Monday, September 19, 2011

Musing Monday...Life Is Short

This week’s musing, from Miz B at Should Be Reading, asks…

How often do you read a book, just because you’re in the mood to read it? (not because you’re obligated to for a book club, or a challenge, or for review)

The short answer...More and more all the time.

Once upon a time, I suffered from that all too common book blogger illness...excess requesticitis.

When you first start a blog, you see all those other bloggers getting all these great new books and you want them too! Part of it is that they are free, but even more than that it is getting books before they are released, before ordinary folks can go out and buy them. With a favorite author especially, that is really somehow, very exciting. I will not lie..

Not only do you get better at finding books to ask for, but you start getting offers to send you books. Sometimes you even get unrequested books surprising you, arriving in the mail in those nice brown envelopes.
Again, at first it is great. You feel recognized for your carefully written, delightful reviews. ;-)
It's fun.

But then, as with so many good things, it can get out of hand.
The pile gets taller, the dates closer together
You find that all you have time to read are books that you are committed to read. Not that they might not be great but what of the book you read about in some other bloggers great review and want to read? Or those old favorites that you have on your shelves or something you see at the library. You should not have to feel guilty about browsing at the library, should you?

So more and more, over time, I have made some changes.
I request only books that I am  pretty sure I will really enjoy, a book that I would want to buy with my own tightly gripped little hands. Many books that I am offered, I decide not to accept. I have just cut back on review books a fair bit. And I have never done challenges. The idea just does not appeal to me.
See, if I accept a book, I feel a HUGE obligation to finish it, in order to review it. If I buy a book, or take it from the library, I feel no such obligation.
Reading should be fun, not an obligation. Reading should not include a sense of pressure. I should not feel that I have to rush to finish a book just because I have more obligations waiting or a challenge to meet. I am not good with deadlines. And I don't think that under any circumstances should I feel that I must finish a book that I don't like. Reading is fun, it's not a job.

Life is too short to waste time reading books that you do not love!!


  1. So true!!! In the beginning it was too exciting to get all those books. Like you, I am really picky now about what I agree to review - choosing books I'm pretty sure are to my taste.

    Reading is fun- I can't imagine a day without reading and savoring a book. Life is too short - I don't think I'm going to have time to read all the books on my wish list.

  2. I am doing more and more of that and actually recently changed my review policy to reflect that I can not guarantee when I will get to a book sent to me. I can not force the mood, and if I did I probably would not enjoy the book as much.

    I am enjoying reading what I want to read.

  3. Well put.
    I sometimes kick myself for being sucked into the underworld realm of bloggerdome.
    Every season seems to be defined not by the weather, but by the books I have to review.
    It's getting old.

  4. I have received a few books from authors to read and review, but mostly I choose my own reading material,

    When I get Library withdraw, I go visit the library, and get my shot of library time and a book. I just like it that way, because when I started my blog it was just to keep track of what I read, with a brief review just for myself. And I mostly want to keep it that way, the blog is for my own entertainment, and if others visit and enjoy reading it, that is fine with me also.

    I have one book on my shelf to read and review, and than that is it for the time being.

  5. Nicely put!
    I don’t obligate myself to reading something unless I am in the mood for it. Check out my answer for this weeks Monday Musing.

  6. I'm pretty much done with requesting book I think. I've tried cutting back and then life throws things at you and it's difficult or impossible to follow through on your commitment.

    I'm all for a return to reading as you like it or when you like it. I've come to the realization that I'm way too much of a mood reader to be a reviewer that must review on a schedule.

  7. Great way to read nooks. I suffer from excessive requesticitis. I am learning to cut back, but I need to cut back even more. The sense of obligation can take the joy out of reading.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog today as well.

    New follower now.

  8. See I'm still at that beginning book blogger stage, no arc's yet so for now I read what I want when I want :-)
    Here's my response on my blog

  9. I agree with you 100% on this. When I first started book blogging, I was amazed that ANYONE would send me books to review. Then I read a bunch that I didn't really like and it started being an obligation. (Not to mention the pain of having to write an honest but negative review.) Now I am much much much pickier and only accept those that I really want to read or sound awesomely good. I discovered that a few review obligations are OK but too many ruin the fun.


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