Sunday, June 30, 2019

2019 Mid-Year Reading Update

Halfway through the year is a good time to reflect on how the year is going and how it compares to the previous year.

In April, I wrote about motivation struggles.
I have had a particularly stressful school year due to a textbook adoption that didn't go well.  The stress has really caught up with me, so I am running on fumes for these last six weeks of school.

I mention this so that you know why I lose motivation.  I am still motivated just enough to keep writing reviews, but that motivation has decreased substantially...

...I do know that at least several dozen people greatly appreciate my reviews.  I just wish that my reviews resulted in more interaction than just one or two people making short comments.  Quite often, the reviews receive no comments.

After the next two or three years, I likely will not continue to write reviews.  I figure by then that I will run out of new series books to read.  Once I begin revisiting books that I have already reviewed, I will not bother to write anything.  For now, I'll keep going, but I am getting tired of it.
When I wrote that passage, I had no idea how bad it would get.  I came down with an awful virus on May 10 which caused complete voice loss.  I was unable to talk during the last two weeks of school.  School ended on May 23, but my torture continued.  I could not talk until around June 10.  My hoarseness finally went away around June 20.  That was a horrible experience.  Even now, my voice is a little weaker than it should be and cracks at times, although most people would not notice anything.

With everything that has happened in recent months, my interest in publishing reviews continues to be rather low and does appear to be further diminishing.  I can also see by my reading progress to this point in the year that I am reading at a slower pace than in each of the previous five years.

2014:  262 books
2015:  231 books
2016:  355 books
2017:  403 books
2018:  315 books

So far in 2019, I have read 114 books.  If I keep that pace, I will read 228 books by the end of the year.  Yes, that is still a fabulous number of books to read in one year, but it does show that my pace is dropping off.

It should be noted that my reading pace has not dropped off quite as much as it appears.  I struggled with many of the Wildfire and Sweet Dreams books that I read before I broke off reading those books.  I began reading the Dana Girls series and that went well up until #17 which bored me completely.  I abandoned that book and switched to modern teen dystopian books.  I found some really good ones, but I also also struggled with others.  I am having problems with lots of books.

All told, I have partially read 25 to 30 books that do not count in my list of 114 books read so far this year.  I read from 30 to 40 pages up to around half of each of those 25 to 30 books.  What I read from those books is equivalent to at least a dozen books.  I cannot count partial books as books read.

Currently, I am trying to get back into the Dana Girls series.  I struggled with #18 because it is too implausible and bored me.  I have barely started #19, but it seems to be written in a fashion that appeals to me much more than either #17 or #18 did.

I have to wonder who exactly really wrote the Dana Girls books from #17 and up.  I am aware that Harriet Adams supposedly wrote those stories, but I have doubts.  Some books credited to Harriet Adams were likely written by other people.  The books vary in tone.  I suspect that the books that aren't as good are the ones more likely written by Harriet.

That sounds bad, and I want to point out that I am a strong supporter of Harriet Adams' contributions to series books and the Stratemeyer Syndicate, more so than most people.  I feel that she doesn't get enough credit for what she did.  However, that doesn't change the fact that she wrote some pretty bad books.

Hopefully, I can continue with the Dana Girls series.  If so, then reviews might get posted regularly.  I am slowing down the posting of reviews again because I didn't get far with Sweet Dreams and the Dana Girls reading is in doubt as well.  I don't want to publish the Sweet Dreams and Dana Girls reviews that I have written until I figure out whether I will be able to do the rest.  Keep your fingers crossed that The Winking Ruby Mystery goes well.  If so, I might be able to continue with the Dana Girls.  After that, I will try to motivate myself into continuing with the Sweet Dreams series.


Our Olive Green Home said...

I love the Dana girls and hope to collect more. I hope you will feel like reviewing these. Hope you're feeling better soon. I teach also and know the cost of a lost voice in the classroom.

mousecliffe said...

I also hope you continue to read and review the Dana Girls. Some of them have pretty wacky plot lines. Are you reading the originals or the re-writes?
Sorry I can't comment on the Wildfire books - I am a generation or two older and never read them as a teenager.
I'll try to keep more on top of the comments. I often don't because I'm not familiar with many of the books from the later '70's through to the present.
Hope you are feeling better. The same crud has been running through everyone where I work.
No voice is no good.

Jennifer White said...

I am reading through the original set. In several cases, I have read half of a book and then quit. I want to do all the reviews, but I'm going to have to find a way to motivate myself. I wrote reviews for #1-11 back in May, so at least I have done some of them.