Reading Goals and Linky Links

Just in case there was any question about my status as a total geek, I would like to put the debate to rest right now by telling you the thing about New Year’s Day I find most exciting. I eagerly anticipate setting my reading goals for the new year.

It’s true. When I contemplated 2012 rolling over to 2013, that was the thing that got me all in a tizzy. I could not wait to officially wrap up my reading goal for 2012 and start over with 2013. I did it before I went to bed on New Year’s Eve.

I’m not ashamed.

While Goodreads seems to be the most popular reading social site amongst my friends, I prefer Shelfari. Honestly, I mostly prefer it because I’m already invested there – that’s where I’ve kept book lists for the past few years – so I don’t want to switch now. I haven’t seriously compared the two sites. Shelfari allows me to keep my books on a virtual shelf, and divide them by “I plan to read”, “I’m reading”, and “I’ve read”.

I can rate the books, write reviews, and join groups and follow users. Other than the book shelf, my favorite feature is that I can set reading goals for myself. Each year I set a number of books I want to read that year, and then I never quite do so. Humph.

This year I have set myself a goal of 60 books. Last year I got in 55, so 60 didn’t seem like a huge stretch. Of course, I failed to account for having two children halfway through the year, but whatevs. Sometimes you’ve gotta live on the edge.


Every time I finish a book, I mark it as completed, with the date I finished the book, and Shelfari automatically adds it to my list for the year. The site also keeps stats on my reading habits, such as number of pages read and genres I tend to prefer. It even compares them to the site members at large – I particularly like that feature, as comparing my reading habits to the general public makes me feel smart. To be fair, though, it’s not infallible, because the genres are set by the readers. So, for example, I read two books that have a gay character (not the main character), and they are thus labeled as “Gay & Lesbian”. That seems a wee bit absurd to me.

I only need to read two more books this month to be on track. Of course, I got all excited about the new year and finished the first two books of the year in the first two days of the year. There’s nowhere to go from there but down. Oh, well! At the moment I feel productive and victorious. I’m clinging to that.

What about you? Do you use a social media site to track your books? Do you set yourself reading goals?

Here’s a motley assortment of great posts you should all check out:

4 thoughts on “Reading Goals and Linky Links

  1. I am going to check out Shelfari! One of my goals for 2013 is to FINISH the couple dozen books I have on my shelves that I started some time in the last two years. 🙂

  2. I set reading goals for over Christmas break that I didn’t even start. I hate to set goals and then totally fail in their accomplishment. So, I guess this past year I pretty much “aimed at nothing”. Consequently, it wasn’t a very productive reading year for me. I read what I had to for various subjects in school and didn’t go much beyond that. I do enjoy my Kindle that I just realized is now a year old. Of course, since September, I have found it has been a great help to one of my kids. They enjoy my kindle as well, which means I don’t see my kindle much anymore. I think I would benefit from setting some goals. Now to find the time to do them. To go on a social media site for books? I should probably just get to the reading, and skip the technology-thing.

    • I understand entirely about both the need for goals and the sometimes avoidance of them. I’ve learned over time that I have to set loose goals. At different times I’ve set more specific reading goals – certain numbers of certain genres, for example – and it doesn’t work for me. I end up feeling boxed in, and then I don’t want to read anything at all.

      I love to check things off a list, which is why I like Shelfari – it gives me a tool to do that with my reading in a way that acts as further incentive to me to finish what I’ve started. However, I have to avoid the groups, etc., or I’ll get sucked into the whole time wasting aspect of the thing.

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