New Year, New TBRs

Image Credit: Perfecto Capucine

Hana Gubrika investigates the possible issues with new year reading goals.

The New Year is here, the festive season is over, and now it's time to hit the New Year resolutions. Besides the typical gym and diet resolutions, avid readers sign up to read a certain amount of books in the space of a calendar year; the challenge to read 52 books in a year. Book portals such as Bookreads allow users to participate in a reading challenge each year, with the readers themselves choosing the number of books they desire to finish.

Some readers even attempt to read more than the average one book per week, with some hitting a grand total of over one hundred and fifty books in a year. How that’s possible, I can’t understand, but if it were me I would recommend attempting to read every one of Jacequline Wilson’s over 100 books.

While some people might be pumped for the thrill of the challenge, for great overthinkers like myself this just adds fuel to the fire. In my opinion, a working, full-time, third-level student is prone to having an extremely hard time carving out space for leisure reading, let alone follow some challenge. With the pressure of grades, future prospects, and deadlines, putting an extra pressure is something only a lunatic would do. Moreover, what value will such a reading experience hold, if done in a rush for just another number in a statistic? It is rather difficult to find the extra time for reading, making it feel like another chore instead of an enjoyable pastime. It’s like the feeling of being about to finish a book, but instead of focusing on the story, you keep counting the pages, and this is an ultimate experience destroyer. 

...what value will such a reading experience hold, if done in a rush for just another number in a statistic?
While there might be some professions in publishing that require speedy reading, casual readers should not be put under this amount of pressure. Some might find these challenges motivating, especially if they set the goal themselves. My advice: feel free to participate in any reading challenge if you like, but do not take it too seriously. You don't want to end up procrastinating your university deadlines; though you will anyway.