Game of Books 2019

Posted December 31, 2018 by Nicky in General / 15 Comments

It’s almost that time again! For the past few years I’ve been playing a kind of sort of game: a Game of Books! This year, I’m already set up to do a third year of it, alongside my sister (third year) and my wife (freshman). Basically: read books, earn points, stay on track.

A "Game of Books" image, based on the Iron Throne

The idea is to encourage me to meet not an arbitrary deadline of x books per year (which could be 200 really short books) but to give me a way of earning equal credit for each book, depending on effort and a few other factors.

So here’s the points system (for me):

PointsAcquisitionLengthJoy FactorSeriesHow long did it take to read?Bonus
12019Comic book, sub-150 pagesGIMME ITNone / Gave upTwo days or lessBook club book read on time
22017-2018200+ pagesI'm pretty excitedFirst book of a seriesA week or lessARC (2018 onwards)
32015-2016300+ pagesIt can waitMid-seriesA fortnight or lessRead within a week of purchase or borrowing
42013-2014400+ pagesBit reluctantLast book of a trilogyA month or lessRead in a day (if 300 pages+)
52011-2012500+ pagesWhy am I doing this?Last book of a seriesO shit, what?ARC from backlog (pre-2018)

So let’s take the book I just finished, Rattle His Bones. I bought it in 2018, so it’d earn me two points for that; it has around 250 pages, so another two points for that; I was pretty eager to read it, so two for that as well. It’s from the middle of a series (three points) and took me more than two days but less than a week to read (two points). It doesn’t fit any of my bonus criteria, so that’s 11 points in total.

How do I pick my yearly goal? I pick an average sort of book, calculate the points, and then multiply that by the number of books I’d like to read this year. That way, I get plenty of credit for books that are a big time investment, one way or the other, or more important for me to read — and I don’t get tempted to hit an arbitrary goal of 150 books this year by just reading a ton of comics (though comics have their place).

Why am I blathering on about this? Well, you’re all invited to join in! The spreadsheet is here. To join in, just claim yourself a sheet, lock it so no one else can edit it, and set yourself up. Feel free to copy/paste from my formatting, edit the points system yourself (you’ll see both my wife and my sister have different point systems to me, and that’s fine — the point is self-motivation), and generally play around with it.

See you in the spreadsheet?

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15 responses to “Game of Books 2019

  1. I’m in again! I love the Game of Books – it’s the best way for reminding me that it’s absolutely fine to spend several weeks reading nothing but novellas, because those hefty tomes more than balance them out across the year. I’ll signal boost and get my targets/scoring system sorted over the next week 😀
    imyril recently posted…Dancing with Fantasy and SciFi 2019 Reading ChallengeMy Profile

    • There’s a little down arrow by the name of each sheet: click on that, and then “Protect sheet”, then on the next thing click “set permissions” and set it to just yourself. 🙂

      • arbie

        Ok, that’s done, thanks. I think I’ll wait until I’m more awake to try to figure out how I’m going to customise it.

      • arbie

        Right! That’s done. Could you check whether you can see it, please? Length definitions are deliberately vague. If a volume contains multiple books or plays I’ll be counting each separately e.g. in The Books of Earthsea, each book as originally published counts separately. I’m considering a “difficulty” catagory with bonuses for Middle English or tough maths, maybe…

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