many different forms but the toughest pressure I deal with is that of my own making. Every year I select a goal for Goodreads-usually 200 books and I have passed that easily each year and went over 250. This year I decided to set a target of 250 and aim for as close to 300 as I could get. Ambitious yes, but I felt it was doable if I could avoid the dreaded reading slumps. Of course I failed to factor in real life ie insomnia, illness, lack of concentration, too busy, rather watch TV etc. I got off to a glorious start when I was healthy, bright eyed and bushy tailed and raring to go! I was motoring through the books happily and only had a couple of minor blips in the spring. 

Summer, as usual has been the start of my downfall. My attention wandered to some TV, a few short slumps crept in and things got busy away from the computer. My health took a bit of a knock (nothing serious as it turned out) and by the time I got to autumn I was starting to flag and was behind where I wanted to be. A week off the blog and changing the Goodreads goal back to 200 this week is to give me space to get my head together. Why did I set such a goal and not think about how achievable it really is? The answer simply is that I feel I need to read as many books as possible to reduce the out of control TBR which dominates my thoughts and makes me cringe. When I'm not reading, I feel I should be. It stops reading being fun and it sometimes feels like a chore to be endured.

Why do I do this to myself? I mean, nobody else is tutting at my number of tbrs or being critical of my reading progress-though I could cheerfully stab that Goodreads graphic on the challenge which points out you are x amount of books behind schedule. I hate that bloody thing! I WANT to reduce the TBR to a manageable level. I obsess about the number (838 as I write this) and I do feel the pressure to do something about it. I get annoyed and frustrated when the tbr goes up or is coming down too slowly. As I refuse to stop buying books, I've backed myself into a corner where my only choice is to read more and then the pressure builds again. Does your Goodreads Challenge or TBR total put pressure on your reading?

The question then becomes how to solve the problem? 
1) Not buying books. Yeah like that is ever going to happen! *guffaws* 
2) Read more. Where the eff do I find the TIME! 

*sighs*

We should be able to choose to have a night of TV or films without sitting thinking guiltily that we should be reading and taming the tbr instead. But I can't help it that I feel I always NEED to be reading. I have to somehow train my brain to accept that it is ok to NOT read every night *trembles* That I can do other things. *sweats* That the TBR does not matter in the grand scheme of things. *gulps nervously* It's not working so far. Does anyone else have this problem?

The dumb thing is that I know I need to be more relaxed about my reading and not let it stress me out so much. I feel I need to look more at trying to mood read from book to book to cut down on the amount of reading slumps. I need to stop doing this habit of picking out everything I plan to read each month and be more chilled about book choice to increase motivation. Above all I think I need to have nights where I do just watch films without guilt. It worked fine during that Deep Blue Terror spell when I was reading and watching in tandem so why is it not working now? I just don't know but I need to find the answers!

Do your reading goals stress you out at times? Do you get agitated when you fall behind? Do you think you have set too many goals or your goals are too difficult? Do you feel you need to be doing the TBR instead of other stuff? How do you avoid reading becoming a chore or your goals giving you a nervous breakdown?

18 comments:

  1. I enjoy doing challenges because I have fun planning and making lists and ultimately, interacting with others participating. That being said, I think a lot of do put too much pressure on ourselves. Who am I hurting if I don't meet a goal or challenge? Anyone else? Technically even myself? No because I read for enjoyment. I don't get paid to do so (I wish) so what's the harm. Yes, I acquire too many books - So what, I could have lots of worse habits that could harm someone. I have a home, the bills are paid and the dogs are spoiled rotten. However, like you - that damn Goodreads challenge. I hate seeing it mock me (You are ___ books behind). Yep, it makes me want to pull a weapon and shoot the screen! Just try to have fun and watch TV when you want. You still manage to read more than most of my other friends :)

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    1. I tend to find the planning of a challenge fun...it's the sticking to the book choices that are sometimes more difficult! Horror month has been a non event this year and I'm a bit gutted that I didn't feel like reading any! I agree, there are worse things I could spend my money on and it's not like my dad is nagging me about it! I just put the pressure on myself but that needs to change! I'm hoping the rest of the year will be a bit more relaxed and I can face next year with new goals and a less stressed attitude!

      The Goodreads Challenge used to be worse...remember when it would tell you that you weren't doing enough if you fell behind? I was so angry when it did that!

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  2. I think this is a really interesting topic and one that is regularly mentioned by a number of bloggers. One year I did get a rush of blood to the head and decided to 'push' myself as I'd managed to easily read 100 books during the year. (Have to say I'm seriously impressed you've achieved 200+ a year!). However, immediately that stopped reading being my main hobby and pleasure and turned it into a chore. So I quickly reverted to my 100 books a year. Yes, I generally get past that, but it's a doable target - and this is FUN. I read because I love doing it. And my TBR? It stays more or less the same, because - like you - I refuse to stop buying books. I think it will always stay the same. But I celebrate that. I have the option to go to my Kindle and scroll down a looong list and choose EXACTLY the type of book I'm in the mood for. How cool is that??. My grandparents never could do that - my Mum, like me, loves doing it because she can.

    That said, I may be relatively calm and in control where my reading goals are concerned - I turn to a quivering neurotic mess when I consider my writing goals! Thank you for raising a really interesting subject:))

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    1. I really love your attitude to your tbr! I think that's great! I've never really looked at it as a blessing and not a curse so that's given me a new way to look at it. Thanks! Having more choice can be a good thing especially if we are mood reading. Perhaps I can adapt this thought into my philosophy for next year! I can try anyway...

      Switching my goal back to 200 books has allowed me to forget about the Goodreads challenge for a while and get back into a reading mood. I'll hit that revised goal well before the end of the year and anything above that is a bonus!

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  3. I set my Goodreads goal low enough that I know I can achieve it, so that doesn’t stress me out. My TBR does stress me out when it gets too big. Having a ton of unread books sitting around makes me feel greedy, like I’m taking more from the world than I need, which is completely ridiculous. If I can afford these books, why shouldn’t I have them? I don’t know. I have a weird mental block that relates to my dislike of greedy people. My TBR stress comes from my own stupid mind.

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

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    1. It's definitely the TBR that stresses me out and I need to get a grip on that feeling of constantly being swamped! It does feel greedy doesn't it? I try to tell myself that I don't have other vices to fund but it doesn't seem to help! I need to find a way to deal with my own stupidity I think!

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  4. I have a weird relationship with reading goals -- on the one hand, it helps me keep on top of things, but if I'm too strict about it, I stop reading altogether. I'm just contrary, I think!

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    1. It's hard to strike the right balance between goal and obsession I think! Who knew that books could be so stressful! I feel like mine are on an unauthorized breeding program at the moment!

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  5. I've been trying to NOT stress myself out this year about my reading and my perceived lack of progress in catching up with my tbr list, or completing a reading challenge, or finding an interesting book to blog about. It's sad that we can turn something as enjoyable as reading into another task that has to be completed on some imaginary deadline. The rest of my life is stressful enough. Reading should be my safe zone. So I'm trying to let go of lists and goals and challenges and just read for the love of it.

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    1. I think part of us needs to go looking for stress to heap onto ourselves! It feels silly doesn't it? I think this is the problem with my writing of book reviews...I get so stressed about them and how many need to be done that I end up hating them! I need to get rid of the challenge pressures and switch purely to mood reading too!

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  6. Great post. I don't pay too much attention to my Goodreads TBR, because I don't really buy books...very rarely anyway. My house overflows with them, as does my Kindle. Everyone once in a while I go to Goodreads and delete older books that I don't have. I use challenges to accomplish some goals, like blog ahead to ease that pressure, shame to catch up on overdue reviews. That is what really bothers me and my goal is to be completely caught up with the overdue reviews before the end of 2018 and be current for 2017. So far, so good. I keep telling myself, I do this for fun.
    sherry @ fundinmental

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    1. I need to catch up on reviews. I have books rated on Goodreads that I haven't reviewed years later and as I don't have the books now, it could be a problem to write anything now with my poor memory!

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  7. I see my Goodreads TBR as a list of books that have caught my eye, not a list of books I plan to read. My dilemma comes from requesting too many books from publishers and not being able to keep those commitments. I guess we all feel pressure of some sort! Plus there are just TOO MANY BOOKS these days and its frustrating knowing there isn't enough time😐

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    1. there are too many good looking books coming out and it can push other books way back on the list at times. I try to read older books first but of course then EVERY book will lie on the shelves for a period of time!

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  8. I don't know how you do 250 at all :) for me, I set it to 100 and that's already tough for me. I jsut can't do it, there's not enough time. Work and all the other things get in the way. Keep in mind I don't even watch TV!
    So next year, I'm thinking I'll just set it to 50, and to hell with all the pressure! I already have enough books to blog about even if I don't read 100. Plus, that way there would be more discussions on my blog. So now I just need to cover my 100 this year :D

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    1. Some of the horror books I read are under 100 pages which makes it easier! I do read short prequel stories too! Watching TV is actually stopping me reading at times but there is TV I just don't want to miss!

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  9. I don't stress about my reading goal per se, it's more that I think to myself, "I really want to read this book! And this one! And this whole series! And def that series too! There are too many books, I can't read them all at once, will I ever get to them all???" But it's not the number that bothers me. It's the worry that I won't get to read all the books lol.

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    1. I'd love a book tbr that was about 50 books maximum! It would let me reread all the book I want to get back to. How I get to 50 from 800 is another matter! I do worry that I'll never get to all these books!

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