How much do you pressure do you put on yourself?

I’ve always loved reading.  I don’t remember a time I didn’t read, actually.  But once I started blogging reading became even more serious to me.  Now I have interaction with authors, with other book lovers who share the same taste in books, and reviews, reviews, reviews that make me need, no have to read certain books.  That has led to an overwhelming list of books I want to read and a huge pile (bookcase, actually) of books to read as well.  On top of that I have constant review requests and so many are nearly impossible to turn down!  If they sound good its so hard to say no.  And that leads to me scheduling my books.  Mostly it’s done in my head because I’m determined to not make reading a chore, but it is in my head and I’m constantly thinking that I need to finish this book so I can get through those three before the week ends.   I’ve lost patience for books as well.  If they don’t pull me in immediately then I find myself setting them aside at 50 pages.  Sometimes I don’t even make it that far.  I used to push myself to 100 pages because some of my favorite books were slow books in the beginning.   I don’t have patience for that anymore.  I’m finding myself reading my shorter books and my longer books sit on my shelf forever.  I read far more young adult and some of my favorite adult series get pushed aside.  

I feel guilty watching TV, I should be reading.  I feel guilty shopping, I should be reading.  I feel guilty cruising the internet, I should be reading.  Luckily I still enjoy reading.  I don’t find it a job at all.  I love to read all day and my favorite days are the ones I can sit and read all day (other then caring for my family, of course). 
My goal for this year is to get things under control a bit better.  To get through my books I already own, including the huge fat ones, the adult series that I’ve gotten so far behind in and all those millions of young adult books I’ve collected in the masses because I have to read them.  
So I know this is a common problem.  How do you keep your reading pile from getting out of hand?  How do you keep from stressing yourself out about reading faster?  How do you handle it all?
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Comments

  1. “How do you keep your reading pile from getting out of hand? How do you keep from stressing yourself out about reading faster? How do you handle it all?”

    Easy. I don’t. Or didn’t. I certainly wasn’t last year and had a few times where reading almost became a chore. Not completely, but enough that I started to take note because I LOVE reading and getting lost in other worlds helps me cope with my reality (chronic illness). And I was doing what you do, a mental ‘schedual’ of what needs reading. So part of my new years resolution was to get organized on my blog and with my reading life. Keep it as stress free as possible, get my TBR under control, and let it be okay if I need a break from reading or I’m just not feeling it. So far, it’s working. Okay, I know, it’s only been 3 weeks. And my TBR has doubled since Christmas (maybe even tripled, I’m not sure). But I seem to have gotten my head on straight about it. I’ve got a giant list of every title in my TBR stack stuck to the back of my door and I’m crossing them off as I go, curious to see how many I finish before the end of the year (my aim is 80% of them). I am mentally schedualing what ‘needs’ to be read next, but only in the form of review titles, and if I want to switch them up with ‘my’ books, then I’m allowing that as well.

    It’s a work in progress, and far from perfect I’m sure. But I’m trying. And I think that counts.

  2. It’s like you took the thoughts out of my head and printed them here. I’m always stressing about this kind of thing and I’m a very new blogger. I intended blogging to be a fun new hobby to escape from school but I take it way too seriously sometimes. Ultimately, I try and find a balance between reading books that are coming out this year and reading books that have been on my TBR forever and I’ve been wanting to read just for fun.

  3. I’m in a similar boat, wish I had advice! I keep getting fantastic review books so I don’t even have time for any other reading at the moment, but even as it is it’s taking me a couple months to get to a review book which seems ridiculous. I’ll probably have to stop accepting any requests until I get my pile better under control. But it is really hard to say no when you’re excited about a book!

  4. Same here too! Reading has become a chore due to the fact that I have over 100 books on my books physically there to read. It’s hard because I want to get through them, give every one of them a chance (well besides Fallen and Low Red Moon because they are …boring!) and find them a position on my read list. But that won’t happen because there are not enough hours in a day, there is reality to compete with involving work, family, friends, other interests and the usual, lengthy amount of time on the net blogging/youtube/goodreads/whatever else there is, buying many books over the net from book depository tripling my to be read in a day…..uggh I can go on and on and on about it.

    Yes it has become a chore. I want to skim read but my mind just forces me to read every word in my natural reading pace. Any ideas for reading faster? I tried that spot the big word thing but that didnt work.

  5. I have to be honest – I don’t control my TBR pile at all, but then, my TBR isn’t a pile, it’s a list. I keep a small orange notebook beside my computer at all times, and if I see a title I think I’ll like around the internet, I write it down. Then, generally, I forget about it. That’s why the list is now 13 pages front and back (though I can say that each page has at least two books crossed off of it, and some others that I’m probably not going to read because it was like “Well if I ever have nothing else to read…”in the first place)

    The second thing I’ve done is not allow myself to wander the library in search of books. I know I’m weird this way, but in general I do not buy books until I know I’ll want to read them for a second time (this keeps the cost of my library down, though I’m already fairly behind on the buying list as well). The only way I’ll buy a book new is if it sounds so good from the blurb or reviews that I know I just have to have it! So then, when I’m running out of books, I go back to my list and pick out 3-4 to put on order from my library – I currently have 10 on hold, but that’s because some of them the wait lists were ridiculous (like 50 people or something). I’m not allowed to just browse, because I know I already have too many.

    And finally, I remind myself that as much as I love followers and the interaction that blogs give me, I started this project for myself. If I want to read certain books before others, then I should, and if it means a week between reviews of books, well, my readers will just have to deal with it.

    I can’t help you with the accepting books for review thing, because I haven’t started doing that yet (I’ve turned down several offers because I know my schedule is going to get insane before long). But I probably will have just as much trouble saying no as you do.

    Good luck with your TBR pile, hope you finish everything you want to this year!

  6. I feel exactly the same as you do!! I am trying very hard to not feel pressure and to read just what I want. But I do feel pressure (that I put on myself) to read as many books as I can each month. I feel guilty not reading during pretty much anything else too. Or if I’m doing something I HAVE to do like work, I wish I could just read. *sigh*

  7. “How do you keep your reading pile from getting out of hand? How do you keep from stressing yourself out about reading faster? How do you handle it all?”

    I learned to stop accepting requests. Honestly, i almost accept all book review requests i get except of course if the genre of the book they’re offering for review isnt in my review policy. Last November I think, i stopped accepting to be able to finish all book review requests and my BOUGHT books. Just this January, i opened my site again and now i’m booked til March I think? So i stopped again. I don’t want this to become like a job or something. I have a full time job with 2 kids. Hubby sometimes would ask me to stop reading and play with him and my kids. Ive come up to a decision like:

    1. blogging will only be 2 hours a day before office lol (before i used to blog and read on weekends ONLY) and;
    2. reading will be only about an hour a day ofcourse after office(even if the book is sooo great, i have to put it down and rest – except when i picked up the book on a friday evening, could take until 1-5 in the morning)

    so that’s it. btw, i agree with you, im now beginning to set a 100 page rule i hope it wouldn’t be 50page rule. lol

  8. I am never caught up… I have a HUGE TBR pile and I plan to try and get through it this year. I am not accepting as many requests for review unless I truly cannot wait to read a book… I found I was saying yes far too often and I am sitting with stacks of books to deal with. And I do not want reading to feel like a chore. :)

  9. I was like you late last year. Then I had a thought. I went through my goodreads friends list and picked a couple of friends to review books. I also changed my review policy, I hated getting request that didn’t fit me or my blog. So far this year I have had a lot more request come in that I had to add a few more great ladies to help. So, this maybe an option for you to look into. It has freed me up to read some in my overstocked tbr pile and not stress out so much.

  10. Well, when I started blogging, the one thing I promised myself was to enjoy it and that meant that if reading ever became a burden then I need to rethink how I’m working on my blog. So I’ve been very careful about setting my reading targets to leave time for the books that I want to read and not just the ones I have to read :-)

  11. I’m so glad you posted this because it sounds like we are all feeling the crunch. I’ve always kept tons of books in the house that I haven’t gotten to yet. My tastes are eclectic, and I’ll go through reading moods, so I like to have a selection. With reviewing I’ve done a couple things. First, yes I keep a somewhat flexible schedule, but I try to mix things up. One book that’s a review title, with one just whatever I feel like reading next. I’m also just honest with my review policy and with requests. I’ll tell them if I’m swamped but would still be interested but can’t promise when, and often they say they’d still love a review at any time. I’ve also learned to be a lot more picky about what I accept for review. Saying no was hard at first. But this shouldn’t be a job. We don’t get paid and if we aren’t loving it, then it’s time to take a break. I’ve also just recently added a friend as a second reviewer on the site, so that definitely helps with the pressure and makes things a little more fun too. Now, if I could just get rid of that perfectionist gene, we’d be good.

  12. Awesome post, Candace! I’m think exact same way, I feel guilty or anxious doing anything other than reading. But its never been a chore. If it was I would quit (blogging not reading), but I don’t think it will ever come to that.

    I take a pretty…lazy?..laid back? approach when it comes to mt TBR. I just don’t worry about it. As long as authors write books, and publishers publish them, I will always have more that I want to read. They aren’t going anywhere, so I will read them when I get to them. I do make review books priority, though.
    And I do find myself giving up on books easier these days. There are way too many books that I do want to read sitting on my self to waste my time on something I don’t.

  13. I’m ALWAYS stressing and worrying about these things!! I have OCD, so whenever I start anything new I try really hard to not let it become the new subject of my OCD. Blogging, unfortunately, has become the next big thing for me over thee last few months I’ve been blogging. Most of my worries come from updating my blog and its design rather than reading, but I hate having to plough through review books I don’t really enjoy. Anyway, I’m afraid I far from have advice on this problem… reading through other people’s comments, it seems like some of us are doing much better. Good for you guys! :)

  14. I’m laughing as I read the comments because I’m the same way as you and everyone else. Which makes me feel better.

    My TBR pile is stacked (which is okay by me–love those books!) but what’s stressing me at the moment is that I’m way behind on my reviews. It takes me a good while to write a thoughtful review and I’m about ten behind at the moment. *sigh* Oh well.

    And that’s the attitude I try to take. I’ll get to it. I’m doing this because I love books & want to share my love. It’s not a contest, it’s not a race. I’ll get there when I get there (I try and remind myself!).

    Good luck & happy reading!
    Mary
    The Book Swarm

  15. What a great post! I have been trying to figure out how to get my TBR pile from growing. I don’t really have a good solution. I have been turning away a lot of authors who request me to review books and I have developed less tolerance for bad books. I am also trying to be more careful on whether or not I continue reading series; asking myself “Am I really enjoying this series?”

    I am trying to be better about spending time doing things besides reading this year. Like watching movies or playing games with my husband. But I am in the same boat as you, I love reading, never get tired of it and will pick it over other relaxing activities every time.

  16. I can’t help you on this one, because I feel the same. I feel so much pressure to read and then when I do I am struggling to find the time to do the review. It’s so hard. Good luck and if you find that balance please tell me. x

  17. Just like everyone else who posted before me, I also feel pressured to read X amount of books in a month/year. It really bugs me as I know I’ll get round to reading everything on my selves one day – I just don’t know when!

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