My current reading rotation involves reading 4 books of different genres at any given time. Surprisingly this isn’t confusing or frustrating since they are all very different genres and books that I read at different times. I used to never do this but I’m pretty pleased with how it’s been working out.
I keep an audiobook in the car for my commute to and from work and any time I’m driving. These are exclusively non-fiction books that tend to be biographies, memoirs, and event retellings. Here I’ll read just about anything that has a good narrator. I recently finished an epic book about FDR. While I’m not extremely interested in the subject matter the narrator was good and the author kept the biography moving.
Next I keep an audiobook on my phone for running. I’ve experimented with several different books, genres, lengths, and narrators to find something that really works. I’ve listened to Justin Cronin (The Twelve – ugh), War and Peace (I only got through a third), Mortal Instruments (again ugh), Riyira Chronicles (great books but tough to run to) among many, many others and found what works best right now are the Harry Potter books and The Dresden File series. Both are similar, easy to listen to without needing to concentrate too hard and you won’t really miss much if you do happen to stop listening for a time.
I also keep a physical book from the library for lunch time reading and when I get spare time at night (ha). These are almost exclusively urban fantasy, YA, dystopian, sci-fi books. I find them really easy to read and I like that reading them in their physical form helps differentiate the books from the other ways I read.
Finally I read m/m books on ebook, usually on the computer or e-reader. For almost all the books I read I generally pick books out of the hat at random. I like the covers or the subject and give very little thought. I also have more luck finding a decent book than I have bad luck. Of course there are always duds but I found picking at random based on a blurb or subject matter to be pretty successful on the whole.
Yet for my m/m books I pick exclusively by author. I didn’t really realize how narrow my reading had become until I wrote about having author fatigue. It got to the point a while ago that I was so frustrated with the m/m genre that I only wanted to pick books I knew had a chance of success. This meant staying within established authors that I knew were good writers. I no longer trust publishers – though some are better than others – and I haven’t tried a new author in months, if not years.
So as a way to step out of my m/m fatigue, I’m going to read all new authors in m/m for the next month. I think I’m also going to try to pick publishers I don’t normally read either, though this scares me to be honest. There are usually good reasons why I don’t read Ellora’s Cave or Silver Publishing, but who knows, there could be a gem in there I’m missing. Part of this goal is that I’m not going to read any reviews of the book ahead of time. I’m going in blind and hopeful, picking books based on an intriguing blurb and most likely pretty cover pictures. This is how I choose almost all my other books so I’m going to try to use the same, usually successful, criteria to my m/m books.
This could end badly and bloody for all involved, but I’m going in hopeful and not just trying to find books to trash. That’s like shooting fish in the barrel in this genre. Instead I’m really hoping I find all new authors that excite me and inspire me to read more. After all, every author I cling to now was once an unknown author to me that I picked at random.
Suggestions and recommendations are welcome!