Although I did not finish my 2021 reading challenge, I remain undaunted in my yearly goal to read x number of books. We’re already a week into 2022 and a new Goodreads reading challenge is patiently (and perhaps threateningly) awaiting all hungry readers to fill in their goals for the year.

My goal has been the same for the last three years—15 books. It should be noted that not only did I fail to meet my goal in 2021, but I also missed the mark in 2020*. My enthusiasm was initially spurred by my crushing success in 2019, wherein I had set a goal to read 15 books and ended up reading 37 over the course of the year.

Following this constancy (and in hopes of breaking the 15-book curse,) I’ve decided to set my goal for 2022 at 20 books. Stretching just that tiny bit further in hopes of hitting the mark. I’m hopeful, if not a little bit nervous. Believe me, I want to read 20 books in a year. Heck, I want to read fifty books in a year! A part of me has to believe it’s possible (the bright and hungry optimist within) but another part is a bit more, how to put it, unconvinced.

While I hit a fantastic reading stride at the end of 2021—reading five books in just over a week—I quickly hit a wall and missed my reading challenge by six books. I want to find that pace again, digging my fingers into the papery flesh of my books and reading like my life depends on it.

I’d like to think I’m off to a good start. I’ve just finished my first read of 2022—Olivie Blake’s The Atlas Six—and it was a fantastic book to start of my year and my challenge. Five stars straight out of the gates; who could ask for anything better?

My progress bar has filled in the barest little inch, and that’s all the encouragement I need.

Now the task becomes picking which book to read next. A challenge in and of itself, I’m sure you’ll agree. Especially on the heels of such a phenomenal book, how do you choose the next title? The next adventure?

Current contenders for next read include:

And that’s only picking a few out of the massive TBR I have percolating in my mind-space and the ethereal realms of my Kindle and iBooks libraries and my actual, physical bookshelf.

From the Bookish Community

There have been a myriad of responses to the new challenge, from an outcry that the colour is ugly (and a repetition of 2016’s) to readers and authors commenting on each other’s goals.

The current drama seems to be circulating around the sheer number of books some people are dedicating themselves to reading for 2022. I find myself on the very low end of the spectrum; anything under 50 seems to warrant a label of “casual” reader, which I’d happily debate, but don’t have the energy nor desire to.

There are some staggering numbers out there, from readers far more voracious and dedicated than I. I’ve seen goals ranging from 100 up to 365 and even one reader who was intent to read 1,000 books in 2022**. And this, of course, has sparked some (rather ugly) debate about who has the time to read, what those readers do, and what constitutes a valid reading goal.

Surely, there is some jealousy rooted in these arguments. Perhaps the detestation of a person’s 365-book reading goal is merely a wish to have that time and ability. Certainly there has been a smugness passed around the proverbial reading circle of those with high-number challenges. But similarly comes a disdain from readers with a myriad of circumstances that permit them only the space to aim for fewer than 50 books. And ultimately, who are we to judge? What’s the point of getting mad about someone else’s reading goals? The time would be better spent reading, that’s for sure.

At the end of the day, even if your goal is to read one book in the whole year, that’s enough. I am more than happy to just see people reading, in a world in which people seem to have largely forgotten how to or have lost any and all desire to, to care any deeper about how many books they’re reading or how fast.

So tuck in, honeys! Boil the kettle, grab your cosiest slippers, and curl into your favourite reading spot. It’s 2022, and we’ve got plenty of reading to do.

Cheers!


*Let’s not pretend we don’t know exactly why that is though. Wink wink, nudge nudge.
**A legend and icon, surely. Some of us would love to be this person.

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