Friday, July 26, 2013

Discussion Post: So many books, so little time

Friday, July 26, 2013 12:06 PM with 14 comments


Discussion Post: So many books, so little time (or why I watch too much Food Network)

There are very few things I like more than I like books. I think that is probably obvious as I write this book (and movie) blog, am active on Goodreads, work at a library, etc. But I have to admit that lately I'm having a hard time concentrating on reading. I know what I'm about to say isn't new. I've read similar posts on other blogs and I've had discussions with other bloggers about this, but this is the first time I've written a discussion post on this, still relatively new, blog and I wanted it to be about something that's truly worrying me: As much as I love books and as much as I love reading, lately I've been really struggling to finish books. I'm still reading all the time, but I am having the worst case of "grass is greener" syndrome lately.

I think the problem is simply that I just have so many choices and they all look so pretty and new and they all sound so amazing which makes concentrating on a single book so hard. Over the past few years I've become a multiple book girl. Once I finish a book, I'll select anywhere from 3-7 books and will read the first chapter of each, then the second, etc. Inevitably one book will capture my attention more than the others and will become the one I focus on, leaving the other books somewhere between 10-30% read. But then I'll inevitably get something in from the library that I've been dying to read so I'll start that one, too. Maybe I'll continue reading the book that I was focusing on (if it's really good I definitely will), but if my attention on that book has started to wane, then it might get put aside, too. So then what I'm left with are piles and piles (seriously, and piles and piles) of books that I've started but have never finished. And most of the time, the book was fine, good even, and I want to know what happens, but then I get approved for I book on NetGalley or Edelweiss that I'm dying to read and the cycle just goes on and on until I can't even think about reading and end up watching the Food Network for hours on end marveling at all the pretty dishes those amazing chefs come up with. (Seriously, doesn't this all look so good?)

   

I truly hate this cycle and want for it to stop, but I just don't know how to quit. I've been trying to concentrate on just two or three books at a time (I just don't think I'll ever be a one at a time girl) and that seems to be helping a little bit. I've been trying not to request quite as many books from the e-galley sites or from the library, but it's so hard. Pretty covers are my crack and now that I've discovered those awesome sites the choices of what to read next just keep getting bigger and bigger. Before I could only choose books that were already out and available to me through the library (I rarely buy books and only buy used, but I'll save that discussion for another post), but now I have access to amazing sounding books that won't even be published for several months. I know I should put a ban on myself, but that will just never happen. I'm absolutely addicted to the high I get when I get that approval or when a book I've had on hold comes in for me at the library. I love the feeling of holding a new book in my hands or downloading a new book onto my Kindle, but what I need to start concentrating on is reading more. I need to put the remote down and I need to finish the books I start (unless they totally suck--then it's the book's fault and it's fine to move on).

Added to this cycle is the fact that I really should read the books that I requested by their release dates, which sometimes just stresses me out so much that, again, I just end up not reading anything at all...but I think I'll save the stress of getting to ARCs in a timely manner for another day. 

Is anybody else struggling with finishing books? What do you do? I'd love to hear your thoughts and advice.

14 comments:

  1. You're a fairly new blogger, so I can tell you now that it is only going to get worse. Wait until you start getting PAPER galleys. The best thing to do is just accept it. LOL. That's what I did. Your reading style is your reading style and I think if you try to change that you will be even more unhappy. Just my two cents.

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    1. Thanks, Kara. I really do appreciate you stopping by to comment. You are probably right that I shouldn't try to change my reading style as it will only make me more unhappy. I would love getting paper galleys, too (MAIL!), but am fine with my e-galley/library book struggles. LOL. Thanks for stopping by!

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  2. Love this discussion post! I get in ruts like this ALL the time. When I started blogging, I didn't have this problem but now that I read literally all the time, I get kind of burnt out. Not only that but there are so many books on NetGalley and Edelweiss, like you said, that are calling for my attention. And then there's blog tours. Oh, don't even get me started on blog tours! Those things are like crack. Pretty cover, cool synposis, free book? Sure, sign me up! At one point I literally was signed up for 2 blog tours a week. That got to be super stressful, especially since I had gotten approved for some books on NetGalley that had release dates right around then. That on top of school and I was about to call it quits and just stop everything for a month. I didn't, but I was strongly considering it!

    I've now since put myself on a blog tour ban of only 2-3 a month, unless the publisher has contacted me specifically. And I'm trying my hardest to stop requesting things on NG & EW. But it's super hard. When I had that insane month that I talked about above, I tried the whole reading multiple books at a time thing. I did kind of like what you did with a couple of chapters in each book at a time. But like you, one captured my attention way more so it got all of my time. The others fell on the back burner. I realize that I am only a one book girl, ha. I give you major props for being able to juggle 3-7!

    Oh, and yeah, when I get overwhelmed with all the reading or just am tired of it, I watch tv. I'm a sucker for House Hunters and Love It or List It. Even if I've seen those episodes 2 or 3 times I'll watch it anyway. I used to love Food Network. My favorite show, Ace of Cakes, isn't on tv anymore so I don't watch it as much.

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    1. I'm so glad I'm not the only one! I've only signed up for one blog tour so far. Honestly, between NG and EW and the library and just the hundreds of books on my own bookshelves, I have more than enough books, so I don't think I'll get caught up in tours on top of it. And I understand with time. I have a full-time job, a part-time job, and I go to graduate school full time, too. It can get pretty overwhelming.

      I do like Love it or List it. I don't only get caught up in the Food Network. I love Investigation Discovery and the fact that there is a show called Wives with Knives. I watch Jeopardy everyday. I'm a sucker for Tosh.0 and this new show Drunk History. I wish I didn't spend so much time in front of the TV, but after a long day, it's so hard not to veg out on the couch for a couple (or, ahem, a few) hours, even when I should be reading.

      Thanks so much for stopping by!

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  3. I don't have a problem finishing books, but I DO have trouble getting to all the books I have hanging around (piles and piles and piles ...). I just do the best I can and try not to stress out about it because, really, I can't think of a better problem to have :)

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    1. You're absolutely right. I'm not an ANY way complaining about having too many books. My complaint is definitely with myself, my time-management, and my absolute lack of discipline when it comes to just staying focused on the book I'm reading. I seriously love NG and EW and the library and the used book store I frequent. LOVE. Thanks for stopping by!

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  4. Great discussion topic. I feel ya! I have become an e-book hoarder and I don't know how to say no to authors and blog tours. I have definitely become overwhelmed with the amount of books I have to read and picking the next one almost gives me panic attacks :-)

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    1. I know! It's so hard. I struggled with choosing my next book when I only had already published books to chose from. Now I have all these amazing books that still don't come out for months...but I have so many that I'm trying just to stay abreast of the books that get released, like, tomorrow. Thanks for stopping by!

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  5. I can't read more than one book at a time. I've tried, but it just doesn't work. I guess for me, having so many great books sitting around that I want to read makes me rush sometimes through the book I'm reading because I want to get to the next one. Which is not a good thing. So I definitely understand your grass is always greener feeling. I haven't been blogging that long so I don't have author and blog tours or books from EW or NG. I definitely don't want to feel like I'm reading a book because I have to versus reading it because I want to. The only pressure I feel (and it's not like a real pressure) is to read the library books I have before I read the books I've bought. Great discussion topic! ~Pam

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    1. Thanks, Pam! The books I own are definitely the last books I read because I don't feel any pressure to get to them. Sometimes the ARCs do bring with them an almost "homework" feeling, although, to be honest, I still just read whatever I want whenever I want (with small twinges of guilt). Thanks for stopping by!

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  6. I definitely agree! The to-read list only ever gets longer, and grows at a rate faster than you can keep up with (so many good books these days...) And in terms of egalleys- quite true. Whenever I see a book with an awesome cover it's like REQUEST. And then you just have way too many, and not enough time to read them D: Chantelle (my co-blogger) and I only just recently started requesting paper ARCs from publishers and got approved for quite a few. SO THE REVIEW PILE HAS ONLY GROWN. Definitely have no regrets though haha.

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    1. I'm not going to start requesting paper ones for awhile. I seriously have enough between e-galley--I get some seriously awesome e-galleys, and library books. It not that it's a bad problem...I just wish I had more time to read. Thanks for stopping by!

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  7. I wish I could NOT finish more books. I think to date, I've probably only DNF'd a handful. Even if I'm not really enjoying a book, I finish it because there's always that chance that the end might have made it better. Plus, for review purposes, I don't like admitting I didn't finish a book.

    I have the same issues with requesting too many books. But I have this massive spreadsheet I use to keep track of them and the release dates, and I color code it based on priority. Some books change colors based on reviews after I've already received a copy for review, either getting bumped up or pushed way down the pile. And I'm such a mood reader these days...I've had to stop signing up for tours because I almost couldn't make myself read the book in time for the tour stop.

    It would be awesome if there were more time in the day for reading. But what we need to do is just read what we want to read and stop letting the pressure of a massive TBR get the better of us. At least, that's what I keep trying to tell myself. I've just been reading what I want from my schedule the last couple of weeks, and I've hit on some real winners. I am flying on a book high right now. :D

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    1. I DNF all the time, but usually super early in the book. If something isn't catching my attention, I move on. Simple as that. There are just way too many books in this world (and in my TBR pile) to waste on the ones that aren't holding my attention.

      I don't have a color-coded spreadsheet, but I do have a list of ARCs with their release dates. I'm trying to get better on my requests. The first few months I was on NG and EW, I was like a kid in a candy store, just stuffing everything within reach into my mouth. I'm trying to have more self-control lately. I've all but stopped requesting dystopian as the genre really isn't holding much interest for me lately.

      I've been trying to just read what I want lately, too, but I am trying to read from the ARCs that are releasing relatively soon. I have a few that don't come out for months, and I'm still trying to hold off on those in favor of books that release in the next 2-4 weeks. It is making life a bit easier. I don't want reading to become a chore. It has always-always-been my go-to happy place and I'm afraid of it turning into a burden. I can't and won't let that happen.

      Thanks for stopping by!

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Hello, there! Thanks for taking the time to comment. I read each and every one and will do my best to respond--usually on your blog instead of on mine. I will, however, always answer direct questions. Due to serious time restraints, this blog is now an award free zone, but I appreciate the thought!