in which i discuss themed reads

discussionsnovo

Hello, friends!

It’s been long overdue since I last wrote a discussion post. I feel like these are the most challenging posts for me to write, along with reviews. They just eat up my last brain cells and I still never find they’re good enough. But, anyway!

I wanted to discuss the idea of doing “themed reads” aka reading only books under a certan theme for a month. I’ve tried these before and I wanted to argue some of the pros and cons.

pros(2)

I really love watching YouTube and one of my favorite Booktubers, Adriana from Perpetual Pages, does this quite often. For Black History Month, for example, they only read titles by black authors; or during Women’s History Month, they only read by female authors.

I’ve always thought this idea was really interesting and it would be a great motivation to read more diversely. It’s also fun, because it allows me to read from different genres, such as fantasy, romance or YA contemporary, as long as it fits under the theme.

I know a lot of read-a-thons do that, but I think there’s some type of pressure in read-a-thons to read more than you typically would and themed reads is just reading at your normal pace, but trying to prioritize specific books.

pros(3)

In the year of our Lord, 2019, I did themed reads for the months of February (Black History Month), when I read exclusively from black authors; May (Mental Health Awareness Month), when I only read books that had mental health rep of some sort; and June (Pride Month), when I only read books with queer characters.

Even though I didn’t excell in all of these, I think it was a great chance to take some books off of my long-time TBR and also read new titles. During Pride Month, for example, I both read books I had wanted to read since forever – aka A Song of Achilles – and books that had just been released – aka Red, White and Royal Blue.

pros

So, after having tried themed reads for a whole month before, I think I can now discuss some of the pros and cons of it.

Starting with the positives:

  • Motivation to read more diversely! In the future, I want to do an entire month where I dedicate myself to read only about disability, because I know I’ve been lacking to read more with this rep. Even though you’ll be focusing specifically on a certain theme, you can still read from any genre or age range you’d like.
  • Getting to know new authors/titles. When doing my research for my themed months, I ended up finding out a lot of new authors I could check out. I find that this can put you truly out of your comfort zone and reach for people you had never heard of before and can be pleasant surprises!
  • Building a “repertoire“. I don’t know how else to call this, so I’ll be using the word “repertoire”, even though it is in the incorrect one. But, basically, you’ll have more books to recommend in the future under this specific theme, because you dedicated and prioritized these titles, so you’ll definitely learn more about it.

pros(1)

  • You can be behind in new releases. I think this would mostly be a con for people that get a lot of ARCs and need to stay on top of those, due to their release dates and other deadlines. If you dedicate yourself to read only a certain theme in a month and the ARC you have doesn’t really fit under that theme, you’ll definitely end up behind.
  • Not the best for mood-reading. I considered myself a mood reader for a long time, but I’ve been slowly getting more on track with the reading schedule I set for myself at the beginning of the month. However, if you really are a mood reader, it can be hard to just pick whatever you want, since you still have to stay under the theme/topic.
  • It can get tiring. I feel like it obviously depends on the theme and how you decide to do it, because this can totally be as diverse and different as you want, without ever getting tiresome. But for Mental Health Awareness Month, for example, I only read YA contemporary. If you’re not a fan of the genre, or you need to mix it up often, it probably will be a burden at the end of the month.

Now, I want to hear from you: have you ever tried “themed reads” for a month? If so, how did you do it? Do you think it would work for you? Let’s chat in the comments!

 

21 comentários sobre “in which i discuss themed reads

  1. El 6 de novembro de 2019 / 19:29

    Themed reading has never really appealed to me, I feel like I’ll just get to that book when I get there & don’t want to rush books to fit the theme when I’m not in the mood. I also don’t want to read books just because, like yeah, maybe they fit into the theme but I’ll like it more in a month or so when I want to read it more. Plus I would get so bored with all the repetitiveness of them!

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    • Lais @ The Bookish Skies 5 de dezembro de 2019 / 17:42

      I completely get you, El. I think all your points are really valid reasons not to want to do themed reads. Even though I find them fun, I understand they can get repetitive.
      Thank you soooo much for stopping by! 😊

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  2. Aditi 6 de novembro de 2019 / 20:39

    I love your points! But I don’t think I’ll ever do a full month with only one theme because I’m pretty much just a mood reader. Since I’m not a book blogger, I don’t set TBRs for myself each month, but even if I did, I probably won’t be able to read most of them due to school, blogging, and extracurriculars. It’s a pity, though! I definitely do read some themed books occasionally (latinx month, black history month, pride month) but I probably can’t read, like, seven contemporary books in a row *ew that’s too much real life for me*. Such an interesting post!

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    • Lais @ The Bookish Skies 5 de dezembro de 2019 / 17:47

      Hahah, I get that, which is why I feel like themed reads can’t work for everyone. For some themes, there will be mostly contemporaries to read, so I imagine it can get pretty tiring for people that read various genres. I am 100% a contemporary lover though, so I definitely wouldn’t mind, hahah.
      Thanks for stopping by, Aditi! ❣️

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      • Aditi 5 de dezembro de 2019 / 20:34

        Yeah, but I might try a shorter themed read or maybe a broader one? Like one that’s hyper-specific like ‘read only queer books featuring the enemies-to-lovers trope’ versus ‘read queer books’ or even better, ‘read diverse books’ or something haha.
        No problem!

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  3. Ruby 7 de novembro de 2019 / 09:35

    This is such a cool discussion and point! I read a few spooky books in October but not many. I’m such a mood reader that I could never stick to reading a specific theme ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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    • Lais @ The Bookish Skies 5 de dezembro de 2019 / 17:57

      That’s really valid! I think themed reads won’t work for mood readers, unless it’s a really broad theme, and even then, it can be hard. Thank you so much for stopping by! And sorry it took me so long to get to this comment!

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      • Ruby 5 de dezembro de 2019 / 17:58

        hehe no problem!! Seriously life of a mood reader

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  4. 💫Ava💫 7 de novembro de 2019 / 10:21

    Great post!! I have always wanted to try themed reading, but I am kind of a picky reader.
    I tried doing it once during black history month, but since a lot of the books I found had the same race-related theme, it was too hard to keep reading all the books. During the year, I always try to look for diverse books because I am a POC and its nice reading books with characters that look like me. But, during that month I tried to only read books with POC in them, and it was really hard because there is not that much of a variety. Like, they all have the same tropes and honestly, I have never read a YA book with a black girl as the main character that I can truly relate to.
    It’s getting a little bit better, but I sadly feel as if I can relate more to the white characters in certain books than books that have a black main character.

    So anyway short story long, I kind of have avoided themed reading. Because of my taste in books changes so quickly and a lot of books that are in the same theme, often have a lot of t repetitiveness, and I just can’t handle it haha

    I think I will try doing a themed reading during mental health month! And, maybe disability month too. I feel like I need to stop being such a mood reader haha.

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    • Lais @ The Bookish Skies 8 de dezembro de 2019 / 16:23

      Hahah, there’s nothing wrong with being a mood reader and I totally feel you with some tropes being repetitive.
      Unfortunately, I feel the same about representation, since there aren’t a lot of South-American characters in YA to begin with. But I hope you eventually find a book with a black character that you can truly see yourself in!
      I think mood readers can be good for reading outside your niche, but I also do understand that it can be harder to find some reps in different genres.
      Thank you so much for your comment, Ava! 😊

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  5. Marta @ the book mermaid 7 de novembro de 2019 / 19:09

    I don’t think themed reads would work out for me, at least if they’re for a long time, let’s say a whole month. I’d probably get tired of reading the same/similar things … But I agree they could be great for updating in a certain theme/genre!! ^^

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    • Lais @ The Bookish Skies 8 de dezembro de 2019 / 16:26

      True! I think that’s why so many themed-focused read-a-thons only last for a couple of weeks max, because it probably does get tiring for some people.
      Thank you for reading, Marta! 💛

      Curtir

  6. Charlotte 8 de novembro de 2019 / 06:17

    I’ve never really thought about trying themed reads before but all of your points make sense and it has made me wonder if I should try out a themed month in the future. I have a fair few books that I’d love to get read first but I could possibly see myself having a retelling month at some point in the future. I have so many of those on my TBR so it would be a good way to get some of them read (: I think having themed months where you try to pick up more diverse books is a wonderful idea too

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    • Lais @ The Bookish Skies 8 de dezembro de 2019 / 16:27

      I think it’s worth trying it out, even if just to realize it doesn’t work for you and it’s a bit too repetitive. Retellings are a great theme, though! I think it wouldn’t be as repetitive, because there are so many different takes and stories you can choose from.
      Thank you soooo much for stopping by, Charlotte! 😌

      Curtir

  7. Sophie @ Me and Ink 11 de novembro de 2019 / 09:21

    I totally agree about writing discussions being a lot of work, in theory I love them but they require a lot and they can be quite stressful but thank you for writing this!! I think it is an interesting topic as well.

    I’ve seen themed reads around but never participated in one because my ability to think ahead can be awful at times!!
    I definitely agree about themed reads encouraging you to read more diversely and research unappreciated books as well. I think it is important to make time to read diverse books and it encourages you to leave your comfort zone which cane be very rewarding and it nice to have a break from your usual genre as well.
    But I think if you are a mood reader it would be hard to do a lot as the same themes might crop up a lot so it might feel like an overload of one topic. I would like to do some in the future actually and like you said you can have broad topics so you can include a variety of genres in one month.
    I like that you mentioned the possibility of doing a themed read of books featuring disabilities because I would like to read books which feature more disability representation because I don’t feel like I know that many books for it.
    Great post, I loved reading it!! <3

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    • Lais @ The Bookish Skies 8 de dezembro de 2019 / 16:31

      Hahah, I get that! TBRs can definitely be intimidating and even though I do not like planning ahead absolutely *nothing* in my life, I’ve been surprisingly good about sticking to my TBRs this year.
      I think broad themes are definitely the best, because this way, it doesn’t get super repetitive, but some reps are harder to find in various genres.
      Exactly! A month to read books focused on disabilities it’s probably going to be my next priority in the new year.
      Thank you so much for reading, Sophie! 😌

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  8. Marie 20 de novembro de 2019 / 15:31

    Ah this is such a great discussion! I don’t usually do readathons or themed reading at all, because I’m a mood reader and I’m a little scared that I’ll get bothered or bored or both, but… part of me loves the idea of building up a sort of collection of books in particular themes that way, and another part of me also loves this idea of, with themed reading, to read more of certain books or certain representations we’re seeking :) I think I love to read themed books, but not all at once, if that makes sense? Like, not an entire month long of themed reads, but all over a year, that would work haha :)
    Loved this post!

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    • Lais @ The Bookish Skies 8 de dezembro de 2019 / 16:43

      Thank you, Marie!
      I totally get that! Which is why I feel like the Year of Asian Reading Challenge we had going on in the blogospehre earlier on this year was so successful; because even though it is technically a themed-read challenge, it had a longer time-frame so it wasn’t tiring or repetitive for people to take part in.
      Thank you so much for reading! ❣️

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