Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Top Ten Bookish Things I've Quit (or Should Quit)


Top Ten Tuesdays are hosted over at The Broke and the Bookish. This week's list contains books or book-related things that I've quit, or should quit.

1. Sticking with a book that I don't like. It was hard to learn this, because I always held out hope that a book would get better or that I'd learn something important from it even if I disliked what I had already read. No more. Now I'll put a book down if it doesn't grab me right away, unless it's required reading for a book group.

2. Falling for a book just because it's popular. I'll never forget when I first became a librarian and was suddenly exposed bestseller lists, something I had never paid attention to before. A really popular book at the time was Suzanne's Diary for Nicholas by James Patterson, which I unwittingly tried. This is how I learned that really crappy books become popular. (It's also how I learned to put a book down when I don't like it.) 

3. Dog-earing pages. This is something I just started doing recently, but I think I've already broke myself of the habit (at least when it comes to library books.) Bad, bad librarian.

4. My TBR list. I have documented my struggle with my To Read list here, and I'm happy to say I've stuck with my new list-free life. I don't promise it will last forever though, I'm just hoping I can keep it under control in the future (says the addict. Just one drink, JUST ONE.)

5. The Girl on the Train by Paul Hawkins. I know everyone says it's amazing and reminds them of Gone Girl, but I just couldn't get into it.

6. Assigning myself more reading. I'm in two book groups (one at work and one in real life), on the Community Read committee at work, and I really like to join book challenges. I want to find a way to do all these things and still be able to read stuff I want to read. My current book challenge is the TBR Pile Challenge which *should* help combat that, but the fact is that I've lost interest in some of the books on my list. I'm trying to convince myself to just not bother with those books. Reading what I want is more important than completing a challenge.

7. Finding new genres that I like. As a librarian, I think it's important to read widely in order to be better at readers advisory questions. On the other hand, it just ends up with me having more things to read. I've begun reading romance in the last couple of years and unfortunately I like it. I still don't read romance novels often, but at any given time I have a few on deck that I'm interested in.

8. Being judgey about what other people read. One of our mantras at the library is "We don't judge," but sometimes we do. It's not that we think people who read James Patterson are bad people, we just think they have bad reading taste. (And by "we" I mean "me." I won't actually incriminate my co-workers here, but you know who you are.) I try really hard not to judge people at all for anything, but sometimes I slip. I'm only human.

9. Feeling like I *should* read certain things. There are books that are pretty ingrained in our culture and referenced a lot, and I really want to be more educated about why that is. I've made my peace with disliking Shakespeare, but others are less easy to ignore. Moby-Dick for instance. Shouldn't I read that? And then there are more contemporary books that seem very important. I tried reading Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates, but it's just a really really long essay and I couldn't get into it. I feel bad about that.

10. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz. Everyone loved this book. Everyone. There was apparently criticism about some passages in Spanish, and various people have ridiculed the people who were put off by the Spanish as being uneducated and anti-immigrant. Well, I am as left-wing as anyone in Massachusetts, but I don't speak or understand Spanish and I was put off by those passages because I was missing parts of the book. It was too many words to be able to figure out based on context. As an added bonus, I didn't care about the characters. I think I stopped after 50 pages or so.

Ok, my dirty laundry is aired. What are some books or bookish things that you've quit, or want to quit? Tell me in the comments!

4 comments:

AJ Sterkel said...

Great list. I’m so bad at quitting books that I’m not enjoying. I know that life is too short to read bad books, but I keep thinking that they will get better.

3goodrats said...

It's a really hard habit to break.

Icy Daylight said...

Good list. As for Oscar Wao, I liked it okay - I know enough Spanish to understand most of those passages - but I didn't see what the hullabaloo was about. As for #8 on your list, I don't know what/who you're talking about... ;-)

IloveHeartlandX said...

I definitely do #1 and #3!
My TTT: https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2015/10/06/top-ten-tuesday-25/