A Reader’s Reality: Let’s give the “Get To” approach a try!

It’s the age-old lament of book lovers everywhere: So many books. So little time. What’s a reader to do?

Sometimes when I contemplate my huge stacks of books waiting to be read, I feel all mopey and lost. I dream of a day when I can do nothing but read.

But since I live in the real world — one filled with bills and taxes and work and responsibilities — my dream of reading 24/7 will have to wait.

And that means that I have to prioritize. And like so many bookworms, I keep telling myself that I need to focus on the books I already own. Stop buying new books! Stop requesting books from the library! Stop picking up even more library books on a whim! And the biggie for book bloggers;

Stop requesting so many ARCs!

Because ARCs are simply dominating my Kindle right now, and with the ARCs comes a sense of obligation, or even worse, the guilt that hangs over our heads when we just don’t get around to reading them.

The direction my house is heading in…

Now excuse me for a second while I take a detour…

While staying at a relative’s house this past week, I happened to be in a room where the TV was on most of the day, and one day, the group there was watching some morning talk show. No idea which. In any case, the host and the guest were talking about either a book or maybe the guest’s motivational speaking topic (?) — I didn’t catch all of it. But what did strike me in that moment was the approach the guest was promoting, using a reframing of language to change the way we think about things.

Two examples stuck in my mind:

Rather than talking about “going through a hard time”, substitute the word “growing”: I’m growing through a hard time right now.

Um. No. Not for me. Way too hokey, although if it works for some people, more power to them.

But this one I kind of liked:

Instead of “have to”, try “get to”. Rather than “I have to go to work today”, try “I get to go to work today”. I like this! Kind of puts a more positive spin on things we think of as obligations or objects of dread.

Which brings me back to ARCs. Ah, the long, long list of ARCs. Look, I totally believe that getting ARCs to read is a privilege, and one that I really and truly appreciate. That said, I do get way, way ahead of myself and end up with so many ARCs that they take over my reading life, which leaves me feeling frustrated when I have to ignore all my other books in order to read the ARCs in a somewhat close proximity to their publications dates.

I realize that I’ll probably never tame my impulse to request ARCs, and that’s okay. Because I’m trying my new positive spin!

So no more saying: I have to read so many ARCs this spring.

Instead, I’m celebrating! Because…

I get to read so many ARCs this spring!

What do you think? Does shifting the language also shift the attitude? I’m ready to give it a try. And here I’ll be, reading away to my heart’s contect, relishing my ARCs as well as my other books… all the wonderful stories I get to read!

20 thoughts on “A Reader’s Reality: Let’s give the “Get To” approach a try!

  1. That’s a good way to spin it! Get to read, and not, have to read. Makes it sound like fun instead of like it’s for school.

    I don’t request very many ARCs, so I don’t feel overwhelmed by them. It’s fun to go through NetGalley and see what’s coming out soon. I have found several titles I really enjoyed that I never would have found otherwise.

  2. It’s definitely a better way to look at things (though I’d never be able to adopt the “growing through a hard time” phrase). I have about 8 NetGalley books waiting for me to read and I just can’t get to them because there are so many I either want to read, own or need to read for my book clubs. It is frustrating for me too, yet some people seem to like having too many books on their list. I think the “get to” phrase will come in handy for me in other parts of my life too!

    • I hope so — I’m certainly going to give it a try and see if the “attitude adjustment” helps. πŸ™‚ Between the ARCs and my book group books, I’m going to try my best not to fall behind, and maybe — just maybe — sneak it some other reading too.

  3. I love it! A shifting mindset can sometimes be all that’s needed. I really hope this works for you to feel more positively about it again – it’s amazing how stressful having too much to read can be! Aha! Great post – one to try myself for sure.

    • Exactly — it starts making me upset when I feel stressed about books, because reading should be my #1 pleasure in life! I’m really try to shift my attitude and apply more positive energy toward my TBR commitments. πŸ™‚

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