Sunday Reads (37) (In Which I Provide Explanations for my Disappearance)

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*tap tap tap*

Is this thing on? Clearly, I’ve been a terrible blogger as of late, but I have answers. ANSWERS!

In my life (and, thus, blog):Β 

I think it’s been three weeks since I last provided my readers with an update. Truth be told, I haven’t been feeling well and decided to take some time for myself. It felt really nice to just sit back and watch Lost all day when I wanted to, or to pick up a random book to read without feeling any obligations. I feel like that’s what the blog has become to me: an obligation.

Don’t get me wrong, I love book blogging and the book blogging community, but when I read through my last discussion on how much we do as book bloggers, I felt overwhelmed. At that point, I decided I needed to cut back — drastically.

Blogging is still so much fun for me and a great hobby to have, but I feel like I’ve been stretching myself too thin, escaping to read my books when I could be spending time with my husband or my dogs, or just taking time for myself withOUT a book. Now, I love to read and will ALWAYS read, but the book blog has turned me into one of those monsters. I look at my desk now and see piles of ARCs and review books I need to get to (and will — in time) and decided that I will NO LONGER be accepting or requesting review books.

I miss the days before I restarted the blog in 2011 where I would spend days reading (mostly books from the library) and then spend days doing other things. I didn’t feel it necessary to read 300 books in a year. I would also pick up whatever suited my fancy. So, I feel like it’s time to rethink about what I do on the blog and cut back so it’s easier for me to maintain and more fun for me as a reader.

I know that my page views have gone down in the past days and I’m okay with that. I love everyone who takes the time to read my blog and will try to provide content at least 3x a week. I’m going to rework my schedule a bit and hopefully I’ll still have some devoted followers. πŸ™‚

Right now, this means:

  • I won’t be on Twitter all the time. I have set times where I like to go on, but it’s a HUGE time suck where I could be doing other things. I always check my favourite people on Twitter, so hopefully we can connect sometime!
  • Discussions will now be once a month.
  • I will only post 2 reviews a week.
  • Book Hoarder’s Selection will still be every other week, at least, for the next little while.
  • Weekend Library Read’s will happen off and on.
  • I would love to be able to fill all the gaps with content for you all, but it’s just not possible.

So, I am still here, but things are definitely changing. I hope that’s okay with you all!

(In other life news, I was in the newspaper the other day, talking about blogging and the Edmonton Book Bloggers — go have a read!)

In books (& reading):Β 

You might be wondering why I decided to flip back to Sunday Reads, since I’ve been doing Clock Rewinders for the last long while. I decided to do this earlier in the week when I realized I haven’t been binging on books, and I haven’t been BUYING books. Instead, I’ve been flying by the seat of my pants. I felt like I had to have books coming in constantly, and maintaining my Goodreads was becoming kind of a hassle. Also, seeing that number of books that I owned and had to read was very intimidating. I also feel like this way of updating is a lot easier for me — I would love to share lots of links from my blog and yours, but I just haven’t had the time. I’m sorry for that!

So I’ve decided to STOP buying books — at least, go back to how it used to be, where I’d read books in my collection, take advantage of my library and only buy a book once in a while. I’m a terrible person when it comes to saving money, so I need to start exercising some control. I do love supporting my favourite authors, but will continue to do so by either buying their book (when it’s something I desperately need — like Neil Gaiman’s newest) or getting my library to buy their book. I am going to be a lot more pickier when it comes to opening my wallet!

Anyway, in the past three weeks I have been reading some. I fell in love with Beth Harbison’s writing and read Hope in a Jar, and am currently reading When In Doubt, Add Butter. I also fell in love with Lisa Kleypas and read Crystal Cove, the fourth book in her Friday Harbor series. I can’t wait to read more by her! Last month (which seems like forever ago!), I read Half-Blood Blues by Canadian author Esi Edugyan in preparation for the 2013 Henry Kreisel Memorial Lecture, which book blogger Laura and I attended. It was a wonderful read! I also listened toΒ Escape from Camp 14 by Blaine Harden, which was a very informative and disturbing read — and recommended to me by John Green! Well, not personally, but sometimes I feel like he’s only talking to me in his vlogs. πŸ™‚

Like I mentioned above, I do have a ton of review books to go through and I will get to them, hopefully sooner rather than later. The world is out there waiting to be discovered and spring has finally touched down in our city, so I plan to take it easy and just do what strikes my fancy.

How was your week? Have you read anything good lately?

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30 thoughts on “Sunday Reads (37) (In Which I Provide Explanations for my Disappearance)

  1. It’s good hearing from you! I’ve noticed you have been sort of MIA and was curious as to what was going on. I can’t say I blame you for needing a break though! I hope cutting back works for you and you get to enjoy everything you’ve been missing. I’m just glad you’re not gone completely!

    • Thanks, Asti! I’m not sure if I could ever be gone completely, but it feels nice to break free from some of the things that have been dragging me down. It’ll feel even better once I get through all the review books I have and then I can just focus on reading what makes me happy. πŸ™‚

  2. It’s great that you’re slowing down. I know how stressful it can be. I had to do it a few months ago and I’m loving it. The best part is people will still stick around and read your posts even if you only post a few times a week.

    Hope that slowing down will helps you feel better about everything!

    • It can be very stressful! I felt like I had way too much on my plate and I’d spend days catching up when I could be watching my favourite TV shows, hanging out with hubs, or, you know, READING. I love having schedules, but I think my schedule may be a little more informal now, which is just fine with me.

  3. Kristilyn! Hiiiii. I’ll still be checking your blog regularly – I’m subscribed via email so I’ll get all your updates. πŸ™‚ *hugs* I wondered where you were.

    I think your plan of cutting back is going to be really good for you. It’s similar to what I’ve been thinking. I made a list the other day of ARCs I “really” want and instead of the dozens I made on the list in December (a list I ended up getting rid of), there’s only 5, so I’m proud that I’ve taken that step back to requesting less, so that I’m not as overwhelmed. I really, really think doing that will help you SO much. You’ll get that joy back. *hugs again*

    Have a great day!

    • Thanks, Molli! I’ve been around, but I’ve been so bad at doing ALL the bloggy things. I do feel overwhelmed with the ARCs I have, but I’ll get to them. The hard thing will be NOT requesting any when newsletters come around. Hopefully I can get back to a better place with blogging soon. πŸ™‚

  4. Twitter is definitely a huge time suck, and it’s something that I’ve distanced myself from in recent months. I also think that maintaining two blogs is difficult; I only post every other week on my business blog, but it still pulls me away from On a Book Bender stuff. The whole business thing is actually why I pulled in another person for On a Book Bender. I have so much less stress now that I’ve got an extra person reading for me.

    • I would love to have a co-blogger, but I’ve heard good things AND horror stories, so I figure if I cut back, that’s okay, too. I know one day I might not have time for blogging at all and I know I’ll be okay then, so it’s nice to just take that step back.

      Less stress is good! I’m feeling a whole lot better now. πŸ™‚

  5. -nods head furiously at everything you said- I’ve been super busy with piano and history, so I actually threw the blog aside for a while. I only read 15 pages in the past week and it actually doesn’t feel horrible. I’m kind of glad that I haven’t started pursuing authors yet, otherwise I’d be way too overwhelmed with the amount of books to read.

    I think it’d be pretty good for you to just cut back, even if it’s for a while, or maybe for a long time. I certainly don’t want book blogging to seem like an obligation for anyone! Unless it’s actually their job…

    Hopefully you feel better and less stressed! πŸ™‚

    • Thanks, Leanne. It’s hard to remember that this is something I started because I loved it … and I don’t get paid for it. I always feel bad when I say I’m cutting back, but it’s my blog and I can do what I want (imagine a foot stomp here). I think I have to get back to that place where I don’t feel bad when I don’t read for a week, or when I read the same author’s books over and over again. Book blogging can be so many different things and I like to think that I’m still defining what it is to me.

  6. Oh, Kristilyn. I feel you! I made a similar post a few days ago. Stepping back and taking a break from book blogging feels necessary every once in a while! I hope that your cutbacks will lead to a more relaxed lifestyle for you. And of course, we’ll still be here, enjoying your blog whenever you post. πŸ™‚

    • Thanks, Kelley. It’s just necessary sometimes, you know? I know last May I took the whole month off, but I’m thinking of more of an overall change with cutting back. I love blogging, but I would love for it to feel more like a hobby again than an unpaid job.

  7. *there she is!* πŸ˜‰

    Honestly, I don’t know how you’ve kept up running not just one, but TWO amazing blogs for as long as you have been!! BUT, you are only human after all and blogging should never feel like an obligation – especially since I’d hate for you to get really burnt out and disappear altogether! 😦 You can blog as little or as much as you want, I’ll still be here to read your posts!

  8. You know what I don’t blame you one little bit for cutting back on blogging. I have truly fell in love with your blog, but I don’t expect you to post every single day. I know I don’t. I’m totally okay with you cutting back. I plan to do the same thing in the fall as I get used to life at university.

  9. I think it’s great that you can identify that and choose to slow down. There’s absolutely no point in stressing yourself out. I know if I start working again full-time I will definitely have to do the same thing. There’s only so much time in a day, and there are other things that need doing. Reading and blogging need to stay as fun hobbies, rather than stressful obligations.

  10. I’ve been feeling overwhelmed lately as well. I still have a few review books, but I haven’t been asking for more. I think I’m going to work on my pile of books that I’ve bought, which is why on Glo-Worm I don’t accept review books. I have to get myself off of an auto mail list, but I’m down to less than 10 review books and it feels really good! Only TWO NetGalleys to read!! I’ve gotten a lot pickier lately.

    Not going to lie, I would rather you slow down than quit for good πŸ™‚ I don’t mind reading less (in fact I kind of like not having to read a post from everyone every day).

    Book blogging isn’t a job, you need to find a way to balance it with your life so you can do other things you enjoy too! πŸ™‚ Keep it fun!

    • It will be SO hard to not get any review books, but I’m sure I’ll be happier in the end. It’s nice that the past few weeks have been a lot more relaxing for me without the stress of blogging and reading like a crazy person. πŸ™‚

  11. Kristilyn, you do whatever makes you happy. That is the most important part. I used to post 3 times a week when it was just me. There was no way I could have posted as much as you did and still have a life, so I don’t know how you did it. We post pretty much daily now that I have Lyn, but now it’s a pain to keep up with blog comments so it’s a Catch-22. So I completely understand. There is nothing I would rather do more, but everyone is different and I know that the pressure gets to you sometimes. I’ve found a way to balance it, I think, so that doesn’t happen to me. Anyway, go out there and enjoy your spring/summer. And I’ll see you around Twitter and the blog. I will still read regardless of how often you post.

    • Thanks, Kara! I’d love to do the co-blogger thing, but I’ve heard so many mixed things about it that I’m scared to. Hopefully I can find a better blog/life balance soon!

  12. I’m glad you are going to take some time to do what you actually want to do! It’s fine to cut back posts. You may lose some page views, but I don’t think that’s why you started the blog in the first place.

  13. I think that what you’re doing is awesome! If taking a step back is something you need to do for YOU, then I support it, by all means. Blogging should be fun and should make you happy, and I think everyone is entitled to doing it the way that they want to!

My home is where my books are. - Ellen Thompson

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