Some changes are a’ comin’

1 Jan

You may have noticed that I’ve been a bit MIA in the last little bit. I decided to take a break from blogging because, to be completely honest, I had no desire to do it anymore. I even entertained the idea of quitting and just going back to being a regular, old reader. I guess you could say I was burnt out and disillusioned with the whole book blogging thing.

Instead of just giving it up, I decided that I would make a few changes here on the blog and in real life to help me get my reading and reviewing mojo back.

Review Books
I got desperately behind on my review books, which in turned stressed me out and made me read less, which in turn put me further behind. I got caught in that vicious circle and went from reading 3 to 4 books a week to 3 to 4 books a month. I wasn’t getting pressure from publishers or authors who sent review copies that I requested, but I was still overflowing with guilt that they spent the money to send me the review copies and I hadn’t read them yet. So, this year I’m not going to be requesting or taking on any more review books unless they are REALLY books I want to read. And even then I may just wait until the release date and buy the book myself. This isn’t an easy decision, because I LOVE shiny new books, but it’s one that needed to be made. Once I get caught up on my review books I may change this, but for now, no review books for me.

Reading schedule vs mood
Part of the reason I go so behind on my review books is that reading on a schedule is kinda a new thing to me. And I found that when I had to read a certain book by a certain date it took some of the fun out of reading. It didn’t matter if I was scheduled to read an amazing book by one of my favorite authors, reading started to feel a bit like a chore to me. So this year I’m going to go back to how I used to read before I started blogging: based on my mood. Besides the delinquent review books I have a huge amount of bought books unread and I love the idea of perusing my TBR stacks and grabbing a book that appeals to me. Now, as for the 40 or so reviews I have here waiting to be read (yes, I said 40), I promise all you publishers and authors that I will get around to reviewing them. But I think this way of reading will not only help me read more, but it will help me be able to more fairly review the books that I have. If I force myself to read a book, no matter how great, I’m probably not going to like it.

Book buying freeze
My own unread bought books also stress me out sometimes. I’d say, including ebooks, I have about 500 of my own unread books in the house. I am not proud of this fact. Actually I’m embarrassed. It seems a bit wasteful and borderline hoarding. So my plan for this year is to not buy anymore books unless it’s part of a series I am in love with (Like Women of the Otherworld or Wolves of Mercy Falls) or by one of my favorite authors. No more buying books to buy books. Or because I’m bored. Or stressed.

Ignoring the hype
While Twitter is a great way to discover new books, it has its downfalls, too. Namely allowing me to get sucked in to the latest hype surrounding the newest must-have book. I tend to easily fall into the everyone-is- talking-about-it-so-I must-have-it mentality when it comes to books. And, unfortunately because of this, I’ve read a lot of mediocre books this past year. So my plan is to ignore the hyped-up books. I’ll still be on Twitter, of course, but I’m going to try to train my brain to filter out all the excitement about new releases.

I know some of the above kinda goes against the grain of what a book blogger is supposed to do, but I’ve never been one to fit a mold. Basically I’ll keep reading and reviewing books, but I’m going to go back to doing it my way. I think with these changes in place I’m going to find that I read and review a lot more and my posting is more consistent.

I’m kinda excited about this, guys.


11 Responses to “Some changes are a’ comin’”

  1. Kirstin January 1, 2011 at 10:37 am #

    Great problem solving Colleen. I feel a bit stressed about reading now, too, and am
    relating. I never buy books, as you know. I get them all from the library and some now from you and Patti. But half my reading time is now writing time so am feeling guilt (silly) about the unread books waiting for me at the library or on my bedside table.

    • Patti Larsen January 1, 2011 at 10:43 am #

      I agree with both of you — this is supposed to be fun! So you do whatever you need to do to make it fun. It will not only make you happy, but a better reviewer and a better writer (love how that all fits together!)


  2. jpetroroy January 1, 2011 at 11:44 am #

    I really, really like this list and the thought you’ve put into it. Glad you’re feeling rejuvenated.

  3. steph January 1, 2011 at 11:48 am #

    Wow, I could have written this exact post myself. I completely understand where you’re coming from and I hope you’re able to slough off the stress and enjoy reading more, which is what I hope for myself.

    Don’t worry about how often you post; I won’t unsubscribe!

  4. London Hellraker January 1, 2011 at 11:59 am #

    You can never have enough books…They shall all be mine!! MINE!! bwah hahaha

  5. Amanda Makepeace January 1, 2011 at 12:01 pm #

    Good for you Colleen! It’s easy to get sucked into the book frenzy. I came to a similar decision this past Fall. You will be a happier and more creative Colleen! 😉

  6. bahnree January 1, 2011 at 2:41 pm #

    Good for you! This sounds very healthy. I’m definitely making some goals about buying books, cuz I’m getting out of control in that dpt. too. GO YOU! 😀 *throws confetti*

  7. amymckie January 1, 2011 at 4:57 pm #

    All great resolutions! All the best, I think it will prove to be a lot better for you and hopefully you stick around. Happy New Year!!

  8. mummazappa January 2, 2011 at 12:48 am #

    I can totally relate, I failed all the challenges I signed up for last year because even though the books were ones I wanted to read it started to feel like homework and sucked the joy right out of reading them. I wish you luck with your no book buying (I keep trying to do this and fail dismally every time), and I look forward to reading your new (rejuvenated) reviews this year.

  9. Jen January 2, 2011 at 12:13 pm #

    Yah! So glad you are doing things your way and not letting deadlines or TBR piles get to you… I hope this makes reading a more enjoyable activity for you!

  10. Bella January 4, 2011 at 4:46 pm #

    I like these changes 🙂 I’m also trying to not buy books for the sake of buying them in 2011 and use my library and own stacks more.

    I can’t wait to see what reviews come up from books within your own tbr 🙂

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