Tag Archives: Reading

The Book Club Dilemma

20 Sep

I seem to have this problem fairly often and I’m wondering if I’m the only one. Reading book club selections on a deadline can be a killer!

It happens every time. I think I have a week free to squeeze in a book I want to read. I’ll get started, I’ll get into the book, and then it happens. This time, it was an audiobook hold coming in that I’ve been waiting two months for. That threw my idea of listening to the audiobook of our selection. Another time, it was losing the hold on the ebook I was reading for fun, starting the book club selection, only to have the ebook become available again a few days later. Almost every time, something comes up.

I try to make it work. I balance ebooks, audiobooks, eaudiobooks, and print books as best I can to enjoy some of my own picks while getting through a book club pick as well. But sometimes it’s a real struggle. I don’t want to put a book on hold or I’m SO CLOSE to finishing it and could be done in four days but I need to get to that book club selection because I only have a week to read it and I’m supposed to be leading the discussion. Something always comes up.

I can’t be the only person who has problems with reading on a deadline. I know many of you read for book clubs and for blog tours. How do you deal with the time pressures and squeezing books in that have no deadline but make you happy? I need some tips.

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Advertisements

What’s the Fastest You’ve Finished a Book?

21 Aug

I saw a post on Instagram from a college friend who was raving about a book she read in 24 hours and I was utterly blown away. I was trying to think if I’ve ever accomplished something like that and I think the last I can remember was Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling. I read that within 24 hours of it being released.

I tend to read 250-300 page books and for me, it’s hard to sit still long enough to read one that long in a 24 hour period. I think it’s doable, but it’s not something I really want to do or can see myself doing often. Maybe if I was sick or injured and needed to be on the couch a lot. But as is, that’s not something I particularly want to do.

Sorry for the short post, but I’m so curious to talk to you all about this in the comments. Do you read books in a day? How often and what books have driven you to complete that?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Non Fiction Books: When Do They End?

17 Jul

I’m sure you’ve all looked at a non-fiction read before and thought, “Wow, that’s a long book!” just to discover the last 50-100 pages are notes and afterwards and epilogues and misplaced introductions. I know I have multiple times and it makes the books seem much more manageable. But I’m starting to question how much I ‘need’ to read this.

This is stemming from my current read of The Feminine Mystique. I’ve come to the ‘end’ of the book or something like an end. I still have 100 pages of ‘other’ stuff. Some of it I want to read, some of it I don’t. But it got me thinking about how much of these ‘after’ things people read. Eiplogues I almost always read. But the acknowledgements? The afterward? The introduction to the reprinted edition? The notes? I think there’s somewhere to draw a line.

Reader, I’d love to hear your thoughts. How much of the print after a book ends do you read? Do you consider a book ‘read’ without going through all of these? Most importantly, can I finally leave The Feminine Mystique behind?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

How Much Do You Read on Vacation?

15 Jul

Readers, I need advice!

I’m leaving Wednesday for a two-week vacation. My husband and I are doing it all carry-on only! So, that, unfortunately, means no books! I can hear you all gasp in horror. I’ll clarify. That means no print books. If you know me, you know I’m a dedicated print reader so I’m going out of my comfort zone and doing ebooks on my phone for this trip. I have one I’m in the middle of and one more downloaded and, well, that’s it!

I’m nervous I don’t have enough. I’m 90% sure I can download more while I’m abroad but I know there are weird phone rules with some services and I’d prefer to have books on my phone before we head out. I think I might have enough? Maybe? I don’t know!

We have several flights on this trip so there will be a good amount of time spent waiting in airports. I think that will be the majority of my reading time. I’ve packed the rest of our days pretty full.

How much do you all read on vacation? Would two books be enough for anyone out there? I feel like I’m really skimping but I’m also being a bit logical about my time. Would you suggest another book? …or two?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Too Many Books?

22 Mar

I rarely feel this way, but I’m starting to feel like I’m reading too many books.

I usually keep it to three books, one print, one audio, and one digital. Recently, I’ve tried to do two audiobooks with one in my car on CD because there are audiobooks I can’t find digitally. Honestly, it’s not my favorite and I’m going to try to get through books only available on CD quickly so I can return to doing them on my phone as much as possible. There’s an extra audiobook in my life right now for that reason.

Every year, I try to read a book in Spanish. I try to start it as close to January 1 as possible and finish as soon as I’m able to. Because they take me a long time to read, I often have to take a break from them before I finish to read a book club selection before the meeting date. While I’m getting close to finishing my Spanish read for the year, I have to put it aside for a book club right now. That gave me an extra print book in my life.

The digital book I’m trying to read is really long and I’ve lost the library hold on it before. Because I didn’t want to be caught with no book to read, I started another. However, when the long book became available again, I got back to it and put the second book aside. I’m about to lose the hold on the long one again so it will be back to the second book. There’s the final extra book in my life right now.

So there are three extra books, doubling my ideal number of three all the way to six. The issue is also that I’ve got a lot of similar genres going on. Both ebooks, one print, and one audio are contemporary fiction and the remaining two are fantasy. I usually have at least one historical fiction book going on which gives me more variety of settings, but no such luck now.

It’s frustrating because I feel like I’m not making progress on any of them. I haven’t finished a book since February 22nd, a month ago. I’m three books behind schedule for my Goodreads challenge! I know I’ll go through a week of finishing a ton of books, but it’s hard to see when that date will come.

Does anyone else read like me? Has anyone else felt this discouragement?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

2017 in Books

11 Jan

Goodreads has a feature that summarizes your reading for the year. For those of you who’ve seen it, consider yourselves lucky! I saw mine once and just spent ten minutes trying to find it again. It’s very well buried and hidden. I dug it out and (along with some other Goodreads stats), I wanted to share some of that information with my wonderful readers.

I read 54 books in 2017. My goal was 50 so #epicwin.

I read 17,992 pages. Now I wish I’d read an 8 page children’s book just to make that an even 18,000! This is about 700 pages more than 2016 and two books more.

The shortest book I read was The Importance of Being Earnest and the longest was World Without End. Funny enough, both were audiobooks and both were 5 Star reads.

The most popular book I read was Tuesdays with Morrie. Have you read this one? The odds are in my favor!

My average rating was a 3.6. This seems about right for me. I don’t give books a 5 very often (see below) and I give a book a 3 unless it really upset me. It seems I trend high and I’m ok with that.

I started wondering how my ratings tend to skew. In 2017, I rated books as follows:

5 Stars: 8
4 Stars: 23
3 Stars: 17
2 Stars: 6
1 Star: 0

I’m really excited about a year with no 1 Star reads! Woohoo! I’m not surprised that about 43% of my books get a 4 Star rating. I enjoyed a lot of what I read this year and 4 stars is a solid rating from me.

Thanks for taking a look with me! If you’ve been here a while, you know I love numbers and book-related numbers are the best.

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Do You Read Outside?

16 Nov

And now for the final installment about where we all pick up a book! A friend of mine recommended this one on Facebook and I can’t believe I hadn’t already thought of it. I do enjoy reading outside.

I have a porch in my apartment. I’ve got two lawn chairs and a table out there. It’s covered so no rain gets in and I’ve got two wind chimes hung up out there, too. I love spending Friday afternoon sitting out there and finishing a book. It’s one of my favorite things to do in the summer. Being in Michigan, I don’t get a very long window when the weather is conducive to this and I like to take advantage of it when I can. I’ll give up if it’s windy or gets chilly, but that porch chair is one of my favorite reading spots.

I’ve done a fair share of reading in other outdoor locations as well. I used to read outside during my lunch every day. I’ve read in parks and in college, I’d take a yoga mat outside and read there. Laying on my stomach at the beach is another favorite.

I can’t be the only one who likes to read outside. Do you read outside, Reader? What’s your favorite place?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Do You Read On The Couch?

14 Nov

Welcome back to exploring where we all read! As I said before, I love reading in bed. On the couch, well, is a different story.

I almost never read on the couch. I find it puts a lot of strain on my neck to look down at my lap to read. When I lift the book up my arms get tired. I end up laying down on the couch, but at that point, I’d rather be in bed where I have all the pillows I need to make myself comfortable. Plus, there are no breaks in cushions on my bed. My butt doesn’t get stuck anywhere.

I will read on the couch for a short time. If I know it’s only going to be 20 minutes that I’m reading while I wait for something or someone, I’ll do it. I also read magazines on the couch. I usually read these in short installments rather than all at once so reading them on the couch is a good option. Plus, they’re so light that holding it up to my face isn’t as much of an issue for me.

I’m going to guess I’m in the minority here. Couch reading seems to be pretty popular, but I just can’t get comfortable. Am I the odd one out, reader? Do you read on the couch?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Do You Read in Coffee Shops?

13 Nov

Wow, you all really responded to my ‘Do You Read in Bed?’ post! Thank you all so much. Due to a lack of finishing any books this week, I’ve decided to make a series out of it this week and talk about other places people tend to read. First stop, the coffee shop!

I know this one is usually more of a writer stereotype, but I wanted to explore it. I cannot read in coffee shops. As much as I love reading with a warm cup of tea at home, I can’t do it at a coffee shop. I’ve even tried sitting in the armchairs, it didn’t help. I have a lot of trouble tuning out voices and people talking around me while I read so most public places don’t work for me. Since coffee shops tend to be kind of quiet, the one person having a loud conversation on the other side of the room is very clear. If I was going to read at a coffee shop, I’d need to wear headphones and listen to music.

But then, I’d be too distracted to read. I get super distracted by people walking by me. This isn’t just when I read, it’s also at work on my computer or during a conversation, anytime really. If I was reading in a coffee shop, I’d look up any time a new person came in to order. I’d be a mess trying to keep to my spot in the book and looking up all the time.

I do enjoy writing at coffee shops, but reading is a completely different animal. I wonder if I’m weird or if this isn’t a popular reading spot. How about you, Reader? Do you read in coffee shops?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Do You Read in Bed?

9 Nov

Reading before bed has been a ritual for me as long as I can remember. As a kid, I’d read until my mom told me to turn out the light. Now, I read while my husband brushes his teeth. Even in college, when I’d be up until after midnight and need to be up early again the next day, I would read at least two pages before turning out the light. It’s helped me to calm down before bed, even if a plot is ramping up.

I have to admit that in the past few years since smartphones have become a steady part of our lives, I’ve slipped a bit. I’ll check Instagram for cute baby pictures and Facebook to see new movie trailers. And then I won’t read as many pages because it’s later and I’m already so tired of reading status updates.

And it seems I’m not alone. I found this article which talks about what a fleeting experience reading in bed is. It’s an experience that hasn’t been around a long time and that looks to be going away quickly. And that makes me sad.

Having no screen-time before bed is supposed to promote healthier sleep. Books, real paper books, can do that. As easy as it is to watch a video or read an article, I continue to force myself to put my phone down and pick up some words printed on a page. I really hope this isn’t a fad. It’s a tradition I plan to pursue for the rest of my life.

Do you read in bed? Printed word or ebook? I’m curious if anyone else agrees with me on the health benefits of reading before bed.

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!