By Popular Demand…My Reading Schedule

I mentioned in my monthly wrap-up that I thought that my reading schedule deserved the credit for me reading 22 books in May, even with BEA and BEA prep. What I didn’t expect when I mentioned this was HOW MANY people would be really interested and want to know more about my reading schedule.

Since I aim to please here at Devourer of Books, I thought I’d give you all a sneak peek at my May and June schedule. I’m sure some of you would be horrified at the thought of scheduling your reading like this, but so far it seems to be working quite well for me. Go ahead and take a look (you can see what is coming up in June and the beginning of July!), and then at the bottom of this post I’ll talk about what I did and why, and how it is working for me.

Week Title Author #pages Tentative review date Actual review date
May 3-May 9 The Threadbare Heart Jennie Nash 5/5/2010 5/5/2010
Daughters of the Witching Hill Mary Sharratt 5/10/2010 5/10/2010
Girl in Translation Jean Kwok 5/12/2010 5/12/2010
House Rules Jodi Piccoult 5/14/2010 5/14/2010
Peace Like a River Leif Enger 5/29/2010
Wolf Hall – section 5 Hilary Mantel N/A
0
May 10-May 16 Saving CeeCee Honeycutt Beth Hoffman 5/18/2010 5/18/2010
Queen of Palmyra Minrose Gwin 5/20/2010 5/20/2010
Post-Birthday World Lionel Shriver 5/28/2010 5/28/2010
Wolf Hall – section 6 Hilary Mantel 5/24/2010 5/24/2010
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn Betty Smith NA
0
May 17-May 23 Confessions of Catherine De Medici C.W. Gortner 5/26/2010 5/26/2010
31 Bond Street Ellen Horan 6/1/2010 6/1/2010
Love in a Time of Homeschooling Laura Brodie 6/3/2010 6/3/2010
0
May 24- May 30 BEA (let’s be honest, no time for reading)
Motherhood is Murder (for the plane ride out) Diana Orgain 6/7/2010
0
May 31-June 6 The One That I Want Allison Winn Scotch 6/2/2010 6/2/2010
Broken Glass Park Alina Bronsky 6/10/2010
The Whole World Emily Winslow 6/9/2010
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn Betty Smith 6/11/2010
My Name is Memory Ann Brashares 336 6/16/2010
336
June 7-June 13 Broken Travis Thrasher 288 6/26/2010
The Nobodies Album Carolyn Parkhurst 320 6/15/2010
The House of the Moreys 250
Icing on the Cupcake Jennifer Ross 336 6/28/2010
Education of BET Lauren Baratz-Logsted 192 7/2/2010
1194
June 14-June 20 Backseat Saints Joshilyn Jackson 352 6/30/2010
Commuters Emily Gray Tedrowe 400 7/1/2010
The Hundred Foot Journey Richard C. Morais 256 7/5/2010
1008
June 21-June 27 Still Missing Chevy Stevens 352 7/7/2010
Audiobook week? Scarlet Contessa Jeanne Kalogridis 512 7/8/2010
Daniel’s Birthday Week How to Mellify a Corpse Vicki Leon 336 7/9/2010
1200
June 28-July 4 Jane’s Fame Claire Harman 304 7/14/2010
Writing Jane Austen Elizabeth Aston 320 7/13/2010
Day for Night Frederick Reiken 336 7/15/2010
960

Okay, so basically I took the information for all the books I knew I had made an obligation to read and review (and some I just wanted to), and started plugging them into my schedule of weeks. I started with books that I had a firm date commitment for posting reviews of (the dates in pink), followed by books that corresponded with an event that I wanted to have them read for (dates in blue). After that, I just started plugging books in based on publication dates, how long I’ve had them, etc.

One thing I tried very hard to do was to keep each week between 800 and 1200 pages, depending on the perceived speed and difficulty of the book. A week with lots of lighter reads or YA may be closer to 1200 pages, weeks with more literary fiction or nonfiction I would keep closer to 800 words. I also tried to note events in my

I chose my average of about 1,000 pages, because I knew that for me this is a very do-able number, one that allows for a little catch up if I get behind, or allows for me to fit in books here and there just because I WANT to read them. For example, you’ll notice that everything for this week is crossed off except “My Name is Memory.” Since I finished all my other books by yesterday, I’ve been able to squeeze in “The Passage,” with that as my at home book and “My Name is Memory” as my purse book.

When I finish a book, I cross out the title and author, and delete the page number so that I can see my running total of what I have left for the week. I’m one of those people who gets great joy in crossing things off lists, so I LOVE this schedule. In fact, I get slightly disappointed when I finish a book not on my list, because I don’t get to cross anything off.

The reason I think this helped me read more last month is that my May schedule was super ambitious, but it was all books I wanted to read. Just having a good idea of how much I wanted to get read that week helped me make even more time to read whenever I could than I would have normally, because I had a sense of deadline. But then, I work well with deadlines, even need them to be productive. If deadlines send you running for the hills, this may not be a method that works well for you.

Hmm, anything else you want to know? I’ll be happy to add more about it, or answer questions in the comments.

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21 comments to By Popular Demand…My Reading Schedule

  • This is really inspiring! Thanks for sharing.

  • Wow. That is really organized! It certainly would keep you on schedule. As for me, I couldn’t do it. I threw my calendar (and review date commitments) out the window for 2010 and while my blogging is certainly a lot more haphazard as a result, I’m not stressed anymore (I’m not implying that you’re stressed though – I imagine this method takes out the stress of your review commitments). Thanks for sharing. I loved seeing it.

  • Wow, I’m impressed. I don’t know whether to be inspired or to be thankful I’m not that organized.

  • Arch

    Hey Jen…

    That’s a super organized person!! :) I really am inspired now to follow a schedule for my book reading…infact I should say I manage to read a reasonable number of books but I am just not able to get myself to start reviewing them…. maybe a schedule will help me get more organized about posting the reviews

    Thanks.

    – Arch

  • Your level of reading always amazes me. AMAZES!

  • I’m impressed. I would be horrible at sticking to it but I love that it works for you (I’m more of a vague google calendar/keep it in my head kind of person).

  • Uhhh…maybe your sleeping schedule? As if you get any at all? Very impressed with your organization. I have a general idea of what I will probably read next, but I get wild hairs sometimes.

  • Impressive! I need to follow your good example and get organized. Thanks for sharing your schedule!

  • I really like how you did this. Currently I’m plugging my books into my Google calendar and it seems to be working but I do like your format better. What program do you use for this?

    • I like to do it in Google docs so I can check it from wherever, but that’s just my obsessive nature. Excel or something similar would work too, any spreadsheet-thing.

  • Fascinating! I love to see how everyone organizing themselves out here in the blogging world. I don’t know if I could read that much in a month but I definitely keep my mind around what I want to read at least 3 books ahead and that seems to work well for me.

  • Very cool idea! I need to be more organized in general. I think that because I have my work scheduled to the minute I tend to just flounder when it comes to a reading schedule!

  • I wish I could be this organized! I usually find myself rebelling whenever I schedule reading. I almost never do what I plan to do, but I wish I could.

  • You are right – I’m horrified :-)

    I could never schedule the order of the books I read like that – it would feel too much like work. I do create a list of books I’d like to read in the next month, but I choose the order of reading based on my mood. I also allow my self to ignore the list if something else grabs my attention. I’m glad it works for you though – fascinating insight!

    • 95% percent of the time I am not really a moody reader. In fact, I like this sort of thing because I don’t have to look at my shelves and be totally overwhelmed by choice. However, I enjoy this because it actually does allow some space for other books to get squeezed in, or for me to read that week’s books in whatever order is calling to me if I so desire (or even switch some around from the next week or two). But it is definitely not for everyone!

  • Holy smokes you are super thorough! Congratulations on a job well done :)

  • Very interesting. I’m not sure if I’d be able to stick to something like that, but I might try it sometime to see how it works.

  • Well, I told you I’d let you know if I approved…

    …and I have to say that I like what you’ve done here. I like the inclusion of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, one of my wife’s favorites, and Backseat Saints by Joshilyn Jackson especially and give you extra stars for those.

    It would normally be five stars or excellent that I would give, but with the extra stars, that makes seven stars or way above excellent. I’ll check in periodically to see how you’re progressing, though. So be forewarned. 😉

  • I am so impressed with your schedule! I’m pretty organized as well, but certainly not like this. Committing to a reading schedule has been hard for me to do. I’m trying to follow one for this month as next month I want to read more of my own books. I don’t have it quite planned out like you do though. Just wrote down the list of library books that are due and hope to read them all before June 30th. I do like the idea of a tentative review date. Informative post, thanks!

  • I love your method! I doubt it would work for me, but I can see why it would be so helpful.

  • Since I only discovered your blog recently, don’t be surprised to see me pop up on your older posts. Your reading schedule is great. And it’s a great use of Google Docs. But I’m just not there yet. I’m currently focusing on a broader scale — organizing and coordinating my challenges. Great job.