I’ve been blogging for about 2 and a half years now and I’ve felt a bit disconnected from it in the last year if I’m honest. I love the social side of blogging, the friends I’ve made on Twitter and of course I love reading, but the actual ins and outs of being a book blogger have been starting to put a strain on my enjoyment of it. Without having a massive moan about poor Erin here are some of what I see as the troubles of a book blogger…
The dreaded To Be Read list. Does anyone else dread looking at theirs or is that just me? Please tell me that it’s not! Actually, at the minute I’m finding mine a little bit daunting so like a good little ostrich I have my head firmly and constantly buried in the sand. Avoidance is key. I have so many books to read both for review and of my own that I don’t think there will ever be a day where I have to go and buy a book out of necessity.
I would love to be able to give up my day job and spend every waking hour ignoring everyone with my nose firmly stuck in a book but alas the bank doesn’t accept book marks as mortgage payment and so working life calls. Just now I have absolutely no idea what the total number of books on my TBR is but I do know that my NetGalley list alone has over 160 books on it…woe is well and truly me.
Finding time to read
As I just mentioned I have a full time day job and I’m also not the anti-social hermit I sometimes wish I was. In the last year alone I’ve probably made less time for reading than I ever have before since moving in with my boyfriend and a new found love of binge watching Sons of Anarchy and Suits. Having 24/7 access to my PC since moving in also meant I could indulge in another of my favourite hobbies – playing The Sims. So you see I don’t really have all that much time to read. After I come in from work and by the time I finally sit down I’m usually knackered and just want to switch off in front of the TV leaving reading to half an hour before bed or weekend mornings.
I feel like I’ve started to separate reading into “occupational” and “for fun”. Under the category of “occupational” falls all the review titles I have and under “for fun” are all the books I’ve bought for myself. On weekends I usually give in to the want to read something I’ve bought for myself and return to my “for review” books during the week.
I used to read up to 5 books a week and now I’m lucky if I read 5 chapters a week…hence the size of my TBR.
Give up or give it another go
If I’m reading a book that I’ve bought I have absolutely no qualms about packing it in if I’m just not feeling it. I don’t want to waste time when I’m reading for enjoyment. I find it harder to give up with books that are for review, and feel especially terrible when I’ve signed up for a blog tour. I don’t like to disappoint authors but sometimes, with the best will in the world, it’s just not working – doesn’t make it feel any better though!
Just as much of a concern as my lack of time to read is my lack of time, and more recently lack of willingness, to actually sit down and spend time writing a review. I keep a list on my phone, so it’s always with me for reference, and stick a nice emoji next to the title when I’ve written the review. I strive to review everything I’ve read but sometimes it’s just not possible to get to them. At the minute I have a back log of reviews and if finding a lack of time to read is a problem finding time to sit with my laptop and write seems impossible some weeks.
Writing reviews is not a straightforward bashing out of words, obviously, and sometimes it can take me ten minutes to write a review and other times it can take me up to an hour. It depends on how I feel about the book, how distracted I am when I’m sitting with my laptop, how much I’ve got to say about the book and that in itself is another dilemma how much is enough and does it matter if you gush like mental because you just love the book so god damn much?
This has always been a concern of mine. Right when I started blogging I was very unsure about whether I would ever get anywhere with it, whether it would be for me and who would ever read my blog?! I’m sure everyone must have the same doubts when they start out so I know I’m not alone but it’s still pretty daunting to begin with. The book blogger arena is pretty saturated and making sure you stand out is hard. Having a constant Twitter presence and keeping up with absolutely everything going on in the book world is absolutely impossible but everyone is out to try their best.
I think I sometimes forget about that and put more pressure on myself than is necessary. I like my little blog, what I’ve achieved, and I LOVE that I’ve made so many friends on Twitter. That side of blogging is one of my favourite things about it and is always what keeps me going when I think I might give up.
Are you a book blogger who can relate to any of this? I am not intending to offend anyone or have a moan with this post, rather give an honest account of how I feel about blogging right now. I do still love it though, most nights.