Reading; To Track or Not to track, that is the question.

Hey Guys!

Today I am coming at you with a discussion  post on Keeping Track of our reading. We can track reading in a number of ways from writing it down in a notebook to using Goodreads. But does tracking our reading ever take away from our experience? 

I think it can. I hold my hands up high and confess that I have every once in a while become obsessed with statistics. How many books I may have read in comparison to others? Am I keeping up to date with my Goodreads Reading Challenge? All of which makes reading stressful more than the enjoyment it should be.  But I’m now getting better at acknowledging that the amount of books I have read in a week, month or even year isn’t bad. Even if I only read one book then that’s an achievement. It’s very easy to fall into a hole of self-doubt when you think; well I only read one book but this other person read 12 so I must not be a real reader? I must not be good enough. And even though it seems a leap from thinking your reading isn’t the same level as someone else’s to you feeling you’re not good enough it is very much linked. Well for me it is.

I used to go onto Goodreads and pick my reading challenge to suit others. If many people were doing 100 books for a year then that’s what I would do because then I would fit in and also I would be at their level but when I didn’t reach it I would feel like a failure?
But that’s not true. If you don’t meet your Reading challenge then that’s ok, every book you read is an achievement.

It’s also very interesting to think about how we now track our reading, remember the days where we would go to the local library and pick up a book simply based off the back and not because of the reviews we read? We also just read because we loved it and now reading has changed. Every page we read we update on a site or as soon as we finish a book we race to write down our thoughts rather than savor it. I do miss those days sometimes.

Tracking can bring along slumps for me, if I am behind on my challenge then I start entering a Reading slump because I feel like I should be reading and with me if I feel like I HAVE to do something then I’m less likely to want to. It’s why TBR’s don’t work for me, because I feel forced.

So do we need to stop tracking what we read?

Essentially, no. Whilst it’s easy to get caught up in the statistics, for me not tracking my reading is something I probably will never not do now. I love to see how much percentage I am through a book, or just to scroll back and see what books I read in a month. Tracking my reading is like a diary for me, I can see the mood I was in from what I read, how much I read and each title reminds me of the moments I sat curled up with that book.

What we do need to do is accept that every book you read is an achievement for yourself. You haven’t read anything this week? That’s fine. Everybody has their down days and everybody has slumps. Some people are naturally what I like to say ‘gifted’, they are able to binge read constantly like 6-7 books a week but I’m not like that. These days  i’m lucky to get through one but again it’s about acceptance. Whilst my anxiety likes to play tricks on me and whisper that my reading and blog is a failure when I haven’t read a book that week I remind myself that life is busy. I work full-time and someday’s I just want to rest and not read and think. So I throw myself into the soaps instead rather than my book.

Do I keep track of everything I read?

Not anymore. For me I only ever update my Goodreads with certain books, sometimes I can binge New Adult Romances on my Kindle and I never put them up. There is no particular reason as to why I just never feel like it. I’ve now also developed into not reviewing every single book I read, the pressure surrounding it was getting too much with the amount of reading and attempting to blog I was trying to do in my spare time. So sometimes I only review certain books on Goodreads or I just rate it. Others you will get a Goodreads Review, blog review. The whole shibang. 

I hope you liked this post. I find it really interesting to talk about tracking reading especially as we have developed from never tracking to always tracking. Be sure to let me know below your thoughts.


How do you track your reading? 
Does it ever feel more like a burden to you? Let me know in the comments what you think.

SIGN OFF

 

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23 thoughts on “Reading; To Track or Not to track, that is the question.

  1. This is a great discussion topic and I agree with a lot of points you made. Personally, I can’t not track my reading. To me, all that statistics is a part of fun and would bever give up on it. You reminded me on those good old days when I went to the library and spent hours browsi g a d finding books that sounded interesting. These days I already know what I’m going to get, whether it be library or bookstore, because there are so many hyped books and new releases and we all try to keep up with those. However, I would never give up book community social media (blogs, Booktube, Goodreads…), no matter how pressured I might feel. This community is part of who I am and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

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  2. Great discussion, and I agree!
    Tracking your reading is something that some book bloggers probably feel tempted to do, just because they feel like they have or- like it’s part of the job description. But quite honestly, I myself don’t track my reading because I don’t think that statistics are important, and they’re only supposed to be for fun, but if you go ahead and turn it into a competition for yourself to read a lot then it doesn’t seem as fun when you’re tracking reading.
    Reading is very fun, and it isn’t that fun when you’re constantly tracking your books, although sometimes it’s fun to go ahead and track them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oo I love your perspective. Many people have responded with how they track their reading so it’s interesting to hear from someone who doesn’t! I definitely like how I don’t track every single thing but for some books say for my YA I definitely like to track because theirs soo many and it’s easy to keep up to date with series etc and knowing what i’ve read.
      Which sounds a little silly because how could you forget a book you’ve read? I’ve got a poor memory haha!

      Reading is definitely very fun and you can easily lose that when tracking, it’s why I think people need to remove themselves from statistics and see every read as an accomplishment. Not when they read 100 books, but the 1 book they finish each time.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you. And I’ve read blogs by lots of bloggers who do track their reading, and for them it seems to work but for me I don’t particularly like to track my books, because sometimes it just seems fun to read for fun.
        Don’t get me wrong, I have horrible
        memory, I can forget things so easily. But sometimes I just like to read for fun and plus, if I am reading a series, then it’s much easier for me to remember the first book and the books I’ve read before in that series.
        Agreed, I can’t read books as much as I’d like to, so every read for me is very exciting and is an accomplishment. Definitely, I love the points you’ve made.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. OH, Hannah, I love this post SO much! I’m always tracking my reading on Goodreads – though I sometimes am late and forget to update my status, like right now ahah I don’t use the progress thing on Goodreads because I have no memory and would forget to update it, but I do use it to mark the books I am reading and have read. I also do the Goodreads challenge and always try to set a goal, it motivates me, but… I am not foolish enough to target 100 books haha. I’d rather hit lower and be surprised when I end up reading more 😀
    TBRs don’t work for me either because it makes me feel a bit pressured – reading challenges don’t work too well for me either, or at least I am nervous to try them out for that very same reason. Gad I’m not the only one!
    I’m keeping track of every book I read on Goodreads but I don’t review everything either – I don’t have enough time in the day and I just don’t feel like it ahah.I think it’s great to have fun and see how much we are reading and progressing, compared to the last month or year, but…we shouldn’t pressure ourselves with reading stats if it takes out all of the fun 🙂
    Fantastic post! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you lovely!! ❤
      Starting lower with your reading goal is such a good idea, so glad I did that this time. I love how were so alike, TBR's and everything. There is definitely a pressure to them and it's like i'm being forced to sit down and read it and my brain is like NOPE you ain't gonna be picking that book up then.

      We should definitely remember to not focus on the stats and to just have fun! ❤

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      1. Exactly – sometimes my brain just freezes knowing it feels obligated to read a book. reminds me of required reading at school and I don’t like that ahah 🙂
        You’re welcome ❤ ❤

        Liked by 1 person

  4. This is such a good idea for a post… and I very much identify with it! I know exactly what you mean about tracking- I love to see what I’ve been reading, but sometimes the goals other people can reach just aren’t realistic for me thanks to college etc. That’s why I mostly use Goodreads just to keep track of what I’ve actually read, and try to keep my goals realistic ☺

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for reading!
      I understand completely what you mean about college getting in the way of reading too, I always felt like it made me stress even more because here are people reading 7 books or more a week (some people on goodreads are crazy fast readers) and I was struggling to read 20 pages. But it’s ok! You’re doing fantastic keeping up with reading anything whilst doing college work 🙂
      Keeping track for your own personal goals is good!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yaaay! Definitely the best way to go about given yourself a reading goal especially when you also have college then you aren’t pressuring yourself too much. Plus the feeling you get when you meet that goal is amazing!

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Great post! 😀
    I agree that (especially) Goodreads can lead to a constant comparison, but I’ve learned my limits and I’ve stopped worrying about it. If I know I can only read one book per week, that’s it. If I’m busier than usual and it’s one per month, I’m fine. Every reader is a different person and while I admit that sometimes I wish I could read more than I do (I just commented on another blogger’s post “I don’t know how you’ve already read 70 books”), that does not make me (or you, or anyone else) less of a reader. 🙂
    I created my Goodreads account in December 2015, and I’ve been keeping track of every book I’ve read ever since. It’s fun, it’ll help me later on my blog (because I can’t remember the books I’ve read when I most need to haha) and because when I think that I didn’t keep track of the books I read as a child, it actually saddens me. I’d love to know what little Marta loved to read and what she thought of those books. I mean, I still have them with me, but it’s not the same. :/

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Marta! Someones already read 70 books?! WOW?! I love your thoughts and agree 100%.

      I also feel really sad not being able to remember all the books I read as a child! I know like the fairytales my parents read to me but the books I read at school when I was around 10 I cannot remember at all!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s the same for me. I know there was a book I used to re-read all the time when I was in primary school. We used to go to our little library and pick one book every two weeks and I chose that one more often than not. Unfortunately, I can’t remember which book it was 😦

        Liked by 1 person

  6. This is such a great post, Hannah 💕
    I totally understand what you mean about tracking potentially putting pressure on us to read more, I myself have experienced it and I just ended up in a reading slump! I do however track my reading on Goodreads, I rarely update my reading progress though, I usually just mark a book as read. I like keeping track of the books I read, but I’m no longer competitive with myself or other bloggers 🌸 I just try and read when I can and I don’t think it matters how much you read, just that you read 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Michelle! I agree 100% statistics don’t matter, it’s just amazing that you read anything! There is a sense of competition that comes with keeping track and theres no need. Every book is an accomplishment 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Wonderful post, Hannah ♥

    To be completely the honest the main reason why I keep track of my reading is because if I didn’t I’d honestly forget everything 😂 I 100% agree that stats aren’t everything though and that there can be an unnecessary pressure in the community to be reading like 15 books a month. The only reason I really set a goal in Goodreads is because it motivates me to read. I also do definitely not review every book I read.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Lauren! Yes! I would totally forget every book as well, there are just so many out there and also alot of YA books especially fantasys can be pretty similar so without goodreads keeping track my brain would get so muddled!

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