A little weird reading update for you in the middle of the week.
Work’s been crazy lately. I don’t know if it’s the same for you, but when work is like this, I just want to turn off my phone and do some uninterrupted reading. No book reviews. No book updates. No writing at all. Just read.
It’s kind of funny that I work as a reader, but when it’s not reading you choose to read, then it feels like a chore. Oh boy, here’s a dilemma for you.
And I’m grateful for my job and all the work I get, but there are just some days where I would much rather just sit back, relax, and open a book I picked off my shelf. I don’t want to have to schedule out my day in order to maximize reading time. I don’t even know how much reading time I require. All I know is that I feel burnout coming and I want to prepare before it ruins reading for me.
So how do you balance a reading life where you work freelance and you just want to read? Here’s what I’ve been thinking:
Stick to keeping your working hours between 9-5
My friend, Emma, was kind enough to dose me with some reality; if I don’t manage my days better I’ll burn out and resent reading. Yikes.
Recently, it feels like I work whenever I have a minute and the inspiration to work. I write at night. I read over the weekends. I’ve been spending my Saturdays working on reviews and not feeling like I’m relaxing ever. I feel on edge. I feel like I’m failing to catch up with myself. These feelings are terrible and I would love to just feel like I’ve got a handle on things.
That’s the last thing I want to do is resent reading, so in order to prevent that I’m going to be keeping work to a strict 9-5 schedule. What I’ll do in that time is work on articles, blog posts, and reading for work. After those hours, it’s just for me. I think this might be the biggest gift of self-care I’ve ever given myself.
I’m not making any more TBRs, book clubs, or participating in any buddy reads
I know the whole point of being a part of a bookish community is that you participate. I would love to do that more often, but with my work schedule and spending time with my family, something’s gotta give. For me, it’ll have to be participating in buddy reads, book clubs, and creating a TBR for myself.
I never follow my TBR. I pick out a bunch of books to read and for some reason, I can’t seem to stick with them. I always fall off the reading list in hopes of finding entertainment in a different book.
I’ve been finding lately I’m very beholden to my mood. If I want to read a romance, I’ll read a romance. If I want to read a whole fantasy series, so be it. I think for my own sanity and reading life, it’ll make me happier to just do my own thing and not participate.
For the book clubs I’m currently in, that’s pretty much the extent of my participation. I’ve got enough on my plate to join any more or buddy read with friends. I just have to do me.
I just want to read
The final thing I want to mention is that I just want to read. I want to read my books, share my thoughts, and then move to the next book. I love writing reviews, but I think I’ll be a little bit more selective on the books I do review.
For example, I’m not going to review books that have published years ago. I think many folks already either read them or opinions on them and throwing my opinion into the hat isn’t going to improve or reduce what people think. I’ll be sticking to reviews of new books. That doesn’t mean I won’t be reading older books. I just won’t be reviewing them anymore.
I also want to focus on the length of time it takes me to read a book. I’ve always thought I could read about 50 pages an hour, but it’s turning out to be longer. I’m currently working to read faster and spending less time on my phone in order to accommodate it. I think I can definitely do it, but I’ll need to remove some distractions before I can.
Ok, I’m done complaining! See you all later while I go and read some more.