SERIESous Tips: Avoiding the “Chore” of Reading

tipsCHORE

I would categorize myself as a “mood reader”. While what I actually read varies, the cycle I follow is pretty much YA non-contemporary, NA contemporary then back to YA. Sometimes I throw in an Adult Contemporary along the way and if I feel brave enough, I might risk a YA contemporary but I’m a creature of habit.

Still, last year I went through more reading slumps that I ever had before.

While it wasn’t one of those slumps that turned me off of reading completely, it was one of those slumps where I just wanted a book to take me away; to get me so absorbed in its story and characters I would drop everything and read it all day long. Eventually I would find it, but it took longer than I thought and I hated the infrequency in which it would happen.

movies man question frustration taio cruz

So last year, I took a good hard look at my reading practices. I came to the conclusion that I was requesting too many books. Whether these books were from the library or through review programs, I was asking for too many.

It was draining.

Instead of being excited to finally get that book in my hands, I felt obligated to read it and finish it before I had to return it or publish a post. And because I am of the mentality that you should “seize every opportunity”, I had a huge list of books I had to get through on a regular basis. So while the books I had were ones I wanted to read at some point, I felt like I was forcing that “point” to be now.

I wanted to change that.

First, I started by telling myself that it was OK that I didn’t read every book that I could get my hands on. Books will always be there and just because I don’t read it now, doesn’t mean I can’t read it later.

I think that is the most important lesson a book blogger and book addict can learn.

It’s OK to say “no” to requests if you aren’t interested or don’t have the time. It’s OK to not grab that book from the library even though it is staring you in the face and you think it is a sign that you have to read it because why-else-would-it-be-there-right-now-in-this-moment…

Hey, I said it’s OK–not that it was easy!

Next, I did a series of posts called “Tackling The TBR” where I came up with specific goals I wanted to accomplish every two months. Overall, I thought it went really well. I was at the place I wanted to be heading into January this year. I had limited the number of books out from the library, controlled the need to hit the “request” button on Netgalley and shifted my focus to reading more books I had purchased instead of the ones I borrow or get for reviews.

And I needed a new way of keeping track of what I was reading in order to do that.

When I was creating my tracking sheet, I had to have a way to keep track of TBR items for Rock My TBR, my 365 Days of YA Challenge, the Netgalley requests I received and what books I was going to put on hold at the library (as per my 2016 resolutions). I played around with Excel cells until I got what I currently use.

Now, this is how I keep track of what I plan to read on a monthly basis:

readinglist

By having a limited number of books that I can take out from the library or request, I find that I have more time to read those TBRs I’ve been putting off PLUS I have the freedom to be a “mood reader” and grab what I want to read, when I want to read it and not simply because it is expiring soon.

But by no means is this a perfect plan or system!

January this year went really well but February hit and I seemed to go a little off course. Part of the problem was I signed up to be a Blog Tour Host which meant more deadlines and books to read. School also became a lot busier than I anticipated so my reading time diminished. As a result, my challenges for this year took a bit of a nose dive.

Luckily, the challenges I set or signed up for are pretty flexible and so I planned to have some lull months. Honestly, my summer semester was/is so much lighter (I only have class 3 days a week) that it was easy to make up a lot of my reading.

In Short: What do to if Reading Becomes a Chore?

  • Look at your reading patterns:
    • Are you reading too many ARCs or Library Books?
      • Maybe tone-down the number of requests.
    • Are you only reading a particular genre?
      • Try changing it up!
  • Learn to say “No” or “Not Right Now”
    • Reduce the number of Review Copies or deadlines you request
  • Plan out those reads with a deadline in advance
    • Be sure to include some books you really want to read in that list to keep you satisfied
  • Read multiple books at once or read a set amount of pages/chapters a day
    • If you have a book you can’t get through, set mini-goals for each day

 

Share Your Thoughts!

How do you beat the “chore” or reading? Do you wing what books you read or are you a planner? How have you tried to avoid reading slumps?

Connect: Twitter GoodReads Riffle Bloglovin' Google Plus Amazon.ca Reviews RSS Email

catchphrase

Comments 6

  • Love this. I have had this too. In the end I found it was because I was reading too much of the same sort of books. I love YA contemporaries. I always will. BUT, particularly last year, I just read way too many. I found myself rolling my eyes at the themes. So, for the past few months I have been making myself read basically anything but. I am just coming back to them now and I love them again. I am totally with you – sometimes you just have to reevaluate your reading habits.

    • It’s so easy to get in a rut. I went through a highlander romance phase where all I was reading for a solid two months were highlander novels. And most of those books only have so many themes/tropes to work with so it got very annoying near the end.

      Re-evaluating is so important. I’m very thankful that I changed up my habits because I’ve had a great reading year in terms of enjoyment even if my numbers or unchecked to-do list might say otherwise.

  • I wish I saw this post last year! I hit a major reading and blogging slump halfway through 2016 and I definitely would have benefited from these tips.
    Ana @ Ana Loves recently posted…January 2017 Recap: Books, Posts, & Music (OH MY!)My Profile

  • I love your excel spreadsheet! I want to come up with a better system of tracking my TBR. I’m in the process of revamping my Goodreads shelves, so hopefully that will help, but I’d love to do something in excel too! I also just need to find more dedicated TIME to sit down and read!

    • I’m such a visual person and Excel makes it easy to create something so pretty!
      I know what you mean about finding the time! I work in extra time but getting up a little earlier than I need to so I can fit in 10-20 minutes of reading–but I’m a morning person so that helps!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge

%d bloggers like this: