I Value My Time

Since the beginning of my reading life I’ve always struggled to put down books I’m not digging (do the youth still say this? I just turned 30 so I’m having this irrational panic that I’m suddenly out of touch). When I came into the book blogging world I quickly found that there were people who could so easily declare they were putting down books they weren’t into without even a second though (namely my bff Anna). I always WANTED to be so ruthless with putting down books I’m not enjoying but I guess it’s just not my personality.

Since blogging, I’ve gotten BETTER at it. I say better, as in, I’ll do it in those times when it feels likes wrestling an alligator just to get me to sit down with the book. But I still have some ways to improve…

101395-but-its-hard-gif-Scott-Pilgrim-rN0I(source)

 

Last year I wrote about 8 reasons I struggle to put books down. Reason #2 on the list was that I’ve invested too much time in it. If I’m honest I think this is my BIGGEST struggle out of the eight — even more than just being nosy about the ending.

It’s a time issue for both types of readers — those ruthless book quitters and those who have a harder time.

clock-time-lapse-o

People who are big champions of putting down books they aren’t liking/aren’t into say things like “life is too short to read books you don’t like.” I myself have repeated this mantra over and over in my head when I’m trying to decide whether or not to mark a book as DNF (did not finish, for those unfamiliar with the lingo of the bookish interwebs).

But for the part of me that struggles to put down books? It’s also a time thing. Like okay I spent an hour (or whatever time amount) of my life reading this book. If I give up, then I feel as though that hour was a complete WASTE of an hour because I didn’t complete the story and I was just reading for no good reason.

 

So then I have this very hard choice at hand! (And I’m like the Queen of Indecision and Avoidance). To figure out what is the bigger waste of time

  1. Reading 1 hour of book and putting it down — and now I’m free to read something I might enjoy more but I’m out that hour with nothing to show for it. 
  2. Or spending 3 hours on a book that I didn’t like — I finished it (so yay I completed something) but I HAD TO FORCE MY WAY THROUGH IT or didn’t like it or whatever the problem was that made me considering putting it down. 

And then there’s all the other questions that swirl through my head: Do I see it as a waste of time by having read and interacted with a book even if it was torture making it through it? Will I be annoyed if I don’t find out what happens if I put it down? Can I ask someone what happens if I put it down? Is the value in giving up that hour worth not slogging through more of it? Should I persevere through books when they require more attention or are “harder” to read (ie classics)? Is reading a book for an hour and not finishing it any more of a waste of time than I do mindlessly surfing the interwebs? AM I OKAY WITH THIS LOSS OF AN HOUR?

I don’t really have any foolproof ways for knowing for calculating the value of my time — whether I’ll be happy I put it down or that it’s a better use of my time to slog through.

Sometimes I feel a THANK GOD I STOPPED READING THAT I WAS GOING TO THROTTLE MYSELF WITH MY SHOELACE IF I READ ONE PAGE MORE but other times I don’t feel strongly one way or another. I mean, sometimes I finish a book I wasn’t digging and it’s like “eh well. That was that.” And then there’s those few times it’s like OMG WHY DID I FINISH THAT STAB STAB STAB. It’s a toss-up most of the time! Then just as rare –– the times I LOVED it after slogging through.

I just know that I value my time and I want to make the best use of it — especially that every so precious reading time!

 

I’m more so really curious if this is something that anyone else struggles with! Do you DNF with ease or do you struggle like I do? HOW do you decide what is the better use of your time? Please tell me your thoughts on this!! Maybe your rationale will help me!!

8 Reasons I Struggle To Put Down A Book

I HATE when I’m reading a book and I’m not really feeling it. Because then…one of the hardest bookworm decisions has to be made. To put down the book or keep reading? I mean, it’s a tough decision. If I don’t put it down I am at risk for subjecting myself to something awful and possibly putting myself in a dreaded reading slump. I recently had a REALLY tough time putting down a book —  I put it down and was so close to talking myself out of it. But my book people on Twitter stepped in and off to the library I went to return the book.

I realized there’s many reasons why I struggle to put it down. Let’s explore them.

1. I think “IT COULD GET BETTER” and history has made this be true for me.

one I'm looking for gif

Some of my favorite books started out rough or slow (Code Name Verity and Jellicoe Road). I can’t imagine not having those stories in my life!! But there are more books that DIDN’T get better…that weren’t that one that was worth pushing through. But I get so caught up in the fact that books I may have wanted to put down have been SO WORTH IT. Even though mathematically that’s a small percentage. But I’ve never like math anyways.

 

2. I’ve invested so much time into it.

all we've been through gif

SERIOUSLY THOUGH. Let’s say I spent an hour or so reading a book. I CANNOT GET THAT TIME BACK. I could have been reading something else so I might as well just finish so it wasn’t wasted time. Plus, LET’S BE REAL….an unfinished book can’t count towards my Goodreads challenge and I can’t figure out a way for the pages I DID read to count in my pages read count on Goodreads. I NEED TO GET SOME SORT OF CREDIT FOR READING WHAT I DID. I might as well just finish the damn book to do that.

3. I like finishing what I start.

friends gif

It’s true. I hate starting something and then leaving it unfinished. (Although look at all my unfinished series…IT REALLY DOES BOTHER ME. I swear). It just nags at me.

 

4. I’m NOSY.

HIMYM gif

I like to know what happens in most cases. Even if I’m not really digging it I mostly ALWAYS have the desire to know what happens. Even if it’s excruciating for me to keep reading or putting me in a slump. Sidenote: Book friends are so useful in this way. I always get them to tell me what happens if I don’t want to finish a series or a book.

 

5. It’s just kind of my personality.

tumblr_mxh4i2zyUn1qdsm1jo1_500

A problematic part of my personality. I suck at letting things go. This is why my closet has tons of things I haven’t worn in 5 years in it. I’m always like BUT MAYBE I WILL WANT TO WEAR IT. Toxic friendships? Took me years to let some go. I always try to tell myself things could turn around. It could change. People will be less sucky. Miserable situations? YEP I JUST TRY TO FIGHT THROUGH IT HOPING IT GETS BETTER. I’m just the worst at letting go….even when I know I should.

6. I spent money on it.

Money-GIF

I wish money grew on trees but ALAS IT DOES NOT. So if I spent money on a book? I feel the most guilt in the world to not finish it. I know I could pass it along or donate it but I still feel guilt like WOAH. This is also why I’ve gotten better about being more selective with what books I buy.

7. I have an obligation & I feel guilty.

shame

If it’s for book club, it was a gift, a bff’s favorite book or I said I’d read with a friend or anything like that? I AM DOOMED. I’ve only ever not finished one book for book club but I did have to put my foot down with that one because I was in a major slump because of it.

8. I’m unsure whether it’s the book or ME:

tumblr_m7c2x96w0c1rbvp04o2_r1_500

I wrote this post “It’s Not You, It’s Me…Or Is It?” a long time ago but this is still a huge issue for me. Sometimes I can’t tell if it’s just a mood thing or it’s not the right time…or if it just really IS the book. If it’s a ME/outside factor than I’ll try to pick it up again sometime later (in an ideal world).

 

It’s a hard moment when I’m faced with dilemma of quitting a book. ALL THESE FACTORS MAKE IT SO HARD TO MAKE A DECISION.

tumblr_inline_mlq3pxwTSz1qz4rgp

LET’S TALK:

Are you good at putting down books you aren’t into? What factors make it hard or easy for you?

I Think I’ve Made A Terrible Mistake

I’ve always loved lending out books. As a kid, I practically begged my sister to borrow books from me. I love being excited about a book and getting others excited. I’ve converted some of my friends into readers and it’s delightful. Even when I’ve had to mourn some lost books, I’ve still joyously lent them out to friends in need of a new book for their vacation or just life in general. I don’t even get too worried about wear and tear to my books because you know how I am. In fact, I’m more scared to borrow books from other people than I am to lend them out. (I think I’m a weirdo in that regard maybe?).

But in my book zeal, I’ve realized I may have been a little too hasty with my lending.

 

tumblr_lzuuveCjN61rnkfy8o1_500

I’ve lost track of what I lent out and I’ve lent out things that perhaps I shouldn’t because it kind of gives me heart palpitations to think of ever losing.

 

3 situations I’ve found myself in lately:

1. Forgetting what I lent out: My little sister came to visit and said she wanted some new books to read. I was practically bouncing up and down that she wanted some books. So I loaded her up with 10 or so books and I can’t even remember which ones. The only one I do remember that I lent her FOR SURE is Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour which you know I super love. She said my cousin (who is also her age) wanted to borrow some too and I was just so excited to connect with them over books that I was out of control. I’m honestly terrified I’m never going to see these books again and I can’t even REMEMBER which books they are. I need to make people sign them out like I did when I was little APPARENTLY. Also, my sister is not ummm very responsible in keeping track of THINGS? About a week after I lent them out I had a moment of sheer panic for my books after my “OMG PEOPLE I LOVE WANT TO READ” high wore off.

2. Lending out favorites. SIGNED FAVORITES: My friend borrowed a bunch of books from me (and recently returned them…AH THE RELIEF)  and I was SO excited because I have gotten her into YA. She would read a little bit here and there but never YA. And now she’s hooked. SO OBVIOUSLY I hooked her up with my favorites from Gayle Forman (among others). BUT THESE WERE MY SIGNED BOOKS. And I trusted her no doubt. But I realized I maybe need some “borrowing copies” for my favorite books so I don’t have to part with my signed. WHAT IF SHE LOST THEM? Especially my Gayle’s. Can’t replace these personalized copies.

3. Lending out books to people who then lend them out to someone else: So my friend who borrowed my Gayle books? Well, she lent them to her sister-in-law and then her mom. NOW, she asked. She did. But I felt so awkward saying no and plus I WANT EVERYONE TO READ THE GAYLE BOOKS….so I said yes. I HAD NEVER HAD THIS HAPPEN BEFORE. I was ill-prepared and it scared me for my books to get even further away.

 

And now I’ve found myself with a bout of book lending anxiety. THE STRUGGLE IS REAL, friends. I’ve never really ever felt TOO nervous about lending and I’ve done it freely and joyously but now I kind of just want to be like THEY ARE MIIIIIINE. NO.

Mine

But I really just like getting friends hooked on books I’ve loved. I’ve had a lot of personal success with lending my books and letting friends discover new favorites (my one friend who lives in my complex has been a READING MACHINE and has discovered all sorts of new authors to love from borrowing my books).  I know a lot of other people don’t like feeling like their friend’s personal library…but I’ve never minded it.

So now I’m all like: to lend or not to lend? Do I need to maybe have boundaries with certain books? Actually write down what people borrow? Stop lending so freeeely? I DO NOT KNOW.

 

What about you guys? Do you lend books out to people? Have any lending horror stories? How do you choose what books you are fine with lending?

When The Well Rounded Reader Suddenly Finds Herself Not So Well Rounded

So I’ve always been a very eclectic reader. Sure, contemporary YA has been my main jam for the past couple years but I’ve always read a variety of things with it — all sorts of genres in YA and adult fiction. I’d say it was 50% contemporary YA and then 50% other things. But as I was making my top ten books I’ve read in 2014 so far I realized this year I’ve read A LOT of contemporary YA and barely anything else. And that was kind of true for much of last year.

As you know, I’m a mood reader so I just go where my reading whims take me and that seems to be overwhelmingly contemporary YA for this year and last. I’ve had a GREAT reading year so far so I’m okay with that but in some ways I’m kind of feeling like I’m putting myself in a reading box (this is not saying this is a BAD thing to read only one genre but it is strange for ME personally knowing how I normally read).

There’s half of me that’s really content to  just keep reading whatever is jumping out to me because I’m enjoying a good chunk of what I’m reading. But then the other half of me is wanting to force myself to stop reading contemporary for a little bit and branch out to some other things like I used to.

I don’t really know why I’ve been gravitating to just contemporary — maybe the stories just have been catching my eye more with how I’ve been feeling and what I’m looking for right now. Maybe it’s that, review copy wise, more contemporary is coming to me AND I’ve always BOUGHT more contemporary YA than any other genre so all my older reads are contemporary YA as well. Out of like every 25 reads, there has been like 1 thing that isn’t contemporary. Okay, that’s not real math because I didn’t actually look that up but that’s what it seems like. I’ve enjoyed the non-contemporary YA I’ve read in the past year or so but I don’t know why I’m not seeking it out as much as I used to. I even have many non-contemporary YA books I’m like really excited about. But somehow I just keep gravitating towards contemporary YA.

But this also makes me feel like I’m having a teeny tiny borderline existential crisis as a reader. I’ve always been able to say, “HI I’M JAMIE AND I AM A VERY ECLECTIC READER.” And it’s always been true. But right now I feel like that’s not accurate. And now I’m all, “Am I not an eclectic reader anymore? Will I ever be again??” And then on to bigger, more philosophical questions like WHY DO WE PICK THE THINGS WE PICK? Is there a science behind what we pick up?? (Okay, I’m not REALLY thinking about that too much but, for real, I want to know why I’m only gravitating to one genre right now).

I think I’m going to try and mindfully add some other genres from my shelf in the mix but just keep going with where my whims take me.

So let’s talk:

* Are you an eclectic reader or are you pretty much solely a reader of a certain genre?
* Do you ever go through phases where you gravitate towards a certain genre for a while?
* Recommend me a non-contemporary YA book you’ve loved recently or think screams THIS IS A JAMIE BOOK. (seriously, I read/will try mostly anything except erotica).
* ALSO, if you have any insight on The Science of Why We Pick The Books We Do….let me know! I want to understand my brain
haha.

5 Things You Could Do To Piss Me Off As A Reader

I’m generally a happy-go-lucky person and you all know that, as a reader, I’m not particular about my books so there really AREN’T a lot of things that I will get my panties in a bunch over as a reader. But the other day, after a stupid article about why adults should be ashamed to read YA popped up, I found myself really PISSED OFF. I mean, I didn’t let it ruin my day but I thought, “YEAH that pisses me off as a YA reader.” RAGE FACE.

So then I started thinking about what other kinds of things piss me off as a reader. I don’t rant often but this was kiiiind of therapeutic.

So here’s my list of some not-so-serious and serious things that piss THIS reader off.

 

1. Losing my page in a book:

If it’s left open to a certain page it’s because I was too lazy to get a bookmark or even a makeshift bookmark or for whatever reason dogear the book (which YEP I dogear my own books) but I WANT TO REMEMBER WHAT PAGE I WAS ON. Don’t close my book like it doesn’t matter. Then I have to go and try and FIND the page I was on without accidentally reading things on a page that might spoil me. DON’T TOUCH MAH BOOK, K?

2. Be condescending about what I’m reading.

Yeah, I’m reading YA or a romance with a glistening piece of MAN CANDY on the cover or pink fluffy piece of chick lit. You MAAAAD? Gotta problem? It’s like this — I read what I want to read because I’m a grown ass adult and I do the things I like because I’ve learned life is too short to walk around pretending I like things I don’t or denying myself things I do. So yep. I read those things right along side the literary fiction and the classics I own. You walking around with your nose up in the air squawking about how my reading choice is not good enough is certainly NOT going to make me feel bad about it so SAVE YOUR BREATH and GO LIVE YOUR OWN LIFE. If these people spent the amount of time caring about their own life than they do MY reading choice then MAYBE THEY WOULD LOVE LIFE MORE. Must be miserable to be them!

Did-I-Adequately-Answer-Your-Condescending-Question-Quote-In-The-Social-Network

3. Spoil a book for me.

I’ve talked about how careless book spoilers are like the bane of my existence but seriously…I will ninja kick you in the face if you spoil a book for me. I mean, I get if people talk openly about something like Harry Potter because most people (not me) have read it and it’s been out for forever. But sometimes I get so irritated by the careless book spoilers that happen on Twitter in conversation or in book reviews. LABEL THAT SHIT, YO. Talk about it in private because my eyes can’t un-see that!! Be more aware! I haven’t been spoiled TOO often but the couple times have just KILLED me because I know it could have been prevented. And this pretty much how I wanted to react:

d21d7904c15f5c59337df81097229ed9

4. Say, “it’s JUST a book.”

tumblr_m4kzi3tVgJ1r3slzl

 THIS IS JUST MY FIST IN YOUR FACE. It is NOT “just a book.” Books have changed my life, dear uniformed person. Don’t EVER tell me it’s “just a book” because I’m emotionally distraught because a beloved character died or that I’m SO SO SO mad about something in a book. Books do things you just don’t even UNDERSTAND.

5. Interrupt me or try to talk to me when I’m reading.

what-not-to-say-to-mixed-race-4

I told you that story about the guy on the train and how this irritates me to NO END. But seriously, don’t interrupt me when I’m reading. I don’t mind a “hey, I know you are reading but real quick…” if it’s important (Will is good about this) but when I’m trying to read…just shhhh until I finish my chapter or page at least if you want to have a full on conversation. And just because I’m reading a book on a train does NOT mean I am bored and wishing I had something else to do. Your conversation IS NOT SAVING ME FROM BOREDOM.

So, let’s talk friends! What are things that piss you off as a reader? Are any of these things that will make you insta-rage?

When You Become More Well Read In A Genre… (also, HALP! Overthinking here!)

Over the past few years, especially since blogging, I’ve read more of a variety of books — heck I have a lot of changes in myself as a reader since I began blogging. I’ve shown you my reader history so you know it’s very recent that I started reading a lot of genres and when I started blogging I rarely read YA. It’s amazing and I love how even MORE eclectic by reading habits have become.

When I start these new genres I FALL IN LOVE. I’m smitten, head-over-hells, over the moon. It’s so new and exciting and I find myself love each new genre.

tumblr_mfcrxq3d371rpexeqo5_r1_250

I remember being enchanted by paranormal YA, then discovering the amazing world of contemporary YA and then my mind was blown by dystopian and, along the way, I’ve slowly dipped my toes into fantasy and science fiction — genres I would have never thought I would ever explore. Everything is so new and exciting which is why I’ve been loving my Courting Genres challenges to myself.

But I realized something about myself when I start diving into these new genres when I was scrolling Goodreads. I rate these books really high and think they are amazing. Sometimes they really ARE amazing but sometimes, years later or as a I get more immersed in the genre, I wonder why I thought it was so darn good.

tumblr_inline_mup5l71sbi1r023dt

I’ve been thinking a lot about it. When I get into a new genre it’s this new taste and it invigorates my reading taste buds. I think it’s amazing because I simply haven’t had anything like it before and it excites me. But as I become more well read in a particular genre I realize there’s better stuff out there. So I may have been charmed by this fast paced dystopian only to realize that there are WAY better ones out there and the book I actually read was kind of flimsy in comparison. It wasn’t a true 4 stars comparatively to some better ones I’ve now read.

I have a hard time reconciling that as I’ve become more well read in genres — that maybe the rating/review I gave it doesn’t hold up as I know more about the genre and read more in it. Personally, since more than anything my Goodreads is for me, I’ve begun changing the ratings and sometimes adding a note of some of these books that don’t quite measure up against what I’ve read. But I do wonder, as I contemplate changing my rating, what I would have given this book if it was maybe the 12th book I read in a certain genre vs. the second.

I think the other thing I try to reconcile in this is — is it fair that I’m comparing another book to others in the genre? Should I be okay with what I first thought about it? It’s hard because when I want to start recommending in a genre I want to give the best of the best in the genre to hook somebody so I feel it necessary, in a way, to be able to compare books within their genre.

tumblr_inline_muobld7A1D1rdvhli

Please, please let’s talk about this because I NEED your thoughts!!

Do you have this problem when you become more well versed in a genre — that the books you thought were really good at first aren’t as good as you really thought ? Do you feel the need to change your rating when you become more well read in a genre and realize some of the early books you read don’t measure up anymore to what you’ve read now? Do you not bother changing the rating/does it not bother you that it might not stack up against what you’ve read since then? Do you have any examples of this happening to you? Do you compare books within their genre when you rate it or do you try to just rate it without thinking of where it falls in the genre?

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...