My Reading System

I mentioned in my last post that despite loving Kings of the Wyld I wasn’t going to read the sequel, Bloody Rose for a while.

This is because of two reading rules I have. I know that might sound silly but they are part of my reading system that I have been working on since last year when I properly got back into the habit of reading.

The rules are pretty simple.

  • If I am not enjoying a book, unless it is for a challenge, I give up on the book.

I used to force myself to finish books I really hated. I think this is why I started to see reading as less of a hobby and more of a chore.

The challenge part? I got myself one of those 100 Books Bucket List scratch and reveal posters and made it a goal to read them all. Not all at once, around five a year, maybe more, not quite sure yet.

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  • Don’t read a book of the same genre after finishing another one. Ie don’t read sci-fi after finishing a sci-fi book. With the exception of Non-Fiction.

This is to prevent genre burnout and to encourage me to try new genres every now and then. I’ll explain the exception later on.

I’m not sure about you, but for me, one of the trickiest parts of reading is deciding what to read next. I have mentioned several times my bad habit of buying a bunch of books and never reading them. Well, I have now added two solutions to this issue into my system.

The Seasonal List and the Jar.

As some of you might know, I post my reading lists for each season. What this actually is more like a guideline rather than a to-do list. I try to match books to seasons. For example horror and mystery novels in Autumn.

ce95ac17633c2270e88dde2f278e92bcHowever, sometimes I look at the list for that season and nothing strikes a cord. Maybe I have had my fill of a certain genre or something like that. So, I turn to the jar.

I have a glass jar in my wardrobe in my own little library. I have written the titles of all the books I own as well as “read something blue” or “read a light novel” on strips of paper, folded them into mini books and popped them in the jar. When I am struggling to decide which one to read, I put my fate into the hands of the book gods and pull out a title.

I also like to read two books at the same time. One fiction, one non-fiction. See why the later is excluded from the second rule? Normally the non-fiction is a rather light read, more often than not memoirs. Currently, I am reading Dracula by Bram Stoker and Reading Allowed: True Stories and Curious Incidents from a Provincial Library by Chris Paling

Finally, I keep track of all my reading on Goodreads and my reading bullet journal. I have three bullet journals. My everyday one for tasks, events and notes, one for my job (the new one, not current) and one for reading.

In my reading one, I not only record what I have read but also write little reviews and jot down my favourite quotes. Sometimes I even doodle the characters.

While my system is far from perfect, it is rather helpful for me. It needs a few tweaks every now and then but so far it has motivated me to read more which can’t be a bad thing! It’s all about finding what works for you and lets you get the most out of reading.

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