Some of the peculiar pressures faced by book bloggers are to keep track of what's coming out, what people are talking about now, what's going to come out next month, and which books are the Big Books of the Month—like a book-shaped Godzilla stomping our laptops saying, "LOOK AT ME! READ ALL MY PAGES! I AM THE BOOK!"
It can be very easy to get caught up in the pressure and excitement of the newness of books and in the hype surrounding each week's new releases. And in romance, that's a good number of books released every Tuesday. A once-a-week landslide of books is a lovely problem to have if you're an avid reader.
I've been keeping a calendar of book release dates for awhile, especially when I have a review to go with the new book. For example, Longbourn, by Jo Baker, was released yesterday, and while I didn't like it, I knew it might appeal to some of the Bitchery, so I didn't post the review until the book was on sale. Few things are more frustrating for me than trying to remember when I can buy a book if I read about it before it's on sale. I reviewed Longbourn on release day—and sure enough, a few people were curious about it and purchased or requested their own copies from the library.
But I don't necessarily focus solely on new books. We review things that have been on sale for a long time—including what I call "classic romances" that are 15 or more years old. I figure any book that is discovered by a reader is new to them—even if it was published in 2001. Or 1901. Or 1801. (You get the picture.) So whatever we're excited about reading, we'll talk about it. (At length.)
This month, there are three new releases on the review schedule: Jo Baker's Longbourn, The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion—which is my October Book Club Pick—and a book called Parasite by Mira Grant.
With all the new-bookness, I find myself a little exhausted. Newness, for me, brings a bit of pressure. Make sure the book review is posted on the right day, making sure it's mentioned in various location so folks can find it. This is a lovely problem to have, the writing of book reviews on a schedule, but it can make me a bit tired.
I find my antidote to new-book exhaustion is to read something that's not new, but new to me. Sometimes I even tell myself, "You do not have to review this. Go enjoy. No reviewing needed!" but I end up writing a review anyway because I enjoy the story so much I have to share it.
I have a folder on my Kindle of books that are not new but new to me, books that I've been meaning to read for awhile, but haven't gotten around to yet. I know I'm not alone in that feeling of, "Oh, yeah! I've been meaning to read that!" Currently, I'm reading How to Flirt With a Naked Werewolf by Molly Harper. She writes in what I call "first person sarcastic," which I love, and while I thought I was exhausted of paranormals, I am finding myself enjoying the heck out of this book. In fact, I have an afternoon of swim lessons and sitting on the bleachers at the pool for an hour or so today—and I'm looking forward to it, despite the fact that bleachers are among the least comfortable things ever.
What books are on your "Oh, I've been meaning to read that" list? How do you decide what to read next?
Sarah Wendell is the co-creator, editor and mastermind of the popular romance blog Smart Bitches, Trashy Books. She loves talking with romance readers, and hopes you'll share your new favorite romance reading recommendations. You can find her on Twitter @smartbitches, on Facebook, or on her couch, most likely with her eyeglasses turned towards a book.