Choosing your next book. How do you decide which book to read next?
As soon as a review book comes in I schedule its posting in google calendar and put in on my desktop sticky note app (See above^^)(Also, that sticky note image isn't up to date, the list is now double that O_o). I'm crazy obsessed with keeping things organized here on the blog. (Although if you could see my house you would never guess that I'm organizational about anything lol) So, for the most part I read books in the order they are listed on that sticky note. It just makes things easier to keep it all in order to ensure I get everything done on time. Although sometimes I do make exceptions for the books that come in that I'm super excited about, but only if I'm far enough ahead in my schedule that it won't cause problems to skip ahead. I know it seems very rigid, but it has really reduced my stress level in trying to keep up with all the books I'm reviewing. That sticky note takes away the long agonizing choice of picking which one next.
Now all that goes out the window when I'm caught up 2-3 weeks ahead of schedule. Once I get that far ahead, I'll read one of my older books from my TBR pile. I used to agonize over what book to choose, but a while ago, Smash from Smash Attack Reads suggested that I use random.org to pick the next book off my Shelfari listing. You just start reading the number it lands on, and wham the choice is done! Of course if it lands in the middle of a series, I go back to the first one I haven't read and go from there.
How do you balance “review” reading with “fun” reading?
I have a whole lot of review books coming so it can get quite overwhelming at times. It isn't so much the reading part as I read really fast, but it's the reviews that start to bog me down. Each one can take me anywhere from 20min to 2 hours to write as well as a whole lot of concentration. So in addition to the TBR pile tackling I do whenever my review pile is mostly caught up, I read romance novels. Mostly I just go through all of the free kindle books. Even if I only can devote the last hour of my reading time before bed to those romance novels, it really helps to keep things fresh for me. I've found that if I go to sleep with a review book being the last thing I've read, my mind will race all night "preparing" the review. So, I need that "turn off" time with a plain old romance book to clear the mind. It really helps. :)