Saturday, January 21, 2012

Competitive Reading

Way back in 2005 one of my friends made a New Year's resolution to read 50 books that year. I knew I read a lot but had no clue how much so I decided to start keeping track and set a goal of 56 books in 2006.

I started a book blog where I recorded what I read and whether or not I liked the book. I kept up with it and in 2006 ended up reading 75 books, 2007 I got to 102, and 2008 was a big year with 133. Kinda wow, huh? {In full disclosure that was the year I left my full time job to be a full time graduate student to wrap up the seemingly never ending process of getting the degree as a part-time student. But since I was so close to finishing and the classes I needed were only in the fall, I enjoyed a lovely summer off and pretty much read a book a day. It was awesome.}

That was also the year another friend decided she'd keep track as well, as she was convinced she read more than I did. As the year went on we did seem to keep pace with each other. Trading the lead back and forth, but always being within a book or two. The problem came in with actually tracking the books. I was pretty good at it. My friend was not. In the end she lost count, but continued insisting she read more. I'd roll my eyes, say sure you do, too bad you can't prove it. It was our shtick.

It died down over the past few years, coming up occasionally in conversation. I kept tracking my books on blogger and then last year switching over to Good Reads. Last year I set more reasonable goal of 75 books and topped it by a few, reaching 78 books. This year's goal is 80 books.

This year my friend also found Good Reads and considered my Challenge to myself the gauntlet being thrown down to her. I still think she'll have trouble keeping up with tracking her books. But even with that in mind, the challenge has returned! I've read six books thus far in 2012, and am 2% ahead of my goal for the year. Woohoo! My friend has read eight. Boohoo!

It's so funny that I find myself feeling competitive over this. Usually I go through reading phases. Devouring a few books a week one week and then going several weeks before I pick up another. But now, I have the drumbeat of competition in the back of my mind and I'm super focused on making the most of my free time to read, read, read! I'm back to being a regular in the cafe at Barnes & Noble. Getting soup & a sandwich for dinner and staying til I finish a book. Yeah, I know, it's kinda ridiculous.

But also not something I see stopping anytime soon!

1 comment:

  1. The invention of the Kindle Fire plus the Good Reads app leads to an increased likeliness that said friend will actually remember to track books!