Lose Time Chatting: I’m Reading What I Want!

March 5, 2014 discussion, Lose Time Chatting 35

I'm Reading What I Want

It kind of sounds silly when I write it out like that because really, what else would I read? What others want me to read? Not exactly but I’m talking about the pressure to read the up and coming books, read ALL THE ARCs and basically forget about the books that you have purchased yourself, oohed and aahed over in the bookstore or maybe some old favorites that you have wanted to revisit.

In 2013 I read a lot of ARCs and review books, and don’t get me wrong, I have found a ton of favorites in those books but I was constantly putting aside books that I purchased or ones that I had been dying to read and just couldn’t find the time due to review schedules and the like. And honestly, I put this pressure on myself and definitely don’t have to read like that but it seems like a never ending cycle that I got stuck in.

In 2014 I have vowed to read what I want. Sometimes I find that I am just not wanting to read anything because the review copies are piled and I’m staring at my bookshelf, longing for one of those and I end up slugging through a review book. I’m not doing that this year and it’s been working out fabulously. I have come up with a much better review schedule, one that allows a ton of room for me to read my own books and I love it!

I’ve been able to get back into some adult fiction that I’ve been longing to try, some books I’ve been wanting to reread, add some non fiction/memoirs to my pile, and read some of the YA that has been long collecting dust on my bookshelf. I’m reading fewer books right now than I did this time last year, because some of the adult reads are quite large but IT DOESNT MATTER! I feel so much better when I sit down to read a book and in turn I am looking forward to reading my review copies much more because I’m reading “me” books in between.

Basically, why didn’t I do this before? Also, I in no way am upset about the amount of review copies I have, I LOVE reading books before they are released and I am incredibly grateful I have this opportunity. I’m just simply saying that I needed a better system so that I can enjoy ALL THE BOOKS πŸ™‚

Do you ever feel like this? Is 2014 the year for you to read what you want? Have you been revisiting a previously loved genre this year?

Β Lauren

35 Responses to “Lose Time Chatting: I’m Reading What I Want!”

  1. Amanda

    Good for you! I’m struggling with this -clearly being new at the ARC thing isn’t helping. I just got 3 books in at the library I’ve been dying to read and waiting for forever, so I think that will be good for me. Force me to stop and read what I’ve been wanting to.
    Amanda recently posted..Review: The Anatomy LessonMy Profile

    • Lauren

      Oh, it’s such a struggle Amanda! I have such a hard time staying off Netgalley and Edelweiss πŸ˜› And I want to read them all SO BAD and then the second I get approved I’m like naw, I’ll read that later πŸ˜› I think this issue goes deeper than I think!

      I hope you love your library books πŸ™‚ I love getting great library books, the crackling cover does me in! lol

  2. Chiara @ Books for a Delicate Eternity

    I was the same as you last year. I got so excited about ARC/review copies, and I just wanted to read them all. There were a few months when they were ALL I was reading, and I hadn’t read a ‘me’ book for ages. And then I decided I needed some kind of system; for every two review books, I could read one ‘me’ book. But then the stress of reviewing the review books overcame me, and again I stopped reading my ‘me’ books. Over Christmas, I read a slew of review books, because I just wanted them out of the way. They put unnecessary pressure on me (pressure I put on myself), and I always feel stressed about how long it’s taking for me to get to them.
    And now, I am doing the opposite. I haven’t read a review book in ages, because I have reviews scheduled on the blog until April. I figured I could take a ‘me’ reading break.
    In all honesty, I think I have to find a middle ground. Maybe just alternate: one review book, one me book, one review book etc. Because I do feel stressed and guilty when I take too long to review a review book, but I also get despondent if I haven’t read a me book.
    I’m glad you’ve figured out a system and are enjoying reading some different books! πŸ˜€
    Chiara @ Books for a Delicate Eternity recently posted..February: A Month’s Worth of FavouritesMy Profile

    • Lauren

      That’s amazing that you have reviews scheduled to April! What an awesome feeling to read what you want for MONTHS! I agree, I start to get a bit blah about the books if I haven’t read something of my own for awhile so that’s why I’ve started to work out to not do that. I also am far enough ahead now that I’ve been reading ones from a few months away and that is lovely because there are review books I’m actually DYING for and to read them out of order kind of makes it feel like not an ARC πŸ˜›

    • Lauren

      YES πŸ™‚ I’m glad Rebecca! And I know you have been very disciplined this year, even with all the book pushing and pretty ARCs πŸ˜›

  3. Kelly

    This is probably the main reason I found myself in a blogging slump last year! I was so focused on reading what I had to, because of publishing dates and commitments and whatnot, that I forgot that I actually enjoyed reading. Now that I’m reading what I want, when I want, I’m much happier πŸ™‚

    Fingers crossed I don’t get sucked in by the appeal of ARCs again! Haha
    Kelly recently posted..Pretty Little Tips: CAPTCHA Got Your Tongue?My Profile

    • Lauren

      YES! Don’t do it Kelly !!!! Once I clear up the massive pile, I’m really going to be conscious about getting sucked into it again. I still request them but definitely not as much as before. And I don’t even think about most of those books until the publication date again anyways πŸ™‚

  4. Anya

    I’ve been feeling similar lately! I have way too many ARCs to read in the next couple of months and I do want to try to get through them, but I’m also making sure to not request as many books for the rest of the year so that I have time for some older books and things I get declined for that I still want to read. I got so obsessed with requesting late last year and now I’m paying the price D:
    Anya recently posted..Way of Kings Read-Along Final Week!My Profile

    • Lauren

      Yes, yes yes… I went a bit out of hand myself and that’s why I am in this pickle :S I hope you get it all sorted out though Anya and find a system that works for you too!!!

  5. Kayla @ The Thousand Lives

    2014 is definitely the “read for myself” year. I almost quit blogging because I felt so bogged down by ARCs last year. Since then, I’ve really cleaned up my NetGalley queue, and only request books that I absolutely HAVE to read. And since then, I’ve read so many of the books that I actually bought for myself, and I actually like blogging now! So I definitely think it’s a worthy goal to set for yourself πŸ™‚
    Kayla @ The Thousand Lives recently posted..The Writing Life: Pacing YourselfMy Profile

    • Lauren

      YES! I’m glad that you found something that works for you Kayla! It’s going to be an exciting day when I can get my Netgalley relatively cleaned up! I’m so happy you didn’t quit blogging! I hope 2014 continues to be a good year for you πŸ™‚

  6. Melissa @ Writer Grrl Reads

    SO WELL SAID. Seriously, this post is amazing. I think that you perfectly explained how I felt last year, when I got into both a reading AND a blogging slump. It’s so easy to get caught up in the pile of ARCs and reading the books that others are raving about, and forget to be true to what you want to read. Plus, when I read a lot of what others are raving about, I find that I end up disappointed because the books get over-hyped. But when I read what I want to read, I’m usually choosing books that I know I’ll like, rather than books that others liked. So, YAY YOU for saying all this and shouting it out for the world too see! I, too, need to read a bit more adult fiction this year … I think I’ve only read a couple and I MISS IT SO MUCH. We still need to read Fall on Your Knees together — that might inspire both of us back into the realm of the the big kid books πŸ˜‰
    Melissa @ Writer Grrl Reads recently posted..Panic – Lauren OliverMy Profile

    • Lauren

      Thank you πŸ™‚ I do agree about the over hyped book! I don’t have a HUGE problem with that happening, but it definitely has. I know you have read a few that fell short because of it though and it sucks πŸ™ YES YES YES Fall On Your Knees πŸ™‚ I am down to read it whenever honestly! I picked up a copy to have because mine is at my parents house and the bookstore had the cover I wanted haha. I’m ready when you are!!!

    • Lauren

      Thanks Jen πŸ™‚ I hope you find time to fit some of your own in! I feel so much better reading now than I did at the end of last year! Don’t worry though… I am an ARC overbooker too haha.

  7. Bieke @ Istyria book blog

    I had the same problem last year! I still have review copies I have to read, but in January I decided to read them closer to the release date, or if it’s a blog tour closer to the date of my stop. Normal R2R books I read when I feel like reading them. I just read what I feel like reading, which makes me enjoy them more if they’re good! Sometimes you just don’t feel like reading a particular genre and you shouldn’t have to read them just because you have to review them. =)
    Bieke @ Istyria book blog recently posted..{Cover Reveal} The Lost Kingdom by Stephanie BeerdenMy Profile

    • Lauren

      Exactly, I totally agree Bieke and I’m glad you found a system that works for you too πŸ™‚

      I have started giving myself about a month in advance and it’s working out much better. That way if I feel like reading a paranormal but my next review book is a contemporary I have time to push it back until I’m in the mood. Reading out of mood was one of my biggest reasons for not liking books last year I think!

  8. Pamela D

    This year I have become pickier about what ARCs I choose to read. I’m trying to only request ARCs that I would have read regardless of whether I got an advanced copy or not. I am also trying to make sure that I’m requesting books that have a decently long enough pub date that I’m not rushing to finish the book.

    • Lauren

      That’s a great idea Pamela!

      Lately I have noticed that when I look at a book, if it’s not something I may want personally on my shelves when it’s released I don’t request it. I’ll save those for library reads when they are published. I also agree about the date in advance – I’ve stopped requesting anything prior to July and it feels great not to add any more to the list πŸ™‚

  9. Cassie

    OMG yes. I feel this way all the time ! Like right now I wanted to start the All Souls series even though I have other things I SHOULD go read. But if i were to do that – I’d totally end up in a reading slump! So I commend you! Read what you want& always! It’s supposed to be fun afterall!
    Cassie recently posted..Foodie [March]: TASTE TRIALS – Giada’s TetrazziniMy Profile

    • Lauren

      YES! Keep reading what you want (or what I want you to hahaha). You read a lot of books for yourself and I love it! I’m always review heavy so I’ve been trying to tone it down … I don’t need to explain this, you know my additions haha.

  10. Alexa

    I told myself that I was going to read what I wanted this year as well. I have really stopped accepting or asking for review books because I just can’t seem to stop myself from picking up and reading whatever on earth I feel like. I have been reading a lot of library books though and 2014 releases so I do need to start reading some more of those books that I have owned for years but hey as long as I like the way that I’m reading and review now I don’t really care what it is that I read as long as I picked it out.
    Alexa recently posted..Glass HousesMy Profile

    • Lauren

      I read a lot of library and new releases last year! I think that’s where the problem started because I kept buying but never reading πŸ˜›

      I agree, as long as you like what you are reading, keep doing it πŸ˜€

    • Lauren

      I agree Mel πŸ™‚ I find a lot of bloggers this year are really digging deep to find what’s good for them with reading/blogging and I’ve loved reading their posts on it! It’s the process of finding the system that is so hard πŸ˜›

  11. Reviews From A Bookworm

    I’ve not even been blogging that long, only six/seven months but I fell into that trap almost instantly. Because I work for a library, as well as running a review blog, I got instant approval for most publishers on Edelweiss and went crazy. I now have a large amount of ARCs to read and for the longest time I was just slugging my way through them. But now, I’ve decided to read one of my own for every two review copies I read. It’s made me much happier and I think I am enjoying the books more because of it. I feel like I am reading for enjoyment again and not because I feel like I have to. I have also stopped requesting books unless I am DYING to read them πŸ™‚
    Reviews From A Bookworm recently posted..Better Off Friends by Elizabeth Eulberg: ReviewMy Profile

    • Lauren

      Oh, wow! You are so lucky! I have instant approval for a few pubs on Edelweiss and that is hazardous enough for me πŸ˜› I think reading one of your own for every two ARCs is a great idea! I’m kind of going on the same thread as well, and knowing that my review books are done before the few days before the date helps as well.

      It’s such a weird trend that we all get on isn’t it? We all started doing this because we love reading and then we read SOOO much and put this pressure that we stop getting enjoyment. Oh the problems of a book blogger, lol.

      I hope you have lots of reading luck and enjoyment this year too πŸ˜€

  12. Charleen

    For me, it’s an ongoing thing. I’m glad that blogging has given me more opportunities, but I never wanted it to really change the way I read. I’m constantly trying to balance review books with me books, new authors with familiar authors, initial reads with re-reads… it can be tough.
    Charleen recently posted..Stephen King in ReviewMy Profile

    • Lauren

      I agree, it can be so tough! There are just SO many books out there all the time! I didn’t even care about such things as debut authors or indie authors before blogging but now I make sure that I read a few of both every year! It definitely changed how I read.

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