Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Bookish Probs: How to Overcome a Goodreads Challenge Book Lag

Whether it's because you've been spending a lot of time navigating an extra-heavy tome, or you've just gotten bogged down in the boonies of assigned reading for school, you may have already fallen a bit behind in your Goodreads goals for 2015.

I certainly know it did for me; after a hellaciously busy Spring Quarter, I'm running short on motivation and time. No matter how much I could try to read a chapter or two on my flight to San Diego for AFLVWest, or sneak in a novel into my travel bag for the Spring Sisterhood Retreat for my sorority, I soon found myself staring down at a 12 book lag in my Challenge for this year!

However, after shifting around some things in my busy life, I was able to make time again for my favorite pasttime, and I've got to say, I think it's been a pretty good deal for me. Just restructuring my days around reading makes me a lot more conscious about how I spend my time when I'm doofing around my desk. There's ways out of the pit, guys!

SO, here are some of my tried-and-tested ways of overcoming a Goodreads Slump! 

Simplify! I had a really interesting discussion with a friend recently, about how having too many choices available hinders my ability to make a choice at all. Instead of just having a massive stack of books looming over you as a reminder of your slump, sort out the ones you actually are invested in reading. Just make it easier on yourself!

Get organized. This goes hand in hand with simplification, but just clearing out your space in general isn't enough. Make stacks! What the books you have to read for school? How about your fluffy, feel-good YA stack? What about the books that are a little denser, but you're still excited to read? Make room for everyone at the table, and increase your access to the books you really want to read. And this is just another good way to familiarize yourself with what kind of resources you have in your arsenal for good reading.

Refocus on your challenge, by emphasizing the books you're excited about. Whether it's by having a list of books you're amped to read on the desktop of your computer, or just making a stack of some of the paper-and-ink copies on your desk itself, make sure they're in view as much as possible. If you're constantly reminded of the stories you haven't delved into yet, chances are, you're going to want to make more time for reading.

The current colossus of a book tower overlooking my planner and keyboard,
supported on its side by my trusty Kindle. And this is only the SCHOOL stack! 
Take comfort in old favorites. Rereads totally count, and if you're looking for an easy gateway back into a favorite pasttime, then why not try something that already makes you love reading? Anything to get you back in the groove of steadily chugging along through your TBR pile.

Prepare accordingly. Whether that's special treats to coincide with enjoying your book, picking out a sunny spot with a favorite blanket on the Quad, or just carving out a bit of "me" time from your schedule, there are plenty of fun ways to make sure you're ready to commit to at least a little bit of time each day for reading.

Get reading! The only way to do it, is, well, do it. There's not that much more to it. (And if it rhymes, you know it's good advice. Most of the time.)

And, just as a final note: Be easy on yourself. Even if you're reading a little bit every day, there's still ways to get bogged down in extraneous forces that prevent you from enjoying the novels you want, no matter how much you've rearranged your bookshelves or you've blocked out your schedule. It's okay! Reading is supposed to be fun!

Unfortunately, I, myself, am still 9 books behind in my Goodreads Challenge for the year - reading the books themselves takes time, too! - but I am incredibly confident that I'll be caught up again in no time at all. I've got a steady stream of novels at the ready for my perusal, and honestly, having this blog helps a lot, too. It's nice to read, when you know you'll have people to discuss the books with, right? (Want in on the convos, too? Be my friend on Goodreads!)

What are some of your tips and tricks for getting back on a reading schedule?

1 comment:

  1. All of these are great points but I think the best is to be easy on yourself. That's the best. Nothing is going to put you in a slump more than being stressed out and anxious about having to read more! No body is looking over your shoulder and shaking their head that you're behind. It's just on you. :) Of course, no one wants to miss out on their challenge goal either, but taking it less seriously is key, I think. Last year I was getting behind and I was super stressed about it for awhile until I thought about it more and realized that was just silly!

    Also, focusing on books that excite you is a great idea too. That helps me read when I'm slacking off a bit. A great book can really perk up my reading habits.

    This year I'm 24 books ahead on my schedule though so I don't have to worry about it. Haha!