Tag Archives: my thoughts

How I Find Time To Read

I’m a full time stay at home parent to a 9 month old. I’m busy, just like all parents. I have stayed at home since before the baby was born, I don’t know what it’s like to work and have a kiddo. I just know what I’m used to. Plus, I understand not everyone has the same schedules regarding what they do and how their kids behave. Just a disclaimer this is what works for me. I’ve read almost 20 books this year so far, hence I just thought I’d share what I do.

  • I just read really fast

There’s not really any magic to this, and I’m not sure how to give tips on reading quicker. I’ve seen random things online, but I’ve just been a quick reader my whole life. I consume manga super quick, I listen to audio books on 2-3x depending, and I just read books speedily. It’s useful, but I can’t really share on how to do this when I’m not even sure how I learned, I did learn to read when I was 3.5 so maybe that’s why.

  • I read multiple books at once

I usually have an audio book, an e book, and a few physical books going on. I do different genres so there’s no overlap. Having multiple books seems to assist me in getting done faster.

  • I started listening to more audio books

I started using Libby and Hoopla for audio books. The selections are awesome. I have used Audible Escapes and Scribd, but I don’t listen to enough audio books to justify even paying for a single service. The library apps are free, and I can support the library which is one of my favorite things to do. I know some people use them on their commutes, doing chores, and exercising. I listen on 2-3x depending on the book because otherwise it goes too slow for me.

  • I read when the baby is in bed

This isn’t rocket science. When he’s napping or asleep for the night, I read. Sometimes it’s an audio book while my partner plays a game or watches his shows on Hulu. I try to take advantage of this uninterrupted time to read because it’s relaxing, and I know the baby is asleep so there’s no worries for the time being.

  • I read while the baby plays

My 9 month old is pretty chill. Unless he’s hungry or needs to be changed, he does his own thing. He plays on the floor with toys and watches his videos all day. I know screen time is supposed to be like the worst for babies, but he seems to love having the music on so I just leave it. He’s not like a television zombie so I’m not worried, but like… we all parent our own way.

  • I read in bed when I have insomnia

This is when ebooks come in handy. I have NetGalley books, random free books, or I use library apps. I spend a lot of time reading in bed, using my phone. I plan to get a kindle to make it better on my eyes. I, thinking a paper white or oasis. I haven’t decided yet.

And these are all the ways I read the books I do. This year at the time I’m writing this, I have read 20 books. I must be doing something right!

What are your tips to be more productive with your reading time? I love new tips and how to read even more, please share with me.

ARCs… helpful yet hurtful, in my opinion. [Discussion/Blogtober]

These are all my own thoughts and opinions. Everyone has different experiences so if you have different thoughts, I’d love to discuss them.

I’m going to talk about these points as well as my own complicated relationship with ARCs. First, let me show you what’s currently on my NetGalley TBR:

I’m finally happy with my tbr on NetGalley because I went through a phase where I was requesting way too many, and it was overwhelming. Especially when I didn’t like the books a lot or felt pressured to read them quickly since I was approved for a few which all came out the same day. These are all books I’m looking forward to reading and writing good reviews on.

And this is what I have pending:

I’m still waiting on these 7 books. The longer I’m waiting, the more I’m wondering why I even wanted them in the first place. Honestly I think there are two books on there I really want at this point… Love, Unscripted and A Good Girls Guide To Murder. The rest were part of binge requesting I now regret. The other books don’t make me excited. I wish there was a way to just cancel requests and just create a system so if you cancel, you can’t request again. It’s better than leaving a reader waiting and wondering if they will be chosen. I hate the am I good enough for this book game? It’s wearing thin, and it hurts me. I’m sure it’s not great for other readers either.

Yes, I was declined for 33 books. It’s a discouraging number, and I end up feeling like I am not good enough when I am trying my hardest. I understand publishers need to promote books and do their jobs, but I have been trying so hard with my blog it feels like I’m a failure when I get rejected. This makes me not want to read, and I don’t think this should be so tough on my reading. But it is. Reading should be fun, and I’m putting unneeded pressure on myself for a hobby I’m supposed to love.

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about ARCs recently… especially because of posts from Morgana at Morgana’s Book Box and Jess from Fiction No Chaser.

Each post brought up some interesting points for me. Specifically, I want to bring up points from each because these posts were very thought provoking for me.

In regards to Morgan’s post, the points which really resounded with me were:

  • The NetGalley trap and how you end up with a huge TBR pile.
    • This has done so much harm to me as a reader since I decided to go back to blogging. I thought I needed to read all of these books and write the best reviews so authors and publishers would love me. Then I would have an amazing blog, and I would be so happy. All I did was place a lot of stress upon myself and made reading A chore. I am constantly stressing about how much time I have to read and how hard it is to finish books I don’t like so I don’t end up with lower ratios.
  • ARC policy and having to give a review.
    • I know ARCs are voluntary. But I end up feeling like I have to write a huge review to make the publisher or author happy. Sometimes I don’t have a lot to say about a book, other times I don’t. I end up stuck in this trap of forcing myself to write a good review even when I didn’t enjoy the book because the author sent me the book or because I don’t want to hurt my chances for approval. Especially when you are approved right before the release date and there seems to be even more pressure to get it done.
  • All the reviews that begin with I received this book in exchange… etc.
    • I am guilty of doing this too because it’s supposed to be done because of rules. I understand this. It just makes reading reviews less enjoyable. I wish there was a way to just send a thank you via NetGalley to both parties so reviews can stop being weighed down by this. I’ve grown so sick of writing in this my reviews, and I don’t even want to look at other reviews when this is all I see. I want to just send an email privately to say thank you instead of this whole writing in my reviews and causing me to not want to write reviews, which is something I enjoy doing.

With the post from Jess @ Fiction No Chaser, I really liked her points about:

  • ARCs can be very overwhelming.
    • This is all about NetGalley again. I like how you can request a lot, but I think there should be a limit. That way, you can actually get through all the books you need to and enjoy them. Otherwise it’s just getting them done by the pub date and either rating them low or writing a fake review just so you can keep up. It’s not good for anyone.
  • NetGalley and its ratio system
    • The ratio system is tough. It causes readers to either plunge down because of too many requests…or you just write poor reviews to keep it up. I feel way too much stress when I lose my 80% badge and then stress until it’s back. This takes away my joy from reading. I am sure I’m not the only one who feels this way.
  • eARCs… preference for them, how they should be available worldwide, and the harm of poorly formatted eARCs.
    • eARCs are easier for me. I can have them on my iPad or iPhone so I can read anytime or place, which is convenient. I also like how easily they can be accessed versus paper ones. Paper ones usually make me sad because I would see more popular people get those sent to them or at events. I understand these people have influence and work well to help promote books, but it’s hard when you don’t have the influence to get those books or the money to go to events. EARCs are accessible for everyone. That’s why they should be available all over the world. They are a lot of readers and they all deserve access to books, not just some people. Some people can’t afford books, and this gives me them a way to read. Poorly formatted ARCs just make me annoyed. I got a few from Harlequin, and I was shocked since they are since a big publisher. If you want your product to do well, take the time to do proper formatting so your readers can enjoy the book and not give it a lower rating for an easily fixed issue.

I’m curious to know what everyone’s thoughts on ARCs are. If you love them, awesome. Or if you feel like me, let me know. This is an interesting topic I’d love to talk about. I’m sure everyone can bring a different perspective to the table, and I would love to delve into all sorts of thoughts about this topic. Let me know below. And thank you once again to the people who inspired me to write this. You can find their blogs above. Be sure to check them out.

Until I rant about books again,