Thursday, June 12, 2008

Working The Mojo

2008 has turned out to be a very unproductive reading year so far. Because I'm a colossal dork organized, I've been keeping track of my reading for the last several years. 2008 isn't shaping up to be very pretty. As of today I've read a total of 29 books. Now let's compare that to years past:

2007 = 34
2006 = 38
2005 = 51

2005 was a bit of an anomaly, given that I finished up the year reading a grand total of 105 books. That's a personal best, and I haven't been able to duplicate it since. I would say my average is somewhere in the neighborhood of 75/year. Which really isn't that terrible. That is more than a book a week - which isn't anything to sneeze at.

I have no idea what my problem is this year. The irony is that my reading quality has gone way up! So far I've given 9 books an A rating this year. That's unheard of for me. In comparison, in 2007 I read only 3 books that I gave A status to. Seriously. And going down the line? 2008 has seen 9 A, 10 B, 9 C and 1 D. So yeah, it's not like I'm reading crap. I'm reading some pretty darn good books. If I was slogging through garbage I could understand my numbers being down - but damn, quality usually means I read faster, not slower!

However, I'm thinking I might have turned a corner. Hopefully. So far this month I've read 6 books. Yeah - 6. And it's only June 11th. I largely have Sybil to thank for this, since she declared it Harlequin Historical month over at TGTBTU. HH's are my "comfort reads." That means that as long as they're a C or higher I can usually plow through one in 1-2 days.

I don't know why I keep forgetting this. Every slump I've ever found myself in? I pull myself right out of it the minute I zip through an HH. That's usually all it takes for me. I just need to remember this from now on. Feeling a little blue? Feeling a bit crispy? Hit your HH stash Wendy and get reading!

Which has me wondering? Anyone out there have a surefire sub-genre or "line" that can pull them out of the reading doldrums? Or am I the lone freak in the corner? Sigh, again.


Katiebabs a.k.a KB said...

Have you tried Harlequin's Spice line? I have found those books to be oh so good, especially with Sarah McCarty.
Also I loved their NEXT line, but they got rid of it :(

CindyS said...

Uh, no. I'm on month 6 of reading slump. Sometimes I have to push myself and try and new author. I'm excited about Jessica Andersen's Nightwalker book but I have to wait until Monday to read it.

Stuff just keeps getting in the way!


Amy said...

I'm not reading as quick as I'd like to, and don't have any numbers to look back on (cuz I really suck at keeping track). The way I pull myself out of a slump is by usually hitting a straight mystery or suspense -- Lisa Scottoline or Patricia Cornwell.

And, really, I've got so many Harlequin books, you think I'd dive right into those for the sheer "quickie" factor.

Anonymous said...

Yes, all us avid readers have slumps but mine are usually caused by outside forces--the press of work, home, family. Right now I can't get much reading done because I'm remodeling my baths. Do you have any idea how many decisions you have to make!!!--floor tile, bath tile, bathtub, lighting fixture, medicine cabinets, cabinets, countertops, faucets, towel holders, toilet paper holders, grout colors, paint colors, etc. All of these have to match and they all cost a fortune so you can't make any mistakes--sorry, I don't like that grout color, scrap it out and start again. HA. Stress and shopping really cut down your reading time.

azteclady said...

My reading slumps rarely last more than ten days to a couple of weeks *knocking on wood* and usually changing genres helps--if that fails, I re-read something I know I like.

Here's hoping both Wendy and CindyS get over the slumps and into "yay, new books, more books!" territory asap.

Have a good weekend, everyone!

Laura said...

Give me a good Scottish warlord and it'll pull me out of any funk I've gotten myself into.

Anonymous said...

I usually read the first 3 or 4 pages of several books and the first that makes me want to read more of is the one I go with right then. Not answer really :(

I have been reading very slow this year and don't see it improving very soon. Like you I have been reading good books but I just keep plugging along


Wendy said...

Katie: Ha! I actually was questioning Harlequin's sanity until I read Megan Hart's Dirty. Up until that point? Wasn't all that impressed with Spice. To be fair, I still have to read the McCarty western.....

Cindy: Pesky "Real Life," always getting in the way...

Amy: Yeah, I like to pick up Harlequins when I'm in a slump because of the "quickie" factor. But, I also have found straight suspense does that trick too. It takes me back to my "first love" - which is mystery.

Anon: Everyone I've ever known who has done a home remodeling project comes out of the experience slightly unhinged.

AL: Rereading? What's that? LOL - my TBR guilt usually keeps me from it.

Laura: You've got the Scots, and I've got the cowboys :D

Barbs: I've always been a slow reader, but this year? Dang, I'm taking forever. And I'm reading good books - so maybe I'm just getting lazier in my old age?

Nikki said...

My perk-me-up has always been Harlequin Presents. But now I am adding Silhouette Desire books, too. I think it is the quickie factor of them (cuz, you know, quickies aren't always a bad thing).

Sir-Ox-A-Lot said...

Hmm...I really don't know anything about that Harlequin stuff, but for something really informational, I recommend Jeff Doyle's Routing TCP/IP, it is a classic.

Wendy, I am sure you are so happy I found your blog.


Alie said...

I've read 30ish books this year so far. Don't worry, you're not the only dork keeping track :)

azteclady said...

Wendy, I get the TBR mountain guilt factor, I do (even though mine is but a tiny fraction of yours)

On the other hand, if you are not reading at all, isn't re-reading to jump start your new book reading better than simply suffering pangs of guilt? :grin:

Wendy said...

Ox: I am exceedingly happy you found my blog. Doesn't mean I'm reading the TCP/IP book anytime soon though. Or, like, ever LOL

Rosie said...

May sucked for reading for me. I think I read 11 books. I say that because I still have done my list. I have the books stacked but uncounted.

So far in June I've read ZERO. Graduation, cooking, shopping, and freakin' scrapbook are all D-O-N-E. I feel a binge coming on.