Too many titles, too little time.
So, since the light novel and manga scene has exploded over the last few years with titles being licensed left and right by multiple different publishers, and new publishers coming along as well, I'm finding it very hard if not impossible to keep up with all of the titles that I want to read. In fact, I've even had to shelve some of my starting titles that got me into light novels in order to read new material that I really want to sink my teeth into.
For me, JNC has the best platform and that lets me keep up with the most amount of titles piecemeal on a weekly basis. This also lets me get in titles from other publishers in between, but I have a life and have to live it. There are titles that I will not sacrifice like "Death March", "Realist Hero", "Smart Phone", "Mrs. Elf", "Reincarnated As A Sword", "Skeleton Knight in Another World", the list goes on. And then there are the impulse buys that I get into on a whim and that's not to mention the large helping of manga that I read as well.
So, how do you decide which titles to keep and which titles to shelve? I don't particularly want to shelve any, but you have to live life as well so you inevitably have to. What's you criteria? Is it hard to choose? I'm starting to find it very difficult to choose with so many great title announcements and since we just had a fresh round of licensing announcements I thought I would ask the question.
it has become a problem (that I am happy to have...thank you JNC)
I now have the luxury of dropping series if I'm not in love with them (sorry Grimgar, Automiton Waitress and Altina)
I find that I look at tags and read a lot of 'part 1' and if I'm hooked...follow it and if I'm not, come around to it later. Sometimes I mentally flip a coin. I do find that I have to invest on my own 'catch ups' once in a while (if I fall behind for some reason on the pre-pubs i.e. latest Marielle Clerac and Bakarina)
By being really picky.
Currently, I am only tracking six series:
- Ascendance of a Bookworm
- I Shall Survive Using Potions!
- Welcome to Japan, Ms. Elf
- By the Grace of the Gods
- Death March Rhapsody
- Didn't I Say to Make My Abilities Average in the Next Life?!
There is a reason that four of the six titles are From J-Novel...
I wish I could trim down to 6, but for me not possible. But "Death March" for me is an absolute must.
I get what you're saying. I've been that way with a few. "Undead Adventurer" being one title in particular.
@lighthawk96 My full reading list is quite a bit longer, but the rest of it is currently on ScribbleHub, which is actually not too busy once you apply filters to hide "(im)mature" content, under all its various labels.
Note: there are four lists, one of which is hidden and about as long as the others combined that is just for "series in their trial period."
I say I'm going to read 30 titles in a month, then just read 1 prepub if I'm lucky. xD
I had an existential crisis back in elementary school that even if I spent every second of every day for the rest of my life reading, I would never be able to read all the books in the world. And that in turn made me realize that I would never experience stories that could potentially be my absolute favorite ever, for a variety of reasons (untranslated in a language I can’t read, unavailable at my library or online, simply never got around to it, etc.).
So I just read the things I can, when I can, and am content with that. As far as deciding what to go with, it’s really just what vibes with me at the time I’m looking for a new read. (And then when I find something, I obsess over it for exactly as long it takes me to read everything, before going onto the next series and obsessing over that instead.)
Personally I try to read everything, I will give the first part of any LN a try, unless its on a topic that I'm totally disinterested in (like zombie horror). Then I usually end up continuing to read it. And so my reading list is never barren 😊. Naturally, this only applies to prepubs; I will only buy the e-book if I can see myself re-reading it more than 3 times. I completely agree with you @lighthawk96 about JNC having the best platform and how that lets me keep up with the most amount of titles piecemeal on a weekly basis. The thing I really love about JNC's setup is it lets me check out titles that I wouldn't have read otherwise based only on the description; Black Summoner is a good example, I wasn't thrilled about it based on the synopsis but I have found it a fun read with enjoyable characters. The only LN I think I've dropped is By the Grace of the Gods, only because I wasn't really able to stay engaged with the prose and with there being the anime adaption coming up I thought I would just get the story that way and shelf the LN to give me more time to read other series.
@MasterLillyclaw I love that way of looking at things, it the way I try to be.
I came to JNC after watching Ascendance of a Bookworm that caused me to read the series, now I want to stay on top of the story, and still buy the Kindle versions so I have free access to search and re-read. Then I picked up Infinite Dendrogram because I loved the anime and have even more love for the books. Purchasing all of them on Amazon as well. Then a few others have piqued my interest in the last several weeks, like By the Grace of the Gods; which I was able to smash through on the website in a matter of days. So between my membership and then purchase of the books, I hope that more LN get translated.
Sadly a few of the stories I want translated got picked up by other publishers, where I wish I could keep all my money with JNC.
I do have that problem... but in some ways it's also been solving itself. Several of the series I've been following have gradually lost my interest, and I've ended up dropping out.
- Bibliophile Princess started strong, but I was gradually worn down by the way the protagonist went through the same self-doubt cycle over and over again.
- Cooking With Wild Game... I enjoyed it at first, but somewhere around vol. 3 it became something of a chore to read.
- Smartphone I dropped around vol. 10.
- Altina I really enjoyed at first, but started getting bogged down in the politics when they came to the imperial capital, and I couldn't push through to continue. I do plan on trying again once it goes on catchup.
- And so on... so in a sense, I guess this is self-correcting; if I have too many series on the plate, the ones that are harder to push through tend to get attrited until things quiet down.
I just read whatever I feel like reading at the moment. If that means that I get through a series quickly, then I get through it quickly. If it means that it sits around unread for a while, then it sits around unread for a while. I expect that I'll get to them all eventually, and if I don't, well I read whatever I felt most like reading at the time. I'm not exactly at retirement age though, so I'm not all that worried about it.
LOL. Death March literally sat around for years, with each volume stacking up, before I read even the first one. Then once I finally started it, I blew threw them all in no time flat. So, just because a series sits around for a while doesn't necessarily mean that I'm not going to get around to it. I have other series where I was actually keeping up with them as the books came out and then hit a patch that I didn't like so much, so I've left them sitting around for a bit. I'll get back to them eventually. I'm more worried about series where I wasn't happy with the beginning and didn't get far, since I'm less likely to be interested in reading them, and some of them are supposedly good (e.g. Re:Zero and Konosuba). But I expect that I'll push through them eventually - though if series like that don't get better further in, I might actually drop them. I rarely actually drop series though. I usually just am slow to get back to them. And there are some series that I actually do manage to keep up with the whole time.
Yeah, sometimes, I feel like I really should be getting around to a particular series, and it's not always easy to pick what to read next, but I just go with whatever I feel most like reading at the moment even if it means rereading something when I have new stuff waiting. I can understand being worried about keeping up with series, but personally, I don't think that it's worth stressing over. I don't really have any kind of system for what I read when though. I just read whatever I feel like at the time.
I solved this problem by... not following anything and completely dropping out of the contemporaneous conversation. Every workday, I cross my fingers and hope I'll have maybe 30 minutes at night to read a few paragraphs of whatever is on my nightstand at the moment. A single book lasts me months. Currently, I'm slowly working my way through Log Horizon 10. I think the rest of Spice and Wolf, along with Hataraku Maou-Sama, which I have lined up on my shelf will last me the rest of my life.
Personally I follow closely a few series (Grimgar, Bookworm, Lazy Dungeon Master, Mapping, Last Boss, Instant death, Saga of Tanya, Spider).
For other series I wait to be behind by a few volumes then binge read from time to time, like Altina, Cooking with wild game, Otherside picnic, Mushoku Tensei,... Because It's usually faster to read 3 volumes of a series in a row than 1 at a time over months.
And then I have the 2 Monogatari Boxset, that I purchased because it would be impossible to buy later and that I have yet to read because I don't read paper version anymore...
Luckily I am a fairly fast reader so not much problems with backlogs. And as only JNC is fast with releases there is not much problem regarding finishing something (and seriously (seriously Yen On, July next year for Volume 2 of Eminence in the shadows?).
Sure there are some series I have on hold but this is only because I am atm more interested in something else. I will certainly bigne read them if I want to go further into it (hello Reincarnated as a sword Volume 3+ or Smartphone 18+).
Usually I also re-read parts of older Volumes. Naturally I won't read the book again as a whole (except for Kuma Kuma Kuma Bear, this slice of Life is just too good).
So to come back to you initial question. I simply only read series I like (atm those are 27) in between miscaleneous ones and I jsut take my time. What helps in my case is (which you surely can not replicate this easily) that I am a fast read and that my sleeping time is averagly around 4 hours per day.
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Well leisure reading shouldn't be a chore, so I just read what caught my attention for any reason. If I'm hooked then I follow it or slowly catch up, if I'm completely uninterested I drop it. My main read atm is Marielle Clarac, so I just activate my membership when it's releasing and cancel when it's on hiatus. Other titles I follow are:
- JK Haru (finished)
For me another one of the worst times is when all of the new announcements come out. Not worst in a sense of "Damn! More to read." But more like "I want to read 4 out if the 16 that were announce so... How am I going to work these new titles in" and then end up slacking off on a series.
I've let "Shield Hero" go because it just took too long in between releases. I've bought them and will binge them at some point, but too many other good titles came out that I've been salivating over in the interim and it got shelved due to slow release rate.
My main problem is the plethora of titles I'm still hoping to get licensed. And there are, shall we say, more than just a few as I'm sure you all can sympathize with me on. It's a conundrum to be sure.
I find it interesting how several people have mentioned Death March. Among my friends the anime is considered one of the more prominent examples of “really not very good, though not utter trash either”, and in large part I agree, but I found myself surprised by how much I’ve enjoyed the novels and frustrated that most of my friends won’t even take a chance off of what I’m telling them because of their assumptions from the anime. Though incredibly haphazard, the writer is clearly trying to do more detailed world building and it shows. Intriguing world building can be a strength of the isekai genre when properly thought out, which is a large part of my enjoyment of Overlord, Bookworm, and a few others. Oh, and a new volume on the translated side should drop early next week if I have my dates right, along with a new volume of Slime and ReZero.
I feel so on the fence about Smartphone. When I like it, I really like it, but I’ve also felt disappointed by what at times has felt like lazier than normal writing and plot. I think half of my continuation of it at this point is from inertia at having come so far and wanting to not be left with open plot lines.
I have been meaning to start Bakarina...
@mystyk Oddly enough I liked the anime (even though it's just comforting by the numbers fluff in some ways) and enough that checked out the LNs which are, no surprise, way better.
Well... I'm quite picky and moody for my selection, sometimes I found myself hooked on one title and read all the available release but other time I just shelved them until the mood strike (sometimes I never touch them for years).
I guess the trick is not overthink (?) it, just find the one you see interesting and enjoy them. I follow this atm :
- Tensei Shittara Datta Slime
- Der Wolf
- By the grace of god
- Prince Henscherick
- Elf Bride
- the Alchemist want quite life
- eminence of shadow
few titles are from yen press, so I kind of expect a slow release