I wish I could say, “My gosh, get off my back already! I’ve been busy – just got back from the International Space Station. Wow. You’re so … what’s the word? Demanding.”
But let’s be honest. It’s the 25th week of the year and I just found time to post a review for book #18 on my reading list. Pathetic. If I had to face “The Donald” in the boardroom – he’d fire me.
Mr. Trump, not so fast. I can explain!
The best part about being a book blogger is giving coverage to lots of books on my website (cover reveals, author interviews, new release information, excerpts, giveaways, etc.), but a book review is something altogether different.
A book review requires a minimum of 10 hours of my time to sit still and read the book and then sit still some more for about two hours to write the review and prepare the post. So with my 52 books in 52 weeks challenge, I’ve essentially committed myself to a minimum of 12 hours – per week, for every week of the year – to do nothing but sit still and focus on the 85,000 words contained in a particular book. Which would be fine, I suppose, had I kept up and read one per week. But now I’m behind. By like, SEVEN BOOKS. Now what? Where will I find the time? Hello? Housework? Preparing three meals a day for my family of six? My day job? What’s that? Carpools? Maintaining my book blog? Working on my own manuscript? Tweeting?!
(Shhhh… Yes, I just said I was working on a manuscript. A humorous, satirical novel that blows the diaper off the underground world of mommy politics. Sad, I know, the thought of me writing a book. Scary even. Nuns gasp. Little babies cry.)
Could I read faster? Maybe. But I think 10 hours to read a book is a good pace.
Could I write reviews faster? Certainly. But I feel an enormous responsibility to the author when writing a book review so I don’t want to rush it.
And there’s another issue I’ve struggled with lately: I look around at other book blogs that are pumping out book reviews at the speed of light and I look at the review section of Amazon, B&N and Goodreads, I often think, my gosh. Maybe I’m going about this all wrong. No one else is providing book covers, links to the author’s social media sites, the jacket copy, the author’s bio AND a written book review all in one package.
And really? Come on, people. Some of what passes for a book review is ridiculous. “I really liked this book. It was tons of fun!” Really, people? That’s not a book review. That’s a book opinion.
This makes me wonder: Maybe I should scale-down the length of my reviews. Cut back a little. But then my OCD kicks in. (That’s ‘obsessive-compulsive disorder’ for those of you pretending you don’t know.) And yes, I know, I know. ‘OCD’ should be written: ‘CDO’ because letters, like prescription medications, should always be placed in alphabetical order.
My CDO kicks in and I feel compelled to follow the same review format I established at the beginning of the year when I started the blog and had all the time in the world because the only person reading my blog at that time – was my dog.
Okay, FINE. My dog wasn’t reading my blog then either.
But I simply can’t change course mid-year. That’s so… that’s… so. I don’t know. Untidy or something. (Dang that CDO!) So I can’t scale down if I wanted to and I can’t abandon the goal to read 52 books in 52 weeks because, well, I don’t know why. Because I’d probably lose sleep. Or my left eye would begin to twitch and my husband would ask, “Why’s your left eye twitching?” and I’d have to explain.
It’s summer so I’m a bit optimistic. I keep telling myself while losing valuable time driving carpools, “If I can just read 12 books this month … I’ll be in good shape.”
HA! Wish me luck.
Actually, kill me now.
Because it’s not possible.
Why? Because my four kids are home from school for summer vacation so that means pancakes, followed by ‘I’m boreds’ and ‘go clean your rooms’. All day long.
“Ahhhhh!!!!!! Go outside and play in the street! Mommy’s trying to read here!!!”
My gosh! How’d this happen?
First, I blamed February for needing therapy. I left a link to that post at the end of this one if you’re interested in reading about my co-dependent desires to not hurt February’s feelings for only having 28 days. You’ll see a common thread between that post and this one. “Oh my gosh, what have I done? I can’t read 52 books in 52 weeks – I can’t manage to keep up with my ROOTS let alone my reading!”
Blah, blah, blah.
Then, well, um … I haven’t told you about March yet. March forced my family to look mortality in the face. But let’s change the subject. Maybe I’ll post about that tomorrow. Or maybe the next day. Right now the sun is shining and I don’t want the clouds to feel encouraged.
Then came April – National Grilled Cheese Month (so much fun) – that had me hosting 25+ snazzy writers on my book blog. FYI: That amount of daily posting is a blast but organizing all of it can make a blogger go batty. Did I fall behind a little in my April reading because I was busy cutting the cheese? Yup. And I completely forgot to post a re-cap for my participation in the April 23 World Book Night 2013 and my gosh, that was an international event. Why’d I forget to post about that?
Because I suck.
Why are you laughing?
Okay, so then … May flitted in like a pixie on steroids and kicked my *asterisk* when I hosted the Chick Lit Author Blog Hop which linked 25 indie chick lit authors’ blogs together and provided a blog-hopping journey for 1,000+ blog hoppers culminating in a prize package that included a free Kindle and a 25-book starter library for one lucky blog hopper among 682 prize entries. So. Much. Fun. (Really, truly.) But as the hostess, so much work behind the scenes. I hope to do it again really soon. Seriously. I loved it. Finished that project on a Monday and then flew to New York City on Tuesday for a mind-blowing week at BookExpo America (OMGosh, awesome!), the BEA Bloggers Convention (OMGosh, also awesome!) and BookBuzz 2013 (OMGosh, totally awesome!).
I was so exhausted when my return flight landed at 1:45 a.m. I drove home for a few hours of sleep and then headed to my sister’s awesome charity to raise money for Down syndrome research where I merchandised the silent auction and then that night –
Now, I know it sounds like I’m making excuses. But, Donald! Pa-leeeeze don’t fire me; the year’s not over yet. Next week (the week of June 23) begins week 26 of 52 – the halfway point in the year if you’re counting weeks – like I am.
Maybe I’ll rise to the occasion and be super productive that week and read like, EIGHT DANG BOOKS to get caught up. Yeah, right.
Oh, no. Wait. My daughters and I are spending the week in Dover, Delaware at the Catholic Heart Work Camp. That means a week of building wheelchair ramps, repairing houses, painting and hammering things, serving food to the poor and sleeping in a sleeping bag on the floor of a school gymnasium. I get to pop Advil and take showers while wearing my bathing suit and a pair of flip-flops and I certainly won’t have access to my beloved blog and will probably be so exhausted at the end of the day by my saint-like behavior I’ll be too tired to read by flashlight and will instead ‘crash and drool’ on the dirty gym floor.
Maybe Donald’s right. Maybe I should be fired.
Link to the “February Needs Therapy” blog post. (Further proof that I’m pathetic.)Follow @Julie_Valerie