Tuesday, August 11, 2009

2 R’s and T: Reading, ‘Riting, and Time (and not enough of any of them!) - Guest Post by Florinda from 3 R's

I was on a pretty good streak for a while. By the middle of July, I had posted 29 book reviews this year. Compared to some other book bloggers, I'm an utter slacker - but compared to myself in 2008, when I only reviewed 35 books for the entire year, I was feeling pretty good. And then I went for close to three weeks without even finishing a book. Can't review them if you don't get them read, can you? (Wait, that's not completely true; I did finish Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, which I re-read after seeing the movie, but since it was a repeat, it's the rare book that won't be reviewed on the blog.)

There were some other things going on at that time, though, to be fair. I went to a conference, and when I came back, there was a lot to process - and to write about - which didn't have much to do with books. I hadn't brought books with me on my trip, but I did bring my new Kindle - it travels much more easily! But I didn't finish the book I started on the Kindle before I got home, and when I came home, there were already two books in progress waiting for me, and a third that I needed to start (and finish!) for an upcoming blog-tour post. All of this has just reinforced for me why I really do better when I read just one book at a time. I feel less pressure when I only have one book unfinished, as opposed to three.

I can't blame everything on the travel, though, because there's still the same Catch-22 I've experienced ever since I got into this almost two and a half years ago - writing about reading books takes time away from actually reading books, but if you're not reading the books, you can't write about them! And I write about other things besides books, too - someone recently described me as a "hybrid" blogger. (Does that make my blog a Prius?)

I hadn't thought in those terms before, but it fits. Book-related content is a big component of what's on my blog, but there are also posts about travel, popular culture, current events and issues, stuff my family does, and even stuff that other bloggers do. That reminds me that another reason that I have less time for books is that I read a lot of blogs - maybe not all of every post, every day, but the number I subscribe to is so large I'm embarrassed to tell you. For me, reading other blogs - book blogs, personal blogs, entertainment blogs, news blogs, just-for-fun blogs - is as big a part of being a blogger as writing my own posts is. They amuse, provoke, and inspire me. And sometimes, they keep me from hitting the books.

I do my best reading, and my most productive writing, when I have big chunks of time for it. Since I work full-time in a job that has nothing to do with either books or blogging and, for some reason, my family actually does want to have me around (and paying attention to them!) every now and then, I don't get those time chunks as often as I'd like. I suspect many of us could say that, though, so we all learn to seize our moments when we can. I read every morning at breakfast and every night in bed, and I always have a book (and/or my newly-acquired Kindle) with me so I can sneak in some pages whenever the opportunity comes along.

My husband likes to talk about what he'd do if he won the lottery; I already know what would be at the top of my list. Money would free me up from other responsibilities, and buy me time; time for the many books to be started - and finished - and written about! But assuming that doesn't happen, I've just got to get myself back on that reading-and-reviewing streak some other way. I liked it there.


Many thanks to Florinda for visiting Musings of a Bookish Kitty. Be sure and drop visit Florinda at The 3 R's: Reading, 'Riting, and Randomness. If you don't already follow her blog regularly, you should! You can also find Florinda at the Los Angeles Moms Blog.

14 comments:

  1. I enjoyed reading your post, Florinda! These days, I'm content if I'm able to read a book in a week!

    PS: I need to catch up on the HP series! I loved all the movies and I can't wait to read the final installment after watching the latest movie!

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  2. Haha! It is a epiphany we all have isn't it? Once we start blogging, and reading all the other great blogs, we have less time for reading. I think at this point, blogging COULD be a full-time job for me, as my husband keeps reminding me that the house will start to fall apart if I don't drag myself away from the computer. It is great to hear from you Florinda! I really need to get you on my reader!

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  3. This post sounds like me!! I love to read and have a blog, but find that blogging and doing research on writing takes time away from reading.

    I love the "hybrid blog" characterization. Mine has to do with food, but I find I write about everything under the sun. Anyway, I love reading your blog. Thanks for writing it.

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  4. Such a great post! I totally agree with the comment about our lives being a Catch - 22. We love to read and we love to blog. But it takes time to write the book reviews, which takes away from our reading time. Add the reading and commenting on other blogs and it is nearly an impossible task (except I have such fun trying to achieve the impossible!)

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  5. What a great guest post from a lovely blogger. I know exactly how she feels. But we all have similar time constraints and we won't hold that against her, will we?!

    I won't!

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  6. Thanks for the great comments, y'all, and thanks to Wendy for letting me share my thoughts with you! I had a feeling some people could relate to this :-).

    Melody - A book a week is probably my average too, but clearly it's dropped lately :-).

    Sandy - If I could make full-time-equivalent MONEY at it (ha!!), I'd make blogging my job in a minute. I think. Maybe then it would start to feel like work and I'd lose interest...but it would be nice to find out!

    Rita - Nice to meet you! I think I'm going to expand on that "hybrid blogger" idea on my own blog before too long...I need to mull it over some more.

    Molly - I completely agree! It's like we'll never catch up, but we're having a good time trying :-).

    Serena - As usual, you are too kind :-). And it's good to know that I have such good company in the boat with me.

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  7. I like hybrid blogs, because it's nice to read something different. :-D

    I've turned into a comment slacker on my own blog...like everyone else, I don't have enough time for everything, and I've decided that commenting on every comment just isn't doable for me. I'd rather spend the time commenting on other blogs (although I slack at that, too).

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  8. Softdrink - I've thought of replying to comments by e-mail because I think more people would realize I did reply, but I like being more public about it. But you have a point; sometimes I comment less on other blogs because I'm spending the time on my own!

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  9. Hi Wendy, reading blogs take up a lot of my time too. My reading these recent months have really, really suffered. And then, there's photography that I'm dabbling with...

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  10. Alice - Sometimes there really are other things to do besides read. Darn it :-).

    Stacybuckeye - Thanks!

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  11. It can be hard finding a balance. I know it's a constant struggle for me. I feel like my reading has suffered quite a bit this year--but then when I compare it to other years, it's not really a whole lot different. It just feels like I'm dividing my time in so many more ways, I think.

    Thank you all for your wonderful comments. And thank you again, Florinda, for your guest post. I can't tell you enough how much I appreciate you doing this for me.

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  12. Thanks so much for the opportunity to fill in for you, Wendy!

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  13. Florinda, I can so relate to not getting those chunks of time you so desire. I'm my most productive then too. Oh well, we'll keep trying.

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