26 March 2017

Sunday Salon: It's a Wash

In January, I wrote a post about reading only from my TBR list until the end of March. I also tried to resist the urge to add any new books during that time. Well, we are almost at the end of March and I'd say that I broke even. I read eight books that have been on my radar for a while, but they came from the free books on my iPad and my wish list at the library. This means my Goodreads TBR list didn't decrease at all. In fact, it increased because I added six books. So, like I said, the challenge was a wash. I'm still going to make an effort to get through the books on my lists, either by reading or purging.

One thing this personal challenge caused me to do is to think more carefully before I add a title to my TBR list. I added six titles in the past three months but there were about 15 titles that I didn't add. My routine has been to add any book whose title I want to remember, and then every few months I delete titles that no longer interest me. There are worse ways to kill time on a lazy afternoon than clearing out my TBR list, but I'd rather spend that time reading.

I also came to the realization that I don't finish books as quickly as I thought. I've read 14 books total since the beginning of the year, but I expected to read twice that many in the space of three months. The reading itself goes quickly, but when I put a book down it takes longer for me to pick it back up. I don't seem to need reading as an escape as much right now as I have during other times of my life. For instance, this time last year I was working a stressful job and I picked up a book every chance I got. I finished 24 books by the end of March 2016 and 11 of those books were novella collections with at least five stories each so they were LONG books. I know that reading isn't a race, but I'm sure I would get more enjoyment out of a book than with whatever else I'm wasting time on.

The last thing that slowed down the clearing-out of my TBR list was that I signed up for NetGalley. In the past, I only requested advanced reader copies (ARCs) occasionally and rarely received them; before this year, I think I only read and reviewed two. However, it occurred to me that I could provide a better reader experience by reviewing some upcoming releases along with the backlist titles. With my past experience, I requested several ARCs at once because I expected that I would have to wait a while to get any. Boy, was I wrong! I got every title I asked for almost immediately. I know that there are bloggers who stack up ARCs and keep requesting more as if it is no big deal, but the pressure of the looming publication date weighs me down. If I don't write a review for each ARC before its publication date I know that I will feel guilty. Currently, I've reviewed two ARCs and have four to read, so I won't be requesting any more for a while. After I read these, I want to get back to knocking titles off my TBR list.


Bryan G. Robinson said...

But are you enjoying what you're reading? I think that's the important thing, more than the quanity, the quality. What was your favorite of the 14 so far?

Dani S said...

Bryan, you are correct; enjoying the reading is the main thing. None of the books I read was life-changing, but I can say that I enjoyed most of them. I ditched the one book I wasn't enjoying about 50 pages in; I'm finally getting better at doing that. My favorite was probably "Behind the Scenes" by Jen Turano because she is very good at writing light romantic comedy.