My relationship with books and reading has changed over the past year and a half that Books Geeks Unc has been a thing (even though it was originally The Fantasy Nerds. Same difference) and I just kind of wanted to reflect on that.
Before we started this site, I read maybe 2 or 3 books a month and I reread a lot. Once we started, we decided on 2 reviews per week. So 8-10 books a month. That was a huge jump up! I was so excited about that, and still am, because I love that I am reading more than I ever have and reading more new-to-me stories than ever.
I absolutely love it. But it gets hard to balance at times because I/we do work full time (poor Greg works two jobs now) and I have 2 kids as well so finding time to read is sometimes a challenge. I never read audiobooks before we started this and I pretty much would not be able to keep up if it were not for supplementing my physical reading with audiobooks. It just wouldn’t be possible.
And now, we have also started Controllers and Keyboards, a gaming podcast. That one is less work intensive for me because I am not the one that organizes the shows and have recently handed off the editing of that podcast to my husband, Jordan. But there is still keeping up with the gaming and the books, the job, and the kids and there are only so many hours in the day!
Partially because of this and also in part due to the mental fatigue of pushing myself through reading slumps in order to have content for the site and show, I stress over how I will fit everything that I need to do into every week. I got into this because I love books and stressing over something takes away from the pleasure of it. So over the past couple of weeks I have kind of started re-evaluating my reading habits.
First, I am letting go of having to have 2 books read each week.
This is the most obvious way to de-stress over books. There are still so many books that I want to read and I feel like the TBR is always so huge that I will never read all the books that I want to and I am kind of just accepting that. Obviously I will still be reading at least the one per week for the podcast and most weeks there will probably be the second review, but I am not going to force it. If this one goes well, maybe I will do more blog posts instead!
Secondly, and this one is less obvious but goes a little bit hand in hand with the first, is doing away with books on my TBR that I was only planning on reading because they are what is buzzing at the moment.
I think that this is something that many book bloggers/reviews/booktubers go through at some point, but I start to feel sometimes like I am reading books solely for site content because they are what is buzzing right now and not because they are actually something that I am interested in. So this second point is really an effort to admit when something doesn’t sound like it will be something that I will like.
For me, a great many of these books will be YA.
YA has never been “my” genre. But it is so immensely huge in the book industry, especially in the online community, that it was impossible to avoid. The most marketed fantasy books seem to be YA fantasy so that was what ended up on my TBR because that was what I was seeing. But I don’t really like YA, particularly YA fantasy. I know many people do and it is not my intention to insult it or anything like that, it is simply not what tickles my fancy and I frequently find myself frustrated with them.
I think nearly all genres have a semi-set list of tropes that you can see in most books of that genre. Where I like the tropes that appear in high fantasy and some sci-fi, the YA fantasy tropes do nothing for me. (In an interesting aside, while I have issues with so many of the YA fantasy/sci fi books that I have read, what few books I have read of YA contemporary I actually did really end up liking.)
That is not to say that there are not some YA fantasy/sci fi book that I like (Six of Crows, Illuminae, Gilded Cage) and it is not to say that I am swearing off all YA from now until the end of time. I may still pick one up every now and then. Mostly, I am just swearing off reading books that don’t appeal to me for the sake of “keeping current.”
So yeah. I guess that’s all I had on my mind. I think there might have been a shorter way to say all this though….
…..I didn’t read a second book this week.