At the halfway point, were 40,000 pages a good idea?

Piggy-backing on my last TTT where I talked about my top ten reads of the first half of this year, I took a look at my specific 2020 goals and where I stand with them.

My main goal this year was to be more mindful about my reading. A few factors define that for me. 1) I thrive to increase the diversity of the authors I seek out. 2) I want to read some classics I’ve been putting off. 3) I would like to find my way back to being more immersed in modern German literature. 4) And in general, I want to put quality over quantity. Last year, I found myself chasing that I’ve-read-that-many-books-high. This is partly due to Goodreads pledge feature which constantly tells you how far ahead or behind you are on your pledge. This has always bugged me since it’s not truly an accurate representation of my reading habits.

Thus, I figured maybe pledging a page number would be more accurate, especially since I had planned to tackle some longer tomes this year. Anyway, so I pledged 40,000 pages to myself because Goodreads sadly doesn’t have that feature. I have contacted them suggesting to add this in the past. I based my decision on 2019’s stats, which besides June and July where I had my usual reading slump, was a really good year for me. I made it through 136 books and 42486 pages. Yet, in hindsight, I realize that 40,000 pages is quite a hefty number. Let’s say the average novel has 300 pages (educated guess, the books I read in 2019 averaged 312 pages), then that would mean I’d have to read ~134 books. Sounds doable, right?! Well, I didn’t give myself any leeway for any deviations of reading habits. I just blindly assumed that 2020 would be at least the same if not better than 2019. And, lol, we all know how that worked out. So, here I thought, by pledging a page number I would take away some of the pressure I feel when I look at my Goodreads pledge of a specific book number, only to come to understand, that I am still competing with myself the entire time. This is not to say that I didn’t accomplish anything so far or that I feel like I failed, because I don’t. I am happy with my progress, especially given our current political, health, and societal situation.

And now, after this long and rambling introduction, here is an update on my 2020 goals as of June 30th.

  • I’ve read 64 books and 18401 pages (several repeat authors). As you notice (graph below) I have a fairly even slope in my cumulative page count meaning I’ve been pretty consistent in my reading habits so far. This is in big part due to joining various virtual book clubs and because I do set myself smaller monthly goals. Plus, reading is my comfort place, and I needed to get a lot of comfort over the past few months.

And of these (to the best of my knowledge*):

  • 38 were by womxn and 22 were by male authors (3 of them fall within LGBTQIA)
  • 14 were by non-white/BIPOC/Asian/African/South American authors ( 10 of them were womxn)
  • 9 fell within the non-fiction genre, mostly memoirs
  • 10 were poetry collections
  • 2 came from the 1001 book list
  • 17 books were read from my own shelf
  • 9 were audiobooks
  • 2 books were written and read in German
  • 1 was a graphic novel
  • 13 were ARCs
  • 4 came from my 12 book pledge list (these are my must-reads for the year)

As you can see I made good progress on some goals and not much on others (I am looking at you graphic-novel-goal!). I don’t know if I’ll make it to 40,000 pages by the end of this year, but that’s not big deal! I am overall happy with my accomplishments so far. I will continue to pick diverse authors and challenge myself to read outside my habit-genres.

How did you do so far? Are you meeting your goals? Did you even set any? What are your reading habits?

*I tried my best to research background etc for the authors but I cannot speak for them unless they explicitly state where they are from/what their sexual identity or gender identity is/any other preferences etc. So, please bare this in mind when looking at my breakdown list. And please feel free to educate me on this or share any info you have. If I used incorrect terminology, please let me know. I am here to learn!

11 thoughts on “At the halfway point, were 40,000 pages a good idea?”

  1. Love how your goals involve incorporating more diversity, classics, and focusing on quality over quantity! I so love how you phrased “chasing that I’ve-read-that-many-books-high”. I so relate to that and need to work on not getting caught up in that type of mindset!
    Yes, I definitely agree: don’t stress yourself to reach 40k pages! This is def not the year to spend energy freaking out over reading goals! I do love how you chose to focus on an amount of pages over number of books tho

    Also wow, love the graph! I might have to consider making a similar graph sometime (at the moment I’m only recording my reading in a google spreadsheet). And I don’t know your original goals, but given the breakdown above, it looks like you’re doing well!

    Happy reading! Hope the rest of the year goes well for you! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My original goals are on the “yearly goals” tab, not in a blog post. And yes I’m doing fairly well with them. 🙂 Thank you!

      I’m a total data nerd. I record as much info about a book in a Google doc and then see what kinds of graphs and trends I can mine out of that. I regularly do that for my Dewey’s readathon stats for example.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I used to count pages and hours, but this year I decided not to do that. Which has been very relaxing so far! I tried some readathons and realized that the whole counting and timing thing stresses me out and is counter-productive. Nonetheless, I checked and goodreads tells me that I read 23.049 pages so far. Which sounds high, but who knows! And as you pointed out, the page counting on goodreads doesn‘t work well.
    Things I did want to do this year: more diverse reading, more reading of owned books, more library books. That hasn‘t worked so well thus far. WIP!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I try not to actually count the hours I read, like some people atually have a stopwatch. That’s too much pressure for me, too. Instead, I count the pages I read during each hour and make a note if I did anything else during that time (eat, social media, etc). I think of that as more of a record keeping. I like to think that 30 years from now I’ll look back and be pleased with how I spent my days 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I read a lot of e-books and many of them don’t have pages. That would mean I would have to fiddle around with the percentages to work out how many pages I have read… probably less stressful than timing myself… 😊

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I’ve encountered that as well. I usually find the page # on Goodreads (kindle book version or paperback). Then I calculate the page numbers from the percentages and that info. I only do that for 24hr readathons. On my monthly log I just note down the total page number for each book.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. […] My goal this year is 100 books. But I only selected that because 1) it’s a no stress goal based on my past years (I usually read more than 100 books) and 2) page number is not an option. What I really want to accomplish is to read 40000 pages. I have a breakdown of my goals here and a mid-year check-in for them here and here. […]


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