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.
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*