Sunday, March 21, 2010

Reading Funks and Spontaneous Book Buying

It seems that every time I read a really good book, it's hard for me to choose what to read next. Whatever I pick will most likely suffer in comparison to what I've just finished, so it's hard to get motivated to pick up something new.

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and SweetIn other words, after finishing Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet on Friday (and loving it - review coming soon!), I spent almost all of yesterday procrastinating on picking what to read next. My aversion to reading something new was only compounded by my growing pile of library books with looming due dates. Especially since I didn't really feel up to reading any of the library books sitting on my shelf right now. I ended up running to the bookstore and splurging on some impulse buys. At long last, an Agatha Christie mystery (Appointment with Death - my first Christie mystery!) succeeded in capturing my attention and getting me reading again.

I realized that I hate the pressure of having to read library books by a certain date - especially new releases that I can only check out for one week. I am very much a "moody" reader - I can pick up a book and not be able to get through it if the time isn't right, and a week later I'll pick the same book up and read it in a few days. The pressure to read library books before they're due stresses me out, especially since my frequent bouts of binge-requesting means that I end up with waaaay too many books coming in at once.

The point of this post? I want to take some of the pressure off in terms of reading. I want to try to avoid ending up with tons of library books to read, such that I  ignore what's already sitting in my shelf or feel too guilty to buy new books. Does that make sense? Basically, I want to have more freedom to pick up whichever book on my shelf I feel like reading at the time, without having to worry about when I need to read something by. Or to pick up a book at the bookstore and read it right away, if I want. This means I'm going to try to reign in my library requests for the time being... we'll see how that goes.

Sorry for the rambling post. In book related news, I should have reviews for Enlightened Sexism by Susan J. Douglas and Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford up this week. I also picked up these books at the bookstore yesterday during my impulse book-buying spree:

Appointment with DeathThe Collaborator of Bethlehem: An Omar Yussef MysteryBalancing Acts


  1. Ditto on what you said. I've now been renewing library books for 3 weeks, and I'm no longer in the mood for one particular book though I may try reading it. Looking forward to your thoughts on Balancing Acts!

  2. I'm totally with ya! That's why I don't participate in any of the challenges. I read for fun, and if I feel like I HAVE to read a certain something by a certain time, then it's more a chore than fun!

    And I'm a moody reader, too! You have to be in a certain mood to read some things.
    I think this was a great post! Thanks for your thoughts!

  3. I couldn't agree more. I have been able to limit my requests to one at a time, until recently. The pressure to finish them on time is driving me nuts!

  4. Dana, I totally understand your thoughts about moody reading and pressure from "due dates", whether actual or self-inflicted. Even though I worked in a library, I rarely checked out from there. Why? Because I need to be able to read what I want, when I want. It's why I also don't do challenges. I know that a lot of people can handle those things, but not this girl. Thanks for sharing! Hope you enjoy your Agatha Christie book. I love that it's your first. If you like her writing, you have lots and lots and lots to explore. On your own timetable.

  5. I love Agatha Christie and I hope you enjoy her mysteries.

    I get most of the books I read from the library (I actually go to three different libraries and order interlibrary loans) but thankfully I usually have plenty of time to read my books. I hate that the requests all come in at once but it usually can't be helped. Sometimes I have returned books without reading them. It is too bad that your library only gives you 1 week for new books. I've always hated that practice because not all new books will have that high of a demand and it does put pressure on readers so they may not even be able to take their time and enjoy a book unless they don't mind overdues.

    I hope you are able to enjoy your reading this week without any pressure about due dates.

  6. Did I write this post? You sound just like me Dana. Effective April 1--things change for me!!!!LOL

  7. I adored Hotel On The Corner of Bitter and Sweet so glad to hear you did too!

  8. Wow... I could have written this one!! My goal this year was to read from my shelves, yet I keep placing more library holds and have a pile of nearly 10 books checked out. I HATE due dates!! The problem is that I keep reading all these wonderful reviews on the blogs I follow. Think I'll follow your lead and not place any new holds until May 1. I feel better already :-)

  9. I just don't let myself feel pressured. I tell publishers and publicists upfront that I have a full-time job and family and it could take me a few months to get to a book. If I don't finish a library book in time, I just send it back and put myself back in line if necessary.

    Glad to hear you loved Hotel. I'm looking forward to your review.

    Diary of an Eccentric

  10. I know what you mean about pressure. It gets to be a bit much sometimes. I took a break from accepting reviews, just at a time when one of my favorite authors was coming out with a new book and I missed an opportunity for an ARC. D'oh. But you know what? It's hardly the end of the world, and I needed the break. So there.

  11. I've had to stop going to the library entirely--I was forever bringing home well more to read than I could get through and then I didn't have time to get to the review books, either.