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Books for Thought is where I post a discussion topic related to books, reading, writing, or something pertaining to one of the three. I hope you’ll join in, and discuss today’s topic of

prioritising reading

I’m just going to say it: I prioritise my reading. I prioritise my ARCs and review copies over books that I buy, or borrow from the library (which doesn’t really happen at the moment because of said prioritising).

Why do I do this?

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Well, because I feel like I have an obligation to review these ARCs and review copies (especially if I have requested them). Because I like to have the review up as close to the release date as possible.

[Because I have no self control, and constantly have a ginormous list of ARCs/review copies that need reading and reviewing.]

But sometimes … prioritising reading like this isn’t such a great idea. Last year, I had a massive reading slump. I was reading review copy after review copy, and I felt like even though I’d requested them because they looked good and I genuinely wanted to read them: I didn’t want to read them that at that time. But because of that guilty feeling, and because I like to review books close to their release date, I kept on going.

[It’s weird, though, that it ended up being a review copy that got me out of the slump, but that was more because it was a genre I don’t read often, so it was new and shiny and interesting.]

After my reading slump, I decided that, though I was still going to prioritise, I wasn’t solely going to prioritise my review books. I was going to mix them up with releases that I’d been looking forward to, and series I wanted to finish.

And I have been! I’ve been mixing up my prioritisation, and I haven’t felt any kind of slumpy feelings. Which is fabulous. I hope this continues, because I feel like I have a nice balance between getting my ARCs and review copies done, and reading just for me.

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What about you? Do you prioritise your reading? If so, how? If not, why? Do you ever get slumpy when you read too many review copies?

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Posted on: February 18, 2016 • By: Chiara

34 Responses to Do You Prioritise Your Reading?

  1. Jennifer says:

    I try to keep a balance between ARCs, bought books, lent books, and library. I’m a mood reader, and even if there’s this book I want to read but don’t feel it, I don’t read it. I don’t know of that makes sense. I’ve tried reading books outside that norm but I end up hating them, as good as they may be. So as to not give a bad review because of my moods, I jumble between my lists and try my best at reviewing them asap. Blog tours work better for that, for some reason. I feel super guilty, but I compensate by either buying them or promo. I’ll read them, eventually. But I clear my mind of the obligation thought and just focus on enjoying them, and write the review as it may come to mind and not overly “professional.” I’m glad you’re in a happy balance and read for you, which is the most important thing :)

    (Sorry for the long comment!)

    • Chiara says:

      Ohmygosh, I can be such a mood reader, as well! And reading what you feel like reading when the mood hits you is definitely the best things you can do. Forcing yourself to read a book that you’re not in the mood for isn’t fair to either you (because you end up not enjoying it), or the book (because it could have been one you liked, if it wasn’t for your mood). I’m glad you have a way to juggle between your books, Jennifer! What suits you is the best you can do :D

      (I LOVE long comments! Thank you so much for sharing <3)

  2. Suze says:

    I’m reading a lot more now that I’m mixing review books with my own copies again. It makes blogging much more fun. I don’t want to miss out on books I want to read. And requesting review copies of every book you’d possibly love to be able to read them all makes the review pile so big it’s impossible to get through it anymore. When I first started blogging I was reading less and less because of review copies and now I love it again. I’m glad it works the same way for you as reading slumps are awful.

    • Chiara says:

      Mixing up review copies and your own titles does make blogging more fun! When it’s review copies all the time it can almost make reading feel like a chore, which is horrible.

      I agree with you about requesting books! When I first started blogging, I used to request a bunch of titles that I was even just vaguely interested in, but now I try to only request ones that I am genuinely interested in, and that I am pretty sure I would read even if it wasn’t available for request.

      Reading slumps really are awful, and I hope I don’t have another one any time soon D:

      Thanks for stopping by! <3

  3. Kayla says:

    I really need to prioritize! I’m very much a mood reader, so I could pick up a book one moment and decide at the last that it won’t be the one that I’m starting. And it’s nothing against the book, of course–a few months later I might get to it and love it!!

    • Chiara says:

      I’m very much a mood reader when I give myself the opportunity, but sometimes I just have to let go of my mood and read a book because I have to! But I’m trying harder to let myself read the books I want to (including review and non-review titles) this year!

  4. Yep! This happened to me too. I got into the WORST reading slump because I just didn’t want to read any of the books on my review stack. So mixing it up with books I’ve bought and books from the library has helped that a lot. Usually it’s review copy, own book, and repeat for me now!

    • Chiara says:

      That’s what I’m doing now! It’s not always a perfect one:one ratio, but I’m trying not to be so focussed on getting a review up on release day. That’s what has gotten me so down on myself in the past, and it’s just not worth it!

  5. Great post Chiara. I do prioritise my reading. I try to read ARCS for the following month in the last week of the month before it releases. I feel if I do this and get the reviews written and scheduled, then the rest of the month I can read books that I feel like reading. Those books that I purchased and never got around to straight away!

    • Chiara says:

      Thank you! Ah, it seems like you have an awesome system, Chrissi. I am trying to do a system where I read one review book and then a non-review book. It hasn’t worked out perfectly so far, but I do feel less pressured, which is nice :D

  6. Aentee says:

    I don’t usually prioritise my review copies intentionally – but I usually only request the books I am dying to read, so I generally get to them first anyway. However, there are moments when I’m just not in the mood for reading, and would prefer a nice relaxing audiobook instead – in which case I push all thoughts aside and just do what I want for the night. Also, when a coveted release that I couldn’t get a review copy of come out – I ditch everything and read that instead, e.g. with Morning Star.

    I literally cannot force myself to read books, because I read by mood- and I know I’ll end up skimming most of it if I don’t feel like it… resulting in a very poorly written review XD My memory is like a sieve.

    • Chiara says:

      Good job! I am trying to only request books that I DESPERATELY want to read this year, and so far it has worked. I’ve only got a handful for this year, the rest are leftovers from all the requesting I did last year *sigh*

      Oh yes. I know what you mean. Sometimes I do force myself to read a book and just try to shove my mood out of the way, haha!

  7. I don’t prioritise. I am a mood reader, so it’s hard for me to schedule my reads. And forcing myself to read a review copy when I am not in the mood, might affect my opinion on the book, which I dare not risk.

    • Chiara says:

      Sometimes I do risk it *hides* Just because I like to have reviews up as close as possible to release date. But I’m trying to let that go this year because it’s not great for me or the book!

  8. Mitchii G. says:

    For a moody reader like me I can really choose which books I will read. If the mood strikes I’ll read what I want at that moment. Like right now, I may seem not to be reading but I am reading tons of manga because right now that’s what I crave. I do try to read books but it’s so difficult to immerse myself into a story if I felt half-hearted with it. So yeah, it’s kinda hard, haha. XD

    • Chiara says:

      I am a mood reader, too! But I also force myself to read things sometimes, which is not so great. I feel like reading manga is a great way for me to take a break between review copies if I have heaps! I’ve been reading more manga lately than I have in the last few years, and it’s made me so happy :D

  9. I definitely prioritize. It goes something like ARCS>library>books I own. For me, it’s more of taking the opportunities while they are presented. ARCs can be few and far between if you let them; I have a temporary library card for a larger city library (therefore more book selection) where I go to university and the books I own will always be there.

    But I have found myself in slumps because I request too much (whether ARCs or library) and so I’ve tried really hard this year to be more flexible with my reading schedule. That means limiting myself a lot with requesting but I’ve been a much happier reader for sure!

  10. I should probably prioritise my reading more because I do feel that sense of obligation but I don’t because that’s the quickest way for me to find myself in a slump. As often as possible I try to choose a book on my mood and hope that an ARC is the book that will match my mood. If I can, I try to alternate between review copies and books I own so I’m at least balancing it a little.

    • Chiara says:

      I’m trying to do the alternating thing at the moment and is working out OKAY right now. I’m not always doing one book review one book ~me~ because I don’t want that freedom to turn into another system, you know? So I’m trying really hard to just read what I feel like, and not give into the stress of reviews.

  11. I don’t prioritize; I can’t fucntion if I do. I read as I please, although I do keep in mind how many of the books I read are actually review copies and whatnot

  12. Valerie says:

    I do prioritize my reading! However I have read a couple of reads that wouldn’t be published until May or June or even as far as August, because I was sending them off to friends, so that kind of threw off my whole reviewing schedule.

    As of now, I do prioritize the books that are coming out now (or at least I try), but I am also picking which ARCs I actually WANT to read. The other ones may be read sometime later maybe, but I don’t think I can fit all of them before their review dates, especially when so many of them are released on the SAME DAY.

    • Chiara says:

      It is so painful when they’re all released around the same time! I am always trying to figure out how to get them all on the blog without just having review after review D: I am trying to read them chronologically, but sometimes it doesn’t work because I don’t feel like reading a certain book. Mood reading can be a pain sometimes!

  13. Oh yeah, I definitely prioritise. I have a Goodreads shelf for Priority TBR and they’re mostly books that are actually sitting on my shelf. For the one ARC I’ve ever read in my life I read that before anything, and if there’s something I preordered which came in I’m probably going to read it straightaway. After that I prioritise by how excited I am for it, or if there are related books coming out (e.g. I moved Red Rising up the TBR because of Morning Star). My lowest priority is, admittedly, all the Bookbub deals that are sitting on my Kindle. Those are for if I am between book hauls, I guess … but it’s definitely not only a mood thing for me, I do use certain criteria to prioritise!

    • Chiara says:

      There is that weird pressure that comes with ARCs so that I feel like I have to read them before anything else, but I’m trying hard to not feel like that (which is difficult). Oh, my kindle books are my lowest priority, too, but mainly because I forget about them because I can’t see them!

  14. This post speaks to my heart! I totally feel you when you say reading ARC after ARC can cause a slump, particularly because you request it when it looks good, then the negative reviews start rolling in. I’ve done exactly the same as you now – I’ve mixed up my reading obligations and enjoying things a lot more because I feel like constrained if that makes sense!

    • Chiara says:

      Right? It’s such a hard balance to keep sometimes. This year I’m requesting less, and also trying to read one review copy and then one ~me~ book and then one review copy etc. I don’t like feeling obligated to read things so I totally get what you mean!

  15. I actually made the decision to stop requesting review copies for this very reason – I found that whenever I did, I felt horribly guilty for not reading them IMMEDIATELY and RIGHT NOW. For me, reading has always been something only for me – a thing I did just because I adore it, and for no other reason – and turning it into an obligation just didn’t sit right with me.

    So for now: I am a mood reader through and through. And rather proud of it, I think. <3

    • Chiara says:

      I have made the decision this year to only request books that I would buy or at least certainly borrow from the library once they’re published. And so far it’s working out okay! I still have leftovers from last year, but as for this year there’s not too many, and I like that. I don’t want reading to be stressful, and those books ARE going to be released. I don’t have to get them early.

      I will join you in mood reading pride!

  16. I totally get how you feel about prioritising review books! For me, I request ARCs, but I’m a mood reader – so I might not want to read that book when it’s close to the publication date! Plus, I request not too many books, but sometimes, two books I’ve requested are published on the same day, and that leaves me feeling really stressed out! :/
    Nowadays, I still prioritise review copies – but I make sure to always check toe date, and try not to have more than one review copy a month – it’s too hectic otherwise. Awesome post!

    • Chiara says:

      I’m a mood reader, too, which can make prioritising review copies really hard! Especially when I feel like I should have a review up close to publication date but don’t actually feel like reading the book. I think that only having one review book per month is a great idea! I always feel like September and January are really bad for having ALL the new releases, and for some reason I always request books releasing in those months :O Thank you!

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