Sunday, March 20, 2011

Sunday Salon - I'm a ReadAlong Freak

My name is Patti.
And I'm a ReadAlong-aholic.
There.  I've admitted it.
1st step to recovery.

Have I mentioned that I love ReadAlongs?????  As much as I love blogging, reviewing, reading other reviews, comments and commenting, the ReadAlong is a guarantee that there's somebody else out there reading the same thing I am at the same time...and that we'll meet back together at some pre-assigned time to talk about it.
I just love that!!!
I do not need to recover from the ReadAlong format itself...I need to recover from how many of the damn things I sign myself up for :/

I read a tweet of a fellow blogger's yesterday...she was upset about a different issue, but she said "as much as I love blogging, why can't I just be chill about it!?" 
That's exactly my problem with ReadAlongs...When a ReadAlong opportunity comes along, I act as if it's the last time anybody anywhere is going to read that particular book...and if I don't join in, I'll never get another opportunity to read that book nor talk with others about it.
And yes, I've always had this kind of personality.  I am a talker...a socializer...and I don't have any friend Missie says, "Why should I read your blog? I hear all your stories first thing every morning after we arrive to work?" :/

The problem with signing up for so many ReadAlongs is that I forget.  Then, the hosting blogger posts the 1st assigned posting and I'm scrambling around to catch up.  Or, I have a harried couple of days where I'm not reading and commenting much and don't realize I'm behind until 3-4 weeks in...that's really frustrating.  Or, the worst thing of all, not realizing I'm behind until the final post goes up...that's when I really feed like a slacker.

Right now I'm reading The United States of Arugula, Affinity, Villette, A Doll's HouseWar and Peace and Jane Eyre as a part of ReadAlongs.  Those are the only ones I can remember anyway.  The only one I'm sitting pretty in is Jane Eyre...because it just started.  I'm not behind on Affinity yet because it doesn't start until next Monday.  I'm behind on the rest of them.

I have noticed some trends about myself though...and I'm going to use these emerging trends to redirect myself a little (sorry, but the PhD thing is a curse I can't shake).
I do much better with slow ReadAlongs...the ones where we read slowly and stop at certain points to wait on anyone else who's reading.  I'm a stewer and a thinker as much as a socializer so that gives me time to pause and savor what I've read so far.  For some reason I haven't been tempted to read ahead yet.  I know that other bloggers don't like the slow pace of some ReadAlongs because of a need to keep reading.  I actually enjoy a little break and may fly through another quick read in between...again, just personal preference.   Before I started blogging about books I was a monogamous book at a time.  I actually was blown away by all the book bloggers who talked about the bookS they were reading at the same I do it too.   Especially with a dense piece of literature, a little break between courses to cleanse the palate is sometimes a very good thing.

I also tend to stay on track with my reading when I have a schedule for myself.
Even with reading multiple books, I have to have some kind of structure...not a suffocating kind of structure...but I NEED little gates around myself to keep me from being distracted by other shiny things.  I WANT to read all the books out there and to read them and discuss them with others...I ENJOY that part of my I have to make that part of life a priority...but at the same time not another responsibility.  Does that make sense?  Probably not.
Over the last couple of days I've added my ReadAlong commitments to my day planner...with everything else that happens in my life... I put the ReadAlong discussion dates on the monthly pages of my day planner so I can see how those planned discussions work with the rest of my schedule.  I can use that schedule to keep up but also to decide realistically if I should commit myself to another ReadAlong I'm contemplating.  For example, if a ReadAlong discussion is scheduled to occur on my firstborn's graduation day in May, I won't sign up for it because I probably won't be forming coherent sentences that day much less thinking straight...I'm sure I will be a blubbering mess.
Anyway, you get the picture.

I have high hopes for my new plan; we'll see how it works. 
Until next Sunday...


  1. I love readalongs too, but I'm much better at unofficial readalongs - i.e., I see that you (or someone) just read a book that I just read, and then I go crazy with emails back and forth talking about the book! It's not on purpose, but works out great - we both read at our own pace, and we both want to discuss it, because bloggers after all love to discuss books, and it's great fun!

  2. I've done two readalongs and I've discovered that I'm not good at keeping with someone else's reading schedule. For one of them I read ahead, for the other I was about a month behind. I think the only way I'll do another readalong is if it is a book that I've always wanted to read.

  3. I swear, I don't know how you keep up with multiple books. I can barely keep up with one at a time.
    I love to read but I don't want to be on any schedule. Good luck with all of it!

  4. Sounds like you need to find a 12 step program for read along addicts.

  5. rhapsody, the unofficial readalong sounds really never entered my mind to email :/

    Alyce, I don't sign up for them unless it's a book I really want to read...problem is right now there are so many I've missed out on and I want to read them all...

    Paula, I just use the schedule so I won't's like scheduling an afternoon with a friend that you keep forgetting...I want to participate in the is really the ONE thing I do just for me.

    Jenners, sign me up ;)

  6. I'm mostly a monogamous reader - sometimes I read a novel and something clinical but that's pretty much my limit. Or a novel at my bedside and a different paperback kept in my beach bag.

    So what exactly is a ReadAlong? I've long wanted to read War & Peace ( oy, but all those Russian names to keep up with) so maybe I'll check one out.

    I loved Villette, by the way. Believed to be largely, or at least somewhat, autobiographical. I read The Secret Diaries of Charlotte Bronte where her real life experience (as pieced together by what is known) is told in novel form. A wonderful read.

  7. P.S. I'd like to hear your take on South of Broad. I lived in Charleston for a bit and discovered it's significance.

  8. Yogurt, a ReadAlong is like a book club, except it's online. It can be done in many ways but my favorites are like the War and Peace one I'm participating in right now...a heavy text spread out over an appropriate length of time with discussions planned at intervals between the starting date and the ending date. The War and Peace one is a year long ReadAlong - War and Peace has 365 chapters so it kinda worked out for 365 days :)

    Some ReadAlongs are less formal...everybody reads the same book one month and meets up to post their reviews...and can be more formal...weekly postings with questions from the book blogger who is organizing that particular ReadAlong. Lots of different ways to do it; you just have to find your comfort zone :)

    I'm way behind on Villette and am disappointed but I really want to finish it.

    I'm working on South of was a loooonnnnnnggggg drawn out story with soooo many issues...I hope to finish my review soon.

  9. I have the same personality and it gets me in trouble constantly! That is why I never participate in the blog swap things. I would commit to all of them with great intentions and then never mail a single gift out.

  10. Debbie, I signed up for two of those book swaps...I was late mailing them of course...but I did get them mailed...except to the wrong people :/ My choices were pretty specific for each person the books were intended so it was very obvious. I ended up sending both ladies another gift package bc I felt like such a doofus...Both were incredibly nice about it though and even sent me back more happies :)