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!

Top Ten Tuesday: Thanks, but no thanks — books I no longer plan to read

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. Each week, there’s a new top 10 theme — check out the host blog for a list of upcoming topics.

This week’s topic is Books I’ve Decided I’m No Longer Interested In Reading

We all have them, right? Books we had to have, for one reason or another… and then they sit there, unread, and eventually we decide that nah, not interested, not going to happen. And the books end up staying on the shelf, unread and unloved, until they get tossed into the donation bag next time we do a shelf purge.

Here are my assorted books that I’d planned to read at some point, but now know that I probably never will:

1. The Last Star by Rick Yancey: I loved The 5th Wave, and really didn’t like The Infinite Sea. After feeling so let down by the second book, I’m no longer interested in the conclusion of the trilogy.

2. Lair of Dreams by Libba Bray: I loved The Diviners, but felt it would have been great as a stand-alone. And by the time a sequel came out, I didn’t feel invested in the characters or story any longer.

3. An Abundance of Katherines by John Green: I think I’m just John Green-ed out. I didn’t enjoy the last couple of his books that I read (Looking for Alaska and Paper Towns), and can’t see any reason to read this one, even though I own a copy.

4. Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card: I’m a sci-fi fan, and had heard for years that I should read this book — but, after reading all the articles about the author’s personal beliefs and political stance, I just can’t.

5. Poison Study books by Maria V. Snyder: I liked the sound of these books enough to pick up the first three at various book sales, but after having them on my shelf for all these years, I think it’s time to admit that I’m just never going to be interested enough to actually read them.

6. Spook by Mary Roach: I’ve loved so many of her books, but between the lukewarm reviews I’ve heard from friends and the amount of time that’s passed since I got a copy, I don’t really feel all that compelled to ever read this book.

7. The Bronze Horseman by Paullina Simons: I picked up a copy based on the raves of some of my book group friends, but the length and subject matter are both factors in my never actually feeling like reading this book.

8. The Languedoc books by Kate Mosse: I’ve read and loved one book by this author (The Winter Ghosts). But these three books are all huge, and they’ve been on my shelves for so long without me ever feeling like starting them. At this point, I just don’t see it happening.

9 & 10. And finally, a couple that I picked up at a recent library sale — but so far, I haven’t felt the urge to start either one.

Are there any here you think I should reconsider?

Please share your thoughts and share your links!

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Do you host a book blog meme? Do you participate in a meme that you really, really love? I’m building a Book Blog Meme Directory, and need your help! If you know of a great meme to include — or if you host one yourself — please drop me a note on my Contact page and I’ll be sure to add your info!

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Top Ten Tuesday: Books that have been on my TBR list for way too long…

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. Each week, there’s a new top 10 theme — check out the host blog for a list of upcoming topics.

This week’s topic is Books That Have Been On My TBR the Longest and I Still Haven’t Read

It’s a little hard to figure out which books have been lingering on my TBR list the longest. I started on Goodreads in 2011, but I definitely had plenty of “to-read” books hanging around before then!

In no particular order, a bunch of books that have been on my TBR shelf for a really, really long time:

1. 84, Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff

2. I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith

3. Tooth and Claw by Jo Walton

4. The Discworld series by Terry Pratchett, starting with The Color of Magic

5. 1776 by David McCullough

6. My Cousin Rachel by Daphne du Maurier

7. Sirens of Titan by Kurt Vonnegut

8. The Eden Moore trilogy by Cherie Priest (omg, those covers!)

9. Moloka’i by Alan Brennert

10. Lisey’s Story by Stephen King

 

 

Have you read any of the books on my list? Which do you recommend?

Please share your thoughts and share your links!

♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

Do you host a book blog meme? Do you participate in a meme that you really, really love? I’m building a Book Blog Meme Directory, and need your help! If you know of a great meme to include — or if you host one yourself — please drop me a note on my Contact page and I’ll be sure to add your info!

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Mood Rings & Mood Reading

Remember these from ye olden days?

mood ringMood rings! Gah, we were obsessed with these (briefly) in my middle school days. Every girl had to have one — and we took them seriously. Blue means you’re happy! Orange was… angry, I think? Red was supposedly in love. I don’t even remember any more, except that we loved them, we teased each other over what our rings said about our moods, and then the fad faded away, as such things do.

What does this have to do with reading?

Well, I’m having one of THOSE kind of days, stuck in the reading doldrums. Perhaps it’s a result of the reading week I’ve just had. I read a highly anticipated sequel that was mostly a disappointment, and then read another book that really fell flat for me. And now I look around at all the stacks of books waiting to be read, and I just don’t know what to read next.

Nothing is particularly calling my name. Choices abound. On the tops of my piles are a history book, some YA contemporary, a few random ARCs, and a classic or two. I want to read them all… but I don’t know what I want to read right now.

I need a reading mood ring!mood rings 2

Wouldn’t that be awesome? Instead of starting a book and reading a few pages, then sighing and looking for something else, wouldn’t it be great to have a magical mood ring that could identify exactly what the perfect next choice would be?

Blue ring? Pick up some epic fantasy, like Mistborn or The Lies of Locke Lamora!

Red? How about something with battles and blood, like a war epic or a history book or historical fiction? Maybe even some war-themed sci-fi, like Old Man’s War by John Scalzi?

Green? I’m thinking hints of magic, like a fairy tale retelling (Bitter Greens, perhaps) or some new urban fantasy, like Nicole Peeler’s Jinn and Juice.

Yellow? Hmm, I don’t know, perhaps some contemporary dramatic novels?

Purple? I’d go with YA, anything current and fun and bestselling, of course.

cootieThink of the possibilities! How about a Magic 8 ball that picks a genre for you? Or maybe a cootie catcher with eight different book titles inside?

For now, though, I’m kind of stuck. I have no magical devices or cheesy 70s artifacts to pick my next book for me! I guess I’ll have to do it the old-fashioned way… and just dive in, start a few books, and hope something clicks in a big way.

If not, I’ll be wandering the streets looking for a palm-reader to help me figure it all out.

Should I read some Stephen King today?

Should I read some Stephen King today?