The Sunday Salon: Required Reading

I think I need to stop saying yes to book blog tours and advanced reading copies that I’m obligated to review. Not that I haven’t received and read some wonderful books for these obligatory events – but I find myself scheduled to read several books for this or that event, for my face-to-face book group or a Library Thing group read, and before I know it I have no time to read books that I choose in my own time frame. And if I’m not liking a book I’ve signed up to “tour,” I don’t feel I can abandon it part way through if I’m not liking it. And then, I HAVE to write a review. I have two books this week to read and review, a book for my book group in two weeks that I’m not looking forward to, two books for blog tours in April … OK, this is feeling too much like school.

Now don't get me wrong, I think the tours and group reads are just wonderful events - I'm not knocking them at all. I'm just dissing my own inability to say NO and to achieve some balance in my reading enjoyment.

The reading challenges I signed onto this year are mostly made up of books on my shelves that I’ve been wanting to read anyway, and there’s no time requirements, other than by the end of 2010 (and, really, it’s not a requirement, just a goal). So I don't feel bogged down by those at all - in fact, I really want to get back to them!

Here's what I'm looking forward to reading in my leisure in the next few months:

  • Home by Marilynne Robinson
  • The Red Convertible by Louise Erdrich (short stories)
  • Death Comes for the Archbishop by Willa Cather
  • Sacred Hunger by Barry Unsworth
  • Atonement by Ian McEwan
  • Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel
  • The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
  • The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver (a re-read)
What about you? What's on your reading list for the spring (autumn to those of you down under)? Do you get bogged down with books you have to read?

Oh, and Happy Spring to those of you in the northern hemisphere! I hope you're enjoying some beautiful spring weather and flowers. The apple tree is beginning to blossom here.


Laura said...

You've described exactly why I never quite got on the ARC bandwagon! I didn't like the commitment and at the time I was also over-committed on challenges. I'm always trying to strike the right balance between "required" and "mood" reading.

Love the graphic in your post ... it's fitting!

Diane said...

Terri....your post and the "ball and chain" to the book made me think: "I could have written this post". I feel EXACTLY the same way. And beginning April 1, (except for (1) tour I committed to, I am going "tour free" and reading only what I want to read.

Sheila (Bookjourney) said...

I agree with you 100% I too have been stepping back from the tours unless it is a book I really have been wishing to read.

I will see a review on a blog of a book I am just dieing to read and sadly the book will have been on my shelf for months but I have not had time to read it due to the commitments I have made. :)

Love the picture by the way!

beastmomma said...

I agree with you as well. For me, I have been trying to meet knew people in my new home. One thing I like to do is read, so I have joined FOUR book clubs in the hope of making friends. As a result, I am constantly scrambling to finish the selections and do not have time to read anything else. Once I figure out which two I like best, I think my reading load will get lighter. For your reference, here is my Sunday Salon post: