Reading Pressure!

I’ve come to a point where I realized that I’ve been battling with my personal reading habits lately. Thanks to my addiction to Edelweiss (and Netgalley) and my “need” (realization: It’s not really a need AT ALL) to have & read new releases that now I’ve created quite a conundrum for myself.

Usually when I receive egalleys or ARCs, I try to read and review the book right before it’s released. My personal preference is to be able to post the review for said book within a week of the release date (preferably before, but sometimes after if I’m slammed with commitments). Recently, I just haven’t been able to keep up with the things that I’ve been requesting and guys… It’s KILLING me.

I’ve been feeling so terrible that I’ve requested so many egalleys and haven’t been able to read them before their release days. I also still have a few ARCs from the giveaway I won from Jamie back in December and I just haven’t been able to keep up with those before they’ve been released either. By not reading them and posting a review within a week of the release date, I feel like I’m letting the publisher down. I feel like they approved me for these advanced copies expecting me to help promote these books and spread the word. Is that realistic? Maybe not. I know that there’s probably an ideal date publishers would like us bloggers to post by, but it’s not mandatory. Still, my guilty conscience just eats at me and I come home every day and stare at those ARCs on my shelf… Already released… Begging me to read them… Reminding me that I’m falling behind on my “reading schedule” (which doesn’t really exist because I constantly change it)…

Because of this reading pressure (that I’ve put on myself)…
I haven’t been to the library in AGES. I just can’t. I can’t check out books that I need to finish up series or have been anxious to read because I have too many other things that I need to read on a time crunch!
I started trying to read some of the egalleys on my computer at work. OOPS, sorry work. I just need to read, read, read to try to catch up!
I haven’t been watching TV practically at all. The only time I allow myself to watch TV is when I’m hanging out with my boyfriend and we’re watching TV together or while I’m doing something else, like cleaning. Guys. I’m nine episodes behind on Grey’s Anatomy. SAD.

Don’t get me wrong — I kind of love that I’m reading more than I’m watching TV now BUT I would like to feel like if I wanted to watch TV that I could… No pressure, no sideways glances at my books as I sit there NOT reading them. Blogging is first and foremost a hobby — One that I truly love but every once in a while starts to take control of my life and I get panicked with how much reading I really need to do before specific deadlines! I had to just recently take a step back and tell myself that IT’S OKAY. I may not be cranking out these reviews before the pub date, but I do still plan to read the books I’ve requested. It just might take me a little while to get there!

What do you guys think? Do you feel the reading pressure!? When do you try to post your reviews for ARCs and/or new releases? Any tips for combatting the pressures of balancing your reading?

43 thoughts on “Reading Pressure!

  1. Amy @ bookgoonie

    I definitely felt it. Plus I was never getting to the books I was buying. I just STOPPED. I haven’t requested a book in over a year. The down side is that I might not have the newest releases on my blog BUT I feel better getting to the 100s of books on my shelves throwing guilt waves my way & no pressure other than wanting to keep content up on the blog.

    1. Brittany Post author

      I know, it’s SO HARD to stop requesting haha.
      That IS a downside, not having as many new releases to review on your blog, but I find myself missing older titles! I feel like I have almost exclusively new releases and I’m not getting that mix anymore. Someday it’ll start evening back out! I think I just need to take week off of work to read πŸ˜‰

  2. DeAnna @ Mommy's Reading Break

    I’m actually glad you posted this. I am still fairly new to blogging, and I just got approved for my first galleys, and I feel a lot of pressure to read them ASAP, but then I fall into the trap of not knowing when to post the reviews, so this post of yours actually helped me with that. Also, maybe I can lift some of the pressure off of myself to read all the galleys NOW, rather than closer to their release dates.

    Sorry I couldn’t be of more help to you, but I wanted to let you know that this post helped me. Thanks. πŸ™‚

  3. Savindi @ The Streetlight Reader

    I definitely have that problem about requesting galleys and not finishing them on time. However I’ve kind of stopped requesting because there’s nothing coming out in the recent weeks that has peaked my interest. I also want to read the books that I buy. I guess I don’t want my blog solely to be about new releases. But I do understand that netgalley and edelweiss are definitely addicting :). Reading pressure definitely can be tough because sometimes it prevents you from truly enjoying the book as well.

    1. Brittany Post author

      I know, I’m finding that wearing on me – I LOVE the new releases, don’t get me wrong, but I’m getting sad that I don’t have time for/am neglecting all the “older” books! I really want to get to those too. I’ll get back to a good mix eventually but for now, the new releases are taking over!

  4. Christina

    Yes, I’m feeling it for sure. I even made a calendar with all the pub dates, so I know what’s next, but the urge to read the newly published stuff and start or finish great series gets in the way! I also have pretty much stopped watching tv, which I like. πŸ™‚

    1. Brittany Post author

      Haha YES. I still have so many series that I need to finish and I’m like AHHH I can’t read old books because I have to stay on top of these new ones! Sigh. I’ll just have to figure out how to balance them soon. I WILL read them all… Just figuring out my little schedule πŸ™‚

  5. CeCe

    It is so nice to hear that other people feel this same reading pressure! I am a new blogger so I definitely feel the pressure to post a lot of books and get a lot of ARCs so that I can make a good early impression. Before that (and even still I suppose) it was seeing the stacks of ebooks versus paper books and trying to figure out which I should read first. I am a member of a paid books via mail subscription service and I always feel like I have to read those first and feel guilt if I pick a newer ebook instead.
    Being such a book addict makes it that much harder. I want to READ ALL THE BOOKS! Nom nom nom.

  6. Maggie @ Just a Couple More Pages

    Great post, I think you bring up some interesting questions. I’m a new blogger and one of the things I considered before I started my blog was that it would make reading more of a chore rather than something I love. I hasn’t for me (yet!) and as much as I want to request more books through Netgalley (something I’ve been doing for a while) and Edelweiss (something I haven’t tried yet, although I registered) I’m hesitant to do it because I don’t want to feel like I HAVE to do anything.

    For a long time I had a somewhat successful personal/healthy living blog and at first I loved blogging and loved trying new foods and workouts that other blogs connected me with, but eventually it became a chore and I gave it up. I’m hoping to keep some kind of balance between reading and blogging so that doesn’t happen here.

  7. Vyki @ On The Shelf

    I completely understand reading pressure! I try not to request too many books for this reason, which is hard because there are so many that I would love to request and it is also the reason that I am not taking review requests right now since I am backed up on those that have been promised. I don’t like to be behind on reviews I have promised >.< and I feel so guilty when I do fall slack. I felt horrendously bad for having to neglect my blog for 5 weeks! So now I am also behind on some reviews and such. I still buy books, too, but then I end up not reading the ones I get because another one I don't have beckons to me, lol. So hard!!

  8. Jennifer

    You certainly aren’t alone πŸ˜‰ That doesn’t really help though does it? Lol

    I stopped buying books years ago, that really helps. I’m a giant fan of my local library. (Ok, I did order a few things today but it was because I had a GIFT CARD so it totally doesn’t count.)

    Requesting books from Netgalley…oooh it’s so easy to get carried away there isn’t it?

    I guess I don’t have any great advice other than just let it go and read what you read. Try not to pressure yourself too much. Just go with the flow πŸ™‚

  9. Briana

    I think a lot of bloggers feel similarly, so, after reading a few posts with the same sentiments here, I decided I would never request very many books. I like the freedom to choose what I would like to read next without feeling guilty that I’m not reading something else. Somewhere, there is a balance of requesting a few books for review, ones you really really want to read, and just reading what’s on your shelves or at the library.

    And, although as bloggers we do feel pressure to read all the new releases or feature ARCs, I’ve found that the posts that get the most views and comments on my own blog are about books that have been out for a bit already. If people have also read the book, they have more to discuss with you about it. Plus, due to increasing plagiarism concerns in the blogosphere, many people have decided not to read reviews for books for which they have not already written their own review, to avoid unintentionally stealing opinions.

  10. estelle @ rather be reading blog

    Okay so. I get this. A lot. I think because we took a mega break at the end of the year where I didn’t read any ARCs, I went a little ARC happy and I’ve been kind of struggling with keeping up. I will REMEMBER this feeling and not over commit myself in the future. I just can’t. I do keep a reading schedule for ARCs and with my trip I was able to fit in a few books I’ve been really wanting to read. It’s actually kind of good for my wallet though… the more ARCs and books I have hoarded (like bought and haven’t read), the less I am buying this year. (Although the percentage of pre-orders has gone up.) I think we just get ALL excited and want to read read read, ya know?

  11. Rachel

    Remember that break I took a few weeks ago? That was partially the result of too much pressure. I had so many books on my shelf and I couldn’t keep up with the pace I was setting myself. I was neglecting other things in my life to read, but I wasn’t even enjoying reading anymore. One day I just decided I was done. I didn’t need to read all the newest releases or request a ton of egalleys. I also decided that reading was just going to be a part of my life, not my entire life. I only go on netgalley and edelweiss once in a while instead of daily. I have unread ARCs, and sure, I do feel bad that I haven’t gotten to them yet, but I’m not putting any pressure on myself to read them. I’ll get to them when I get to them. I’m focusing more on reading on what I want and at my own pace. Does this mean I read less than I used to? Most certainly. But I’m also much happier.

  12. Kayla Elizabeth

    Oh my goodness. I signed up for NetGalley a week ago and have gotten a bunch of books and I am the same way- I feel the need to read and review books BEFORE they come out. Well, stupid me, like I said, requested so many books because there are so many I want, but there is no way I am going to be able to review them all unless I give up eating, sleeping, bathing… you know how it is.

    I am also a book behind on Goodreads, which is freaking me out.

  13. Giselle

    Dude! We’ve all been there! I remember being ABLE to read and review all my ARCs on time but it’s just not possible anymore, especially when you start getting some unsolicited ones, too. I’ve stopped feeling bad though because after speaking to pubs I’ve come to realize that even with EW and NG they don’t actually EXPECT every single request to be reviewed. Not always for this reason, but what if by the time you go to read it you’ve heard only bad things and you KNOW you’ll dislike it? They don’t expect you to read something you think you’ll hate and this happens quite a bit actually for me. I don’t think you should feel bad at all. ARCs are great and we all get carried away with requests sometimes but every blogger has ARCs they don’t review for many reasons so don’t worry we’re all in the same boat πŸ™‚

  14. Quinn @ Quinn's Book Nook

    Sometimes I feel reading pressure, too. I’m pretty bad at requesting books from Netgalley or Edelweiss and then not reading them. Often I start to read a book, and just don’t like it so I don’t finish it.

    It’s always in the back of mind, though, that I need to read enough books every week in order to have three reviews on my blog every week. I usually don’t get a ton of reading done during the work week. I read some, but usually for the whole five days, I read one book. So I try to devote my days off to read a lot. It helps that I listen to audiobooks, too, though.

    Great post, Brittany. And it’s okay if you can’t do everything!

  15. Kim

    When I started my book blog and began requesting ARCs I promised myself that I would never request more than I could actually handle, no matter how bad I wanted them. It just made me feel greedy. But I can’t stop myself from buying all the books I want! Then I feel sad that I can’t get to them as fast as I want to. I’d also like to go back and re-read some of my old favorites but it’s hard to find time to do that too.

  16. ashley

    You are definitely not alone. One of my fears is never finishing my TBR list, of course logically I know that I can’t finish the list and that will be okay. But there are just so many books, so little time. I also have the same problem with ARCs, so thank you for posting this. I feel less alone.

  17. Danielle

    Right there with ya babe! I’m desperately trying to finish the march releases I’m behind on before I can even think of Aprils. I started a reviewing spreadsheet to keep track and looking at it depresses me so I’m trying so hard not to request but damn you 2013 for being an amazing publishing year. Plus dying to start the last book in so many series that came out of the end of 2012. As problems go it’s not the biggest lol but I do so get the guilt of feeling like you’re letting people down!

  18. Jana @ That Artsy Reader Girl

    I’m over a year behind on some of my galleys and ARCs, and I feel guilty every day. I started thinking about these a different way, though. First of all, reviews for books are loved by all anytime, especially after the buzz for that book has died down. Just the other day I saw 4-5 reviews for This is what Happy Looks Like in my blog reader. In a couple months, I might not see any. I know that pubs appreciate reviews later on, in order to bring the book back into peoples’ minds. Second, my review for a book will be a million times better if I’m in the mod for it. Sometimes I’m in the mood for a contemp, and not a dystopia. I’m sure the pub would rather I wait a while and enjoy the book more, instead of reading it now and feeling “meh”. Lastly, this is just a hobby. We do our best. But if you turn reading into a chore, you will start to resent the hobby. Catch up on Grey’s if you want! You should never deprive yourself of other fun things, or you will burn out or end up writing a bunch of snarky reviews. πŸ˜› I pressured myself a lot during my first year of blogging, but now that I read what I want when I want, I’m enjoying it a lot more. Plus, readers love reviews of older books! I’ve actually found that my new release reviews get maybe 5 comments, and my reviews for books that are 4-5 years old get 15-20 comments because more people have read them, and want to discuss!

    1. Brittany Post author

      Thanks SO MUCH for sharing your thoughts on this, Jana!!! It’s always helpful to know someone’s been through it before and I’ll come out okay on the other side πŸ™‚
      Yes!! I really want to get to my older books for that reason too – I’ve been noticing that I’ll comment on more books that I’ve read than books I haven’t read, so I don’t want to neglect those “older” books either! More people can talk about them and comment as well as start up discussion.
      Thanks so much for your awesome comment! Also very helpful πŸ™‚

    2. Brittany Post author

      Thanks SO MUCH for sharing your thoughts on this, Jana!!! It’s always helpful to know someone’s been through it before and I’ll come out okay on the other side πŸ™‚
      Yes!! I really want to get to my older books for that reason too – I’ve been noticing that I’ll comment on more books that I’ve read than books I haven’t read, so I don’t want to neglect those “older” books either! More people can talk about them and comment as well as start up discussion.
      Thanks so much for your awesome comment! Also very helpful πŸ™‚

  19. Janita @ Book, Interrupted

    I give myself limits. I’m only allowed to buy/receive one book a week. That way it’s manageable and I can (theoretically) start to tackle the books that are in my TBR pile πŸ™‚ I’m actually trying to stay away from NetGalley because I’ve not enjoyed the books that I’ve been permitted to read and I’d rather wait to get a real copy to enjoy them πŸ™‚

  20. Ellice

    From a non-blogger who enjoys reading your reviews, thank you for your hard work! Since I discovered book blogs about a year ago, I have been tossing around the idea of starting my own, but I’m scared of the pressure to read the newest books. I feel like there are so many of the older books that I’m still catching up on, especially since I only recently discovered my love of YA books πŸ™‚

  21. Stormy

    I don’t feel so much pressure with review books, necessarily, since I’ve mostly tamed my e-arc requesting button(well, until I discovered Edelweiss a few days ago. I might have requested a lot them. But I justify it by telling myself I’ll probably only get approved for half of them or less), but I do feel reading pressure in general. I think a lot of it for me is that as a student, I have books I want to read for fun and books I want to read for class. I ENJOY my class books, most of the time, but they’re not books I would review. So often when I’m reading a book for class I just eye my bookshelf thinking, “I could be reading a book I would be able to review right now, instead of this book that everyone in the English language has read except for me!”.

    So yeah, definitely feel reading pressure. Not sure how to combat it, though.

  22. Tiffany

    I don’t have any advice, I just wanted to stop by and commiserate with you, if that’s okay?

    I feel the same pressures. When I was in undergrad I minored in procrastination. It was my go-to to play on Farmville instead of compiling the next analysis. Since I graduated? I haven’t touched any of the time-sucking games on FB. (It’ll be a year in May.)

    Since I picked up blogging book reviews, I’ve noticed I’ve gotten back to my old ways. I recently started to put together a posting schedule that I am forcing myself to stay accountable to. If I say I am going to post a review on Tuesday, I make sure I’ve read the book and posted the review. No excuses.

    So far this has worked with minor success, but I am hopeful I will be fully, if not mostly caught up by August. (I prefer reading outside and it’s been too cold, but in GA its warming up already, which makes me confident I will get lots of reading done.

    I guess I do have some advice after all. Everyone is different, put together a system that works for and hold yourself accountable. Maybe even reward yourself after you’ve completed so many?

    Good luck! Tiffany

  23. Elisa

    Yep, I feel your pain. I stopped even looking at Netgalley because I didn’t want the pressure any more. But as you were talking about it I was thinking maybe you could schedule a post for release day to say a blurb about the book, post the cover and say you got it from NG and just haven’t read it yet but the review will be coming at some point. You have done your little bit of marketing and feel a bit better about it? Just an idea.
    But my problem is that if I feel TOO much pressure, I don’t enjoy the book as much and that isn’t good either!

    Good luck finding your pressure release valve!

  24. Candice

    I want to give you a giant hug, B! You sound like you could use it. I feel like all of us go through this conundrum at some point with blogging. I know I went through it recently… am still kinda going through it recently! What I think the main problem is is that we want our blogs to be the best they can be, to be involved in the publishing industry and get recognition for what we do as bloggers. But, then we take on too much, especially with books that publicists seem to push in our faces with pretty covers and free galleys and ARCS (sneaky bastards), and start ignoring our other loves (ie Grey’s Anatomy) because we feel obligated somehow. Totally get your stress on this!

    I wish I had some great wise words of wisdom to impart… but I don’t. I feel like whenever I get stressed about reading or blogging, I drop it altogether and do something else I love. I’ve given up the idea that I have to post something hugely great every single day. If I go a few days without blogging, I’m cool with that. If I write a post about nail polish, I’m cool with that too.

    The books aren’t going anywhere, B. Once they are written they are here for all eternity. If you don’t get them reviewed/read by a certain date I think it’s fine. You can just do it later and maybe 6 months from the publishing date remind us that oh yeah! I meant to read that and now you’ve just inspired me to read it! I’m glad you posted about this and had such good feedback on it; this is something we all deal with and it’s nice to know there’s lots of support out there! πŸ™‚

  25. Kelly

    I totally understand this ENTIRE POST. I have eleventy billion ARCs that are due for a review in early May, and I have been working my butt off to get them read on time. It’s crazy. BUT I NEED TO REQUEST THEM. It’ s like an addiction. There are just too many awesome books coming out right now!

  26. Melissa @ Harley Bear Book Blog

    This happened to me last year and at some point I just stopped requesting Egalleys or I only did like one at a time and since then I’ve been catching up on old series and starting some new (I put them on hold at the library before they come out so I”m first to get them). I feel no pressure now and it’s amazing! But I totally know what you mean in this post. I think every blogger’s been there before.

  27. Merin @ Read and Reviewed

    You are certainly not alone! I have actually managed to stay off of NG and EW the past few weeks because I have enough e-galleys that, if I read them all and do reviews for them, has me book on the blog through the end of May (and that’s with posting three reviews/week, which is not always doable). And I also have lots of e-galleys that I received last year and never got read. I do feel far more guilty about those than about ones I may miss release dates on by a few weeks. I just keep telling myself that things aren’t going to end if I don’t get a book read. There have been several times where a book reads more slowly than I expected, or I just didn’t like it, and that messes up my review schedule. I’ve just learned to roll with it. πŸ™‚

    Of course, it would help if there weren’t SO MANY books I want to read available with a simple click of a button….

  28. Kristilyn (Reading In Winter)

    I am SO like this and need to stop! I love getting to read new releases, but I really need to work on the books that I’ve bought. Not only do I have too many review books, but I have too many books that I’ve bought and haven’t read that I really can’t keep up. It really adds a lot of stress sometimes, but I figure I’m only human, so I try my best. That’s all I can do, right?

    I wish you luck! And if you need to take a TV break, do it! There are too many great TV shows out there. πŸ™‚

    1. Brittany Post author

      Thanks, Kristilyn!! I know, I’m FINALLY starting to get to the point where I’m past my immediate commitments and thanks to all the amazing comments on this post, I don’t feel as pressured to read ALL THE ARCs right away! Everyone’s responses have been so amazing so thanks so much for your feedback!

  29. BookishTrish

    Great post, I hear you. I’m rowing furiously as fast as I can in same boat too. I have so many I need to review, others I want to buy and read and its hard not to feel pressure. I just keep reminding myself this is a hobby and I’ll get to them all as soon as I can. And in the meantime what do I do, go for a “look” on net galley, I’m my own worst enemy!

    1. Brittany Post author

      Thanks so much for your comment!
      Yes! Exactly. It’s a hobby and if ever I get too pressured I have to take a step back and realize that I don’t need to get too crazy about it πŸ™‚

  30. Jenn @ A Glo-Worm Reads

    I know how you feel! I went for the longest time not being able to read what I wanted (I mean I want to read the review books but just like to have an option occasionally to not feel stressed about them). I rarely request anything off of NetGalley anymore, unless it’s like a book that is part of a series I’m caught up on and love. Or if it’s by a favourite author. I’m still bab about requesting arcs from publishers, but I try to look at the release dats and only pick a couple for each month so I’m not struggling to keep up.

    I recently just started this blog, so a second blog where I don’t review and arcs. All I read are books off of my bookshelf that have been sitting there forever. I like it much better than my other blog (which I only post one review a week on and have 2 co-bloggers so it’s not that bad anymore) because I can read what I want and if I don’t have time to read and post a review or two one week, I don’t even care. It’s also more than just YA books, so I really can read whatever and don’t feel restricted at all.

    I think the thing that’s helped the most is I’ve made a list of what review books I have and their release dates, so if I’m on NetGalley, looking around, I know to check it and the release date to see if I’ll be able to fit it in. I’m like you and I like to have my reviews posted within a week of the release date, be it before or after. But it has helped so much!

    1. Brittany Post author

      Thanks so much for your comment, Jenn!!!
      Good for you! I’m still going Netgalley crazy, but I’m finally starting to feel better about things! I’m finally past all my commitments so I get to start reading what I want in a more casual order! I feel like I’m finally on my way to catching up! πŸ™‚

  31. Anya

    If you’re requesting the books, yeah publishers might be a little sad that you didn’t review them on schedule, but if you got them through other means or not solicited, then they won’t mind at all. I hear the addiction the Netgalley/Edelweiss though. I haven’t been allowing myself to even log on until I finish up what I still owe (two books to go!).

    Anya @ On Starships and Dragonwings

  32. Judith

    I can’t believe I never got around to commenting on this post because YES and THANK YOU to that. I, too, am addicted to NetGalley and Edelweiss right now, and thanks to that, I have sooooo many books to read. And I’m not even talking about all the books I buy aside from that, books that I want to read too. But lately, requesting all these books has been counterproductive for me. As in: I felt so pressured that I didn’t read that much, if at all. (Sure, this has something to do with my current Veronica Mars obsession, but not entirely! I think.) I made a deal that I wouldn’t request any more books until I finished my current for review pile, and even after that. But yes, then I saw some GREAT books on NetGalley, and…

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