Where does the time go? I feel like I just posted my February TBR list yesterday. I said it from the start – my TBR was ambitious. I love reading, and I thought that willpower would get me through. But I did not account for a number of things including:
Having time to do anything but going to work and coming home and reading.
I’ve known since about mid January that the pace I was reading was not sustainable, but I was having such a great time I didn’t want to stop. When I finished the ACOTAR series all I wanted to do was immediately dive back in and reread books 2 and 3. But I knew that I did not have the time to do that. I had to keep pushing forward and reading books on my list. And then reading became a chore. And then I just stopped reading.
I admit I had a rough week and weekend. Yesterday, after a lot of thought, I decided to throw out the extensive must read TBR list I had and read the books I want to read. With a little under two weeks left in February I plan to read:
I’ll Be Gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamara (#murdermondaybookclub book – I really want to read this one)
Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz (bookclub# book – my pick- I love this book club. There’s just two of us – we read books and talk about hockey. #LETSGOPENS)
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern (bookclub# book – her pick)
The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker (#unreadbotmchallenge buddy read – this is my first buddy read and I’m really enjoying the pace – we read a bit ever week then chat – and it crosses a BOTM book off the list!)
I’ve also returned to my old reading habits – reading more than one book at a time. I’ve been reading Silence of the Girls on and off all month – I read the chapters for the discussion and then I put it aside and go back to another book. Last night I indulged one of my favorite guilty pleasures: buy a new book, rush home and dive right in. I’ll Be Gone in the Dark is a tremendous story – and it scared the daylights out of me. It is now my daytime only book. I went back to Magpie Murders so that I would be able to redirect my imagination to fiction and thus actually sleep.
I think I lost sight of why I joined bookstagram and why I started this blog. I love books. I love reading. I love to talk about and share books that I’ve loved (that’s a little legacy my Aunt Mary gave me). With this in mind, I am going to back to the start, diving back into books – and reading by mood. If I want to reread a book, I’m going to reread it. If I want to take a break and watch Hallmark or Hockey or the new football league I’m going to veg out in front of the TV.
I think one of the hardest things to do is learn how to balance your life. Find things you love and do them for the love of the thing. Cross things off your must do to do list. Laugh. Spend time with friends. Eat chocolate. Do the dishes. Make your bed. Binge watch a tv show. Read a good book.
Why am I sharing this? Social Media is a difficult place to navigate. It’s full of “best of” moments. We talk about our highs. We talk about the good things. And we compare ourselves to others. But we are more than just the best bits of ourselves. We are the bad days. And we are the days where we pick ourselves up, and say “I will try again”.
I have always been a “mood” reader. I used to read two to three books at a time (I have pretty much stopped that since joining Bookstagram and writing about and reviewing books). When it comes to choosing which book I am going to start, or go back to, or finish it all comes down to mood – which book I want to read in that moment. This system worked for me for years between college and last fall when I had the worst reading slump and started about a dozen books that I DNF or quickly lost interest in.
Reading so many books in December and January was such a great experience that I gathered a really (overly) ambitious stack of books for my February TBR. I’ve known all month that in order to read all these books I would have read at a pace of three books per week and I would not be able to add a single book to this list.
Since starting Books With PIP! I have had more conversations about books with my friends than I ever have before. I love it. A friend of mine recently recommended a book to me – a book he has read and loved. The minute I got it I wanted to push it to the top of my TBR.
Me: I have so many books to read I could not possibly add one more.
700 page book I wasn’t planning on reading: Hold my beer.
With this in mind, and an unexpected day off (yay! snow day!) I have decided to read this book a little at a time in between my February TBR books – and if I have to stop reading it to finish my other books, it will still be there in March.
With one more day / night of reading to go in January my total is 12. I might try to fit in a quick read tonight or start one of the books on this list, but I also might give my poor eyes a break and watch a Hallmark movie. .
Until I gathered all of these books together, I didn’t quite realize HOW MANY books I planned to read in February, THE SHORTEST MONTH. As a book friend said “My reading eyes are bigger than my stomach.” Did I bite off more than I can chew? Probably. I am just stubborn enough to find a way to read all this books? Absolutely. Will I do anything other than read in my free time this month? Probably Not. It’s ok. Reading is my favorite way to spend my time, the football season is all but over, I can totally read while a Hallmark movie is on in the background and I prefer to cuddle up on my couch with my cats, a book and a blanket to going out in the cold and snow (or the heat and rain. Or any weather really. I’m an indoors girl).
I am a little nervous about this – since leaving college I have never planned my immediate TBR books like this. I usually have a book in mind that I want to / should read next. This is a full month of reading, planned in advance. My biggest worry is that I tend to read by mood (which is why I have so many unread books) and a new book always leaps over books I already own (which is why I have banned myself from buying books this month).
Ok. February. Let’s Do This:
The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker (buddy read / must read)
Goldenstate by Ben H. Winters (probably if I have time / might pick a different BOTM book)
ACOTAR by Sarah J. Maas.
A Court of Mist and Fury
A Court of Wings and Ruin
A Court of Frost and Starlight
These are all must reads because I am determined to finish one YA series a month until I have read ALL the YA Series that I own. I read book one of this series in January, so ACOTAR it is for the first month of this challenge.
Some Kind of Happiness
Also must reads. I really like the Author Week feature on my instagram. These books are the ones I am most excited to read!
Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz
the Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
This is my fun hockeyfriend# (we like a backwards hashtag 🙂 ) book club. We each pick a book and then we have a book chat at the end of the month.
She is doing a series reread of Harry Potter. I joined late so I will be starting at book 3. I am going to reread books 1-2 but given my ambitious TBR I most likely will read 3-7 then 1-2.
Valentine’s Day Challenge: Continuing my celebrate a holiday by reading a book challenge (started on NYE / NYD) on Valentine’s Day I will be reading Love By the Book by Melissa Pimental
With 11-12 books scheduled TBR in February I probably don’t have time for anything else BUT I like to read by mood so there may be one or two spur of the moment reads added in or substituted.