show and tell sunday

After BBAW [Show and Tell Sunday]

I’m winding down now after joining in the celebration of Book Blogger Appreciation Week. The timing was less than ideal for my participation–I tend to be especially busy at work mid-month, and that’s even more true during the winter and spring months when I’m doing audit prep–but I’m really glad I didn’t decide to opt out! In case you missed it, here’s what I posted:

I met some new bloggers, I reconnected with long-time blogging friends, I left comments and I had conversations on Twitter. The week was everything I could have hoped for (aside from the minor disappointed of not being anyone’s “superlative” anything).

Some of the best posts of the week were Friday’s thoughts on handling burnout, where “let go of guilt/expectations,” “blog how you want,” and “read what you want” were all common threads. The topic inspired me tweet out my Blogger’s Credo and the link to my “Superwoman Is Not A Book Blogger”  post from about a year ago.

I want to ponder further on the “read what you want” idea. I’ve mentioned that I’m on a break from paid reviewing, and since I don’t take review books from many non-paying sources anymore, I guess I’m officially in a phase where all of my reading is “what I want”–theoretically–and I’m trying to figure out how to figure out what I want, if that makes sense.

  • Do I want to read the kinds of books I already know I like?
  • Do I want to read books that other people are talking about?
  • Do I want to read books so I can better understand other things people are talking about?

Basically, do I want comfort food, junk food, food for thought…or a balanced reading diet that includes some of all of it?

I’m probably overthinking it, but I’d like to know what you think: How do you decide what you truly want to read?

A balanced reading diet includes comfort food, junk food, and food for thought, Click To Tweet

I didn’t post here last Sunday, and I thought I’d show you why–I was putting on my best TARDIS gear and hanging out with Whovians at Gallifrey One all last weekend.

eleventh doctor lady tardis gallifrey one 2016


cosplayers gallifrey one 2015

convention ribbons gallifrey one 2016

The ribbons are a convention tradition at “Gally”–a “ribbon scarf” in homage to the Fourth Doctor. My stack in this photo includes ribbons collected at previous events…but not the ones I added on Saturday, as this photo was taken on Friday evening. The end result is more than twice as tall as I am.

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  1. The Doctor Who convention looks amazing.

    I read whatever catches my eye. It is usually a mix of all your categories based on my mood.

    1. I highly recommend that all Dovtor Who fans attend a fan convention at least once. (And we will be skipping Gally 2017 due to other plans, so there will be at least two tickets available!)

      I feel like my reading has tilted a little too much toward “food for thought” lately, and I’m trying to figure out how to mix it up better.

      (And how have we not met before‽? I just added you to my Feedly. Hi!)

      1. I’m not sure how we have missed each other. I met a lot of new people through BBAW who I can’t believe it didn’t know. I added you to my feedly too.

  2. That is a very good question, Florinda, and I’ll be honest I don’t know if I, or anyone else for that matter, really have an answer. Of course, I’ll still try. 🙂 I do look through what others are talking about and select choices from there. Sometimes that work, sometimes it doesn’t. I do read what I like: murder mysteries, but this year I think I’ve read one so far and have been reading a lot more nonfiction and many of the recommendations I’ve been receiving, and seeing, are for nonfiction books. In fact, this morning I put another one on hold based on a mention of it by another blogger in The Sunday Salon…I think I want a balanced diet, but that doesn’t always happen. Right now the balance is leaning toward nonfiction, but I’m okay with that.

    1. I’ve done a lot of nonfiction recently too, but my most satisfying read of the last couple of months was a novel. During the last few weeks, I’ve been reading books I felt I *should* read because they’re somehow important–and I’m glad I’ve done it, but I’m not sure those really are “*want*-to-reads.” If that makes sense. I think I’ll be hashing this over for a bit. Thanks for your help!

  3. I didn’t get the chance to do BBAW superlatives this week, but if I had you most certainly would have been on my list as best BEA travel companion and best blogger to bounce ideas off of (especially rants!) 🙂

    The question of what to read next shouldn’t be hard, but it really is. I sometimes think I’ve lost track of how to identify what I want to read because I’m often thinking about what I “should” read or what I could pick that fits into some of the reading goals I’ve set for myself. It seems like such a silly thing to say, I don’t know how to pick what I want to read, but it often feels true. So, I get where your coming from on that one.

    1. I’ll happily take those, and I’m excited about being BEA travel companions again this year :-D!

      You’re definitely getting where I’m coming from. I feel like “*should* reading” is much bigger than “books someone sent for review”–and that subcategory, for me, is a far less complicated “should.” I think it’s how reading fits into our larger goals–widening our interests, exploring, deepening our understanding, the occasional escape–that makes it hard to figure out what we really WANT sometimes.

      Thanks for helping me bounce this idea around! 🙂

      1. Yes, exactly. Reading fills lots of gaps and spaces in our lives, so it can sometimes (often?) be hard to identify which of those gaps we’re trying to fill and then which book to grab that actually fills that need. I want to be reading everything, but that’s sadly impossible 🙂

        1. It sadly is, even when you juggle several books at once! Part of it is probably the too-much-choice paradox, and part of it may be that sometimes I just really want a book to call out to me and make the choice for me :-).

  4. I need a balance in what I read and I can usually tell when it’s time to swing to some comfort reading — it’s when I get irritable! But I also love to read to learn and if I’m not doing that, I feel unsatisfied.

    What fun photos from “Gally” — I love your outfit and the woman dressed as a darlek.

    1. There were some excellent Daleks at Gally, but that LEGO Twelfth Doctor was probably my favorite cosplay of all!

      It sounds like you have a good instinctive sense of how to balance your reading, and you know how to let it direct you.

  5. Totally missed BBAW this year. I love all your posts!

    I choose what I am going to read so far in advance because of the books I am sent for review but I try to pick 1 book a week from my huge TBR stack that I have accumulated over the years.

  6. It looks like you had a great time last weekend! I saw some of the pics when you posted them. Hope you have a great weekend and week ahead!

    1. We had a good time! This was the first year we brought ribbons to trade, and that made the collecting even more fun. I really wanted to enjoy it since we won’t be going next year (which means 2017 will probably be when they FINALLY get David Tennant as a guest!).

  7. Love the Doctor Who Convention photos, Florinda. My husband and I are almost caught up to where we left off with the show and are on the sixth season. I like to think I do read what I want even when I’m reading review books, but really I suppose that isn’t quite true. I only accept books for review that I want to read and would read even if they weren’t review books, but would I read them when I do if I was choosing what to read randomly? Hmm. Something to think about.

    1. I think you make a good point about timing, Wendy–it’s probably as much a question of what you want to read at a particular time as it is about what you want to read, period. More to think about!

      If you’re on season 6, you have yet to meet the Twelfth Doctor. I needed some time to get used to him, but now he may be my second favorite (Ten will always be my first!).

  8. What a great way to think about the books that you want to read versus the ones that you think you should read. I think it’s probably a little of both–my reading is heavily influenced by other bloggers (as in they’re the ones bringing the books to my attention), but I don’t usually read something solely because I feel like I should. I think part of it is because with three little kids, my time really is all about choices and I try to make the ones that will bring me the most joy. BUT, I do still try to read widely! I’m reading a lot of diverse graphic novels this month and listening to Boys in the Boat. Not your typical housewife eating bonbons while watching soap operas fare. 😉

    By the way…I haven’t mentioned it yet, but LOVE the new look you have on WP!! feels familiar but it’s also very clean. Hope you had a smooth move over here!

    1. Thanks, Trish! I had a VERY smooth move to WP and Book Host, and cannot say enough good things about my WP guru Ashley/NoseGraze! The theme I’m using is one of hers, and the move was a great excuse to clean things up around here :-).

      And for the record, I would NEVER think of you as a bonbon-eating, soap-watching housewife :-).

  9. Whenever I read what I want, I tend to keep to my own books. Since I have scrubbed them over the years, I feel comfortable blindly selecting any book from my shelves. I also play Russian roulette book-style and will use a random number generator to select my book for me (the number corresponds to the row on an Excel file I have of all my unread books). Lately, I have been selecting two or three books, reading the first chapter of each, and determining which one I most want to keep reading. All three methods provide me a pretty eclectic mix of comfort food, junk food, and food for thought.

    1. It makes sense that your “reading what you want” selections would come from your own books, because that’s probably why you acquired them, and regular “scrubbing” should ensure you’ve cleared out anything you no longer feel like you want. I’ve tried the randomizer approach to picking books, but since I have a tendency to rationalize rejecting the picks I get that way, it doesn’t exactly work for me.