Discussion Post: I Miss Reading YA The Way I Used To

Every once in a while, I’d do a discussion-type post about something bookish that wasn’t a book review.  It’s been ages since I’ve done one, and I’m in a mood to talk about why I’m not as into YA as I used to be.

Reading wise, this hasn’t been a great year for me.  I haven’t been reading as much as I normally do, especially in comparison to previous years.  I am re-reading more, at least that I can recall, though this year is the first time I’m actually tracking what I’m re-reading, but for this year, a good chunk of what I’ve read has been re-reads. I’ve been crocheting a lot this year, and while audio books are great to listen to when I’m crocheting, I’ve found myself turning to Netflix or podcasts instead of audio books, and I’ve been turning away from books more than in previous years.

I’ve been thinking a lot about how little I’m reading this year, but there’s something in particular I’ve been thinking about a lot: how I don’t love YA the way I used to.

When I first started blogging, a majority of what I was reading was YA.  I loved it, and I couldn’t get enough of it. It was exciting and new and shiny, and everything was amazing and hit me right in the feels and I fangirled and said squee a lot.  There was a lot of jumping up and down in excitement and a lot of arm waving and it was something that really spoke to me.

But after 5+ years?  I’m not as in love with YA as I used to be.  It really bothered me for a while and while I still read it a lot, I’m not as excited about it as I used to be.  It still bothers me a little bit, because it’s something I really loved, and I want those feelings back.

I think maybe I’m a little burnt out on it.

I’ve read a lot of YA over the years, and I’m really starting to notice that a lot of books are really similar. Granted, I think YA’s always been like this- vampires and fairies and dystopia and…I could go on and on with the different trends.  Part of me feels like I really have to make an effort to read different genres, and to make sure I don’t read any genre back to back.  I notice tropes a lot more, and I’m reminded of similar books I’ve read, and how they compare to each other.

I feel like I’m reading the same story over and over, so I’m probably not mixing things up as much as I thought I was. That or most of what I’m picking up is in the same genre…probably a combination of both, knowing me. I’ve always been the kind of reader that just picks stuff up without really paying attention to the summary on the back of the cover.

Yes, the more I read, the more reference points I have for when I’m reviewing books.  And I’m a lot better at talking about books now then I was when I first started blogging.  I’m going to notice similarities more because I’m better at picking up on those things.  I’m a lot more critical now than I was in 2010.  It’s going to be harder for me to get excited about books the way I used to, because it takes a lot more for me to get to that point.

But I’ve noticed that over the last couple of years, my taste in books have started to change.

I’ve made more of an effort to read more diverse books- I’m reading more books that feature characters who are LGBT and characters who are people of color.  I’ve read a few translated books and books that set in different countries.  A lot of it is YA but a lot of isn’t, and I’m a lot more willing to get out of my reading comfort zone.  I always come back to YA, but I’m also not as willing to read one thing exclusively anymore.  Books are a powerful way to read about the experiences of those who are different from us, and everyone should have the chance to tell their story.

What I read is going to change over time- in middle school and high school, I used to love Stephen King, Anne Rice and Danielle Steel.  I didn’t read a lot in college, unless it was for a class, and then I fell in love with YA in my mid-twenties.  I’m going to like different things at different points in my life, and as I start reading a wider variety of books, I’ll probably start to find my new favorite book thing, whatever it may be.  Who knows, maybe I’ll still find that I love YA, and just need the book version of a palate cleanser.  Maybe I’ll read whatever I want, but still primarily read one thing.

I wonder if part of it is me getting older.

When I first starting blogging, I was 24.  I’m 31 now, and even though I feel like I haven’t changed that much…maybe I’ve changed more than I thought I have.  I still love YA, but maybe, as I’m getting older, the stories that speak to me are going to be different.  Maybe the stories I need to read have changed a little bit.  It’s not that YA doesn’t appeal to me anymore, because it still does.  Maybe, for now, I need something a little different.  It would be so much easier if I knew what that was, but if I keep reading different things, I could find it.

While this isn’t specific to YA, I’ve noticed that in general, I just haven’t been excited about reading this year. I’ve read and blogged pretty consistently since 2010 and while I’ve had a few (short) breaks and slumps, it’s never been the slump I’ve experienced this year.  If I’m going to be honest, it’s been nice to have a break.  I think it’s something I’ve really needed.  Re-reading has been nice- and really helpful, actually- because I’m reading, and not worrying about finding the motivation to review anything.

While the point of this really long post hasn’t been to come up with a conclusion for my disinterest in YA, it has been really helpful to talk about why I’m not as interested in reading it.  Even writing this, I’m starting to feel better about reading, and I’m starting to feel excited about reading…especially YA.  For some reason, I’m in the mood to read some really cute, sappy YA contemporary.  I (very sincerely) hope this is a turning point in my reading!

If anyone else has experienced this, how did you get through it?  Did your reading habits change completely, or did you take a break by reading something else?  Let me know what you think in the comments!

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Book Talk: On Not Doing The Goodreads Reading Challenge

Book Talk is a sporadic feature where I talk about bookish things that aren’t book reviews.

Book Talk

This year is the first year since I started blogging in late 2010 that I haven’t participated in the Goodreads Reading Challenge.  There wasn’t any particular reason for not doing it, other than just not feeling up for setting a reading goal this year.

However, there are some things I’ve noticed this year, in not doing it.  I know that it’s a random thing to talk about so late in the year, but it seemed like a good time, for some reason.

I’ve noticed that I’m putting far less pressure on myself in the number of books I’m reading.

In the past, I think I felt like I had to be either ahead or maintaining a certain pace, and I think I felt like I was partly reading to a specific number.

I haven’t felt like that at all this year, and I’ve just been reading.  Of course, I was reading in previous years, but with having an actual number of books as a goal, I think I became wrapped up in how many books I was reading, instead of what I was reading.  At least to a degree.

Not thinking about how many books I’m reading has been really freeing.

I have periods where I’m reading a lot, and I also have periods where I’m not reading a lot.  That’s pretty normal, but it’s something I haven’t really thought about this year.  I’m reading when I’m reading, and if I’m not, it’s okay.  If I’m reading, but at a slower pace, that’s okay too.  There’s no pressure, and I don’t feel bad if I’m not reading a lot.

I’ve definitely been paying more attention to what I’m reading, and even though last year, I was paying more attention to the books I’ve been reading, it’s been more of a focus this year than it has been in the past.

Maybe it’s possible to do both, but if I’m being honest with myself, I’d rather focus on what I’m reading instead of how much I’m reading.

I’m definitely open to doing it again, but it’s way too early to decide that!  And if there’s anything I’ve learned this year (and maybe last year too), it’s that there are a lot of different ways to challenge myself when it comes to reading. It’s something that’s working for a lot of people, but I don’t know that it’s something that’s necessarily motivating to me anymore.  It was great while I was doing it, but I’m at the point now, where I don’t necessarily need to read a certain number of books to challenge myself.

And in some ways, writing this post was harder than I thought.  It was hard to be at least semi-organized about it, so I decided to just write it and see where it went.

Have an awesome day!

Book Talk: Why I Love The Library

Book Talk is a sporadic feature where I talk about non-book review bookish things.

Book Talk

I’ve been thinking about the library a lot lately.  Partly because of this post, but also because I’ve been going to the library a lot lately.

There are times where I use the library a lot, but then I also have times where I hardly use the library at all.  I mostly go to check books, and I generally don’t utilize anything else the library offers, but libraries are really important and there are reasons why they are awesome.

The Books/DVD’s/Music:

I love that I can check out books, which one of the main reasons why I go to the library.  Here are some other reasons why I love the library:

  1. I really like that I can take a chance on a book- with the library, I don’t feel like I wasted my money if I end up not liking a book, and with just browsing, I can pick up stuff that I’ve never heard of.
  2. If I’m looking for a particular book on a certain subject, the library is a great place to start.
  3. I don’t really check out crochet books or cookbooks, but the library is a good place to get them, because I can see if it’s something I want to buy.
  4. And of course, I can do e-books and audio books (both CD’s and MP3’s) in addition to print books.
  5. Also, one of the branches of the Chula Vista library has an area dedicated to Chula Vista history, if I ever wanted to learn more about that.
  6. I don’t check out music and DVD’s, but it’s good to have that as an option.  Especially with movies.

The Library As A Work/Reading Space:

The library is one of my favorite places to go if I need/want to get some writing or blogging done.  Or even crochet, because I’ve done that a few time!  Here are some reasons why:

  1. I feel like the library is a better option to camp out if I need to.  The library has more outlets, comfortable chairs, and it’s a cheaper option in comparison to coffee shops/cafés, because I don’t have to keep buying food/coffee to warrant my stay there.  If I need a snack or something to drink, the library I go to the most has vending machines.
  2. The library is a good place to stay cool.  This is especially helpful during the summer, when your A/C decides to stop working and isn’t fixed yet.
  3. It’s quiet.  I don’t mind the noise of Starbucks or Panera, but there is something nice about how quiet the library is.
  4. For whatever reason, I’m a lot more productive at the library then I am anywhere else.
  5. If I need to look something up, the library will probably have at least one book related to whatever the topic is, and I go get it from the shelves.

Random Things:

  1. On an unrelated note: I love key-chain library cards.  It’s a lot easier pulling out my keys than my wallet and trying to find the right library card.
  2. I love that I can donate my old books to the library.  I’ve randomly been culling my print books, and dropping them off the next time I’m at the library.
  3. They have a lot of random events and services- from film forums to helping people with taxes to enrolling people in health insurance to book sales, there’s all sorts of things to do!

I could probably go on and on about why I love the library, but I think I’ll keep it to what I’ve already talked about, because I’m not in a super-rambly mood right now.  But who knows?  Maybe I’ll do another post about why libraries are awesome.

I hope everyone has a lovely day!

Book Talk: A Spoiler-Free Talk About Harry Potter And The Cursed Child Midnight Release Party

Book Talk is a sporadic feature where I talk about bookish things that aren’t book reviews.

Book Talk

Today’s topic is…Harry Potter!  Specifically, the Cursed Child Midnight Release Party, but I wanted to share a little bit of my own Harry Potter story.  I have read The Cursed Child already, and I’m going to talk about it but I promise there will be no spoilers in this post.  I will be probably be doing a review full of spoilers when I’ve had the chance to read it again.

A Little Bit Of My Harry Potter Story:

I’ve loved Harry Potter ever since I saw the first movie.  I saw it, loved it, and then immediately read the 4 books that were already out.  I anxiously awaited the release of each book and movie, reading theories on Mugglenet and mostly reading fanfiction (but writing a little too) and words cannot completely express what Harry Potter means to me. Whatever is going on my life, I know that I pick up Harry Potter, and everything will be fine.

I don’t have a lot of memories of midnight release parties for the books or the movies.  Bookwise, I only made to the Deathly Hallows midnight release party, and for the movies, only Deathly Hallows, Part Two.  I remember pre-ordering Deathly Hallows at Barnes And Noble, and going to their midnight release party, and wandering around the store a little, but also doing a couple craft, there was random trivia, and Harry Potter scene-it.  I got the book, and was up all night reading the book, and then going into work exhausted because I was up all night. But it was worth it, because I love having that memory.  And for Deathly Hallows, part two?  It was magical and fun to be watching Harry Potter at midnight in a packed theater, and the experience of that made it really fun and memorable.

Finding Out About The Cursed Child Script:

I remember seeing the news that the script for The Cursed Child on a blog post, and at first, I couldn’t believe it. I honestly thought it was a joke, and when I finally looked at the news headlines, and realized it was really happening, I jumped up and down screaming for about 10 minutes.  I immediately pre-ordered the e-book- I didn’t care that it was more than what I’d usually pay for an e-book (and the price can probably be explained by the fact that it’s a new Harry Potter book).

It wasn’t until recently that I had the thought to pre-order a print copy, to go on my shelf with the rest of the series.  I thought I had pre-ordered it too late, because Mysterious Galaxy had a wait-list going.  But I was really excited when they called saying they had more copies, and I was able to get one.

Either way, I was going to the midnight release party, because I didn’t want to miss out on the magic.

Going To The Midnight Release Party:

I knew that I was going to dress up, because how could you not?  I dressed up as Fleur Delacour- I made the hat and capelet she wears in the movie, because it was easier and cheaper than buying them.  I had a bit of trouble finding a dress in the right color, because when I need a powder blue dress, that is the color I can’t find to save my life.  Either I need to start planning costumes better, or I need to learn how to sew, so I can just make what I need.  But I was willing to go with any shade of blue I could find, but I found something close enough to powder blue that I wasn’t stressing out about it.

I arrived at Mysterious Galaxy, checked in at the register, and got my orange slip so that I could pick up my book when midnight hit.  I looked around a little, I got in line for snacks, colored a little, and watched people play Charades and Taboo.  I hung out with my friend Mollie, which was also fun, and made an already fun night even more fun.

And I loved seeing the costumes!  There were a lot of people in robes, and some of the kids had really cute costumes- one kid was dressed up as Snape, another as Malfoy, and a third was dressed up as a dementor.  There were people dressed up as Trelawney, Snape, and there was an impressively costumed Dumbledore and Sprout. And it was weird, but fun getting compliments, and a couple people even asked if they could get a picture of me.

They had really cool decorations- devil’s snare on some bookshelves, the flying keys, the floating candles, and textbooks, cauldrons, and potions bottles scattered around the store.  But I think my favorite thing was the muggle wall, where people wrote about their memories of Harry Potter.  The costume contest was fun, but the kid who won was cute (but then again, they all were), and for the adult costume contest, it was no surprise the woman dressed up as Sprout won.

Just before midnight, we sang Happy Birthday and then went to stand in line.  The line was (not surprisingly) pretty long, and wrapped around the building, but because everyone had paid already, the line moved fast, because they were basically just handing out the book.

So a little after midnight, I was holding the script for Harry Potter And The Cursed Child in my hands.  AND IT WAS GLORIOUS AND COMPLETELY AMAZING.

HP Cursed Child

In Which I Read The Script And Talk About It With No Spoilers At All:

I got home, changed into my pajamas, made some coffee (that I never drank), started playing Sorcerer’s Stone, and settled in on the couch.  And I read until I had finished.  It was only a couple of hours, because as a script, it went pretty fast.

While I’m not the biggest fan of READING plays, I love Harry Potter so much that I did not care.  With reading plays, you are missing out on a big part of it: actually seeing it being performed.  Reading it just isn’t the same as seeing it live on stage, but with the Cursed Child, I’m glad I get to at least read it, because I’m sure tickets for it are really hard to get, plus there’s the fact that I’m not in London, so that’s a factor.

I fully acknowledge that there is a piece of the Cursed Child that I’ve missed, because I’ve only read the script and haven’t seen it performed.  But that doesn’t stop me from loving the story, because I did, and my rating, right off the bat, would be 5 stars.  That may change, once I have a chance to read it again, and actually have time to think about it a little more.  Because right now, I’m super-excited, and I have so many thoughts, and it definitely needs another read.

What I loved the most about the midnight release party, though, is the reminder that Harry Potter brings so many different people together, and how much Harry Potter means to people.  I can’t think of any other book that inspires so many people to have parties to celebrate a book coming out, and waiting in long lines just to get a copy, only to go home and stay up until they’ve finished it.

I am so glad that I got to go to one more Harry Potter midnight release party, because I never thought we would get another one for the books.

And, of course, I would love to wish a very happy birthday to Harry Potter and J.K. Rowling.

Book Talk: The BFG, A Movie And Book Review

Book Talk is a sporadic feature where I talk about non-book review but bookish things…and today’s post is all about The BFG!

Book Talk

And as a warning, there are some spoilers for both the movie and the book!

The Movie:

I saw The BFG a few days ago, because it looked awesome in the trailers, and I remember reading Roald Dahl as a kid, so I knew I had to go see this movie adaptation.  Sadly, I couldn’t remember if this was one of the books I read by Dahl as a kid, because the movie didn’t jog any memories of reading the book.  So either I never read it or I read it but don’t remember reading it.  Either way, it was new to me.

I loved it as a movie, and even though I’m not a big fan of 3D, it was totally worth it in 3D.  I’m serious, guys, it worked really well in 3D.  Things weren’t jumping out at you, but there was a lot more scale and perspective and I felt a lot more like I was actually in the movie, and I don’t know that you would have had that experience in the non-3D version.  Maybe you would have but not to the same degree.  But I really felt like we were immersed in Giant Country.  And I’m not going to lie, I cried at the end.  I loved the movie, especially the scene where Sophie and the BFG go to catch dreams.  It looked really pretty, and I wish we saw the actual dreams just going around. But I also liked that they were balls of light.  And I really liked how his house looked!  It was just really pretty to watch.

With the BFG himself, you see how small everything is in comparison to him, and that’s partly why I liked it. You felt small, but in a good way.  And in comparison to the other giants, you see that he’s really not that big himself. Overall, it was just really pretty to see, and I definitely recommend seeing it theaters if you can.  As it is, I don’t know that it will be in theaters for very long, because it seems like there aren’t a lot of showings of it…

I also really liked it as an adaptation!  With any adaptation, there were some changes, but overall, it followed the book pretty closely.  I really wish we saw the dreams, especially since there are dreams described in the book.  I know I already kind of mentioned that, with when they go to catch the dreams, but seeing the dreams would have been really cool.

The BFG CoverThe Book: The BFG by Roald Dahl, illustrated by Quentin Blake

Originally published in 1982 by Farrar, Straus & Giroux|224 pages

Where I Got It: I own the e-book

Series: None

Genre: Children’s Fantasy

What It’s About: Captured by a giant! The BFG is no ordinary bone-crunching giant. He is far too nice and jumbly. It’s lucky for Sophie that he is. Had she been carried off in the middle of the night by the Bloodbottler, the Fleshlumpeater, the Bonecruncher, or any of the other giants-rather than the BFG-she would have soon become breakfast.

When Sophie hears that they are flush-bunking off in England to swollomp a few nice little chiddlers, she decides she must stop them once and for all. And the BFG is going to help her!

What I Thought: I really liked it!  It’s such a cute story, and even though it’s one of the Roald Dahl books I never read as kid, I’m glad I finally got to read it.  I remember liking some of his other books, and it’s such an imaginative one.  I will say that some of the gifts described at the end of the book were stereotypical, and that bothered me. And for some reason, the book didn’t seem as magical as the movie did, which makes me hesitant to re-read some of Dahl’s other books, because I feel like the magic and creativity of his books might not have the same effect on me as an adult as they did when I was a kid.  It makes me wonder if maybe I’m too old for Roald Dahl, which makes me a little sad, because generally, I don’t think you’re too old to read anything.  But in this case?  Maybe it’s possible.  I’d still recommend it as a book, because I really like the overall creativity and the conversation that the BFG has with Sophie about how giants don’t kill each other, and how kind the BFG is to Sophie.

My Rating: 4 stars.  I really like the story, but it wasn’t as magical as I thought it would be.

Book Talk: Harry Potter And Pride And Prejudice And Zombies

Book Talk is an occasional feature where I talk about non-book review bookish things!

Book Talk

It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these, but it also seems like a good time for one, because there are things I want to talk about!

First, Pride And Prejudice And Zombies, because I also want to talk about some Harry Potter news, and I’ll probably ramble on about that for a while.

So, I saw Pride And Prejudice And Zombies, and it was a lot of fun!  I haven’t read the book…well, I’ve read Pride And Prejudice, but not P & P & Zombies, but it was basically Pride And Prejudice with some zombies thrown in, so you’re not missing anything if you haven’t read Zombies.  I will say that Lily James was a good choice for Elizabeth Bennett, and Matt Smith was the perfect choice for Mr. Collins.  Seriously, I can’t think of anyone better for that role, especially in a zombie-fied version of Pride And Prejudice.  And now, I really want to re-read Pride And Prejudice.

On a random book-to-movie adaptation note: I still want to see The 5th Wave, but it looks like it’s on it’s way out of theaters, if movie times are indication.  I don’t know if I want to see it in theaters badly enough to try to see it tomorrow, or sometime this week, or if I just want to wait until it’s on DVD.

And HARRY POTTER!!!!!!!!!!!

I’m sure by now everyone’s heard the news that the script for The Cursed Child is going to be published as a book.  I first saw the news on The Broke And The Bookish, and I was jumping up and down screaming because I was so excited.  I took me a while to calm down down, and it still makes me really happy every single time I think about it. I’ve pre-ordered my copy, of course, and I can’t wait to read it.  I know it’s not the same as actually seeing it, but still.

WE GET TO READ THE SCRIPT!!!

I’m very, very excited, and it’s very fitting that it’s going to be released on Harry’s birthday.

Pottermore also brought back the Sorting Hat quiz and the Wand quiz.  I’m not kidding when I say that I was having massive anxiety over the possibility that I might not be sorted into Hufflepuff again, because that’s a strong part of my Harry Potter identity.

Thankfully, I was sorted into Hufflepuff again, so I was worrying about nothing, but I do feel for all the people who were sorted into different houses.

This time around, my wand is pear wood, unicorn core, quite bendy, and 10.5 inches, and overall, it fits me pretty well.  I wish I had my wand from the original Pottermore quiz to see how how it was different, but I apparently never mentioned it on the blog, and I didn’t print out that certificate in time, so I have no idea how long it was or how flexible (but I do remember that it was on the more flexible side, but not quite as flexible as my current wand).  I feel fairly certain I had a unicorn core last time, and I feel like maybe the wood was acacia?  Maybe, but I’m not sure. At any rate, it was very exciting to be a Harry Potter fan last week, and while I’m still not in love with the new Pottermore, I’ll probably still check it out sporadically.

I just feel like it’s harder to find the information we saw on Pottermore previously.  It seems much more random and disorganized, and I feel like if I see something cool and want to read it again, there isn’t a way to favorite it so that I can read it without having to go looking for it again.  But I also haven’t spent a lot of time on it, so maybe I’ll spend some time on there, to see what’s up.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Book Talk: A Year In Books, The 2015 Edition

Book Talk is an occassional feature where I talk about bookish things that aren’t book reviews.

Book Talk

2015 has been quite the year in books!  I’ve had my ups and downs this year as far as reading goes (more than any other year put together), and while I wish that 2015 ended on a better note reading wise, I’m hoping that 2016 will be a little bit better.

I had a reading slump earlier in the year- it was definitely stress-related to the point that I couldn’t focus on much of anything except sitting on the couch and watching t.v./Netflix.  It got better for a few months, but around mid-August, I found myself in a non-reading mood.  I tried manga and audio books from August to October, read only a handful of books in November (but I was also doing NaNoWriMo in November), so that might be why I didn’t read a lot in November.  And for December, I haven’t read a single book.  I would mark books as currently reading on goodreads, only to not even start them- and the one or two I did start, I only read a few pages and never continued past that.  I don’t want to force it, and I’ve kind of liked this non-reading period, but at the same time, I want to read so much.  Maybe I’ll try audio books again, to see if that will work, because picking something up is really unappealing right now.

Still, I actually managed to stick to my bookish goals this year- for the most part, I tried not to buy a lot of books, and I feel like I did pretty well with that.  Trying not to feel any bookish guilt- I don’t remember feeling guilty, but I also don’t think it was something that came up a lot.

As for reading more diversely (in terms of characters and authors), I did a lot better than I thought I would!  I think my initial goal was 2-4 books a month, and on average, I was at 5.8 books (or 43% of the books I read were diverse).  I was definitely more aware of what I was reading, and I read some amazing books this year because I wanted to read about more diverse characters and read books by diverse authors.  I could definitely do better, but overall, I did really well with it, and it’s something that I’m going to keep doing.

As for stats…I read a lot more print books than normal (52 this year, compared to the 7 I read last year), and that’s probably because I used the library a lot more this year (98 versus the one I read last year).  Audio books stayed around the same, but for the most part, where I got books and the format of said books stayed around the same, or evened out a little more.

I also kept better track of genre this year (because I’m also curious about what I read the most but am far too lazy to figure it out from Goodreads), and YA contemporary was my most read genre with 40 books. Paranormal (20), mystery/thriller/suspense (17), fantasy (16), manga (13), re-tellings (13), and dystopic novels (11) were the other genres I read the most.  Also, most of the books I read this year were published in 2012 or later.  My overall rating was 3.1 stars, and I read 147 books this year.  I didn’t include December in my stats, because I didn’t feel like it was fair to include a non-reading month in my own stats.

I could go on with some of the stats I kept track of (I read 37,375 pages and listened to 146 hours, 53 minutes of audio books), but I think I’ll just keep it to what I’ve mentioned (especially since I want to do the end-of-year survey hosted by The Perpetual Page-Turner, and I’m sure I’ll go more into some of this stuff then).

As for other bookish things, I went to a few book signings, and had a blast at them.  It would be fun to go up to the West Coast version of YALLFest next year (I know that there is one, I just found out about it after it happened), and while I don’t think I can make it up to BEA in 2016, I hope I can make it up there in 2017.

I’m hoping that my reading will get back to normal next year, and I can’t wait to read some awesome books!

Book Talk: I Think It’s Getting Harder To Impress Me

Book Talk is a sporadic feature where I talk about bookish but non-book review things.

Book Talk

Lately, when I’ve been writing my reviews, I’ve noticed that I’ve either liked the book I read or thought it was okay, and it got me think about how I used to be all “you guys, I just read this book and IT’S AWESOME, OMG, THIS BOOK!”  And now I’m not really feeling that way, even when I really like or even love a book.  It’s definitely not happening as much as it used to, and my feelings about books are moving more towards the middle of the spectrum instead of the extremes in terms of how I rate books.

I do think there are a few reasons why this is happening, and I just really need to talk it out.

Reason #1: I just haven’t read books that I’m super-excited about.

This is easily the most obvious thing, but I just haven’t really picked books that I’ve had a huge reaction to. But I just needed to get it out of the way.  I mean, I am excited about reading, and I’m sure I’ll read something and get super-excited about how awesome it is, it just hasn’t happened yet.

Reason #2: I’ve read a lot over the last few years.

I’ve read hundreds of books over the last several years (an astounding 731 books…that seems like too high of a number, but it’s definitely correct), and I think I’ve finally hit the point where it’s just hard for me to give 5 stars to anything.  At this point, it takes a lot, because I’m reminded of a lot of other books, and it’s easier to compare what I’m reading now to books I’ve read, and it’s just harder to give 5 stars.

I always felt a little weird about how much I really liked a lot of books, like I was being too positive, even though I was being completely honest about how I felt about them.  But over time, I think I’ve gone gone to more of a middle ground because I have such a good idea of what I like and don’t like and I think that’s why I’ve gone from “everything is awesome” to “everything is sort of okay.”  Which, now that I actually wrote that out, seems super-vague and basic, and I’m not really sure how else to explain it, or if this even makes sense to anyone except me.  But with how much I’ve read since starting the blog, it does seem like I’d sort of go towards the middle at some point.

What’s changed a lot is that the books that I’ve read this year that would have gotten an OMG, OMG, OMG THIS BOOK IS AWESOME no longer gets that reaction…and those books probably would have gotten that reaction had I read it even a few months ago.

Reason #3: I’ve had a couple of reading slumps over the last year.  

It definitely made reading not as much fun, and it took a while to completely get out of it.  It also made it hard to be completely into what I was reading when I wasn’t into reading.  When you’re having trouble focusing on reading because of stress or feeling burned out, it’s hard to be super-excited, and even your reading has gone back to normal, it still sort of stays with you.  At least, it did for me and it seems sort of lame now that I think about it, but it is a part of why it was hard to have strong reactions to what I read.

And, let’s wrap up it…for now!

I think it is harder for me to find those 5 star books, and books that would have been 5 stars early on, aren’t going to get that rating.  With as much as I’ve read, I think it makes sense that it would get harder for me to find those books, but I know they’re out there, even though it’s not going to happen as often as it used to.

Book Talk: A Few Random Bookish Thoughts

Book Talk is a sporadic feature where I talk about bookish but non-book review things.

Book Talk

So, I’ve been pretty busy with all of the review round-up posts, and for some reason, random bookish thoughts started popping into my head, so I figured I’d share them.

  • Like, this book review round-up thing is working pretty well.  My reading funk is better, and it’s (mostly) back to normal.  I did try listening to an audio book, but I had trouble focusing on it, so I put it on hold, and I’ll get back to it when I’m able to focus on it, and follow the story.  I may be doing them for a while, or I might not be.  I really have no idea, but now that I’m all caught up on reviews, there won’t be as many of the round-ups.
  • I recently read Fairest, the new Lunar Chronicles novella, and it got me thinking about novellas.  I usually read them all after I finish a series.  I have no idea why I read them after reading the series, but that really seems to be the best time for me.  I don’t know that I have strong opinions either way, because I feel like I haven’t read enough of them to have strong feelings.
  • I’m not bothered by movie adaptation covers.  I get why people don’t like it, and that’s cool, but I don’t really care either way. Partly because of having an e-reader, and the cover isn’t super-important to me (but sometimes, I wish I had a print copy to really have the cover) and sometimes I just don’t care enough to pay attention to the cover.
  • Even after several years of book blogging, I still know nothing about publishing houses or imprints, and I really want to learn more about them.  It’s something I feel like I should know more about, but I don’t even know where to start.
  • I will never understand e-book pricing, and why some go as high as $14…even $16/$17.  I have no problem paying for e-books, but that’s definitely over what I’m willing to spend.  I’m just really not understanding how it works.  Like, at all.  And it seems like no matter how much I read about it, it gets more and more confusing.
  • I definitely need to be in the right mood for audio books.  I tried listening to Ruby Red last week but I found myself zoning out a lot, which is never good when you’re trying to follow a story.  Sometimes, the narrator doesn’t work for me, which is fine, because they might be totally awesome to someone else.  What I do feel bad about is when I don’t like the narrator’s voice- I mean, it’s not their fault, and I feel bad about not liking their voice, but it’s such an important part of the book, you know?
  • I’ve been reading quite a few e-books from the library, and I do not understand why I’ll be the 4th person waiting on 1 copy and get that way before the book where I’m 1st in line for 1 copy.
  • I keep telling myself I’m going to actually get books from audio book sync but I always forget to do it. This year I will do it.  And I should probably sign up for the reminder.

I know this is random and all over the place, but that’s kind of where my mind has been.  I hope everyone had an awesome weekend, and a great week!

Book Talk: I Hate This Low-Energy Reading Funk Thing

Book Talk is a sporadic feature where I talk about bookish but non-book review things.

Book Talk

Today is about…this weird reading funk that’s been going on for almost a couple of months now.  It started out innocently enough, with me not having the mental energy to read or focus on much of anything except coming home from work tired enough to go to bed at 5:30…but also just able to do not much of anything except sit on the couch and watch t.v.  February was a bit crazy for me, and because I was so low-energy and unable to focus on things like reading and crochet, I wasn’t doing much of either.

I wouldn’t necessarily call it a reading slump, and I really did want to read, I just didn’t have the ability to focus on it very much. It has been a lot easier to deal with than the reading slump I had a few months ago- mostly because of having been through it, and knowing I’d come out of it eventually but it still sucked because the desire was there, even if the ability wasn’t.

So I started reading fewer books and at a slower pace, since that was really all I could manage.

But even though I’m not coming home from work exhausted, I’m finding that things are still pretty wonky.

Like, I’m back to reading now, and I have these random periods where I’ll go through most of a book in one sitting before finishing the last chapter or two a few days later.  Or I’ll start a book, only to find that I can’t focus on it, so I’ll put it on hold until I can focus on it.  There are also all of the times I tell myself I’m going to start reading a book, but then I never do, and so I put it on hold.  It is a lot better now, but I still find myself having some trouble focusing on some books.

I’ve also found that it’s seeped its way into blogging.  I don’t have energy for writing blog posts.  It’s why my posts have been Top Ten Tuesday posts lately, plus the odd movie review or monthly recap posts.  Even writing those posts have been really challenging- even on the weekend, when I have more energy.

I still want to review all of the books I’ve been reading (a few of which are from last month), so in the meantime, I’m planning on a few posts where I’ll talk a little bit about each book I read, instead of a full-on review.  I think I’ll be doing that for a while, because while I’m able to focus a little more than I was able to, I’m still not able to focus on it as much as I want to/used to.

I was able to sit down and write a couple of review round-up posts, and it was good to get back into the swing of (blogging) things.  I didn’t realize how much I missed it until I started doing it again, and I know that everything will go back to normal. Hopefully sooner, rather than later, but it’ll happen when it happens.

Have an awesome week!