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Old 05-24-2012, 12:28 PM   #1
jbcohen
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How to decide on a good target for challenges

Last year I ended the year at 85 books so this year I set my sites on the same number but it looks like I will not make that goal again this year, since the second quarter of 2012 ends one week from today (5/24) which means that I should have read half of the 85 books or 42 1/2 books. Thus far I am only up to thirty books meaning that I will most likely reach sixty by the end of the year. Although when it comes to the number of pages read I will most likely cross the finish line early, as signified by the runner in the ticker at the bottom of my posts.

Whats a good method for establishing your goals? Those that are nearing their goals now probably set the goal post too close.
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Old 05-24-2012, 12:44 PM   #2
Mike L
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You say your goal was to read 85 books in a year.

My reaction to that is: Why?

Why should it matter how many books you read? Surely, the important thing is to read books that are particularly valuable to you: those that are enlightening, informative, educational, entertaining, diverting, ... whatever is important to you personally. Just to read a given number of books seems pointless.

At least, that's my opinion. Don't let me discourage you.

Mike
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Old 05-24-2012, 12:44 PM   #3
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^^ You've shortchanged yourself by a month.
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Old 05-24-2012, 12:46 PM   #4
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I don't set a goal but if I did I would lean to setting it to high as the point is keeping track and perhaps motivation to read more.

If you make your goal, great and if not you are reading more than most people anyway

Would be nice if the ticker continued on past the goal. maybe it does.
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Old 05-24-2012, 01:06 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike L View Post
You say your goal was to read 85 books in a year.

My reaction to that is: Why?
That's been my conclusion after two years of personal challenges.

In 2011 I joined in the MR 100 book challenge. I publicly dropped out within a few months after folks started making "Rules". You could only count the book if it was more than 200 pages, etc.

This year I've been trying to keep up with the LibraryThing 75 book challenge, but I've mostly given up updating that too (though I'll easily make 75 books).

I read because I enjoy reading, and I've decided that challenges take the fun out it for me.
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Old 05-24-2012, 01:14 PM   #6
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I try to ignore the number and find the books like Mike L said are interesting to me in some way. This year I gave myself a list of 26 books to read which covered authors from every letter of the alphabet and a sub-list of at least one book from every decade since 1900. I then try and throw in some literay, some fun, and some non-fiction in areas of interest. I did pledge 50 books on Goodreads, but next year I think I'll only pledge 36.
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Old 05-24-2012, 03:51 PM   #7
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I don't like to do a numerical target either. It just makes me avoid long and/or challenging books. I did an A-Z challenge (by title) one year and I enjoyed that because I sought out books that I probably wouldn't have read otherwise. I would do some kind of genre challenge for the same reason.

eP
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Old 05-24-2012, 04:51 PM   #8
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I enjoy challenging myself - this year I'm doing the fiftyfifty.me challenge (50 books and fifty movies) - but I do think that if you are actually doing more in one area, you have to sacrifice something else, and that's probably not sustainable. I can write 50,000 words in November for Nanowrimo, but there's no way I can keep that up indefinitely. I have to give up too much, and it's only the fact that it doesn't last long that enables me to do it. In my challenge, the object is to read new books, and watch new movies, which means I haven't been re-reading and re-watching, and, well, maybe I want to.

I doubt I'll give myself such an absolute challenge next year. I'd like to keep tracking what I'm reading, but I'm not going to push out the things that fall outside the bounds of the challenge(s). Or at least I will stick to one category of challenge, instead of the four I have given myself (I added personal targets for graphic novels and videogames.)
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Old 05-25-2012, 08:10 AM   #9
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Incidentally, according to the day counter on my blog, we are 39.62% through 2012 (to the end of yesterday, I think), which means you should have read 33.67 books by now, if your target is 85. You're not that far off.
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