Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Thoughts on reading and books

My first book behaviors post is here, and that relates to this post in some way I guess.

1. I am no longer a buyer of books unless I'm supporting the author with a pre-order or can't find it at either library I go to. If I have a hankering to browse, I will snag used paperbacks from a local bookstore, where I have a trade in account. I used to have tons of books, now they all fit on less than two bookshelves. Unless it's an immediate favorite, I usually pass on any I do happen to acquire also. I think this has to do with wanting to own less as I get older. If I do buy it I want other people to get use out of it too. I will usually ask on here or Instagram if someone wants it and I'm always serious. All you have to do is pay the media mail postage via venmo or PayPal after you get the book and see what the postage is. Media Mail starts at $2.75 and usually caps out around 4.

2.  I know dialogue is hard to write but I truly wish every editor went through and made sure it was spoken out loud to see if it sounds true. Note to editors: real people don't speak without using contractions.

3. You don't need to like books everyone else likes or feel bad if you don't like a book, nor do you have to read a book simply because everyone else is reading it. If it doesn't sound like you want to get into it, don't read it. Reading is entirely subjective. Likewise, if your favorite books aren’t recognized in the literary world, they’re still your favorite books and that makes them amazing.

4. But some of you are fucking hard on books, man. You expect that thriller or romance to be perfection in print. Sometimes I think literary critics are easier to please than run of the mill readers.

5. It's interesting to see which five or six books snag the attention of most and circulate through Show Us Your Books. Sometimes they are not the books I expect to circulate at all.

6. Once you become a lover of written stories, you are forever free. You can be transported away simply by opening a book. I love to be lost in something while not moving from where I am.

7. I don't do book summaries...that's what the people who write the book jacket blurb do.

8. I wish books that are turned into movies would not print and sell copies with movie poster covers.

9. I have a very hard time with consistently weak and whiny female leads or any stereotypical characters.

10. I never listen to a story someone tells me and count it as something I've read. Likewise, I don’t listen to an audio book and count it among things I've read. The process and skill set for reading and listening are entirely different for me personally and the resulting experience and feeling is not the same. I am not an auditory learner in the slightest. Beyond that I can't listen to fiction, period. I don't enjoy it like I enjoy reading it and that pisses me off because I'm in the car so much. I've found I can listen to memoirs and similar, maybe because it feels like listening to someone talk and I'm not worried about missing a crucial element to a story?

What are some of yours?

The first Show Us Your Books of 2020 is a week from today.

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