Discussion Post: Reading schedules and how they connect to Modern Romance
I got curious the other day, and decided to count how many 2016 books I currently have, and was both elated and dismayed that the number is already in the 90s. My reading goal for this year is 35, and while I’m on track, I will not end up reading even a fraction of the 2015 review books at my disposal. Part of that has to do with being a busy teacher, but a lot of it has to do with the simple fact that I just don’t read as much as I used to. I’m tired way earlier at night than I used to be before entering the profession, and before bed used to be my go-to reading time. But more than that, more than anything, I “suffer” from having way too many choices which makes me shut down and not read anything.
I literally have thousands of books to choose from every. single. day. Between my Kindle, my over-stuffed bookcases, and my extreme library habit, I will never lack something to read. This is an awesome thing...until it isn’t.
While I found Aziz Ansari’s recent book Modern Romance fascinating (and I really did. If you are single, read it immediately. If you are not, read it anyway), but I didn’t really connect with it in a way other (younger) people probably will. I started dating my husband in the late 90s when we were both in college. There was no such thing as internet dating, and there certainly weren’t apps like Tinder. So, again, while I loved the book, I didn’t get that: Oh yeah, I’ve certainly had my fair share of creeps sending me unwanted dick pics or douche-bags calling me fat because I didn't respond right away (do you follow that ByeFelipe IG account? It is atrocious the way men behave on Tinder!!). The connection I did make with the: ‘there are so many choices, but sometimes you just have to stop looking’ message wasn’t about dating, it was with my TBR. Sometimes you just have to say: this is the next book I’m going to read, and I’m not going to look for another one until this relationship is done.
I’ve long said that I wasn’t going to be a slave to my “reading schedule”. I have a running calendar of the books that I have and their release dates, but I’ve scoffed at the idea of letting a schedule run my life. But the truth is, it does. I’ll be so, so, so excited for a book, but won’t want to read it too early...and then by the time I should be reading it for review, I feel stressed out and won’t do it. It is so silly. A few days ago, I thought, I’m so excited for Wink Poppy Midnight, and even though it doesn’t get released for four months, I’m just going to read it now. And I did. I read it in two days. I read it without getting a wandering eye and in between a handful of other books. I just read it, and it was awesome. A huge part of that was the fact that it was an interesting read (review up next week), but part of it was that I felt free reading something months before I was “supposed to”.
I know this post isn’t new. I know so many of you have talked about reading schedules and reading slumps and just feeling overwhelmed with your own blog, but this is something that has been plaguing me for awhile. Reading has always been my thing. I didn’t discover it late in life or when a certain book came out and it changed everything for me (not, of course, that there's anything wrong with that). My punishment for not cleaning my room when I was little (and, ahem, not so little) was not being able to go to the library to pick out new books. I’ve always gobbled up any book that is placed in front of me. My childhood (and young adult) bedrooms where full of books. The release of a new Baby-Sitters Club or Sweet Valley High book made my week. I majored in English because I love literature and now I teach English to middle schoolers. So the longer and longer book slump stretches are depressing to me. Lately, I will think to myself, “You should be reading,” but will watch another episode of whatever show is on the ID channel instead.
So for once, I’m going to try to just read one book at a time, and not worry about all the other pretty titles that are out there. I'm going to take Aziz's advice (even if it wasn't his intention), and just focus on what is in front of me. I honestly read faster and more when I’m concentrating on a single story anyway. And if the story I really want to read doesn’t come out for 6 months then so be it. That’s the one I’m going to read. But if the book I want to read is the one that has been sitting on my bookshelf for the last two years or the one I just snagged from the library, then so be that. My new(ish) career may be stopping me from reading quite as much as I used to, but it's really my psyche that is hindering me. I need to try to get back to my happy place.
Like always, I'd love to hear from you! Do you try to stick to a schedule, or do you read what you want when you want? Have you read Modern Romance? Sound off below!