2016 is going to herald a new change in my reading habits.
As I was putting together my review for We Were Liars last week, I had cause to tally up how many contemporary YA novels I’d read since I started keeping track of my books on Library Thing, nine years ago. I noticed then when I flicked through my lists of books read in and before 2013, I got a much happier feeling than when I looked at the lists from more recent years.
This time period coincides perfectly with the years that my incoming books started to increase and my TBR pile got slightly out of control. In consequence, I started doing TBR challenges until they were coming out of my ears in an attempt to ensure I read the books I needed to.
That was a stupid idea. I ended up feeling guilty every time I reread a book or read a book that I’d only bought the previous month, which meant that I wasn’t reading the books I knew I loved or that I actually, you know, wanted to read. Don’t get me wrong, I found some wonderful books using this method – Miss Buncle’s Book, for example, or The Woman in White, but I still picked them up for the wrong reasons.
This had the knock-on effect that I was reading less than I had in previous years because it felt more like a chore, and I was less interested in talking about them so my blog suffered as well.
You know what? *@!x that. This year, in 2016, I am going to read exactly what I damn well please. I’m not going to sign up to any challenges (especially no TBR ones) and I’m not even going to concentrate on my unread books if I don’t want to. I’m still going to make an effort not to buy many new books (although that’s partly because I’m saving up for a house deposit), but my TBR can still as it as for the rest of the year and I do not care a button. I don’t care how many male/female authors I read, and I don’t care when or where they were published.
I feel oddly liberated. I’ve read three books this year: one of them would have counted for a bloody TBR challenge anyway, one was a reread and the other I hadn’t read since I was a small child. I’ve talked about Scarlet already and I fully intend to talk about Peter Pan and Persuasion as well. I’m actually excited about doing so.
Maybe I’ll go back to my usual way of doing things in 2017, maybe not. It depends how I feel at the end of the year and if I need to get myself back in track to control the incoming books! Either way, wish me luck for this slightly inane plan!