Can Goodreads Stop My Bad Reading Behavior?

Every Spring in the town where I live, the local library hosts a book sale. They advertise by erecting a bright yellow banner stretching above Main Street; besides robins singing, it has become a sure “sign” of Spring. For five days the last week of March, the library’s book sale attracts anyone to come on in and get some great deals on books. The inventory comes from the library’s weeding spoils and from donations from local residents. It’s a dangerous place for me to be, those five days in late March…

Not too long ago I revealed that I keep buying video games and that I am buying so many I can no longer keep track. I also admitted I am starting to slip by buying multiples of the same game. What I haven’t told you, is that I’ve kind of been doing the same thing with books…for years. I have accumulated so many that at this stage, I am not sure reading them all in my lifetime is a doable task.

There's more in the cabinet...and in the closets and elsewhere...

There’s more in the cabinet…and in the closets and elsewhere…

Yeah, it probably isn’t.

Reading has always been a part of my life, whether for study or for enjoyment. I have always enjoyed curling up with a good book, and about six years ago, books were the center of my life as I returned back to school to obtain a Library Technician diploma. Studying the interworkings of a library – cataloguing, acquisitions, reference – as well as having so much access to the library system encouraged and foraged my love for reading. Between 2007 and 2008, reading was about the only thing I was interested in doing outside of studying and working, and I read a lot!

Now, I might read 5 books a year. Scratch that, I read one novel last year. ONE.

I look at my collection of books with anticipation that I would eventually read them all; give away the ones I no longer want and keeping my favourites. I gave away only 2 books last year, while about 6 new titles joined my collection. That ain’t good. We aren’t going to even talk about my jonesing for e-books, which I have not acquired at all…kind of ironic when part of my day job involves procuring and creating electronic books. I have made announcements to the hubs many times that I am not buying any more books…he laughs at me, as I am at the cash buying more books.

Last month, Goodreads emailed me to let me know someone commented on one of my previous reviews of a book. A couple of days ago I dusted off my neglected account and had a look. It had been over a year since I had accessed my account, which coincides with how much I have been reading. My Goodreads account reminds me of all the books I could be reading, but alas, I have made no time for. I have catalogued somewhere around 129 books that I want to read, not including every book I actually own and haven’t picked up yet. To make it worse, Goodreads is so good at determining and recommending more books to read, my head swims after spending even 20 minutes there and before I know it, my 129 books balloons to an even large stack. At the same time, the website reminds me of how many books I have read, which is a real motivator to keep on reading. Speaking of motivation, Goodreads has an app where you can challenge yourself to read x number of books in a year, and it will keep track of your progress. I would eventually like to get back in reading shape and get through 30 books a year. This year? My goal is half that – 15 books. That’s a realistic goal for me, with my work schedule, and ALL my other interests.

Where did my love for reading go? Not too far, thankfully! With the first signs of Spring comes a new sense of renewed interest for written word. This past Sunday, I woke up in the morning not wanting to game, but to read! My first book of this year is Airframe by Michael Crichton, a book that focuses on the investigation into an airplane incident; a timely subject considering the Malaysia Airplane incident.

Now, can I keep this reading up? Time will tell. Just hold me back from going to the Library book sale, please!


  1. This resonates with me! I’m in the same boat! I have so many interests that it is hard to read ONE novel a year. (I managed four or five in 2012, and one in 2013.)

    Best of luck in conquering your mountain of books…I’ve begun packing mine in storage.


  2. Your book collection looks great! I also love buying books and savouring the anticipating of reading them… I like to keep a queue going and adjust it as I buy more books. It does sound like you need to step back into the reading world! 30 books a year is a good number and probably around what I read. Goodreads is fun for cataloguing your reads and want-to-reads and looking up reviews, but I tend to avoid the reccomendations function… it really is overwhelming!
    PS I see you have Doctor Sleep in your collection… that’s one I still need to pick up!


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