Top Ten Tuesday: Bookish Confessions
1. I thought Harry Potter sounded stupid at first.
It’s true. I was in fifth grade, and my mother had heard other people talking about the series. She mentioned it to me, and I thought it sounded stupid. Still, she bought the first book for me out of one of those Scholastic catalogs. One night, when I was bored and had nothing else to read, I gave the book a chance. The rest is history.
2. I would not hate the Twilight series as much if it weren’t so popular.
This one’s pretty shameful, but I have to admit that I read the first two books in this series and didn’t completely hate them. I hate the message they send to young girls, and I have no idea why so many people LOVE this series, but I didn’t completely the hate the first two books. If it was just a random book I had picked up, I probably would have read it, said, “Eh, that was lame,” and moved on, not thinking about it again after that. Of course, I also probably wouldn’t have picked it up if I hadn’t been curious about the Twilight debate, but I’ll go into that more in the next reason.
3. I judge books more harshly if they contain vampires or werewolves or other mythical creatures.
I used to think I just didn’t really like fantasy books, but now I know better. Most of my favorite books are fantasy novels. I just don’t usually like books with fantastical creatures, at least not when they’re the main focus. I don’t care about fairies or werewolves are vampires. Strangely, I like zombies, but that’s a different issue. There are exceptions to this rule – I love Remus Lupin, and The Dresden Files series focuses on killing/fighting magical creatures – but as a whole, I generally won’t pick up a book containing anything other than humans with magical powers unless I’ve heard great things about it from someone else.
4. I don’t like Shakespeare or Jane Austen.
This one wouldn’t be as big of a deal were I not an English major who’s currently studying to become a high school English teacher, but it’s true. I’ve only read one Jane Austen novel (Pride and Prejudice), and I didn’t care for it. I also find Shakespeare boring most of the time. I sometimes like the meaning that can be read into his works, but I don’t really think those meanings are worth reading the whole play.
5. I don’t know how to read poetry.
This one’s also bad for a future English teacher. I just don’t get it. Why put a line break if you’re supposed to read it as a sentence? It doesn’t make sense. And those stressed and unstressed syllables just confuse me. I mean, I know what they are, but I can’t put it into practice. I know how to read poems that I’ve written, and I like poems in general, but I hate reading them out loud.
6. I have to read books multiple times to remember them.
I think this fact saddens me the most. I’ve read hundreds of books, but I often forget about what happens in them soon after I finish reading them. I’m getting better now that I’m writing reviews for each one, but in general I have to read a book at least twice before I remember overall plot and details. I can quote Harry Potter sections by heart, since I’ve read them all at least eight times, but I can’t remember most of what happens in the His Dark Materials trilogy because I’ve only read them once.
7. I like to write in books.
I highlight my favorite passages. I write notes in the margins. Some of the notes are good and some of the notes are bad. For instance, my copy of Brave New World is filled with notes of me screaming at the characters for being stupid, as that was the only way I could get through the book. Same with the beginning of Jane Eyre. The only books I feel bad writing in are the Harry Potter books, but I’ve even highlighted one of them (the sixth one) in order to help with the essay I was writing.
8. I dislike most short stories.
I’m very picky about short stories. I like them to have a point. It’s strange because I don’t mind if novels focus on characters and just ramble on and don’t have a basic plot, but short stories I like to have a point. I’ve started to expand my definition of what makes a good short story, but it’s still much more limited than my definition of what makes a good novel. This got me into trouble with one of my creative writing teachers, but that’s a different matter.
9. I rarely by new books.
Most of the time, I get my books from the library because they’re free, and I’m very cheap. When I do buy a book, I generally get it used on Amazon. I can think of one book that I bought new in the past five years, and that was only because I needed something to read and was already at Kroger, so I went ahead and bought a book. Before that, the only books I can remember buying new were the Harry Potter series and the His Dark Materials trilogy, and that one was only because they had all three of them in a huge book for like fifteen bucks. I’ve realized this is a horrible way to support my favorite authors, though, so I’m starting to buy more books new – when I can afford it.
10. I hate lending people books, and I hate being lent books.
I hate lending people books because I’m always afraid they’re going to damage them or steal them. Maybe that’s just because I’ve seen my sisters’ bookshelf, which is filled with books she’s “borrowed” from others and have never given back, but I don’t trust people with my books. I also hate being trusted with other people’s books. I borrowed a friend’s book in high school, accidentally bent the cover, and felt guilty for the next year because it was damaged, even though she said she didn’t care. Plus, I hate when people give me a book to read when I know I don’t want to read it. I feel guilty saying I don’t want to read it, so I end up keeping it on my shelf for a long time until they eventually just ask for it back. It would just be so much easier if people didn’t ask to borrow/loan books.
What about you? Do you have any bookish confessions you’d like to get off your chest?