I quit

… the reading challenge this year.

Before I joined Goodreads, I used to buy a book and read it immediately. After finishing the book, I would buy the next book from the bookstore. I never had an unread book pile on my bookshelf. I would pick up books only because I found the blurb or cover interesting and not because everyone else was reading it.

I tried to analyze why I have such a big pile of unread books on my bookshelf these days and why the quality of books I read has decreased. This year I read 5 books that I did not like.

  1. Goodreads reading challenges make me read books just for the sake of meeting the target count.
  2. From Goodreads and other book bloggers, I hear about a happening book that everyone else has read. I read it and  then end up getting disappointed.
  3. I buy tons of books because I want to read all those books that everyone else is reading and then I lose interest in them after few days.
  4. I go to bookshop sales and library sales and buy books that I never even wanted to read in the first place, just because they are cheap.
  5. I never read the books that I have already read again since there are so many other books that everyone has read and I haven’t.

This is what I feel is the solution to this problem –

  1. Get rid of the current unread books pile – either read the books or discard them as you will anyway not read them. If I really was interested in that book, I would have read it as soon as I picked it up and they wouldn’t be lying on my shelf for 4-5 years or so.
  2. Stop signing up for reading challenges. These challenges make me read those books that I never intended to read in the first place.
  3. Read for pleasure and not because everyone else read that book.
  4. Read only books that you are interested in.
  5. Buy one book, finish reading it and then buy another book. Stop collecting books as they end up occupying space on the bookshelf and make me feel guilty for wasting money.
  6. Stop torturing yourselves with classics that you read just because they are popular.
  7. Stop going to book sales and instead buy books that you really want to read when you want to read.
  8. Read more books from the genre that you love – sci-fi and science, instead of mindless popular genres like YA fantasy.

I have been discarding books that I do not like for quite sometime now. There is no point in keeping books that you did not like with the hopes that you might change your opinion about it sometime in the future. Chances of that happening is remote and I would rather cleanup that space for a book I love.

So this year, I will read as many books I can. I am reading some of my favorites again after a decade or more. I am planning to read more of my old favorites leisurely without worrying about the count.

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16 thoughts on “I quit

  1. That makes a lot of sense. Even I have a huge pile of unread books, which I keep telling myself I will read at some point, but I know inside that I will never read them, because I never bought them from my own will.

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  2. This is a good plan. I have myself gone through this a couple of years back – though I always kept book-buying in check – I just stressed over the number goal. This is the reason, why I have kept a low number goal this year. If I exceed it – that’s great, but even if I don’t meet it (which is unlikely) – that’s fine too. I also regularly un-haul books now. Makes for a less cluttered home and mind. Good luck with your purge, and happy reading. 🙂

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  3. That is so very true. A year ago, I picked up all the hyped up books, just to check out what all the hype was about. Often I would end up as the black sheep among the whole lot of people who loved it. All the more, I was inclined to pick up more of YA ,as you had mentioned but my favorites are psychological thrillers/ Crime fiction. There are a lot of people who love YA. I’m not offending anyone for that, it’s just that my interest is not in it. This year I haven’t read even a single YA/ hyped up books. It gives a sense of happiness when I’m reading what i want to read. I’m experiencing the joy of reading after almost a year. Like you I have gotten rid of many books that I felt I wouldn’t read. I haven’t signed up Goodreads challenge either, But I’m trying to do pop sugar’s 2016 reading challenge, which will make me read more diverse books in the line of my interest. And I have decided not to get worked up if I won’t be able to finish up challenge this year. After all, reading is something people like us do for for pleasure. As long as it done right, count doesn’t matter.

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    • I know right, these days most people read YA and that makes you pick them, even though you don’t like the genre much. I am so fed up of YA romance that I would rather pick a non-fiction. I should stop reading books just because they are popular. This year is hectic so I will probably sign up for popsugar challenge next year. It sounds interesting.

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  4. good suggestion. i recently read Ravi Subramiam’s the bestseller she wrote without going through reviews on getread. i liked this book. When i read reviews later i found some of them criticizing it badly. i am happy not to have read reviews earlier.

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    • Exactly, I faced this with Inferno by Dan Brown which I loved but did not see many good reviews. I have liked books that are not very popular and have hated books that everyone liked. So I guess it is better to pick ones that we like.

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  5. It really goes slow and is demotivating when you try to read something you don’t like but is so popular. I put myself through that pain reading a book, I cant even remember the name, except that it was popular. Not doing that again. 🙂

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  6. This makes a lot of sense.. I’ve never signed up for a reading challenge and usually read books that I want to.. sometimes, I’ve tried to read classics because you’re supposed to and I agree that it can be very frustrating when you don’t enjoy the book!

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  7. I don’t go through Goodreads suggestions or review. But on the other hand if I like the review of a book from certain blogs, I make a note of it. However I pick up books only when I like the excerpt at the back of the book. Yet there have been instances when I have liked and bought a lot of books, but haven’t got the time to read them yet. To read these books, I signed up for the Goodreads challenge this year for the first time. Need to see how it goes.

    Previously I used to painfully sit and finish a book, even if I didn’t like it. But now I have changed that. I finish a book only if I am enjoying reading it. 🙂

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    • These days everyone seems to be reading only YA and even though the blurb looks promising, all YA stories are kinda alike. I am now so fed up of YA that I decided I will not pick any YA recommended by other bloggers or websites. 🙂 Same here, I mercilessly discard a book that doesn’t hold my interest these days.

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