We all have secrets. Things we don’t usually share. Things we may be a little ashamed of. Certainly, there are things I haven’t shared with you all on this blog. Dark things. Sinister things. Ominous bookish habits that you may condemn me for…
OK, enough with the dramatics. Today, I’m going to be confessing all of my bookish wrongdoings, misgivings, sins. I hope you don’t hate me for this!
(…But most of all, I hope some of you relate!)
1. I like battering my books
Am I psycho? A sadist? No, I’m just a bit messy and – I must admit – too scatter-brained to be careful with my books. I stumble, I trip, I bruise myself – surely, my books should reflect that! I say this as though I purposefully ensure my books mirror my own personality… In reality, I just transport them, rest things on them, use odd things as bookmarks – at the end of the day, they’ve gained a few dents, a few scratches, a few folded pages. I cannot count the number of times I’ve squeezed a 600 page tome into my backpack and it’s got a little damaged coming back out again. It’s just a habit now.
But I actually really like it. I like my books to look a little bruised. It shows they’ve been loved.
What is a story without characters? Nothing. So what is a book without character?
2. I’m not your typical book hoarder
Yes, I love to write about books, and read them, and the feeling of them in my hands. But I’ve never been able to shake the feeling that a shelf of books – already read, likely never to be read again – is a little sad. My book shelf is quite marginal, just a collection of the books I adored or the books I haven’t read yet. I usually donate the rest. If I’m not going to read it again, I should let someone else read it! (For a low-cost, too!)
Obviously, this is just me! You can all keep your marvellously beautiful and spectacular bookshelves – they give me all the aesthetic feels on Instagram and Tumblr!
3. I try to stay away from hyped books
When I was younger, I would stick to these books like a fly to honey. However, this is usually because I read these books before the hype. I was the hype. Take The Fault in Our Stars, for example, or Divergent. I read these books before they were all you could hear about, before everyone told you you had to read them. (Before the movies…)
You got it, I’m like one of those indie kids who ‘knew that band before they were cool.’
My issue with hyped books is the associated disappointment – they almost never live up to the hype. Take The Girl on the Train, for example: not a great book, but hyped up and called ‘the new Gone Girl.’ Or how about A Darker Shade of Magic? This is almost certainly an unpopular opinion, but that book does not live up to the hype at all!
Of course, there are anomalies. Take The Lunar Chronicles or The Book Thief. Here, the hype is justified. But this is pretty rare.
Instead, I’ve started doing my own thing: ignoring the hype, and reading whatever I feel like. Go me!
4. My reading tastes were flawed
For lack of a better term, I never used to be as woke as I am today. I would read problematic books and not even blink an eye, because I’m lucky enough for it not to have seemed problematic. In short, my activism was flawed, underdeveloped, erratic. But I am changing that. I am broadening my horizons and challenging myself to seeing things from as many perspectives as possible. Actually, blogging really helped me with this. I would see posts by fellow bloggers calling authors out for reasons I’d never considered. This is good. We need this to grow. To help other people grow. So as much as this is a confession, this is also a personal empowerment. I’ve grown a lot over my time reading, and – of course – I still have a lot of growing to do. However, I believe I am growing in the right direction.
5. Leaving books unfinished scares me
I just can’t do it. I hate doing it. I feel like I haven’t given the book a proper opportunity to shine unless I read the whole thing. Of course, this means a lot of time spent reading things I’d rather not be reading. I’m actually currently reading a book I’m not really loving, but I refuse to put it down!
6. I count the pages to the end of the chapter
I actually do this a lot. If I’m starting to get even a little bit bored, I’m off counting the pages till the end of the chapter. I do this especially with long chapters. I’m looking at you, Cassandra Clare, Murakami, Ishiguro! I’m a big fan of short, snappy chapters that keep me engaged. I’m looking at you, Maggie Stiefvater. You go, girl!
7. I judge a book by its cover
I know, this is sacrilege. But I’m pretty sure we all secretly do it. Sure, not all of the best books have beautiful covers. And sure, some of the most beautiful covers do not hide the best book behind them. However, if I’m unsure as to whether I want to read a book or not and the cover is a little tacky, that boy is not getting picked up. I’m sorry. I just can’t help it.
On the other hand, if I love a book cover, that book will more than likely make it into my arms. Because it’s pretty. We all love pretty.
8. I hate hardbacks
Sure, they’re nice-looking. I guess. But they’re just not portable! Or practical! Or worth the extra £10! Paperbacks are floppy, and you can crack the spines, and they fit nicely in my backpack. And they smell nicer, too.
Ahhh, I feel cleansed.
Do you have any bookish confessions? Are any of them the same as mine? Let me know in the comments!