Does the Goodreads Challenge really have a "bad" side?



There was an article posted last Thursday that has been getting a lot of attention within the book blogging community. There are several things mentioned in the article which I want to address so I'm going to break it down.

The goodreads challenge has been around for 3 or 4 years and Richard only now sees as an issue with it being called a challenge as reading is supposed to be fun. First of all who doesn't like a challenge every now and then. If we were never challenged life would be fairly dull. Secondly I know plenty of people who find fun in the idea of a challenge. You''ll find evidence of this all over the internet with people participating in book challenges and read-a-thons year round.

He then goes on to speak about the issue of literacy in adults. I feel for adults who cannot read but to say the Goodreads is practically ostracising these particular people as a group is ridiculous. Goodreads has never advertised itself as a facility to help people learn to read. It is simply a platform for people who love to read, whether than be 5 books a year or 500 books a year. Reading, for me is a rather solitary past time so I am grateful  for the opportunity to share my opinions with like minded people. 

The goodreads challenge, for me anyway is not about ticking boxes or scratching items off lists. It's a wonderful collection of my reading history. At any time I can scroll back through my years worth of reading and remember the emotional journey that I took with each book. I can re visit my thoughts at the time of reading and I can see the thoughts of others which adds a whole new dimension to every story.

Let's face it. Those of us who read 50 or more books a year are going to read anyway regardless of what challenges exist

The goodreads challenge is not about competition. It's about those few people who may decide that this will be the year they become more invested in reading more than the next yearly twilight or 50 Shades of Grey. If only one more person read one extra book a year because of the goodreads challenge, then its worth it.

You can read the Guardian article here.

Follow on Bloglovin


  1. Great blogpost! And I totally agree with you on all points! It's not about competition but about challenging yourself, or just an easy way to keep track of what you have read that year!

    Irene @ Ice Queen's Bookshelf

  2. I agree with every point you made. The reason people join these challenges is to push themselves a little bit harder, to read that extra book or two. Reading is an excellent way of expanding your vocabulary as well as learning about new cultures or beliefs so reading twice as many books as the year before will be worth it in my eyes. x

    1. For sure. Reading is reading. I think it's great when people who, say only read a book a year decide to read a little more because something like this has spurred them on!

  3. I agree with you 100%! I personally love the Goodreads challenge. It had motivated me to read more and more books since it first started, I also love that I can go back and see all my reading stats and reading history.

    Megan @ Books i View

  4. I agree completely! I'm on Goodreads because I love books, discovering new titles, connecting with bookish friends and tracking my reading habits. I love the challenge, it's renewed my passion for reading, not dulled it. Seeing that bar fill up is exciting, because there are stories and characters within that progress bar- not just books I'm reading to "win" some challenge. I have no idea why the Goodreads challenge would bother anyone. I would assume that if they weren't interested in participating then they would simply not sign up and leave it at that. I'm not sure what the purpose of the Guardian post was.

  5. Instead of going for a book total, I try to hit a page total! I set a page goal after my first year doing the Goodreads Challenge got me over 19k pages. It's more of challenge for me to hit that page total. :)

    Goodreads tracks pages so it's fun to post updates every once in awhile.

  6. If Goodreads was hosting a challenge, challenging all members to read 100 books a year that would not be a nice thing to do. But you can put your challenge to two books for the entire year, if that's the speed you read at. I see no negative side to be honest

  7. Completely agree! Excellent post. Those of us who use Goodreads often enough to make use of the challenge and other goodies, use it for tracking purposes only. Plus, as for the challenge aspect, well there's tons of reading challenges out there that bloggers and readers participate in, so what makes Goodreads any different? It isn't forced on you, you get to select the goal, and change it, so whoever wrote that article is not really seeing it for what it is.

  8. I've done the Goodreads challenge for the past 4 years and have noticed that the number of books Ive read has been larger every year since . Ill confess the first year I was a bit stressed but what the challenge did was help me to manage my time better. Clearing my shelves of unread books has been a goal of mine and the goodreads challenge has helped me achieve it.

  9. Couldn't agree more with your post.
    Yes, reading is its own reward but the author of the article has completely missed the point that people like to challenge themselves and that Goodreads is a social site for people who enjoy reading and sharing their thoughts on what they read.
    Considering that 240,000 (his number) readers have signed up for the challenge, the author seems to be in the minority with his opinion.

  10. I agree. I participated in the challenges for 2012 and 2013. This year I choose to sit it out becasue I just felt like it. But the two previous years were fun. I read books that I normally wouldn't even consider. I think the writer is prone to exaggeration.

  11. I've done the challenge for the last 2 years but I'm not going to bother this year. My fav part of GR is that I can record my reading and see my stats all of which I can do without the challenge. I just feel for me that it was adding pressure to meet a figure and I have decided I don't want that in my reading life.


Thank you for taking the time to read/comment on my page!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...