So let me try to cover the basics.
How did The Reading Spree start?
I started this blog in February 2010 for three reasons. I had to do something to address my huge reading backlog (and thought reviewing my books based on themes and commonalities would be a fun and fast writing exercise); I suddenly had a lot of time as a “funemployed” 20-something; and I needed a distraction from several stressful life events, like unplanned unemployment and the death of two friends.
Seven years later… I can definitely say that it worked as a coping mechanism (there’s apparently such a thing as bibliotherapy). But now I don’t have a lot of free time, nor did this blog become a “fast” reading exercise. And I still have a huge backlog, analog and digital, to deal with.
Why review books by theme? Why not do it one book at a time?
As far as I know, I’m the only one who does bulk/themed reviews, online or offline. Reviewers and writers usually focus on one book per review. Until now, I don’t know of anyone who has the same approach I have − or maybe my search wasn’t that thorough. The people I’ve talked to about The Reading Spree have also told me they’ve never heard of anyone who does bulk/themed reviews.
Admittedly, it’s difficult and time-consuming. Doing individual book reviews would be much easier, and it would allow me to update this blog more often (and make the “spree” part of the blog name more apt). But where’s the fun in that? I’d be just like everyone else if I take that approach. Besides, the fact that I can group my books according to theme still amuses me.
Let me make it clear that The Reading Spree focuses on the similarities in stories and elements. I will comment on writing styles, grammatical and typographical errors, etc., but only when I see the need for it. Excessive criticism, nitpicking and other negative behavior have no place in this blog.
How many books are on the reading list?
I don’t know. I stopped counting last year. Back then it was 244 physical and digital books.
How and where do you get your books?
Anywhere. I’ll go to mainstream book chains, secondhand book shops, online stores, book fairs, book launches, workshops, and writing/publishing events to get my book fix. I’ll also take advantage of online bundle sales. I rarely borrow friends’ books — I always want to have my own copy.
I’m also known to haul a lot of books back home after my travels.
Wherever and however I get the books on this blog, I make sure they were bought by me, with my money, during my own time, and the purchases are based on my personal and ever-changing preferences. Basically, if I see it and like it, I’ll buy it.
What book genres are you into? And what genres do you avoid or say NO to?
I go for books found in the fiction, nonfiction, graphic novel, adaptation, business/entrepreneurship, arts, travel, home/interior design, travel, fashion, science fiction, sports, autobiography, biography, historical, political, instructional, research, academic, scientific, investigative, self-help, relationships, young adult, anthology, and even children’s shelves. I choose books that go from conventional to downright absurd topics, and serious to satirical in tone.
I will also admit to some favorites. Fiction books make up the majority of the titles on my home shelf, with works by authors such as Neil Gaiman, Chuck Palahniuk, Kurt Vonnegut, and Christopher Moore popping up quite often. I’m a sucker for Lonely Planet travel books and guides, too. Recently I’ve begun acquiring fiction and nonfiction books by Filipino authors — support your own, right?
I don’t normally go for classical literature, but I have made very few exceptions. Classical lit simply isn’t my forte. Poetry, too.
There are some genres I simply won’t touch. I avoid romance/chick-lit titles. I’ve never been a fan, and I highly doubt that will change in this lifetime. I’m also not a Stephenie Meyer and E.L. James fan; their books will never make it anywhere on my blog.
Lastly, I am an atheist and have been one for a long time − 15 years and counting! − so I don’t own any books that espouse religious faith. Rather, the books I have discuss atheism, and/or look at organized faith with detachment.
Do you accept book review requests, and/or do sponsored posts?
Nope. I do and say as I please.
Why are there blog entries about writing and publishing?
You mean you’re not interested in how your books are made — and how the publishing industry’s changing? Shame.
Does The Reading Spree accept guest posts/reviews?
No. But if you have any titles to suggest, lemme know at thereadingspree (at) gmail (dot) com.