June 29, 2015

The Picky Pledge || Quarterly Check-in #2

Some of you might be wondering - what in the world is The Picky Pledge? Well, it's this fun partnership between Hannah of So Obsessed With & I, where we hold each other accountable for the books we acquire this year. For more details, you should check out the introduction post!

The second quarter of 2015 is almost over, which is pretty dang mind-blowing. When we were chatting one day, Hannah and I agreed that it might be fun & helpful to share an update on The Picky Pledge, so y'all can see how it's going, the lessons we've learned and what we plan to improve in the next quarter. (But I also track my progress via a page I created, so you can take a look at that too if you want a more in-depth look at things.)

For this section, we drew on some inspiration from our original stats post earlier in the year. Specifically, we updated our source breakdown and our book buying breakdown charts with the information from this year up until this particular month.

Well, well, so far, it looks like I've managed to be pretty balanced still between reading books for review, that I own or that I've borrowed. However, I can see that I'm starting to lean towards one particular type of read (review books) and have duly noted that I might be in danger of letting the chart shift in favor of it. 

I'm still quite happy with my stats here! I've read just about half of the books I've bought still, which pleases me to no end. I'm hoping to make it a 75-25 ratio by the end of the year, so wish me luck!

1. The library is great, but being smart about borrowing books is greater. Instead of availing of all the books ever (which I was guilty of in the first quarter), I've been pickier about the stuff I borrow or put on hold. In general, I've been borrowing 1-3 books every few weeks or so, and I've been reading them sooner rather than later!

2. There's merit in having shelf space dedicated to your TBR pile. I recently reorganized my shelves, and put ALL of my to-read pile (review and non-review) on a smaller one that's now in my bedroom. It's been easier for me to see what reading options I've got, and reminds me that I have plenty enough books on my plate without adding more.

3. The book budget helps. Having a set amount dedicated to the purchase of new books has certainly improved my shopping habits. Whenever I'm browsing bookstores (online or in real life), I'm constantly calculating to see if the books I'm considering buying are going to fit within the budget. It definitely helps me stay picky and prioritize!

1. Patience is key. I have an unhealthy habit of wanting to buy new books on the day of their release, even when I'm not sure I want to read them. I've slowly been training myself to be more patient, reminding myself I can buy the book at a later time or even borrow it from the library. (This also happens to be applicable to books for review.)

2. Boredom browsing needs to be busted. Hannah actually mentioned this in her first check-in, and I can't help but agree. I've gotten guilty, especially lately, of browsing through Netgalley, Edelweiss or bookstores because I'm bored. It's all too easy to click request or buy when I do this, acting purely on instinct and not a conscious, deliberate choice. I'm weaning myself off the habit, but definitely think there's room for improvement. 

3. Don't let your sentiment dictate your decision. I'm admittedly guilty of reading things because I feel (a) obligated, (b) it will be a foot in the door, (c) like I'm missing out on something everyone has loved or (d) like I owe it to my friends. It's led to some questionable reading experiences (though there have definitely been good ones too)! I think it's most important to read what I want to read, so I shouldn't let feelings get in the way.


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