Reading Habits Book Tag

This unneeded quarantine has made me so crazy that I can’t remember if I have done this tag before….Although, my memory is bad anyway. So, never mind.

I saw this book tag on Ariel Bisset’s channel a few days ago. I like talking about bookish things that are not necessarily books. And I have more than ten bookish habits than I mentioned in a previous post. Now, I have another reason to talk about them.

To the tag!

 

Do you have a certain place at home for reading?

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At home, I read mostly in my living room on the sofa. Sometimes, I read in my room at my desk or in my bed. Between all these, the sofa is usually the one I gravitate towards, as my bed makes me sleepy (naturally) and the desk isn’t the most comfortable after a few minutes.

 

Bookmark or random piece of paper?

Bookmarks—paper, magnetic, or metal. Depends on whichever looks better with my current book.

 

Can you just stop reading or do you have to stop after a chapter/a certain amount of pages?

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I usually take a break from reading a book after a number of chapters, no more than five. Or ten, if the chapters are short. If something is going on around me or I lose focus, then I can just stop reading.

 

Do you eat or drink while reading?

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Only water and occasionally coffee. I would never eat while reading—too many of my books have been damaged that way.

 

Multitasking: music or TV while reading?

The only music I allow when reading is my white noise machine, if I happen to decide to read in my bedroom. As for television, I sometimes read during commercial breaks, with the volume muted. I can also read if someone else in my family is watching TV and I happen to be sitting on the sofa.

 

One book at a time or several at once?

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One at a time; if I try to read more than one, I favor one book over the others and they sit ignored until I get around to them.

 

Reading at home or everywhere?

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I bring a book with me to work or school, mostly as an incentive to take breaks during the day. I try to read on the bus into the city, but more often than not I end up falling asleep. It doesn’t always work, though. So, I do most of my reading at home.

 

Reading out loud or silently in your head?

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Silently in my head, since for me reading in a solitary activity.

 

Do you read ahead or even skip pages?

Yes and yes. Primarily to find out what happens next or to find out how many pages of a chapter/a book are left to read.

 

Breaking the spine or keeping it new?

I am a heathen that breaks the spines of my books and I don’t feel bad about it.

 

Do you write in your books?

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I tag:

Shanah

Rebecca

Grey

Kristin

Books I Feel Differently About

Ever randomly think about a scene you read ages ago and it suddenly makes you as angry or sad or anxious as the day you read it? That’s been me, a lot, lately.

I think we all know that, as we get older, books we loved in high school are not going to be your favorites as an adult. Or even a book you read a year ago changes once you think about some problems in it. People get older, but books are timeless.

Here are books I have changed my opinion of in recent years:

 

Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead

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Vampire Academy is like chocolate cake: delicious though not quite healthy. There is also a problematic teacher/student romance, another relationship I think was toxic, and a character that, in my opinion, was butchered for the sake of providing motivation for a relationship. These books I think of more as 3 star reads instead of 5 stars now.

 

The Archie Sheridan series by Chelsea Cain

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I read the Archie Sheridan and Gretchen Lowell books during the height of my love for crime novels. I adored this series. Detective Archie Sheridan struggled with PTSD after being tortured by serial killer Gretchen Lowell. But he was genuinely a good guy, even if he went about it in the wrong way sometimes. When I recommended the books to a friend, she pointed out certain issues I had overlooked before that now left a bad taste in my mouth. I wanted to keep the books, only I gave them away a few months ago during my grad school’s book drive.

 

The Women of the Otherworld series by Kelley Armstrong

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If you know anything about urban fantasy, you are likely familiar of the problematic themes within the genre. Despite the author’s best efforts at diversity, there was still a borderline abusive relationship and mistreatment of women. In other words, things I could ignore at sixteen but cannot at almost twenty-seven.

 

The House of Night series by P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast

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The House of Night was fun when I read it in high school. The fact that I feel differently about these books now is my own fault. I waited too long to try to complete the series. I read the first three books when I was still in junior high/high school, the prime reading age for House of Night. However, when I tried to get back in the series while during college, I found that I was “too old.” Meaning, the writing was just too juvenile for me to enjoy. I wanted more substance than the books could provide.

 

Blue Bloods series by Melissa de la Cruz

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Blue Bloods is another series I loved in high school, but by the time I started college, I had lost interest in completing the books. I had made it up to I think book five. The concept of morally gray vampires as reincarnated angels cursed to live on Earth to atone for their sins was fascinating. Then, incest was thrown in. I was fine with it at seventeen, probably because I had just read Flowers in the Attic by V.C. Andrews. But now…how did I think that was cool?

 

Hidden Bodies by Caroline Kepnes

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I read Hidden Bodies because I was still high on my love for its predecessor, You, when I initially picked it up. Then, the love faded and I could not bear to look at it anymore. Hidden Bodies was not nearly as funny or exciting as You. In fact, it was a downright cringe-fest. I don’t know what I gave it 3 stars on Goodreads. I guess I was still in denial at the time.

 

I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson

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Despite the 4 star rating, I have mixed feelings regarding I’ll Give You the Sun since I read it in 2015. I even contemplated unhauling it. While the sibling dynamic was fascinating, both twins had love interests I thought were toxic people and there was an element of cheating I was not a fan of. Looking back on it now, I don’t know if I liked I’ll Give You the Sun as much as I thought I did.

 

Anything Sweet Valley by Francine Pascal

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Sweet Valley was like soap operas in book form. All the characters beautiful, straight, thin, perfect white people. Unrealistic drama up the yang. I could go on. But these were also the books that got me into reading, so I can’t say anything too bad about them.

 

What are some books that you feel differently about since you last read them?

What Do You Think of People Who Don’t Read? (Discussion Post)

While Christmas shopping for my dad and my brother, I kept thinking about books I want to buy them. My brother reads occasionally and my dad pretty much never. This can be said for most other people in my life as well. Meanwhile, I’m reading books like I breathe air.

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Thinking about this brought me back to a conversation I had with another reader: what do you think about people who don’t read?

Growing up, I was super into reading. I didn’t understand how anybody could not like it. You read text messages, emails, Facebook posts, and gossip on your favorite celebrity, yet how can you say you hate reading? It made no sense.

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I’m an introvert like many of you probably are. I like being social when the opportunity arises. Sadly, that isn’t often, since I live farther out from my friends. More often than not, I spend my weekends at home. My family has a subscription to Netflix and now Disney +. I take full advantage of both. I also watch a lot of BookTube, as well as scary story channels, mostly Mr. Nightmare, Corpse Husband, and Lazy Masquerade.

I also watch TV in my down time. Criminal Minds, one of my favorites, is beginning its final season in January and I watch reruns constantly. A potential new all-time favorite, Evil, aired this year. I watch it live on Thursday nights at 10pm, no matter how tired I was from going to school that day. I also occasionally watch reruns of Law and Order: Special Victims Unit. By no means would I call myself a TV buff, though.

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For the longest time, I thought of reading as a form of entertainment or a hobby. I wrote that in my “autobiography,” my first assignment for my young adult literature class this semester. Then, after my professor graded it, she wrote a comment of how she thought of reading as more of as a part of a person’s infrastructure. That got me thinking.

There have been times when I was in a reading slump where I just did not feel like reading. Or I kind of wanted to read but nothing held my interest at that moment. Usually, it was due to when I was busy with school and/or life. Other times, I simply just read too much too fast and burnt myself out. It passes within a week or so. This time around, however, I forced myself to take a break from reading.

I had checked out a lot of books from the library—as I do when I’m trying to refrain myself from buying too many books in order to save money—that I was really excited to read. I also had assignments piling up, all of them involving focus. After a final project had been screwed up, I knew I had to put reading aside until I turned in my last assignment for the semester.

I had no idea what to do with myself.

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That whole week and a half of not allowing myself to read anything not school related made me think of my professor’s comment on that paper. Reading was such a part of my life, I had no idea how much until I deliberately made it not so. It made me wonder what else I might have done if I never took up reading in the first place, especially since a love of writing stemmed from a love of reading.

Like I said, years ago, I had no idea how people did not like reading. After meeting people that struggled with learning disabilities, I finally made peace with the idea that reading is not for everyone. School doesn’t help much, with required reading and teachers only accepting answers they deem to be the “right” analysis of a work. It was different for me. I liked learning and had generally positive experiences in my high school English classes. Plus, I also had supportive professors in college during my English degree. Not everyone can say that.

If someone is genuinely interested in trying to take up reading, I do my best to give them recommendations. But by no means do I try to force anyone to like reading. My friends never tried to make me like the things they liked, so why would I do it to anyone else?

Regarding possible romantic partners, same thing. The other person liking reading is more of a bonus than a requirement. If I got involved with someone who did not enjoy reading, I would not try to make them like it if they did not want it. And I would not give someone a hard pass just for that one thing, not if they have so many other qualities I find attractive. If they tried to make me stop reading or outright hated the fact that I love reading, then we have a problem.

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In high school, college, and now in graduate school, and just in adulthood in general, I make time for reading because I want to. More than that, I realize now. I need to. I need the escapism and the ability to get out of my head or lost in my feelings. I need the creative energy as an outlet for my stress and the anxiety I feel when I overthink (which is a lot). I need reading to help me figure it all out.

But I know not everyone feels that way. And that’s OK.

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What do you think of people who do not read?

 

An Unofficial Top 5 Tuesday: Top 5 Popular Books I Have No Interest in Reading

Since there was no Top 5 Tuesday topic this week, I decided to make my own. A controversial one at that.

I pride myself on reading widely. I read long books and short books. I read both young adult and adult books, across a variety of genres, overhyped or under-hyped. I think that’s why I’m so drawn to a career as a reader’s advisory librarian: I read so many books, I want to encourage others to do the same.

But like any reader, there are books I have no interest in. No matter how much praise it’s getting, it’s not drawing my attention in libraries or bookstores or gaining a spot on my ever-growing Goodreads TBR and Amazon wish list. Some of the books on this list I originally had on Goodreads, but have since taken off. With all the unread books I own and the ones I want to read eventually, not to mention stories I someday want to reread, there are even some beloved titles that just don’t make it to my list of priorities.

Those are:

 

An Absolutely Remarkable Thing by Hank Green

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I know lots of people love An Absolutely Remarkable Thing. Thing is, I don’t get it. Alien robots and social media? While I liked Hank’s brother John Green’s books when I read them, I didn’t love them either. In fact, I unhauled them recently.

Regarding An Absolutely Remarkable Thing, I have come to the conclusion you have to be involved to a certain level of social media to really get anything out of it. For me, blogging is a hobby I don’t take too seriously. Social media is more of a platform to kill time on. I don’t care that much.

 

The Song of Ice and Fire series by George R.R. Martin

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Me not wanting to read the Song of Ice and Fire has nothing to do with me watching the show. In fact, I could care less about Game of Thrones. I’ve watched episodes occasionally, but it’s more of something I ended up watching because my dad is hogging the TV.

Actually, I used to resent Game of Thrones because I would get kicked out of my own bedroom on Sunday nights. My mom hated it, so my dad would watch it on the TV he stashed in there while I was in college. That hasn’t been an issue for a while—I got new bedroom furniture as a graduation present and it took up enough space where the table with the TV no longer fit—but still. Game of Thrones and I don’t have the best relationship.

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Tangent aside, I’m not intimidated by larger books. Larger adult high fantasies are something I’ve gotten more into recently. It’s my lack of interest in the overall Game of Thrones that is a big deterrent.

 

Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

Similar to Game of Thrones, I have seen bits of the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit movies, yet never had the desire to pick up the source materials or even see the film adaptions through. I realized I don’t have a problem with too many characters and storylines. If done right, I find them entertaining. But for whatever reason, like Game of Thrones, I have just never been compelled to read the Lord of the Rings or the Hobbit.

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Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan

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I have a strong suspicion I won’t like the Crazy Rich Asians trilogy by Kevin Kwan. How can you not tell your girlfriend about your family? How could you let your mother and grandmother treat her like that? It’s already making me mad. Aside from that, reviews I’ve seen say Crazy Rich Asians is dense and the POVs can get mixed in together so much you don’t quite know who is narrating. I don’t have time for that, sorry.

 

The rest of the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon

I read Outlander a couple of years ago. I enjoyed it, but I wasn’t head over heels in love like so, so many other people. I liked Claire, but, sadly, Jamie Fraser doesn’t do it for me. I had the rest of the books in this series on my Amazon wish list for the longest time. I intended to pick up the rest of the series, yet seemed to forget they existed. Right now, there are about nine books in the series and they are all long. That is not what’s keeping me away. It’s the fact that Outlander was so boring for me for most of the time I was reading it.

At this point in time, I have no interest in completing the series. However, it is a hard maybe. If I were, I would definitely have to reread Outlander. Which, admittedly, is not something I’m looking forward to….

 

What popular books do you have no interest reading?

The Guilty Reader Book Tag

I saw the Guilty Reader Book Tag floating around BookTube recently. I don’t think I’ve seen a blogger do it yet, but it looked like fun. Although, admittedly, most of my answers just so how much of a goody-two-shoes I am. So, I think this post will be quite boring.

Anyway, here is the tag!

 

Have you ever re-gifted a book you were given?

No, I don’t think so. I might have donated books people had given me, due to either not liking the book or I outgrew it, like with many of my childhood books. I tend to give people their own copies when I give books as gifts.

 

Have you ever borrowed a book and not returned it?

Never! I would hate that if someone did it to me. And I don’t want the library police to come after me like they did Jerry Seinfeld that one episode….

 

Have you ever read a series out of order?

Yes, I have. The Women and the Otherworld series by Kelley Armstrong is the first one that comes to mind. I received these books during a time when I didn’t have my own money to buy them for myself. When I got them for Christmas, my parents had bought them out of order. Thankfully, the whole series are companion novels.

 

Have you ever spoiled a book for somebody?

Not intentionally. I know when I was in high school I did that a lot. At the time, there weren’t many people in my life willing to discuss books with me. When someone did, I got overly excited and spoilers would fly out of my mouth. Then, I would immediately feel bad about it as soon as I saw the other person’s face.

 

Have you ever doggy-eared a book?

Only schoolbooks will I doggy-ear, with the exception of novels I read for my English classes. I might have done it to my books when I was younger, though.

 

Have you ever told someone you don’t own a book when you do?

Knowing me, I’m too honest for my own good. I have let it slip that I own a book, then made up some sort of half-assed excuse to why I can’t give it away if the other person asked to borrow it.

Only my closest friends will I be honest with. I told one of my best friends once: “I trust you with my life, not my books.”

 

Have you ever told someone you haven’t read a book when you have?

Nope. Again, this goes back to being too honest for my own good. I might know the answer to a literature question, only that sometimes does not necessarily mean I read the book. I was interested in the subject and did research online.

 

Have you ever skipped a chapter or a section of a book?

Yes, I have, especially if I strongly did not like a book I was reading. In case of a book I was reading for school, I would look up synopsizes online if I absolutely could not finish it. If it was a book I was reading for fun, I would look up a synopsis online to see if it was worth finishing, just to get to the good parts.

 

Have you ever bad-mouthed a book you actually like?

Once I thought about it, I think I would have to say Sarah J. Maas’s books. I have mentioned this briefly, but I loved Tamlin and Chaol. I absolutely hated how she butchered their characters, even after the things they did, just to make room for new love interests. Not to mention all the other problems in these books. I actually do like Rhysand and Rowan Whitethorn as characters, but when it comes to fictional men that are overhyped, I tend to not be as infatuated with them as everyone else is. And, despite this, I still eagerly anticipate any new release by Sarah J. Maas.

 

See how vanilla I am?

 

Are you a guilty reader?