The Secret to a (well, ‘my’) Happy Reading Life

AKA, The Short Life (and Slow Death)
of My Reading Schedule

So, this weekend I came to an incredibly important realization about my reading life.

Over the past few weeks, I’d been feeling… something… that I couldn’t quite put my finger on. Something that made me uneasy when I was reading a book and not enjoying it. Something that made me sad when I saw people reading a book I really wanted to read, but I thought I “couldn’t”. Something that made me hesitant to pick up any book that wasn’t on my reading schedule.

On Sunday, I realized what it was. I felt guilty.

dw-ten-beinsneakehhhhhhhh

This is me, hiding from my guilt.

But… guilty?! Why should I feel guilty?! This is not happy-making!

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Me either, Doctor. Me either.

There are a few factors that caused me to feel vaguely discontent, and then downright guilty, about my reading life. But I think the reason they sneaked up on me was because they all started out as good, positive things.

First of all, after consistently blogging for 8 months or so, I began getting accepted for more anticipated ARC’s on NetGalley and Edelweiss. Getting these approvals was an amazing feeling, and I am always so, so grateful and honored and excited whenever a publisher decides to let me review a book. But it was also overwhelming. These books were going to come out soon, and I needed to get organized so I could read and review them without missing any dates, or letting anything slip through the cracks.

So what did I do? I had the marvelous idea of creating a reading schedule. I said to myself, I know I’m a complete mood reader, but who cares? I can totally stick to a reading schedule! Look at these great books I’ve got to read! Also, I totally envied people who could stick to reading schedules. They always knew what they’d be reading, how soon they needed to read it, and when they’d be posting their reviews. They seemed like the gods of Reading- and Blogging-Life Organization.

I could do that. I knew I had the skills. I wanted in.

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See my mad reading schedule skills? I got this.

So, I crafted a fail-safe reading schedule in my Google calendar. The result was a thing of beauty, a perfectly organized calendar that had everything in its place. I had every review-book all mapped out, along with new releases I knew I’d be getting. I gave myself about 5 days to read a book (which gave me a little wiggle-room, as it usually doesn’t take me that long); and I also noted the day it would be released, and the day of my scheduled review. I could reorganize if I wanted to — but why would I do that? My schedule was perfect! I had cracked the code to a successful reading- and blog-schedule!

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Yeah, yeah, go ahead and laugh.

Now, my schedule did work well for a while. I started it in November/December 2013, and the first couple months were great — I think because I’d scheduled books that were actually engaging, incredibly few of which I wanted to DNF. I actually got ahead of my review-schedule, writing posts that wouldn’t go live for two or three weeks! Obviously, this directly corresponded to my amazing new reading schedule, and was a sure mark of success! (Ha. Haha. Hahahahaha. Oh, past!me is so funny.)

The weeks wore on. I got well into my schedule. I was on top of reviews. …But there was something wrong when I thought about reading other, unscheduled books; when I saw people talking about books I really wanted to read, but “couldn’t” because of my schedule. But I brushed this feeling off, without thinking too hard about it. My schedule was great. It was working. I loved it. (Or did I? BLASPHEMY. OF COURSE I DID.)

(Spoiler: I just didn't want to look too closely at my feelings of discontent.)

(Spoiler: I just didn’t want to look too closely at my feelings.)

However, slowly but surely, my discontent grew. Something wasn’t right. Okay, I thought, I know how to fix this. I’ll just drop in a few mood-reads to mix things up, and I’ll be fine. Well, I ended up doing a LOT of schedule-rearranging, shifting everything around and messing with my with reading- and review-dates and… Oh, look. My schedule is suddenly a mess. How did that happen?! Suddenly I dreaded even looking at my calendar, because it was basically just a huge guilt-trip. (See? See this book right here? You should’ve read that last week! Now you’ve moved it to next week! What have you done?!)

During this time, I also ran into a number of ARC’s that I wanted to DNF. I couldn’t deal with them. By the 10-20% mark, I was pulling my hair out, either in pure boredom or complete dislike. I set these books aside, picked them back up, set them aside, picked them back up… Not fun. But they were on my schedule! I had to read them! I had reviews scheduled and everything!

At this point, I hadn’t realized exactly what it was, but I was feeling it, big-time: I was positively drowning in bookish guilt. A direct result of my self-imposed schedule, and my belief that, if it was an ARC, I was honor-bound to force myself through it if it was the last thing I did. (I DNF’d a couple ARC’s while in the midst of that guilt, which makes this point even more upsetting. I felt like I’d failed in my bookish duty! It was not a healthy — or happy — outlook.)

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This is their “why was she putting herself through that?!” face.

And then March 4th happened. For those who don’t know, March 4th saw the release of one of my most-anticipated books of the year, Words of Radiance. (This book is a monster. It should come with a warning not to operate near small animals or children.) But guess what? I hadn’t added it to my reading schedule. I hadn’t put this four-hundred-thousand-word book (that’s like, 5  average-length YA books) into my reading schedule. It’s fine, I said, I’ll just read pieces here and there in between my scheduled books. No big deal. Hah. Yeah, I’ll give you one guess how that worked out…

(What’s your guess? What do you think happened?)

What happened was: Two weeks later, once I’d finished my Words of Radiance binge, and in the aftermath of all that schedule-rearranging from weeks ago,  I was a super happy reader, with a reading schedule that was positively destroyed.

That’s what happened.

And I am so, so glad it did. Because for once, I’d read what I wanted to read, when I wanted to read it, and it wasn’t on my freaking schedule. And nothing earth-shattering happened other than me being totally satisfied with my choices.

Conclusion?

READ WHAT YOU WANT.

This is a caption

See? Rory agrees.

Some things I’ve learned:

  • ARC’s and I aren’t always going to get along. I thought it wasn’t that big of a deal to make myself suffer through ARC’s I really really didn’t like. But I was forcing myself into an unhappy reading-situation; I was making myself finish books I actively did not want to be reading. For me, right now, that’s not an option. I give every book I read a fighting chance, and oftentimes ARCs more than others. But I’m sure publishers understand that not every book is going to be readable for everyone. And I’d much rather spend more time writing positive reviews anyway, and reading books I’m at least liking.
  • A set-in-stone reading schedule does not work for me. I think I could get behind a general mindset of, “You might want to think about reading these books in this order because of release dates.” But NEVER AGAIN will I schedule and force myself to read a book when I’d rather be reading something else. I just can’t. What if I force myself to read a book and dislike it, when I would’ve otherwise liked it if I’d been in the mood for it? Nobody wins!
  • I am human. Reviewing is a hobby. I deserve to be happy. Now we’re getting to the important stuff. I can’t continue in the excuse that “all jobs get stressful/not-fun sometimes” — which was starting to become my mantra as the guilt increased. But I can’t let reviewing or reading become a job that I’m forcing myself to do.
  • ∴ I will read what makes me happy. This is earth-shattering. I just… wow. What a novel idea, right? These books don’t have to make me emotionally happy — I’m not going to be reading light fluffy books from now on. I just need to read what I want to be reading. I’m sure there will be some 1- or 2-star books in there that I’ll stick with and regret it — but that’s my choice, because I want to stick with them. I’m absolutely sure that there will be plenty of higher-rated books, because those are obviously books I want to be reading.

So, enough of the guilt! I READ WHAT I WANT.

Oops, how'd that Loki gif get in there......

Oops, how’d that Loki gif get in there……

For me, this means I’m back to my mood-reading ways. For others, maybe you want to stick to a reading schedule; maybe that works for you. And that’s awesome. I salute you. But I don’t envy you anymore. From now on, I will keep an eye on upcoming titles, and of course try to stay on top of my ARC’s and ARC reviews. But at the end of the day, I’m going to pick my current reads based on what I want to read, more than what I have to read.

And I cannot tell you how amazing that feels.


So, now I want to know…

How do YOU read what you want?

What role does scheduling (or not) play in your reading life? Do you schedule everything? Are you a sort-of-scheduler? Or do you pick up books as the mood takes you?

Whatever you do, I hope that it’s making you happy. ♥

54 thoughts on “The Secret to a (well, ‘my’) Happy Reading Life

  1. I tried to do the same with a reading schedule but I did a lot worse then you, it only took a month of so before I was over it. Now I do a little bit of scheduling only with ARC’s I will give my self a date at the latest to start them but often do before. Any other time I just read what ever takes my fancy. I never really can stick to a blogging schedule but that’s the price I pay for reading happiness.

    • Ooh, that is a really great idea to “start by X date at the latest”, for ARC’s! Excellent tip! And yes – schedulelessness (lol) is a fine price to pay for happiness. We’re supposed to be having fun, right?! :D

      Thanks so much for stopping by, Katie!

  2. Nikki, I love this post! I actually saw you tweet about this a while back and I’m really glad you decided to discuss it. I think it’s every blogger’s dream to be able to follow their review pile schedules for sure, but sometimes it’s just not possible! I honestly don’t remember the last time I’ve read something that wasn’t a review book. I need to let loose like you did, since you had NO RAGRETS apparently. :) Awesome discussion , thanks for sharing!

    • Yayyy, thank you so much, Jen! I thought it was my dream to follow review schedules – it just seemed so ideal. But the reality is just so different than what I was expecting. Having no schedule might mean I’m unorganized — but only in comparison to those who blog using schedules. I might not know exactly what book I’m going to read next, or what review I’m writing in two weeks, but that’s ok! NO REGRETS!!! :D

  3. I love this article of yours because I can completely relate with it. I’ve only been blogging since September 2013 and discovered the world of ARCs and I went through the same experience you just described. I found myself on a reading burnout of some sort. And I was so sad to realize that I was feeling that way when I used to just really, really enjoy reading a good book. I have to work on my reading schedule or if I would really want to have a schedule in the first place. Thank you so much for sharing this with us. :)

    • Yes, that’s exactly what it was – a burnout brought on by feeling guilty about what I couldn’t — or “had to” — read. I think vague is definitely the way to go, for those of us who end up feeling this way about scheduled reads. Mood reading might lead to a little uncertainty about future posts, but I’m totally okay with that, as long as I’m still having fun.

      Thanks for stopping by, Camille!! <3

  4. I had the same epiphany a couple of months ago. Arcs were involved but I mostly felt guilty if I didn’t finish a series I had started before reading something else. I had all these amazing books I wanted to read, but made myself wait until I had finished the “obligation” reading… It sucked. I’m so glad you found what makes you happiest! Welcome to the “life’s too short to read boring books” club. ;)

    • Ahhhh, the dreaded unfinished series! I think any and all “obligation” reading can go throw itself out a window, lol. That’s what high school was for (and why I disliked 90% of the books I was forced to read in Lit class). We’re adults now! We do what we want! XD

  5. I think when the point comes that you feel guilty about reading what you want, there’s something majorly wrong. I’m glad that you’ve found what works for you. Having that flexibility is what keeps people happy with their hobbies — I mean, once nothing is flexible, that kind of makes it like a job, when this is all supposed to be for fun! Enjoyment is priority number one, after all, when it comes to reading, I think.

    • I think when the point comes that you feel guilty about reading what you want, there’s something majorly wrong. <-- That is EXACTLY how I feel, and what led me to abandon my schedule, and make this post. Reading and blogging should never feel like a job (unless it really is your job... lol), so enjoyment really SHOULD come first. I'd lost sight of that, but I'm so glad I wised up! ;) Thanks for stopping by, Shannon! :)

    • Wow, that was weird…

      I’m a total mood-reader and I can’t schedule what I read. I need to read what I feel like reading or I’ll hate the book and throw it across the room. I just got out of a slump again because I hadn’t learned from my mistake the first time. I try to read ARC’s when they’re close to release or at least post my review within a week before release if I felt like reading it before that. So yeah. No schedule.

      • lol, no worries Bieke!

        I was *soclose* to a hiatus, myself — but the decision to abandon my schedule has totally changed blogging outlook. I feel like I can breathe again! I think that’s what I’m going to be leaning toward with ARC’s too — if I don’t feel like reading them too far ahead of release, I won’t worry! I’ll just read them closer to release and post my reviews then. :D

  6. This is exactly why my reading schedule is very ‘loose’. I have a list of books I want to read for the year – including both oldies and upcoming books, and I’ve arranged them into months. I haven’t said I need to read a specific book each day or given myself a time. It’s pretty much ‘these are a list of books for this month’.

    I read them in any order and sometimes I’ll swap them over – read a book scheduled for September in February etc. And I’ll add books to my list if a new one crops up (though I think every book I could possibly want is already on there).

    It’s more of a guideline than anything else. And if I don’t feel in the mood to read a certain book scheduled for that month, I’ll move it to another month and read a different one instead.

    Schedules shouldn’t be set in stone, when it comes to reading. Or it takes the enjoyment out!

    • Wow, that sounds like a great method of organization! I might end up doing something similar for myself, especially with ARC’s – just a pseudo-schedule of “I should probably read this book during this general timeframe”. I’ll probably have to venture into Excel and see what kind of spreadsheets I can make for this purpose! XP

  7. Reading schedules totally work for some people but not for me! I tend to read pretty fast, so I do plan on *blog* post ahead of time(and am scheduled for reviews until like. . . the end of May or something), but I can’t stick to a reading schedule! It makes reading a chore for me. I’m a super scheduler in real life, and reading is the one thing I *don’t* super crazy scheduled. I even schedule my TV viewing! So to have reading be the one thing without a schedule is a bit of a necessity for my sanity, I think. That means sometimes I read ARCs that are releasing in 4 months and sometimes I post ARC reviews after the release date. . . and I’m learning that’s really not a big deal. No one I’ve worked with has even been bothered by it, and it hasn’t affected my approvals as far as NG/EW at all. I do make a monthly TBR, but it’s not in any order and it’s definitely just suggestions–I deviate from it a lot, but it also helps me see how many books I will probably read that month. It works for me!

    • Yes! I’ve seen a lot of people talking about how ARC reviews can be more impactful closer to, or after, release dates – which is also something that went into my complete abandonment of my schedule. If the post date doesn’t matter that much, I shouldn’t worry about scheduling things to happen a certain amount of time before release days! *phew!*

  8. I don’t have a reading schedule. The only thing I do to make it easy for me is listing every ARC in my ARC/eARC spreadsheet in excel. I can see in one quick view which books I need to read soon, but I don’t like to force myself to read it. It always ends up in me being an unhappy reader and that’s not how I want to feel. So sometimes I’m a little guilty of reading a book a little later than the publication date, but that’s the only way to give the book a fair shot. If I force myself to read it, I probably DNF it. I’m a mood reader too :) But I must say, my disorganized way works great. Most of the times I’m pretty on top of the review books.

    • YES YES YES!! I want to give ALL my books a fighting chance, and I think my schedule was definitely hurting that. It’s so great that you’re letting yourself be less strict about when you read ARC’s, so you can read them in the best light possible. I’m really excited to do that, myself. I’ll probably make an spreadsheet too, to keep myself mentally organized – it sounds like that works really well! :D

  9. I love this post, Nikki! I’m glad you’re in a happier place with your reading now. Reading schedules definitely aren’t for everyone, and I don’t think it’s worth trying to force yourself into one. Doing so will probably just result in your resenting reading, and then that really would be a sad day!

    For me, I think I’m kind of in the middle. Last year, I didn’t do any mood reading at all. I randomly chose my next reads with a random number generator. I had two separate TBR lists: my longlist and shortlist, if you like, and I’d read four books from my longlist and then one from my shortlist. I thought that way, I’d be reading the books that I probably wouldn’t choose otherwise and that would get forgotten at the bottom of my TBR pile. It worked, for a little while, but I realised that I was starting to regret picking up a book from my longlist when I really, really wanted to read that book from my shortlist.

    This year, I’ve tried to follow my mood a bit more. I still have a little bit of a schedule, to keep me on track with reading ARCs (although, even with those, I often have my reviews up after the release date, and I’ve stopped caring), and I still try to include some of the books on my longlist because I’m sure there are some hidden gems in there, but those books that are on my shortlist are the ones that I really want to read, and am more likely to enjoy, so I should be paying more attention to them. I think most of my reads this year have been positive, so it definitely shows, I think.

    • Doing so will probably just result in your resenting reading… <-- that's exactly where I was headed, and it was NOT pretty!! The random-number thing is such an interesting idea. But at the end of the day, you're still forcing yourself to read those books, right? So it's kind of like a schedule? It sounds like you found a really good system so far this year though! I'm definitely viewing release-dates a bit less "deadline-y" now, too -- it can be impactful to post an ARC review after a book is released, because then people can go out and buy it right away! And I'm really excited to be feeling more positive about my reads, as well. Outlook going into a book really DOES shape whether you enjoy it or not. If you don't want to read it... you're probably not going to like it! =S

  10. I had a huge smile plastered to my face reading this post because I could totally guess where it was all leading to and yes. Yes, and yes.

    I struggled with reading schedule back in 2012 myself ’cause I was so into reading review books and blog tours and stuff. It got exhausting pretty fast. I hated it and I hated myself. But it took me a long time to let go of it. I dedicated the whole of December last year to reading books I had been dying to read (Re: Cinder, The Raven Boys, Throne of Glass, VA series). I LOVED IT.

    This year I’m drowning in ARCs instead of review books because I got auto-approved on Edelweiss and all of my self-control vanished. I’m guilty I know but I’m also switching it up with books I want to read so it’s not all bad. I do read what I want to because scheduling makes me slow and dull and it’s not pretty. Been there, done that. So your advice just makes me happy that I’m not the only one.

    • YAYYYY, I’m so glad I brought some sunshine to your day. XD A month of dying-to-read books sounds AMAZING. And yes, I went crazy when I got auto-approved as well. I didn’t quite grasp that I didn’t have to download ALL THE THINGS right away. They stick around! No need to get in over your head! =S I’m still drowning in those eARCs. But I think, now that I’ve abandoned my schedule, they’re actually looking MORE appealing, now that I know I’m not forcing myself to read any of them at a time when I don’t want to — you know?

      YOU ARE NOT ALONE!! We schedule-less people need to stick together. XD

  11. I went through something similar to this awhile back and came to basically the same conclusion: my blog is my hobby and while I’m going to make an effort to read the arcs I’ve requested or downloaded, I’m also not going to force a schedule or a book I’m not enjoying on myself. I’ve honestly never had a problem DNF acrs, though. If something isn’t catching my interest, I have no problem moving on. There are just too many books I want to read to waste any time I’m books I’m not enjoying. Great post!

    • I’m slowly learning the art of DNFing (I never have a problem DNFing books I’ve bought or borrowed, but ARCs are another story). But I figure, not all books are for everyone, and the odd DNF of an ARC, while unfortunate, is probably inevitable. Life is too short to read books we’re not enjoying!

  12. I’ve always been desperately jealous of those people who had their beautiful reading schedules and always posted reviews within a week of the book’s release date, but I’m a total mood reader too. I can’t read something if I’m not in the mood for it, so a tight schedule would just never work. I’d end up in total fail mode. I do something very similar to you now! I keep up with what’s releasing in the next month or so, and keep those books in mind when I’m picking my next read. If one is appealing or nothing else jumps out at me, I read it. If something else is calling my name, that’s what I read. I almost never DNF, which I think is really a result of this method, since I’m always reading what I’m in the mood for, rather than something I have to be reading. Great post, and I’m glad you are back to happily reading as you please! ;D

    • Me too! It just seemed so ideal! But I think this no-schedule thing is going to be really helpful — especially, as you said, for the DNF’s. If I want to read a book, rather than HAVE to read a book, I’m pretty sure there will be a much better chance of me *wanting* to finish it, even if I maybe don’t love it that much.

  13. Ugh, hard post. I always want to keep a reading schedule because I feel the need to organize a bit otherwise I’ll just review EVERYTHING, but I’ve also found some of my favorite reads in the sort of whimsical ‘that sounds interesting’ book shopping adventures. What it’s sort of come down to is just using my goodreads to organize my to-read list, then time estimating from there. “If I can finish a book every 3 days, then ten books on my to-read list puts me a month out”, ect.

    Books will always skip ahead on the reading list for me though, so I keep that fudge factor in view. And sometimes, I just don’t feel like reading certain books so it’s hard to ‘schedule’ them to go in a certain order. This week I may love dystopians. Next week I may feel burnt out of them. I do think wiggle room is necessary.

    And I love the Loki Gif. <3

  14. First of all, I’m so happy you reached this place!!! Mood reading is so much better than scheduled reading, because your day to day emotions can range all over the place! Sometimes you need fantasy, sometimes you need an emotional contemporary, and it’d be hard to shove something completely opposite at yourself and actually enjoy it.

    Second: 400,000 words in one book??? That’s even more terrifying than Game of Thrones to be honest O_O

    • First: ME TOO! I’m definitely excited to be able to read what I’m in the mood for, rather than what my schedule dictates.

      Second: I think a couple of the GoT books are actually longer than WoR, but yeah. Nothing quite compares when you receive a book box from Amazon that feels like it’s got 5 books in it, and there’s actually only one very, very large hardcover. XD

  15. Ugh, the guilt! I suffer from it, too, and like you I often find myself reading books because I have convinced myself I HAVE to, rather than because I WANT to. I defo think we’re better off reading what we like :)

    • It’s just the WORST feeling in the world, I’m convinced. It turns a fun hobby into a chore, and that’s not ok! We’re definitely better off reading what we want. :D

  16. *hides page on blog called Reading Schedule* >.>. First off, I read every word of this post and that is impressive! Normally I end up skimming by the end of any post, no matter how interesting the subject material. Therefore, you are awesome at writing engaging posts :D

    Second, I also did a strict reading schedule around the same time since the number of books I had to read was an actual manageable amount. Then I resolved to try to be a month ahead of my ARCs in 2014, so now I’ve got my month by month reading schedule which is working pretty well. I’ve gotten to the point where I just can’t read all these books on time, so I’ve given up that goal, and instead am just picking from the books for the upcoming month. Therefore, I’m still kind of mood reading, since I’m not going strictly by publication date and definitely not scheduling reviews until I’ve actually finished the book and written them, but I’ve narrowed the books to pick from which helps me a lot actually (no camel between two bails of hay for me!). Even though I’m crazy behind on April reads, I think I’ve found the right combination of structure and choice for my own reading habits and I hope that you find something that works for you too :D

    • Hahahaha, omg, I didn’t even know you had a page like that! It’s so organized and beautiful and… NOPE NOPE NOPE I’m not a scheduler anymore!! :O lol

      Aww, thank you so much for saying that though – I’m so glad you found it engaging! :D

      I’m probably going to settle on a loose “keep tracks of what ARC’s are coming out soonest and more seriously consider reading those before other books”. That might resolve into a monthly “reading suggestions” list – maybe some Goodreads shelves like “to-read-in-April-2014” sort of thing? We’ll see. For now, it just feels so freeing to not be stuck in rigid schedule anymore. \O/

  17. This was me a few months ago. I obviously can not handle reading shcedules. It’s just not gonna happen anymore. Not even a blogging schedule cause I’ll just get stressed about HAVING to have a post up or something. Now I just do what I want. Works great :)

  18. This is exactly why I decided to never request ARCs, because I knew it would stress me out! It’s great for other people, but not me! I need to read what I want when I want! So I say go Nikki!!! :D

  19. I completely agree! I’m definitely a mood reader, so I only read what I want to read. To be honest, even with review books, if I don’t feel like reading them at the time, I just won’t. Don’t even feel guilty about it lol. I just feel like if I went into the book with that sort of mindset, I wouldn’t really like it as much- which would mean that the review would then be tainted with a bit of negativity. That being said, I do have a semi-schedule for reading where I have a list of books that I need to review in order of release date, and I try make sure that I read the books by then.

    Also OMGGGG I SEE YOU ARE READING THE LIES OF LOCKE LAMORA! I looooove that book :D Really hope you’re enjoying it too! Man, it’s just so clever!

  20. Oh Nikki, you’ve just said everything that is in my heart. I’m pretty stressed right now and I’m so behind with my review schedule, and THERE ARE SO MANY BOOKS I just want to read right now! I get so jealous to see other bloggers who can plow through a book a day and read so many more books than I can, but I just don’t I read that fast. I am going to take your advice and try to be a happier reader. :-)

  21. I tried the schedule thing too and it didn’t work for me either. Lol. I understand the pressure of review copies, but I had to let it all go. It was too stressful. So I take my time with a lot of books now. I know I’m drowning in ARCs, but I’ll finish them all someday. Maybe. :P happiness first :D

  22. As a new blogger, one of the major things I wrestled with was the idea of having a schedule, not only for reading, but also for my blog. Originally I only had one for when I should put blog posts up, but not for reading, and that seemed to be going really well. I’m a mood reader, so no schedule let me read what I wanted, when I wanted to, and as a newbie I don’t have to worry abut ARC’s! However, what has failed me this week has been having a blog schedule. I’ve been feeling out of it (spring break issues) and I wasn’t reading and my schedule seemed daunting. Now that I’ve had the week to think about it, I defitently will be approaching blogging and reading with a much more relaxed vibe!

  23. I have a calendar which I put ARCs on so I know when their release dates are… but I can’t stick to a strict reading schedule. First I read at completely weird rates. Sometimes I’ll really be in the mood and finish a book in a day. Sometimes it takes me 6 or 7 days to read a book. Also I HATE feeling like I can’t just pick up a book and read it without like asking my schedule for permission. But even so I’ve been starting to feel like I want to go off the rails and just read books from 2008 for a whole month and not review ANY of them. Mwahahahaha. Great Topic :) I know exactly how you feel…. and you know if you aren’t in the mood for a certain book, that’s probably going to affect your opinion of it, so it’s better for everyone this way :)

  24. I learned this early on that getting an ARC was not a blessing, it was almost a curse because it felt like homework! I am being really picky now with the ARCs I request and the blog tours. I do use Google Calendar to help me keep on track, so a little tedious, but I am way more happy!
    Missie @ A Flurry of Ponderings

  25. I started with a harsh reading schedule like you had at the beginning with the calendar and everything. For me, I recently stopped this when I ran into a bunch of series that I could not wait to pick up the next book for as well as seeing really hyped books and wanting to read them right away. Now, I just request a couple of books at the library at the beginning and middle of the month. That way, I have a little bit of wiggle room for things like unexpected ARCs and new, interesting books.

  26. Pingback: Weekly Recap| Mar 23-29, 2014 | Oh, the Books!

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  28. Fantastic post, it looks like you over scheduled yourself too perfectly. I use the calendar method and it works for me, but it is looser. I read on an average month 17-27 books. Each month I accept and add 8-10 ARCs and schedule them for the month they are due to release. I do not add anything else to my schedule. If a book is for a tour I add it with the color read so that I know it must publish that day. I read in advance, and am currently posting reviews for late April. so when I look at the books on my calender I know I have 3 weeks to read the 4 arcs that are scheduled those weeks. So I may read 2 or 3 books I want to read and then arc. I DNF. Yep, even arcs. Hey not every book is for everyone, and I took a chance and it didn’t work. So I write a mini review to publisher telling them why I did not finish. They still love me. Also and this is so important..i am picky about the books I accept for review..most are books that are on my wishlist.

  29. Pingback: Note to Self: Scrap the Reading Schedule | Paper Breathers

  30. I cannot tell a lie: the doctor who GiFS made me so happy! But this post was a great encouragement, I feel myself falling into the read and review trap. Whenever I begin to feel this way, I try to wrap up what’s on my plate and then stay away from Netgalley. I try to turn to my unread books waiting on my bookshelf. They are there because I bought them and wanted to read them!

  31. I know exactly how you feel! I’m currently reading from my monthly TBRs. But I do try my best to fit in books that I REALLY want to read, so it’s not strictly review books. I start reading the review books, then when there’s time left (there usually is) I can read whatever I want (:

    Sorry to hear about your struggle! I hope things work out for you!

    Lisa
    http://www.turningpages94.blogspot.com

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