Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Bookish Things to Quit

Top Ten Tuesday is weekly meme created by the lovely folks at The Broke and the Bookish. They created it because they're "particularly fond of lists" and since I also enjoy lists, I've decided to participate in this fun feature.

Being a book blogger is a ton of fun. But, at the same time, it's an intensive hobby. It can be really hard to balance reading, reviewing, and everyday life. You learn a lot about yourself as a reader and writer when you've been doing this as long as I have been (almost five years!) so thinking about this week's Top Ten Tuesday was interesting. I focus a lot on what I need to quit doing but I threw in a really frustrating trope at the end as well. What are some bookish things you need to quit or you wish the bookish world would quit?

Not reviewing a book right away
I had a hell of a time late last year and into this year when I was (ineffectively) balancing the blog, a crazy commute, and a job I didn't enjoy. I was reading a fair amount but I didn't have the energy to sit down and write reviews. It was five months of getting further and further behind and I'm still not caught up (I left that job back in February). I'm getting better but, particularly because of the back log, I'm still not writing a review as soon as I'm done the book. I have to start reviewing as soon as possible after finishing the book!

Not cross-posting on Goodreads or Amazon
I'm friends with a bunch of indie/self-published authors and I know how important these reviews and ratings are for them. And yet, I don't post reviews on sites other than my blog unless the author specifically requests it. It's really not that hard to put a review up elsewhere and it could help so much.

Agreeing to read a book I'm only sort of interested in
I get a lot of emails from authors and publishers asking me to review their books. I want to read and review all of them because, in part, I want to talk about as many books as possible (and the access to free books doesn't hurt). I end up agreeing to read a lot and then I just don't get them read in a timely manner. It's unfair to the author/publisher and to me when I agree to read a book when I have that niggling feeling that's telling me it's not going to be something I really enjoy. But then I have to silence the other feelings that say, "But what if it is great?" and "But you'll be so mean if you say no." I'm working on it! (And if you're an author or publisher who's emailed me in the past and have been cursing me for not reviewing your book...I'm sorry. Life happened.)

Forcing myself to read CanLit
I'm Canadian and I really want to support Canadian authors. There are a ton of amazing authors in this country of mine but it can be a struggle for me to find CanLit titles that are, well, interesting for me. The books and authors are diverse so you'd think I'd be able to find some I really enjoy. Of course, I'm the first to admit that I don't read widely enough...I like the genres I like and I stick with them. The point of this is, as much as I want to read Canadian literature, I need to know when not to force it. Just because an author is highly regarded in Canada (*cough* Margaret Atwood or Elizabeth Hay *cough*), that doesn't mean I should read their books (especially if I haven't enjoyed them in the past).

Putting off fixing my @&$% kobo
I don't know what the problem is (is it the device itself or Adobe Digital Editions?) but it's been causing me trouble for almost a year. I keep putting off figuring out the issue because every time I try, I want to toss the freaking thing out the window. I hate that I can't figure it out (I'm a smart lady, damn it!) and I hate that support from both kobo and Adobe is lacking. I need an ereader because so many of the books I get to review are only available on a device. I'm going to try to work on it today because I need my ereader working for when I go on vacation next month. Send wine and positive thoughts, please.

Reading something just because it's popular
Sure, there are a lot of great books that are popular for a reason. I'm so glad I gave in to the hype surrounding The Hunger Games many years ago, for example. But there are some books I'm just not interested in and I feel like I should read them. Just this weekend the page I was working with at the library told me I definitely have to read The Maze Runner. I've heard that a lot and I'm sure it's great but...I'm just not interested! And my reading time is so precious that I'm going to read what I want to read.

Reading a series just because I've read all of the other books
There are two series in particular that I'm referring to here. One is the Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich. I've been reading them for 14 years or so and, as fun as they are in the moment, I usually regret reading them because it's the same thing over and over again. I've decided I won't read another one until it's the final book. I need to know if she picks Ranger or Morelli! The other series is Sophie Kinsella's Shopaholic series. Again, it's the same thing over and over again. I don't mind reading about a flighty character if, at the end, she realizes that she's been acting kind of crazy. But Becky just keeps doing ridiculous things. And, again, once the series is over I'll read the final book.

Not DNFing
Admittedly, I've gotten better over the years but I still really struggle with putting a book down when I'm not enjoying it. I always talk about how precious my reading time is and yet I keep reading books even when I know I'm not enjoying myself. Repeat after me: it's ok to put a book down when you don't like it.

Buying books just because I have a gift card or it's on sale
I've been pretty good lately but I did buy a new colouring book in the spring because I had a $10 off card and about 10 minutes to use it before the store closed (I had forgotten when the expiry date was). I enjoy the colouring book but there was a similar one coming out a few months later that I actually would have enjoyed more. Was getting $10 off worth it? I'm not sure. My shelves are overflowing and, for the most part, I'm pretty good at restraining myself but sometimes I just can't help buying a new pretty to bring home even when I really don't need it.

Angsty New Adult
I loved New Adult but I wish there would be more diversity among its titles. Right now it seems like only contemporary titles are included in the category (which is usually a great thing by me since contemporary is my favourite). Particularly, I need the "good girl is finally out on her own and meets a bad boy who she just can't help but fall for but it's ok because she can totally change him but - shocker - he doesn't change and he still treats her like total garbage because he's an asshole" trope to just stop. Stop. Stop. It gives NA a bad name and doesn't give young women good role models. 

8 comments:

  1. This is a great list. Reading through everyones I can't believe I had such a hard tome thinking of some. They are so clear now! I do admit to having a problem DNF'ing a book, even if I'm not in love part of me still wants to finish and not have it hanging open. My Top Ten

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  2. Poor Janet Evanovich :p She has made it onto so many Quit Lists this week! I think it's probably about time Stephanie Plus gives up the ghost!

    I have the opposite problem of reading something just cause it's popular! If too many of the girls in my book club tell me to read something, my brain is stubborn and decides it really doesn't want to! Fickle, silly brain.

    My TTT

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  3. I have such a hard time reviewing books right after I read them... And then, by the time I get around to it, I've forgotten the details of why I loved/hated that book! Also, yes to not agreeing to review every book that is offered. I've had to push myself through some really awful books because I agreed to review them, even though I knew from the description it probably wasn't going to be my thing.

    Here's my list, if you're interested: http://newberyandbeyond.com/ten-bookish-things-i-want-to-quit/

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  4. I have to review right away too (well don't HAVE to but it stresses me out if I don't) and remembering to crosspost is a big one too. I used to, but have really slacked off.

    Resisting the "popular" books can be tough too, sometimes.

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  5. Excellent post. I thoroughly and wholeheartedly agree with all said or rather guilty of all said. It's a huge struggle for me at times to get those reviews done because as you say 'life happens'.

    The biggie for me is the popular and new mainstream releases that I have to have some knowledge about, being a bookseller, to recommend to customers.
    I might write up a similar post for my blog :-)

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  6. I love your list ! I think It's one of the best so far ! I could relate to reading books just because it's popular

    Here's my list that’s full of supernatural gifs ... 10 Reasons why I've stopped lending out books

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  7. on sale books are my weakness lol My TTT

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  8. Not DNF'ing is a problem I have too, even if I don't like a book, I still can't bring myself to put it down!
    My TTT: https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2015/10/06/top-ten-tuesday-25/

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