Wednesday, August 14, 2019

I Think I Have Turned Reading Into A Chore

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Is it redundant to start this post off with the title of this post? Because yeah I think I turned reading into a chore and am not entirely sure how to read for fun anymore.

I am not even sure blogging is entirely to blame for this because I read a lot more than I review in an attempt to maintain a balance.

When I was a young baby, just starting to dip my toes into the online blogging community, I was driven by this fear of running out of books to read. I added everything I possibly could to my Goodreads shelves and I read like I was running out of time. In 2013, I read close to 400 books.

Ever since, in a desire to compete with myself and also to read every single book that comes out + backlist, I think I’ve backed myself into a corner I don’t know how to get out of. There are so many books out each year plus so many books I’ve wanted to read forever and I constantly feel overwhelmed.

Over this past year, I’ve done extensive spring cleaning of my shelves to remove things I know I will never read but my goodreads TBR still stands at a whopping 700+ books. This doesn’t include unpublished books I want to read and it also doesn’t include some books I want to read but keep forgetting to add to my TBR!!!

I am also working harder on being easier on myself when I am in a reading slump because forcing a book on myself isn’t really conducive and honestly makes me appreciate the book less.

I am still chasing that high I used to feel as a child when I read a book and got sucked into a new adventure and I feel like it’s been a while since I truly felt that way. Even though I’ve read many good books this past year, I haven’t picked them up because I was super excited to be picking them up, I picked them up because I felt like I had to in an attempt to tackle my giant and ever-growing tbr.

A decade plus of making a habit out of reading something daily seems to have turned something I truly loved into a chore rather than something I do because I truly truly want to and I am hoping I can find a balance this upcoming year. I miss that feeling of being extremely excited to pick something up again. Not the excitement you feel when you read a summary and a book sounds up your alley but that excitement when you open a chapter and are excited about the process of reading.

I have no idea if this even makes sense or if its a long ramble but I felt like articulating my feelings re: reading lately because I feel like it has impacted what I read or don’t read.

I gravitate more towards contemporary these days because contemporary is quick and easy to follow whereas fantasy is not. I was never the kind of reader who would shy away from a big book and now I am and that makes me incredibly sad.

I don’t want to pick up books because I just want something to read, I want to be able to pick up books because I am excited about picking them up and not out of a habit of reading. I want to translate my excitement about a book to excitement for actually picking it up and reading it.

In case this isn’t clear, this post isn’t a “I am gonna stop reading now” post, it’s just me angst-ing about how I’ve ruined a perfectly good thing. I still read a lot and have loved many books I’ve read. In fact, the last book I finished, I absolutely loved. I just wish I was more excited about picking up a book and it didn’t seem like a chore to actually pick up a book.

Has anyone ever experienced this?? What have you done to combat it??

Great World Building But A Little Slow: The Magnolia Sword by Sherry Thomas

Great World Building But A Little Slow: The Magnolia Sword by Sherry Thomas

Posted by on 08/07/2019 • 0 Comments

With the upcoming release of the live action Mulan, there has been an upsurge in Mulan retellings and I whole-heartedly welcome it. I fell in love with Spin the Dawn so I was pretty excited to dive into The Magnolia Sword. I went into it hoping that I would be blown away the same way I was with Spin the Dawn but I was not. Having said that, I loved the world building SO SO MUCH and enjoyed the building romantic tension between the main characters.

Let me clear, I am not trying to compare The Magnolia Sword to Spin the Dawn. I only mention the latter because both these stories adapt Mulan and I love Mulan (I’ve only been exposed to the Disney version of this story.)  They may…

Romance Mini Reviews #4: Novellas

Romance Mini Reviews #4: Novellas

Posted by on 08/02/2019 • 2 Comments

Can’t Escape Love Alyssa Cole

GOODREADS | PURCHASE

Regina Hobbs is nerdy by nature, businesswoman by nurture. She’s finally taking her pop culture-centered media enterprise, Girls with Glasses, to the next level, but the stress is forcing her to face a familiar supervillain: insomnia. The only thing that helps her sleep when things get this bad is the deep, soothing voice of puzzle-obsessed live streamer Gustave Nguyen. The problem? His archive has been deleted.

Gus has been tasked with creating an escape room themed around a romance anime…except he knows nothing about romance or anime. Then mega-nerd and anime expert Reggie comes calling, and they make a trade: his voice for her knowledge. But when their online friendship has IRL chemistry, will they be able to…

Fresh Batch (July 28th – August 3rd)

Fresh Batch (July 28th – August 3rd)

Posted by on 07/27/2019 • 0 Comments

Fresh Batch, posted weekly, keeps you up to date on the hottest releases of the upcoming week.

Flavor of the week:

The Merciful Crow Margaret Owen Series: The Merciful Crow #1 Publication date: July 30th 2019by Henry Holt (BYR)

Goodreads Purchase

A future chieftain

Fie abides by one rule: look after your own. Her Crow caste of undertakers and mercy-killers takes more abuse than coin, but when they’re called to collect royal dead, she’s hoping they’ll find the payout of a lifetime.

A fugitive prince

When Crown Prince Jasimir turns out to have faked his death, Fie’s ready to cut her losses—and perhaps his throat. But he offers a wager that she can’t refuse: protect him from a ruthless queen, and he’ll protect the…

Disappointing: The Toll by Cherie Priest

Disappointing: The Toll by Cherie Priest

Posted by on 07/25/2019 • 2 Comments

I love southern gothic with a dash of horror and I’ve enjoyed everything I’ve read by Cherie Priest so when I came across The Toll, I was curious. I ended up being disappointed. Maybe this book never stood a chance because I read it in the midst of an extreme book hangover from finishing Spin the Dawn but here we are.

For one, there are too many different POVs for my liking. Sometimes many POVs work, especially when distinguished. They were not distinguished in this case so the transitions were always sudden and it took me a bit to figure out who I was following. Honestly, it wasn’t until I hit the 33% mark that I was actually able to differentiate the names and the voices of the characters. So for…

Revived My Love for Fantasy: Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim

Revived My Love for Fantasy: Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim

Posted by on 07/23/2019 • 1 Comment

Spin the Dawn is the book I didn’t know I needed and I want to cry from how happy I am that I read it and that it could revolutionize my life. As a baby blogger, I rarely read contemporary. I exclusive read fantasy. These past few years though, fantasy has not really been holding my attention and I find myself avoiding it for the most part except for a few books here and there. Before Spin the Dawn, the last high fantasy I read was Wicked Saints back in April. I rated in 4 stars at the time but in retrospect it was not a 4 star read given that for half the book, my attention wandered. For the first time in literal years, I don’t want to read…

Fresh Batch (July 21st – 27th)

Fresh Batch (July 21st – 27th)

Posted by on 07/20/2019 • 0 Comments

Fresh Batch, posted weekly, keeps you up to date on the hottest releases of the upcoming week.

Flavor of the week:

The Arrival of Someday Jen Malone Publication date: July 23rd 2019by HarperTeen

Goodreads Purchase

In this heartfelt and emotionally candid contemporary YA, author Jen Malone delves into the life of a teen whose world is brought to an abrupt halt when she learns she’s in dire need of an organ transplant.

Hard-charging and irrepressible eighteen-year-old Amelia Linehan could see a roller derby opponent a mile away—and that’s while crouched down, bent over skates, and zooming around a track at the speed of light. They don’t call her Rolldemort for nothing! What she couldn’t see coming, however, was the unexpected flare-up of a rare…

So Much Food and Softness: Natalie Tan’s Book of Fortune by Roselle Lim

So Much Food and Softness: Natalie Tan’s Book of Fortune by Roselle Lim

Posted by on 07/19/2019 • 0 Comments

Here is the thing about Natalie Tan’s Book of Fortune, it is sweet with a dash of magic and an incredible amount of food porn. For those reasons, I was immediately drawn in and enjoyed the book. But, the writing is not quite there so even though the story itself is wonderful, the way it is written and told isn’t? 

First things first, this book is not a romance for those romance readers eyeing this book. It is a story about love but not necessarily romantic love. 

Natalie Tan comes home for the first time in years after her mother passes away. They parted on bad terms and Natalie never got to bridge the gap that emerged between the two. A letter her ma-ma left behind for her imparts her…