[Eds note, its a yelling day. Sorry in advance, but you all don't listen!]
It is that time of year again, when I start seeing library workers [and other book nerds] freak out about their Goodreads goals. And once again, I am taking a deep breath before putting my foot down to stop this nonsense.
NOBODY CARES HOW MANY BOOKS YOU HAVE READ! YOU ARE NOT BETTER OR WORSE AT YOUR JOB BASED ON HOW MANY TITLES YOU HAVE FINISHED!
I have even seen people posting about how they mark books the didn't finish as "read" just to hit their arbitrary goals and then have intense guilt about it.
STOP THIS NONSENSE. IT IS NOT HELPFUL.
In fact, it can be harmful. [Also I think I am done yelling now.]
First, Goodreads is still keeping track of what you have read even if you don't set a goal. In past years people have told me they keep track because otherwise Goodreads doesn't track. Oh, how naive to think they aren't tracking you every second of every day. Go to the "My Books" page and towards the bottom of the left gutter you can choose "Year in Books" or "Reading Stats" at anytime.
Second, reading books to get to a number is less helpful than reading about books for your work with leisure readers. Some of the best RA librarians I know read only a handful of books a year. Click here for a great discussion of this point on the podcast Bellwether Friends. Alene is one of the best RA providers out there and her honest discussion of how few books she actually reads is inspirational.
Third, all these reading goals do is increase anxiety. Reading is our job, but it is also something many of us also do for fun. It is hard enough to separate the "have to" and the "want to" reads in a normal year, let alone in 2020. Stop making your life more difficult and DO NOT SET A READING GOAL. [Oops, I wasn't done yelling.]
Finally, click here to read my post on handling TBR anxiety, many have told me it has helped them. And also this post about why setting reading goals and shaming others [and yourself] for not making theirs goes against everything RA Service is about.
Sorry for being so blunt and grumpy today, but this is a problem you have the power to solve for yourselves, with a few clicks, and yet, every year I hear the same whining and complaining. We are living in a world where most things feel out of our control, but this is one easy thing you can do to take control of something. Stop setting reading goals along with voting are two ways to assert control in your life right now.