A Changing of Reading Habits

I’m not sure why, but this year I have completely ignored my own personal reading challenges. July came and went and so did Indie Only Month. Then August said hello, and then goodbye, as did Historical Fiction Month…

These little challenges have structured my reading year for the last ten years in some instances. And, each year, I have looked forward to them with relish and excitement, usually spending the preceding weeks and months putting together wish lists for books to be read and reviewed during the time set aside for the challenge.

Yet this year, things have been different. In part, I think it has been down to the fact that I am not reading as much as I have done in previous years. That’s not to say I’m not reading, I am, I just feel I am being more selective about what I read, as well as being a lot more critical of books I’m not enjoying or don’t live up to hype or expectations. In years past, I would have persevered with a book that felt a little slow or too bogged down in unnecessary detail. This year, if a book doesn’t grab my attention, I put it down and struggle to pick it back up – if I pick it back up at all.

It’s worth pointing out at this juncture, that if I have read a book this year, and gone on to review it, and that review has been positive, I really, really, meant what I said. It has taken a good book to get me through these past months, so if I said I liked it, I liked it a lot.

Another trend I’ve noticed with my reading habits this year, is that I have planned little of what I wanted to read. Instead, I am picking whatever takes my fancy, whether I’ve read it before, had it for years, or only bought it that morning. Usually, I have a pile which are my “next-to-read” books. That doesn’t seem to be working for me at the moment.

Photo by Ylanite Koppens on Pexels.com

I’m also finding that I am reading more than one book at a time, something I’ve not done since university. Now, I regularly have three books on the go. The first is The Lord of the Rings which I am reading as part of a read along over on my writing site – feel free to head on over there and join in. It’s low commitment at only half a chapter a week. Then I have a book by my bed, which admittedly I don’t read more than a handful of pages before I’m too sleepy to read. The third book sits on my coffee table, and I’m finding, this book sees the most progress.

Looking ahead, there are still two more challenges tentatively marked on the calendar: Halloween Reads and Festive Reads Fortnight. I am not planning on ruling them out at this moment in time, yet I do find myself wondering if I may have outgrown them.

So for now, the badges for the challenges will remain, as will their prominent links to the relevant pages on this site. Whether I will keep them up next year or look to restructure my book reading and reviewing system, remains to be seen, but will probably depend on how the last quarter of this year goes… However, I can’t ignore the fact that at the moment, I am posting twice a week with little difficulty, something I’ve struggled with. And that suggests to me very little planning seems to be working for me, for now, at least…

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When you have too many books…

I never thought it was possible to have too many books. If I’m being honest, I still think that. However, you can suffer from having not enough space to keep your books. This is an ailment I suffer with greatly, and have done for a good long while…

That’s why, for the past few years, I’ve been trying my hardest to downsize my book collection, because apparently it’s not safe to have them in piles going up the stairs – a solution I resorted to a few years ago, and almost regretted. I say almost because it did look amazing! Anyway, it’s a battle I’m not winning. In truth, I have more books than I can possibly read (ever), and there are many I won’t even consider giving away until I’ve read (or re-read) and reviewed them…

And so, I find myself returning to a question I’ve asked myself on numerous occasions. Why can’t I replace at least some of them with an ebook version? In my current predicament, it would make sense. But…there’s always a but…

The problem is, I love physical books. I like to hold them, I like the smell of them. There is just something special about a real book.  And when I spend so much time looking at my computer screen or my phone, do I really want to be looking at a screen when it comes to reading books too?

And then there is the financial aspect.  I have already paid for a copy of these books.  Do I really want to pay again just so I can give away what I already possess?  It does sound a little daft.

Then I had a little idea. Ebook versions of classics are available at relatively low prices, and some copies you can pick up for free.  Perhaps I could test this swap out on this genre and see how I feel about it…hmm…even as I’m typing, there is still this niggling voice at the back of my mind whispering, “Surely you don’t want to do this?  The classics always look so nice, with their old lived in covers, or faux leather-bound volumes?”

I can’t argue.  It’s true.  So instead I’ve made a promise with myself.  I don’t have to give away the classics I already own, but any new ones I want have to be in ebook form.  It won’t help with my book storage problem, but at least it shouldn’t get any worse…

The unexpected break at Sammi Loves Books is over…(updates)

Wow – I can’t believe it’s March already!  That was a surprisingly long and unexpected break from Sammi Loves Books (and everywhere else where I blog and write online, for that matter).  Anyway, now that the break is over, I can wish you a Happy New Year! 🙂

Goodreads Challenge 2018

Just because I haven’t been posting doesn’t mean I haven’t been reading.  After cramming all those last minute reviews in at the end of 2017 to hit my Goodreads challenge goal (which I did – Yay!), for 2018 I’ve lowered my target from 57 to 40 and I’m already about 15 titles in.  All I have to do is now start reviewing them and adding them to my Goodreads ‘read’ shelf and we’re away…

Blogging Schedule

I have a new schedule for posting on this blog in 2018, which comes into effect this week.  Tuesdays and Thursdays will be the days I publish book reviews and other related posts.  Of course, this is only a rough schedule; some weeks I may have to deviate from it but I am going to try as hard as possible to stick to it.

One Turn of The Wheel

Since last posting, my copies of my first book arrived in the post.  The book is called One Turn of The Wheel and is published by Three Drops Press.  You can find out more about the book by heading over to the publisher’s website (click the link below) where you will also find one of the tiny tales, The Goblin Dance, available to read.

One Turn of the Wheel by Sammi Cox

Review Requests

If you are waiting for a response to a review request, I hope to get back to you by the end of the week.  If you don’t hear from me by the start of the weekend, feel free to send me a gentle reminder to make sure I got it 🙂

Happy reading!