I just want to start off by saying I love reading challenges. Flights of Fantasy and Bookish Bingo are two of my favorite 2015 challenges, but there are great ones you can participate in that encourage you to read more debuts or more diversity or more anything you want. Yay for reading challenges!
And now I'll explain why I don't ever do them.
Every time I log on Goodreads, there's this bright purple banner begging me--no, urging me--to set a Goodreads challenge. Goodreads wants me to set a goal of how many books I'll read this year, but je refuse, Goodreads. Je hardcore REFUSE. No matter what number I set, high or low, I'll end up wayyyy too married to it. I'm competitive even with myself. I'll feel like crap if I fail, and I don't want to feel like crap about reading books! I love books! This is why I like to take as much reading pressure off myself as I can...which is hard, considering I've already got a bunch of it.
I know. It's definitely first world blogger problems to be drowning in review books, but there's a certain degree of obligation and pressure that goes along with it. I am not a well-organized person. I'm just not. I've tried to do calendars and spreadsheets and the like, but I just can't maintain them. Not for blogging. I do take this "hobby" (ha, hobby, as if) VERY seriously, of course. So many hours, so much brain power, so much dedication is poured into this... but I do do it solely for the love. So I don't like to torture myself. I like to pull this whole blog thing off in exactly the way I like to do it, because it's for me.
(This is, incidentally, why I do not have a coblogger. Because I would be awful at it.)
How does this relate to reading challenges? Well, I'd suck at them. A lot. It's hard enough for me to read the books I say I'll read that were recommended by friends, or that I get from publishers, in a semi somewhat sort of timely manner. I'm a huge mood reader. Sometimes I pick up a book that's perfect for me and it just won't happen. A week later, maybe I'll glance at that book again, become totally sucked in, and declare it my all-time fave. My muses are fickle, but they won't be ignored. This is why I always read multiple books at a time. Then I leave it up to the muses.
So why don't I set myself reading goals? Why don't I aim for 100 books a year, 35 fantasies, 25 debuts, 16 diverse reads, and ummm whatever, numbers and maths are hard? Because I like to go with the flow. Oh, I'm definitely going to make an effort to read as much fantasy as I can and to actively seek out diverse reads, but I don't want to quantify. I don't really love reducing my own reading experience to stats (though I love to see the stats of others. I'm also just not good with numbers. They're so... unfriendly.)
I just like to read as much as I can and not stress out. I like to read what I want. I don't like pressure. I'm not Type A, and all I want to do is relax. The moral of this post is that I'm a big huge mess. My reading style is a mess, and it does what it wants, and I have no control over it. And I love it. So basically? I try not to control it too much.
(But I'm very envious of those of you who can.)