Reading Goals

There are a lot of ways to make reading goals, especially when you decide to make goals for the year rather than a shorter and more manageable length of time. I think you can already see where this is going.

GoodReads, the website/app that I use to track what I read, how long it takes me, and my favorite authors, encourages users to make a number-based reading goal for the year. This is the way a lot of people do it.


"In T time I will do N of $Thing."

"I will do $Thing N times in T span."


This is how it looks as pseudo-code, or even as simplified math, and in all honesty, I would really rather my goals didn't reduce to math quite so easily. So while, yes, I did set my GoodReads Reading Goal to 100 books this year (and I have no doubt at all that I'll hit that goal) I don't want that to be the end-all be-all of my reading for 2020.


I would rather my goal were something more... resonant.


A YouTuber I follow by the name of CGP Grey suggested last month that resolutions and goals that can be reduced to math are doomed to fail. If you're like 90% of people that make goals for a year, then you fail and you feel bad. If you're in the 10% that succeed, you're probably in the 8.5% that feel as though success was to be expected, either because the goal was too easy or because it's something "I should have been doing anyway," and that locks the grand majority of us into a cycle of feeling terrible or at best neutral whether or not we succeed.


Between you and me, I want to feel good about myself.

I want you guys to feel good about yourselves.

I want there to be more good feelings in the world, and people who feel they have earned them legitimately. (Though to dig one layer deeper, there's no such thing as illegitimate happiness, but that's a talk for another time.)


I have decided that 2020 is going to be the Year of Learning.

I want to expand my horizons with my reading, and try new things.

I want to learn what other authors I have never heard of have to teach me.

I want to see narrative techniques I've never touched before.

And if I find I can learn more from fantasy books than from historical fiction, that's okay. But I want to give it a try and see what I find.


If I don't read 8-and-1/3 books per month, I have still given it a try, and that's success.

If I don't stray far outside my comfort zone of sci-fi/fantasy and Juvenile Fiction, that's alright. I've still learned something.


I have picked a Theme for my reading this year.

What are you going to do?

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