12 Jan 2015

Never Forget: Reading is for Fun

In 2011 I started blogging. For me. Because I loved reading; the thought of having my own little space on the internet to chat about the books I read made me giddy; I wanted to expand and take the next step in a hobby (yes, hobby) I’d done all my life. I’d wanted more, and I got it. In spades. Bookish friends who understood and related with my bookish problems. Being able to chat with awesome, kind authors and tell them how much I loved their book. Emailing with publishers and not being able to get over the fact you're emailing with publishers. Having the opportunity to review books, read titles early and squee'ing in excitement.

But along the long, I somehow got caught up in it all and I started blogging for others. I don’t know how it happened, but it did. I now blog for me (or at least try to. Sometimes you fall of the wagon) and it was Ashley's (@ Nose Graze) post that finally got to me. I was told by bloggers for years: blog for you, not for others. But it finally finally clicked when I read that post.

To get off track for a second, let me tell you about my current book: See, it’s a pretty good book, I like it, nothing against it, but I’m just not invested in it. I haven’t read it in days, and it’s not pulling me back; calling my name to be picked up; or on my mind when I’m not reading it. True signs of a good book. Which yes, not all books can be winners, but why am I trying to read a book I'm either not enjoying or excited about? It’s a review ARC, which makes things a little more complicated, but still. I did not start blogging to review titles or struggle through books, all for the sake of a review. Yes, when I requested it I was looking forward to it. Now that I’ve started reading, I’m not. I’ve given it a good go and as I state in my ‘review policy’ (which is currently MIA, but this is the gist if it), I reserve the right not to finish (therefore not review) a book if I’m not enjoying it. Does that still apply because it’s me doing the requesting and me not being the requestee? I think so.

And then Jen posted this and it hit me:

What am I doing? Put the book down and go pick up something else. Not enjoying that either? Try another. And again and again. Do this until you find a book that bring you happiness and makes you remember why you read. Or better yet, makes your mind clear, too busy with story and words to think, but a full heart, because, boy am I loving this book! As I said before, not all books can be winners, but that doesn’t mean time should be wasted on books we're not enjoying. Because in the words of a wise owl (oh, wait, that’s me!):

"I don't read to blog.”

So before I go on my merry way, I herby pledge to:
  1. limit review requests (which I already do, but I’ll take even more care before I request). Reviewing books and ARCs is a privilege, but it’s no fun when you’re not into the book. If it’s a book I've bought or borrowed, with no review hanging over your head, it’s much easier to put down and move on.
  2. DNF a book without guilt (I’ve gotten a lot better at DNF’ing, but still, sometimes it’s hard to do)
  3. read for myself - not authors, publishers, bloggers, readers.
  4. always remember I read because I enjoy it. Life’s too short to waste your time on a bad book.


  1. It's definitely really easy to lose sight of why we read and blog—for our own enjoyment. I love your pledges! Keeping things in perspective is so important.

  2. "I don't read to blog,” should be every book bloggers motto.

  3. Really wonderful and insightful post Rebecca! It is so true to lose sight of it when we're swimming in review copies of books that we (sometimes) aren't going to enjoy. I love your commitments to reduce the stress as well, that's definitely something I'm going to be doing more often.

  4. This is a fantastic and wonderful post Rebecca! It's so easy for us to get caught up in ARCs and the 'business' component of blogging that we forget why we started in the first place. I went through this phase myself before and it feels so refreshing and liberating to read without any obligation to write a review about it.

  5. I completely love this post Rebecca! I agree with you--reading should be fun. READING IS FOR FUN. And while we all started our own blogs with good intentions and a love for reading it is pretty easy to get caught up in the whole "busincess" aspect of the blogosphere. True, not every book is a winner but if we're not enjoying something we're reading than it's our right to just put it down and take a breather. It's alright.


    I finally learnt how to DNF in the last two months of last year. CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT?? HOW DID IT TAKE ME THAT LONG?? I think I only learnt because exams were stressing me the hell out and if I had to read another crapezoid book, I was going to spew. NOT PRETTY.

    Sometimes we make arcs feel like required reading and that hurts because there's stress and anxiety and deadlines and urgh. I AM LEARNING TO LET THAT GO. TRYING VERY HARD INDEED

  7. #2 is my biggest struggle right now. I'm working on it but I never know when to just give up and move on. Feeling buried under a TBR pile a mile long is helping tho.
    Go you!

  8. I think we all need this reminder occasionally. It's so easy to forget why we're doing this when the ARCs start piling up. I don't make a habit of DNFing but it's something I'm considering doing now if I really am not connecting with a book.

  9. Yes, i think it's important that we are reminded of this! Sometimes I forget this myself, and am so busy trying to get all these reviews done in time but sometimes I just have to remember that it's okay to take a breather. ^.^

  10. I think sometimes we all forget that we don't read to blog. Getting review requests and receiving review copies kind of makes us think that. And like you said: YES, these are a privilege (and a wonderful one), but they're not WHY we blog. They're a wonderful perk but to be honest, I'd blog without them.

    I don't think we should push ourselves and stress ourselves out when blogging is something that should be making us happy. I mean, why would anyone sign up for a hobby that feels as stressful and hectic as a job? Uhhh, no one. So I think we really need to remind ourselves of this.

    We blog because we WANT to, so we should read what we WANT to. Remind ourselves why we started, and why we keep going.

  11. This is such a great post. There have been times over the last few years of blogging where I've started to lose my love of reading, and I think it's because of the pressure - pressure to read, review, write interesting posts, write insightful reviews, etc. Last year I tried to read more 'me' books instead of just review books, and I did okay, but not as well as I'd hoped. I'm determined to read more for myself this year. One thing I DID get good at last year was DNF'ing books I wasn't enjoying. That's definitely something I'm going to keep up this year. There are way too many good books out there to have to slog through a book you're not enjoying, even if it is a review book. I think if we, and other bloggers, can stick to these things, we'll be much happier. :-)

    ~Marie @ Ramblings of a Daydreamer

  12. I love this post Rebecca! And it's been such a relevant topic this week. I said on Twitter that the main thing that's made me a happy reader is not being afraid to NOT read a book. Read what you want to read, because if you're not enjoying/having fun, what the hell is the point? So I'm taking your pledge to heart as well! I'm not going to be afraid to DNF a book or not read a book because it's super popular. Read what you love, right?

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  13. It's a good thing to be able to remind yourself of, so good on you for achieving it. I'm trying to do that in many aspects of life - work is just a job, I need to learn to leave it in the building and not mentally carry it home with me - and it sort of works.

    I have actually spent more hours reading since I quit blogging because there's no pressure anymore and I've actually spent two nights this week just reading which I haven't done in AGES. I still haven't managed to DNF a book though, it just BOTHERS me too much. What if it suddenly gets better? What happens in the end? I CAN'T LET IT BEAT ME!

  14. I'm terrible about DNFing books, and by that I mean that I usually will force myself through a book or just let it make me feel guilty until I finally do break down and force myself through it. I hate leaving a book unfinished but I'm trying to get over that, because like you said reading should be fun.

    I think this was a great post and a great reminder to everyone in the community about what this is supposed to really be about. Thank you!

  15. I'm going through the same struggle, and have been for the last few months. It sad watching your book shelf fill up with books you bought, and are excited to read, but are getting dusty because you HAVE to read something else. I love reviewing books for others, but sometimes you have to read for yourself. Awesome post!


  16. This post is so needed in the book blogging world. While I rarely receive or ask for review copies, it's easy to lose sight of why you read and blog in the midst of growing TBR lists and never-ending editorial calendars. Lovely and though-provoking post! :)

    Bella @ Ciao Bella