Tag: Game of Books

Game of Books 2021

Posted January 2, 2021 by Nicky in General / 1 Comment

A "Game of Books" image, based on the Iron ThroneGame on!

Since 2017, I’ve sort of stopped having reading goals about how many books I’ll read in a year. I felt pushed towards reading shorter books faster, always looking for more more more, instead of enjoying longer books like I used to.

Since then, I’ve moved to a points system, which lets me award myself more points for reading the stuff I want/need to read — books that have been on my backlog for a long time, for instance, or longer books.

This is that system! And it’s adaptable to whatever goals you like: whatever you want to incentivise, you can assign it a points value.

Will you be joining me?

That spreadsheet has most of the details and an example spreadsheet… which is good, because this year I’ve been too busy to set mine up yet. Last year’s post might also be helpful, since I knew what I was planning better back then!

I do know what goals I’m going for (I’m going to add in points for updating Litsy, reviewing books on time and commenting on other people’s blogs) and what I’ve given up on (no attempt to rate my enjoyment this time), but how exactly I’m going to make it work as a spreadsheet is a whole other question. Stay tuned, I guess…

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Game of Books 2020

Posted December 29, 2019 by Nicky in General / 4 Comments

A "Game of Books" image, based on the Iron ThroneIt’s almost that time again! This is the fourth year of Game of Books, intended to incentivise reading and focus not on the total number of books read, but balancing a variety of goals like reading longer books, finishing up books in a series, reading books I’ve had on my TBR for longer…

In any case, everyone’s welcome to join in! I suggest you read through my ramble about how it works if you haven’t encountered the idea before, but skip to the end if you just want the spreadsheet!

So this year I’m personally trying to lean really hard on reading things I enjoy. Accordingly, the “joy factor” I’ve previously used has been scrapped — I’d get more points for reading books I hated, which was silly! I don’t think I did read anything I hated for that, but I did keep on with books I would probably have stopped. Also, I was supposed to guess the joy factor of a book before reading it, and that just never really worked.

So, instead I have the “enjoyment” column, which rewards me for DNFing, for being so excited about books I babble at my wife about them, for picking up a book to read the first page and accidentally getting halfway through, etc.

I’ve also nixed the one that rewards me for taking longer over reading a book, because if I can’t read a book in a couple of days, I’m probably not having fun, and that is not good.

I do also want to read books I’ve owned for longer, keep up with reading books in a series, and reward reading longer books.

Here’s my full setup:

PointsAcquisitionLength (pages)SeriesEnjoymentBonus
12020, reread, ARC, library book0-100Not in a series/not going to read more of the seriesFinished itFor each 100 pages over 500
22018-2019101-200First book in a seriesDNFed itARC 2019-2020
32016-2017201-300Middle book of a trilogyWas so excited I infodumped at LisaARC 2018 and older
42014-2015301-400Last book of a trilogy, middle book of a seriesRead the first page and accidentally ended up halfway throughBook club book read on time
52011-2013401-500+Last book of a series (to date)Read in 1-3 sittingsRead within a week of purchase or borrowing

I’ve made my monthly goal 220 points. To work that out, I tallied up how some random books I enjoyed from 2019 would score in the new system, and figured out the average score (11), and then multiplied that by how many books I would want to read each month if I was setting a simple reading goal. In theory, then, I can read fewer than 20 books as long as I enjoy them a lot or finish series I’m reading or whatever scores the high points. This usually gets revised a bit when I have a feel for how it’s going.

And that’s it! Feel free to share, join in, modify it however you wish (the idea is to ignore simplistic targets of books read to incentivise your ideal reading experience — which won’t be the same as mine!) and have fun with it!

You can find the spreadsheet here, and then:

  • Claim a sheet that isn’t already named (or duplicate the template sheet)
  • Rename it to your name/blog name/a unique identifier
  • Click on the arrow next to it and select “Protect the sheet”
  • Set it so only you can edit your own sheet
  • Copy over anything you want from the template
  • Personalise
  • Fill in throughout the year!
  • Profit???

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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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Game of Books 2018

Posted January 4, 2018 by Nicky in General / 15 Comments

It’s time for another game. A game to keep me reading my backlog.

A game of books!

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

By some miraculous alchemy, I figure out how many points I want to aim for in a year, and then I can earn them in various ways through reading. It goes like this…

PointsAcquisitionLengthJoy Factor (calculated before reading)SeriesHow long did it take to read?
0Comic or novellaFrom the bookshop straight to my eyeballsNot in a seriesLess than a week
12018, borrowed, ARC, etc250+MUST READ NOWFirst in a seriesLess than two weeks
22017400+It can waitNext in a seriesLess than three weeks
32015-2016500+I'm not exactly pumpedFinishes a seriesLess than a month
42013-2014600+Do I have to?Less than two months
52011-2012700+WHY?OMG NIKKI

So say I have a book I purchased back in 2013… let’s say I read A Shadow in Summer. Purchased in 2013, so that’s four points for acquisition. It’s 336 pages long according to Goodreads, so that’s one point for length. I’d rate it as “it can wait” — it’s something I intend to read, but I don’t feel a burning need — so that’s three points if I finally get round to it. It’s the first in a series, so that’s one point, and… let’s say I devour it overnight, so I get no points for “how long?” Altogether, that’s nine points toward my monthly goal of 120, chosen based on my progress last year.

To work this out for yourself, you might want to see how many points you’d get for an average easy read from your TBR pile, and then add them up and multiply by however many of those you’d read in a month. That was my original reasoning, and it worked quite well in encouraging me to read longer books which would reduce my overall number of books per month, but get the same amount of points.

I have a template spreadsheet all ready here, and you’re welcome to steal the formatting from my own (locked for editing) sheet if you want to add in more of the bells and whistles. Feel free to customise it however you want, for your own goals; I only ask that you have fun and credit me for the idea, with a link back here.

Let the games begin!

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ShelfLove/Game of Books Update

Posted March 3, 2017 by Nicky in General / 8 Comments

So it’s March, how are my challenges going?

Shelf Love Challenge 2017 A "Game of Books" image, based on the Iron Throne

You can read more about ShelfLove here, and see the origins of Game of Books here!

Books read (overall): 49
Books read (backlog): 26
Points earned (see spreadsheet): 223
Five-star reads: 3
Four-star reads: 19
Three-star reads: 15
Two-star reads: 6
One-star reads: 2

The discussion this month is about books that have been on our TBR the longest. I’ll go back as far as the beginning of this blog for the ones I bought waaaay back then…

 Cover of Gretel and the Dark, by Eliza Granville

Cover of Bear Daughter by Judith Berman Cover of The Palace Job, by Patrick Weekes Cover of Dark Benediction by Walter M. Miller Cover of The Burning Dark by Adam Christopher

And some of those are even ARCs. Shame on me…

Who else still has TBR books from 2013 and earlier? Don’t let it just be me…

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A Game of Books

Posted December 28, 2016 by Nicky in General / 18 Comments

I have trouble with reading goals. If I set a number, I’ll find myself racing through books, sticking to shorter books, and ignoring the books I truly want to read. So, I have two plans for next year. Resolutions, I suppose.

The first one: read for joy.

You’d think it’s obvious, but nope. I find myself reading out of a sense of obligation all the time. I don’t reread X because I need to read A in time for the publication date. I don’t read Y because B has been on my list for longer. I don’t read Z because C is shorter, which means I can meet my reading goal faster. And though quite often I enjoy A, B and C, I wanted to read X, Y and Z more.

So my plan for this year is to read whatever brings me joy. I just have another rule — or, well, a game.

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

Yep. It goes like this: let’s say I normally read about 30 books a month when I’m trying to stick to a reading goal. So we’ll call that… 90 points, if each book is worth 3 points (see below). I want to earn 100 points a month. Each book gets points from a couple of different categories: Acquisition, Length and Joy Factor. I get more points for reading a book I bought back in 2013 than for a book bought in 2017, more points for a 500-pager than a 300-pager, and more points for reading something that felt in any way like a chore.

AcquisitionLengthJoy Factor
12017, borrowed, current ARC, rereadComic/under 300 pagesMUST READ NOW
22015-2016400+ pagesIt can wait
32013-2014500+ pagesI'm not exactly pumped
42011-2012600+ pagesDo I HAVE to?

So say I read Owl and the Japanese Circus, which I got in 2015. I want to read it, but I’m not all grabby-grabby. I only have it as an ebook, so I’ll check the page count on Goodreads… 432. So that’s two points for Acquisition, two for Length, and two for Joy Factor. Six points for the book in total.

If I finally read Glyn Jones’ The Island of Apples, that’s from 2011 (4 points), it’s 256 pages long (1 point) and I’m not very enthused about it (3 points, possibly 4). So that’d get me 8-9 points. I’d only need to read 13 books in that month to hit my goal, but I’d have picked up something from way back in the TBR that I was interested in (because I’ve never bought a book I had no interest in) that I might not have picked otherwise.

The point is that little bit of extra motivation… or not, if all I want to do is devour 30ish books of under 300 pages in length each month.

Also, to give myself some wriggle room, while 100 is the monthly goal — which would mean a yearly goal of 1,200 points — I’m going to make my overall goal 1,000 points, to keep things a bit more relaxed.

Can I do this too?

Sure! Feel free to adapt it however you want, but I’d appreciate a link back here. I’ll be posting updates every month on how I’m doing, and I’ve made a spreadsheet with a template sheet you can copy, edit, whatever. You can find that here! And don’t forget to let me know how you’re doing if you do join in.

And if you can make better graphics, knock yourself out…

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