I have a confession. I haven’t read enough to truly have a favorite book or a favorite author. I have books that I love and authors that I admire, but few that I can really say “[Blank] is hands down the best ever.” I want to change that and I want to be someone who knows more than “didn’t they write [blank]” when someone mentions an author.
I have a MASSIVE library of books in my house. Used bookstores are absolutely my kryptonite. My fiance isn’t much of a reader and it kind of drives him nuts that I have so many, let alone so many that I haven’t read. They’ve been boxed up since 2015 and we don’t have close to enough bookcases to handle them all. Hell, I have two full shelves dedicated to the Redwall and Animorphs series.
The most reading I’ve been doing lately is honestly thanks to the Libby app on my phone. It uses your library card to borrow ebooks from the library’s collection and while you might not be able to find everything you’re looking for, there’s a decent variety.
When I was on a two week long work trip last month I downloaded the app and a whole bunch of books that I never ended up reading.
Here’s what I wound up getting through:
- The Giver by Lois Lowry (YA – a reread)
- There’s a Boy in the Girl’s Bathroom by Louis Sachar (MG – wow that title didn’t age well)
- Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely (nonfiction)
- The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg (nonfiction)
Here’s what I started but didn’t finish:
- Theft by Finding: Diaries 1977-2002 by David Sedaris (nonfiction?)
- Dress your Family in Corduroy and Denim by David Sedaris (essays)
- The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin (nonfiction)
- Unpublished beta read from a friend
I’ve read David Sedaris before but I kept sitting next to kids on the plane so I wouldn’t be able to read the stories on my iPad without it being, well, in appropriate. I started The Happiness Project and didn’t finish it until yesterday. The unpublished book I started to devour while and realized halfway through that I was reading too fast, which is a common problem I have. I set it aside with the intention of revisiting it from the beginning.
Reading too fast has been a problem I’ve had FOREVER, probably stemming from how much I enjoy reading and how quickly I want to consume something that I love…but the curse is that I tend to get turned around in a story with a certain amount of detail or complexity. Sci fi and fantasy are the hardest. It’s easy not to get turned around with a realistic human plot, where I can make assumptions and input my own knowledge to fill holes that my fast reading may have caused. It’s quite another to gloss over something important about the alien or fantasy world and then suddenly realize that you don’t understand why the characters are suddenly flying (for example). I started A Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and I got about 46 pages in when I had to just put it down because I was getting myself too confused. I’ll have to go back and read more slowly, but it’s a process and I’m a slow learner. Hell, I even read stories for critique more than once because I can’t seem to get a handle on “read sloooooowly”.
The book that I’m reading right now is My (Not So) Perfect Life by Sophia Kinsella and after a day of reading I’m already 90% of the way through because it’s relatively predictable without being boring, the prose is accessible, and the story is efficient. I can’t help reading it far too quickly just because I can’t wait to see what happens next. It’s a modern romance, and it’s hard to feel like I’ve missed something super important with this speed reading of mine. Maybe a little nuance is gone, but I can always reread it if I want, right?
In the time it has taken me to write this post I wound up finishing the romance. I downloaded another from a friend’s recommendation.
MAN I’ve missed reading.