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My New Relationship with Reading // My Reading Struggles

Hey guys, this is going to a super long post so I hope you’re ready. I have been trying to find my place with reading lately. I have been in about 3 book slumps recently and it really made me think about what’s changed. 

I have been blogging for almost a year to date. It has been fun, stressful, and I loved every minute of it. I’ve really been through so many things that helped me find out what kind of reader I was. Also, what’s important to me and where I see myself going with reading in the future.

thoughts

The number one thing that is important to me is that reading is what I do to relax and escape the stress of life. It shouldn’t feel like an obligation that I have to do.

This has been my biggest struggle since I started my book blog. When you first start out, you want to read as much as you can so you can have always have content available. That’s understandable. It’s when you start to find yourself in the process of making yourself read. This is the worst thing that can happen to a book reader in my opinion.

Reading should be fun! It should make you happy every time you open a book. Not stressed because you need to finish it by a certain date and time.

I don’t think I’m cut out for buddy reading. Either I read too much or I read less than the days reading. Both make me feel like shit when I’m supposed to be reading with another person. I’d so much rather we read it on our own time and then fangirl about it after we have read the book. There’s less stress and I don’t feel guilty. That’s a win-win!

This next one is something that I have never wanted to say, but since I’m pouring out all my bookish thoughts, why not?! I’d rather stay away from sensitive topics.

I don’t read to better myself. I honestly just love losing myself in the pages. If you haven’t noticed, I hardly ever read books that are about sensitive topics. Most of the time I read contemporaries. Either adult or YA contemporizes, but all are on the more light side. Want to know why? Happy endings! I honestly just want to get away from the stress of life so I really don’t want to read something that’s super emotional or about hard topics.

Speaking of stress, there are three main reasons for me being stressed about reading lately. ARCS, deadlines, and running out of content.

I feel like ARCS and deadlines go hand in hand. Now before I get some hate comments; Yes, I know how privileged I am as a US blogger to have an opportunity to receive ARCS (physical or eGalley). I get that. What I didn’t anticipate, was the stress that came along with it. While I still request some, I have completely taken a step back from requesting all the time. You don’t have to stay on top of new releases to be a good book blogger. I have honestly fallen back in love with reading lately by reading backlisted titles. With all of the reading slumps I’ve been in lately, running out of content is scary to me. I am so type A that I have to have at least 5 posts scheduled at a time. If I don’t, then I start to freak out. I’m scared of having nothing to post.

I want to say that I’ll just brush this off and won’t let it phase me. Gosh, I wish it was that easy! but knowing what’s wrong is the first step right? Well, I’m just going to take it day by day instead of always needing to have a plan. Read what I want, when I want, and see how it goes. 

So there’s my super personal reading update. If you made it this far honestly I’ll be shocked. As I’m typing this, I’m honestly feeling a little better. Sometimes putting your thoughts into words is really all you need. There wasn’t an endgame for this post. Just putting all my thoughts out there just in case someone was feeling the same. 


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76 thoughts on “My New Relationship with Reading // My Reading Struggles

  1. I’ve been blogging for 7 years and feel everything you’ve written here. I found I got more reaction for books already out than ARC reviews because people have read them.

    I also feel the same way as you about sensitive books. I try to read some to support the authors but I don’t understand people who like to read book after book of that kind of thing, it is exhausting to me

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree about getting more reactions about books that are already out. That honestly makes me happy because it helps me take pressure off myself to try and read all the arcs.

      Honestly, me and sensitive topics don’t really mix well. I don’t really want to read about them. It feels like such a taboo thing to say.

      Like

  2. I understand completely. I have taken a very large step back this month due to me over stressing myself. I felt raked myself out thinking that if I did not keep up with every new book I would not be relevant. I started a list of posts that I want to do (things I’ve been tagged in and others I just like) this makes it easy to see that I’m not running out of stuff and I can always pull from this list. I have decided to read only what I want for the rest of the year.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. First of all, as someone who has only been doing this for about 5-6 months, rocking a year is AWESOME!! Every day I wonder how long this thing of mine is going to last (I say this hoping that even if I step back from blogging, or if you do, we can still be reading besties).

    I’ve only successfully been able to buddy read with my sister and I think it is because we set ridiculously low expectations for each other… I think buddy reading is sort of a weird fad that is super overrated 😀

    Finally, reading what you want is the only way to get by!! Happy endings are awesome & people who “read only to better themselves” are seriously missing out on some of the best books out there!!

    ❤ ❤

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  4. Thoughts on your thoughts : I totally understand! That’s why I only asked 2 ARCs for September and 2 for October and 1 for November. These are from authors I really adore and I had to force myself to say no to more opportunities but I did not want the pressure of deadlines anymore. I also wanted to go back to my “moody” reads and what if it was not ARCs but sometimes older books? I am blogging because I take pleasure in this not to become the most known or the most popular (I will never be these as I don’t chase after as many followers as I can). So enjoy your free future 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I completely identify with this post. I have recently decided that I will only request ARCs of books that I would be reading the moment they were released anyways. I’m also trying to limit the number of ARCs I request because I want to spend more time on books that are either back list or have been sitting on my Kindle forever. These tend to get more blog comments because people who have read them want to discuss. And it all comes back to reading is supposed to be for enjoyment. I will read sensitive stuff, but it has to be sandwiched with those happy contemporaries.
    Anyways. You’re not alone!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree about backlisted titles! Those are also the easier ones to write reviews for. There’s no pressure to make it as perfect as you normally would.
      I have limited my arc request too and it feels so good to have that weight lifted!
      I’m so glad i’m not alone in this! ❣️

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Yeah, love, this is something i think about a lot. The pressure… it’s something I don’t really have words for. And i know we are all so privileged to get these arcs, but I think back on just going into a Boarders or B&N and picking a book and reading it that night. Now? I’m always scheduled and i always have an arc that I “need to get to” instead, and… it just a really different reading experience. My goal for 2019 is to really stop requesting so many arcs, because they will eventually come out regardless, and the added stress is just not worth it sometimes.

    But sending you love and light. And i think the best of both worlds will come together for you soon. 🧡xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You know I look up to you as a friend and cetainly a book blogger. So to hear that you struggle with the pressure too makes me love you even more! The stress sucks and I think I’m just going to give mood reading a try!

      I love you so much Mel! 💖

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I love you more, Kayla. Truly. And I can’t wait for us to one day have a glass of wine (or two) and just talk. Seriously! We always feel the same about so many things, and I think it would be so therapeutic (and hella fun) for both of us! 🧡xx

        Liked by 1 person

  7. This is such a great and important post and I am so glad you wrote it all down. it’s important to think about your reading and how it changes, especially along with book blogging. I know my relationship to reading is completely different since I have been blogging just as well and it is important, despite the pressures we might get, external or internal ones, to read, to stay on top of the new releases and everything else, to remember why we love reading. I’m glad you fell back in love with it while reading backlist titles, that’s great! ❤ It is so important to try and focus on what we really love, in order to keep our love for reading, too ❤

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh yes, I agree – sometimes I tend to analyse everything, too, or think about my review way too much and I forget to really, read. IT feels good when you can immerse yourself into a book without thinking of all of this 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Thank you for sharing a bit of what’s been on your mind Kayla. You’re right, sometimes it can be therapeutic to let it all out. I think we can all relate to arc stress and how we pretty much put these pressures on ourselves. Ultimately it is a hobby, something we do for fun or to escape the stressors of life. I’m glad you’ve fallen back in love with back-list titles & hope to be doing some of that very soon ☺️💕 sending you tons of positivity 💜

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I’ve been through this myself. I don’t handle deadline reading well and I hate missing deadline’s so ARCS can drive me to distraction and same with sensitive topics. There’s such a weird thing with some people like you have to. You liked this movie but not this one? But this ones important. How can you not have read that book? Eh. I always want to be like I’m not telling you what to read! Anyway glad writing about it made you feel better! Hopefully the reading slumps will slack off. Reading slumps are generally when I pick up television and movies so maybe that would help!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Buddy reads are definitely hard and your points are so true! I find I don’t have as much time to relax and read when I blog yeah and ARC deadlines also feel like they’re looming over me. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Great post, Kayla, and I definitely agree with you. Most of my malaise comes from trying to force myself to read when I am not in the mood and often times that has disastrous results for the book I am reading.

    One of the best things that I have done was to rein in my ARC list. I am going to get a post up about this eventually, but essentially I’ve decided to limit myself to four releases per month for arcs (so I read my October 2018 arcs in September and only have 4 of them), which is about 33-50% of my typical reading month. Which means I get to mood read. It’s been lifechanging and has forced me to be really scrutinizing and only requesting my most wanted.

    Regarding buddy reads, I’ve done some that don’t have assigned reading and that’s nice too! They don’t always need to be scheduled out, I just tend to like them for spoiler-sake but that’s easy enough to talk around haha.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Forcing yourself to read when you aren’t in the mood is the WORST!
      I can’t wait for your post about limiting your ARC list.
      Also, I can’t wait to get back into the habit of mood reading. I remember picking a book out at the library and reading it at my own pace without a care in the world.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Girl, you are so valid and I’m so proud of you for putting yourself out there and posting this! I know it wasn’t easy to bare your soul like that but I’m glad you did. I feel you so much on the stress of ARCs and deadlines. And I don’t think there is a damn thing wrong with reading for pleasure and staying away from things that are triggering or hard for you to read. 💕

    Liked by 1 person

  13. This was such a great thing to post, I’m sure it was very scary but i’m so glad you did it! Reading that you aren’t alone is the best. I felt this pretty hard not that long ago especially since I’m a new blogger that happened to miraculously be given Arcs. I didn’t juggle work/college/blogging correctly and i’m still getting my “scheduling” figured out but I felt a little dumb to say I was already stressed when I was so new to this and didn’t exactly feel “valid” in my feelings y’know? So thank you for this post and I TRULY hope you are able to find something that works for you! YOU and your health are most important. You are one of the first blogs I discovered and look up to, I am sending you all the love and positive vibes!! 💕 ✨

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I don’t request not more than two ARC’s because the deadlines are stressful. I also read for fun and not to better myself. I’m sorry you’re struggling with the slumps. I hope mood reading works out for you.
    This is a great post! Thanks for sharing your thoughts! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I can relate to so many things in this post! I always feel like I need to have my ARCs read and immediately posted and other posts planned and scheduled in advance. Very recently I let myself continue to be a mood reader and pick up books that interest me, instead of always focusing on dates. I’ve also started reading more backlist, and almost half of the books I’ve read this year have been backlist!

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  16. Thanks for such a great post, Kayla! I agree with most of what you said. Reading should be fun! I was recently reading this book and was just having the hardest time finishing it. Every time I picked it up, it felt almost like a chore. Then, I stopped and asked myself, “Why are you even reading this if you aren’t enjoying it?” And when I couldn’t think of a good answer, I DNFed. I think that it is really easy to let the whole blogging aspect of reading suck the fun out of it (at least that seems to be what’s happening to me), but I’ve got to remind myself that I’m doing all of this because I LOVE TO READ. Again, thank you so much for this lovely article!

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    1. I’m so glad that you enjoyed it!
      The same thing just happed to me with Strange Grace this week. I was making myself read it so I could review it, but I wasn’t enjoying it. The main reason why I was trying to read it was because of the hype surrounding it. I finally DNFed it and never felt better!

      Liked by 1 person

  17. This is all so true. I used to blog and just pay no attention to whether I had an audience. About six months ago, I thought it might be night to try cultivating an audience (posting consistently, reading newer books) — but it has made reading and blogging less fun in some ways. :/

    Liked by 1 person

  18. This is such a great post! I feel the same way you feel about buddy reading, which is why I’ve only done three buddy reads. I either can’t keep up or I read too fast. And I don’t request ARCs because I don’t like deadlines outside of work. Reading and blogging are things I do in my spare time because I enjoy them so when it feels forced or like a chore, then I take a step back because life is already stressful. It’s easy to get burned out, which is why I only blog and post on Instagram when I feel like it. It feels good to not have that pressure. I don’t read to better myself either, which is why I mostly read fantasy. It’s my escape. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us because I can totally relate.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Great post Kayla, and I totally get where you’re coming from! I am on an ARC hiatus and enjoying some books that I’ve WANTED to read for quite awhile now. The pressure was really killing me – especially juggling everything with this hobby and WORK! This is supposed to be fun, or it’s not worth it! =D

    Liked by 1 person

  20. This is such a good post and I applaud you for your honesty. If something in life stops becoming fun then we owe it ourselves to step back and go… why? What’s not working? Is it temporary? Is it something within me that will pass or has something caused it? So many people (including myself) go into book blogging because it’s something fun to do but already I can see so much that would make it less fun. I sometimes feel like I’m a massive failure at it but then can’t quite work out why and I wonder if it’s because of expectations that I’m setting myself. I really appreciate when people speak out about what they’re struggling with and their expectations because it makes me feel like I’m less in the corner on my own looking confused. Thank you!

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