Monday 26 December 2016

52 in 2016 - a Reading Challenge

Not normally one for New Years resolutions, I set myself a 2016 "challenge" rather than a resolution because I think that maybe the word "challenge" will make me more likely to do something...That challenge was to read 52 books in 2016.  That's one a week for people who might be mathematically impaired like me...I thought this was a sensible goal as once I curl up with a book, I can easily fly through the whole thing in a day.

So how did I do?

I don't want to be hard on myself but come on, Laura!  Just over half of the challenge?!  

Not one to give up, I'm going to set myself the same challenge for 2017 and I AM going to read more and I AM going to smash my target.  I'm stubborn like that.

I tried out a few apps to keep track of my reading challenge which might be helpful if you are thinking of setting yourself a reading challenge.

I'd been a member of the Goodreads website for a while but had completely forgotten about it until I was looking for an app to track my reading.  It's super easy to add books to your "shelves" by using the handy barcode scanner.

You can also keep a list of books you fancy reading.

Once you've added the book you've started reading you can update which page you're on and it will show you how far you are through the book.

When you've finished reading, you can award it stars and write a review.

The app will keep track of how many books you've read for your challenge and you can even add friends and see how they're doing (and possibly cheer each other on or share book recommendations).

Goodreads is great if you want a simple app that keeps track of your books and can search other books that you might like but for me being the data and graph loving nerd I am, I would have liked more analysis around the books I read.  Which leads me nicely on to the second app I tried...

Like Goodreads, iReadItNow has a "scan" feature so you can easily add a book when you start reading it but I found that it's more geared towards bookworms in places that don't recognise too many UK ISBNs so had to mostly add my books manually.

Books can be categorised into "read", "unread" and "wishlist"...I wasn't that organised when I used this app so my books are either "read" or just not on there.

This app also allows you to keep track of what page you're on and rate the book once you've finished it.

This is where I prefer this app to Goodreads - there's a statistics page.  I *heart* pie charts and graphs.  On this page you can see how many books you've read by month, ratings over the last 7 days and the ratings distribution across the books you've read.


As I said, I preferred this app but only slightly.  The downside to iReadItNow is that it's not got any way to track a specific reading goal.

I quite liked Booking at first as it was simple to use, pretty to look at, had a unicorn on it and was pretty good at keeping track of how I was getting on towards my reading goal.  Then it deleted all of the books I'd logged.  Not being childish or anything, I felt it only right to delete it back! 

So what was my favourite read of the year?  This one...

Is anyone up for a "52 in 2017" challenge?  I'll be using the hashtag #read52in2017 on twitter and Instagram so use the tag if you're going to give it a go, I'd love to see what you're reading!


  1. Great post Laura! Why was 'After You' your favourite book?..

    1. It was tough to choose because I read a lot of really good books, even if not the 52 I hoped to was just the book that I got the most enjoyment out of. The first book (have you seen the film?!) was pretty good but I really liked the idea of the story of what happened to the main character after the first book (don't want to give away any spoilers about "Me Before You"...)

  2. Don't be too hard on yourself! I'm sure you will do it this year! I don't have a specific reading number although in my head I hoped for 100books and JUST scraped over the finishing line!!! I guess I'm aiming for the same this year!! After watching Me Before You on the plane I really want to read it now!!!!

  3. Hahahaha!! I used to read my books on wattpad tho. Android user problems? Um, I guess so! I really like how the world is completely moving towards digital media. I mean, now even the books are available on-screen. Being one of the English essay writers, it sometimes scares me that what if we become too dependent on man-made technology.

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