I’m not the only one who’s been in a reading slump this year, and we each have our own methods to try to fix this. I’m choosing to fight the slump by doing what I do best: list management.
I have a habit that once I enjoy a book, I’ll add the author’s name to list of writers to watch, and add their backlist and subsequent novels to my wishlist. But authors can switch genres, or the types of stories they want to tell, or how they tell them. And my reading tastes have changed over time, too.
My plan is to work through my list, reading the summaries of each book, and deleting each title that no longer appeals to me. I’m working alphabetically, and I’ve already finished the A-surname authors. In the case of one author, I deleted novellas from the list that had since been republished in an anthology of the author’s shorter works – an anthology that is more readily available and at a cheaper price.
I deleted some erotic novellas by an urban fantasy author, and some high fantasy novels by an urban fantasy author. (And one urban fantasy novel that was about elves or something by another urban fantasy author – that’s just not for me.) Of course I still like the authors, and am keeping them on my watch list.
I also need to make sure I don’t add “should” books – as in “I should read this to find out why it’s sold so many copies”, or “I should read this because my Goodreads buddies liked it”. Because these are gambles, and gambles are more iffy than a wishlist book. Sometimes the gambles pay off (The Martian and The Girl on the Train), but sometimes they don’t (Gone Girl is overrated; please don’t hurt me 😉 ).
I need to learn to read ruthlessly, to only read the books that I really want to read. And that also means being careful with impulse-requesting on NetGalley. I need to DNF with no guilt attached, whether the guilt’s from myself or someone else. No more hanging in there to “see if it gets better” – I need to read like an agent, and give books a set number of pages or chapters, and if I’m still not impressed then the book is turfed.
How will you make 2016 the year of ruthless reading?