Thursday, February 2, 2017

In Which I Apologize to the Goodreads Challenge and Acknowledge I Have Been a Nincompoop

Oh, past Gillian. HOW FOOLISH YOU WERE.

Let's journey back to the halcyon days of 2015 and this post full of past-Gillian nincompoopness. The post in which I said things like this:

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 also said things like this:

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 like to pull this whole blog thing off in exactly the way I like to do it, because it's for me.

And a whole bunch of this:

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.... I don't really love reducing my own reading experience to stats (... I'm also just not good with numbers. They're so... unfriendly.)

Okay, it's not entirely a load of unadulterated nincompoopism. It is true that I absolute CANNOT keep to a reading schedule to save my life. (Nor any other type of schedule. I tend to wander mindlessly through the hours of the day like they're just sort of vague suggestions and not the rigorous, societally imposed constructs by which the entire world turns.) I'm a huge mood reader, and I pick things up at random and put them back down and shake them all about and do the hokey pokey and turn them all around and then pick up something else and who ever knows WHAT I'm reading next, surely not I, NOT EVEN THE GODS THEMSELVES CAN GUESS.

Related: How Mood Reading is Both the Best and Worst Thing

But this, right here, is the height of Past Gillian's nincompooposity:

How does this relate to reading challenges? Well, I'd suck at them. A lot.

Oh my god, past Gillian. YOU IDIOT.

For the first time ever, I set a Goodreads goal this year: 100 books in 2017. 2016 was the worst reading year I've had in basically ever, and I was willing to do terrible things to make sure I never slumped like that again. Terrible things like--gulp--set a Goodreads goal. Even though it might be too much pressure. Even though I suck at organization. Even though numbers as so unfriendly. Even though even though even though.

And hey. Guess what. Can you all see what's coming? Are you smarter than a fifth grader? Or at least smart than a Past Gillian?

That, right there, is the best reading month I've had in well over a year. I want to make out with this picture.

Why did I think my competitive nature wouldn't work for this?? It's the complete opposite! I've Jedi mind tricked myself! My brain refuses to fall behind that little counter thingamabob, and so it spurs me on. I don't know why I thought setting a yearly reading goal would mean I'd have to follow a reading schedule. Because you are NOT a nincompoop, you're probably like, duh, Gillian. You can still be a mood reader and aim for a reading count. And of course, you non-nincompoops are totally right. I'M SO SORRY, GOODREADS GOAL, FOR EVER DOUBTING YOU.

I've also always been awful at remembering to put all the books I read up on Goodreads, but now with that goal I'm COMPELLED to keep perfect track and get credit for everything. And now I can see all the books I've read and it's JUST SO TIDY.


I'm still never going to be a person who can say "I'm going to read these four books this month for sure" or "I will read all the review books I have in release date order" or even "yup, that's for sure the next book I'm reading after this." My reading muses are fickle bitches. But I CAN tell you that imma hit that 100 books read mark COME HELL OR HIGH DUDGEON WATER, and for once, it feels pretty damn good to give myself a challenge. Because sure, it kinda sucks when you fail them, but there's no high better than when you beat them.

And now I don't have to be a nincompoop anymore.


  1. YESSSSS!!! I love looking at the collection of covers I've read and keeping my books above the tracker too. And I'm still the moodiest reader ever hahah. I'm glad GR is helping!!!! Who doesn't love getting credit for stuff ;)

  2. Yeah! You're ahead of your goal. I always set a goal, because the Goodreads challenge is one I can actually accomplish ;)

  3. HAHAHAHA! I usually set my "goal" based on a "avg number of books/week" basis, so it's 52 (because I'm too slow/busy to get to 104). And since I'm NOT competitive with myself about that kind of stuff, I mostly just use it to gauge my overall pace throughout the year, since I tend to read in starts and stops and don't resemble a schedule.

    But I LOVE clicking on that links that brings up all the covers of what I've read this year. It always makes me happy. :D

    ~ Michelle @ FaerieFits

  4. Welcome to the club, Gillian. ;)
    Sounds like it's less you being disorganized and more you wanting the freedom of choice. 100 books, here you come!


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