Saturday, September 26, 2020

When Pressed for Reading Time

Let's be real: I'm short on time these days. This is my first blog post on here in e o n s. I barely have time to check my email, let alone send replies. Squeezing in my editing work around my full-time grocery store job leaves me minimal time for writing and social media posts. So reading? It's (sadly) at the very, very bottom of my priority list.

Reading is still a very valuable pastime to me, though! It's still edifying and entertaining, but ... I am learning that I do read differently when I'm pressed for time. Because when I've got time for maybe 10 books in a year instead of 50+, things are bound to change a little, right?

What I'm Reading

Historical fiction. I think we all know by now that it's my favorite genre and always will be. (If this is news to you, welcome to the Abi-love-his-fic club. Please send recommendations.) I want to soak up other cultures and other times and learn new things about history all while enjoying a good story!

Powerful themes. Confession: I will read a bad book if it has good themes. And by "good" themes, I don't mean that they have to be mindblowing or super unique. They instead need to be a well-written arc in the book and speak to me for where I'm at in life right now.

No-fluff plots. The faster a story engages me and hints at the grandeur of a plot left to unfold, the better. I love complexity and long books just as much as ever, so this doesn't mean I want short or shallow. I just really appreciate intentionality. 

Standalones. While I just bought myself a 13-book series for my bookshelves ... I hesitate to invest in a series these days. A couple hundred pages? Sure. A couple thousand pages? Eh ... Standalones hold more appeal for me than ever simply because I have less time to spare.

What's Changed

More DNFs. The amount of books I start and read only a page or (if they're lucky) a chapter of these days is so vast that I don't even bother listing them all on Goodreads. Because it's not always the book's fault if it didn't click with me at this precise moment.

Fewer genres. Most of the books I DNF (do not finish) these days aren't what I typically read anyways. And most of the books I do end up finishing? Yep, historical fiction.

More editing. As my editing business continues to grow, I get paid to read more books than before. While it's still a side business, it's also still my dream job. So paid editing having higher numbers than my casual reading is new, but it's also okay. Just because I'm editing a book doesn't mean it can't be an enjoyable read at the same time.

Fewer reviews. I hate this, but it's true. I try to make sure the books I actually finish go on Goodreads. But reviewing them? It's not a common occurrence these days, which is a pity for everyone, I know. Even when I do review them, it's super-duper short (almost more like an endorsement) than it is thorough and detailed and organized. Oh well ...


Truth be told, I just realized I hadn't blogged in eight months, even though I've been intending to for a while. Apparently, I can still only go without talking at length about books for so long!

How did your reading habits change during this pandemic season? Any recommendations now that you have some insight into my adjusted reading habits?