Motivated to get reading!

It is what you read when you don’t have to that determines what you will be when you can’t help it. -Oscar Wilde

How many books have you been meaning to read and just haven’t had the time? It’s probably because you’re like most of us, battling books of mass distraction; wait, did you get that book by ‘author’s name goes here,’ I have to have it now because ‘insert various reasons here,’ I will read it right after I finish ‘insert number of books here’. You get the point right?

Shortly after starting my bookstagram (on Instagram) account I discovered buddy reads and readalongs. A buddy read is like an informal book club, a few buddies decide to read the same book, make plans to discuss the book at some defined interval (during the reading or at the end, really whatever you decide). A readalong is similar except it’s usually a large number of participants with a reading schedule and discussions usually hosted publicly on a bookstagrammer(s) profile for all participants to comment and engage other readers in the discussion. Confused, don’t be. My idea of both is like a virtual book club (group) of people from various places reading and discussing books together.

Since my IRL (in real life) book club fizzled last year after 10 years, I needed another outlet to read and discuss books and expose me to books I might otherwise not have found or read on my own. Participating in buddy reads (and readalongs) allows me to do so on a regular basis and has been very rewarding. Even if I don’t care for a book, I usually get much more out of my reading experience when exposed to other perspectives. There was one book I read last year and both my buddy and I had an ‘unpopular’ opinion. We didn’t like the characters so we decided to change the narrative a few times during our discussion. At that moment I decided bad books can be good if you read and discuss with the right person. Probably one of the liveliest and most memorable book discussions I’ve had in a long time and a reprieve from a TOME we were reading during a readalong (the book in the picture).

I can finally mark many of my own books off my TBR and sometimes make space for new books, which is always a good thing. Quite a few have been classics, including one BIG book I never would have read on my own left to my own devices (clears throat, can you say War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy). Tackling a huge literary giant like War and Peace is no easy feat, but with some book buddies over an eight week schedule we finished and shared a reading experience I will not forget!

Perks of buddy reads and readalongs

  • Reading the books you already have #shopyourshelf
  • Support and encouragement to keep reading if you think about giving up (accountability)
  • Book friends and connections with other book lovers from all around the world
  • Discovering books you may not have heard of on your own

I’m going to be teaming up with a buddy on Instagram to host a readalong of No Name by Wilkie Collins. More information here if you want to join.

Which books from your shelves have you FINALLY managed to read? How do you manage your never ending TBR and prioritize your reading?

13 thoughts on “Motivated to get reading!

  1. Laila@BigReadingLife says:

    You know what helps me read the books I’ve been meaning to read? Staying on top of my library holds. If I can suspend the holds and keep them at bay for a while, I can catch up on some of the books already on my shelves. It’s the new ones coming in that push those off to the back burner.

    Liked by 1 person

    • booksbythecup says:

      What a great idea! I can manage to do this easily with my audiobook or ebook holds but haven’t been doing so well with my hard copy holds list. I will definitely make a note to do the same. I always feel a sense of dread when a hold I forgot about comes in and I have to get back on the wait list for it because I sometimes don’t have time to fit it in.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Grab the Lapels says:

    I was so frustrated with an endless loop of wanting to read new books I just bought but feeling guilty I hadn’t read old books, so new books slowly became old books and the cycle repeated. At the beginning of 2018, I decide I would read 4 books minimum per month: the oldest on my shelf, the newest on my shelf, a book for my fat characters quest, and one random book in case something strikes me. This has worked SO. WELL. You would not believe how satisfying it is to watch a physical TBR shelf whittle away, especially now that we’re in August. This method has also helped me stop buying so many books. I don’t want to mess up the spreadsheet I created, which buying new books does.

    If you’re looking for some read-a-longs, blogging is the right place! They happen all the time, and it’s easy to get involved. If you would like, I can point out read-a-longs as I see them announced and let you know. The longest one I saw was for reading the entire Anne of Green Gables series (8 books) in 8 months. In 2019, I’m reading a fantasy series that may be a read-a-long. I thought it had 12 books, one for each month, but it has 15, so I need to rethink.

    Liked by 1 person

    • booksbythecup says:

      I love that suggestion! I think I should do the same! I try to read my own books more often (a few years ago I realized I was getting more books from the library after looking at my reading spreadsheet) so I try to make sure I get to more of them than before. I checked and about 50% of the books I’ve read so far this year are books I own.

      BUT, some of them are books I’ve purchased this year. Admittedly the books I’ve purchased are secondhand, classics. So I need to work on the NOT buying part. Since I’ve been reading MORE classics, I can justify getting them and honestly, I think I’ve been doing a bit better. Like read a certain number of books, get rid of a certain number, then I can treat myself to some of the ones on my list.

      I also request/read some review copies of new books from publishers so that’s about 20% of my reading so far. Of course I go to my local library weekly, sometimes twice and that’s about 29% of my reading.

      I’m going to try to do a better job of getting to the older books! Thanks for the feedback.

      Also please point me to some blogger readalongs. I’d love to *try* to host one here! The Anne of Green Gables sounds great since I’ve never read it and I only have the first one (Yes it’s a recent purchase 😂🙈)

      Like

  3. Diana @ Thoughts on Papyrus says:

    Insightful post. I would love to try buddy-reading with someone. None of my family members enjoy books or reading as much as I do, and I find it difficult to find a buddy to read with. I joined goodreads, but I don’t think that helped in this regard. In particular, I tried to find someone to buddy-read “The Night Circus”.

    Liked by 1 person

    • booksbythecup says:

      I really enjoying talking through what I’m reading, I call it processing in another format. I am on Goodreads too, same profile name as the blog so maybe we can compare shelves and see if we have some books in common?

      Buddy reads are a regular feature of my reading so I’d really like to share some of them here on the blog, especially some of the ones I have planned for this year. Would you be interested? If so sounds like I have my next post topic for this week 😉😊

      Liked by 1 person

      • Diana @ Thoughts on Papyrus says:

        Yes, I think I would be. I noticed that you like reading classics and historical fiction. Whatever my blog or goodreads account say, these are actually my top two favourite genres. I read classics constantly, and the only reason I do not review them is because I find it hard to express my thoughts clearly on something I love so much, and also I do not think I can give justice to the greatness of some books in my reviews 🙂 (most classics are also the greatest fiction books ever written).

        Liked by 1 person

      • booksbythecup says:

        I will definitely share. Most of what I have lined up so far are classics so you may have read some of them already. I can include the reading / discussion schedule planned if that would be helpful?

        I’m going to look for you on Goodreads too.

        Liked by 1 person

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