#LetsDiscuss2018 – Alternate Reading Ways

Gossiping Women
Gossiping Women, illustration in vector format

One of my New Year book-ish resolutions was to read more physical books.  That’s pretty much all I used to read.  Then I got my Kindle and got a bit excited by the world of 99p books out there (who wouldn’t), filled it up and started reading.  And then kept reading.  The books on my shelves, those bought or gifted, sat there.  Waiting patiently and slightly dusty for the day I would pick them up.

For many on the shelves, that day simply hasn’t come.  Which is a shame because, sat where I am on my couch, typing away and looking over at the shelves there are so many books on there that I want to read. I just find, when I get to deciding on my next read, the ebooks always seem to come first.

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Partly, it’s the ease of them.  I don’t actually use my Kindle anymore, just the app on my iPad mini – and I take my iPad everywhere with me.  So, if I’m out and about and finish a book, I can dive straight into another one.  That was especially useful when I was travelling so much for work.  Partly, though, I think it was also laziness.  Why get up and browse the shelves when I could lie back on the couch or in the bath and browse the app?

Now, though, I have no excuse.  I am no longer travelling for work.  So, this year, I decided to alternate my book reading – ebook, physical book, ebook, physical book.  I’m also trying to go from ARC to owned to loaned from the library.  Now I’m a month into my reading experiment, I thought it would be a good time to look back and see how it’s worked, which I have to say, is pretty well.

To date, this year, I have read

  • 4 physical books
  • 5 ebooks
  • 2 owned books
  • 4 ARCs
  • 4 loaned books

Compare that to December when all I read were ebooks (7) and all I read were ARCs (7), though to be fair I was on a mission to completely catch up with all review copies by the end of the year, which I managed to do.

Given there are few days left in the month, and I’m reading a physical book now, my tally for January will be five books of each format.  This is more books that I can ever remember reading (I normally average two books a week, but it can often be less depending on work).  Mixing up my reading, it seems, is good for my stats if nothing else!

I do think, though, it’s good for other things.  I’m not going to go into the pros and cons of each format, there are plenty for both and it really does come down to personal preference and circumstance a lot of the time, but – for me – I feel excited by reading more than I have in a while.  I am looking forward to going to bed with a book again and not feeling like I have to read it because a deadline is looming.

I am enjoying browsing the library shelves and not worrying if I’ll actually read the books this time or have to auto-renew them because I didn’t get to them.  It feels wonderful to not have that guilt (or the fines when I forget to auto-renew!).

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I am enjoying mixing up my reading.  There will never be a time when my reading lists aren’t full of murders and the female detectives that find the killers.  But, this month, there has been more variety.

  • I have read a young adult novel set in a dystopian future where children with defective genes are stolen away from their families;
  • I have read science-fiction where a man is thrown into an alternate universe and has to fight to get back to his children;
  • I have read a cosy set in the most innocent village you might find in England (o.k. so there was murder here, but of a very gentle kind); and
  • I have read a cookbook that has actually changed the way I eat and helped me lose weight.

And, finally, I am enjoying deciding what to read next rather than looking at a list of deadlines.  That is never the type of book blogger I wanted to be but, with so many great new releases out there, that is where I ended up.  I still want those books, don’t get me wrong, but one or two new releases a week – and not every week – is where I want to be.  That’s my next bookish goal.  To get requesting and accepting books under control!

For now, though, I am happy – to have found a bit of a new routine and system for reading that works for me.  Long may my meandering through my neglected bookshelves continue.

What about you?  Do you have a reading preference or do you try to mix things up?

Emma x

This post is linking in with Nicole at Feed Your Fiction Addiction and Shannon at It Start’s at Midnight for their 2018 Book Blog Discussion Challenge. Head over to their sites to see what other book bloggers are discussing.

2018-Discussion-Challenge

24 comments
  1. Like you I have lots of physical books to read although I discovered start mixing up the formats more last year I am having an even bigger push this year to read less review copies in a bid to turn my blog back into what I intended it to be. I’m not swearing off new releases entirely but I never my blogging to be purely a marketing exercise for the latest releases.

    1. I know what you mean. I am not completely new release driven but it felt like that the end of last year. This year, I want to get back on track!

      1. II think it is always good to remind yourself of what you want from time to time, I feel that I’m getting a far better balance since last summer 🙂

  2. I got hooked on Kindle reading maybe five or six years ago, but this last year I’ve been reading more physical books again and really enjoying it. The Kindle’s great for convenience but actually turning proper paper pages is a pleasure all by itself. And like you, I’m making a determined effort to stop reading so many ARCs – there are so many other books I want to read that keep getting left on the waiting list. Enjoy your reading! 🙂

    1. Hooked is the right word. I found mine addictive. I am hoping I have now broke the habit (and the NetGalley one that goes along with it!)

  3. This is a good discussion piece! And, yes, I think we all end up in reading in ways that are different from before and, honestly, a bit frantic at times. Good for you for changing it up. I have done this myself on occasion, sometimes with more success than other times. However, I’m finally at the point where I feel I will ‘read what I want to’ and ‘however I want to’. And that’s what makes reading fun, right? Good luck!

    1. You are right. Reading should be fun. You should read what you want, when you want and how you want. That’s my plan x

  4. I used to love ebooks for the reasons you mention go fast from one to another and portability but I get very sleepy with I read ebooks! I tend to stay awake longer if I’m holding a physical book. I think it’s great you decided to alternate formats! As you said they all have pros and cons!

    1. I’m the same on the sleep factor. I panic about technology in the bedroom as well, that and the droopy chin apparently you get from staring at a screen!

  5. I must admit that these days I read from Pippa, my Kindle, more often than any other format. I do have a short stack of unread physical books, and have picked up one now and again. But you’re right, it is easier to keep reading on the Kindle. The NetGalley ARCs go there, too.

    I have about ten older print books not yet read, and four newer ones that are on my “up soon” list.

    I will try to mix things up this year. Thanks for sharing.

    1. I love your kindle has a name. We name our cars but not technology – we should. Kindles are so easy to use that I would never not use it but mixing it up has been good for me.

  6. I mostly mix things up. I typically have a print book, an ebook, and an audio book going at all times. I prefer cookbooks and some nonfiction to be in print form and I’ve found I’m more adventurous in genres and topics in audio books because it doesn’t feel like quite as much of a commitment as a print book. Oh and I love memoirs on audio if it’s read by the author. Ebooks are definitely the most convenient and I find I tend to read romance on ebook because I hate clinch covers SO much. Great topic!

    1. I wish I could have more than one book on the go at one time but I can’t keep everything straight. I also find that I end up loving one book more than the others and it colours my judgement of the others.

  7. My Kindle is called Fluffy and she goes most places with me – she is also kinder to my overtaxed eyes than print books – but I do have faaar too many print books stacked up beside my bed and filling the shelves… so I I ought to make some inroads this coming year. Which so far I have singularly neglected to do…

    1. I think I need to name my iPad – Laurel has named her’s too and I’m jealous. It is easier on the eyes I can see that. I think I have missed the feel of real books.

      1. Yes – and I fully accept that I experience books in different ways when I read a print book as opposed to a digital one. But my eyes take a hammering and I’m trying hard to look after them…

  8. I made the same commitment this year – except for me it was maybe too many audiobooks. I travelled for work a lot last year too and it was just easier to have the audiobook on my phone. This year, I wanted to make sure physical books get more love – and honestly, I go through those faster too – so an added bonus might be actually reading more books.

    1. I think I read physical books quicker too. I have never been able to get away with audio books so that’s one thing i don’t have to worry about 😜

  9. I think this is a great goal. Somewhere along the way I started reading more on my tablet or phone. I think it was because then people didn’t ask me about the book while I was reading it, and I also think I read faster on a tablet or on an app because I can’t see how many pages I have left. It’s super weird.

    Thanks for sharing

    1. It’s funny why we like things and don’t – the fact I can see how many pages I have in a physical book spurs me on.

  10. While physical books definitely have this spark to them that makes reading an amazing thing, I do agree that ebooks are the lazier but more chilled out option. It’s great to see your goals coming about in an impressive way and the varied genres you’re picking up! 😀

    1. Yes, ebooks are easier but I like feeling energised by reading again, which has definitely happened.

  11. I like to read a mix of different formats, so your reading methods would work well for me. I read some physical books and some ebooks, but I also listen to audiobooks. Sometimes I like mixing it up. Glad you’ve diversified your genres too!

    1. It has really helped my reading (well till my last two books). I can’t get away with fiction audio try as I might x

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