Stats are ruining the fun

I have a bad feeling that tracking my reading stats for the year, combined with a TBR pile that is nothing short of out-of-control have taken the joy out of reading. I am focussing so hard on my stats and getting through my TBR pile that I think I’ve lost some of the fun. While there is intense satisfaction to be gained from scrubbing another book off the list, the panic and guilt at the size of it in the first place are overshadowing the achievements.

Also, this is the first year that I’ve tracked my reading and it’s making me super competitive with, well with myself, except that because it’s my first tracking year, I’m only being competitive with my future reading self, which just makes no sense at all. And even though I know that the stats don’t actually mean anything if I’m deliberately trying to read more than I normally would, I can’t help myself. Initially, I was just tracking out of curiosity – I thought it would be nice to know how many books I read in a year. But now I’ve become very interested, and by interested I mean completely obsessed, with the numbers. I’m way past being a little curious, I’m so far over that line, I can’t even see curious anymore.

But the worst thing about all of this is that in my TBR lucky dip jar the books that keep getting pulled out are massive, and they are screwing up my numbers big time. First it was The Luminaries then Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, and most recently A Perfect Spy. And every time another massive tome gets pulled out I can almost see the evil glint in the eye of my 2015 reading self. Damn her!

Categories: Book life

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2 replies »

  1. That picture caught my attention. Did you create a spreadsheet to keep track of books? Wow!

    I have TBR list but I don’t have specific targets e.g. Goodreads’ reading challenge. That’s too stressful for me.


    • Yep – although I haven’t set myself any targets, I was just curious to see how many books in a year I read. Also added in things like the sex of the author, just to see what the spread of male and female authors are. Good way for me to track the books I’ve read as well.


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