My reading habits have changed a lot over the years. This post reflects on some of those changes...
Initially I was all about the classics. If it wasn't a classic, I really kind of turned up my nose. Then somewhere along the time of the great reading slump that lasted for the better part of a few years, where for every one book I read, I had started and discarded twenty (maybe an exaggeration, maybe not), I started branching out. I've read so many wonderful contemporary books! YA, sci-fy/fantasy...those still aren't my thing. And that's OK. But I'm not as wholly opposed to them as I once was. If I started a good book and it happened to be YA, as long as it stayed good, I'd read it. No need to be a snob.
Further, I've stopped stressing about the slumps. I'm crazy-assed busy! I do not always have time to read. I still carry a book with me (almost) everywhere I go (mostly in case of a hostage situation), but if I don't have time to read for a few days, I usually wind up switching books because my interest has kind of petered out. If I hit a string of books that I'm just not feeling, I don't bemoan my fate or wonder whether my reading days are over. I just keep trying. Eventually, I'll find something that grabs me and keeps me.
I stopped reviewing books. I just didn't see the point in it. Books were either classics that had been talked about to death (or no one but me was interested in) or new and already super hyped, so my saying anything--especially in the book community--wasn't going to sway anybody. I'll definitely post a pic with my current read on Instagram, maybe even including a sentence about my current perception of the book.
I also talk about books differently. My boyfriend is not a reader, so I'll tell him a snippet about what's driving me crazy about the book or what I'm liking. Then, based on his follow-up questions, I go into way too much detail explaining the plot, complete with ALL THE BACKSTORY! Then I think he regrets asking any questions about the book. But I move on, he moves on.
My best friend will get the books I like or am feeling conflicted about thrust at her with a sentence--usually "Hey, read this; it's really effed up, but I kind of like it." She'll read it and send me a text saying, "WTF, Lori! This book is really effed up! But I kinda like it." To which I respond, "I know, right?! That's why I'm making you read it."
As I've gravitated toward contemporary fiction, it's less often that I'll tell my dad to read something because there are fewer books that I think he'd be interested in reading. But, interestingly, I'm more apt to tell my grandma to read things. Books that include homosexual characters (The Nest) and the c-word! (Atonement) She reads these books without much comment ("I liked it" or "That was hard to read") and returns them to me.
Like I said, nowadays I don't review books. I don't even track them on Goodreads or in a notebook. No, I sign my name and write the date I finished it on the inside cover. Then I put the book in a cardboard box in the hall closet to make room for more books. Some, however, like my Joan Didions, return to their shelves because I can't quite quit Joan...
That's so interesting about why you don't review! I stopped a while ago as well, to an extent, but more because I wanted to focus on writing about other things. It's interesting you feel like you can't add anything new - not necessarily bad, just not a perspective I hear very often :)ReplyDelete
I'm actually in the process of changing things up on my blog, about how and what I review. One thing is I'm returning to checking my bloglovin.(I was sucked into book tube)..Anyway, one observation. Those books you think no one would be interested in, review those. People like me are looking for books like that. A lot more people are looking for good books that don't get a lot if attention, but they're kind of stuck with all the noise about the most popular book.ReplyDelete
I’ve considered giving up on writing reviews. They’re a lot of work to write, and they barely get any views on my blog. I haven’t given reviews up yet because I usually enjoy writing them, even if nobody reads reviews. I think every reader/blogger has to figure out what makes them happy. Reading isn’t fun if you put too much pressure on yourself to do it a certain way.ReplyDelete
Aj @ Read All The Things!
I was such a book snob when I was younger. I think I`ve read my first Ya book when I was 22. And surprisingly I liked it. Sometimes the YA genre can get a bit repetitive, but there are some real gems in there as well.ReplyDelete
It was also very interesting to read about your decision to not write reviews. Sometimes I also feel that I can`t bring anything new to the table and now I review only 30-40% of the books I read.
So interesting how you don't track your books. I used to not keep any record but now I am tracking my reading in like 5 different ways. I find it helps me remember the books better that way.ReplyDelete
I've gone the opposite with tracking books; I only recently started tracking them because I was forgetting what I read. I try not to count or do "challenges" or anything, because I don't want reading to feel like homework, but I guess the urge to track progress is always there.ReplyDelete
Also, I'm a little new to book blogging, but I'm trying to write reviews in the way that I like to read them: a very short blurb describing what the book is about about and a couple sentences about my impression. I just don't usually read super long reviews, and I'm not likely to write them either. But even writing these short blurbs has been helping with that memory issue.
I guess somewhat interestingly, I will read longer reviews after I've read the book, when I'm feeling like discussing it more in detail. So I actually like it when people cover books that aren't the very newest thing out there--even classics!