Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UPR chapter.

If you’re a habitual reader, you might log the books you read physically in a book journal or digitally with Goodreads, Storygraph, or Fable. What these particular apps all have in common is a feature to add a reading challenge of how many books you would like to read during the year. 

With social media, we have the ability to connect with other readers and see the book-related content that they share. Reading has recently become more popular and you might stumble upon videos that are along the lines of “I read 100 books this year” or “These are the 30 books I read in April.” While this type of content does not explicitly force the idea of people needing to read a certain amount of books in a particular time constraint, it does create a sort of normalcy to the amount of books one reads or is expected to read. It might also make young people or new readers believe that a high quantity is the standard to be a “good reader.” It’s clear to say that there’s no such thing as a “good reader,” but reading challenges could create an environment in which readers compare themselves in a negative light. 

However, reading challenges like setting up a reading goal for the year can help readers stay, or try to be, more consistent. If you set up a reasonable goal, it can support and motivate you to stay on track and keep the reading slump at bay. To an extent, it forces you to read, which doesn’t need to be a bad thing. Although, if you put too much pressure on yourself to achieve the goal, this might make it a chore and take away the joy of reading. Nonetheless, if you use these challenges to your advantage they could potentially help you read more. Another use they could provide is finally helping you go through your physical TBR pile that might be covered in dust by now. 

Another challenge that’s big in the BookTube community is 24 hour reading challenges. BookTubers either try to stay awake for 24 hours to read or they time themselves reading until it reaches the 24 hour mark to see how much they can read. There’s plenty of videos to choose from but what they almost always have in common is the plateau they reach in which they are too tired to keep going, evidently due to sleep deprivation. Has reading become a consumerist only habit? Clearly these BookTubers know they will get more clicks and views if the thumbnails of these videos include them holding a lot of books. Are people only reading to take pictures of the stacks of books that they’ve read to flex and show off or are they actually enjoying their time reading these mountains of books? 

Once again, don’t get me wrong, this is not a diss to people that’ve read 100 books by the end of the year. Reading should be fun and if that’s how you enjoy it then that’s awesome! On the other hand, if you’re a slow reader and feel the pressure to read more, that’s okay, maybe it motivates you to read more. However, it’s always important to reflect and be aware of how you consume books and how you feel whilst engaging with them. Are you flying through them and not really taking them in? Have you just read it and already forgot the plot? Was your reading experience meaningful? Are you enjoying your reading or are you simply one book closer to reaching your Goodreads goal? 

Alejandra Negrón Rodríguez is a writer and Events Director at Her Campus at UPR. She manages all chapter events, prioritizing in coordinating and organizing for a range of successful and fun activities. She mostly writes culture and entertainment articles, but as an avid reader, her favorite one’s are book reviews. She is a senior at the University of Puerto Rico, majoring in Political Science with a minor in French. At Her Campus, writing became a muse for her, because she can transform her interests into works for others to enjoy. When she’s not writing, Alejandra reads books or buys them (ask her overwhelming mountain of unread books). Alejandra also loves learning new languages, crocheting, and spending time with her friends.