Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Yes, I do like to read!

I was at book club the other night and as we sat around discussing lots of things books included, Jenni asked me an interesting question. If I hate so much of what I read than why do I still bother reading. Good question huh? I'll admit it totally took me by surprise, and then I started wondering who else out there has wondered the same thing about me. So let me explain, cause I've thought about it quite a bit now.

Why do I continue to read so much and buy so many books without reading them if I end up not liking many of them? Several reasons.

1 I love to read! Bad books good books, it doesn't matter, it's reading. Escapism, entertainment, call it what you will I love it!

2 Sure, I might hate a book and find myself annoyed with the characters, the writing, the plot, or the pacing, but that doesn't mean I'll let one book ruin reading for me forever. Besides, those bad books make the good ones so much more enjoyable. Plus, critiquing books is half the fun. ;)

3 I'm actually still in the process of learning what I enjoy. Crazy, I know, but true. Because of all this self reflection Jenni's question induced, I've realized I usually end up being dissatisfied with Paranormal YA and Dystopian YA. Not that I'll hate all of the books in those genres but I'm seeing a pattern in my reading likes and dislikes and usually I dislike these two genres more often than not. Strangely, I'm finding I usually like YA contemporary more often than not and I never would have thought that would happen. See? I'm just learning about my tastes. Of course, this doesn't mean I'll stop reading YA paranormal books; I do like some, and I just can't help my curiosity about them. I just go into them a little warily and with pretty low expectations most of the time. 

So, I hope my self reflection hasn't bored you to tears. Am I the only person who finds themselves hating quite a few books? Does a string of bad books make you want to give up on reading all together? Are you still learning what you like and dislike?

Thanks for the post idea Jenni!


  1. When I first got back into reading as an adult, I read a lot of crap. (Seriously, I just pulled up my Goodreads page and looked at my 1 and 2 star ratings, most were from back then) I would grab up a bunch of books from the library thinking, "Oh yeah, these look fun," then I'd read them and think, "Meh." Not that I hated any of them, just that often they were lame stories with lame premises and expected outcomes. I've become more picky over the years about what I read... otherwise I'd probably be irritated constantly. Sometimes I still pick up an "okay" book by an author I like hoping for better. It happens. But I think I've gotten better at picking out good ones over the years. :)

  2. I totally get where you're coming from.

    It's inevitable that when you read a lot of books, the vast majority won't be much good, which makes the good ones shine.

    I have never been a big believer in reading a book I dislike, so I abandon books all the time. My time is too valuable to waste on bad books, or books that are just not doing it for me. ('Course, a book I dislike may be one that a friend or relative just loved.)

  3. Sometimes I think the more books I read, the harder it is for me to find books I really love. (if that makes any sense). When I didn't read much, I was pretty content with whatever book. But now that I've read some really good ones, it's harder for other books to measure up.
    And it wasn't until this year that I figured out contemporary is my favorite genre. I love Sara Zarr's books, if you ever want good contemporary. (but her books aren't super happy, just so you know)

  4. I'm glad I helped you reflect. I was just curious. I think if I hated most of the books I read, I probably wouldn't read as much as I do, but I'd still read because of the escapism.

    I think as long as something is fantasy (paranormal, urban, sci fi, etc.) and I like the characters and story, I like the book. Sure, I like more than others, but I'm pretty easy to please. (I don't know if that's a good thing or not.)

    I have a harder time with the classics. But, I still enjoy reading them because of their depth. So, I can see where you're coming from now that I think about it myself. :)

  5. I read a lot of books that I dislike as well so don't feel alone Jenny. The only difference is that I don't finish them and then don't bother reviewing them. I don't really want to waste my time with a book that has no redeeming qualities for me. Reading don't I don't enjoy isn't the best but it really does make me appreciate the good ones all the more. And in reality, not everybody will like the same books so if you read something you don't like that everyone else does, you're really doing the blogger world a favour by putting up the other side of the argument. So far I haven't found a genre that I don't enjoy. However there are books within genres that I dislike with a passion. It all depends on the characters for me.

  6. I've read quite a few books I just haven't enjoyed. For the most part, I think this has to do with whiney female characters who never grow backbones or just plain terrible writing. There's no real genre that this applies to, though.

  7. I agree with you! Reviewing really bad books is surprisingly fun and I don't why! I'm not a huge Paranormal fan too! For some reason it just doesn't satisfy me!

  8. I'm still getting my general likes and dislikes down. I find that many of my low-star reviews are contemporary, though many of my 5-star are too. I know I've become more wary and discerning in what I'll read, so many you'll know better what will please you and have more positive reviews after a while.

    But, I hope your negative reviews don't disappear, cause I like them!

  9. Awesome post, and yes, I've thought this about you now and then, but I pretty much also knew the answer already... which makes much sense actually, so way to put it out there! :)

    Interesting about still discovering what you like. Am I still doing this? Probably a little bit but we all know I pretty much like everything except mysteries! And maybe chick lit. And romances (which are different than love stories, right?... back to our book club genre discussion now!) And... hmmm... I don't know what else.

  10. I've found I am extremely picky!!! I have so little time to read that When I do read I want a book that will teach, entertain, keep me enthralled, and is worth my valuable time. I have no idea what types of books I lean towards but it's probably whatever Harry Potter is :)

  11. Hear, hear! All books are fun, even the bad ones. It's fun to critique it and realize that everyone else hated it just as much as you did. ;)

    Reading is about taking in what you love, but it should also be about accepting book recommendations, trying new genres, and seeing what makes your brain light up. I love discovering a new author I might never have read otherwise.

  12. I find my reading preferences are always evolving. Five years ago I *had* to have a HEA. Now, I prefer a more realistic conclusion. Two years ago I was all about vamps; now I find myself putting down books for no other reason than a vamp in the story.

    So, if you're not loving something, take a break and try a new genre! There are endless books to choose from. Don't waste time on ones you don't like. :)

  13. Jessica, See? It takes time and I'm kinda thick. ;)

    Megan, I agree. If you read a ton, you're bound to read some not so great books.

    Kathy, I was going to talk about that too. I feel like YA books in particular are being published so fast for profit that some just aren't that great. And the more I read the easier it is to be picky cause I know there's better out there.

    Jenni, Your question totally had be questioning my reading habits. Truthfully, I think it's just fun to hate some books. ;)

    Lan, Yeah, I'm a sucker! I keep reading dumb books even when they're bothering me. Sigh!

    iwriteinbooks, Yeah, you're preaching to the choir. ;)

    Roxy, I do have a lot of fun reviewing bad books.

    Melissa, I have a blast tearing books apart so don't worry.

    Suey, Now I'm going to try to convert you to chick lit. ;)

    Cowboy mom, Not having anything better to do sure leads to reading some stupid books but even if I'm busy I end up reading some bad ones...and finishing them. Sigh!

    couchpotatocritic, Agreed! I'll try anything and usually finish it whether it's driving me nuts or not.

    BJ, I'm always changing opinions too. Now that I'm realizing the paranormal ones are bugging me I think I will take a break.

  14. I think I've found that I'm just insanely picky when it comes to a well-developed story and believable action in a book, regardless of the genre. That said, I might struggle more with some paranormal because as an author you have to work harder, almost, to make that sort of setting relatable to the reader.

    I've only DNF'd two books this year and I really did try with them both, but...I just couldn't. :/

  15. Kaye, I think that's my problem, I'm too practical to truly enjoy paranormal. It has to be really, REALLY believable.