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book confession

Confessions of A Reader #3: I Don’t Read Books Because They Are Popular

Popular Science Fiction Fantasy Books

Hello everyone! I’m sorry it’s been awhile since I’ve written a blog post. I didn’t mean to take so long to write on here again, just really couldn’t think of anything to write and am dealing with some personal things right now. Either way, I’m back with another confessions post that I hope you all will enjoy.

For this confessions post, I’d like to say I don’t read books because they are popular. What I mean is that I don’t particularly like to read the books everyone else is talking about. Not unless the story, plot or something else in it makes me fascinated enough to want to check it out right away and see what the fuss is all about.

I’ve actually come to discover for the most part that I don’t particularly enjoy reading the books considered popular in the world today. What’s made me come to this realization is my review of The Girl On the Train, my experience with reading The Handmaid’s Tale so far and looking back at my experiences with reading other popular books. For those who haven’t read my book review of The Girl on the Train, I can tell you I wasn’t particularly fond of that book. I found none of the characters  likeable and the plot was terribly formulated even though it definitely kept me reading until the end. It was a disappointing read for me and left me really looking for another book to make up for it. My experience with The Handmaid’s Tale so far hasn’t really been any better. I don’t know what it is in particular about this book I’m not enjoying, I just know I’m not enjoying it because I’ve already stopped reading it and am in no hurry to continue where I left off. Now when I started reading this book, I was excited to see where the story would take me. I didn’t have any thoughts or opinions before that made me believe I wouldn’t enjoy it. It wasn’t until I started reading The Handmaid’s Tale that I realized I wasn’t enjoying it quite as much as I was hoping for. I’ve had this same experience with other popular books in the past where I tried to read them and I just wasn’t into what I was reading. One particular book that comes to mind is The Lord of the Rings. I’ve tried getting into these books on several occasions only to stop reading at around the same part of the story. Like my experience with The Handmaid’s Tale, I’ve tried getting into these books only to find myself stopping and not wanting to continue where I left off.

Confessions of A Reader #3 The Handmaid's Tale Book Cover
The book I’m currently trying to finish reading. It’s not my least favorite read, but I’m having a hard time really getting into it. Image can be found here.

There are of course exceptions to my preferences, like my love for the Harry Potter series, The Hunger Games, and Game of Thrones. I’ve enjoyed reading all of these books, but for other reasons that had nothing to do at all with their popularity. Each of these books made me feel like I could be in the world the author was describing and made me feel like I was a part of the character’s journey. I also discovered my love for these books right before their popularity, at a time when other readers had their sights on enjoying other books.

I’d also like to bring up classics in this discussion. The books which are by authors that everyone seems to have read at some point in their lives. These books get read due to required reading for school, or because you as a reader want to check them out yourself due to your own curiosity. The reason I want to bring these books into this discussion on reading books for popularity is because these books are just as popular among readers today. What I’ve come to discover when it comes to me reading classic books is that I either like what I’m reading or hate it completely. It’s a lot like when I read popular books that I don’t enjoy them because I have a hard time reading them. But sometimes I hate them because I don’t like the characters. Like whenever I had to read Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights for one of my college English classes. I was interested in reading it, but found that I didn’t enjoy it because I really hated all of the characters. So I found myself unable to get into it.

However, I’ve also found a lot of classic books that I do enjoy reading and would definitely read again. Some of my favorite classic books are Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice, and F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. I’ve also enjoyed reading some of Shakespeare’s works with Macbeth being my favorite of his works that I’ve read so far. All of these books I enjoyed at a different time in my life and for different reasons too. Dracula is a classic I enjoy because I love the unique way the story is told and I enjoyed reading a story that I can thank for bringing vampires into the world the way we see them in stories today. I love both Pride & Prejudice and The Great Gatsby because I find both books to be just really great stories. With both of these classics, I had no trouble picking them back up and wanting to continue to explore the world that could be found within each of their pages.

But at the same time, there are still a lot of classics I have yet to read. The classic books that come to mind for me are books I personally hope to one day read because they all sound like something I might possibly enjoy. These books include To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath, The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger, Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, Lord of the Flies by William Golding, Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck, Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen, and The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas.

However, despite the amount of classic books I hope to one day read, I don’t want to read any of these books or any other books because of their popularity. I like to read books because it’s something I enjoy.

What about you, my readers? How do you feel about popular books and classics? Are there any in particular you are interested in reading? Please leave your thoughts and feelings in the comments below.

Becoming a Part of the Club

Note: This post was also submitted for my application to be a contributor to Book Riot. Since I haven’t gotten chosen for that opportunity, I’ve decided to put it here on my blog so my dear readers can enjoy what I’ve written. I edited this post a little because I decided I wanted to rewrite some of what I’d written in the hopes of improving this post.   

I have a hard time socializing with people. I prefer spending time alone: reading books, playing video games, writing, or coloring.

But despite how much I enjoy my alone time, I occasionally want to socialize. To be around like-minded people who share the same interests as me.

Which is why I want to become more involved in the book community. I want to be in a book club. I want to meet new people and talk about books. I want to be a part of discussions that broaden my mind as well as my reading selection.

And I don’t mind socializing. I don’t mind talking to people, having open ended conversations. I just have a hard time doing it, especially face to face. I’m much better at conversations through text and online because I feel like I can really express myself the way I want and have my voice be heard.

The problem is I don’t know a whole lot of people in a book club. I don’t have a lot of friends who enjoy reading as much as I do that I feel like I can openly have a discussion with about the books I read.

My older sister is in a book club with some of her friends. And while my sister and I are pretty close, I don’t want to be involved in her book club. I would feel weird asking to be a part of their group. Not because I have issues with her friends who are involved, but because I want to make friends of my own.

I want to become involved in the book community on my own. I want to make friends who share the same passion and interest in reading as I do. So while at times asking my sister if I can be a part of her friend’s book club is enticing, I need to do things myself.

And one thing I want to do myself is find a book club to be involved in. So if anyone knows of any interesting book clubs I might be interested in, send them my way. I’ll definitely check them out and see if it’s a good fit for me.

A Recent Book Discovery

Note: This post was originally submitted for my application to be a contributor to Book Riot. Since I haven’t gotten chosen for that opportunity, I’ve decided to put it here on my blog so my dear readers can enjoy what I’ve written.

I have a confession to make. Now, my confession isn’t anything deep and heavy, like anyone would expect from me. But it’s still something I feel ashamed to admit.

I’ve just recently discovered free libraries. You know, those cute little book stands you might see in one of your neighbor’s front yards, advertising you to take a free book?

Free Library Kiosks

Yeah, I just discovered free libraries exist. No, I haven’t been hiding under a rock these last couple years in case you’re wondering.

I just recently discovered them because I’d never seen one until last year. I came upon this discovery when going for an interview for an internship.

The interview took place at my internship supervisor’s house. It was there I discovered she had a Little Free Library in her front yard. It was the first thing I noticed when I showed up at her house and found myself looking at it in awe.

Now, I didn’t take any of the books out of her free library at the time. But while I was an intern, I did take the opportunity to look at it and was even given the chance to fill up her free library whenever she found it was getting low on books.

Yes, I know: shame on me. I know I’m ashamed of myself too. Especially since these beauties have been in existence for quite awhile so I feel like I’m really behind on the times.

And what marvelous and wonderful things they are too! A way for readers coming from different backgrounds to come together and share their love of the written word through picking any book that catches their attention and reading, telling their friends about the book and how they got it.

Since hearing about free libraries, I’ve been interested in getting one myself, thinking about how I’d decorate it and where in my front yard I’d put mine. Because I definitely want one. I just wish I had more books on my shelf that I could give away. And I often think: what would mine look like?

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