Do You Have The Time?

Once upon a time, I would average three hours of reading before bed each weeknight; weekends were even better–four to eight hours of solid reading if my schedule was clear.  And then, along came the internet and blogging.  My reading time diminished as I heeded the siren song of the internet; I never looked back.

No one has a gun to my head forcing me to idle away hours on blogs and other sites, but after all these years I wonder just how much book reading time I’ve lost.  Oh, the irony.  I mean, here I am blogging about books but have barely any time to read them!

Am I the only book blogger who feels this way? (I need some validation, please.)

I attempted to make a crafty pie chart in Excel to illustrate my point but was forced to use Paint because I’m a doofus and couldn’t figure out Excel.

Behold!  My life pre- and post- internet and blogging as represented by  slightly tongue-in-cheek pie charts.


And with the advent of the internet and book blogging?

post blog


  • At 2010.01.25 01:08, Alita said:

    I totally and completely agree with you! My problem pre-blogging was not having enough books to read, or at least enough recommendations of good books.

    Now I have recommendations galore, my to-read list has gotten a bit out of control, and my to-be-read shelf is overflowing. But there are so many other fun blogs to read and sadly some of those books have been sitting on that shelf for months.

    That being said, thanks for taking the time to visit and comment on my blog. It really does mean a lot 🙂

    And I love your pie charts.
    .-= Alita´s last blog ..Labour Day by Joyce Maynard (final thoughts) =-.

    • At 2010.01.25 11:47, nat @book, line, and sinker said:

      i am so with you on the pre-blogging lack of books. i did a TON of re-reading and reading books of the same genre without much branching out. i will say this for blogging, i have read some truly wonderful books that i would have otherwise missed! 🙂

  • At 2010.01.25 06:03, Jenn (Bibliolatrist) said:

    I can understand all too well. Somehow blogging has me reading less, which is why I’ve lately tried to cut down my time spent blogging.

    Still, as you’ve said, there are many wonderful things to come out of the book-blogging community, so … what can you do? I suppose just be more mindful of how one spends her time.

    Lovely pie charts, by the way 🙂
    .-= Jenn (Bibliolatrist)´s last blog ..Technology implies belligerence =-.

    • At 2010.01.25 11:48, nat @book, line, and sinker said:

      you’re right–it’s a give and take. i get so much from the blogs–friendship, laughs, and great suggestions. and i really don’t blog as much as my pie chart might lead you to believe. 🙂

    • At 2010.01.25 09:46, Hayden Tompkins said:

      Wow, 3 hours a night?! Right now we read about an 45 minutes to 1 1/2 hours before bed. And that’s actually pretty phenomenal because my husband is not really a reader.

      I don’t suppose that reading blogs counts as reading?

      • At 2010.01.25 11:50, nat @book, line, and sinker said:

        oh, the good old days! ant and i love, love, love to read and could easily read into the wee hours of the night…except that he has to wake up at 5am.

        as for reading blogs, it counts as reading, but i’m just laughing about the fact that i blather about books all day and have little time to read them.

        • At 2010.01.26 18:28, Hayden Tompkins said:

          I know, I’ve been waiting to see what you think of “Ender’s Game”. 😉

          • At 2010.01.26 19:40, nat @book, line, and sinker said:

            don’t laugh–i’m still slogging through the list of books–calamity physics is one from the challenge! i did manage to take ‘ender’s game’ out from the library…but didn’t make it through before i had to return it! people are always talking about that book so i have high hopes for it. 🙂

      • At 2010.01.25 10:09, vivienne said:

        I try to get in three hours in the evening once the kids have gone to bed. I always switch off the computer after 8.30pm and don’t venture back on. I check blogs at different times during the day, but then I don’t work so I have more time.

        I think sometimes you just have to switch it off.
        .-= vivienne´s last blog ..Monday Mailbox =-.

        • At 2010.01.25 11:51, nat @book, line, and sinker said:

          that’s a great idea–except i can’t really check the blogs from work because i’m usually swamped. luckily, i don’t work on fridays and have lots of vacation days. 🙂

        • At 2010.01.25 10:33, Colleen (Books in the City) said:

          I just posted about my need to find a balance between reading and blogging in my Sunday Salon post yesterday! Your pie charts perfectly illustrate how my division of time has changed since starting book blogging. (I am glad to see I am not the only one obsessed with my stats!)

          And like Alita, I now have so many recommendations that I feel overwhelmed by my inability to keep up! I am trying to find that balance and I think putting boundaries on my internet time is the first step in that. I think if I get a system down for reading others blogs, commenting and working on my posts, I can keep it all from getting out of control.

          Great post!
          .-= Colleen (Books in the City)´s last blog ..In My Mailbox/Monday Mailbox =-.

          • At 2010.01.25 11:52, nat @book, line, and sinker said:

            i used to be waaaay worse with my stats, especially when i started my other blog in 2007. since then, i’ve gotten better and don’t really check BL&S’s stats too much because they are so paltry compared to my (now inactive) life blog. 🙂 but i know what you mean about having a ton of recommendations. balance: the word for 2010?

          • At 2010.01.25 10:34, Rebecca @ The Book Lady's Blog said:

            I think this is the great irony of book blogging. You start writing about what you’re reading and reading about what everyone else is reading (and then there’s the twitter, facebook, stats obsession, etc.), and all of a sudden you have no time to read the stuff you need to write about. I’m afraid to analyze the time too closely because I don’t really want to know how much reading time I’m losing to everything else, but I know it’s similar to what you’re showing here.

            I’m striving for better balance this year and am trying to stay offline more, but it ain’t easy!
            .-= Rebecca @ The Book Lady’s Blog´s last blog ..Share your book club recommendations! =-.

            • At 2010.01.25 11:54, nat @book, line, and sinker said:

              well, i think it’s safe to say that my pie charts are a bit tweaked–i do have time for fun stuff–it just feels like i don’t! i know about trying to stay offline–i feel so guilty when i don’t check in for a day, but what can you do?

            • At 2010.01.25 11:35, Meg said:

              Love your charts! And I’m with you. Since I’ve become sucked into the awesome vortex that is the world of blogging — and book blogging, especially — I’ve found that I have less time than ever for the things I love. But I love the Internet and couldn’t possibly do without it!

              The one thing I will say is that I put myself on more of a schedule to read books quickly now that I write about them. When my blog seems to be going dormant because I haven’t read anything new and/or have nothing of interest to say, I start getting really antsy. And that pushes me to read faster… so I can review. Is that bad? I’m not sure. Either way, you’re not alone!
              .-= Meg´s last blog ..Book review: ‘Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy: The Last Man In The World’ by Abigail Reynolds =-.

              • At 2010.01.25 11:55, nat @book, line, and sinker said:

                i agree–when i have books scheduled for reviews, i’m much better about reading. i HAVE to have a deadline because i’m the world’s best procrastinator. it’s sad but i work best under a tight deadline.

              • At 2010.01.25 12:01, Kari said:

                Ha, nice! I think I read more post-blogging, though. And I don’t spend very much time doing book stuff online. It’s included in my 8 working hours. Outside of my 8 hours sleeping and 8 hours working, my other 8 hours are spent on the subway (usually the only time I read), at the gym, eating, and having a social life.

                What happened to your hours of dining, socializing, health, and chores?
                .-= Kari´s last blog ..Review: The best and worst of times at college =-.

                • At 2010.01.25 12:36, Unapologetically Mundane said:

                  You know, Tracey cleans out her Google Reader every single day (mostly by not commenting on a thing), whereas I leave approximately 350 unread posts every day in just the Every Day folder I created. That is, the folder of blogs that I absolutely want to keep up with no matter what. HA.

                  It’s a real problem, too, having different types of blogs, because I want to read all of the personal blogs AND all of the food blogs. I’m sure you understand.
                  .-= Unapologetically Mundane´s last blog ..I wanted Kim to put a Boston-Irish beatdown on him, but then I remembered she’s Jewish. =-.

                  • At 2010.01.25 13:33, Steph said:

                    I think the juggling act you describe is something all book bloggers can relate to! I think that since book blogging I have in some ways buckled down and read more, because I feel an obligation to post about books on a pretty regular basis, but it can be tough finding the time to do it while maintaining a balanced life and dealing with all the distractions. I don’t do Twitter or Facebook, and I think that does a lot to win me reading time; it’s good to get away from the computer every now and then!
                    .-= Steph´s last blog ..What We Watched: Jan 18 – Jan 24 =-.

                    • At 2010.01.25 13:51, Care said:

                      And I SO appreciate all the positive and thoughtful comments! 🙂 Time is a funny animal, isn’t it. I agree that blogging about books sometimes surpasses the reading of books but I have to admit the number and quality of books read has increased from 12-15 books/yr pre-blogging, 30 books the first year of blogging, then 75 books (WOW!) to almost 100 last year. 🙂
                      .-= Care´s last blog ..Playing Librarian =-.

                      • At 2010.01.25 14:04, The1stdaughter said:

                        Don’t you just love it! You feel guilty because you’re not reading enough, but then you feel guilty because you haven’t checked out everyone else’s stuff too. It’s such a circle of insanity! I’m way in the since I started blogging my reading time has been severely impaired boat, but what do you do? If you come up with a way to balance things…let me know! I’d love to get better, but having two kiddos on top of everything else doesn’t help either. It’s a catch 22.
                        .-= The1stdaughter´s last blog ..Some of the Best YA Books You May Have Overlooked =-.

                        • At 2010.01.25 14:17, Kathy R (Bermudaonion) said:

                          It is so hard to find balance, isn’t it? If you find a magical solution to this, please let me know.
                          .-= Kathy R (Bermudaonion)´s last blog ..Our Life in France Guest Post – work =-.

                          • At 2010.01.25 14:28, Ti said:

                            I am incredibly busy but I’ve found that if a book is absolutely riveting, that the other stuff, magically works itself out. Isn’t that funny? If a book is sort of ho-hum, then I find myself complaining about the other stuff… laundry, homework with the kids, etc. I guess I just need to keep reading great books!

                            I love your pie charts. Especially the “surprised” face that you drew next to the first one. I was all crabby yesterday because I did not even have 30 min to myself. I was complaining about it at bedtime but again, the book is sort of ho-hum…
                            .-= Ti´s last blog ..Moby Dick Monday: January 25, 2010 (Week 11) =-.

                            • At 2010.01.25 14:38, Serena (Savvy Verse & Wit) said:

                              I’ve let the reader get out of control again, so I have actually spent more time reading…lol
                              .-= Serena (Savvy Verse & Wit)´s last blog ..Mailbox Monday #66 =-.

                              • At 2010.01.25 19:59, Jess - A Book Hoarder said:

                                Ohhh thank you for posting this. I love getting your comments on my posts but I never understood how you had the time to keep up. I thought I was doing something wrong, but now your awesome pie charts make it clear it’s not just me, it’s the wonderful evilness that is the blog world.

                                From Oct to Dec last year my job was in the slow season so I basically sat around just in case a call came in. My 9 hour workday consisted of my reading so I had time to focus on blogging after work and still have a life. Starting this month I had to actually work again and I feel like my limited time is forcing me to choose between blogging about reading or actually reading.
                                .-= Jess – A Book Hoarder´s last blog ..Mailbox Monday =-.

                                • At 2010.01.25 20:22, Jenners said:

                                  I love your pie chart!

                                  And yes .. I do find that I have less time to read since I started blogging … after all, it is a habit that requires quite a bit of time. But I’ve gotten a bit better in achieving a balance and have given up checking stats and all that and trying to leave comments on every blog in the world. I’ve made a concentrated effort to read more this year … though I don’t think even at my peak I read three hours a night.
                                  .-= Jenners´s last blog ..Giveaway: Even the Dogs by Jon McGregor =-.

                                  • At 2010.01.25 21:13, Brittanie said:

                                    I reread a lot of books too before I started blogging. I have expanded so much and read so many books I might not have ever picked up. It is great even though I spend more time on the Internet than I have ever in my entire life. I have met so many great people. 🙂
                                    .-= Brittanie´s last blog ..Sunday Salon January 24, 2010 =-.

                                    • At 2010.01.25 22:02, Karen @ Planet Books said:

                                      This is the question (obviously) we all, as book bloggers and readers, face. I find book blog reading, Facebook, Perex Hilton, Washington, watching TV, getting stuck in traffic and reading what I want to read takes up all my waking time. I don’t think we are really complaining but we are surprised by how things turn out.
                                      .-= Karen @ Planet Books´s last blog ..I Want To Be Blue Too! =-.

                                      • At 2010.01.25 23:47, Dishy said:

                                        AHAHAHAHAHAHAHHH! Oh thank GOD I don’t read book blogs!!!!!!!!

                                        Except, I mean. YOURS. Of course.
                                        .-= Dishy´s last blog ..The Birth of a Dining Room =-.

                                        • At 2010.01.26 01:30, Valerie said:

                                          One thing I’ve discovered by reading other book bloggers is that I thought I read a lot of books, but I guess I don’t. Compared to the average person, maybe I do read a lot. But compared to the bloggers who read 300 books a year? Ack!

                                          BTW, I’m not sure when you put your new header up, but I love it!
                                          .-= Valerie´s last blog ..Book: “Cleopatra and Antony” by Diana Preston =-.

                                          • At 2010.01.26 14:06, avisannschild said:

                                            Oh my goodness, I can totally relate to this! I have trouble keeping up with my own blog because I spend so much time reading other people’s blogs…
                                            .-= avisannschild´s last blog ..On (not always) finishing mysteries (two reviews of sorts) =-.

                                            • At 2010.01.29 04:56, Vishy said:

                                              Loved reading your post! It is very true! Blogging and reading blogs are very enjoyable but take away a lot of our reading time. I try to budget time for reading blogs – I tell myself that I will spend only half an hour looking at interesting posts, but when I manage to get myself away from my computer, the half an hour is long gone 🙂 I am thinking how to get back to the golden days of reading, but continue to blog and read wonderful blogs of my blogging friends. I have resisted Twitter till now, because I know that if I get into it, that is what I will do for most of the day – it is so addictive!
                                              .-= Vishy´s last blog ..Reading Adventure – Reading ‘War and Peace’ by Leo Tolstoy – 1 =-.

                                              • At 2010.01.29 09:28, Beth F said:

                                                OMG!!!! Have you been following me around with a stop watch? My favorite is the “after”: 2 hours a day Living and saying hi to hubby.

                                                LOL. This was fabulous.
                                                .-= Beth F´s last blog ..Review: The Book of Fires by Jane Borodale =-.

                                                • At 2010.01.29 11:50, Aths said:

                                                  I really had to laugh after reading this! That is exactly how my life turned around since beginning to blog! Really, where did all that reading time disappear to??
                                                  .-= Aths´s last blog ..Friday Finds — Jan 29, 2010 =-.

                                                  (Required, will not be published)

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