Saturday, August 3, 2013

Random Thought - Changes to My Reading Pattern and Some Notes on Policies

How I Read

This post is more or less apropos of nothing. Mostly it is because I've been getting a little burned out on reading for my blog. Not reading in general, but rather reading for my blog. I think that the problem is that I've been trying to consume all of the review copies that I have sitting on my shelf so that I can post reviews of them as expeditiously as possible. I currently have twenty-three review copies sitting on my shelf waiting to be read and reviewed, and this is a responsibility I take fairly seriously. After all, the author or publisher asked me if I would read and write about their book, and I agreed to do so, so it seems only right that I would actually do what I agreed to do.

But the steady diet of books that I feel obligated to read has drained my enthusiasm for reading, which is bothersome. My reading pace has slowed to a crawl over the last few months, which disappoints me and pushes my ability to satisfy my responsibilities to the authors and publishers who have sent me books further into the future. And it is mentally wearing because it means that I am putting reading the books I really want to read off further and further into the future. All the while I see the projects that I want to get to on this blog receding further into the future, piling up my frustrations. And this creates a feedback loop that will probably wear me down more and more until I simply don't enjoy reading at all and throw my hands up and quit for a while. And I don't want to let it come to that.

So I've decided to change my reading pattern. Instead of trying to read all of the review copies I have first and then read other material, I'm going to start alternating books. Every review copy I read will be alternated with a book I read without feeling any kind of obligational responsibility. In the short run this may put off getting some of those review copies read and reviewed, but I think that in the long run, I will get through the review copies sooner and enjoy them more. So, if you are an author or publisher who sent me a review copy, be assured that your book will be read and reviewed, but it may take a little bit of time to get to it.

Some New Policies

On the large list of things I never thought I'd have to do, creating a guest post policy, a blog tour policy, and an interview policy were prominent. But I have gotten a few solicitations from authors and publishers suggesting that I should do a blog interview of their author, or it would be fantastic if I would let their author write a guest post for the blog, or if I would be interested in participating in a blog tour. So I figure I ought to put together my policies in these areas and make them public. I'll be putting these formally in the links in the sidebar later, but I'm announcing these policies now. As usual, I reserve the right to change them art any time, without notice, and based on nothing more than my personal whims. But until further notice, here they are:

Guest Posts: No. The answer will always be no. This blog is my voice, and mine alone. I write all of the books. I decide how things are formatted. I decide what goes on the blog and what does not. This is almost certainly never going to change.

Interview Posts: I don't do blog interviews. I have no interest in e-mailing you a collection of questions and posting your collection of canned responses. If I do an interview post, it will be because I met the author, sat down with them, and talked to them in person. Part of the reason for this blog is to document my experiences as a lover of science fiction and fantasy, and exchanging a few e-mails ranks well down on the list of things worth documenting. If I meet a living, breathing author, and can record a sit down interview with them, then I'll probably put a post up detailing that. Anything short of that, no.

Blog Tours: I have nothing against blog tours per se, but I tend to shy away from agreeing to participate in them because the scheduling for this blog can be a tad erratic. I don't intend to go for a day or two without posting, and I won't intend to forget to post a review on the day that you carved out for me to post about your promoted book, but my schedule is not entirely my own, and I generally can make no promises about when something will be read, and no promises about when something will be reviewed. Some weeks I can't even post a Musical Monday or Follow Friday post on time (or at all), so other content goes up when I have the time and ability to do so, and not according to any particular schedule. So if you do want me to participate in your blog tour, be warned that I might miss your date and I'm not really going to be sorry if I do.

Random Thoughts     Home


  1. Hi Aaron!
    I have to say: been there. done that. Made all the same choices you've done. I think you've reached that point in the evolution of blogging where you're starting to give comfortable and confident: and that's AMAZING! Do what you want :) I've been looking for a solution to the first problem you mentioned. I had great plans to read all these books this summer, but I only got to my assigned reading and started an ARC. I'll try the alternating-pattern and see how it goes. Thanks!

    Happy Blogging :D

    1. @Kirthi: I think the alternating pattern will help with ARC fatigue, but I have no evidence for that other than a hunch. We'll see how this works out.

  2. So now you can read The River of No Return so we can talk about it!

    1. @ang: I won't promise The River of No Return will be my next read, but it will be soon.