Monday, April 5, 2010

The Art of Reading More

Lately, I've been returning to one blog post written by Sheila over on her blog (link below), and keep reading the comments. The truth is, I am envious of many bloggers on here who somehow manage to read like 40 (!) books a month. I am ecstatic if I manage to read 10! Or even 5! With so many obligations (in my case: college, studying, tutoring, writing, socializing/going out) it's sometimes downright impossible to find time to read!

So, here's a couple of tips I've accumulated from many "helpful" sites (again, links below). Please tell me what you think of those and if you do some of that stuff or you don't, or what you do better or worse... You know, just share your thoughts. :)

  • Turn off the television.
  • Use your library more.
  • Learn more about a book before you read it.
  • Carry a book everywhere you go.
  • Keep a list.

My thoughts: I do most of these things, but there are obvious problems with these tips. First of all, I consider TV and movies art as much as books, so I want to try and have both. Also, if I use my library more, my TBR pile will just be HUGE! Do I want that? Finally, the "keep the book in your bag and read it on the bus" only works for lighter reads. I can't read literary fiction on the bus! :)

Also, one more thing: I found that the slower you read, the less books you review. Thus, one must artificially fill the blog with things like memes, teasers, etc. And in my experience, I would say that makes one lose its readers. Any thoughts?

Tips found here, here and here. Sheila's original post is here.
Photograph by fhrankee.


Amanda said...

While it's true that the less books you read, the less you review, at the same time you can always alternate fast books with heavier books and spread out your reviews evenly. Artificially filling your blog with memes does nothing helpful - it just makes you lose your audience, so no one will see when you post your reviews. Just like you say. It's better to be steady. Those who like your blog aren't going to go away because you don't post for a week or two or three. Heck, there's one blogger I know who quit blogging a year ago without making an announcement of any kind. She recently started again after a year, and I'm still following her and loving her reviews.

Quantity is less important than quality, in my opinion.

But I do admit, I agree with the TV thing. TV takes a lot of time away from reading. I watch very little of it. But I also try to temper my reading with writing, which also takes a lot of time. It's my job, so to speak. I still manage to read many books a month (though the goal is under 10 - haven't made it down that low yet but I'm getting there!).

Amanda said...

PS - Just so you know, I abandoned Udolpho. After 200 pages, I just couldn't take any more.

Nikola said...

Hey Amanda, thanks for such a nice long answer! And yay for abandoning Udolpho - I know I am supposed to cheer you on until you finish it, but I just hated that book with passion.

As for reading, I would agree that I usually hate to read silly memes, though there are a few (teasers, wish lists, recaps) that I find useful, since they also tell me about new books I should check out.

Wall-to-wall books said...

I only read 1-2 books per week. I consider a 6-8 book month a good one!
I don't think you'll loose readers for all the other incidental blah blah blah. I love all the blah blah blah! It makes me feel like I am getting to know the bloggers better!
I don't necessarily like all the memes. I just like to read all the humorous stuff going on.
I think I would actually loose some readers if all I did was book reviews!

So... anyway that's my take on it!

Nikola said...

@Wendy hm, I see what you mean and I must admit it all sounds very probable. :)

Sweet Vernal Zephyr said...

I started my blog with the memes and have just started reviewing. I actually get the most traffic on my 2 meme days a week.

Ebooks are very light and Amanda has a great idea that I use as well, alternate between the heavy and light. :D

Miranda ~ SweetVernal Zephyr

Jenny said...

I don't really have much to contribute to this conversation because, I too, can't figure out how to read more and still meet all my obligations! I hope memes don't make me lose readers! I only do Waiting on Wednesday and my own Throwback Thursday regularly... well, I also started In My Mailbox recently and have been combining that with Sunday Salon. Hope that's not too much! I aim for 2 book reviews and if not, then I replace one of those with some type of book related content.

Trisha said...

I adore television and films, so I would not give them up to read more books. And I have to say that most of the time I find people who read fewer books do so more thoughtfully and write more insightful reviews. How can you form a well-thought-out opinion on 40 books a month? As for memes, I have to admit that I skip over those posts 90% of the time, especially if a person does one more than twice a week. If you can't post a review everyday, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that, don't fill in with meme after meme. Short link posts or opinion posts, images, or just a thought of the day type post are more interesting in my opinion.

Emma (the Expat) said...

This is an excellent post, and I can relate because I'm in the same situation. I can barely get all of my reading done for college, let alone recreational books! But I have noticed that if I just add one book to my pile of textbooks and kind of squeeze it in between studying, maybe while I'm waiting for something, etc, it helps me keep in the reading mindset. I think it's far more important to give a book your full attention and keep your life in order than to read a large volume of books. If you start small, you might just get to the point where you can read more and more, and more quickly, too. But if not, don't sweat it. My thinking is, you have to be sure to get out and DO things as well as read about them!

Nikola said...

I think every commenter raises a very valid point. Zephyr and Amanda are right when they say that alternating between light and heavy reads is a good way to keep the flow. Just like Jenny, I agree that memes can be amazingly fun if there's only a couple of carefully selected ones. Also, Trisha and I are on the same page when it comes to not wanting to give up films and TV. And Chutzpah, you're completely right - what's the use of reading if you're not out there living it? :)

Nadir H. said...

I think combining books,tv and internet is the best