Discussion Post- Does having a deadline make you like a book less?


I’m curious, does having a strict deadline cause you to not enjoy a book as much?

I’ve recently been thinking about this because I got a book off First To Read and it counted down every day until it would disappear off my reading app. It totally stressed me out and I feel like I couldn’t enjoy the book because I kept seeing that countdown. It gave me pressure and stress.

I found myself reading at a snail’s pace and even though I had 20 or so days left I still felt like the clock was ticking. There is rarely a time a book takes me that long to read but for some reason I felt rushed!



Thankfully, I got a print ARC and I’ve been able to enjoy reading it on my terms and at a leisurely pace. All of this made me wonder-if I’m under a strict deadline if it changes my feelings toward the book?

I’m a mood reader through and through so I think even the idea that I’m being forced to read by a certain date really upsets my reading mojo. I think I’ve learned my lesson and no more First To Read for me. I try not to allow my review books control me.

When I get ARCs I tend to put them all on one shelf in order by release date. When selecting a book I try to grab one that is releasing soon but if none of them work I’ll pick whatever looks the most interesting. That’s how I’ll not have a review for a week but have a few drafted that I can’t publish for months.

Your turn- do you think being on a strict deadline changes how you feel about a book? Does stress detract from your enjoyment of the characters and story?




  1. says

    Deadlines definitely have some influence over what I choose to read and how I feel reading it. For some people I imagine a deadline is motivation to get the book read and reviewed, but not for me when it comes to reading. It’s too much pressure and I’m constantly thinking about how much time I have left instead of focusing on the story.

    I’m also a mood reader, and have never been able to stick to a reading schedule to save my life. The books I’m attracted to are always the ones with no stress attached.

    • says

      Me too Bec. I’m always thinking of that deadline and it makes me less inclined to get absorbed into the story. I hate that! I try reading schedules but like you it never works.

  2. says

    I’m a mood reader too, so I’m right there with you. Deadlines make me … I dunno, I go from being all excited to read to just sitting around staring at my Kindle thinking, “I should be reading right now, but I don’t want to.” Which is terrible. I’ve cut back on the quantity of ARCs I’m willing to actually accept for that reason.

    • says

      Exactly Liza! I’ve cut down a bit but I always fall into requesting too many and find myself right back in the midst of stressing. I wish I could limit my requests to ONLY what I can’t wait for.

  3. says

    I’ve also felt like deadlines sometimes keep me from enjoying a book, though my typical reading pace may also be quite fast. I always encounter this problem when I come home for break and check out a bunch of library books, then end up not having read them by the last week before I go back to college because other books get in the way. I always try to read them so I don’t have to go to the library as much when I’m busier, but the deadline always stresses me out and takes the enjoyment out of the books.

    • says

      If I’m into a book I can read it really quickly but the less interested I am the slower I read. Plus, I’ll get super excited, request something and I find it’s best if I read it asap.

  4. says

    Yep, I find that it does! I’m a mood reader too so I need to just read what I feel like at the moment. If there’s a deadline, I’ll be constantly thinking about when I have to read it by and it definitely gets stressful 🙁

  5. says

    Sometimes. I’m a mood reader for the most part so what I read usually depends on how I feel. If I have to read something for a deadline and I’m already not really that into it, the stress of the deadline will make me hate it even more. I do like having deadlines sometimes though because it gives me things to post about on my blog. Great post!

    • says

      I need to space out the release dates of the books I read a bit more so that I always have reviews to publish. I tend to have a lot way off in the future and none for next week.

  6. says

    Since I live in a non-English speaking country, almost all the ARC I get are electronic versions. Some of them I download to my Nook, and some of those have expiry dates (not so with books download to my Kindle app on my tablet). Since I prefer to read eBooks on my Nook, I do find it somewhat disconcerting when I see that the expiration date is getting closer. Despite this, I don’t think it makes me like a book less if I’ve got a deadline. However, when I’ve got a book that I am not enjoying, and that deadline is coming up, I now find that I am less inclined to waste my time to trying to finish it. As for review deadlines, they are more motivators than they are deterrents for me.

  7. says

    Mmmm I’d say it depends. Usually I’m a mood reader as well but if I have been approved for an ARC or something like that at the beginning I may have to “force” myself to start it; though if the story captivates me I’m gonna be intruigued nonetheless and I’ll start loving it even if I had to “force” myself to start it 🙂

  8. says

    In general I’m stressed before I start the book because I know when my review is supposed to be posted by and I haven’t read it. But when I’m actually reading the book a countdown doesn’t usually affect me, unless it’s right up in my face – that could be stressful. Nice post!

  9. says

    Very interesting indeed! I’m not too sure if it makes me enjoy a book any less BUT it sure as hell does freak me out. Like this weekend I have to attempt to get three read. AND I don’t know if I can do it. Seriously. Maybe it’s because I feel barricaded by dates and then I just leave things until the last second. Maybe there’s not enough hours in a day. One thing’s for sure, it sure has played a little part in my current slump, tbh. Fantastic discussion, Kristen! x

  10. says

    I don’t really like deadlines period. I’m a TOTAL mood reader and I don’t like feeling as if I have to read a certain book by a certain time or in a certain order.

    My new system is that I ONLY request or buy books that I will be reading immediately. So my system is:

    1. Buy a book
    2. Read it
    3. Request a book
    4. Read it
    5. Request another book
    6. Read it


    So you can see that I only really have one book in my “queue” at a time. I request or buy a book because I want to read it immediately. If I don’t want to read it immediately, then I don’t get it yet.

    This system really works for me and it’s totally stress free. Because of the way it works, I can never even “fall behind” because I only actually have one book.

  11. says

    I am dreadful with anything I feel like I “have” to read. It just doesn’t get done. I feel bad about it, which puts me off doing it at all, and that goes on in a massive cycle.

    For example, I love Jo Walton’s work and I’d venture to say she’s a friend, but I’ve had an ARC of her new book for months now. It’s actually out now and still… only half way through. Sigh. I need to figure out a way to Get Stuff Read without putting pressure on myself. Goodness knows how!

  12. says

    Oh yes, without a doubt. If I have to force myself to do something, I’ll like it 100% less. The fact of the matter is, deadlines just give the illusion of less time. The more I read, the more time I think I’ve wasted, and the less progress I make.

    Sane thing happens to me in my college classes. Whenever they assign a book to read I groan because I know I won’t enjoy reading it.

    Great discussion! 🙂

  13. says

    ARC eCopies from Macmillan have that 60 day expiry date thing and that FREAKS ME OUT. I understand that they don’t want me keeping a free book for whatever reason but still. It makes me antsy and this post totally agrees with me. It kind of sucks the fun out of the reading experience in my opinion.

    Great discussion!

  14. says

    I’m a mood reader, so I like having a large time frame to pick when i want to read a certain book. Close deadlines stress me out and they prevent me from immersing myself in the book because, while I do finish books pretty quickly, I feel rushed to finish the book and review it. When I request ARCs on Edelweiss, I try to choose only books with release dates that are months away.

  15. says

    I have this crazy left over rebellious streak from my teenage years that if i have to do something i automatically loathe it. I have to trick myself into actually thinking it is what i want (crazy i know) I do this by making sure I give myself plenty of time before the review, if i get down to 5 days before it’d pretty much trouble. This sounds so silly but i am so hardwired for rebellion that i have to constantly combat it (especially now that i am in mommy land and have examples to set) I totally feel your plight but those are the joys of bloggerhood i suppose. We get the awesome books but then they create a schedule of sorts. Not complaining since there are far worse probs to have… like a rabid dog or something but c’est le vie.
    <3 Britt

  16. says

    I am a moodreader and when I know I have a deadline I try to start as early as possible so I don’t feel the pressure as much, but it definitely makes for a less comfortable reading experience. My goal for this year is to accept less deadline books.

  17. says

    Sometimes, deadlines on review books always weigh me down and I never feel like I can finish the book in time. I’m a library book reader so I’m used to library deadlines and those often help me to read the book and return it to the library. It isn’t a big deal if I don’t get the book read because I can renew it or check it out again.

  18. says

    Although there’s no set deadline, I do feel under pressure to read all my Netgalley ARCs as soon as possible. Well I guess there is a deadline there, but I’ve already passed it for most of them :/

    I don’t think it makes me like a book less directly, but like you I am also a mood reader – so if I feel I should read a book but I’m not really in the mood for it at that moment, that can affect it.

  19. says

    Hugs. <3 Amazing post sweetie. I'm sorry it made you feel that way 🙁 I was about to say that I have never had books on a deadline, but that isn't true. I download a lot of ARCs from Edelweiss, and then I don't feel like reading them anymore, but I do feel stressed, because I wonder if I have to read them :p So I kind of get what you mean. Probably 😀 Thank you for sharing about it Kristen. <3

  20. says

    Great discussion, K! It depends, I guess. I’m definitely a mood reader too, but if there is a deadline it also encourages me to read a book I might otherwise put off FOREVER. Once in a while if I feel forced to read it that will negatively impact my thoughts, but usually I try to request books I know I’ll want to read, so the deadline to read/review doesn’t bother me much. 🙂

  21. says

    Deadlines definitely influence my ability to like a book, which is why I don’t request books on sites like Netgalley or accept author/publisher requests. I’ve done this once or twice before, and the started to feel like an obligation that I just did not want to finish.

  22. says

    A deadline does stress me out a little, but I don’t have the idea it makes me like a book less. Sometimes I only think it makes me forget things a little easier, because when I have to hurry up I might rush through some parts.


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