Confession: I Failed My 2014 Reading Challenge

Just Say When You’ve Had Enough – Sarah R. Bloom

Ok, failure is a bit harsh. It isn’t as though I didn’t pick up a single book all year. I did pick up books, many more than most in fact, if I am lead to believe the statistics on the average adult reader. Last year, after finishing around 50 books as a masters student, I was drunk on ambition. Throwing caution to the wind I thought, “hell, as a civilian now I can finish more than that. No longer being a student means I have more time for reading anything I like!” Foolishly, I set my Goodreads Challenge to 75 books starting January 2014.

Halfway through the year it became apparent to me that this was too loafty to achieve. One late night in bed, the glow of my iPhone softly lighting my side of the bed, I guiltily lowered my challenge number to 50. And I’m still not going to hit that in two more days. But 38 is pretty good.

So, no. I won’t use the word failed. I read. I read much more than many others do. And I had some game changing literary experiences this year that I will share in another post. I have also struggled this year with mental health, which impacts my ability to read and create – another topic I would like to share in more depth at a later post. (Do you know how hard it is to write about depression and writing/reading when depressed. Yeah.)

However, instead of failure, I will stroll into 2015 with a focus on managing expectations. I want my goals to be lofty but not unattainable or inflexible. If I have to alter a goal through addition or subtraction of expectations, then so be it. I will learn to be kind to myself and value what I have accomplished (something I am very bad at). If anything, I am learning that reading is not an end-game experience. I will never read all the things. But I’ll keep trying and hopefully learn new things about myself and those that speak to me through their writing.

How did your 2014 reading challenge go? What does your 2015 challenge look like?


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