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.