Thursday, October 9, 2014

The Stressed Out Reader

I love to read. A lot. I read about 100-130 books per year. While I have a few favorite genres, my taste can be very eclectic. It's actually been more eclectic recently because I've tried to intentionally force myself out of my comfort zone.

I really enjoy keeping track of what I have read in Goodreads. There you can put in reviews for each book and rate each book. Sometimes a book they advertise on the site piques my interest and looks familiar, and it's nice to look it up to see if I've read it already (my history goes back to 2010, and if I read it before then, I've probably forgotten it anyway). Because I log when I finish each book, it's a nice historical record as well. Goodreads also gives recommendations for other books if you particularly like a book.

Goodreads also has a "want to read" shelf. It's really easy to add books that look good onto this shelf with a click of a button. So much so that my "want to read" shelf was getting really huge. And books have sat languidly on that shelf for years. For some strange reason, seeing a book sit there for YEARS stresses me out as well as the sheer number of books that I have on that shelf. For the past few months I've been intentionally reading the books that have sat there for a number of years. It's nice to reduce the average length of time a book has sat there, but at the same time I realize my reason for reading the book is somewhat odd.

So I've changed strategies. With more and more e-books available via the library, I've decided to add books on my library wishlist. The date added isn't looking at me forlornly, and I have to select my wishlist instead of seeing it every time I log in. It's not as stress-inducing for this task-focused, overly-prone-to-guilt book lover.

I went ahead and deleted all of the books on my Goodreads "want to read" list that are available at the library as an e-book. There are still a few that are only available in hard copy, so I'll keep those on the stress-inducing Goodreads "want to read" list. What's nice about having huge library e-book wishlists is that I can go in and see what e-books are available for immediate checkout that are in the genre I'm hankering to read. It seems much more convenient and less stress-inducing.

I will definitely keep track and review every book I read on Goodreads still.

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