January 19, 2021
I couldn’t find my motivation for the Top Ten Tuesday topic today because I’ve already made a Winter TBR, so I’m going rogue with my own Top Ten Tuesday post (and I’m sure it’s been a topic in the past that I haven’t addressed….so a “make up” post?).
In three and one half years, I’ve never written a Bookish Confessions post. I’ve enjoyed many similar posts, so I think this week is the time to offer mine to the bookish blogging community!
I’ve Never Read Harry Potter!
I guess I need to list this one first and get it over with: I’ve never read Harry Potter!
I’m a picky reader.
I’ve developed into a picky reader…or I guess I should say I KNOW what I like and this has led to a rewarding and rich reading life! I like realistic fiction, historical fiction, brave characters, thoughtful and substantial themes, inspirational biographies/memoirs, sweet middle-grade reads, novels in verse, thoughtful women’s fiction (not chick lit), and complicated family drama. If I stick with these genres and categories, I usually do not have an unsatisfactory reading experience.
I’ve Become a Shameless DNFer!
The main reasons for DNFing include
* excessive profanity or graphic violence
* slow to engage me
* paranormal or occult content
* feelings of dread rather than joy (upon picking up the book)
* poorly written
“So many books, so little time.” ~Frank Zappa
“Reading good books, ruins you for enjoying bad ones.” ~Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
See my related post here: My Love/Hate Relationship With DNF
Sometimes I Peek at the Last Chapter!
I know some readers who would NEVER peek at the last chapter. EVER.
Yet, at times (especially if the book is too stressful and my anxiety interferes with my enjoyment) I will skim the last chapter (mainly, to see if my beloved main character lives!). Sometimes if I am contemplating a DNF, I will read the last chapter before I abandon it to see if anything in that chapter engages me enough to return to reading. Usually if I do DNF a book, I will still read the last chapter for closure.
I Don’t Enjoy Chick Lit!
I prefer thoughtful, substantial themes. I have found that Elin Hilderbrand rarely offers what I prefer in chick lit. Whereas, I’ve been engaged with Katherine Center’s work. I’m not exactly adverse to chick lit (evidence=I read more chick lit in 2020 under lockdown than ever before), but I enjoy chick lit that has some snappy writing and meaningful themes. It’s always tricky to note what I don’t enjoy because it may be your absolute favorite! Reading is a personal experience, and I think each person should find what suits her or him. There’s no judgement here! I want you to find what’s most enjoyable for you!
If I’m Forced to Choose, I Choose Plot-driven Stories.
Although I appreciate well-drawn characters (hello Ove!) and admire authors like Anne Tyler that can make regular people doing ordinary things extraordinarily interesting, if I’m forced to choose one or the other, I choose plot-driven rather than character-driven stories every time. Actually, in a perfect world, I prefer a BALANCE of plot-driven and character-driven. For me, these are the best stories.
I Am An Obnoxious Bookworm in Real Life!
If I were to meet you, my first question would be “What are you reading?” Or “What is the best book you’ve read this year?” “Who is your favorite literary character?’ “What is your favorite genre?” Or some variation of these questions. I can turn any conversation into one about books and reading. You’ve been warned!
I Fall Hard For Hopeful Endings!
This is why I adore Middle Grade where themes of hope are an unwritten rule! This is why I read more romance and romcom in 2020 than is typical for me….my pandemic brain needed the HEA.
I Have Never Subscribed to BOTM or to a Book Box.
I would probably subscribe to BOTM (Book of the Month) if I still bought physical books, but I’ve gone almost entirely digital. Regarding book boxes, maybe I’m a control freak, or maybe I just know what I like to read and I don’t like to be surprised!
Thrillers, True Crime, and Crime Fiction Give Me Nightmares!
Real life is scary enough and I have decided not to read scary books. Some readers can read these genres without ill effects. Not me. It’s interesting, though, that I can usually read very difficult WW11 historical fiction without it affecting my sleep.
How about you? Do you have a bookish confession?
Happy Reading Book Buddies!
“Ah, how good it is to be among people who are reading.”
~Rainer Maria Rilke
“I love the world of words, where life and literature connect.”
~Denise J Hughes
“Reading good books ruins you for enjoying bad ones.”
~Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
“I read because books are a form of transportation, of teaching, and of connection! Books take us to places we’ve never been, they teach us about our world, and they help us to understand human experience.”
~Madeleine Riley, Top Shelf Text
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haha I’m an incredibly picky reader too. Probably a reason why I’m the Queen of DNF. Sometimes I DNF a book during the first chapter. I’m ruthless. And I often check out the last chapters, especially in thrillers etc, just to know if the main character survives.
~ Corina | thebrowneyedbookworm.com
Ahhhhh! I’m competing with you for the DNF Queen crown?!?! 😂😂😂 I’m happy to hear we’re kindred spirits in a couple of ways! Thanks for commenting Corina!
I love this post! I’ve also never read Harry Potter before and I don’t intend to actually
🙌 there are two of us! 😂 thanks for commenting!
Haha! I suspect people might find me a bit of a bookish bore, too!
🙌 we can talk to each other! 😂
Love your confessions Carol! I’ve never subscribed to a book box either as I don’t want to spend money on books I’ll never read, which is also why I’d rather people didn’t buy me books in case I don’t like them. :/
I completely understand about book boxes Nicki! My thinking exactly! Don’t surprise me! Thanks for commenting!
What a great post, Carol! I’ve become far more picky as I’ve got older. I used to think it a huge failing if I didn’t finish a book but not any more! But I get palpitations at the thought of skipping to the end to find out what happens – to me that’s as stressful as these trailers on TV that tell you what’s going to happen before you’ve seen the episode! But if it helps you sleep better at night, then that’s fine lol 🙂
Thanks Janet! DNFing gets easier with practice (and age!). Peeking at the end helps me enjoy the read more if I’m feeling too stressed. Sometimes my anxiousness affects my enjoyment of the story. If I peek, I can enjoy the journey more! But I completely understand never peeking! Also, I only peek under extreme conditions! 😂
Is this a new sport you’ve invented? Extreme peeking! 🙂
Well….reading IS a sport!!!
Great thoughts. I read the first Harry Potter book, but only because my book club chose it. It only confirmed what I had thought all along, not for me.
I also like to ask people what they are reading, there is so much you can tell if you know that.
Yes, asking about books is a great way to take a conversation deeper! We would find each other at a party Marianne! I’m hoping over now to read your post!
I’m sure we would. And what great conversations we would have!
Honestly, I’m a shameless DNFer as well. Good for you. 🙂
It helps to know what you like and what you don’t! Thanks for commenting…I’m hopping over now to read your post!
I’ve totally done the same with looking at the last page of a book before, I don’t do it so much now, but I’ve definitely been known to flip ahead to check that my favourite characters are okay! There’s nothing wrong with knowing what you like, I read mostly fantasy and though there are other genres I like (historical mostly), that will always be the one I read the most of. I also don’t really like chick-lit but that’s more because I’m just not really a romance reader. I also prefer plot driven stories, obviously ideally you have a balance, but I’d rather have a fun plot than interesting characters who do nothing.
I forgot to leave a link to my TTT: https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2021/01/19/top-ten-tuesday-299/
Thanks! I’m hopping over now!
I can appreciate character driven but I need some plot!!! I think knowing what you like (and don’t like) leads to a more satisfying reading life! (Also minimizes DNF!) thanks for commenting! Reading is such a personal experience!
Yeah same! Oh definitely, it’s so much better to know what you like, avoids lots of duff reads. It really is, that’s what I love about it 🙂
1. Plot over characters any day, unless the characters are so well done and unique that they are basically a plot in themselves.
2. I don’t like reading family drama at all.
3. I tell people (usually customers at the bookstore I work at) that I don’t like to read thrillers because they are scary, but the truth is that I find them too formulaic but I don’t want to be rude and put down their fav genre.
Thanks for commenting! It really helps to know what you like and don’t like! That’s a great point about character driven! Because I do have a few fav character driven reads! (Ove for example!) I LOVE your handle, Literary Counselor 🙌😍
Bookish confessions are always fun! It’s interesting to see which confessions we share 🙂
First off, I LOVE HP, so we don’t agree on that one. I’m not a big paranormal reader either, but HP is like fantasy lite and it just clicks with me where a lot of other paranormal/fantasy doesn’t. When the last book came out, I was headed to my parents’ house so I pre-ordered it and had it delivered there. My mom (who hadn’t read any of the series) opened up my package and read the last chapter so she knew how it ended! NEVER read last chapters, but I guess that’s not a genetic trait. LOL.
I also love mysteries and thrillers, but I’ve had to wean myself from the grittier ones since they do give me nightmares. I’m trying to stick with the lighter ones or at least those that aren’t as graphic and gory.
Thanks for the fun post! It put a smile on my face this morning 🙂
Thanks for stopping by and commenting! It’s so fun to talk about the reading life and share confessions! I can enjoy some of the lighter mysteries and thrillers, too (think Louise Penny and Jane Harper). Thanks for leaving your link…hopping over now!
I don’t think I would have read Harry Potter if I hadn’t read it when I was stuck on the couch after surgery with it. I think it’s totally fine you haven’t read it.
Thanks for sharing! I think if my children were reading HP, I would read it with them. They are old enough to have missed the hype.
Life is short–read what you want. HP –I got through the first three and stalled on book 4 and never looked back. I think it is partly a generational thing.
My children are old enough to have missed the frenzy…..but if they had been reading it, I probably would too!
I’m with you on so many of these! Loved your “confessions” 🙂 I hope you can stop by:
Thanks Coletta! I’m hopping over now to read your post!
Hi, Carol, I would encourage you to give Harry Potter a try! It may not be for you but I have a feeling you might like it.
Thanks for your encouragement Sharon!
I really hate romance! I’m bit ashamed to DNF, I think it’s better to sometimes.
Most romance is not my cup of tea. I prefer a love story (where the romance is only one element of the story). DNF gets easier with practice Kym!
Great post! I loved reading your confessions and mine are very similar aha!
A reading twin! 😍🙌 Thanks for commenting Ellie!
You’re welcome! 🙂 ❤️
I actually had planned not to ever read Harry Potter, Carol. But my son reads them aloud with his children beginning when they are 12. After my oldest granddaughter finished their read, she decided to do them on her own and asked me to read them, as well, so we could watch the movies as we finished each one. What grandmother could resist an invitation like that?? I ended up enjoying them, and now I’m watching the movies with granddaughter #2 as she and her dad read them.
This is the BEST reason and motivation to read HP Debi! I’m happy to hear you enjoyed the series!
Oh Carol…. I’m afraid we differ in many of these topics. For instance I am one of those readers who would NEVER read the last chapter before read all the preceding pages. Also, I rarely if ever DNF a book. Perhaps I might have back before I was blogging, but now I will not allow myself to do so.
Thrillers and mysteries are my favorite genre and they rarely frighten me or cause me to lose sleep. War stories and very ‘real’ literary fiction have been know to cause a sleepless night. Any book about the Holocaust is sure to trouble me in that way.
One thing we have in common is that I have never joined a ‘Book Box’ or other monthly club.
Fabulous post. ♥
Thanks for responding! That’s ok if we’re different Lynne! And for the record, I have never DNF an ARC! I do feel responsible to finish them (but I have been known to skim!).
I am with you on every one except for the first and the last! I do like psychological thrillers–not horror, not paranormal. I won’t give those even a glance. And I thought I disliked mysteries–until I got hooked. Am appalled at myself enjoying a James Patterson or even some Stephen King–but there ya have it. Ya just never know! I still need a good paperback to take into my bathtub every night. My Kindle could get wet! Oh nooooooooo… loves to you, dear friend!patti
Thanks for commenting Patti! I can endure a mild psychological thriller. And I do like an occasional mystery…..prefer cozy mysteries! 😂 I avoid serial killers (fiction or true crime).
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Thanks Nicki! 🙌😍
I also agree with other comments that it is totally fine to never have read HP. There is nothing really life-changing there. The first two books is where Rowling really tried to do something atmospheric, special and worth the read, but the rest of the series was more like trying to live up to all the expectations and being political and confused. I had no choice but to read it because I did get caught up in all the frenzy in my mid to late teens, but looking back I see how imperfect the series really was.
It’s fun though to associate special books with a certain time in your life! In my teens I read Gone With the Wind and I’ll never forget the experience! Thanks for commenting!
I also read Gone with the Wind when I was a teenager! – at 15 to be precise! It was quite special, I agree!
It gave me my first book hangover and introduced me to my lifetime love of histfic!
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