Failure (or, how I stopped caring about reading goals)

Oh Books Before 30, you seemed so achievable when I was 27, the deadline so far away. What was I thinking? Read all of these books before I’m 30 in July, I haven’t the time or the inclination. I’ve learned a lesson here: Never try.

No, wait, that’s not it.

Never set arbitrary goals for years in the future, enjoy reading in the present.

I’m a daydreamer (a fun, yet inconvenient super power) which means a lot of the time I’m a thinner version of myself skipping through the sun-swept daffodil fields of my mind. It’s great if life isn’t going so well, but it doesn’t actually fix anything when you’re spending your time imagining a better future rather than creating it.

The daydreaming causes me to want to make goals I can aim for because I’ve already imagined how I will feel when it’s done. While not actually considering the process of getting it done. It’s taken 29 years and almost 10 months, but finally I’ve realised:

Stop dreaming, start living reading. 

I won’t finish Books Before 30, but that’s okay.

Have you ever (happily) given up on a controlled reading or life goal?

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15 Comments on "Failure (or, how I stopped caring about reading goals)"

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Sara (majoringinliterature)
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I’m a daydreamer too, and I often worry that the reading goals in set myself are just too difficult to stick to, especially considering I’m a mood reader – I find it incredibly difficult to get into a book if I’m not in the mood for it. I like your decision to ‘stop dreaming and start reading’. It sounds like a really smart way to approach reading!

Kya
Guest

I think it’s good that you know that now and can just enjoy reading. :D Sometimes setting goals is good and other times it just doesn’t fit. It would be difficult with books as well, because some of them you might not be in the mood or frame of mind to experience at that time.

Shannon @ River City Reading
Guest

I like the second part of your title much more than the first! I’m with you on letting go of challenges that center on specific numbers or things I have to cross of a list and try to focus more on how I feel about the things I do. It definitely pushes things in a better direction!

DomCarterAgain
Guest

@nomoreparades Anything planned for the big 3-0?

Naomi
Guest

I don’t tend to set goals in the first place. And if I do, they tend to be vague, so that I have lots of wiggle room. This is a personality trait that sometimes drives my husband crazy – he’s very goal-oriented. :)
When it comes to book lists, all it takes is a matter of months, weeks, days even and everything can change!

Laura Frey
Guest

This is basically why I quite The Classics Club.

Jenny @ Reading the End
Guest

Many a time I’ve given up on reading goals. It’s just good sense! Once you give up on a goal that’s not working for you, you have all this lovely free time to read and do exactly as you like. :D No shame!

Charlie
Guest
This is timely for me; I’ve just decided not to worry about my classics club list. I think I always knew it would be difficult but still, 5 years, so far away back then. I think having a rough idea can be a good thing, maybe even setting it out, but forcing yourself when you’re not enjoying it isn’t good. You can always keep the list to look at occasionally for reading ideas. Finishing it at some point when you’ve been enjoying it wouldn’t be too far away in the feeling of success than finishing it by 30 and having… Read more »
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