Thursday, October 13, 2016

My Moment of Zen

Thursday, October 13, 2016 with 9 comments
Sometimes, I just find myself staring out my office window at work. They're building a high-rise apartment building right across the street, and though it's early days, it's going to be a monstrosity. But I could watch that crane work all day. It's amazing the things the human mind can come up with to make life easier. And yet, I also love staring at the hawk that is perpetually flying around the crane and around my office building. Somehow, he's still made a home here in this urban jungle.

I'm not here to wax poetic about the shitty ways civilization has corrupted the world, either. I like some of the technology that's come from all of that corrupting of the environment. Namely, this computer I'm using to type up this post. And my phone. And my car. And I realize that there are still places where hawks can roam freely. I live in one such rural area and fear for the safety of Weasley, who is still small enough to be carried off by a (not-so-)friendly neighborhood hawk...or owl...when he's outside.

But I digress. I don't really know where I was going with all that. Other than that I've just been thinking alot. Or over-thinking, as my husband would tell me. 😝

You may have noticed -- or not -- but I haven't been posting all that frequently this year and even less so in recent months. And I expect to post even less in November and December because of the holidays and family obligations and all that jazz. Maybe I'll even go on hiatus just to get a fresh perspective. I haven't decided yet. I waffle back and forth. I'm a waffler.

And I've been in a bit of a reflective mood lately. (Obviously, look at all the tangents I went off on just in this post alone! Wow.) About what I take for granted. How I could be a better person in general. What blogging did and still does mean to me. All the things. Let me explain.

Basically, I've been reading a lot and not doing much blogging and it's like it was when I first started blogging and I kinda miss that freedom? Yeah, something like that. And then this happened today:

Actually, it happened last night, but I was too lazy to update Goodreads before bed, lol. Yep, barely into the 4th quarter of the year and I've already hit my goal of reading 225 books. And it's pretty much all audiobooks, re-reads, and review copies. I have taken to making a little more time for books that I just want to read -- I think I might do a post about what I've read lately tomorrow, time allowing -- but the bulk of what I read this year was for review or prep for the next book in a series...which was probably also received for review.

Which begs the question: when did it become all about reviewing?

But this is not going to be one of those posts. It's's the thing: I've recently come to the realization that I tend to overextend all areas of my life. But especially when it comes to accepting review copies and blog tour gigs and the like. (She says after accepting yet another review request.) I gotta knock that off if I ever want to have a personal life/have free time devoted to something other than reading/not cower under the crushing weight of publisher expectations.

I just got rid of a ton of books that have been sitting on my shelves, unread. Because I felt guilty for hoarding them. For keeping them from the hands of people who really would read them. For accepting too many review copies knowing I'd never have enough time to read them all.

I know I've said it before, but I've really missed reading for pleasure. Just reading for the sake of experiencing a good book without any expectations. That's why it's been super awesome these past couple of months, just reading the bare minimum of review books -- those that I've already made a commitment to do some type of post for -- and then spending the rest of my reading time with books from the library and audiobooks that I never would have discovered I liked without the help of other bloggers and books from my shelves that I've been waiting till just the right time to read.

She says as the over-large pile of review copies threatens to topple over on her. But I do plan to read all of them. I just don't plan to full-on review all of them. People don't read full-length reviews these days. They like pictures of books and snippets from books and mini-reviews that basically let them know how you felt about the book while maybe highlighting some of the good and bad.

So. For the books where I haven't agreed to some type of promotional post, I've decided I'm going to start doing a reading round-up of sorts. Basically a collection of the short-and-sweet reviews I write up on Goodreads after finishing a book, maybe including some Instagram pics or quotes, but nothing like the tedious, time-consuming reviews I've written to-date. Not even like the mini-reviews I've been doing of late. Not unless the book calls for it.

I don't know what day I'll post these on, or if I'll do them sporadically when I feel like it. (I'm leaning toward the second option.) And I don't know how many books I'll include in each round-up. I'm just going to play it by ear. I'll include review books AND just for fun books. Because it's nice to discover backlist titles, too.

I have ideas and I'd like to see a post go up tomorrow before I have too many un-reviewed books under my belt, but Katie's off school for Fair Day tomorrow and even though I don't think we're going to the state fair this year, I'd still like to spend the day with her doing fall stuff. Like pumpkin-carving 🎃 and fall crafts. 😄 So I can't guarantee the first post will be up tomorrow. But soon.

I'd love to hear what you think! Do you often feel that sense of obligation that comes with review copies? Do you think my new post idea will satisfy that obligation? I mean, essentially they're for promotion, right? And that's what this would be, for the most part...

And with that, I leave you with your moment of zen:

(I said waffles earlier and now I'm hungry. Even though I just had lunch. But it wasn't waffles. *cries*)


  1. 225.
    Yes, I did read it right. Holy smokes!
    lol - I get the same feeling of satisfaction when I complete my GR yearly goal. But, um, my goal is never even close to 225.
    Rebecca @ The Portsmouth Review
    Follow me on Bloglovin'

  2. I do get overwhelmed an this year has been particularly bad. Mostly because I feel like there is way more emphasis on the way tings kook than thoughtful reviews. But I guess that's a whole other tangent :-)

    Kate @ Ex Libris

  3. Congrats on hitting your Goodreads goal! I get that super proud feeling whenever I hit my goal too. I know what you mean about the reviewers guilt. I have a lot of book that I got from NetGalley that were published over a year ago =( I'll eventually read them but I feel bad that it's taken me so long to get to them.

  4. I love that you've been spending more time reading than reviewing. It's important. I know you've been struggling with the blogging right along with me. I'm sure my lack of participation hasn't helped with that. People really don't read long reviews any more. I know I don't, and I used to. It's amazing how much book blogging has changed over these few short years. You know I stand by you 100 percent, and I love your idea about the mini review round up! I could probably get on board with something like that too. And I know I owe you an email. We've been wrapped up doing "all things fall". It's been hectic. Miss you! <3

  5. Congratulations on hitting your Goodreads target early! I managed to do it during the summer then hit a bad slump which I'm only just dragging myself out of! When I set up my blog it was for author promotion and I was doing 25 read for review books every month. The pressure of constant deadlines and stress over getting reviews done finally burned me out and reading stopped being fun. I don't do many reviews for authors now as I'm trying to get through all the books I bought and downloaded. I hope to get more author reviews done in future when I find the right balance!

  6. How? 225? I could never ahaha. Congrats on reaching your goal!

    There's definitely a sense of obligation that comes with review copies. I've stopped searching for review copies to request because having to review books can become stressful, which I don't like. I think your review idea is great!

    Lovely post, Jen <3

  7. Congrats on hitting 225 that's amazing!
    I know exactly what you mean about reading so many books for review and not reading for pleasure. I am starting to get away from reading review books and reading more library books and my own books -- plus review copies where they are super old, like three years or more (because I am the worst). I am finding that this low pressure, short mini review blogging is more to my taste, timewise.

  8. Congrats on 225 books! I've just come out of a few years hiatus and reading slump and think the whole mini reviews is great. I read faster than I write reviews, so for myself it's a great idea.

    When I got back into blogging (last month) I've decided to do as your doing and reading books from the library and my TBR room 😂 and it's been so much nicer reading books you want to read and being able to DNF with no pressure. I've currently got 4 review books and to be honest, I'll probably cut that down cos you do feel the pressure.

    I also liked your post and your mini review, gets to the point, let's ppl know the general outline of the book and what you thought about it. I really enjoyed your post.


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