I saw imyril share this over on THERE’S ALWAYS ROOM FOR ONE MORE… and I’d just answered the first question in a Twitter chat last week, and I pretty much answered the second in a post this week, so why pass up that head start? Might as well jump in and share!
You have 20,000 books in your TBR, how in the world do you decide what to read next?
Occasionally, a book will jump the queue if it’s something I’m really excited about, but I try to read my ARCs according to release dates.
When it comes to personal reads, to the 14 shelves of books so beautifully cluttering my office, it’s generally mood or moment. I’ll see something that triggers an interest in a theme or subject, or hear something that prompts a memory of why I bought a book, and I’ll either go pull out a book that matches . . . or buy one that does. Yeah, that doesn’t help reduce things, but I’m OK with that.
You’re halfway through a book and you’re just not loving it. Do you put it down or are you committed?
Hell, if it’s a personal read, I’ll put it down after a chapter if it’s not working for me. That doesn’t mean I won’t give it a try again later. I mean, it took me 6 attempts to find my way into Gardens of the Moon and now I can’t stop raving about Malazan.
Review titles are a bit of a different story. I do feel a bit more guilty about DNF’ing as a reviewer, but if a book’s not working, why suffer through it? I’ll generally give it 50 pages, maybe a 100 if I’m not sure, but I have no problem walking away. It’s a hobby, not a job, and the privilege of an ARC is not an obligation. Forcing myself to read something I’m not enjoying is just going to result in a lackluster review that neither the author nor publisher want to read.
The end of the year is coming and you’re behind on your reading challenge, do you try to catch up? And if so, how?
Oh, absolutely! I ran into that last year, having taken a few months off from reviewing, and not meeting that goal was something that irked me. It was OK if I failed, but I at least wanted it to be close.
What I do is two-fold. First, and this is a total cheat, I’ll look for the shortest books on the review pile, those short stories or novellas that where I can burn through pages the fastest. Second, I’ll look to my personal shelves, look for those more slender paperbacks (yes, another cheat) that I’ve always wanted to read, and hope passion and excitement carry me through.
The covers of a series you love do not match, how do you cope?
With the exception of my top few shelves, which are for treasured titles (rare ARCs, signed books, books where I’ve been blurbed), my shelves are for TBR titles only. In many cases, there’s only the most recent book in a series there, isolated and alone, so matching isn’t a concern.
Where it does bother me, though, is when I’m collecting the paperbacks of a series I’ve always wanted to read. More than once I’ve bought a used book online, only to get a different edition and cover from the rest of the series in my collection . . . and, yeah, I’ll buy a replacement to match.
Everyone and their mother loves a book that you do not. Who do you bond with over your shared feelings?
I follow enough readers and reviewers (whether it be on WordPress, Twitter, Instagram, or Goodreads) that I can usually find at least one other outcast to commiserate with. I won’t lie, it’s nice to know you’re not alone in bucking the trend.
You’re reading a book in public and you’re about to start crying. How do you deal?
I can honestly say a book has never made me cry, but they have made me angry, frustrated, or exasperated. I tend to get lost in whatever I’m reading, though, so it’s usually not until after I’ve thrown it down with a too-loud “For fucks sake!” that I remember I’m in public.
The sequel to a book you loved just came out but you’ve forgotten a lot of what happens. Are you going to reread it?
It depends on the series, how long it’s been since the last book, and in what format I read it. Generally, I’ll just read a few reviews to remember what happened, or go back and read the final chapter to see if it sparks my memory.
As for my format comment, I genuinely enjoy physical reads more than e-books, so if I read the last book electronically, I’m more likely to pick up the mass-market paperback and do a reread. I did that last year in preparation for The Broken Heavens, and plan to do it again soon in anticipation of When Jackals Storm the Walls.
You do not want anyone to borrow your books, how do you politely say no when someone asks?
I don’t have a lot of close reading friends to ask, but it’s a firm ‘No’ when it comes to anything from the shelves. No explanation, no justification. I’m not taking a chance on someone damaging or losing one of those treasured books, and I just know that whatever TBR title I lend out is going to be the next one I want to read.
If I’m done with the read, though, and it’s in the sell/donate box, then it’s first come, first served, help yourself.
You have picked up and put down 5 books in the last month. How do you get over this reading slump?
Read something completely different. If I’m in an SFF rut, I’ll grab an archaeological adventure or an erotic romance. If I’m in a deeper genre fiction rut, I’ll look to my non-fiction shelves and pick out a history text, a travelogue, or a biography. Treasure Hunter, God’s Lunatics, and Dinosaurs in the Attic have all been calling to me.
If none of that works, I’ll just take a break. Catch up on the DVR, get back to my own writing, give myself the time and space to want to read again.
There are so many books coming out that you are dying to read, how many do you end up buying?
All of them, and probably a few more. I have no self-control when it comes to books. Oh, I’ll just grab one more so I can get free shipping. It’s 2 for $15 on paperbacks, so I’d be losing money if I don’t grab one more. There’s only one copy left, and it may not be here next time. I’m a master of self-justification when it comes to book purchases.
After you purchase all of these books that you’re dying to read how long do they sit on your shelves before you get to them?
Honestly? Whenever that mood or memory hits. Some books I desperately want to read next, or even right away, but even that’s not a guarantee. I know there are books on my shelves that I’ll never read, that will never have their mood or moment, and I’m OK with that.
It’s not about reading all the books, it’s about having all the books to read. 🙂
What about you? Care to share your Reader Problems? Leave a comment and add your link.