When you’re an author working on your next book or books (in my case a sequel to The Travelers, a children’s book relating to a unicorn, a ghost story, a spec fic/scifi book) and also a mom, wife, resistor, sometimes bookstagrammer and daily blogger with a relatively demanding day job as a medical editor, finding time to read can be hard. It helps that I basically don’t sleep. Whether I need that sleep or not is another question. If I suddenly start making soap and starting fight clubs, someone please have me committed.
Still, I try to read as much I can. But finding that time, especially lately, can be very hard. I’m even feeling a little stressed about the to be read (TBR) stack growing in my bedroom.
Guilt-Ridden in an Airport
And last week I did something I thought I’d never do. I was at the airport, which is honestly a book-lovers paradise because even the convenience stores have large walls of books. If I pass a place selling books, I buy a book. It’s a problem that’s likely contributing to my growing TBR stack.
As I stood there, ruminating over which book to buy, I actually looked at how thick the books were to make my decision! Is that awful? It felt awful. I felt so guilty. I actually chose a book not because the story appealed to me more but because it was thin. I still feel dirty and superficial just thinking about it.
Is Compromise a Bad Word?
Still, even the fact that I contemplated this made me realize that perhaps I’m being a bit too hard on myself.
Ever since I read a post Sunday on Books, Vertigo and Tea that included a section about book blogger guilt, it made me realize our book community – authors, writers, bloggers, readers – we’re feeling guilty for not having the time for reading and supporting other readers and writers. We feel guilty over the thing we love. And that’s maybe not so healthy. It might even ruin our passion.
So, for me, perhaps it’s OK now and then to make a compromise or a choice that fits my busy lifestyle, even if it’s not ideal. It’s generally not in my nature. I have one of those “I can do it all” / “if you’re going to do it, do it right” complexes. Or more like a “don’t tell me what I can’t do” complex. (Read: I’m stubborn and I don’t know how to half-ass things. And I hate rationalizing away failure.)
Taking It Down a Notch (or Three)
However, this isn’t a rationalization. This about finding balance in life. As a first step in trying to relax my full-throttle ways at least a little, I’m going to be nonjudgmental about my own minimal progress on my TBR and my 2017 reading challenge. I’m going to take a positive approach: I found time to read. Period. Maybe it wasn’t as much as I would like, but what I read made me happy. I enjoyed the books I read and I learned from them. That’s really the important part. Going forward, I plan to focus on quality over quantity. That’s going to be my new reading mantra.
So What Did I Manage to Read in March?
March: Book One by John Lewis – Quick review (I have a longer one in my blog if you’re interested) – Incredible, inspiring, unique, everyone should read it
If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo – Quick review (see longer review here) – Enlightening, necessary, beautiful
Harry Potter Book 2 – The Chamber of Secrets – Quick review (see longer review here) – Fun, inventive, might have been ultimately ruined for me by the movie, but I’m still reading the next book so clearly I liked it
What Have I Started Reading for April?
The Hate You Give by Angie Thomas (See that’s me reading it. All happy with my dog! That’s what reading is about right. Although I was crying a few pages later…but that’s another story for a future review.)
Harry Potter Book 3 – Prisoner of Azkaban
A Word For Love by Emily Robbins (Our latest book club book)
Also on tap for this Month:
- March: Book 2
- Locksmith at the End of the World by Angela Glascock
I’m going to leave it at 5 and not make my goal too lofty. If I exceed, great. If I don’t even get to 5, I’m going to figure out a way to be OK with that or else I’ll just resign myself to the soap making, fight clubbing world.
Lastly, Where Am I on My 2017 Reading Challenge Now that 1/4 of the Year is Through?
Taking a positive approach, I think I’m doing relatively well.