Kicking off Be My Guest! in style, we have (drrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrumroll)
Jo has 2 fantastic blogs (because she has to out-do us all), Once Upon a Bookcase and Ink and Paper. Check them out. (Now. Well, read this one first, then go.)
Jo is going to talk to us about the tbr beast; gird your loins.
Picture this: You’re walking down the street. You look up and see heaven, heaven in the form of a bookshop. Full of books, lots and lots of shiny new books. You try to walk past, but they’re calling you; the adventure, the danger, the romance, the tears, the laughs – each story cries out at you for attention. You try to walk past, to be sensible; you’ve got somewhere to be, plus there’s a recession on. But your feet seem to have a mind of their own, and before you know it, you’ve entered the shop, and are surrounded by books, authors names catching your eye, release dates flying through your mind. Soon, out comes the dosh, and out you leave with more books.
This happens to me fairly often, whenever I pass a bookshop, I can’t help but at least browse, though more often than not, I’m spending. This wouldn’t be so bad if I didn’t have a bookcase full of books I am yet to read. I have 54 books in my TBR pile, not including review copies, just books that I’ve bought and own. I know this is nothing compared to some others’ TBR piles (especially Misty’s, have you seen how many books are on her list?!)*, but I’m not really the fastest reader. It takes me roughly 2-4 days to finish a book, less if it really grabs me, more if I’m not too interested, or if life gets in the way, so 54 books is enough to keep me going for a fairly long time. Saying that, volunteering in a charity bookshelf doesn’t really help me keeping the number of books in my TBR pile down.
But as I said, this is discounting review copies. Ink and Paper, my fantasy blog, is two months off being a year old, and I started Once Upon a Bookcase, my YA blog, last June, so I still consider myself a baby blogger. Towards the end of last year, I was receiving a few review copies fairly regularly from one publisher, and the odd one here and there from several others, and I was so chuffed to be getting them, being a baby blogger. I was able to keep up with reviews for them, and read some of my own books in between. Then January hit, and suddenly several other publishers have asked me to review books, and they’re sending several books at once. Suddenly my To Review pile has got rather daunting, deadlines are looming, and I’m getting a little scared.
But what about my other 54? I got some books for Christmas by some of my favourite authors, and I can practically feel them watching me whenever I walk in the room, pleading me with their invisible eyes to pick them up. And what’s worse, I’m the kind of person who, when a favourite author’s new book is released, I can kind of sometimes accidentally on purpose forget that I have books to review, and a fair sized TBR pile, buy and read straight away. That was do-able last year, my reviews were always sorted on time, and I still got to read the odd TBR book. So not going to happen now, not within the next few weeks – which will be torture when Jeaniene Frost’s First Drop of Crimson is released next month, and I won’t be able to read it.
So how am I going to prioritise my reading? I was asked something along similar lines by Becky of The Bookette recently. Well, I bought a book. I know, I know, another one, but it’s not what you think; this one is the Book Lust Journal. I’m supposed to use it to record books I’ve read, and what I liked about them, but there’s also space for “Book Passages to Remember”, “Books I Want to Read” , and “Books on Loan”. Instead I use it to write down my TBR pile, my publishing contacts, and most importantly my review copies and when they’re released. Seeing this book, an actual notebook or even an appointment ledger/diary would work just as well. I’ve got a page per month, and I list all the books I have to review for that month. It’s not so daunting when you realise how long you actually have for some books. Yet, I do have six books to read by next month, and I really need to get a shift on. I’m fortunate enough that my contacts are fine with reviews posted after their release date if I give them fair warning this may be a possibility.
Still, sometimes it can be overwhelming when it looks like I won’t be able to keep up with my review copies. I look at these books sometimes and think “Oh my god!” I worry about letting the publicists down, and put pressure on myself. I end up having to remind myself that I review books for fun, this is a hobby. This isn’t my job, this is something I do for fun, and although, of course, publicists don’t have to send me review copies, I’m helping them out as well as the other way round. I need to keep that in mind when thing get a little “woah!”
But again, what about my 54 books? Do you have any other ideas on how to stay organised and on top of them all?
Well, folks, that's that. My first guest (and I didn't even spill my tea on her once). So how 'bout you? What's your beast like? Mine's a rainbow; all of my books are organized according to color. There's a red (and purple) shelf, a blue shelf that's fit to burst, a green shelf, etc.
And I don't know about you, but I LOVE the idea of the Book Lust Journal. I do make notes on what I read, but having something concrete like that, with sections made purposefully...okay, I'm drooling a little.
I'm going to go wipe away the drool, but let's all give a hand to Jo. Ready class?
See you next week!
* She's talking about this. It has grown since I first posted. It's the hydra; you cut off one head and others spring up...
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