Goodreads Reading Challenge: In Which We All Fail, Except Aila

December 7, 2017 by Jenna | Books, Chatterbox, Features

The Goodreads Reading Challenge is always something that we’re really excited about at the start of each year. The year always begins with lots of hope and “oh I’m going to read sooooo many books this year!”. Well how did we actually do?


I’m really proud to say that I managed to read at least 200 books in 2015 and 2016. And I really thought that I’d be able to do the same this year. But sadly… I’ve only managed to read 72 books towards my goal of 100 books so far this year. I’m a very goal-directed person and I’m super competitive and hate to lose, so when I first realised that I was way behind my goal, I was adamant about completing at least my goal of 100. But I had two deaths in the family and moved to Toronto for work for 2.5 months, and life just gets in the way. Shit happens, and I’ve realised that there are more important things to worry about than being 20 books behind schedule. But does this mean that I’m going to give up on my goal? Well… yes but also no. I haven’t read as much as I would’ve liked this year but there are still over 20 days to make up for it. I’m not going to push myself to read 28 books or binge read manga/graphic novels to finish my challenge, but any extra book that I read puts me closer to my goal. And I’m okay with that.

So what does this mean for next year? Well, I’m still going to challenge myself by setting my usual goal of 100 books (there’s nothing better than a good challenge). But I’m also going to be more realistic about how successful I’m going to be at completing my goal. I’ll be writing up my PhD thesis for submission next year in August and applying for jobs throughout the year so reading time will be limited but I’m going to see it as less of a reading challenge and more of an excuse to take some time off and read things that are enjoyable!


My goals for the year have progressively increased, with this year being 30. I usually read a lot more, and seeing that 100+% on my GR challenge bar is pretty satisfying. So far I’ve read 98 books (and more undocumented – I’m actually really lazy with putting my read books on GR), which puts me at 327% goal completion. Yay! Compared to previous years however, I have been reading way less. College can be extremely stressful, especially as it is my first semester and I’m still trying to figure out how to balance everything. A lot of what I’m missing is time – time to read, time to blog, time to comment, time to study AND socialize AND go to school organizations AND volunteer AND make a difference in the community. Nevertheless, I will try to do better next year (and semester)! I hear it only gets harder from here, but I’ve survived almost one semester already. Bring on the next!


Sooo, I had no idea why I set my Goodreads reading challenge at 100 books. When it comes to overachieving, that’s something that I like to aim for. But with a wedding to organise this year along with a 3 week honeymoon, surely I could’ve at least read 20 less books this year? You see, here’s the pattern when it comes to my Goodreads reading challenge:

  • 2017 – currently 83 out of my goal of 100
  • 2016 – 111 books out of my goal of 120
  • 2015 – 122 books out of my goal of 120
  • 2014 – 132 books out of my goal of 120
  • 2013 – 111 books out of my goal of 100

See what I mean when it comes to overchieving? Not gonna lie, I have resorted to reading super short books and graphic novels in previous years to get my count up (for what reason, I don’t know why) but this year, I’m happy that I got to read as much as I did.

How about next year? To be honest, I would rather read the books that I am enjoying, rather than reading more books just to reach my Goodreads goal. As I’ve learnt over the years, forcing yourself to do something that you’re not enjoying is a surefire way to fail. I will probably reduce my goal by 20 again, because I quite enjoyed reading 80 books this year and that’s definitely something to aim for – enjoyment over pressure.

The following two tabs change content below.
Jenna is an Aussie blogger and reader who loves to indulge in great books and great food. She is a doctor (of philosophy) and can usually be found fangirling about something, devouring delicious food, or taking a nap. You can find her on Twitter @readwithjenna and on Instagram @readingwithjenna.

Tags: ,

18 responses to “Goodreads Reading Challenge: In Which We All Fail, Except Aila

  1. Ah, the Goodreads Challenge. So, I had been having this big problem where I *insisted* on upping my goal every year even though I had progressively less and less time until it became really ridiculous. And I was so sick of being stressed by it. So this year, I let pick my goal. And it was really rude to me and gave me a pretty high goal. Luckily it wasn’t *too* high and I was able to (mostly, let’s be real) ignore the pressure. I am definitely an overachiever, especially if I am the one setting the goal, so… yeah. I think that considering the busy years you’ve all had, you have ALL done amazing!! ๐Ÿ˜€
    Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight recently posted…Review & Giveaway: The Forever Ship by Francesca HaigMy Profile

  2. I couldn’t agree more girls. For me it’s much more about the quality of books than the quantity I’m able to read. Life just gets in the way. I like being able to set a goal but a hundred books will be the limit for mine next year again. I’ve noticed a massive decline in my reading too, I wonder if you’ve been part of the community for a certain period and it starts to go downhill from there. In 2013 I read 261 books, this year 102. I’m super motivated at the moment with the Aussie Bingo Challenge though and really getting through those review books on my TBR. Maybe that’s the key. Congratulations on a year of wonderful reading girls. it’s been a brilliant year for YA <3

    • Thanks Kelly. I’ve definitely had a huge decline in the number of books I’ve read compared to previous years. I think for me it’s a combination of life getting in the way and not really finding any unique and original stories, having read so many already. Probably also doesn’t help that I read mostly contemporary and there’s really not that much room for innovation there. But I’m definitely going to try to read more books that I want to read this year and make it enjoyable again!
      Jenna @ Happy Indulgence recently posted…The Importance of the Book Blogging CommunityMy Profile

  3. I’ve managed to complete my Goodreads goal for years. For awhile, I was progressively making it larger and larger each year, but last year, because I was anticipating a really busy year with my student teaching and stuff, I cut it back down. That was a good decision, but I still beat my goal fairly easily.

    This year, though, is different. I kept my goal smaller, but even so, moving to an entirely new country and keeping up with my new job has left me with almost no time to read. I honestly haven’t read this little in…well, possibly my entire life, which makes me sad for far more reasons than just the status of my Goodreads challenge. At this point, I can’t see myself possibly making it up by the end of the year. At least not without sleep deprivation that I don’t need. (Breaking down at work a couple of months ago because I tried to pull that off was enough of a lesson there.)

  4. I don’t have GR because I’m a useless book blogger (aka lazy and I think I’d waste too much time on it) but I enjoyed this post! I always get annoyed by the fact that I read less than my cob logger and sister. She makes more time for it + is a really fast reader, I guess? This year, I’ve read 128 books so far BUT I didn’t have any school in january, and have had no school or formal job/responsibilities for all of june–now. I’m sure I’ll have less time once I start uni but right now I’m wild and free and got to read a ridiculous amount. But I totally get not having time to read, and honestly it doesn’t matter how much you read. (For example, when I had school, I was averaging about 7 books a month. Without school, it was about 12-13?
    Shar@virtually read recently posted…Setting in Stone: The big announcementMy Profile

  5. The important thing is that you enjoyed the books you read. ๐Ÿ™‚ But still, 100+ books read in the previous year? Teach me your ways!

  6. I’m gonna be quite honest. I’m glad to see people (you guys lol) not being able to reach 100 books because that makes me feel so much better hahah. I mean ok, it really shouldn’t matter ๐Ÿ˜› (says the girl setting her challenge to 1 book).

    I’m sorry about how your year went Jenna. I really hope next year is better, and that you are still able to reach your goal despite your thesis (I feel you. Also Dr. Jenna!!)

    WOW YOU TOTALLY OVERSTEPPED YOUR GOAL AILA. Good job! And you read more than me hahahah.

    I also see 100 books as overachieving. I always had a hard time reaching it when I did seriously set a GR challenge. I remember I would always have to read two or three novellas. Or a picture book haha.
    Valerie recently posted…Finishing All My 2017 ARCs! (Recap)My Profile

  7. HAHA THIS TITLE THOUGH. Tbhh the only reason I met my goal was because I put it so low… I’m basically the opposite of Jeann: an underachiever, when it comes to books (lmao). This year has been so stressful for all of us! Hopefully 2018 brings less stress, more reading! <3

  8. You all still did such an amazing job considering everything that’s been going on in all of your lives. Getting married, deaths in the family (I’m so sorry for your losses) and moving across the globe, schoolwork and applying for colleges… plus blogging. You all did amazing with reading even if you didn’t reach your goal or read less than previous years.
    Savannah recently posted…REVIEW: Agoness by Cage Dunn and Cisi De // a fantasy with wonderful elementsโ€ฆ but lacked somethingMy Profile

  9. Yay I’m glad you all still enjoyed what you ended up with for your goals! I think I’m going to end up reading a few books more than last year? But holy heck I have no idea how I read 300 back in 2015. I HAVE JUST GOT NO IDEA. Anyway, challenges are only good if we’re all having fun right?!

    (And Jenna i’m so sorry to hear you lost people in your family.)
    Cait @ Paper Fury recently posted…What Are The Best Types Of Settings In YA Books To Bless Our Existence With? + QuizMy Profile

  10. I never set a goal on GoodReads. Reading should be about quality and enjoyment not quantity. As long as I feel I’m reading *enough* and I’m enjoying it and finding good books I’m happy. Counting re-reads I’ve read 78 books so far this year.

  11. Honestly, I didn’t even set a goal this year. I’m not even quite sure how many I’ve read, but because I’ve been focusing a lot of writing this year, I KNOW I haven’t read as many as I have in previous years. But I’m okay with that! I’ve also been reading a ton more non-fiction, as well as catching up on books released last year that I’d ben dying to read. ๐Ÿ™‚
    Kara recently posted…Hades & Persephone: The Queen of Life and Death (& Why I Love Her)My Profile

Leave a Reply

CommentLuv badge