Turning the Page: Knowing My Limits

turningthepage

Knowing My Limits

One the most regular book blog memes out there is the weekly book haul reiterations. I’ve obviously partaken in a few of them since starting this blog. It’s almost a requisite weekly post for bloggers. What new books do you have your hands on? How did you get them? How many does that make it? How exciting!

In fact, if you look at my first “In My Mailbox” post, I practically filled the entire viewing space with all the new books that I had gotten through Netgalley and by buying them. It was almost an absurd amount of books–for me.

Everyone reads at different paces. And I have talked about this before; that you really need to know your limits in terms of requesting books. I’ve been really good at not requesting any new books for a while. The excitement of getting new books has become over-powered with guilt for not having completed those books and gotten a review up for them. Maybe some people are perfectly fine having an author or a publisher wait several months for a review. But I feel differently; resources are tight in this day and age and regardless waste is not cool. The point of receiving books is to help generate buzz, get another review out there for it, and hope that the book becomes just that little bit more successful. Having a book collecting dust on top of my bookshelf while I attempt to both be a ‘professional reader’ and have a life is not cool of me and not honoring the agreement created by the very nature of receiving a book for free to review.

But requesting books from Netgalley, LibraryThing, and Goodreads have not been my only issues lately.

It’s these book tours.

I get emails from the fabulous organizers. They have pretty pictures, cool titles, and interesting synopses. They offer the blogger the opportunity to have other blog readers’ potentially visit your own, as well as help create good fodder for the blog itself. So I enter into them, sometimes entering to be considered for a stop several times a day. Any time I’m going to be a blog stop, I immediately schedule a placeholder post to serve as my calendar of posts.

All that would be fine if you remain cognizant of how many tours you’re entering. And more specifically, how many you’ve promised a review for.

That’s the pickle I’ve placed myself in. Not only do I have a stupid number (again, stupid for me given my reading pace, desire to keep reading enjoyable and not a chore, etc.) of books that I requested from different websites, but I also had a silly number of blog tours that I had requested to be a spot for. It’s easy to look at your calendar of posts and say, “oh, I have space this week for a blog tour post! let’s enter for this one!” It’s different when that actually means that you have to consume a book in three days, write a fair review and have the post up. Because, let’s remember, this is a hobby, not a job. This is not and probably should not, be the only thing you devote time to.

I say all of this because, I have learned that:

  1. I need a better way of keeping track of planned posts.
  2. I originally did a poor job of knowing my limits in terms of time, enjoyment, and commitment.

For the whole past week, I have entered no new blog tours. Not even those for just a promo. I want to get my reading life in order, get rid of my little backlog that I’ve created, and make room for the books I’m sure to get from Book Expo America.

Do you have a maximum amount of books you like to have in your reading queue? If so, what’s that number? How do you decide when you have enough books? What are your limits?

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