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They’re good reads, Brent

I use Goodreads a lot — at least as a reader. As a writer, I try to make sure my stuff is listed, and beyond that I try not to fuss, because reviews are ultimately not for writers, they’re for other readers.

One thing I lovehate about Goodreads is the yearly reading “challenge.” You can specify how many books you want to read in a year as a goal, and as you mark your books read through the year, GR keeps track of what you’ve read.


GR will also tell you how many books ahead/behind you are.

Which implies there must be a timed schedule to one’s reading challenge, and I call bullshirt. (Thanks, The Good Place, I love you.)

I think I understand why they do it. It probably does help some people, especially possibly younger readers who may need that structure. If, for instance, you say you’re going to read 52 books in a year, GR presumes you’re going to read a book a week to get that done. But…not necessarily? What if you read two books in a week? What if you read nine books one month and only two the next? According to GR, you sure are forking up your challenge.

GR thinks I’m four books behind right now, because I haven’t updated, nor have I finished some of what I’m presently reading. But every time I pop into GR to examine New Books I Possibly Need, I see that I’m allegedly four books behind. Pfft.

(There’s also this little anxiety inside when I see that I’m behind, because I know that I’m not, but it says that I am, but I know that I’m not.)

I think it’s a ridiculous assumption for GR to make; you read how fast you read. Here’s your goal, GOOD LUCK, no stress, just read as you like and record when you want, and oh my gourd, who cares if you aren’t keeping to a schedule.


Go read a book.

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