Monday, November 12, 2007

How do you balance your reading?

So I've been meaning to ask all of you this question, How do you balance your reading? I've started several posts on it, but each time, I ended up deleting it...

But before jumping in, I'd like to ask you how was your week-end? Mine was pretty relaxing as usual. Stayed home and read :D However, the reading wasn't great :( I read If Angels Burn and Dark Need from the Darkyn series by Lynn Viehl. This is another vampires series, a bit complicated to put into few words. Basically, these vampires were Templar Knights (?) that came back from their last Crusade with an affliction. Even if it's been 700+ years, they are quite set in the medieval's ways, i.e. they have a King (High Lord) and queen, kind of... and some Darkyns are given jardins (territories) to govern over and stuff like that... and they are fighting the Brethens (kind of religious league). Anyway, I gave a try to this series because I know that many really enjoy it, especially Rosie... However, I don't think that I'm going to be reading anymore of this series. It just didn't do it for me... I wasn't hooked at the end of the first book. I didn't like all the medieval court elements in the story, I didn't like the heroine... I didn't even know what Darkyns really are... their goals, their special abilities, etc. I read Dark Need because I already had it in my TBR pile and I'm actually glad I didn't buy more of the books.

I also started an Elizabeth Lowell, can't remember the title right now... It was a secret baby plot which I ended up skimming through. I'll try to go back and re-read it... Finally, I started Catch A Mate by Gena Showalter. I know Ames thought I've read it, but no... it's been sitting in my TBR pile for awhile... I think it was Chantal that recommended it to me... and I know Kris enjoyed it a lot. So far, it's okay. I like the idea and the dialogue... but the characters are annoying me just a little. They're really stubborn and their world entirely too black or white. To Jillian, all men are pigs interested in sex. I can understand how she came to this conclusion given her past experiences. My problem is she seems to think that women are perfect. Then enters Marcus who thinks the exact opposite, women would do anything for sex and men are the victims. I'm sorry, but seriously, nowadays, both sides cheat.. however, there are ppl that do not. Anyway, I'm half way through the book, still not finished... so let see how this book gets.

Okay, now back to the initial topic... How do you balance your reading?

See, lately, I've come to realize something about my reading... Ever since I've started blogging and keeping a book journal, I've been pushing myself very hard to read a lot of books... If i don't read this number of books, this is not a good week or a good month... Yeah, I'm very competitive by nature. The problem though is that it's taking away a bit of my enjoyment. I mean, I still love to read books and so on, but yeah, I could do without the pressure. Also, in my quest of reading as much books as possible, I haven't had much time for re-reads... which sucks. I mean, I have all those great books on my shelve for a reason right? So I could re-read them... Actually, I have been re-reading some of the books, but always the same. The last couple of months, I've been re-reading Demon Angel and Warprize a lot to get me out of slump ^^; Then, there's also my manga... it's been awhile since I've last re-read some series... but where am I going to find time to re-read them if I'm reading new books? Ugh. so yeah, that's my dilemma and I'm wondering how you guys are doing? Better than me?

Oh and last thing, I seriously should stop book binging... It's great to have lots of books, but I'm always bored of them after a couple of weeks. I mean, I look at my TBR pile and they just don't appeal to me anymore. Instead, I want to go buy new books or books I don't have... I guess they're more appealing when they are at the bookstore or UBS than in my TBR pile. Sigh.


  1. I wish I could read more books than I do, but I don't have the time. I used to do most of my reading after the kids went to bed and then I'd lay in my bed reading for a few hours. Right now I have several sewing projects on the go that I tend to after my kiddies are asleep and that cuts into my reading time.

    What seems to take the enjoyment of reading away from me is trying to figure out which book to read next. My TBR is not as big as yours and Ames' but it is overwhelming to me. I never know what to read next, and I said I would stop book buying till I got through most of my TBR, but yesterday I went to Chapters and bought 4 more books. Augh.

  2. aww, I liked the Darkyn series too, but, it is definately not for everyone. (It's the later books inthe series that get good, imo.) Sorry it didn't suit ya tho.

    It's a tough thing- I usually have to go outside my normal reading genre to keep me balanced and in my reading mojo. However I don't feel any push to read more than I usually do.

    Don't feel guilty if you're not in the mood for the new ones, re-read or pick up something different ... the tbr pile will be waiting for you when you're ready!

  3. You know I can relate to the pressure to read more and read fast. Partly because I like to discuss whatever other people are reading and throw in my two cents and partly because I used to read faster.

    I go through phases where I feel overwhelmed by my tbr and look at books and wonder why in heck I purchased them too. So I will take time and go through and weed out books I KNOW I'm never going to read. That relieves some pressure.

    Here lately I also go ahead and read whatever I'm in the mood for and don't worry if I just bought something new if I'm really in the mood to read something else from the tbr. Give in to your reading craving. If it's re-reading a favorite or your manga series I it!

  4. All I can suggest is, don't look at reading as a competition. I mean, who are you trying to beat? LOL

    Don't feel bad about the crazy book buying - you have a crappy library. :P I suggest put your tbr books in boxes so you're not looking at them all the time. And then you'll occassionally delve into your boxes and be surprised with what you've got. :P

  5. Oh, that is a good idea, Ames.

  6. Thanks, I have my moments. LOL

  7. I feel you. I try not to push myself because then it would feel like I am forcing myself to read and then it feels obligatory which equals no fun for me. I have cleaned up my bookshelves a bit and highlighted books that I am still anticipating when I first bought it (mostly historical fiction novels and manga titles!). My blog, OTOH, is a hobby and I blog about anything and everything and if there are no books read one week, well, no updates, no topics. I'm kind of winding down on the commentary bits these days because I have no time, barely have time to read! Worse thing is that I am a SLOW READER! Hate that. But what can you do? I love to read and I like to take my time doing it.


  8. Chantal - euh, Chantal, you already read A LOT! LOL. I can't imagine you reading even more. I don't have TBR pile anxiety which is surprising. My problem is I lose interest fast I guess... Like the books I bought at the bookfair a month ago... I don't know what to read right now and they don't appeal to me, I don't feel like reading them. Instead, I want to go buy books and read those.

    So what books did you buy?

    Zeek - hey Zeek :D yeah, the first book was so-so... the only one I was interested in was Lucan and lucky me, I had that book at home :D but then, I didn't get how Sam could fall in love with Lucan. I haven't seen anything to show me that they could fall in love. Anyway, I didn't like the style that much... :( As for balancing genres, I'm getting much better. I'm now reading historicals and highlanders romances... although that's mostly because there are less contemporaries and I'm fed up of paranormals...

    Rosie - that's true what you're saying, Rosie. I'll do the same, try to join the hype and therefore, read faster.

    I should purge my TBR pile, but then, I tried the other day and I was like: it wasn't so bad... it wasn't as big as I thought... so in the end, I didn't purge it.

    Ames - I'm trying to beat myself. Ridiculous, right? and the TBR pile is now in boxes already :D

    Keishon - Keishon, that's exactly how I feel... because of the pressure, I feel obligated and therefore, it's no longer fun. See the thing is usually, i'm very fast reading the books I was so anxiously waiting. So those are read... it's the ones I usually buy based on reviews or recs or back blurb that are still left in my TBR pile. By the way, keep reading Fruits Basket :D It's really good :P

  9. I wish I had more time to read ~ I really do. I'm in the middle of three books right now ~ I used to only be able to read one at a time. Now I start a bunch and stick with the one that catches me the most.

    And, I can completely relate on the binging. Ugh.

  10. I used to do that to myself, too, and feel guilty when I don't read so many books a week. But when I do that, reading stops being enjoyable. It's hard when others are reading books I haven't read yet, so I try not to read those blog posts.

    Blogging has helped get me past the reading slump, which is why I'm reluctant to give that up. Maybe I should just not do it so much.

  11. I was a sloth this weekend. I did nothing but read a book and watch a lot of anime. But it was a good weekend for me, so I’m not complaining. ;-)

    I tried reading If Angels Burn about a year ago, but it was a DNF for me; I just couldn’t get into and really don’t understand a lot of the hype surrounding the series.

    As for finding a reading balance, what works for me is just reading when I feel like it. If I feel like reading a book, I’ll read a book; if I feel like watching anime for days instead, then I’ll watch anime. I don’t put any pressure on myself anymore to complete a certain number of books each month because what’s the point? No one is going to hand you a prize at the end of the year, or put a notice of shame on your blog because you only read one or two books last month. Sometimes I look at my shelves and feel I need to read, read, read! But reading is for enjoyment so you really should just forget about book counts and just allow yourself to enjoy what you read. Otherwise, why do it? That’s the conclusion I’ve come to.

    If you enjoy buying lots of books, then you should continue but if you’re no longer enjoying it, maybe you should consider limiting your purchases only to things you’re really interested in, or to series you’re already reading. I now keep a book calender to help me keep tracks of books I'm really interested in, or looking forward to.

  12. Hmmm, that Anonymous person up there was me. I forgot to sign up and blogger still posted my comment.

    Dev- I think we all wished we could read more :P and that's not a bad idea actually, you know. Reading many and sticking to the most interesting... maybe I should considered it :D and yeah, book binging... I'm such a bad influence LOL

    Stacy - blogging is so fun... and actually, I don't blog about all the books I read... only the one that "call" to me... LOL

    DC - that is the extremely nice life :D what anime did you watch?

    As for If Angels Burn, I mean, everyone has different tastes... so I can understand ppl liking it. just not me :P

    and thanks very much for the advices :D

  13. Sometimes it helps to get outside the romance genre altogether- which is why I'm sure you go to anime!

  14. I feel you on the Darkyn series. I couldn't get into it either.

    Now, that I've finally gotten a full time job I'm trying to adjust and learn how to balance....we everything including reading....when/if I figure it out...I'll let ya know :)

  15. I noticed i've been pushing myself to read more too. Not working out cause now I'm in a funk. lol. It could be all I have in my TBR are rereads and I'm just not feeling them. Maybe some new books will cheer me up.

  16. Unfortunately I'm very unbalanced these days. My reading is way down - but on the plus side, my blogging is way up!

  17. Arggh... blogger just ate my comment!

    Zeek - I'm actually a romance fan to the core. No romance, no nath :P Most anime/manga have a romance story/plot somewhere... even in shounen manga which are the one directed at boys. Even a slight touch is enough for me :P

    Mollie - Do you leave on your own? I still live at home with my parents, so I still have a lot of time to read... I'm dreading the day I move out or start dating LOL :P Unless my bf would love to read too... that'd be great.

    Isabel - Yeah, I noticed too that the more I push myself to read, I get mini-reading slump more. Nothing major, but still argh.I'm looking forward to december releases... november was such a slow month. sigh.

    Kristie- I'm happy that your blogging is up :P something else that's up is your book buying LOL :P

  18. How do I balance my reading? I don't. I'm a bad girl. If I'm in the middle of a good book cleaning the house, exercising, calling my dad, doing the laundry, cooking dinner, loving the hubby - yes, even that, all take a back seat. I just finished my 130th book of 2007 this morning... so that shows my obsession.

  19. Sorry to reply to this so late. I just added your blog to my feed reader so I was cruising your latest entries.

    Anyway, yeah, I've noticed the same thing. I have a lot of reading time at the moment because I have a commute three times a week, and I refuse to use that time to do my homework.Anyway, the result has been that I've been reading a lot more than I have in yearsbecause I can, and I've been putting a lot of pressure on myself too.

    I don't know what I'd suggest. I think I'm going to deliberately slow down over the holiday break though, and find some big, doorstopper epic fantasy series to get lost in and ead pretty much those books exclusively over the holiday break. With a longer book, there's no use rushing to finish, and hopefully it'll give me a chance to savor what I'm reading. But I don't know if that's the ort of thing tht will actually work... It's just my plan for the moment.

  20. Crystal - I wish I could do the same as you... I think I'm somehwere around my 110th book of the year... not too bad :P

    Shannon - Welcome to my blog!! Well it's understandable that you read so much if you have to commute every day. Pressure is really ridiculous when you read for enjoyment ^^; If you find a good epic/fantasy series, let me know!

    ps. do you have a blog or something?

  21. Nath,

    Sure thing. I love epic fantasy, although I tend to go for slightly darker fantasy to balance out the romance. Heh.

    Anyway, my blog is here: