Book Nerd Problems #12: Reading Schedules

Posted June 14, 2013 by Debby in Uncategorized

This is a periodic discussion feature here at Snuggly Oranges about the many problems one can run into as a book nerd.

#12. Reading Schedules

I don’t know about you guys but… I suck at making reading schedules. Over the past few months, I have tried, on two separate occasions, to make such a schedule for myself, just listing in order which books I would read and by when. I failed. Why?

1. I couldn’t stick to the schedule timing in the first place.

Due to the business of real life, with projects, exams, drama, etc. I just couldn’t find the time, plain and simple, to really get myself to read two books per week. I really wanted to reach that goal. Two books a week isn’t too much – especially in YA, where you can find plenty of books of around 300 pages. But when it gets busy or dramatic, maybe I don’t want to read. Maybe I just want to sleep. Maybe I just want to be a couch potato and watch TV.

In that case, making a schedule stresses me out. I feel like a failure if I don’t read two books a week. But this needs to remain a hobby, and not a job. Why am I stressing myself out like this? Most likely, the only person disappointed if I don’t post two reviews a week is me anyway.

2. Confession time: I am a mood reader.

Both times I tried to make this reading schedule, I made the whole order of the books I was going to read as well. I think, both times, I changed that order by the second book. I’m such a mood reader that an order just doesn’t make sense. If I want something light and fun, and the next book on the list is dark and heavy, there’s no way that’s going to work. After all, if I force myself to read it anyway, I’ll dislike it and give it a more negative review than warranted. Sorry not sorry. If I’m not in the mood for it, I won’t connect with it, and that will keep me from posting a glowing, positive review.

But I don’t think that’s fair to the book, or the author either. So I shouldn’t force myself to read a book I’m not in the mood for. I don’t want to be a Negative Nancy or a Debby Downer (ha!). It’s good to be self-aware like this. So. No reading schedule for me.

What do I do now?

I’ve abandoned a reading schedule, except for ARCs. ARCs, of course, have to be scheduled in. But since I don’t get too many of those, I can usually find a time for it when I’m in the right mood. However, I can’t imagine what it would be like if I had stacks of ARCs including unsolicited ones that I may have no interest in reading in the first place. Sorry for all of you that do. It kind of sounds like my worst nightmare.

I do like giving some books priority though, in a structured way. So on Goodreads I have a to-read-soon shelf which I limit to 10 books that I want to queue up next. But the order on that is flexible, which allows me to choose one that suits my mood. It at least reminds me of the books I was most excited to read. I also have a shelf of must-read-soon, since I’m OCD like that. That’s a larger shelf, aimed more to the long term, from which I select my to-read-soon books. You follow this?

As to the two books a week, I still kind of aim for that, but not in a fixed schedule, just to give myself more breathing room. If I don’t make it, I don’t make it. And I can deal with that.

Let’s Talk!

Enough of my opinion, what about you?
Do you have a reading schedule or not?
Is it hard to stick to it? Or are you a mood reader like me?

Let me know in the comments!



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    27 responses to “Book Nerd Problems #12: Reading Schedules

    1. Reading…schedule? I don't understand… 😀 I read pretty much constantly but I don't think I could ever plan out what I'd read and in what order, I'm way too into picking books based on my mood.

      BTW, I love your OCD to-read lists, I wish I could be that organized about it. I'm more IWANTTOREADALLTHEBOOKSRIGHTNOW. You've inspired me to split up my to-read shelf because I know some of those have slipped down the priority list.

    2. Brittany S

      YES TO ALL OF THESE THINGS. I am very, very much a mood reader. I try to have a few books in a very lame schedule and then pick from there haha. Unfortunately, some of my ARCs are way behind schedule because I just haven't been in the mood for them.
      I'm so terrible at making a schedule. I basically put all my books on the calendar and at the point, I'm lucky if I read the book by its designated date. SO BAD at scheduling!

    3. achoquet

      I don't have a reading schedule at all. I'm like you, I'll think "Okay, I'll read this and then that and then that." But nope, by the time the book I'm reading is done, I look at my list and go ehhh. And luckily for me, I don't have any ARCs to deal with so there's no pressure. I don't know how others do it. Oh, and I'm SO with you on the whole reading more than one book a week thing. I would like to at times, but just don't always feel like it! It's the same reason I hesitate to join read-a-thons. What would my goal be?? Two books instead of one for the week? Haha.
      My recent post Feature and Follow Friday: Spine Poetry

    4. I loved this post!! I was feeling weird about not really having a reading schedule like so many bloggers out there, but it's so good to know I'm not alone. I've tried the schedule thing, but it just does not work for me. Like you, I am SUCH a mood reader! I also set up a shelf much like your "to-read-soon" shelf (mine's called "up-next"). I limit it to 10 books too, including a few ARCs I've got coming up, but I keep sneaking around and reading books that aren't actually on the list……. oops. =S I need to stay more on top of that, lol. But that's definitely as "organized" as I'll ever be able to get. I totally agree – if you're a mood reader like us, reading books according to a strict schedule is just going to result in not enjoying a book as much as you would if you'd waited and been in the mood for it.
      My recent post Review: LOLA AND THE BOY NEXT DOOR

    5. Yes, yes, and yes! It's funny, because while I'm busy with classes through most of the year, all I can think about is not taking summer courses and having a nice vacation full of reading. My finals just ended, and instead of reading I've morphed into a couch potato (I think my blog's suffering because of it). I have a "reading next…" schedule that I don't follow — I'm always switching the list around, because what I read and enjoy also depends on my mood. A few weeks ago I was craving light-hearted chick-lit, then I moved on to more gritty contemporaries, and now I'm dying for fantasies. Unless it's an ARC, I've learned never to promise specific reviews or force myself to follow a schedule. (And as addicting as requesting ARCs is, I kind of wish I didn't have any!) My moods and couch-potato-y-ness cause too much chaos otherwise.
      My recent post Library Loot #12

    6. Rita (Weaving Pages)

      I find it impossible to read more than two books a week, because if it's not amazing/5 star it will take me 3 or 4 days to read, unless it's tiny!
      I don't like sticking to schedules… I like it much better if I can choose the book I want to read at that moment, but then, I also like reading them in the order I got them… Slight OCD? 😀
      My recent post Starcrossed and Dreamless by Josephine Angelini

    7. I used to have a reading schedule, and I did stick with it for a good year or so. I received a lot of books for review, and so a schedule was kind of necessary. I was fairly flexible with it, and if I was far enough ahead with my reading I would shift books around a bit. I would never have been able to keep with a rigid one! But then I got in a couple of reading funks, and then I got a job, so I decided to scrap the schedule (mostly), and stop requesting books for review. Now I'm basically reading whatever I'm in the mood for at the time, as well as fitting in some of the left over review copies 😀 I NEED to conquer this TBR bookshelf that I have, it's overflowing.
      My recent post DNF: Gameboard of the Gods by Richelle Mead

    8. bookrockbetty

      I am THE WORST at this…. I try to make a list… but it NEEEEVER happens even when I tell myself that THIS TIME I REALLY WILL STICK TO IT… LOL. I am also the kind of person that doesn't like to do what I'm told. So if I have a book for review or for book club, I wait until the LAST POSSIBLE MINUTE to read it. I even have issues with books I choose to read on my own. I will have a book sitting out on my night stand 'to be read next' and 9 out of 10 times it ends up back on the shelf because I felt like it was harassing me and I don't take orders from books!! I usually don't know what I'll read next until the last book is read and the review is written. Then I'll wander over to the book shelf and see which one struts its stuff the best. WHO REAAAAALLY WANTS TO BE READ?? I mean… work it baby. I'm not an easy sale. Okay, I'm done. Scheduling is not my friend.
      My recent post EcoBetty 101: Cream and Sugar??

    9. I don't like to stick with reading schedules. Like you said: they make me feel stressed and I have stress enough! I read because it's a hobby/passion and it's a way to escape my hectic life, so I don't want to give myself extra pressure. And hahaha, I make lists all the time and I never stick with them. I always switch between genres and I like to randomly start reading books. Unsollicitated ARC's I'm not interested in: my nightmare as well. I wouldn't know how to handle it.. I love my ARC's/review request copies, but I definitely need to want them.

      My recent post Fairytale News 12. Review Kobo Glo.

    10. Haha, glad I'm not the only mood reader. I guess a schedule is more for bloggers, since review books do need to be planned, and there's the stress of providing content on a regular basis.

      HAHA, I had a to-read list of like 300 and I couldn't deal with that, so splitting it up was definitely necessary. 🙂 Glad I could inspire you!

    11. Yeah, I think that's a good point. The book I read previously has a serious effect on what book I want to read next. I don't think I could ever read two dark and heavy books in a row, for instance. And hearing buzz around the blogosphere about a certain book can also make a new book get priority.

      Haha, I'll be doing my first read-a-thon next week. Like you, I didn't participate before because yeah. We'll see how it goes though.

    12. I'm actually starting to think of limiting how many books I request, because I pretty much need that freedom to choose which books I want to read based on my mood.

      *pats* You're not alone.

    13. Haha, based on the comments here, you are definitely not alone in not doing a schedule. Confession time: I also kind of fail at sticking to my to-read-soon list… I swear, Through The Ever Night and Days of Blood and Starlight have been on there for like two months. =/

    14. Oh I usually have that too. I always think vacations will be filled with reading time but TV asdfjkl; oh my god, the root of all evil. Glad I'm not the only one with such scheduling issues, haha. Power to the mood readers!

    15. Same here, I just don't have the time to read more than two books a week. Even for two books, I'm often pushing myself to spend one day entirely on reading. *sigh*

      I totally get that, reading the books in the order you got them. I have that tendency as well, but don't always follow it.

    16. Yeah, I remember you talking about like in March that your schedule was full until May xD sounds like my worst nightmare EEP. But yeah, it's mostly how reading funks and work and stuff gets in the way… ugh. Good luck with your TBR bookshelf xD

    17. Hahahaha books harassing you when you left them out to read next. xD I totally get it though. I think once I finish a book, that's the point when I can actually finally decide what I'm in the mood to read next, same as you. You're not alone 😀 Awesome comment!

    18. Aww man, I got this box of 6 unsollicited ARCs from Harper back in February, and I still haven't read three of them. I'm just like. asdfjkl; no? So I'm kind of glad I'm not that big of a blogger that I get a lot of those. That would be so much stress. And same with you on switching genres. It's necessary.

    19. Mood reader and I can’t follow a schedule to save my life. Sometimes I’m not even in the mood to read anything at all. I could be rocketing along, reading 3 or 4 books a week, and then WHAM! No desire to read. Nothing looks good. Nothing holds my attention. I have to wait for the slump to go away before I can pick up a new book. So, yeah, schedules are just not happening with me. I’ve had to switch books in the middle of a novel because my mood has changed and I’m suddenly no longer feeling the vibe. [headdesk]

    20. So even if I would force myself to make a schedule (color-coded and pretty, because I like to make pretty schedules, even though I never ever stick to them) I would NOT stick to it. I am literally THE WORST PERSON EVER when it comes to schedules. Can't do it. Same goes for when I'm supposed to be studying. I always end up ignoring my schedule even though it looks pretty and I want to stick to it. And, like you, I'm definitely a mood reader, except when it comes to ARCs of course. If I make a schedule and then decide I want to read something else, I'll read something else. While I think that having a schedule would be useful, I don't want to turn blogging/reading into a job I don't like. So until someone starts paying me to log and read, I'll do whatever the hell I want 😀

    21. YES to color-coded and pretty schedules, haha. I make them as well, though I do manage to stick to them (when it's not about reading & blogging). I don't know, it always feels so good to cross something off, like an accomplishment, haha. I wish someone would pay me to blog… haha. That would be the best job ever.

    22. Ha, the only schedule I have is a sticky note on my desktop that tells me when my NetGalley reads will be published. I aim to have those read and reviewed on the blog within a month of publication – and that's about it for structure!

      I'm definitely a mood reader, so if I try to schedule books in a certain order, I always abandon it because my next read doesn't suit my mood – and like you, I don't want to negatively impact a book's rating because I was in the wrong mood when I read it!
      My recent post Book Review: Stolen

    23. Glad to hear I'm not alone!! I feel really bad as well when I read a book that I'm not really in the mood for. I don't want it to affect my review, but it does. And usually I also know that if I read it under different circumstances, I probably would have loved it. *sigh* I need to stop forcing that on myself.