Reading Journal (14 Oct): Blogging Burnout

I haven’t slowed down my reading, but I have felt intense burnout this week from blogging. Is this the beginning of the end of Rebecca Reads?

I certainly hope not. I’ve just started The Classics Circuit, which I’m very excited about. I’m still hosting The Spice of Life Challenge (which I haven’t given much energy to, I’m so sorry to say) and in November I’m to host The Really Old Classics Challenge with Heather J.

Like Amanda said the other day, I too am a compulsive “finisher.” My Google Reader needs to be at zero every night in order for me to feel like I’m finished. But as I’ve added many blogs in the past weeks, I’m finding it impossible to catch up and get to that “finished” state.

This week, I’ve been avoiding Reader because I know there are so many unread posts in it, and because I know that reading your blogs will make me want to read the books. Since I started tracking it a few months ago, I’ve found I add at least 15 books to my TBR each week, while I only read 2 to 4. Reading what I want to read has begun to feel like an uphill, impossible battle.

I started reading some posts (via Google Reader) yesterday. I’ll try to get back to them. I don’t want to mark all as read, because I feel this is a deeper issue: if I can’t keep up, I’m subscribed to too many blogs. I have to find a way to enjoy the process and stay caught up. Marking all as read does not solve the deeper issue. I’m going to experiment with a few different methods in the coming weeks. Maybe I need different folders of favorites so I can mark some as read and others not. Maybe I need to skim more often. The fact is, I love your blogs, I love reading them, and I love getting tons of books on my TBR. But I can’t keep up.

How do you manage your blog reading? When do you find time to read blogs? How many are you subscribed to?

(P.S. If you have a partial feed, change it to a full feed ASAP. I’m about to unsubscribe, it’s driving me nuts. I love you, but I hate your partial feed!! If you don’t know what type of feed you have, subscribe to it yourself to find out.)

I’ve also felt burnout when it comes time to write my reviews. I have a number of reviews waiting, but at night, I’d rather sit down and read rather than sit at the computer and write up reviews. So the blogging has suffered. I’m going to try something new by merging reviews together but I’m not sure how that will work since my reviews border on 1000 words normally! But merging reviews could take me from 5 or 6 posts a week to 3 or 4. That seems more doable in my overwhelmed mind.

When do you find time to write your reviews? How long to you spend writing reviews?

So instead of blogging this week, I went to the zoo with my family (in honor of the birthday boy). I played in the leaves with him. We visited Grandma. It was a great week, I just neglected my blogging friends.

How do you balance your blogging life with real life?Continue Reading

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

I picked up The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman partly because it won the Newbery Medal, and I have a goal to read all the winners of that award. I also chose it for the RIP IV Challenge.

This was my first Gaiman novel. Despite the fact that bloggers seem to have a special fondness for Gaiman, I just never felt inclined to give his books a read. I’m not a huge fan of fantasy (I’m not sure why) and I’m also less inclined to read something just because the crowd is reading it.

That said, I was amazed by this book. I sat and read the first 25 pages or so in the library after I picked it up, while my son played with the puzzles in the children’s area. It was engaging. So at about 9:30 or 10 p.m., I thought I’d read a little more to help me fall asleep.

I stayed up to finish it.

I never do that. My son awakes between 6 or 7 a.m. no matter what time I go to bed, so I’m usually eager to get my sleep. But there was something about The Graveyard Book that kept my attention. There’s something about the world and characters Gaiman creates that is familiar and fun. Although The Graveyard Book takes place (appropriately enough) in a graveyard and the main character is a boy raised by ghosts and the undead, it was familiar to me and yes, it was fun. How did Gaiman do that? I’m not sure.Continue Reading

Kid’s Corner: Birthday Books (Age 2)

My mother-in-law got word (and spread it) that I would love for my son to get books for his birthday, and I, of course, got him a couple books (among other things), so he had a rather bookish birthday this year. (Are you surprised?)

I consider books that he owns to be bonuses for me, since I have to read them every night. I’m glad I really like them all!Continue Reading

Reading Journal (7 Oct): Books for Every Season

Two years ago, I awoke at 3 a.m. to the realization that my son was going to be born! At 3:13 p.m., he finally made his arrival at a squirmy 3116 grams. I love being a mom, and I love watching him grow up! Happy two years old to him!

I’ve been thinking lately about how I remember the books I read by the things that are happening around me.

When my son was about two weeks old, I was reading East of Eden. I remember because in one of the early scenes in the book, the drunk widowed man feeds his newborn son beer instead of milk. I remember looking at my newborn and thinking that wasn’t such a good idea.

When my son was newborn, I read Kissinger by Walter Isaacson and Nelson Mandela’s autobiography – I remember where I was sitting, and while my little one kicked on a blanket nearby or slept on my chest, I read. The place and my son are connected to my memories of the books.

When we moved into our apartment last September, I remember sitting on the floor, waiting for the movers to arrive (my son was napping in a port-a-crib nearby), and reading Dubliners. When I visited my in laws last November, I was reading A Tree Grows in Brooklyn and A Christmas Carol. This last visit, I was reading Snow Flower and the Secret Fan.

It’s interesting to me how those books will be associated in my mind with those places, the people who saw me reading, and that time of my life. I wonder what I’ll remember in this coming year of my son’s life.

Do any books you read have a place or person memory attached to it?Continue Reading