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.
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):
Points Acquisition Length Joy Factor Series How long did it take to read? Bonus
1 2019 Comic book, sub-150 pages GIMME IT None / Gave up Two days or less Book club book read on time
2 2017-2018 200+ pages I'm pretty excited First book of a series A week or less ARC (2018 onwards)
3 2015-2016 300+ pages It can wait Mid-series A fortnight or less Read within a week of purchase or borrowing
4 2013-2014 400+ pages Bit reluctant Last book of a trilogy A month or less Read in a day (if 300 pages+)
5 2011-2012 500+ pages Why am I doing this? Last book of a series O 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?