Do You Ever Worry About Your Reading Future?

Reading FutureSometimes, when I’m thinking about the future (awful practice, that. I don’t recommend it), I wonder about what I’ll be reading in the next few years. Just mindless speculation, usually along the lines of “I wonder what fantastic series I’ll start?” or “How in the world am I going to survive the end of [insert favorite series here]??” Innocent fun!

And then it gets scary.

I start thinking, “Will I still love YA?” That’s what scares me the most. What if, when I’m twenty something, I’ll start to hate YA fiction?? To be honest, that idea petrifies me. I’ve read so many incredible books, and met so many incredible people, all through YA novels.

When I’ve read adult fiction (and don’t take this as a general statement because I haven’t read a wide variety of adult fiction in any way), the only word that comes to mind is jaded. It just seems so tired of life, so weary and plodding along. Even though the same subject matter may be addressed in either Adult Fiction or Young Adult fiction, there’s something different in YA. A spark, a sense of hope and promise. All those dystopian books with teens who unrealistically take down governments? Those are important. They show readers that despite dismal conditions and situations, you always have the capacity to fight, because you are only defeated when you surrender.

So honestly I am terrified that I’ll stop liking YA lit, because does that mean that I’ve surrendered to life? Given up that burning fire that makes you attack the world like nothing will take you down?

And this is when I stop myself, because I’m thinking way too much and I just need to calm down. If I like YA, then I will continue to like YA: it’s a choice, right? So that’s what I’m going to do! Because there is no way in my lifetime that I’m giving up on Throne of Glass or The Grisha or Harry Potter.

 

I Admit that I Have Some Strange Habits

Reading HabitsWe’ve all talked about bookmarks versus dog-earing, hardback versus paperback, do you take off a dust jacket or keep it on while reading, and so on and so forth. We all have our preferences, and we will have a million more discussions about whether or not dog-earing a page is blasphemy and punishable by a three week reading ban.

However, as I pay more attention to myself as I read, I’ve found that I have a few *possibly weird, probably hilarious* behaviors that I will admit to. Warning: you’re about to find out what a freak I am. Proceed with caution!

I hit myself with books

Yep, you read it right! I hit myself with books. If I’m reading, and I’m absolutely gobstopped by the event that just happened and I’m FREAKING OUT and cannot contain myself and have no bookish buddies to talk to, then I bang the book against my knees and then hunt down my mom so I can wail in her general direction. Usually this works best with hardbacks, though. And it actually does kind of hurt. BUT THE FEELS ARE PAINFUL TOO!

I announce plot twists

I don’t say exactly what happened – I just scream “plot twist!” Again – this is usually when I don’t have someone to talk to so of course I must announce it publicly.

I touch books like they’re lovers

It’s frankly very creepy. You can ask Veronica – she’s seen me do it. But sometimes I just stand at my shelves and run my fingers over the spines because I just HAVE to touch them and remember all the lovely memories they gave me. I’ve done it at stores too, so this is a public behavior as well.

The answer to the question you’re asking right now: yes, I have issues. Clearly something is very wrong with me!

What are some strange reading or bookish habits you have? Do you touch books lovingly as well? Can we be creepers together??

 

Top Ten 2014 Resolutions

TTT BannerTop Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. Check out their amazing blog here!

Edit: 10PM Monday night. I screwed this up and did next week’s prompt! So since I only have mobile and can’t write a post properly, I’ll just leave it and do the Top Ten of 2013 next week. Whoopsies!

Today’s TTT topic is: Top Ten Goals/Resolutions For 2014 (bookish, not bookish or a blend). I’m going to split it down the middle – five bookish resolutions and five life resolutions.

Book/Blogging resolutions

1. Only read what I want to read. Don’t request ARCs that I only have partial interest in, and DNF if I have to!

2. Take my time and enjoy my books. When I started reading again, I inhaled a book a day, sometimes two. And the truth is that I burnt out really fast. So I want to try and slow down a bit – be okay with not reading four hours a day. Savor the read! (Though if it’s amazing, I can’t promise I won’t stay up till 2 AM to finish it)

3. Don’t freak out about stats. My views have been up and down lately – with the downs being uncharacteristically low. Just realize that people have lives and my blog probably isn’t the most important thing to them!

4. Interact more! I’ve been so tired lately that I have a hard time leaving comments like I used to. I want to get back into tweeting and commenting and making even more blogging friends!

5. Stay in contact with the blogging friends I’ve made. Whether that means guest posts, having bookish chats, or just emailing/tweeting each other every once in a while – just stay in contact. I’ve met so many lovely people and I don’t want to lose them just because I’m shy!

Life Resolutions

6. Get back to the gym. I know it’s so cliche, but I really do need to do this. Since that thing happened in the summer, life’s gone crazy, and I’ve gained ten pounds. I want that off, plus some more!

7. Be more prepared. This relates specifically to my teaching position. I want to make sure I get ahead on planning so I’m not cramming at the last minute and feeling like I’m breathless every time I walk into a classroom. 

8. Get healthy, mentally and physically. I guess this is kind of linked to #6, but not really. Mostly dealing with the anxiety/panic/depression, which leads into the headaches, neck stiffness, chest pain, and exhaustion. No more of that please!

9. Write my book. I’ve got two beta readers that keep asking me for chapters, and it’s high time I sat down and wrote this thing. It’s time to ignore all the voices, both in my head and what other people say, and do what I really want to with my life.

10. Pay off my debts. You know you’re an adult when money makes it to your list of resolutions. I want to get rid of those student loans!

That’s my list for this week – link me yours below!

Standing on my Soapbox: The Statistical Probability of DNFing a Book

I know some people are dead set against DNFing a book, and I also know that some people are totally for it. Ultimately, it’s the reader’s choice, and as for me, I support DNFing. No apologies here, and I’ll explain my reason why below.

I try not to DNF – I truly put my nose to the grindstone and force myself to get to a certain point in a book, no matter how awful it is. Lately, I’ve set the bar at about 40%. If it’s a long book, maybe 30%. There has been only one book (which I won’t name) where I put it down after reading maybe ten pages (yes, it was that bad). With any book, I try to give it that 40% chance, just out of respect for the author and (in the case of a NetGalley ebook) the people who gave it to me. But sometimes, no matter how hard I try, I just can’t push past that 40% mark. At that point, I’ve read enough to get a good sense of if I like where the book is going – if I don’t like it, or can’t stand it, I won’t put myself through the rest. If I’ve learned one thing since starting my blog, it’s that there are too many good books out there to get caught up in one that just doesn’t work for me.

But in my DNF reviews, I have noticed a pattern. And here’s the brutal truth: I am far more likely to DNF a NetGalley book than one I actually purchased.

I think there’s two reasons for this:

  1. NetGalley is free, while everything else is from my bank account. There’s definitely that financial urge to read a book, no matter what, when I’ve paid for it myself. Essentially: “Dammit I spent good money on this and I’ll at least finish it once so I can properly rant about how pissed I am that I shelled over seventeen bucks for this haphazard pile of words.” With NetGalley, it’s free. There’s no personal investment for me. So there’s less of a psychological guilt trip when I give up on one that I received. I know I’m a horrible blogger – but I’m supposed to be honest here, right? Please don’t hang me by my toes.
  2. Books from NetGalley aren’t always the best. Let’s be honest: a lot of NetGalley books (at least the ones I’ve read), are indie or self-published, and they’re not the most refined or well-edited. Most of them are from brand new authors, so I just have to go by faith that I’ll like their writing style. Sometimes this works in my favorite (Hello, Backward Glass by David Lomax or Sia by Josh Grayson), but many times it just doesn’t.

This isn’t to say that I don’t DNF a book I bought: Dear John is still a black hole in my memory *war flashbacks*. But ultimately, what I read is my choice. I rule the roost around here, and if I don’t want to read the book, I won’t.

Although I do still feel bad about my NetGalley books. Poor babies. I promise to be better to you!

So what about you? Have you seen any patterns in the books you DNF?