Book Blogging: Reading and Blogging Habits


Recently Elisabeth Lane at Cooking Up Romance posted an interesting post on the pressures and joys of being a book blogger/reviewers. so many of the issues she raised resonated with me - what do I want to do with this blog, keep a balance between personal (and possible interesting for just a few people, or me only) or try to make more appealing to a wider audience. it's an ongoing process - I participate in some promo events but still try to keep the main focus on the reviews I write. I recently started doing the occasional personal posts sharing my thoughts, opinions on reading, blogging, reviewing. And this is one of those.

I love picking my next read spontaneously, on the spur of the moment. yet, over the past two years with this blog and reviewing regularly I feel the pressure to organise my reading in some way. I want to keep the spontaneity and the surprise factor as much as possible because it's one of the joys of reading for me, yet often I end up reading books I don't like and just passing for later books that my be a better fit for me. So, I will try to reorganise my reading and change some bad reading habits I feel I've fallen into lately. 

I need to be more careful when requesting/accepting books for review. I'm open to new authors, genres, types of stories and very often I end up taking books for review that turn out to a huge disappointment and really struggle to finish them. It rather kills my joy reading turning it into a task I need to finish and not something I do for fun.

Every time I pick up a book that is outside of the box for me and I end up not liking it, I go back to the safety of favourite authors and familiar types of stories. When I gather enough courage and when a particular book catches my interest, I go off experimenting again. Pretty much the same philosophy I apply to life - trying new things and when they backfire, shutting down, until I get carried away with a new crazy idea. 

I already have a huuuuuuge TBR list that keeps growing and growing. I've lost interest in some of the books I've added as to-read on GB but at least 10 new ones have taken the place of every one I've discarded. I won't be organising it in any formal way for now because this stresses me out too much. I'm taking baby step towards some semblance of order instead. I've decided to join at least some reading challenges

- The first is Dive into Diversity hosted by Rather be Reading and Reading Wishes which I already joined with my review of Nothing Like Paris (my reivewby Amy Jo Cousins - small town New Adult m/m romance featuring aMexican-American character. It's a fun monthly challenge highlighting books that celebrate diversity of all kinds - gende, age, religion, social standing, ethnicity, etc.

- Later this week (18 March) I will be posting my review of Champion by Marie Lu as part of the 2015 TBR Challenge, hosted by Wendy at The Misadventures of a Super Librarian. The aim it to read one book a month from your TBR list and post your review on the third Wednesday of the month. There are specific topics for each month to help organise things. 

And I've made some rather general resolutions about my next reads:

- I've read only one historical romance so far, The Suffragette Scandal (my review) by Courtney Milan and I want to explore more this genre, so I plan on reading at least 1 historical a month this year.

- I tend to fall into reading similar books or sticking to a certain genre, mostly romance and these days it's predominantly m/m romance. I'm making a conscious effort to try other books too, not really stepping out of my comfort zone, but rather other genres I've enjoyed in the past - some fantasy and urban fantasy, some YA fantasy/realistic fiction, ect.

- I've been trying to post at least two reviews a week but I've decided be more relax, sometimes I read longer books and can't finish them in a week (ICoS, I'm looking at you), other times I just don't have the time to review. I've decided not to stress myself with the number of reviews I post but to focus more on the quality.

- I'd like to participate in more book discussions when I have the time. I joined Twitter (@e_savova) recently and I love the chats I'm having there mostly with my bookish friends, though I have to admit that following a conversation there is a bit confusing. 

What about you? What are your reading strategies? How do you choose what books to read? I'd be happy to hear from you.

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