Reading Schedules: How Do I Decide What to Read Next

One of the best things about being a small blog, is that I can sort of set my own reading schedule.  Oh, I try to read things that come out recently and all of that.  But having a limited ARC pile and sort of limiting my reviews to books I want to read makes the process a little easier.

It’s still a little aggravating though because I DO want the reviews I do to vary.  And you do end up with a lot  titles, even if you only buy a few books a month.

Here are some ways I try to plan:

1) Once a month I do a TBR Pile feature which I’ll post on the blog.  These posts are more to my benefit than to the readers of this blog.  It helps me go over what I ordered and decide whether I still want it.  Sometimes, some of the things I preorer I end up canceling for various reasons.  Sometimes I can be a little to trigger friendly with that one click button on Amazon and then later when I read reviews I’m like no just no.  The results that I actually post is an edited list-and yes, still sometimes I cancel orders after I post that list or buy more titles.

2) I try to vary my reading sub genres.  Though I personally read mostly YA-because adult titles in general don’t really interest me except on rare occasions-there are a ton of different types of YA within YA.  If I read to much of a certain type of a YA novel, the most recent example being fantasy in one setting I can get burn out fast.  A lot of the high fantasies I’ve seen recently have just sort of been so predictable and formulaic.   Seriously, long lost princess much?

3) I try to make sure I read something light after I read something really serious.  A the same time, I don’t try to overdo it on the light books.  As much as I love both sort of  books, I think it’s important (for me) to factor in burn out.  However, I probably can get away reading more fluff than a lot of serious books.  I think it’s just because real life is so serious (for me at least).  But if I read a few bad light books…ooh not good.

4) Snark Reads.  I don’t do as much of these as I used to because they’re predictable and after reading the abomination that is the Halo trilogy, followed by reading the entire House of Night series, and a couple of other dubious series I just have no fun trying to even rationalize the publication of these books anymore.  Occasionally, if I’m morbidly curious I might still give one a try.  But life is too short for these sorts of books so it has to be a real compelling reason.  Other than let’s see how bad Alexandra Adornetto can screw up writing a screenplay about gender identity (oh yeah, the author of Halo wrote and starred in  a film about such an important issue-I don’t even…well, let’s say I wish her the best).

4) I try to make sure I get to my ARCs that I do have by making a point to read them in their release month.  Occasionally, there will be a Read Now title that sort of gets left on my Kindle but I feel less pressure to read those.  Honestly, I am sort of over the whole Thou Must Read an ARC thing.  Really, I’m a lawyer.  I know I didn’t sign a contract with said publisher to read it and that it’s a gratuitous promise if anything else.  But still, I feel guilt.  A whole bunch of guilt if I don’t at least give the few ARCs I get the good college try which is why I’m really trying hard NOT to request that much unless I really want to read the book.  Since Edelweiss usually  acts like I don’t exist, and I usually find a title I desperately want late in the game on Netgalley this is not a huge issue for me.

5) Whim Reading.  I make an effort to do a whim read a couple of times a month.  It’s nice to break out of schedule and keeps me from getting burn out.  Overall, I keep a very loose schedule so a whim read might seem more common than it should be.  But I find loose reading schedules are better than thou must read X book X day of the month.  Generally, if I do any planning it will be for a week rather than a month.

Below, is an example of what I tentatively have planned for next week:

  • The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh: I am actually almost done with this one (probably will be done when I post).  It was sort of heavy, so I will be reading a couple of lighter reads after this.
  • The World Forgo by Martin Leicht and Isla Neal: A series ender.  I think the best idea to explain this one is that it’s just sort of out there.  I’m sort of in the mood for that, so I’ll more than likely be reading it tomorrow.
  • The Girl at Midnight by Melissa Grey: Sigh, I’ve been reading this one on and off for two weeks.  I got an ARC from Netgalley and I feel obligated to give a nice try.  But I am bored with it.  I’m going to give it a few more pages and decide whether I should at least give it to the fifty percent mark and review or just DNF it and not even bother except for maybe in a DNF Roundup post.
  • From the Notebooks of a Middle School Princess  by Meg Cabot: It’s being released this week and I sort of have a It’s Meg Cabot drop everything you’re reading and read Meg’s stuff policy.

6) I usually read one book at a time.  Because that’s how I roll.  If I’m reading more than one book it usually means I’m struggling with said book. Primarily example, see above example.

7) Commitment Reads.  I do try to have a few commitment reads a month.  This is actually something new I’m starting.  Again, said commitment read will be on the TBR Pile List every month.  Usually it’s like a duh pick.

8) I am thinking about having a Reader’s Choice Pick for the month which leaves this entry with the below poll.

So, what should I read next month?  And how do you decide your reading schedule? Feel free to discuss.

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