2013 has five weeks left in it. Back in January I set myself a Goodreads goal to read 100 books this year. By October, I’d fallen so far behind the pace that there was no way for me to hit my goal. I was something like 30 books behind and it would take me the rest of the year just to catch up, let alone hit the goal. So I dropped the goal to 90, which cut my catch-up in half, and I proceeded to read as many books as I possibly could.
I’m not gonna hit 90 books.
Last night I looked at my numbers. This year I’ve read 64 books. According to the Goodreads counter, I’m fifteen books behind. So I have to read at least three books a week for the rest of the year to even catch the books I’m behind.
Last night I felt like a failure. I’d missed what I’d set out to do. In frustration, I looked at my stats — the section in Goodreads where you can see how many books you’ve read and how many pages you’ve read and compare that to other years. I stared at the 64 books. I stared at 20,000+ pages. And felt like a failure.
Then Shane, who was reading over my shoulder said something like, “That’s over a book a week.” He said something like, “I’ve never read that many in a year.”
So I looked at my stats again.
Prior to this year, the most books I’d read in a single year was 56.
Prior to this year, the most pages I’d read in a single year was 15,745.
Both of these records I’ve blown away this year. And I realized that I was being too hard on myself. Did I hit my goal? No. Which stings. I said I would do something, and then I didn’t do it. It’s like breaking a promise to myself.
But I have done more this year than I have ever done before. How could I not be proud of that? How could I beat myself up for that?
The answer is I shouldn’t, and I’m going to stop right now. In the spirit of the upcoming Thanksgiving Holiday, I’m not going to look at what I don’t have and be thankful for what I do. And what I have are 64 new books under my belt, five weeks to read more of what I want to read, and an opportunity to set a new, badass record for myself.