Sunday, October 21, 2012

Do I have Anyrthing to Discuss? I Need to "Back Off"

I've been re-evaluating my reading and blogging. I still love them both, but a couple of things happened that have made me reconsider my blogging habits. First of all, I read this post at Tiny Library about reading very long books. Then a few minutes later, I read a review of For Darkness Shows the Stars, and she talked about how it was a retelling of Persuasion, which I've never read. Then, I started stressing because I was going my state school librarian conference for the weekend, and WHEN was I going to have time to read and blog??? I was really looking forward to that conference. And, I shouldn't have the stress of blogging ruining my conference experience.

As I commented on the Tiny Library post, I have always wanted to read Pillars of the Earth. And there are several other "mammoth" books that I would like to read. I'd also like to read both Persuasion and For Darkness Shows the Stars. I work in a library. Lately I have AVOIDED browsing the shelves, because there are so many books that I wish I could read.

Whaaaaattt?? Why can't I read books I "want" to read? Well, I have this "list" of review books that I "need' to read. Why? Because of some stupid parameters I've set for myself about reading and reviewing new releases.

So. Why did I start to blog? I'm not one of those people that did a lot of research and checked out a lot of other book blogs to figure out how to best design and market my blog. I just did it. I had another blog about my hobbies, and decided I wanted a blog dedicated to books. For me. Because if I write about books, I remember them. And I like reading what others have to say about books. (And, I like being able to read some books before they are released.) But that isn't the main reason I blog. Lately, I've found myself obsessively checking my page views each day. Ugghh. I never wanted to be like that.

There is a happy medium, and I"m going to work harder to find it. I still enjoy reading some ARCs, but it can't be at the expense of reading books I really WANT to read, even classics. I have to stop worrying about posting 6 days a week. Most weeks I post at least 3 reviews, and I really strive for 4. That LIMITS my reading in a way that I don't want it to. So, I have to BACK OFF. I'm going to read and blog. But I'm going to make sure I don't give up reading older books or longer books because of an artificial schedule. So, I'm sure I'll post a lot. But I may skip some days (The horror!!)

I hope you all hang in there with me, and enjoy what I DO post, even if it's not daily. Thanks for reading. Let me know your thoughts.




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17 comments:

  1. there isn't a person blogging that hasn't felt like this and yes that includes me. You have to find a balance and I would say unless you promised a date then you don't have to push yourself to have a review up before the release date. Some publishers really like the buzz to continue after the review date. I am reading Game of Throne for fun and I know it will take me forever because I only read about 10 pages at a time but I'm ok with that because its something I normally would not read. My advice is put the blinders on because when you start to compare yourself to other blogs or try and do everything they do you will always feel bad about your blog. Again I know this because I have been there. Remember this is a hobby so keep it fun because if not I think that's why it's so easy for bloggers to get burned out and quit. I just want to say I love your blog and I read it all the time. I should get better at commenting.

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  2. Good for you! My time's been severely eaten up this year, too, and blogging is losing it's priority status for me. I still love blogging and talking about awesome books but I'm going to try not to stress about it so much.

    Our brand new school library just got all its book shelved and I'm drooling...so many books that are on my TBR list that I don't have but, like you, I've avoided browsing because I know I want to read so many of them!!

    So, read those big ole books. Do what works for YOU! :)

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  3. Going back to basics :-) I think it is the right thing to do. I have to be honest, blogs that posts daily are overwhelming to me. I am jealous of you and others that have time to read that much though, how wonderful.

    Hope you find a better balance on review requests and what you want to read.

    Enjoy

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    1. I need more time to read those Serial Killer Challenge books! Thanks for the thoughts.

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  4. I am about two months ahead of you on this one. I realized that blogging was ruling my reading rather than the other way around. I am now trying not to pressure myself to read certain books, reading only when it works for me, I am not taking on review requests, etc. It feels strange, but good

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  5. I agree with this fully. It's why I just took on another reviewer for the site. I love my book blog, but the pressure was too much. I'm hoping to find a better balance this way.

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  6. Good for you Annette! I totally know how you feel, with checking page stats and racing to read books that we've agreed to review. I've only been doing this about 4 months and at times it's felt like a chore to me and like you, that is not why I started blogging! Hang in there and you'll find the balance. At least you'll never run out of books to read..with working at a library and all. =)

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  7. Oh Annette, it's such a horrible feeling to be so overwhelmed. I had the same problem a few months ago, and one day I just realised that I couldn't handle all this reading to a schedule business anymore - it was sucking the love out of reading. So I finished the books I'd made a promise to read for tours etc., and stopped requesting new ones. And those NG books? They're still there and I really don't care :-D

    Read what you want, even if it takes a week to read one book, as long as you are enjoying it - that's all that counts. No one will stop reading your blog if you don't post for a few days, and people will still read reviews of books that have been published months, or even years ago :)

    Good luck!

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  8. Oh, we are so similar! Every now and again I go to the library and select books I want to read, just for myself, but I still feel guilty for reading them and not review copies! I think it's because review copies are such a privilege, but they can be a burden too.

    Maybe try alternating review copies with books you have chosen for yourself? I must admit that I have many books from netgalley on my kindle that I haven't even started yet and at the moment, I just don't care. Reading should be fun :)

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  9. I totally understand where you are coming from. I now have a pile of review books to read and another pile of books I 'want' to read that have sat there for ages that I haven't had time to read. I am starting to feel like I am missing out on some great books.
    As you probably know, I also work in a library - so like you always end up seeing more books I want to read and have to make an effort not to look too closely.
    I used to post every other day with a review, but lately it's been 1 or 2 a week and as far as I know it's still fine, my blog is still there and so are my followers, so go ahead. Read, relax, enjoy!!! We'll still be here. :D

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  10. Good for you! I think it's important to blog in a way that makes you happy. I am still pretty new at this, but I jumped in quickly and started requesting ARCs here and there...before I know it, they're already piling up. I can tell I will need to "control" this a bit more, because I have so many non-review books I want to read. I am interested to hear how blogging feels for you after you've put this in place!

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  11. OMG, you "get" me. I understand this. More and more, I'm reading what I -have- to read for work, rather than books just for pleasure. I've got some mammoth books waiting for me - the first four in George R.R. Martin's "Song of Fire and Ice" series. I have ARCs that I haven't touched, because other books are more pressing because they're actually in the library and therefore I can give reader's advisory on them.

    Do your students/patrons ever ask you if you've read every book in the library? Of course we can't, but it feels like we have to try.

    I send you hugs!

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    1. Thanks for the hugs. My students are old enough to know I haven't read every book in the library, but I can still impress them about my knowledge of books. If I haven't read it, I can usually at least tell them what it's about. I work hard at being familiar with what's coming out for teens.

      That's also why I read a lot of "first" books in the series and never go any farther. I want to read a wide variety, and I figure if I've read the first book, I can at least get someone started on the series.

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  12. Yeah for taking control of your reading! I actually feel like I'm overwhelmed by all the books I should and need to read. I will be thinking about what you said for a good long while :)

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  13. I have been seeing A LOT of posts like this lately. I just read and post.. and every now and then participate in a meme. Either people like my blog or they don't. But I sure am having fun!

    Angie

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    1. That's how it should be, at least for me. And that's my philosophy, but I've found myself getting caught up in release dates, and ARCs, etc. Which is FUN but I need a balance. Glad you are having fun!

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  14. I think this is really the best way to approach it. I still get stressed, but I'm far less worried about everything being perfect and making sure I get reviews for every book I'm sent. At some point you need to think why you loved reading enough to start a blog about books... and when I do that I realize that I need to read the books I want to read, even if it means I'm not always reading every latest and greatest release.

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