I do a Goodreads challenge every year by randomly selecting a number of books that I think I can read during the year. I never hit it, but I still read 70-120 books each year. We're librarians. We read, right?
In 2020, I really thought I would read 100 books. Like, I was CONFIDENT I would read them. And when the pandemic hit, I KNEW I would be able to read that many books. How many did I end up reading? 45.
I had pandemic depression. And that made me not take any pleasure in reading. I was stressed about working from home with three other people in the house, all also working or learning from home. I was stressed about the hundreds of e-mails I received from students and teachers about technology not working. I was stressed by the bombardment of e-mails about tech resources and online teaching resources. (This was when I decided to only send one e-mail a week.) I was stressed about cancelling vacations and not seeing my parents. I was stressed about everything. I was even stressed about not being able to read or enjoy reading. It. Was. Bad.
I knocked my goal down to 40 in November of 2020 because I was pretty sure I could at least get to that number. I did and I passed it, barely. This year, I set my goal to a doable 90. Not going to hit that, either. In one of my Facebook book groups, someone mentioned how stressful it was to set a reading goal and gradually see yourself fall behind. Many of us replied with Just Change It!. I do. I don't feel bad about that. My current goal is 80, which I changed a few weeks ago. I am at 75 right now, but I am reading three books (okay, one is an audiobook) and I have a couple in queue that I should be able to finish.
I don't do reading challenges where you have to read one book of this genre or a book by an author with your initials. Those don't really appeal to me. Mostly because I am a firm believer in reading whatever the heck you want. Make no apologies for the books that bring you pleasure. We encourage our students to read what they enjoy. Make sure to extend yourself the same permission.