For several months now, many bloggers (myself included) have talked about reading fatigue, both on their blogs and through social media conversations. Apart from making the time to read each day, it’s been difficult diving into books because we haven’t felt excited to read them. For some people, it’s the pressure of reviewing ARCs over backlist titles. For others, it’s not finding enjoyment in one’s usual go-to genres. For many, it’s something unidentifiable, but it leaves an emptiness nonetheless.
Reading is my job. Reading is, quite truly, my life. I am an agent, so I read lots of manuscripts and decide whether or not I want to represent them in hopes of selling them and getting them published. I am a librarian, so I read lots of backlist titles in the collection to recommend to patrons as well as books chosen by the book group I run. And I am a blogger, and I [attempt] to read a mixture of ARCs, re-reads, and books on my TBR to share my enthusiasm with you.
But somewhere along the line, my consumption of reading published books diminished. Reading was still enjoyable, but it felt like a chore.
After staring at my TBR bookcase — packed so full with books I’ve purchased and haven’t read yet — I had an epiphany. And of course, that meant sharing it with Lindsey and Morgan, who also had similar epiphanies.
I have to go back to my reading roots.
With that light bulb flash, I decided to come up with a loose reading plan. In 2017, I’ll have to read at least 24 books for the library. With my goal to read 50 books a year every year, that leaves at least 26 spots to fill. Why not fill it with books pre-chosen from my TBR case?
Then it became easy. I would read the books by authors whose writing I’ve enjoyed, authors I know will not disappoint me, authors I would’ve continued reading even if I never had the agent job, the library job, or the blogging hobby. I’ve forgotten how to properly binge-read, the way I would with Harry Potter and Narnia and yes, even Cassandra Clare. I lost the art of binge-reading after Book of Life, because my own life in books took off. I miss that. I want that back.
Thankfully, I have several copies of books by two authors with series that fit this bill. It’s about time I’ve finished Juliet Marillier’s Sevenwaters series (Daughter of the Forest is so amaaaaaaaazing, as is the Shadowfell trilogy!) and started her new Blackthorn & Grim series. I also haven’t read Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series in a while (March 2015, in fact), and I want to finish the rest of her [published] series before the last book (or two) comes out.
When I made this little announcement on instagram, Alyssa was quick to remind me of some other novels by Juliet Marillier I should try, and I’ve already checked out Heart’s Blood. It should get me back into Marillier’s style easily, as it’s thankfully a standalone.
So now what? I have 11 books from my TBR bookcase to read in 2017, leaving 15 other books — new authors, other TBR books, ARCs — to fill the void. I think that’s an excellent start to my vague reading goal.
Have you experienced reading fatigue? What did you do to get out of the slump?
Have your reading habits changed since you started blogging? What other factors in your life have changed your reading habits?
Do you have any books or series you’re dying to start or finish?