I recently took a trip down memory lane and glanced back through the list of books I’ve read since I first started tracking my reading in late 2012. As I skimmed through the titles, something struck me. For the first few years after I began tracking my reading, I remembered something about every book, whether it was the plot, a character I particularly connected with, or a specific memory of reading the book. But as time passed, this happened less and less. And I wondered, how can I remember the books I read several years ago but not those I picked up more recently?Continue reading “Book Blogging Changed How I Read (and not for the best)”
Reading challenges are something many of us think about at the start of a new season—most commonly at the new year, summer, and the start of school. With spring in full swing and schools coming to a close in the next month or so, numerous reading challenges have popped onto my radar. This prompted me to think back on my own experience and I wanted to take some time today to discuss them.Continue reading “Thoughts on Reading Challenges”
The new year is a time known for reflecting on the past twelve months and setting new resolutions for the upcoming year. As this past year came to a close, I began considering what was working for me and what wasn’t, specifically in regards to tracking my reading.
Continue reading “How Do You Track Your Reading?”
I don’t know about you, but the list of books I’ve bought but haven’t read yet is extensive. About twenty of them are print books that stare at me from my shelves, begging to be picked up every time I look at them. But the amount on my e-reader is staggering! I’ve purchased many over time when I came across deals to get them at a very low cost (or free!), and they have sat on that digital shelf for several years. As the saying goes, “Out of sight, out of mind.” Continue reading “Has Your Reading Taste Changed Over Time?”
Over the past several months, I’ve been trying to focus on quality over quantity with my reading. This doesn’t necessarily mean every book I read needs to be the BEST book ever but that I’d like to be reading books that thoroughly entertain, teach me something new and interesting, or bring something really special to the table. So I’ve been abandoning books more readily than I ever have in the past.
Although I’ve proclaimed to be fine with putting a book down when it’s not working, it’s been a fairly rare occurrence in my reading life. But as I’m getting older and realizing just how many books there are that I’d like to try, it’s getting easier to DNF (did not finish). It’s entirely possible I’m also getting more particular in my preferences and my patience for poor quality is waning as I read more, making it easier to decide to put a book down.
There are a few reasons why I might DNF a book:
1. The timing/format is wrong.
I’ve tried some books that deal with topics or themes that I just couldn’t handle at the time. It might be anything from the death of a loved one to something too creepy when I’m already stressed. And as a reader who enjoys using multiple formats (print copies, e-books, audiobooks), I find that some formats work better for some books than others. When I put these books down, I usually intend to go back to them at some point when the timing is better or in a different format.
2. I couldn’t connect with it.
This tends to be the hardest category for me. These are books that don’t necessarily have anything wrong with them and the timing and format is right, but something just isn’t clicking for me. Although sometimes I’ll realize it fairly quickly, most often I stick with these for the longest amount of time before putting them down. And sometimes I’ll consider going back to these at another time as well.
3. Poor writing and editing.
These are the easiest books for me to DNF. When I come across several spelling, grammar, and punctuation mistakes within a couple pages, I know it won’t be a book for me. This tends to be an issue more often with independently published (and especially self published) books, which is unfortunate because I like to give them a chance.
So I’m curious! Do you DNF books? If so, what are your reasons?
I know there are many readers out there who only like to read print books. And I get it. There is something about the weight of the book and turning the pages that an electronic device just doesn’t have. But on the other hand, there is the incredible convenience factor of an e-reader in that you have access to so many books with just one lightweight device.
Today I’m taking this idea even a step further. Not only do I use (and love!) a nook, I also read on my phone quite a bit. And there are a variety of apps that I like to use. Of course, there are always the nook and kindle apps, which sync to your device if you have one, or you can even download to your phone for free without needing the actual device if you prefer. But in this post, I’d like to talk about five more specific apps that can enhance your reading life. (None of these are affiliate links in any way, they are all simply apps that I’ve used and liked personally.)
Ready to see them?
I was catching up with a friend recently over dinner and our conversation turned to books (as it inevitably does with a book lover). When my friend asked what I’d been reading lately, I shared a bit about a book I was reading at the time that had me thoroughly intrigued and itching to discuss with someone.
That book was Vox, which posits a world in which women come to be allotted only 100 words per day. After sketching out the premise, I was ready to dive into conversation mode, but my friend blurted out, “That sounds horrifying! Who wrote this garbage, a man?!” And in that moment, I was stunned. Nothing I could say after that would persuade her to even think twice about the book.
This line of conversation started me thinking about the different reactions I’ve seen to dystopian fiction, so I wanted to take some time today to talk about them. To be clear, I’m specifically talking about reactions to the book’s concept and not necessarily its execution or whether the book was actually good or entertaining or even enjoyable. I’m sure there are plenty of other ways that readers respond to these types of stories, but these are the reactions I’ve come across most.
Who wrote this garbage? It must have been a *insert your descriptive here*
I’ve seen this particular reaction most when the book in question has a premise in which a particular people group is belittled, minimized, or shamed in some way. More often than not, the person I’ve seen react like this belongs to that people group, so I have to wonder if it just hit too close to home?
This isn’t realistic
I’ve come across this reaction most with readers that are new to the genre and didn’t quite know what to expect. Since dystopia is the opposite of a utopia and therefore inherently flawed and problematic, it’s understandable why someone might think this if they didn’t know to expect it going in.
It’s a cautionary tale
This is probably the reaction I see most. I expect because reading about a worst case scenario that feels nearly plausible in our current society can make someone sit up and take notice of the parallels.
So, I’m curious. What are your thoughts on dystopian fiction and how do you react to it as a genre? And does your response change depending on the premise of a particular book?
Over the past few weeks, I’ve been thinking about the reading goals I’d set for myself in 2018, what worked, what didn’t, and what I’d like to do differently in 2019. Last year, I read 117 books and my average rating was a 3.7. As I consider 3 average (not bad, not great, I liked it enough but wouldn’t pick up again), an average rating above that is great. Especially considering I read more books than I’ve read in the past few years prior. Continue reading “How much do you read?”
It’s that time of year when everyone starts thinking about New Year’s resolutions! Being a bookish person, I tend to hear many people say that one of their resolutions is to read more.
Obviously I think reading is a wonderful pursuit. But I would never tell someone how much they should read. That’s an entirely personal choice. Some might be happy to read one book a year while others won’t be content unless they read a hundred. (Or more!)
That all being said, I have some tips for you if you’ve made the choice that you’d like to read more in the upcoming year. Ready to see them?