Thursday, February 11, 2016

Drowning in Books

In 2015 I read more books then I ever have before.  I set a goal to read 100 books and also made it a goal to buy fewer books and use the library more.  Final tally for 2015 was 106 books – I was thrilled.  Totally rocked that goal.  And for eight months I successfully reduced my book purchases to ten books from January through August.

Then I discovered BookOutlet and the flood gates opened.  From Sept through the end of the year I bought 91 books.  I obviously didn’t notice that at the time, but it’s so easy to go overboard at BookOutlet.

This year I’m struggling with quite the slump.  I read four books in January.  Not horrible, but a tiny number for me.  I’ve started seven other books and just not picked them up again once I’ve put them down.  I’ve started to wonder if I’m dealing with “Decision Fatigue”.

Is everyone familiar with the phrase “Decision Fatigue”?  I started reading about it a couple years ago.  Basically as you make more and more decisions your brain gets tired and doesn’t think everything through.  Numerous studies have shown the affect of decision fatigue on everything from what to wear to the decision of judges to how it disproportionately affects the poor.

I’m starting to wonder if having too many book options is making it harder for me to choose what to read next AND making it more difficult to commit and focus on a book once I’m reading it.  I seriously bought an entire years worth of reading material last year when I probably already had that on my selves.  Not to mention ebooks from the library I can borrow with the push of a button.  There’s just always another option for reading material and I’m starting to think my brain is refusing to choose.

I think another issue for me is that my go-to genre is Women’s Fiction followed closely  by Contemporary YA.  These fly off my shelves almost immediately and what’s left are genres I enjoy but don’t gravitate too.  There’s also a fair amount of books outside my comfort zone to stretch my reading experience.  Once I’ve read my Women’s Fiction and Contemp YA, I spend a lot of time staring at my book asking, “What am I in the mood for?”.  All of the books on my shelves sound amazing, but whether I love them or not depends on if I’m in the right mood when I pick them up.

I did break my slump a little this weekend (by reading a ton of Women’s fiction books on Kindle).  I’m just trying to come up with a strategy to tackle the analysis paralysis when it comes to choosing my next ‘out of the box’ read.

Anyone else dealing with this?  I definitely welcome any ideas to move on.