Sarah's Reading Habits is a feature where I delve a little more into my reading life. Recently I've switched to being a bit of a mood reader - going with my gut instinct and choosing a book I really feel excited about reading - which has changed the way I read and blog. So I thought it'd make a perfect discussion post!
A little while after I started blogging I realised I was going to have to get a lot more organised. After entering the blogosphere I was constantly discovering new books I wanted to read, and soon my TBR was stacking up. Add in the review copies I started receiving (which I had no idea how to deal with at the time!) and all the library holds I was placing, and I needed a system.
Soon I started a reading journal which was a good way to keep organised both with my thoughts on the books I was reading, and keeping notes of books I'd like to read in the future. Of course places like Goodreads are great for this too, but I have so many books on there that it's hard to keep organised and see what I need to read sooner rather than later.
At the back of the journal I'd keep a TBR of books I was going to read in the next few weeks, then cross them off as I went. I think I'm quite a visual person so being able to see everything written down helps keep my brain organised, plus crossing something off a list is one of the most satisfying feelings! I'd have separate lists for library books and review books, with those being listed in date order of when the book was released or when a book needed to be returned to the library.
Sticking to these ordered lists was fine, until I started getting to the point where I just didn't feel like reading any of the books on there. I started a TBR jar a few months ago after seeing some other bloggers use that as a way to pick books. I'm hopelessly indecisive so having something that made a decision for me seemed like a great idea! But then I got to the point where I'd pick a book, decide I wasn't in the mood for it, then place the name back in the jar.
I don't often get reading slumps, but the past month or so has been pretty close to that. For a while I had so many library books and review books that I was neglecting my own books. I was reading everything in date order from a designated list and it all felt a bit too structured and a bit too organised. I ended up taking the majority of my library books back unread and turning down/ignoring review requests and being more strict with the review copies I seek out.
Nowadays I'm definitely let my mood influence what I read. What I feel like reading is hugely important, and the more excited I am about a book then the more I'm going to get out of it! I've always tried to mix it up with genre as well because reading too many books within a genre can add to that fatigue. Recently I've had several books on the go at the same time which is something I never used to do. I'd always be in a rush to read one book and then move onto the next, but there's something quite nice about being able to dip in and out of books when I feel like going back to them!
So my new resolution is to relax and pick whatever book I feel like it. There are still going to be times where I need to organise myself, but as long as I break it up a bit with some fun, spontaneous choices then hopefully I'll not end up in another slump.
How do you choose what to read? Are you an organised reader or a mood reader?