Friday, April 14, 2017

Let's Talk: Your Reading Schedule and Balance





I had originally planned on posting a review today (Too Hard to Forget) but since I didn’t have it done yet, and didn’t want to rush it last minute and put up a half-assed review – especially for a book I loved -- I decided to push that back to Monday. And since I had nothing else set up for today, it seems like a good time to do a little Let’s Talk post.








I’ve been thinking lately about how hard it can be to find your reading balance. And by reading balance, I mean balancing out books that you need to read (mainly, review copies) versus books that you just want to read. Though it can also be trying to figure out how and when to read the books in your TBR or books you have on a wish list to buy. Because it’s a universal truth that, reviewer or not, there’s so many books out there and not nearly enough time to read them all. *sigh* If only that wasn’t true, of course!



I try to keep my reading balanced. I know that I have a shit ton of ARCs piling up any given month, and while, yes, I’m not being FORCED to read them all by a certain date, I do try my best to get through as many as I can before/right around the release date. I don’t always succeed, but it is my goal, much like it is for most reviewers.



But I also know that if I read non-stop ARCs, I can get burned out pretty quickly. It starts to feel like a chore, and I never want something I love – reading and blogging – to feel that way. Also, if I’m not giving myself enough time to write one review before moving on to another ARC, there’s the chance that stories and thoughts might get mixed up. Because of all that, I try to break up my reading lineup as much as possible, with a mix of ARCs and “just for me” books.



One problem though: I tend to get stuck in this guilt stage if I read too many non-ARCs. Because my brain reminds me that, hey, you have 10 books coming out in the next 2 weeks and you haven’t started any of them.



I need to tell my brain to shut up sometimes. Which is something I think we can all relate to, even outside of reading balance, but hey, that’s a different topic.



So – reading balance. It’s a thing I’m always trying to stay on top of. I’m getting better at breaking out of that silly guilt and taking the time to stop and read what I want, too, not just the review books I have staring me down. But even so, there’s never enough time to catch up on a series or author I love, for fear that doing so will REALLY throw me off my balance and shove me way behind on reviews.



Yet, just recently, I said fuck it and took most of a week to binge the last few books of Kit Rocha’s series, which I absolutely love but had sitting on my TBR for years. (Story of my life, really.) So again, I’m working on it. I’m getting better at reminding myself that it’s okay to step away from the work of running the blog – which I love and am very much thankful for every day, don’t get me wrong! – and breathe, reset myself, and enjoy my books.








So here’s my question to you, and you can answer this whether you’re a reviewer or not, just apply it to your own reading situation: How do you balance your reading? Do you follow a schedule of what you’re going to read and when? Do you have a weekly/monthly list of books that are next in line from your TBR pile, or do you just randomly flip through and grab something as you go? Do you forgo lists and schedules entirely because you’re more of a mood reader, or because structure doesn’t work for you? Do you organize your TBR in any way?



And to my fellow reviewers, I’m curious about one more, somewhat related, item: When do you read ARCs? That is, do you wait until a certain length of time before it’s set to release, or do you dive in as soon as you get it – even if that is months in advance? 






Enjoy!



Until Next Time,
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