New Reading Rotation

A Reading Rotation

As happens periodically, usually at least once per year, I get tired of my established reading rotation, and I revise it.

(So, why bother? Because I have found in the past that without some form of genre rotation, I get stuck in a rut reading the same kind of book over and over again, despite my wider range of interests. So, when I get tired of one rotation, I find it worth my while to reinvent the “beast”.)

This time, I felt like I was not getting to spend enough time in the genres I either write or love to read. So I revised.

Here is the New Rotation

How Does it Work?

The basic rotation is the column on the left and the top chunk in the middle. I read through this from the top down through the two columns and mark with the month and year each listing read.

Nightstand Book: If a book I’ve read in the rotation is a series, the rest of the series goes on my nightstand to pick from so I do not have to wait for a full rotation to read the next book in the series.

Other Fiction: This is a list of other fiction genres/categories (ex. Goudge is author Elizabeth Goudge, a long-time favorite. I just keep rotating through rereading her books.)

Mystery Rotation: This category allows me to rotate through my favorite mystery authors so I don’t have to wait for them to get their turn in the alphabetical rotation. (I have a lot of books in my favorite genres.) You will find the list of authors to rotate through in the right column.

Non-fiction: I both enjoy and need to read nonfiction (to expand my horizons, build my writing craft, and support the world-building for my fantasy writing). So, this is the list of non-fiction works I rotate through.


I know it looks rather crazy and complex, but it works for me. What really matters is not that I rotate through the genres but how much I read different types of books. This newest helps me read my favorite genres, while sticking to a desire to read other types of works as well.

Your Turn

How do you organize your reading time, or–not? What do you feel are the benefits of your method or non-method for organizing your life? I’d love to know! Just use the comment space below.


Reading Rotation 2017

So Many Books, So Little Time

As those who have been with me long know, I have developed a somewhat quirky system for choosing what book I will read next. The need for such a system is threefold:

  1. I used to like to gorge myself on whatever genre I fancied until I’d read so many, I ruined myself for reading any more books of that genre for a long, long time. (It’s sort of like working in a candy store and being told you can eat as much as you like then finding you have made yourself so sick of candy you do not even want to look at another piece.
  2. I have eclectic reading taste. Therefore gorging myself on one genre neglected all the others I loved, which my inner five-year-old felt was very unfair.
  3. I tend to buy books faster than I can read them, therefore the “to be read” titles in any given genre were stacking up so alarmingly, I needed a system to equalize the build-up on any one bookshelf. (Yes, I have bookshelves in every room and our home library is sorted like genre–as, come to think of it, is my school library.)

The Solution: A Reading Rotation

I’ve brainstorm all the genres I like to read, considered which I like best (fantasy, historical mysteries, and historical fiction) or need to read (fantasy –since I am a fantasy writer and books about writing to help me grow as an author) then compile them in a list with repetitions where needed.

For each book I choose to read, I date that genre on the list and look at what comes next so I can eagerly anticipate what my next read will be. And so I work my way from top to bottom of the list, and then start all over again. Hence, a “Reading Rotation.”

This year I determined I am not reading enough non fiction, so I have established two lists–fiction and non fiction, to be read three fiction books for every non fiction book. I am very excited about this. I love novels, but I’ve missed the types of non fiction I enjoy.

The New, 2017 Reading Rotation:


A Book Nerd

I know. If you hadn’t thought of me as a book nerd before, you will now. I love to read! And I look forward to a year of awesome reading, and hopefully to learning about what you are reading, and thereby discovering more gems as well.

Happy Reading!

Let’s Talk Genres

When I was young and I found a book I liked, I used to go back to the bookstore or library and hunt down every book I could find like it, then read them all in rapid succession until I felt like I’d spent a week on a cruise ship eating off the dessert buffet breakfast, lunch, dinner, and midnight snack.

I’d find that what initially tasted so sweet no longer really satisfied, and that I missed the more varied fare of multiple food groups in more balanced proportions (dessert still included of course, just in more rational portions).

So I devised my reading rotation.

I listed all the kinds of books I liked to read and arranged them in a convenient order. For example, I chose not to have Historical Fiction follow Arthurian Literature because they share some characteristics in common. My reading rotation is not a system set in stone. I usually rewrite it every year or so as my reading tastes change. And I do still let myself indulge in things I enjoy—at present historical mysteries, and include plenty of the things I need to keep up with—for example young adult literature, particularly fantasy, which I both enjoy and write.

So what’s my list look like right now?

Children’s Literature from the family room A –>

Historical Fiction, hardback

A book by Elizabeth Goudge—a favorite author

A book of short stories or folktales (I also retell folktales)

A mystery

Children’s Literature from the family room, right shelf

An author biography or autobiography

A work of Christian Fiction

A work of Celtic-influenced Fantasy

A mystery

Children’s Literature from the dining room

A book about writing

A contemporary novel

A King Arthur book

A mystery

Children’s Literature, paperback A –>

Historical Fiction, paperback

A work of Christian Fiction

A fantasy novel, hardback

A mystery

Children’s Literature, paperback <–Z

A classic or bestselling novel

A contemporary novel from the library

A series

A mystery from the library

Children’s Literature from the library

A book about writing

A work of Christian Fiction

A paperback Fantasy novel

Lest you think me nothing but an hedonistic escapist, I must add I have a second list in my family room for daytime reading. It includes: a writing book, a biography, a history book, a book about psychology, a book that nurtures my faith, and a book about current events. (I also read the Bible daily and a variety of magazines–news, professional, and women’s.)

Those are my lists. What would yours look like?