If you’re participating in a numbers reading challenge

June 22, 2008 at 11:58 am (100 book challenge, General)

If you’re participating in a “numbers” reading challenge (and by that, I mean x books in y amount of time – like the 100 books in a year challenge), what do you count? Do you count everything? Fiction? Non-fiction? Books with short stories? Diet books? Craft books? Recipe books (surely I’m not the only one who sits down and reads these cover to cover)?

For the past several months, I’ve ONLY been counting the fiction books that I’ve read. Part of my reasoning for doing the 100 book challenge was to encourage me to read more fiction – non-fiction has never been an issue. But, I will say, I usually read one or two books each week (some weeks, I read SEVERAL) that “don’t count” for one reason or another. I haven’t, for instance, been counting diet books. I haven’t been counting really any non-fiction (not since the first few, anyway). I haven’t been counting craft or recipe books.

Would counting these things be cheating? Would you count them? I’m thinking of counting them, because, hey, I read them. I feel frustrated when I see my number being so low (of course, I do try to remind myself that I have already read more books this year than many people will in their entire adulthood… it doesn’t help) because I KNOW I’ve read more than that. Also, although this is a contest with myself… I feel frustrated when I see people reading tons of short books to up their count (aka I’m not the only one reading this many books in a year). And while it’s GREAT that people want to read more… and not everybody reads quickly… I dunno. I guess I just feel frustrated and annoyed by the whole situation. I feel like I’m being penalized for wanting to have some sort of “rules” as to what I count. I also feel like… well, most of my books are 400 or more pages (with a few exceptions) and that almost feels like I’m being penalized as well.

I’m kind of lost as to what I should count and what I shouldn’t count. This really has very little to do with what “officially” counts and what I feel comfortable counting.

I guess my question, after that long rambly post, is this: what do you count for your challenge? And, how did you determine that? Did you decide on the “rules” ahead of time? Or do you just count ANY book you read?



  1. Trish said,

    I’m confused as to whether this is a personal challenge or another type of challenge that you *joined*. I think that if it is a personal challenge then you should choose the rules. I’m not sure why you aren’t counting non-fiction–if you are reading them cover to cover why shouldn’t it count as a book read?

    And as far as people reading shorter books to up their numbers–do you really know that for sure? My average book is around 350 pages long, but I don’t feel like I’m cheating if I count a book that is only 200 pages long. My numbers might be buffered a little bit because the longest book I’ve read this year is 660 pages long–but so what??What about young adult fiction? Lots of people read that–does that count?

    Basically, if it YOUR personal challenge–you should make up the rules. Maybe your goal should be to read X fiction books so that you don’t have to feel conflicted about not counting the other books.

    Haha, not really sure that helps.

  2. Kristi said,

    Personally? I count anything I’ve read cover to cover–fiction, nonfiction, YA, doesn’t matter. I do a lot of research in non-fiction books where I’ll only read a chapter or two. I don’t count those books toward my year end goal, but if I get caught up in one of my research books and wind up reading it all the way though, I count it ;>).

    As for other people’s numbers – I think I would drive myself crazy if I were to compete with them. I realized pretty quickly during the 48-hour read-a-thon that there were some people out there that read A LOT faster than I do :>0, as a consequence, they read more books than I do. There are others who read shorter, or different types of books than I do and they gives them higher numbers. I, for example, don’t like to read children’s books and most YA (although I do enjoy some of them), but a lot of people do. That’s OK–for them, I won’t change my reading habits to up my numbers because what would be the point? Yes, I would have read more books, but that’s not really my over-all goal in attempting to read 100 books (or whatever) in a year. I want to read the books I want to read ;>). And, as far as numbers go, I only compete with myself. Last year I read a little over 50 books. This year I’m trying for 75. If I make it, I’ll probably go for 100 in 2009 ;>).

    I don’t know if any of that helps, but whatever goals or rules you decide on I hope you reach the numbers you decide on ;>).

  3. Marg said,

    I count both non-fiction or fiction reads, as well as audio books that I listen too. I don’t know whether I would count a cookbook, but at the end of the day it’s really up to you!

  4. unfinishedperson said,

    I’m with the others who have commented here. I think it’s all a matter of personal preference. I count everything from poetry to nonfiction to fiction, of all kinds, children’s, young adult and adult.

    Also I’m slightly disturbed by some people who are in 20 or 30 reading challenges and are just reading for reading’s sake, as if it’s a contest. To me, I think you should be reading to enjoy it and also hopefully to get something out of it…if you’re not doing either, then what’s the point? Just to say that you’ve outdone the Joneses?

  5. pussreboots said,

    I would count them unless the challenge said I couldn’t.

  6. bybee said,

    I’m counting everything that can be called a book — Juv, YA, Novellla, Nonfiction, Graphic novel…you name it.

    Good luck with your challenge.

  7. Weekly Geeks #9: Challenges « This Redhead Reads said,

    […] the end of June, which makes me happy. Also, after reviewing the answers everyone gave when I asked “What counts?”, I’ll be expanding what I’m counting for that challenge. I’ll start including all […]

  8. Natasha @ Maw Books said,

    If it’s a personal reading goal, you should make up your own rules but don’t feel as though you’re in competition with everybody else because reading isn’t a competition. My personal goal for the year started out by being 52 books in 52 weeks. Then I changed it to 52 Fiction books in 52 weeks, 52 YA books in 52 weeks and 52 MG Fiction in 52 weeks. I found myself reading so much non-fiction that I added that in and now it’s 52 Fiction/Non-Fiction, 52 YA Fiction/Non-Fiction, and 52 MG/Juvenile Fiction and Non-Fiction. Anyways, what I mean to say is don’t be afraid to mix up the rules if you find they aren’t working for you.

  9. Mrs S | Blue Archipelago said,

    My 50 book challenge is a personal one and I include fiction and non – though I’ve only read one non-fiction so far!

    I’m not including text books though – I want to write a review of every book this year and I’m sure no one wants to know what I think of my Financial Compliance text book *lol*

    Do what you feel comfortable with – if non-f is not an issue for you and you were challenging yourself to read more fiction then it makes sense to me just to count fiction.

  10. Mrs S | Blue Archipelago said,

    BTW – if you want to get through some books a bit quicker stop by http://www.clareswindlehurst.com/bookreviews and sign up for my July Book Blowout 🙂

  11. ViXpreraaidego said,

    It’s amazing

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