I have some bookish confessions to make today. Let’s not waste any time and get right into them…
I have a hard time abandoning books.
I don’t like to admit this because I really believe in abandoning a book if it’s not grabbing your attention. But still, I feel guilty when I do it.
This guilt comes from many different places. On the one hand, I get worried that there’s something wrong with me and that’s why I’m not enjoying the story. I’m just not literary enough to read this book! I should only read romance and chick lit and easy fiction from here on out! The other place the guilt comes from is this worry that if I abandon one book, I’ll fall into this downward spiral of abandoning book after book after book. I very rarely get into reading slumps and the thought of it happening is scary since reading is my all-time favorite hobby.
But the real truth is that abandoning books happens. We all come to books with different personalities and backgrounds and opinions, and so a book that other people rave about may not tick the same boxes that I need for an enjoyable story. It doesn’t mean anything other than the fact that reading is intensely personal.
And really, there are too many books to waste time reading something that feels more like a chore than a fascinating adventure.
It’s really interesting to me how worked up people get when books are turned into movies, and the movie is vastly different than the book.
I never, ever expect a movie to follow the same storyline as the actual novel. I always believe it will be loosely based on the book, and while major storylines should remain intact, the way the movie gets to the conclusion may differ from the book.
Think about it: we’re talking about two entirely different mediums. With a book, we’re able to delve deep into a character’s mind and understand their thoughts. We can’t do that with a movie. A movie is more about the external actions. And a movie has to cut out certain scenes from the book because there’s a time limit.
Look, the fact is the book is always better than the movie because the book allows us to dive deeper and explore more internal thoughts and feelings with our characters. I just don’t see the point of complaining about all the changes that had to occur to turn the book into a movie. That’s just what happens when you take one type of media and put it into a different type of media.
I just think we need to take a step back and realize that the movie is based on the book. It is not the book in movie form.
I don’t like to recommend books to friends. The reason is because I only recommend books that I wholly loved and had an emotional connection to, so when I recommend a book and the friend, for whatever reason, ends up not liking it… it feels like a personal affront.
Because reading is so personal. It is a personal journey that is individual to every reader and the features I may like in a book are the features other may dislike.
Everyone has their own taste in books, but it’s hard when I recommend a book where I feel “safe” in my choice and then the friend comes back and tells me s/he didn’t love the book. Or even like it. My heart plummets. I feel responsible. I feel hurt.
But isn’t that the beauty of being a reader? What will impact one person may not impact the other. What I liked in one story may be what my friend dislikes in that same story.
And feeling hurt that someone hated a book you loved isn’t a bad thing. It just means you care deeply about reading.
How do you choose the books you read? My system is so complicated that I don’t know how to explain my method. But I will try.
For starters, I batch books into four categories: complete author works*, nonfiction, on my Goodreads TBR list, and books I’ve purchased but haven’t read.
(*Complete author works refers to reading the entire works of one author. I’m currently reading through Kristin Hannah and Emily Giffin’s works.)
And then I select one book per category and list them out as books I will be reading in the coming weeks.
Another part of my reading life is that I’m trying to read as much romance as I can, due to the type of novel I’m writing, so I also have a list of romance titles I will read in the coming weeks.
Then, I take both those lists and combine them. I take two books from the first list, then two books from the second list, and back and forth until I have a list of about 6-8 upcoming books to read. (And then I can hit up my library and request the copies I need!)
Now, this method doesn’t always work in a smooth line because I have to add in book club books, review books, and Harry Potter books (since I’m rereading the series this year) into the list, so it usually takes me a while to get through one full go-round with my four categories. And sometimes I put popular, front-list titles on hold at the library and if they come in for me sooner than I expect, I have to add them into my list, since I usually have to finish them quicker than a normal library book.
So, for instance, right now I’m reading the fifth Harry Potter novel and here’s what my upcoming books list looks like:
- Love the One You’re With by Emily Giffin (complete author works)
- Taking the Heat by Victoria Dahl (romance title)
- Rescue My Heart by Jill Shalvis (romance title)
- Dog Crazy by Meg Donohue (book I own but haven’t read)
- In the Country We Love by Diane Guerrero (nonfiction)
It’s a complicated system and I’m sure there’s a way to streamline things, but I kinda like how odd and complex my book selection process is. It allows me to spend a lot of time perusing book lists and finding titles I’m excited to read next.
Okay – your turn. Confess something bookish to me!