Monday, June 15, 2009


From the time I was in kindergarten and learned to read, I have been an avid reader. It runs in my family which is pretty neat because we trade books back and forth and suggest new ones to read. I am the kind of reader who can read for hours and hours until the book is done {or until I'm sore}. I really value my summer reading time because I can read in a completely carefree, guilt-free way and not stress about any textbooks that I should be reading for class instead.

However, I have a BIG issue with books. For some reason, I have the hardest time bringing myself to buy a book unless someone has told me to buy it. I can't read a book unless someone suggests it or gives it to me or tells me to read it. I feel like it's too much of a risk to just randomly say "oh here this looks good". What if it sucks? What if it is so boring that I can't even finish it? What if I waste the money on a horrible book when I could have just really enjoyed a book that was recommended? What if....

Maybe this is because my dad always gave me books from his bookshelf and I liked them. Maybe it's because my sister and I always exchange. Maybe it's because until I got married, my mom would buy me books at Christmas and Easter. All I know is, I CAN'T do it!

Luckily, I have found a quick and easy solution to my predicament. The LIBRARY! This way, I can pick out random, non-suggested books without the many negative consequences of purchasing such books. If the book sucks, I can take it back! YAY.

I am a nerd.

Now this epiphany happens just after I get this Bookman's gift card that I need to spend. So, I decide, I will ask for some opinions and suggestions on books to read. There have got to be people out there with similar tastes in reading and they will give me an out. They will give me the name of a book so I can buy it and be done with this whole "gift certificate" nonsense. So I ask, and people do respond with book names and I decide to read the publisher's note to check out the books they've suggested.

Do people realize that I don't want to educate myself with a textbook? Do people actually enjoy reading political jargon and viscious attacks against other political parties? Do people read for PLEASURE? HELLO??

Half of the suggested books were political, philosophical, or historical... which is great if I'm feeling ambitious and smart and it's during the semester or something.

I want to read for fun. Which to me excludes all learning and enters the world of {fiction}.

Granted, I didn't specify that I wanted to read fiction. I just really think it is rude that people can't let others think for themselves and give an honest suggestion without trying to impose political stance and philosophical views upon someone. I feel like it's a big push saying "You need to believe what I believe on this matter. Read this."

Apparantly, I should no longer ask for suggestions on this matter so I will have to leave it at that.

And maybe all of those poli sci and philosophy nuts are thinking "What is with this girl? Doesn't she want to read about real world issues and real things and educate herself?"

And maybe I'm silly for not wanting to.


J&&K said...

Hahaha! I know the feeling. I dont mind memoirs of stuff like you know those holocaust lit books and what not but I love love LOVE fiction books. they just need to be realistic fiction. Now I have a challenge for you. Go to the book store, find a book with an interesting title. Read the back. if it sounds interesting sit down right in that isle and read the first 5 pages. If at the end of those pages you want to keep reading, buy it. IF it ends sucky and you are kind of disappointed in it, take it to bookmans and trade it in. Then use your trade credit to do the same at bookmans. I promise you you will finally find books that you will love and be glad you bought! Ones that you can pass on to others.
Now I wont lie, most of my favorite books have come from suggestions of others, or something I have found on my mothers bookshelf. BUT I have also found some amazing novels that I still read often because of going to the bookstore and buying a book. I am a bookstore whore though.:] and when i go with my mom, we have a deal. [we've had it since i was young enough to read] If mother and I walk into a bookstore, we stay until we find something we like. AND I always leave with a new book. [it sucks because Kyle isn't the same way] I love it! It doesn't matter if we go 3 times in one week, I get a new book every time! I love the tradition and know that I have found new and exciting authors because of it. && the best part? even though I'm married now, my mom still keeps her promise.:]

Libby said...

Oh my goodness... I saw your attempt for a good suggestion on facebook. I didn't comment cause I figured everyone would laugh if I suggested some fun fictions! haha. But I'm definitely on the same page as far as LEISURELY reading goes. My favorite author... Nicholas Sparks. He always has a good romance story. I've heard a lot of good things about Jodi Picoult too. Haven't had the chance to read an entire book yet but I've read a few chapters and liked them. Hope you find something good in your search!

Inside A Book said...

Howdy Becka, It is me little lurker....You have hit on my passion!!! Reading! I just beamed when you said how you loved it to. Your post made me want to come on over and bring you a pile of books, it made me want to sit with you and chat up reading and what you love, and it made me want to respond and help you find that perfect read!! Can I share a few leads and suggestions?? The library is my sanctuary!! I love the shelves and even the smell. I relish the journeys I can take there!! I haunt book blogs (there are loads and I have many that I follow and can share if you want) they give me great ideas of current titles and what's hot in many genres. (I love young adult literature so many of my blogs are centered there. I also blog with quite a few librarians.) My book group has always been a fun treat too. I have read many books that I never would have even tried because we were doing it together. We are meeting today and have read Peter and the Starcatchers by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson (a prequel of a sorts to Peter Pan. It is a kid's book but we always read one each summer to encourage families to get involved.) Another few good recommends are - I get their weekly e-newsletter and it links to great book reading guides and new authors. There is also an LDS Women's book review website that has podcasts and links to some good books. I am not one to always love LDS fiction but I have found a few gems and some links to other good authors. Let me know if you are interested. Just a silly FYI - I started my blog to journal the books I read. I love it. I have met quite a few interesting people and get a chance to record my thoughts about the trips I take through the words of others.
What genre do you love? I have loads of titles to share - what the heck, come borrow from my bookshelves or just let me know if you want a few suggestions. Thanks for blogging so honestly. I love ya bunches - you are one awesome chica!!

The Dixons said...

I, too, am an avid reader. But I'm the opposite - I'll pick anything up at Barnes and Noble and give it a try.

A few of my recent GOOD finds:

Sarah's Key but Tatiana de Rosnay (this was THE BEST book I've read in a while)

Anything by Jodi Picoult. What an amazing author.

Anything by Laurie Notaro. She's FREAKING HILARIOUS!

The Memory Keeper's Daughter (can't find my copy this moment, but I'm sure you can find the author if you do a search.)

HEY! I just had a FABOO idea! I have all of these books and you are now close by. LET'S SWAP!

the tim gailey home said...

hi. i would recommend a book, if I knew a book. Haven't you already read everything?!?!?!?

The Revie Family said...

I rate my books on my visual bookshelf on Facebook. Feel free to check it out. I also agree with your friend "The Dixons." Laurie Notaro is laugh-out-loud hilarious. You will laugh out loud and your husband will think you're a nerd. (Mine did).

greatgoogamooga said...

I completely understand about not caring so much about politics to waste reading time on it. I use the library the same way...but I hardly ever go with suggestions. I have a sort of joke philosophy about it is: You CAN judge a book by its cover. Generally untrue, I know...but I think...well..somebody decided that this picture, or font, or title, or whatever reflected something about the if I think it's intriguing I'll pick it up (having judged its cover). I've actually had a lot of success with this method. :P