Reading on a Schedule

Not too long ago, I did a post about why I seek out ARCs and review copies, but what I mentioned there isn’t the whole story. In thinking about that topic further, due to the comments on that discussion post and other conversations since, I’ve realized there’s another big factor in why I love review copies.

In the Past

When I was actually a teen, I was a REALLY picky reader, just as picky about books as food. Now, I haven’t grown out of being a picky eater, but I have really wide reading tastes now. I remember pissing my mom off when we would go to the library because she would grab an armful of books and I’d still have picked nothing up. I did a lot of picking books up and then putting them back.

Do I want this one or this one or this one…? AGH, I DON’T KNOW!

Nothing really sounded right for whatever mood I was in. Sometimes I’d hit the right thing, start an awesome new series, and be good for a while. Not only did I have trouble selecting books, but, once I’d picked one out, I often DNFed after a couple of pages because I just wasn’t in the mood.

Nope, not this one. Ugh.
Thanks to Blogging

Now that I receive review copies, I review based on the schedule of what reviews I have to get done. I know some people struggle with the pressure, some even making the choice to not accept review copies of any format. While I do miss the freedom to pick my own reads, blogging for my review schedule is actually way easier for me. See, I haven’t really had a reading slump since I started blogging regularly, except for when I went to BEA, because I was just TOO exhausted to have the mental power to read at the end of the day. Having a schedule keeps me going.

I’mma read this book.

Basically, by nature, I’m too much of a moody reader, so, if I couldn’t find something that felt right, I just wouldn’t read until I did. Now I don’t even consider that because I need to get my reviews done. It’s like I’ve turned off that part of my brain. Only once in a while am I just NOT IN THE MOOD for the kind of book I’m reading for review, usually because something arrived late and had to be read next when I thought I was going to be reading something else. Mood doesn’t factor in really and I don’t spend hours (not an exaggeration) deciding what to read next because it’s chosen for me. This is a big part of why I get so much more reading done than I did before I was a blogger.

Whenever I do have any wiggle room in my reading schedule to choose a book for myself, it involves an overly complex system whereby I consult my GR to-read list, my catalog of books I own, random.org and Twitter followers. So, yeah, it’s just WAY easier to let publishers tell me what to read next.

But only about reading. Otherwise, don’t fucking tell me what to do.

From talking to blogger friends, I know I’m in the minority on reading based on schedule and not factoring in my mood. What’s your relationship with review copies? Do you like reviewing on a schedule or do you prefer the freedom of choosing your own reads?

75 responses to “Reading on a Schedule”

  1. Ok I totally understand where you are coming from in always having your next read planned out and not having to choose. There have been times when I finished a book and looked at my bookshelf and had a mini panic attack trying to decide what to read next because they either all look so good and I want to read them all right now or none of them look good and I want something else that I don’t have. At those times I would love to have someone shove a book at me and say “read this now.”

    However I really hate being told what to read. I want to read what I want, when I want. And after attending BEA last year I came to the conclusion that I will not be someone who can handle getting all the ARCs. Don’t get me wrong, I want to read them and it would be exciting to get packages in the mail all the time, but I know myself well enough to know that I would put an unnecessary amount of pressure on myself and stress out about it all the time. And then I would probably start to hate blogging and that would be a sad day.

    • Christina says:

      Ha! That’s basically exactly what I’m like when I have to choose. Oh, and when I finally do choose something, I’m immediately convinced it was the wrong one and then just mope around for a while. It’s like nothing meets my mood.

      That’s a good thing for you to know about yourself. You’re not the only one who has come to that conclusion, and I respect it. I may get there myself someday, but for now I like it, because it keeps me on task. It does make blogging more like work, but for now it makes it challenging in a good way for me, though that might change.

  2. I’m the opposite. The tight reading schedule makes me want to not read at all! I’m all “Don’t TELL me what to do *headroll finger snap*”.

  3. I think I’m definitely in the opposite! I don’t like the idea of making a commitment to read a book for any other reason than my own selfish desire and interest in a book. I honestly don’t even try to accept books for reviews, but instead only focus on reading books that I have and want to read. I guess I worry that if I set up a reading/review schedule like you it would suck out the fun of reading and make it too much like a job.

    That being said, I can see how it works for you! If you’re really that indecisive it’s probably a blessing, and the fact that it’s expanding your reading choices is always a plus. To each their own 🙂

    • Christina says:

      I think you’re making a very wise choice. Though I appreciate the schedule most of the time, I know other people who found that they hated it and that it did suck the fun out of the reading experience for them. Knowing yourself is important!

      Yup, I’m really indecisive with the small stuff. Where/what to eat, what book to read, what movie to watch.

  4. Amy says:

    Dude!! I totally try to stick to a schedule. I have the next two months of books I need to read for a tour or ARCs by realease date written down and try to stick to the order of them. It doesn’t always work, but I do try to stick with it as much as possible. I am a picky reader too and will pick up and put down four or five books if I don’t stick to a schedule of some sort. I still do that a little actually, but not nearly as much.

    • Christina says:

      Oh hey! Someone who actually has a similar system! Kindred spirit! If I got enough pad time built into my schedule, I would probably do a bit of shuffling by mood, but right now I’m getting them out so close to publication that I’ve not got the time for that. Haha.

    • Amy says:

      Me too!! I have actually missed a few lately because stupidly I took on too much. Just like I said I wouldn’t do this year haha!

  5. I’ve had to use a reading schedule for the past 4 months or so. I usually stick to it pretty well though sometimes something new will pop up and I’ll be sad I can’t get to it because there is no time in my schedule. I’m hoping to request a few less titles from Netgalley and Edelweiss so I have a little more wiggle room but other than that, the schedule isn’t so bad. 🙂

    • Christina says:

      Jealousy of all those brand new books you can’t get to definitely happens to me too, but I wanted to read the ones in my pile too, so what can you do? I want to be able to read ALL the books, but I just can’t.

      I’ve stopped with e-galleys, which I think will be good for me in the long run.

  6. I can definitely see where you’re coming from, before blogging I was extremely picky on what I would read and I went through probably one year without reading a new book at all because I couldn’t find anything new I liked but blogging has opened me up to new books and also because of review copies. I love schedules and organised stuff like that and it really does keep you in check and helps with being productive but keeping to schedules isn’t as much as my thing as planning them haha. But a schedule really pushes me to stop procrastinating and get reading, if I gave myself too much freedom, I might not get anything done. I can see that a schedule really works for you seeing as you’ve read nearly 80 books this year so far! So that’s awesome 🙂

    • Christina says:

      YES. This. I love making the schedules, but I usually end up having to reshuffle everything because I’m behind (or even if I get ahead). I LOVE making lists for their own sake, which is another fun thing. Exactly. I’m such a procrastinator, which is why I have so many rules for myself, and why I have to write my reviews AS SOON AS I FINISH.

  7. Heather says:

    I, too, am opposite, weirdo 🙂 I don’t read a ton of ARCs, so perhaps that makes it easier for me to decide as there’s no pressure. If I’m not in the right mood for something, I DNF, so mood is a crucial factor for me. Usually when I’m reading something, I kind of know in the back of my mind what book I’d like to read next. It just sort of comes to me, like an epiphany, and oddly enough, almost every book I choose has some kind of weird connection to the previous book.

    I do go through reading slumps every once in awhile, though, and I’ll find something else to do until it passes. It usually happens for a few days every couple of months, and then I read 4 books in a weekend. haha. Now I’m wondering if some sort of schedule would help me with this, or if I’d snap the Z in its general direction because I do what I want!

    • Christina says:

      Those weird connection things often happen to me too, or at least they used to.

      LOL. Snap the z. You probably would. I think a schedule would probably just stress you out. Besides, you need those reading free days for your crafts and stuff!

  8. LisaILJ says:

    I had to plan my own reading schedule. I got to the library conferences, so I have lots of ARCs that I can read or not read as the mood strikes. Because I’m a librarian, I am reviewing these books for purchase, and if I review them all the better. I do try to write reviews/read books before they are published, but because I’m not obligated to write a review, I have a lot less pressure. Plus there are some books I read, and I can’t even begin to decide on how to review it. It’s the books that are just kind of meh. I don’t really feel one way or another about them and will probably forget everything that happens in a few days anyway. I don’t want to be obligated to review that type of book. That said, as I mentioned I finally broke down and organized a shelf of books on Goodreads. This gives me a plan of what I’m going to read when, but puts no pressure on my to read anything, and I can adjust the schedule as needed.

    • Christina says:

      Oh yeah, it’s pretty much impossible to get through all of the conference ARCs. I have some left from 2010, 2011 and 2012. I feel bad about it, but there’s only so much you can do!

      I wish I could let myself skip some reviews, but if I did that I know I would spiral to not reviewing anything. That’s just my personality though. More power to you!

  9. Angie F says:

    I actually do read on a schedule, but not one dictated by ARCs. I do have OCD and one of my calming mechanisms is to make lists/spreadsheets/schedules/etc. I don’t always use these things I make, but my book ones? I definitely do! I always try to plan at least 6 weeks worth of reading. I get overwhelmed trying to decide what to read next, so a predetermined reading schedule certainly helps.

    My plan isn’t 100% set in stone. I do move books around, especially if I get something unexpected from the library (there I go with my library love again!). ARCs have less of an impact though. I will stick some into my schedule, but I don’t always get to them. The only books that stay put are ones I have to review for blog tours or ones that I accepted from the author to review that month.

    I do try to leave an open day or two for a mood read, but then it takes me all day to choose something. I’ll either just move up the next book on my schedule, or randomly grab something off of my shelf so I don’t have to think too much about it. I much prefer my scheduled reading.

    Angie @ Pinkindle Reads & Reviews

    • Christina says:

      I love making lists, even though many of them don’t actually end up getting used! Whoa, I can’t plan that far in advance, especially since most of the ARCs I’ve been getting are unsolicited, but I try to schedule a couple weeks ahead.

      Oh yeah, gotta be able to leave wiggle room! I know I’ve got ARCs I’ve had to give up on. If they’re unsolicited or from a conference, it’s difficult.

      Haha, yup. Choosing mood reads takes freaking forever!

  10. Ugh, I kind of wish I could turn off my moodiness when it comes to books. I do keep a reading schedule based on when the books are due out (or blog tours) but if I’m not in the right mood I sometimes find myself struggling with a book I know I would otherwise enjoy. There’s no fix for it so I just muddle through.

    When I have wiggle room, though, I waste a ton of time trying to decide what to read. My new fix for that is to squeeze in some short stories, that way I don’t feel guilty over not having gotten in some reading.

    • Christina says:

      Yeah, the main consensus seems to be that most people do not react to the reading schedule the same way I do. Turning off the moodiness is awesome. I still have moments where I can’t, but it’s way better than before.

      I’m so indecisive that not having wiggle room is almost a blessing. Almost.

  11. Andrea C. says:

    I’ve definitely noticed more of a “schedule” to my reading since I’ve started blogging. Last year (according to Goodreads), I only read thirty books, while this year I’ve already read 17.

    My blog calendar helps a lot, too. Like my new book tour reviewed is scheduled for the 25th. I haven’t started the book yet, but I know that once I finish the book I’m currently on, I should read the next so I have enough time to read/review/post.

    As far as my choice books, I’m definitely effected by my friends/twitter/authors and such. Sherrilyn Kenyon is my favorite author so whenever one of her books come out, it goes straight to top of my TBR list. I had Cassandra Clare’s Infernal Devices on my TBR but once I started reading everything about CP2, I had to bump all three books up and read them now. Or, once I finish the books I’ve committed to reading for tours anyway.

    When I don’t have books lined up, I do the random.org with my Goodreads TBR pile. It seems only fair to the books that give “forgotten.” Blogging is definitely more work than I thought it would be, but I love that I find new books and that I have some semblance of a schedule to get these books I want to read so badly, well… read.

    ~Andrea @ Beauty but a Funny Girl

    • Gwen Miller says:

      I love the Random.Org idea!

    • Christina says:

      Whoa! That’s a huge increase! Scheduling keeps you going at a more steady pace.

      Yes, I try to start on book tour books sooner, because leaving those to the last minute really sucks, which I should know since I’ve done that more than once.

      You have much more wiggle room than I do. I’m happy if I fit in a book of my choice once a month. Haha.

      Random.org totally chooses my books for me when I do have time for a free read. Thanks, random.org!

  12. KM says:

    Man, I wish I could be like you with review books! But I’m such a mood reader! When I was more serious about book blogging, I would look at my pile of books that came out that month, then I’d choose based on which one I was in the mood for. I missed some books this way, but it kept me reading.

  13. I am jealous of your discipline when it comes to reading. Like, I have tried the schedule thing. I have an on going spreadsheet of review books and release dates, and I do attempt some semblance of reading books by month as they come out. BUT, I break that all the time. Constantly. Sometimes, a super way in advance book that I am DESPERATE to read comes my way and I whip through it, other times, an older book catches my eye. And while yes, I occasionally spend wayy too much time picking out my next book, there are also times where I have a few books on deck for what I want to read when I finish book X, ya know? Anyways, I liked hearing about your method to how you choose what to read next and why.

    • Christina says:

      Live in envy! Lol. Yeah, I’ve got a spreadsheet and I mostly follow it, though I think I’m going to let myself skip ahead for the ones I really want to read. Starting Siege and Storm when I finish The Bronze Horseman, so in like three months. SO LONG. Ummm, yeah, that’s my crazy mind.

  14. Ahhh! I am finding myself in a reading slump. =/ It’s so depressing. I can’t even get through one book. One YA book. That normally takes me one day, two at the most to read. I have been reading Beautiful Creatures for a week now and I’m still not done. Not because it’s not good, but I just can’t find the willpower to read.

    • Christina says:

      Oh no! Reading slumps are sad. This is why I’ve got such complex ridiculous reading methods. I did not like Beautiful Creatures at all, so that would be my explanation. Haha. :-p

  15. I wish I could be like you. Schedules don’t work for me in the book world or in real life either. I will make lists of things that I need to do, and on occasion, assign times for each thing, and guess what? It just never happens. Right now I am in a reading slump, because I haven’t felt like reading anything lately… It’s not even necessarily only mood. I am the type of person who can’t operate in a fixed pattern. That always fails, and it’s terrible for my organization. Sometimes, honestly, I wonder how I get things done.

    Review copies. I don’t get any unsolicited copies and usually don’t email for them either (I have a very bad history of not getting to e-galleys on time because of all that –^). I have a few e-galleys I need to read, so I’ll work off the schedule for their release dates, but for the most part, I’ll be choosing what to read next.

    (I guess I am more like you when you were younger… except right now I’m more apathetic, not even picky.)
    (Your attitude is much more compatible with keeping your blog running, I think. But to me, it also sounds like more work. That might get really stressful.)

    • Christina says:

      This is the first time in my life so many people have wanted to be like me. I’m just going to revel in it. Actually, my lists mostly don’t happen either. My reading list does, but if I try to schedule it to the day, it usually doesn’t. *shrug*

      I’m really bad with egalleys, which is why I don’t accept them anymore, really, but the physical copies sit on their shelf and taunt my failure. Haha.

      It might get stressful, and if it does get more stressful than helpful, then I’ll stop and do something else. *shrugs*

  16. Bonnie R says:

    I keep a detailed calendar of all my review books so that I can have them read and reviewed before publication, since I believe that’s the whole purpose of receiving an ARC in the first place. Sometimes I fall behind but I’ve been fairly good at staying on top of them. Having a schedule is stressful sometimes but when I have a goal or a due date it really helps me get shit done.
    This year I’ve really limited my ARC requests primarily because I have so many personally owned books that I should really get through one of these days. Cutting back on my ARC requests has allowed me to stay on top of my due dates and be able to read a couple of random books from my own shelves.

    • Christina says:

      I should buy an actual calendar for that. Oh wait, my mom totally got me a planner for Christmas. Question is what did I do with it? *ponders* Seriously, it does help me get shit done. I read way more with the pressure.

      I ought to limit my ARC requests, but I get enough that I really want to be reading the ARCs of the things I super want, so I make a neverending cycle of never reading my owned books for myself.

  17. Kelly says:

    I love having a schedule, so I know what I’m reading next EXCEPT for when that conflicts with my mood. Sometimes I just want a light, fluffy read and I have a dark, paranormal fantasy lined up and I just can’t enjoy the darker tale, even if it’s really good, because I’m not in the right mood for it.

    • Christina says:

      Usually I’m okay, but it’s seriously annoying when it conflicts with my mood, usually when an unexpected arrival throws off my schedule. See, if it’s planned, I can tell myself that a contemporary is next and prepare myself, but then suddenly it’s a historical and my mind rebels.

  18. I’ve tried to schedule but I just…can’t. If I try to force myself to read something I don’t really want to read at that time, I will think negatively about it, even if I end up enjoying it.

    Plus, I can’t say how long it will take me to read something right now with how fast my non-reading time fills up these days. Eventually I’ll be like “books? what are books?” and have to block out time to read the shampoo bottle in the shower.

    • Christina says:

      Yeah, that’s how I was about almost every single assigned book in school. I guess this is different since I’m volunteering myself?

      True. The days move around a lot in my schedule, but the basic order of books is fairly steady.

  19. Gwen Miller says:

    I read based on my mood with the knowledge that my mood changes many times a day. What I want to read in the light of day is entirely different than what I want to read right before bed when my brain is winding down. So I usually have several books going at the same time which satisfy whichever reading mood I might be in!

  20. Renae M. says:

    I definitely don’t factor in my mood while reading, except in the once every other month type deal where I feel the strange urge to read Russian lit or all the Jessica Darling books.

    I don’t get many review copies, but I do have a schedule. Or, not a schedule so much as a list of books I WILL read next, which I never deviate from, except in the cases I referred to above. But when I do read something off-list, I get really stressed out, since I’m a list making, organized type person.

  21. AnimeJune says:

    …I find I very rarely ask for review copies anymore. I feel guilty – I have so many books on my shelf still to be read (ARCs from BEA 2012, STILL!) that I feel worried about taking more on. I’ve started doing it with Edelweiss, though, for authors who are autobuys.

  22. Kat Balcombe says:

    Are you on drugs, and if so, can I have some?

    I can’t read to a schedule, it just makes me all two-year-old-tantrum ‘I dont wanna and you cant make me’, although I’m completely in awe of the fact you can get past that and make it work to your advantage!

    However, I have discovered that having a schedule gives me a good reminder of what I’m supposed to be reading, and therefore gives me that extra push to get my review copies read (for the most part). Maybe I just need to train my brain!

    • Christina says:

      Books are my gateway drug! Uhhh, or something.

      Honestly, I’m really surprised I don’t react that way. Who knows why.

      Well, knowing what you need to read can help convince you to want to read that, like if you have a contemporary, tell yourself you want that. Or if you have a bunch of zombie novels, make sure your free reads are something else.

  23. Stephanie says:

    Asan author, I actually read very similarly to the way you do…I have to read certain books to research/because I think they’ll be helpful with whatever I’m writing, and I talk to authors on twitter etc. and get interested in their books and want to read them soon. Seriously, I could just read the books from authors I’ve talked to and that would probably take a year! Plus I still put books on hold at the library, so I feel like I have to read those right away when they come in. So, yeah…reading is a somewhat scheduled activity for me…it can be a little sad but I’m not TOO strict with myself. The fact is that when I didn’t schedule/prioritize my reading at all, I read a lot less. At some point I realized if I want to read even a small fraction of thewonderful (and not-so-wonderful…) books out there, I’d have to treat reading like something just as important as a job, or working out, or sleeping. I may not remain this way for my entire life, but for now, it really is important to me to read as much as I can.

    Wow, sorry this was so long…I guess I had a lot of thoughts about this!

    • Christina says:

      Right. I so wish I could fit in more books that I was choosing, but I enjoy the schedule and how it keeps me motivated. If that stops, I’ll come up with another system.

  24. Bookworm1858 says:

    I read based on a schedule too-I need it to keep track of all the books I want to get through and review. However I’ve never been a picky reader although I am a supremely picky eater-pleased to meet another!

    • Christina says:

      People get so angry at me for being a picky eater, when they should really get mad at my taste buds. Not my fault they think a lot of things taste nasty!

  25. I’m another one who’s the opposite. I hate feeling guilty about needing to read a book, and it just makes me put it off. I’m horrible about it. It’s like I need to feel like I’m doing it for me, you know? I also hate it when people tell me what to do.

  26. thebookwurrm says:

    I like the review copies, I do but I don’t like the pressure that accompanies them. I actually one I need to read ASAP but I don’t feel like reading it at the moment and I know if I push myself to do so it may affect the way I ultimately feel about it and I’m all WOE IS ME. And being a general drama queen about it as I am wont to be. Also, I am the other way around, I used to be able to turn my brain off and just read whatever I am supposed to but I think because I’m in school and I have to read school stuff, I don’t want to do the same with recreational reading. That’s why I’ve cut down on requesting review copies. I still read quite a lot but I find that it goes better if I read what I want to instead of what I have to.

    • Christina says:

      If I get really behind, I do find that it affects my enjoyment, but if I stay a day or two ahead of when I need the review done, then I’m fine. Oh, see, I was SUCH a brat about school books. Even books I would have loved otherwise, I hated because teachers were forcing me to read. Haha. I read way more with the pressure, and I still like most of what I read. If that changes, though, I’m doing something different.

  27. I love review copies. I request books based on what I think sounds good to me, then, just like you I read them in the order of when I need to review them by. Its fun for me, leaves out the guess work and gives me plenty of great books to read that no one usually has heard of yet. I love being able to read a new book and then recommend it to others. Great post!

  28. OH MY GOSH. We are BOOK twins. I read on a schedule too because it is just easier for me to keep organized. I put my ARCs in order and read them by publish date. When I have time to read my own books, I do the same thing as you. Random.org. I have a very complicated system for choosing. THIS IS CRAZY. I thought I was the only one who did it this way. And it just works for me because I cannot choose on my own. *mind blown*

    • Christina says:

      BOOK TWINNNNNN! *hugs* Random.org makes my life livable. Of course, I don’t do that much because my review pile has taken over my life, but that is how I chose Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland.

  29. J. Anne Huss says:

    I prefer to read what I like, of course, but if I have a book on the calendar, I read and review it on schedule. I figure the author is counting on that, I always give out dates, and maybe I shouldn’t, but I’d like to know the date if my book was being reviewed.

    I enjoy blogging and reading, but this is professional interest for me, so I try to keep things organized that way.

    • Christina says:

      Makes sense, though I don’t give out dates. Obviously if I have a scheduled date for a blog tour or something, I get it done. If the publicist/author requests that the review be up by a certain date, otherwise I just do my best.

  30. Wow, this is really interesting! I don’t receive enough ARCs to have that rigid of a schedule, and I think that I would get nervous that I wouldn’t finish books in time if I did have that schedule. My reading time can come and go pretty erratically because of school, so I’m just not a good judge of how quickly I’ll be able to read a book, and I don’t like feeling rushed if I’m running out of time for a deadline. If I was getting lots of ARCs that I was excited about, that would be fine to be on a schedule since I’d be excited to read them and I would feel productive getting them done. The problem arises when I’m just not into a book but feel like I need to read it to do a review around the publishing date, ugh. Or if I’m kinda into it, and want to finish, but it takes forever because I’m not omg I must read it now!

    In any case, it’s a fun thing to consider. I actually stopped doing tours because I didn’t like the pressure of finishing a book I might only be kind of interested in. I think being on tours for traditionally published books or having ARCs of the more popular books would make a difference though, since the quality of the books I was reading for tours was a little hit or miss….

    Anya @ On Starships and Dragonwings

    • Christina says:

      I live my life nervous that I won’t get reviews out on time, and, currently, I wish that I were a couple weeks ahead of publication date, but I’m just not. What can you do, though? I’ve been DNFing more freely, and that’s awesome, but otherwise I just forge ahead.

      Unsolicited books can be a pain like that. Sometimes you wanted them and it’s the best surprise ever, and sometimes it’s like “you? really?” If I REALLY don’t want to read it, I don’t. I give it away, since I didn’t ask for it.

      I don’t do too many tours, because the pressure of the specific day is much worse. I’ve found I don’t like them much.

  31. Now that I’m starting to get a lot more books in on a regular basis, I do feel the pressure of them sitting in my closet. My issue is that I’m a slowish reader AND I’m usually so busy during the day that I don’t always have a lot of reading time. As my kids have gotten older, I have less and less. So when I sit down to read a book, it’s usually one that I’m in the mood to read unless it’s for a blog tour or I requested it. I try to read them in order, but realistically, I can’t read all the books. Though, I wish I could!

    I tried the reading schedule once and got super stressed out. I’m amazed at those who can. Rock on, lady!

    • Christina says:

      Children are a serious time suck. I’m sure if I had kids I would get no reading done (though that might be because I’d ended it all). Seriously, the people who parent young kids and get tons of work done, I applaud you all.

      I live in a perpetual state of stressed and worried, so maybe that helps?

  32. Blook Girl says:

    I am always honored to receive review copies, especially if I’ve requested them, but it does lend a certain pressure to reading and blogging that seems to paralyze me at times. I want to read what _I_ want to read _when_ I want to read it. A bit childish, perhaps, considering that I’m a book blogger/revier, and something I’m actively working on!

    I will say that having a schedule, when I followed one, _was_ a BIG help in making sure I read and blogged regularly. I have re-implemented a reading/blogging schedule and will be back to posting regularly this month!

    I admire everything you’ve done with this blog. You’ve come a long way and I’m so proud of you and happy to know you <3

    • Christina says:

      It’s always better when you requested them. I’ve gotten some good things unsolicited, but I’ve also gotten some things that made me headdesk, so…you know. You’re not the only one who feels that way by any means. Just look at the comments if you don’t believe me.

      Oh really?

      Awww, thanks! *hugs*

  33. You could have easily been describing me! I read on schedule and review on schedule and have a lovely color coded Google Calendar to keep track of things. It saves me the trouble of deciding what to read next and starting ten books only to abandon them all.
    It’s really quite easy. As soon as I receive an arc, I write down a review date for it in my calendar and that way I can always keep track.

    • Christina says:

      I should use a calendar. I just have a list in excel. Low tech. lol. Exactly! I used to abandon so many when they didn’t grab me. I’m a lot better about giving them a chance now!

      Same here!

  34. I’m reading on a schedule now, have a spreadsheet and everything. Luckily all the books are ones I’ve coveted for ages so it’s not too bad but I do have a few non ARC books that I would love to pick up and start. Will see how this way goes until June and then may have to rethink if the pressure takes away from the enjoyment!

    • Christina says:

      Ah, nice. When they’re all highly coveted that moves things along! I’ve got a mixed bag, but I try to keep an open mind as much as I can. Yup, rethinking is always acceptable. A year from now I might write a post renouncing this one, but for now this works for me.

  35. You are almost describing the same principle I am trying to implement in my reading right now. (believe it or not) LOL I found that if I let myself pick books I stray from the schedule and review copies get unread so I made a google spreadsheet with all my review copies and I am reading by it. I strayed a little bit in March but already I am better than before and I will try to stick to it even more in April. I found it lessens the pressure that I am not going to make it and as you said I do not spend hours trolling goodreads thinking what should I read next.
    I even went so far to extract on separate google sheet summary of ratings by publishers (calculated automatically from my read review copy list) – so now I see which publishers books I prefer. It helps in a dilemma should I request some review copy or not. 🙂 (I stole this idea from Kelly at RadiantShadows)…

    • Christina says:

      Oh, I do the spreadsheet thing by publisher/imprint! Actually, Kelly got that idea from me. Did I just blow your mind? Mostly, I’ve learned to avoid St. Martin’s Griffin, except for the contemps and to be wary of HarperTeen.

    • I think Kelly mentioned that she was inspired by you. In fact I think that’s how I found/discovered your blog when I think about it. 😀
      Thanks for a wonderful idea. 🙂

      I just started it, so I think it will take more time to see things clearer. So far ‘the worst’ are Tor Books and NightShade Books with 3.33 (two of my favorite publishers).

    • Christina says:

      Ha, that’s awesome!

      That’s so funny! Of course, your favorite pubs you generally end up reading more books from, where you might be more selective with your least favorite pubs.

  36. […] who manage to read not only review copies but also fun books from their shelves or the library. Christina and Jamie have talked about how they read and Debby has mentioned her own reading struggles and how […]

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