So, the other day, I was picking up my holds from the library, and something a little strange happened. As I loaded the titles into my bag, I realized that I only remembered requesting one of them, and why. (It was due to the blogisphere screaming about how good it was. Valid reason in spades for it ending up on my list.)
However, that was only one of five holds I checked out that day. Now, this concerns me.
Sure enough, when I got home, I looked the others over, and not a single hint of recognition came.
I could just read them, anyway. I’m aware of that. But I do not possess a Time Turner, meaning I only get 24 hours in a day, and approximately 16 of that needs to be spent caring for children, the cat, the house, writing, cooking, running errands. And the rest should be taken up by sleep.
So, I need to carefully select my reading material. If I truly don’t care if I read it, it should go back to the library.
Or, ideally, not arrive in my house at all.
Some bookdragons have a VERY big issue with the idea of not reading all of the books, that have ever been published, since, like, the beginning of time. I have no such qualms. If I’m not interested in the plot, it’s longer than 550 pages, falls into a genre I usually don’t like, or belongs to an already long series that I never started, chances are it will never get added to my TBR.
And this makes my life a LOT simpler. Could I be missing out on some really cool stuff? Yeah. But I’m willing to take that risk. In some cases, I’ll just watch the movie. (Shush, this is not heresy.)
Apparently, I recently forgot some of my cardinal TBR rules.
Time to go back to the drawing board and consider where I may have strayed off the path.
Literally judging a book by its cover can be quite dangerous. In the past 18 or so months (ever since I started scouring other book blogs to see what the flavor of the week was), I’ve brought home many novels with downright lovely covers…and a terrible story. This has resulted in so much frustration — that could’ve been avoided.
The fear of missing out is a real thing — even for autistic bookdragons. When you already feel like the whole world is engaging in something fantastic and you’re over here on the outskirts wearing a face of confusion and despair, life is hard. So you decide to remedy that by reading the books “everybody else” is loving. Well, guess what — just because it’s a bestseller doesn’t mean you will like it. Exhibit A for me: The Hunger Games. And it made me sad, because the rest of the movies were coming out, and people were so excited…
Then, about a year later, I started finding more and more bloggers were being brave and admitting they hated the dystopia craze — particularly The Hunger Games. This made me feel SO much better. And it renewed my drive to apply more self-discipline and less social guilt.
Lots of books combined together in the same tote bag are heavy. And I walk to the library and back. More than once, I’ve nearly given myself a hernia attempting to carry 8 picture books, 5 YA novels, and 3 DVDs the three-fourths of a mile to my house — in all kinds of weather.
The initial rush I received by checking out that big stack was quickly replaced with, “Oh, my God, I cannot do this anymore, how am I going to make it up the hill, what was I thinking, somebody help me PLEASE!”
My health is kind of important…
Reading one book you really enjoyed is MUCH, MUCH more satisfying than ploughing through 4 books you feel really meh about. Yes, this is actual, certified truth. Despite the fleeting moment of glee that resulted from seeing how high my Goodreads challenge has climbed, the pressure I ended up putting myself under to more than double my original goal was NOT worth it. While this course began accidentally, the stress became real.
When you read primarily for fun, this is not okay.
The road less traveled is quite worth peeking down. Books that will never reach the bestseller lists can still be awesome. I used to read a lot of them, and was generally happy that way. Yes, there are utterly amazing bestselling novels, too. But don’t feel the need to box yourself in.
Being slightly pickier is an advantage. Yes, it is. You could discover your next favorite book by refusing to stick to what came out in the past 12 weeks, and checking out what was super-hot 5 years ago. (Think about it — you’ll be a trend-setter!)
It also means that you won’t have to spend money you don’t have, trying to acquire 17 brand-new releases in approximately 17 minutes before the pre-orders sell out.
See? The beauty of simplicity.