This might not be uncommon, but I don’t really have a lot of real-life friends to talk books with. My mom and I talk about books a lot, and a few friends have told me that they really like my recommendations or that they picked up a book because of my instagram post about it, etc. I am dying to be in a real life book club, but I am reluctant to start my own. As far as I know, none of my friends/family in real life like to review books or talk about them constantly. Fortunately, I have a lot of online friends who LOVE to talk about nothing but books. 🙂 Lately, I am just dying to talk about all my thoughts about reading with someone – hence this post. It’s a bit all over the place, but so are my thoughts these days.
I read this post earlier in the week and it really got me thinking about reading pressure and reading challenges. I’ve posted about reading challenges before, but it’s on my mind again lately. Overall, I like many things about reading challenges. I love the selection process, I love organizing some shelves on Goodreads and seeking out books on my TBR that I can fit into categories. I (almost) always start out a reading challenge with wonderful intentions. I love that I end up really broadening my horizons a bit when I select books for certain categories and it helps me delve into books I’ve always wanted to read but haven’t prioritized. It helps me organize what I’m going to read next, and it makes me feel like I always have a book to turn to if I’m not enjoying my current read. In particular, I love Erin’s book challenges because they last for 4 months and that gives me a lot of flexibility to read “challenge books” and other books at the same time.
What I don’t love is dictating my reading life by timelines; it’s stressful and that’s not the point of reading, in my opinion. For instance, I spent a chunk of time during Erin’s current challenge trying to enjoy a couple of books that I just did NOT like in any way. Eventually I gave up and just switched my choice for those categories, so it’s not as if it was a big deal in any way, but I still think I could have just not even bothered picking those books in the first place. I still have one book (Beach Music) to finish but I am loving it and I am certain I will finish it by next Tuesday. (If I don’t – I am also okay with that – I will still finish it next week and I am so, so happy to have finally read it). Thanks again to Steph for that recommendation years ago.
I also love yearly book challenges, but I kind of forget about them as the year goes on. I know it is possible to broaden your horizons without joining a reading challenge, but I can honestly say I would not have picked up certain books (The Count of Monte Cristo) this year without selecting it for a challenge (and I would have gotten 51 hours of my life back, haha, kidding). As an Obliger, I think I really need the accountability of a reading challenge to encourage me to read books from my backlist. Each year, I really love striving to meet my goodreads reading challenge goal and I love seeing my friends meet that goal too – no matter what the number is!
As we near the end of 2017, I am trying to really wrap up some of my “reading goals” for the year. Kristen’s post earlier this week made me think about the books that I have on my virtual and real shelves that I was excited to buy or borrow and haven not gotten to yet. I don’t have as many on my actual bookshelf because I’m not a HUGE book buyer, but there are probably still at least 15-20 books on my shelf that I haven’t even read yet. Like Kristen said, buying a book can almost doom that book for me because there is no time crunch to read it. Library books are due back, so I have to read them when they are in my possession (or send them back unread, which I have only started doing recently). My goal in November is to really get through my own books before ending off 2017. That includes these books:
Dark Matter by Blake Crouch
Castle of Water by Dane Huckelbridge
A Conjuring of Light by V. E. Schwab
Origin by Dan Brown (I couldn’t resist this – I love the Robert Langdon books)
The Four Tendencies by Gretchen Rubin
and these on my Kindle/Audible/*Netgalley:
Reading People by Anne Bogel (halfway through this)
Artemis by Andy Weir*
Winter Solstice by Elin Hildebrand* (this series is a fun one for Christmas and not TOO Hallmarky)
Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacquelyn Woodson
The Austen Escape by Katherine Reay*
I also have a few library books that will be coming in and I am tentatively hoping to get through Golden Son and Morning Star because Pierce Brown has a new book coming out in January 2018 and I already have a hold on it (this is ridiculous in some ways, haha). I have a few really fun plans for book posts on this blog before 2018: a wrap up of my favourite books for the year, another analytics post, some library hacks, books that are better on audio, and two more Amazing Authors posts.
If you’ve made it this far, here are few fun book talk links from around the web:
Would you rather bookish edition <–some of these were hard!!!
I just downloaded this library extension for Chrome…it tells you if the books you are viewing on that page are at the library. It’s awesome – I have my library added to my links for buying books on Goodreads, but sometimes I have to play around with the edition in order to actually find information and this extension makes it WAY easier!!!
This post about life skills of voracious readers is great.
Sometimes reading fatigue is a real thing. This post was super interesting.
This would be kind of a fun Halloween craft. Maybe next year 😉
Am I the only one out there who thinks about and plans my reading this much? I blame goodreads, blogging, Netgalley, The Book Club, and WSIRN. 🙂