Saturday, 14 December 2013

Bookish Musings

This is a sort of pre-round up post. Life has been very crazy-busy for me lately but that should be abating now... and morphing into usual end-of-year craziness. Sigh. But at least that's less stressful and leaves more time for books.

Anyway, I have been, in what few spare moments I've had, thinking about my approach to books. The past couple of years I've been trying to not buy too many books (because I have too many) and instead rationing along the lines of "read three, buy one". This year, I added the caveat that they should be three non-review books, that is only purchased or gifted books counted. That resulted in my not actually buying very many books.

It's not that I dislike review copies or that I have any intention of ceasing to review in the near future, but I don't like that I've ended up putting off buying books that I want read. There is an element of not having enough time to read all the books I want, but it's also hard to prioritise reading a book I haven't bought yet when there are so many already waiting. (So the more I buy books I want to read, the more likely I am to get around to reading them...) And, more importantly, I like the idea of supporting authors and publishers that I think are doing good things. (Reviewing review copies is also supporting them, of course.)

So my first resolution for 2014 is to not avoid buying books. (But not necessarily to buy them rashly and willy-nilly.)

The other thing I've been doing since I started reviewing is only reviewing books that I finish. Using not having to review as a "reward" for giving up on books I'm not enjoying. And in 2013 I did not give up on any books (and in 2012 it was only a couple). Why? Because if I'm not enjoying a book it's usually for several very specific reasons that I want to complain about on my blog. And that's kind of depressing. So I've thought about it and I've decided that allowing myself to drop books I'm not enjoying will make me happier, and so will blogging about why I didn't want to keep reading them. Not forcing myself to finish every book I start is my second resolution.

In terms of blogging about the reasons, I've thought about it and I've decided that I'll start writing monthly status posts. These will include (and replace) New Booksies, books I've reviewed in the past month, and books I'm currently reading. The latter part would also include mini-reviews (or maybe not so mini, we'll see) of books I don't think I'll finish and books I've put down but do intend to return to, although whether or not I do is another matter. Oh, and I should also include challenge progress in those monthly posts.

Regarding challenges, I see no reason not to keep on with the three I've done this year (Australian Women Writers — for which I'm also a blog contributor — and the two I instigated myself: the Aussie SF Reading Challenge and the Aussie Horror Reading Challenge. Round-up posts to come). I think I'll revert to just keeping a list of books read for them, plus a list of all Aussie fantasy books, since there were some authors that were being left out. I'm a bit sick of having to remember to update the progress bars, so I think I'll drop them for now.

My final resolution is an ongoing one and relates to the previous one; to not commit myself to reading books I don't like. This mainly applies to over enthusiastic NetGalley-ing, which I have already gotten better at but I don't think I should be letting my guard down just yet. If I'm not sure and it's not Australian, then I will not click on it.

So those are my bookish plans for the upcoming year. What are yours?

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