Reading Order: Strict Schedule or On A Whim?
When writing fiction, and especially when participating in NaNoWriMo (If you write, I highly suggest checking that site out!), there’s this idea of Plotters Vs. Pantsers. Basically it’s the idea of how you approach a new manuscript: Do you outline your plot and have a lot of your novel planned out beforehand (Plotter), or do you just fly by the seat of your pants and write as you go (Pantser)? I used to be a major Plotter. I am with a lot of things in my life. But in the past couple of years of doing NaNoWriMo, I’ve become more of a Pantser.
But that idea of flying by the seat of my pants has not carried over to my reading. My review books, and especially my BEA books, all get put in publication order as soon as possible, and I stick to a pretty strict schedule so that I can read all of them and review them right around the publication date. I get a bit crazy with it. Each book has a post-it note attached to the cover with the publication date, the month I should read it, and how I received it. This year, for my BEA books, I even made a chart in my notebook with the title, the publication date, the month I should read it, and the date my review will go up on my blog. I mostly did that this year because I have TONS of books that are being published in September, so I wanted to make sure that, even if I have to review some a little early, the reviews don’t come out more than 30 days before the book is published.
My BEA 2014 books, in order of
publication date (for the most part)
But I find this kind of schedule to be really limiting at times. It means that my poor, sad books that I’ve bought are just sitting there, waiting to be read for who knows how long. And sometimes I just really WANT to read something else. BUT this year, I’m really challenging myself to read and review all of the books I got at BEA this year, and I want the reviews to come out before the publication date. And because I’m a pretty slow reader, this means I really can’t read any other books along with those BEA books–at least not for a while.
I do know there are some bloggers out there, like Jamie from The Perpetual Page-Turner, who are more Pantsers when it comes to reading. Or, as Jamie calls it, a Mood Reader. I would love to be able to read like this. And even when I don’t have tons of BEA books to read, and my TBR pile is mostly comprised of books I’ve purchased, with only a few review books mixed in, I still feel like I kind of have to have an idea of what I’m going to read soon. Obviously, I like to plan. But sometimes I just wish I could just grab a book off my shelves and read it, no matter what the publication date is.
What about you guys? Are you Plotters or Pantsers when it comes to your TBR pile? And do you wish you could be more like the other?