With nostalgic glee and fawning, we saw Robert Pattison search for a perfect hot dog. With fear and trembling, we saw all our aunties and cousins cry on Facebook over the season 2 premiere of This is Us. With self-approbating arousal, we saw Tom Holland KILL IT on Lip Sync Battle. With absolute pride and zero prejudice, we saw a biracial American divorcee become a princess-presumptive.
2017 has been A YEAR.
But nothing on our way to the end of December can bring our where did the time go feelings to the surface more quickly and collectively than the status of our Goodreads Reading Challenge. Part cheerleader, part judgey-ass mean girl, the Goodreads Reading Challenge exists to shame and exalt readers with its unreachable heights or easily scalable summits. You either make it or you don’t. Right? Oh ho no: there are all the layers in between the exultant and the humbled. And here they are.
How You Feel at the End of 2017’s Goodreads’ Reading Challenge
If you made it, but by reading just a crapton of terrible, terrible smut:
You inflated your numbers with dragon-shifter alpha erotica. You had your challenge set at something reasonable at the beginning of the year, but knew you would bust it as soon as you realized that Kindle Unlimited counts “novels” even if they only take you four hours to “read.” So, you hit 108% of your total in September. Just admit right now that you are a dirty, dirty cheater who deserves no good things in the world, and that you are me.
If you made it, but because you set the bar lower than the GOP does for legislating:
My dog (the dumb one) can read 13 books in one year, and making your challenge a baker’s dozen doesn’t fool anyone. You are taking FOUR WEEKS to read 50,000 words. You took a leisurely stroll through your to-be-read list while the rest of the reading world was kicking ass to win. Your low challenge limit was pathetic. You’re pathetic.
If you took a beautiful path through all the highest ranked young adult series you could find:
Big challenge or small, you took the high road to get there. Witches, elves, dystopian nightmares, courts of varied foliage, you wrapped yourself in sweet teenage-appropriate romance and danger. You didn’t regret a single love triangle, hard-won duel with a frenemy or chaste kiss in the final act. Girl, there is no shame in this. That’s how we all spent 2008. Do you.
If you’re not gonna make it because you kept re-reading your Instagram comments:
Look, a reading challenge means you have to pick up an actual book. Or even some fic. Or a webcomic. Anything that wasn’t written by EL James. If you can’t read two real novels a month, and didn’t make your challenge of measly 25 books, someone needs to take away your Twitter feed, and your voter’s registration, you dumbass.
If you made a respectable and thoughtfully modest challenge that you aren’t gonna meet:
Look, everyone here is rooting for you. You decided to read Americanah and that Ron Chernow biography on US Grant, but that shit was bogged down in details and took all of autumn. You are like 3 books behind and have 5 days left. Please see the aforementioned Kindle Unlimited trash in order to just meet your goals. We won’t fault you. We will let you cheat.
If you made it but are one of those ridiculous people with a 150+ goal and you read nothing but terrible tragirotica:
I have nothing to say to you.