Goodreads Reading Challenge: Yay or Nay?

Every year for the past three years I have participated in the Goodreads challenge. Personally, I love participating in the Goodreads challenge. I find it challenging but also incredibly insightful about my reading habits.

The biggest reason I use Goodreads and participate in the challenge is that it keeps track of the books I’ve read that year. I am able to see how much I read during the year. It’s quick and easy to add books to the list. I also can very easily categorize books, by creating shelves for each genre I read such as mystery, high and urban fantasy and so on. Throughout the year I am able to look at these statistics to see which genre I read the most and which genre I, perhaps, should be reading more of. Because of this Goodreads provides me with an easy way for me to analyze my reading trends. Because I have kept track of my reading for three years, I am able to compare my reading throughout those years. I am able to see how my reading has changed or stayed the same throughout these years. I have noticed some very big changes in the three years I’ve been on Goodreads. My first year I read mostly YA and fantasy, but my tastes have since shifted to more adult and general fiction books. I also read a lot more nonfiction than I did.

The previous years allow me to see how many books I read in a year and if I can push myself to read more than I did in the previous years. (I am currently a little behind, okay more than a little.) I see the Goodreads challenge as more of a personal challenge. I’m not in competition with anyone except myself (although, it is satisfying to beat my brother) but really I treat it as a challenge to get me to read more regularly and more overall. It’s a little push to read more but I don’t take it super seriously if I am falling behind.

But what do you think? Do you participate in the Goodreads challenge? Do you use it to analyze your reading trends? Is there a better way to do all those things without losing the convenience factor?


Check out my goodreads here

 

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Why Reread?

After rereading the Riyria Chronicles by Michael J Sullivan I found myself asking the question: why do I reread books? Especially, when I realize the number of new books I have to get through and the number of books I may never get to read. At first glance, I found the question simple. I reread books to experience them again. To experience the same feelings I felt when I read the story and that is indeed an answer but what does a person truly gain by rereading a book they have already read especially when they have reread it countless times (*cough* Pride and Prejudice *cough*) I think I reread because it does always seem to be rewarding. I catch things I missed the first time around (or 2nd or 3rd time around.) I also am able to make connections I hadn’t seen before. These connections and details make the whole process worth it. They have me looking at the plot or the characters in a whole new light and seeing the actions the characters take in a whole new perspective.

 

Another reason I reread is to get out of a reading slump. Or whenever I’m feeling no motivation to read. This tends to happen when all of the books I’ve read lately have been a little underwhelming. In that case, I like to pick up a favorite book and reread it. So that I can remind myself of why I love to read because the magic of the book has reminded me and that when I usually can regain my momentum.

So that’s why I reread. Do you reread? Why do you reread or why don’t you reread?

Does Every Story Need a Romance?

Welcome to Romaticuary! A series of blog posts I’m doing in honor of Valentine’s Day and this is my first post in the series. It’s not quite what you would expect from a blog post centered around Valentine’s Day but here it is anyway. Enjoy!

The Question

Lately, I’ve found myself asking the questions: do I need to have a romance in the book I’m reading and does a romance get me more invested in the characters? A few years ago I read primarily YA and as a result, pretty much every single book had some sort of romance in it. Even now that my reading tastes have changed. I still find that the majority of the books I read do have a romance in it. But are romances something essential to a novel? Do I need a romance in order to feel satisfied with the book? Lately, it seems romances only catch my attention when it is not particularly well done. The romances  I remember are the ones that left me annoyed and unsatisfied. Especially, when that romance is in a story I otherwise loved. So I had to ask myself would I have enjoyed the novel just as much if it hadn’t had the romance in it?

My Thoughts

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy a good romance on occasion. I will, in fact, pick up the occasional romance novel. But to answer the question: does every story need a romance. My answer is no. The fact is that I find books that contain no romance strangely refreshing. Especially when that book is in the fantasy genre. I have been finding lately many of the romances in novels seem to just be an afterthought. That it’s just something the author threw in to pacify readers or to check it off their “what every novel needs list.” And because the romance felt like just an afterthought, I would have enjoyed the book just as well if the romance had been left out altogether. But maybe its just the books that I’ve been reading.

What do you think? Does every story need a romance?