Can’t Stop Won’t Stop Reading

Every few months, I write a discussion post about the way that I read. You might think that seems a little ridiculous, and, okay, it totally is. The thing is that I am constantly revising my system whereby I keep myself reading at a quick pace.

For years, I’ve had a reward-based system, whereby I get to watch X amount of television for Y amount of reading. This way, I can balance the two, rather than just marathoning America’s Next Top Model for three months and emerging bleary-eyed to find that I no longer had a blog or a house or a job. I may also be prone to exaggeration. Anyway, as I’ve said in the past, I came up with this way of doing things in college, to help me balance schoolwork and fun. I’ve kept it going because it makes me more productive.

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So what changed? Well, I was swapping between books at set intervals. Every 25 pages of book A, I’d read a chapter of book B. When I went to Cancun, Gillian (Writer of Wrongs) influenced me, and my system has changed. Where I was reading two books at a time and switching at intervals, I’m now doing three at once and switching whenever the fuck I feel like it. I still rotate through the three books, but I don’t change books if I feel like reading more of the one I’m on.

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Obvs we will be reading.

This might not sound like that big of a change, but it really is. I think it’s freed me up to get really emotionally attached to books, because I’m no longer forcing my brain to take a break when it doesn’t want to. I like having the option to swap, because sometimes you DO need a break. And also some books just aren’t that fun to read from beginning to end in a rush.

What I really want to talk about today are those books that I pick up and read straight through without switching. For a couple years, this isn’t an option I’ve really given myself, and it’s amazing how many books have already been so good that I didn’t switch to another. I’m really able to binge when the book grabs me and doesn’t let go.

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Can’t stop. Won’t stop.

I started reading like this at the very end of February, and here are the books where I either didn’t ever switch to one of the others or only switched once or twice (like after the first chapter or two). You guys get a special preview of some books I’ve already read but not yet posted reviews for. Where possible, I’ve linked my review; where it’s not possible, I’ve linked GR.

Lying Out Loud - Kody Keplinger
The Wrath & the Dawn (The Wrath and the Dawn #1) - Renee Ahdieh
Everything, Everything - Nicola Yoon
Second Position - Katherine Locke
Denton Little's Deathdate - Lance Rubin US
Black Iris - Leah Raeder
None of the Above - I.W. Gregorio
The Fill-In Boyfriend - Kasie West

Black Iris – Leah Raeder (5 star review to come on April 15)
None of the Above – I. W. Gregorio (5 star review to come April 27)
The Fill-In Boyfriend – Kasie West (5 star review to come May 1)

It’s so interesting to me, because there are books that are amazing (Shadow Scale, for example), but that don’t really lend themselves, at least for me, to this sort of frenetic dive through the whole book. It’s sort of a revelation, since it’s been so long since I regularly sat down and read a book straight through. (You’re probably laughing your asses off at how weird I am, but it’s cool because I know this and I’m laughing too.) So far, this has only happened with really character-driven books that have ended up getting a four star rating or higher. Always a good sign to not want to put that book down, amirite?

I’m loving that I can get so caught up and carried away by fiction again; I’m not in school anymore, and I don’t need to schedule my reading so particularly. Like, seriously, look how high those ratings are! I wonder if I got lucky or if I really do love books more when I can let myself experience them in a couple of big bites. I mean, I definitely think I still would have been a big fan of all of these books, but it’s rare for me to have that many 5 stars so close together!

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And awesome!

What are some books you guys couldn’t put down lately?

8 responses to “Can’t Stop Won’t Stop Reading”

  1. Bekka says:

    I don’t do a lot of swapping while reading. I used to be able to read multiple books at once (usually no more than three) but that hasn’t been a thing really since blogging started. Since it takes so long to get through books that way, I typically just read one from start to finish and then start another. But lately, I’ve been reading two at once – usually a reread and a review book. I don’t know if I’ve just been unlucky or it’s my mood or if it’s just the books themselves, but I’ve noticed that if I’m constantly switching which book I’m reading, it’s a lot harder to feel a connection to the characters. And ripping myself away from the book prematurely is jarring and it’s hard to get into the other title I’m reading, too. It’s a mess.

    I’ve always kind of marveled at your reading system. It’s a mystery to me, but the little hints I do pick up on are just intriguing. The system you employ to pick your next read, the reward system you have in place to keep yourself motivated… all of it is bonkers in the best way possible, but you know what? You read like 3x faster than I do so clearly I could learn a thing or two.

    I wonder if this means you’ll be giving higher ratings to books that maybe would have only been a 3-3.5 on the old reading system. Giving yourself a chance to really get into a story or attached to the characters can make all the difference.

    Side note: I am so excited to read your review of Black Iris because that’s prooooobably my favorite book this year. I know I’m most likely getting annoying about it at this point but STILL. *So* happy you loved it!
    Bekka recently posted…Stacking the Shelves #1My Profile

  2. Heather says:

    haha yep, you are crazy 🙂 Seriously, though, your reward system fascinates me! I remember you telling me about how you read a chapter and then switch, but I didn’t realize that you were still doing that even when you didn’t really want to be pulled away from the original book yet. That is some super strong willpower!

    I feel like the only way you can watch ANTM is when you’re binging. That show is so bad but so good, and just like a trainwreck, you can’t look away! I think I’m about to do that whole binge watching thing with One Tree Hill. I just started it yesterday, and I’m already three episodes in. Jesus take the wheeeeel!

    The recent books I couldn’t put down were the Harry Potter series. It was the first time I’ve reread them since book 7 came out, and it was seriously amazing. I’ve been trying really hard to only read two books at once (one for my Kindle and one physical book), but I think I may have to add a third, fluffy read in, as I’m not quite ready to be sucked into Mistborn yet because I’m still living in HP world (and I’m reading the fifth GoT book on my Kindle; it may be a little bit too much fantasy for the moment.)

  3. I’ve been swapping more and more lately and I think it’s more me than the books I’m reading (side note, I LOVE this font in this comment box <= that's how distractable I am right now).

    To my utter surprise because I don't particularly LIKE her like her fans do, but The Art of Asking by Amanda Palmer was my last "can't put it down" read.

    Before that, The Winner's Crime by Marie Rutkoski and Coming In From The Cold by Sarina Bowen. But I had to scroll far on my Kindle to find these books.

  4. Brigid says:

    So you have the first book (the book you’ve promised a review), the 2nd book (the fun book), and then a 3rd book (if the 2nd isn’t working) and you switch every 25 pages. Right? I might try that sometime. As a mood reader, I find it insanely difficult to finish a book I’m just not into.

    Seems like this new way of reading has made the reading experience more positive for you and thus you come out of the book without any frustration. Positive experiences can often influence whether we like or hate a book. This is a great idea, Christina.

    Oh, I’m so excited to hear what you think of the Wrath and the Dawn. I AM DYING OVER HERE.

  5. Sarah J. says:

    I do the same thing, but I honestly can’t remember any recent reads where I just flew through and didn’t want to put it down. I binged listened to Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock in two days. Does that count? I think the last physical book that I couldn’t put down was Ruin and Rising. I binged read the last two books in the trilogy and there was no stopping me.:D

    I never really thought about how fast you read a book can determine the love for it. It makes sense. Great post!
    Sarah J. recently posted…A Belated Book HaulMy Profile

  6. GIRL UNDERWATER by Claire Kells was a one sitting read for me last weekend. It could have been longer IMO, but I thought it was great and it kept me completely enthralled.
    Becky LeJeune recently posted…New Releases 4/14/15My Profile

  7. Lyn Kaye says:

    I found that I was killing off my own desire to read by setting some rigid standards. I finally had to look how I was causing myself to take the joy out of reading, and now I am taking back my passion.

    Your reading schedule sounds pretty intense!
    Lyn Kaye recently posted…Challenge: Burn, Rewrite or Reread?My Profile

  8. […] Christina says she can’t stop won’t stop reading. […]

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