Reading Journal (14 Oct): Blogging Burnout

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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?

Abandoned/Finished Books

I went on an E.B. White kick this week. Children’s literature was a fun solution to my blogging burnout! I don’t feel I need to write separate reviews for each of those.

  • Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White (190 pages; children’s fiction). FINISHED! Began in September. I read this aloud to my son.
  • The Trumpet of the Swan by E.B. White (250 pages; children’s fiction). FINISHED!
  • Stuart Little by E.B. White (125 pages; children’s fiction). FINISHED!
  • Better by Atul Gawande (about 6 ½ hours audiobook; nonfiction). FINISHED! For the Dewey Decimal Reading Challenge (600s). Very good!

Currently Reading

Each week, I list my progress so I can see how my reading compares week to week.

My Books

It was a pretty good reading week. I’ve started more than I’ve finished, as usual.

  • The Stories of John Cheever (22 of 61 stories, 820 pages total; fiction/short stories). Part of my Pulitzer Challenge. I read one story this week.
  • Our Latter-day Hymns: The Stories and Their Messages by Karen Lynn Davidson (75 read of 350/455 pages; nonfiction). I didn’t read any this week.
  • Children’s Literature: A Reader’s History from Aesop to Harry Potter by Seth Lerer (230 read of 330 pages; nonfiction). I didn’t read any this week.
  • La Casa en Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros (10 read of 115 pages; Spanish translation, fiction). For Hispanic Heritage Month. (I will finish it and review it after Oct 15.) I didn’t read any this week.

Old Library Loot

Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted by Eva and Marg that encourages bloggers to share the books they’ve checked out from the library.

  • Classics for Pleasure by Michael Dirda (50-100 skimmed of 324 pages; nonfiction). I picked this up to get ideas for The Classics Circuit. Make sure you submit your own ideas for future tours! I didn’t read any more this week.
  • Norton Critical Editions: Oliver Twist (fiction/nonfiction). This edition of Oliver Twist has analysis and criticism at the back of it. I’ve skimmed about 100 pages of criticism and began reading parts of the novel again. My book club is tomorrow night.
  • The Great Equations: Breakthroughs in Science from Pythagoras to Heisenberg by Robert P. Crease (190 read of 240; nonfiction). For the Dewey Decimal Reading Challenge (500s). I’m making good progress.
  • MacBeth by Shakespeare (play and audiobook). For the RIP IV Challenge.

New Library Loot

I keep getting sidetracked from the books I own with these great library books!

  • Proust was a Neuroscientist by Jonas Lehrer (215 pages; nonfiction). For the Science Book Challenge.
  • The Secret Life of Wilkie Collins by William Clarke (250 pages; nonfiction/biography). For the Collins Classic Circuit.
  • Complications by Atun Gawande (290 pages; nonfiction). The first book of essays (published before Better) by a surgeon.
  • The Magic Flute (audio CD; nonfiction). Commentary on the opera, with samples from it.
  • Jane Austen: A Biography by Carol Shields (5 CDs about 5 hours; nonfiction/biography). For Martel-Harper Challenge and Everything Austen Challenge.
  • Guns Germs and Steel by Jared Diamond (425 pages; nonfiction). I’m going to try again, not audio. (The audio put me to sleep). For the World Citizen Challenge.


Stewart at Booklit shares some thoughts on the Nobel Prize in Literature: it’s not about nationality, it’s about who is good!

I only have two books noted here because, as I said above, I haven’t read many blogs this week. I’ll remedy that this week!


  • And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie. Lula at 5-Squared. I enjoy Murder on the Orient Express, and while I’m not a huge mystery reader, Lula’s review got me interested in this one.
  • The Tenant at Wildfell Hall by Anne Bronte. Jason at 5-Squared loved it. I have it on my RIP list but I am not going to get to it in the next two weeks. L
Reviewed on October 14, 2009

About the author 

Rebecca Reid

Rebecca Reid is a homeschooling, stay-at-home mother seeking to make the journey of life-long learning fun by reading lots of good books. Rebecca Reads provides reviews of children's literature she has enjoyed with her children; nonfiction that enhances understanding of educational philosophies, history and more; and classical literature that Rebecca enjoys reading.

  • Sometimes I need to take a little break from blogging and I feel refreshed after it. You took on some big projects lately too.

    My Reader is never at 0. It hasn’t seen 0 since I started subscribing.

    My reviews vary. Sometimes I can write one up in an hour. Some take me days.

    I hope you don’t get too overwhelmed. I’d miss Rebecca Reads. 🙁

  • I can relate, Rebecca. I’ve been really burned out myself. I hope you’ll continue to blog, though, because I’d really miss you if you stopped. We probably just need to give ourselves a break. I tend to think that it has to be all or nothing – either I’m here a hundred percent, reading everything and commenting and responding to comments, or not at all. But there’s a middle ground, and I need to remember that more often.

  • I would be really sad if you decided to stop blogging. I love your posts!

    Blogging is a very hard thing to balance with limited spare time. If you are suffering from burnout then I think you need to take a small break. Decide what you love about blogging and concentrate on that. Try to reduce the number of things you are trying to do. Good luck!

  • I hope you don’t decide to quit! I have over 200 blogs in my Readers, but I’m a skimmer. I admit it. I quick-click through every post, but if it doesn’t catch my attention right away, I’m on to the next one. You write much more in-depth reviews, whereas I pretty much just jot some thoughts, so you spend much more time with that than I do. I hope you find a good balance for yourself, because I would miss you!


  • I have to prioritize my blog reading or I’d quit. I know I would. Prioritizing helps me to skim posts that I already know I won’t be interested in. It helps me to have a mark as read area when I have to be gone for awhile, and to save my favorite blogs for easier reading when I get back. I would never want to give up blogging because I have so many friends in the blogging world, and i really love being with them. Even if I don’t blog as much – as I likely won’t do in November – I don’t want to quit. So I don’t want to do anything that would make me want to quit.

    In August, I was feeling really burned out. I really missed writing after months of not doing it, so I decided to spend the first two weeks reading everything I’d planned for the month, and writing up the reviews, which I then spread out over the month. That freed two weeks of no reading, no writing reviews, and much more time for writing. That two week semi-break really helped.

  • I have oodles of blogs in my reader, and I try to catch up with most of them in the morning when I’m having my coffee. It’s lovely and relaxing, but the more blogs I add, the more frequently I end up hitting “Mark All As Read” (alas).

  • First of all…you are not alone! I have written about this exact same thing on my blog of late … and also wrote a guest post on an author’s blog about the digital overload of technology. I have over 300 blogs in my reader. I’ve been a little better about keeping up since I cleared out over 1000 unread posts last week. But it can get really overwhelming. I am trying to be better about balancing my online time with my real life. I actually enjoy my blogging time…I love writing and I love creating my reviews. It is all the other stuff that sometimes overwhelms me!.

    I hope you don’t quit blogging, Rebecca. Your blog is one I never miss.

  • Don’t threaten to stop blogging!!! You’re one of my very favourite bloggers Rebecca, and even if you need to cut down your posting to once or twice a week, or take a blogging break to avoid burnout, that’s much better than no Rebecca Reads! :p

    I definitely keep my book blogs in multiple folders…I have my very favourites, my favourites, normal ones, and then a folder where I keep blogs I’ve recently subscribed to while I’m deciding where they’ll end up. 🙂 I’m sure you can guess in what order I read them! And like Lezlie, I skim through the posts of most blogs and only stop if something jumps out at me. I’ve also given myself permission to stop worrying about commenting so much. And some days, I don’t read blogs at all, and then I mark everything read but my very favourites, and I don’t feel guilty! After all, if someone marked my feed read when they’d been gone for a few days, I wouldn’t be upset. I used to be a super type-A perfectionist, but having fibro has really forced me to let go of being perfect and accept just being myself. I think that applies to blogging too! When I just want to read, I read. When I want to be on the computer all day and barely pick up a book, I do that. I think that’s how I avoid blogging burnout. 🙂

    I definitely go through review burnout though!!! When that happens, I don’t struggle against it, I just find something else to post about. A challenge, or a reading list, or a short story, or something completely random. Just last week, I went from October 3rd to the 10th without posting a review, except for a dialogue one that we’d done the week before. I don’t think readers care. 🙂 Part of what I’ve done differently this year is that at the end of every week, if I haven’t written up a full-length post about a book, I do a short review in my Sunday Salon (with some very rare exceptions). That way, I don’t feel guilty about reviews hanging over my head, I can talk about all the books I read without having to do a dissertation on each one (I find it’s usually much easier than I expect to narrow down my essential impressions to a paragraph), and I can still highlight my favourites in their own posts!

    I didn’t realise all of those books were written by E.B. White! lol I read them all when I was in elementary school, and I don’t think I paid attention to author back then. That biography of Collins looks interesting! And I hope you enjoy Proust was a Neuroscientist-I did! (I loved Tenant of Wildfell Hall as well-much more than Jane Eyre or Wuthering Heights!)

  • I only have about 30 blogs in my reader so it isn’t too overwhelming. I resist the urge to add more because I am less like to comment if I read them in Reader.
    Have to comment on the book Better – I read it a few years ago and loved it! I want very much for my work team to read it – so many great applications to how we live and work together.

  • I have tons of blogs in my reader, but I’ve found that if I just go directly to the 10-20 blogs that are my very favorites, it helps with the feeling of google reader burnout. There is simply no way I could read all I’m subscribed to. I like maintaining the subscriptions, though, so I can search for particular reviews or topics.

    Like you, I’d rather read than write reviews. I have to force myself to write some of them, and I am WOEFULLY behind. I don’t even want to know the number I’m behind on. But, usually, if I just wait it out, I’ll eventually get back to reviewing. I may not review everything I read, but it at least gets me on track again. I’ve found that giving myself permission to write a one paragraph review helps, too. I think I feel the pressure of having to be a great writer of reviews, but deep down I know that I’m a much better reader than writer. Allowing myself to keep it short and simple is liberating. Most of the time I don’t even read all of the overly longish reviews on other blogs, anyway. I just skim to the bottom to see the reviewer’s overall impression. That’s all I’m really after.

    I hope you don’t quit blogging. Allow yourself a break so you can come back refreshed!

  • I’m sorry you’re feeling burnt out. Hopefully you’ll pull out of your slump because I’d hate for you to quit blogging. I love your blog and check it daily.

    Probably the extra stress from starting up the classics curcuit has added a lot to your plate, but there’s been such a great buzz generated and I can’t wait for the two scheduled tours to start up!

  • I got rid of some blogs in my reader that I never click through and I never comment on. That actually helped a lot. If you have favorites and then not so favorites, I’d drop some of the not-so.

    For reviews, if they are piling up I tend to jot down some feelings or things I know I want to talk about on a post and save it for later. Of course, that won’t help if you have a million saved for later…

    For sure take a break, write fewer reviews or shorter ones if you need to, but don’t quit all together! I would definitely not worry about adding so many books to your TBR list – you’ve got lots of years ahead for reading them!

  • I think we have all been where you are, Rebecca. Sometimes the blogging comes easily and I look forward to sitting down to write my reviews, and at other times it feels like an unnecessary pleasure and an obligation that is no longer fun. I often fret about not posting every day or routinely, but in the end I realized that I just have to read what I want and write what I can and constantly remind myself that the blog is for me not for other people! If I need to take a week away from blogging, so be it. I’d rather do that than force myself through the motions and come to dislike something I normally take such joy in.

    As for the Google Reader, I don’t have my blogs organized, but I suspect I am not subscribed to nearly as many as others are (perhaps 30?)… I routinely go in an cull from my list, as some blogs are trendy but don’t really do anything for me and there’s no point having them there cluttering up my mental space! I do skim a lot of the posts because not everything is going to appeal to me, but I guess I have mentally flagged certain blogs as “favorites” and those I tend to read more carefully and try to make the effort to comment (I’m sure you can figure out which category your blog falls into!). I don’t think there’s any shame in skimming or just scrolling down in your “new items” tab until something jumps out at you!

  • Yes, skim the blogs! Skim mine, at least! Some days, that is the exact right thing to do.

    The beauty of the Reader is that if your schedule doesn’t matter – post less, and I’ll still see everything. The beauty of a blog is there’s no single way to operate. It’s just writing – so go long, go short, combine, break apart – whatever helps you write.

  • Don’t burn out Rebecca. You don’t have to review every book you read. I don’t. I just review one or two. I have over 200 feeds. I usually skim a lot of them and mark memes as read. Plus, I follow some bloggers on Twitter until I get a sense of what they post before adding them to my reader. Plus, you are an established blog; you don’t have to post every day. Skip reading every review on the same book in reader. Do the super easy Friday Firsts meme on for an easy fill in post.

  • I think we all feel temporarily burned out now and then in life even when it comes to things we love, like blogging.

    Funny thing is, I was just thinking I needed to organize my google reader better! I have various cagetories, but I need to break down my books folder even further, and delete some blogs (not yours, never!). Like you, I dislike partial feed blogs and when I realize one is like that, I unsubscribe right away.

    Take care and hang in there!!

  • I’ve had those overwhelmed periods too – I think we ALL have! Here are my (rather lengthy) thoughts:

    – I subscribe to 148 blogs

    – There’s no way I could read every post they all write, so …

    – I do “Mark As Read” on most weekly memes/activities/etc. (sorry!), and

    – I skim posts for books that I’ve seen reviewed several times, and

    – I comment much less often than I’d like to b/c it simply takes too much time. (Shame on me!)

    – I read blogs when I’m not busy at work, while Kiddo is doing his homework, while watching TV, and/or after Kiddo goes to bed.

    – As for reviews, I write whenever I can – lunch break, late evening, weekends, etc.

    – I’ve also had to do several non-typical (aka “short”) reviews lately to get caught up – I don’t like these as much, but they do serve their purpose: to help me remember the important things about a particular book – and that was the reason I started blogging in the first place.

    Ok, I’ll stop there for now. Besides, I still have to reply to your email about the Really Old Classics Challenge!

    Take a deep breath, step away from the computer for a while, and try to relax. Everything will turn out well in the end. 🙂

  • PS. I highly recommend organizing your Google Reader! I have a Favorites folder where I read all the posts by those bloggers, a Books folder where I allow myself to skim often, and other folders relating to TV news (mostly – they are prolific so I do Mark As Read quite often), IRL friends’ blogs, and even an “If There Is Time” folder that I can overlook whenever there is NOT time. 🙂

  • I subscribe to a crazy number of blogs, which I organize into folders, and I use Google Reader “list view” to skim post titles and snippets, one folder at a time. I’ll only open the posts I want to read in full, and then I’ll do “mark all as read” on the rest. Since that’s my usual approach, I totally share your irritation with partial feeds – that’s one more click, for goodness’ sake!

    I’m still rarely caught up, and I don’t comment as much as I’d like to, but I try not to beat myself up about it too much.

    I tend to write reviews within a day or two of finishing a book, and I usually read just one book at a time, so I rarely get behind on those (thank goodness!). I’m starting to run out of stockpiled non-review posts for the next week or two, though, and that makes me feel more anxious and closer to burnout.

    Most of us go through this, though. I don’t think there’s a one-size solution to it; we all find our own, and sometimes we have to adjust it when it’s not working so well any more. Just hang in there, and don’t quit blogging :-)!

  • I don’t use a reader (gasp) so I don’t have the feeling that blogs “pile up.” I just click on the ones that appeal to me that day, and feel delighted if there are a couple of posts for me to read. I feel no sense of obligation to read and comment on everything every day (and no sense that everyone should be reading and commenting on mine every day!)

    And I actually like it when I have a small backlog of books I’ve read and haven’t yet reviewed (though I never read as much in a week as, say, Eva does.) I like the feeling that I won’t run short on content, and can space reviews out over a week or two without rushing the books I’m currently reading.

    I guess I am a glass half full kind of girl. 🙂

  • I’m sorry you’re feeling burnt out. I think that happens to all of us. Why don’t you try cutting down to one or two posts per week? I don’t review every book I read. Sometimes I don’t have anything to say, other times because it’ll take away precious time from the rest of my life.

    I’m subscribed to 223 blogs in my Google Reader. There’s more than 100 new posts in my reader every day and I don’t feel pressure to read them all. I’ll read the ones that stick out the most and that’s it. When you try to read them all, you’re taking time away from reading books.

    Hang in there.

  • Someone else posted about this same topic today. I think we all struggle with balance. I have tried very hard to keep my Reader subscriptions to a manageable number.

  • should I just mark these comments as “read”? Just kidding — this is the fun part!! I think I really mean “this is the beginning of the end” if I can’t figure out better balance. I can’t imagine quitting cold turkey! It makes me sad!

    Thanks for all the well wishing! I also just took a break, and I still dreaded coming back. So we’ll see how the next weeks go. I’m going to work on it!

    Chris, i’d have a hard time if it never got to zero. I’m a perfectionist so I like to see there are no unread items!!

    Nymeth, great point about how blogging is not ALL or NOTHING. I guess I’ll just be half here for a few weeks and see how the balance feels. I can’t keep giving 100% as I have been!

    Jackie, I am going to focus on what I like most! Thanks for the ideas!

    Lezlie, I think skimming will be my friend for the next little while…

    Amanda, you say “I don’t want to do anything that would make me want to quit.” and I think that’s what I have to realize. Reading too many blogs is making me want to quit it all. Which is sad because I love them all!! I want to read them, I just don’t.

    Jenny, I think I need to have a set blog reading time and then mark all as read after that. Good idea for the early morning hours!!

    Wendy, I normally enjoy writing my posts! but not lately…I just want to go read! Thanks for your insights. It’s good to know I’m not alone!

    Eva, I had favorites folders but everyone at some point kind of merged in to the favorite folder — I’d go to the nonfavorites folder and say “why aren’t they in my favorites folder?!” until they were all there. It didn’t work. I think I’m going to try it again though….

    I’m a perfectionist too but I’m realizing I can’t be. As Nymeth said, being 100% all the time isn’t necessary in blogging!!

    I’m looking forward to my books — especially now that I’m giving myself permission to write shorter reviews!!

  • Juliann, I loved Better! Very inspiring. Makes me glad I’m not in a 3rd world country when I need medical care too!

    30 blogs was a good number for me. My number of blogs has swollen and I still like them all so I don’t know which to cut. Working on a new plan!

    Melissa, it’s hard to decide which ones to drop because I love everyone I’m subscribed to! Ah well, I’ll work on it! Thanks for the pep talk!

    Steph, that’s exactly why I took a week or so off! I needed to remember this is supposed to be fun. It still is, I just am not sure I’m done with my break yet!

    Amateur Reader, yeah, skimming makes me sad because I love what people have to say! Sometimes it’s easier to just skim and not comment, but I often want to comment! So that’s the problem with skimming.

    I know, Reader makes is so much easier for me. Except when it gets very backed up. And then it’s overwhelming!

    Cara, I’d rather post reviews or short reviews than memes. Just not a fan. Most of the people on here seem to admit they skip the memes when they are behind on google reader. So I have no desire to add more memes to the scene! So definitely not adding any memes to my line up! Just trying to find time for book posts!

    Valerie, and I do love blogging. I love knowing there are tons of people out there who read and want to hear about what I’ve read!!

    Vasilly, that’s exactly what I thought: reading blogs takes time away from reading books. Maybe I’m just in a reading mood this week but I’m craving the books! I do love your blogs too, though, so I must get time for it!!

    Kathy, I think there is a post-BBAW burn out happening a month later — we’ll realizing we can consistently feel caught up at the same level anymore! It’s a great problem but a bit overwhelming…

    Heather J., I do have some folders but like I said to Eva, reading blogs all end up in the favorites folder! I think I need a few subfolders in that. I will get caught up some day!! Thanks for the insight into your blogging life. It helps to see what works for you too!

    Florinda, you say “I try not to beat myself up about it too much” and I think that’s what I need to accept. This post will be it, I hope! I’m ready to move on!

    Jenny, great attitude! I love it. I’m experimenting with twitter and other links to get to blog posts. That may be a new way. While I don’t think I can give up Reader completely (amazing) I do like the idea of not feeling pressured to read people’s blogs!!

  • I couldn’t do without a reader either, but like others I have multiple folders. Only one of those is filled with blogs that I tend to actually read–there are maybe 35 blogs there, and they don’t all post every day. I skim all the other folders, scrolling through quickly (and I mean really quickly) and only stopping to read or starring something to read later if it catches my eye. I’d rather spend time on the 35 or so that I really enjoy and feel I know.

    I’m fairly rigorous about writing my reviews right away, just because if I wait I tend to forget what I wanted to say. I’m a quick writer, though, which helps. And reading only one or two books at a time makes it easier to avoid a backlog. I do like Eva’s approach with writing short reviews when there’s a backlog.

    And yes if you need a break, take a break. (But if you do, I hope it’s a short one!) Give yourself permission to slow down and not review everything. Blogging should be fun, and if it stops being fun, it’s time to make a change, even if it’s just a short-term change. Cutting the number of posts per week or not reviewing everything might give you the breathing room you want.

  • Don’t stop blogging! I posted about this very thing today. I subscribe to WAY too many blogs (bookish, crafting and parenting too) so I’m often clicking away and not commenting. I don’t mind leaving some unread, in fact it tends to work out better for me. As you may have noticed, it gives me a chance to devote my attention to one blogger for longer- I just read a week or two worth of your posts, for example. And, as you may have noticed, I only commented on three of them. That feels like a good ratio to me.

  • Rebecca, since your blog is a hobby, take a break if you feel you need it. I posted a review in July and took two monhs away from the blog – still read a couple of books – without saying I was going to do it.. I never said or promised to do regular book reviews, so just felt like two months off and took them. I feel good after it. Take as long as you need. You don’t owe it to anyone.

    P.S. Can you change my name in your blog post to the correct spelling? That’s the bugbear that’s plagued my life. Thanks.

  • Wow, you have a lot of comments on this already. I tend to think it is okay to not post every day. I am doing good if I post 1-2 times a week. My philosophy is, “hey, people have full readers as it is, so really I am doing them a favor by not posting every day.”

    I try to weed out the blogs I usually skim through. I want to take my time reading fewer posts than rush through a bunch. So I’ll try a new blog for a little while to see how I like it. If I find myself skimming too much, I’ll just stop following.

    As for posting, I find I will delay reviewing a book if I didn’t like it very much. Sometimes I completely forget about it. I like to get more in depth with the classics I read, so those posts take me a little longer. I think I am more exited to post about books I liked. I don’t like to do memes, because those are the posts I mark as read on other people’s blogs.

    It is okay to take a break or cut back. That is what I have had to do, since I don’t have my own computer anymore. I hope you won’t disappear completely, because I really like your blog. Good luck!

  • OK, I’m back. (Sorry about leaving ANOTHER comment, lol.)

    I remember, back in the days before reader’s, Dewey used to explain that she didn’t have time to read/comment on everyone’s posts, so the first blogs she visited belonged to whoever had left comments on her posts. That could be another way to approach it. 🙂

    Because I’m sick at home so much of the time, I don’t have management issues right now, but I’m sure as soon as I start feeling better and get a job, my reading and blogging will fall off pretty significantly.

  • I have taken a new approach of hitting mark all as read that I don’t get to in a day. I also skim titles. But I do have a favorites folder…full of the blogs that I don’t want to miss a single post.

    Take a break if you need it and then I hope you return. 🙂

  • I’m in the very same predicament you’re in right now. I thought about writing a blogging burnout post. Instead, I decided not to write anything at all. Thus, my posts of late have averaged to one a week. I just felt that I had to give more focus to my life and my family than my blogging. Even more focus on reading than on blogging. I still want to keep in touch with all of you, my favourite bloggers, though, so I won’t stop blogging. (I really hope you don’t!! I’ll be so sad..)

    A tip, like others have said, is to just skim posts and don’t feel obliged to comment on every one. Just comment on the ones that really make you want to. (I actually am feeling very guilty right now for being so slow to respond to comments on my posts, but I hardly find any time to do so.)

    As for reviews, you know what mine are like, haha. The main reason I don’t do extensive reviews is that I really have no energy and time to compose with three little kids, and a job. It’s so hard to juggle. I treat my blog as a diary, for posterity, to record my reads, but not necessarily review them, as that would take more time and effort. So it takes me only a measly few minutes. I don’t do drafts, etc. Just type a few words and publish.

    I wouldn’t want to see you posting like me, though. Your reviews are so well thought out and I’d hate for you to lose your vibe. So, like all the others, I encourage you not to feel obliged to review everything you’ve written. Or not to feel the need to post very often. Just take your time with life, and go back to blogging when you feel like it, so it doesn’t feel like a chore. 🙂

    Here’s hoping you find the perfect balance. We’ll be here even if you post just once a month, no kidding. 🙂

  • I just cleared up my reader on Sunday, and now it’s up to 131 new posts… (It’s been a while since I cleared up my reader the last time). I used to visit my favorites first before everyone else, but then ended up not reading out of the circle and it got kinda boring. So I’m trying different method now to randomly jump through the list of readers and try to click on the ones I don’t normally click to. I’m thinking if I put someone in my reader once, there must’ve been a good reason for it. Then lately if I started skimming like a dozen of posts of one blog without even one catching my interest, I decided to unsubscribe. That way I can clear up some blogs that for some reason or another I have lost interest in. Anyway, just try a few things that you think can work for you. Think of it as a marathon not a sprint, so do whatever that can make you last longer ;).

    For reviews I don’t have that much problem because I read slow, so I never have too many books un-reviewed (definitely never more than 5 at one time).

  • Oh if you don’t already know, google reader has ‘mark read anything older than 2 weeks’ option. So that’s a good one to click! 😀

  • Teresa, I try to write just after I finish reading, but if I don’t like the book, it takes longer to get around to it! Thanks for your insights. I don’t plan on disappearing quite yet…

    Eva, I have been trying to do something like that lately — through twitter tweeps and comments and such. It’s kind of fun to “blog-hop” more randomly! So we’ll see how it goes as I learn a new balance.

    Amy, it seems the consensus is we’ve all hit “mark as read” at some point, so I shouldn’t feel too guilty!

    claire, I love your short thoughtful posts! And I love everyone else’s style. Sometimes I wish I’d chosen a more laid back way of writing “reviews” but then I love my way, so I guess I just need to rebalance so I can keep doing it. Like you said, if I started posting like anyone else, I’d be sad in the end because I wouldn’t be me anymore…

  • Stewart, Sorry about the name — I thought I’d gone and check and I certainly meant to, but obviously I hadn’t. Thanks for the pep talk. It certainly is nice to take a break now and then!

    Haiku Amy, I like the reminder that people have full readers! My new philosophy may make everyone very happy!!

  • Rebecca, I haven’t read all the comments so I don’t know if I’m repeating someone else’s point, but I just wanted to say that things go in cycles – sometimes I feel more like writing about books, sometimes less, and both of those are OK, you know? I think it’s really positive to listen to what your psyche or emotions are telling you, and give yourself permission to act on those promptings. I’ve been feeling the need to take time away from the computer lately, as well, and it’s making a big difference. 🙂 Good luck!

  • Well, as you can tell, Rebecca, you are not alone with these questions, but I think with the way you responded to each person individually shows you are not giving up yet on blogging. If you were giving up, you wouldn’t even bother to comment, I think.

    Your post got me thinking about my own blog and also, until today, Google Readers <– – yes, plural (I had one set up to go with one of my other blogs). Long story short: I accidentally deleted all the blogs I was following in both readers and now am starting from scratch. So far, only 18 book blogs and 25 humor blogs.

    How your post got me thinking about blogging, feed readers, I will write about on my own blog in the near future. Too much to go into here; I don't want to hijack your thread, although I probably already have, to some degree.

    Bottom line: You are not alone and DON'T STOP blogging. Take a break or cut back to only a few posts per week, but DON'T STOP. We need your voice, compassionate and questioning. Some bloggers just go along blindly, doing their thing without even questioning why they're doing things the way they do it. At least you're questioning and getting a conversation going, as is evidenced here.

  • I agree with a lot of what has been said here about having folders in Google Reader, if I didn’t have folders I would be a complete mess. And I try to live in the middle ground – read posts when I can, comment when I can, post on my own blog when I can, but not feel too much pressure to do all of that every day. We all have lives outside of blogging, of course, and jobs and families, and who has time to do this as much as we’d like to? I’d guess nobody!

    But please don’t stop blogging, as you can see from the comments we all love your posts and would not want to lose them! 🙂

  • I am just getting back to blogging after being away from it for MONTHS. It was actually great to not blog for a while, and I am thinking about always taking the summer or part of the summer off from blogging. Not that I was that active to begin with, maybe once a week or so. I read in Google Reader whenever I actually want something to do. I have gone months without checking on blogs too and that’s OK, I have a few blogs I love and they are like magazines, I pick them up when I have the time to relax and enjoy some fun material. I hope you find a balance that works for you!

  • Karen, I feel I have too much involved to step away for MONTHS, and yet, it seems the consensus is that it’s okay to do that if necessary. I do get overwhelmed sometimes! Thanks for stopping by.

  • I have had the same trouble at various times, and find that segmenting my life works well. I’m very busy during the week, so mostly blog at weekends. Sometimes I write a bunch of posts at once and release them gradually – having a few ‘evergreen’ posts in my drafts folder seems to take some of the pressure off – if I really have nothing to say or no energy to say it, I can always release one of them to keep things going!

    Also the good thing about RSS feeds is that even if you take a break, you won’t lose too many readers, because people will still be subscribed and will see your next post immediately if/when you decide to return.

  • I hear you loud and clear. And I find that I post even less because I can’t keep up with comments that I get! It is an uphill battle and I haven’t decided if it’s better to be a big part of a small ring of bloggers or a small part of a big ring of bloggers. I’ve been adding more and more blogs but I have categories (favorites, others, skim, super skim) to keep me sane. But I’m a compulsive finisher, too.

    Reviews? Lately I haven’t had enough time to even finish ONE book a week, so this isn’t as big a problem. It takes me about an hour to write a review, but this includes adding the picture, adding links, and other forms of procrastination in the actual writing.

    Wish there was more time…but there’s not. Hope you find some balance.

  • I used to be a compulsive finisher with my Google Reader, but this summer I just couldn’t do it and I think that broke the habit. For now, I have my book blogs divided into about six folders, based on the ones I love to read, a few alphabetized folders for ones I just check in on, new blogs to me (so I can test them out), then one for bloggers I admire and want to follow, but don’t comment on very often. I try to clear each folder a couple times a week. It’s not perfect because it often means I comment on posts really late (like this one), but it’s been helping me.

    As for reviews… I only read fast enough to post a review a week, so I’m not sure how to help with that one. I hope you can find a way to make things easier because blogging should be fun. Umm… that’s all I can think to add for the moment, but I’m sure many other encouraging things have been said in the comments 🙂

  • Andrew, I get more time during the week, so I’m trying to just let go come Saturday and Sunday and be okay with not blogging! I like the idea of evergreen posts. May adopt something like that…

    Trish, I’m glad I’m not alone. It is hard to find that balance. I think I’m doing better this week, and that’s because I just haven’t been posting! Will do better.

    Kim, Thanks! I have gotten a lot of encouragement. And I’m so glad to hear your methods too. I’m trying folders and it’s good — just still don’t have time to read any of those anyway! Agh! But I do still find blogging fun so I’m still going to be around, just a bit less probably.

  • Well, I guess you know by now that you are not alone 😉 My pile of TBReviewed books is growing and growing — I don’t know where to find the time! I’m not a quick blogger: a post really takes some time to be written, especially reviews. Blogging in my native language (Dutch) would be a bit quicker, but still…

    My rss feeds are on different tabs on

  • Gnoe, yes, we’re all in the same boat in terms of looking for time! I relate to things taking time to write — and I’m writing in my native language! I just spend forever. Thanks for weighing in with your thoughts!

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