I’ve been blogging for three years now, and a lot has changed over those years. The main thing has been me, and my approach to blogging. I’ve gone from being very haphazard to being methodical, planning in advance, recording my reads, and, of course, taking part in challenges.
Last year, I did a lot of different themed readalongs or readathons, but this year I decided that what I was going to focus on was reading the books I wanted and needed to, without trying to make them work around themes, and just record them as I went. I suppose in some ways, I’ve become stricter and then become more relaxed for it, while holding onto the sense of structure. That probably sounds like nonsense. I know what I mean at least.
There’s an art form, I’ve found, in relaxing about my reads. Allowing myself rereads, but still making sure I pick up enough new books to write about. Timing reviews on my blog so they go with the popularity of new releases, but not putting too much pressure on myself to meet it when my health is bad. It’s been a balance to strike, and the compromise of tracking them has been the Good Reads challenge.
I know some people have very strong feelings one way or the other when it comes to reading challenges, but personally I think what matters the most is doing what suits you. I choose to do this reading challenge for several reasons but you’re allowed to disagree with me, and that’s fine – I want to say first and foremost that you are still a good blogger if you don’t do any challenges at all. If you only post on the first Tuesday of the month, or when it’s raining outside, you’re still a good blogger.
For me, the biggest advantage of Good Reads is it allows me to track my reading habits. It counts the number of books I’ve read, sure, but it also allows me to reflectively look back and see when I had a streak of reading fantasy, or when I had a series that I really enjoyed. Equally, it allows me to see that I might have had a rocky month in, say, March, but April was brighter when it came to numbers and ratings.
Being able to mark the books I’m currently reading is really useful as with the braig fog I experience I can’t always recall titles on the spot. So if someone asks me what I’m reading and I’m not near it, Good Reads can stop me from looking like a total fool. This might be a disability specific point, but seeing as I’m a disabled blogger I think it’s valid.
One of the other things I really benefit from is the recommended reads that come out of registering my books, the ones I’ve enjoyed, and also the ones not so much, to either pick up or avoid. I don’t really use the social side of Good Reads so much, although I know some people swear by it, but I do happen to use to my Kindle a lot too, so being able to register all my Kindle books or Amazon purchases is a real advantage; I’m far too poorly with too little energy to write them out long hand, despite my reading log!
This is what’s right for me, and you do what’s right for you. I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments, about whether you join in with this challenge or others, and whether you’d think of doing so in the future. I’m nosy like that.