The Lingering Power of Deadlines; Or, Free-Range Reading

For the past several years, the bulk of the books I read have come from NetGalley and Edelweiss. My rule for myself was that I would read and review the books I requested about a month before they were due to be released. Consequently, my to-read list languished while I kept to my self-imposed deadlines. It’s only in the last few months that I’ve backed off of my insatiable requests and taken time to read books from the to-read list or books that I happen across at the library or books that I hear about on All the Books.

John Arthur Lomax

Reflecting on this change, I’ve had some thoughts:

  • Reading on a deadline makes it really easy to pick my next read. I have to read X number of books before a certain day, so I don’t feel like I have room to dither about my next choice.
  • And golly do I dither! When I don’t have a deadline, I over-think what I want to read next. I look for books that fit my mood; it’s really hard to find a book to fit your mood unless you’re re-reading something.
  • I struggle with some of the books I pick from NetGalley and Edelweiss, but I don’t feel like I can give up on them because I requested them.
  • I also struggle with some of the books I choose for myself, but I don’t have a deadline to make me push myself through.
  • I think I’m finally satisfied with the diversity of my reading. I have access to so many different types of stories through NetGalley and Edelweiss that it’s finally not that hard to find books from different voices and worlds.
  • I miss my brain fluff. NetGalley and Edelweiss are so packed with literary fiction that I feel like I miss out on silly, light reading because the requested books come with the expectation that I will review them unless they bore me out of my skull or I hate them so much I can’t finish.
  • I think I need to make more room for free-range reading in my life. I’ve really enjoyed these past weeks of reading whatever the hell I want.

Mostly, though, thinking about my reading life makes me lament the fact that there just isn’t enough time to read all the books that catch my eye, wherever that happens to be. *sigh*

8 thoughts on “The Lingering Power of Deadlines; Or, Free-Range Reading

  1. I admire your integrity in feeling you are committed to finishing a book if you requested it AND to read it ahead of the publication date. I would find that too stressful personally. Reading to a schedule just doesn’t work for me I’ve discovered; I much prefer to go with the flow 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m a book overlapper – I usually have bookmarks midway through multiple books at a time. I don’t think it helps me get through them any quicker, but it does make it easy to match my book and mood. I worked to deadlines for seminars at uni, and sometimes I still do for my book group, but mostly I just take things steady. I love what you say here about reading diversity – it’s great that you’ve found something that works for you in that respect, too.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I havent been requesting books for reviews but i do have a monthly tbr list that makes it really easy to decide what to read next, keep myself reading a range of books, and keep on track for my goodreads reading challenge goal

    Liked by 1 person

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