Not always, but they can be. Which is why I find the claim that reading goals are not fun to be so absurd. I’ve seen this sort of thing around for a while- there seems to be a lot of discontent around people reading a lot or people planning to read tougher books or even reading “too fast”– and my question is always WHY?! WHAT IS IT TO YOU??? It’s frankly peculiar to care what someone else does with their reading. Criticism of reading successes or goals is so weird- cos it’s such a personal decision… and really has nothing to do with anyone else. But since some people do decide to make other people’s reading habits their business, I’ve decided to make a list of why someone might make reading goals:
#1 Reading goals can help you make your hobby a priority. I know that we all have fast-paced and busy lives, in which fitting in a hobby can be hard (no matter how much you may want to do it). Making a decision to read more books can force you to take some time for yourself! That’s why it’s so great when you see that people have read lots of books- it’s a sign they’re doing something positive for themselves- and that should be celebrated!
#2 More books makes the world go round! The fact is, as supporters of the book community, we should be happy to see people reading… even if that’s a lot more than we could ever read! Because when more people read, it helps the bookish industry, which means more books get published… and isn’t that what we all want? If nothing else, that gives us more choice over what to read next. And on that note…
#3 There’s *so many* books out there– planning your reading might mean you actually get to the ones you want! Of course, quality is better than quantity- but if you can do both, you may as well 😉 I know that for me, it’s a struggle to get through everything I own or borrow, so planning it out (however unsuccessfully) can be helpful.
#4 Books can be for self-improvement– and self-improvement can actually make you happy. Not just the fleeting momentary joy of doing something fun- more like the long-lasting satisfaction of a job well done. But choosing a book for self-improvement might not just happen if you rely solely on mood reading (take it from someone who knows 😉). It can be better to set it as an actual goal.
#5 They can help you branch out into books you might not have tried otherwise. Whatever your goal- whether it’s to read more books from diverse authors or check out poetry collections, actually making the decision to do that can be the step in the right direction.
#6 There’s no real pressure– they’re just for fun. You can make them as realistic or unrealistic as you like. No one has to know unless you want them to. Even if everything is blowing up around you, you can chill out about your reading goals.
#7 And you can’t really fail. I have charted my resolution results and yearly stats for a long time and one thing is the same every time: there’s no real expectation of success or failure. Since it is simply for your own benefit, you can choose to do them at your pleasure. You know what I did when I wasn’t feeling it the last two years? Nothing. I simply didn’t do them.
So, there you go- a list of why it can be run to reads and make reaching goals- if you ever felt you needed an explanation for other people’s reading habits (which as I’ve established, you don’t 😉). And if the thought of someone else’s reading behaviour still brings you out in hives, then you ought to consider this quote:
“What do you think is the biggest waste of time?” “Comparing yourself to others”, said the mole.”
All that considered- what do you think?? Do you care what other people think of your reading habits? Or does it bother you if other people make reading resolutions? Let me know in the comments!