The theme of today’s Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, is: top ten bookish things I want to quit. I’ve actually been thinking about this a lot lately, and probably would have done a post soon even if it wasn’t a Top Ten Tuesday theme. But I digress. Here are the top ten bookish, or reading, habits that I want to quit:
1. Forcing myself to finish books I don’t like. I recently read Cloud Atlas, in which David Mitchell writes, “A half-read book is a half-finished love affair.” And for the most part, I agree. Sometimes the book gets better. Sometimes I fall in love with books I don’t initially like. But there are some books I just cannot get into. I know this sounds bad, but I want to get better at abandoning books. I might return to them someday – maybe I just need to be in a different place to appreciate them. But, really, life’s too short to read bad books, and I don’t enjoy them at all if I have to force myself to read them.
2. Buying complete box sets of series I haven’t tried yet. Ugh, this is such a bad habit. Sometimes it completely pays off and I love the entire series (i.e. Percy Jackson or The Hunger Games). But I have bought some major duds in the past. I’ve finished a few of the series, but most of the time, I read the first one and then they just take up space on my shelf.
3. Being afraid to reread. The Goodreads Reading Challenge makes it pretty discouraging to reread books since it’s difficult to count them towards the challenge (I don’t really like the workaround of adding another edition). Maybe I need to set my reading challenge goals accordingly, and leave myself a bit more room for rereads (not an issue this year, as I’ve already completed my goal of 50 books).
4. Letting classics intimidate me. I have this mental block with classics. I love them, but I will always gravitate towards an easy read. And when I do read them, I feel like I’m forcing myself. I need to just enjoy them like I would any other book. War and Peace has been sitting on my desk for months, and I feel like it’s mocking me. I just need to actually pick it up and read it.
5. Hoarding books I didn’t really like. I’ve been getting better about this. I will always be a book hoarder, but I have a very small living space, and it’s easy to get buried under giant stacks of books (there has literally been a pile of books on my bed for months). I need to get rid of the books that weren’t my favorite. Maybe someone else will appreciate them more.
6. Only reading the first book of a series. I do this way too often. I think it’s fine if I didn’t particularly enjoy the first book or have no interest in the sequel(s). But last year, I read both A Game of Thrones and Ender’s Game, loved them, and just never read the rest of the series, even though I own them all. Why?
7. Being a book snob. I hate to admit this, but it’s true. I can be pretty snobby when it comes to books. I’ve read a lot of books, and I tend to hold that over people who don’t read much, or at all, or who only read either fluffy, popular books or books that are just not good (i.e. my sister, whose only recreational reading in the last five years was the Fifty Shades series). I also pay too much attention to publishers, and tend to favor books published by big name publishers. This year I’ve had a few author review requests for books either published by a small company or self-published, and so far, they’ve all been amazing! It really opened my eyes a bit, and I want to make an effort to read more indie books.
8. Not marking my favorite quotes/parts. I am totally against writing/highlighting in my books (unless it’s a textbook, because highlighting forces me to focus). This is the one thing I prefer about ebooks – I can highlight the shit out of those with no regrets. But I really want to start putting sticky notes or something so I can easily revisit my favorite parts of the book.
9. Immediately buying the next big thing. For a while, I was pretty late to the party on some big name authors or award winning books. This year, I tried to keep up with publishing trends and learned that 1. it’s almost impossible to read them all, and 2. I tend not to like a lot of these über-popular books. I need to be a bit more selective, especially since I want to read more unknown books as well.
10. Avoiding books because they are not “intellectually stimulating.” This could totally go under the category of me being a book snob, but it was hard to come up with ten things, okay? I have been known to pass up books simply because reading The Master and Margarita in a coffee shop looks much cooler than reading Vampire Academy in a coffee shop. A lot of times, I read books full of symbolism and psychology and political commentary just because I think it will make me look better, or because I want to say that I’ve read it. But really, I shouldn’t care. Because, sometimes, all I want is some contemporary YA.
Wow, that’s a long post! If you made it to the end,
give yourself a pat on the back go buy yourself a new book, you deserve it. And let me know in the comments what your bookish bad habit is.