Sunday, 27 November 2011
Sunday Salon: How Far Ahead Do You Plan Your Reading?
One thing I've noticed since starting this blog is that I am a very unorganised reader. When I finish a book, I have no idea what I'll be reading next or even no clear idea of what books I actually own. I have a goodreads account (add me!) but I'm only about a fifth of the way through adding my physical books and I've not even made a dent in adding my kindle library. I buy books on a whim at different times, put them in all different places and forget I have them until a few months later. This means a lot of them just don't get read and my TBR is out of control, to say the least.
I know other people are not like this. It's the time of the year when sign-up posts for challenges start appearing and I've noticed that some bloggers are very organised with their reading plans to the extent that they know which books they will be reading and in which month. I don't know what I'm reading next, let alone what I am reading in 2012. I also don't have a dedicated TBR pile of books that I want to read soon, all of my books are mixed in together.
I think the reason I am like this is that my inner rebel doesn't like having a schedule or time deadline for reading, I like to just read on a whim based on whatever takes my fancy that day. I like that I have such a stock of unread books, because I have an available book for any genre or mood. I like rediscovering books that I have forgotten I bought and I like the feeling of finally reading a book that I have owned for many years, because the time and my mood are right.
How about you? What are your reading plans and how far ahead can you list what you will be reading? Are you unorganised like me, or strictly organised?
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I am an unorganized, whim based reader and I like it like that. I did try a few challenges this year to help motivate me through certain genres (Victorian Lit!) but I probably won't join any again this year. I really enjoy following blogger recommendations and reviews for my choice of reading material and will probably just keep on going from there. I also like keeping my books in mixed categories of both read and unread on the shelf and around the house because I love that feeling of 'surprise' when I come across a long forgotten, loved, or neglected title. I justify my collection by mostly shopping at used book shops. If I find a copy of something I know I'll eventually want to read, and it's only a dollar or two, why not buy it and stick it on the shelf for whenever? I guess the only 'schedule' I keep to is that I like reading quality, contemporary authors (Barbara Kingsolver, Cormac McCarthy etc etc); fun, light, thoughtful authors (Dan Brown, Bill Bryson etc etc); and classical authors for literary context and history (Jane Austen, Mary Shelley, Wilkie Collins, Ernest Hemingway etc etc)ReplyDelete
Gosh, I'm sorry this turned out to be a looong comment. I do like talking about reading and books, though ;) What a great Salon topic!
Unless I'm involved in a series, I'm pretty much a whim reader. Although there are times I make a list of books that I'd like to get done at certain times. I don't always follow it, but I do manage to accomplish some things I've been meaning to get around to. I aim to resist deviating from my pile (which really isn't a pile since it's mixed in with read books on the shelves) this year and really accomplish some reading this coming year.ReplyDelete
great question... I'm a little of both... I like to have a few books in the queue, but also prone to changing it if the mood strikes with something irresistable (ie hold book at the library comes in!). Not very good at perusing catalogs and requesting books a few months out, though getting a little better at it. I love that you don't overplan- I think it can be easy to build up such a must-do list that it gets in the way of enjoying the reading.ReplyDelete
Whenever I make a list, I never really end up sticking with that list. Either mood changes or something else comes in that needs to be read first. Usually I just see what kind of genre I'm in the mood for when I'm finished or close to finishing what I'm reading.ReplyDelete
Trish, sounds as though you are very similar to me. I am a big fan of used bookshops and charity shops too, I would say a good 50% of my collection comes from there. I have noticed that I'm reading more books originally recommended to me by bloggers than I did when I first started blogging. Thanks for the detailed and thoughtful response.ReplyDelete
Bookishhobbit, I always have good intentions to read from my shelves rather than buying more or acquiring from the library, but it never quite works out the way I want to! Good luck for 2012 :)
Bookspersonally, your approach sounds like a good balance between planning and reading on a whim. I do enjoy making lists, I just never follow them!
Sarah, I'm the same with lists, although I do enjoy actually making them. I'm glad I'm not the only one that doesn't stick to a reading plan!
I think I am a mixture of both. I know what books I want to be reading, sometimes need if they are for review but also I like selecting a few books taking them to bed and just starting them all and see what sticks! It really does depend on my mood I think.ReplyDelete
I like the idea of challenges, and have taken part in two so far, but I do not like committing too much because I then feel under pressure. That said if something interested me I still might join in if I can. My challenges sometimes are reading books I have avoided before, for example I am on Jane Eyre and loving it!
I have added you to my goodreads - I dare not put my kindle books on there, too frightening.
I'm a mixture too...I have a shelves of TBR's all in my computer room. Once a book is read it goes to one of the other shelves if it's a keeper or passed on if it's not a keeper. I like challenges bc they help me prioritize reading...and I need that. But, I don't sign up for challenges that really CHALLENGE me. I know that probably doesn't make sense and may not be the true intention of a reading challenge. I like the feeling of success and can really whip myself if I fail something so I commit to reading things I know I want to read anyway. Does that make sense? I am not going to push myself to read something I don't want to read, nor something others have called ok, or mediocre. There are just too many good books out there to read. When I finish one book, I don't always know what I'm going to read next either...it just depends on what I'm in the mood for. I love browsing my TBR shelves like I'm in the bookstore :) But, my TBRs are absolutely out of control as well. I have no business buying any more books...but I can't help myself sometimes.ReplyDelete
I try to be organised - joining challenges and making lists as well, but at the end of the day I go by what I feel like reading. I have a small pile of books that are my to-read-soon pile, but some of the books on that pile have been there for a year or so! Some have only been there for a couple of weeks before I start reading them...I try not to read the same type of book in a row though to try to mix it up. Good choice of topic!ReplyDelete
I'm a mix. I give myself some reading assignments like award nominees that I stick to , but usually only because the timeline is short and that adds a sense of urgency. I have books in my house that i'll buy to read and not get to for years!ReplyDelete
On the other hand, I find I enjoy reading more in community. So I don't mind being in a book club where I don't have control over the book chosen. I will most likely read it just to be able to participate.
I'm doing this Around the World reading challenge next year and while some are mapping out their year in advance, I will pick based on what I'm in the mood for any particular week. It makes reading much more fun!
Jo, thanks for adding me! And I can't actually do what you do - read the first few chapters of a few books and then choose the best. I choose and then stick with it, without reading a bit of lots of books. I suppose I'm quite rigid in that way! Jane Eyre is such a good book, glad you are enjoying it.ReplyDelete
Peppermint PhD, I see what you mean about challenges. I have signed up for Venice in February because I know I will complete it, I'm a bit too much of a perfectionist to sign up for something I won't be able to finish.
Mel, I admire your attempts at organisation! Maybe I should start a to-read-soon pile, but I don't think I would be able to pick from it, which would make it pointless...
Jenny, I love the Around the World challenge and thought about signing up for it but decided not to in the end, although I still want to read lots of 'armchair traveller' books. I've never read in a community, I don't know if it would suit me or not ...
This year I'm trying to be more deliberate about what I'm reading-and I'm signing up for several challenges (new for me). I really LOVE spending time making lists, and thinking about what I want to read next. I also sometimes have to just follow my whim-I hate feeling trapped in my reading, and like my students, I start to resent that *have to* feeling about *required reading*ReplyDelete
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I fluctuate between having a set idea of what's next, but if something really appeals that can disrupt the whole process & it all goes pear shaped.ReplyDelete
I'm a lot like you. I have a section on my blog for Upcoming Reviews, where I list what books I've acquired but haven't read yet. That list is growing to the point that it's out of control and never a good indicator of what I'm actually going to read next. I buy books on impulse, and what I read on any given day mostly is based on what kind of a mood I'm in. The only exceptions are books that I have to read for classes. It's nice to know that I'll never run out of books!ReplyDelete
What are your reading plans and how far ahead can you list what you will be reading?ReplyDelete
Basically I have a giant list of books I'd like to read, and I keep adding good suggestions to it. Books that I'm particularly drawn to I highlight. But I don't plan out far in advance what I'll read. Mostly it's based on what I'd like to read at a given time and what's available at the library.
I am like you, happily unorganized :)ReplyDelete
I have books all over the house, and the have reads are mixed in with the unreads. The only exception I guess is that books that I have committed to review are kept together -- that stuff I am very organized about because I don't want to lose track of what order I need to get to the books in.
As for challenges, I think that I have not been a good candidate for those. The first year I did them, i committed to too many, and then the second year, I only committed to one, lol.
I like walking up to my bookshelves, and picking something out...it's like my own little library :)
It wasn't so long ago that I was extremely impulsive--both in book buying and in reading. That became a problem, though, because I really do like to be organized and it all started feeling out of control. In the last year or so I've made great effort to be controlled in my acquisitions and deliberate about my reading. It's been nice to "get things done" but I've missed reading on a whim. 2012 is all about gaining a balance between the two. :)ReplyDelete
I'm just like you! I'm joining challenges but not the type where I have to plan ahead. The only thing I'm stricter about is when I get a paper copy of a book for review and I feel I should read it within a month or two of release. Though I think I'm more likely to read a book if I'm in the mood for it that be forced into it by a schedule!ReplyDelete
Personally, I avoid signing up for reading challenges as much as I can, because I can never seem to commit to one particular reading list. When I finish a book, I just stare at my TBR pile, until I find the next one. LOL. I know a lot of people love making lists, and I happen to be one of them. I just have a problem sticking to those lists.ReplyDelete
I like having a schedule because it keeps me going, helps me vary genres and actually makes me read the books that are on the TBR list. It does take fun out of it sometimes though, as some other commenters have mentioned, so the plan is to give myself some breathing room next year and finally devote time to reading the series everyone's talking about. The second half of the year will be pure fun!ReplyDelete