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confessing my literary sins



I got this post idea from Brinton's blog post, which was inspired by an episode of the podcast What Should I Read Next?, in which the host shares all the literary sins people have confessed to her over the years.

I hated To Kill a Mockingbird
I've never read Jane Austen
I wrote term papers on books I never even finished

Things like that...

Personally, I was a terrible English degree holder last year. I only finished three books, and I really only liked one of them.

That's confession #1.

But it gets worse.

Confession #2 - I'm a picky reader, and I definitely have a type:

1) I do not like cliffhangers. Ever. They are never okay in my book (pun intended). I find it problematic when writers take the reader on a 500+ page journey and do not fully wrap their conclusion. It's a cheap ploy to get audiences interested in your next book, and it should be illegal. Your writing should speak for itself; if you have to lure people with "see what happens next," maybe you should re-evaluate the quality of your work as a whole.

2) I like stories told from a single point of view. Do not get me wrapped up in one character's drama and cut to a brand new character just as I'm getting emotionally involved in their storyline. It's like leaving mini-cliffhangers all throughout the story, and as I mentioned above, I do not like cliffhangers.

3) I do not like stories that bounce or alternate between timelines (none of that going back and forth from the past to the present crap). If you're going to tell a story that happened in the past, stay in the past. If you're going to have the narrative unfold in real time, stay in the present. Make up your mind and stick with it. There is one exception to this rule: time travel.

Oddly enough, it's difficult to find stories that meet this criteria. Most contemporary fiction follows a formula of pushing the story forward with different narrators or perspectives and/or jumping from the present to the past (and vice versa).

Does that make me a picky reader? Probably so. I confess, the older I get, the more choosy I am with my time, and reading books is a hefty time commitment, SOBEIT.

Confession #3 - I skim/skip the boring parts.

Does everyone ready every single word of every single page? Because I can't be the only one who sees a lengthy backstory ahead and mentally prepares to skim a few pages until the narrative picks back up again.

Confession #4 - I don't buy books unless I've already read and enjoyed them.

This is why the library exists in my opinion. If there's a book out there getting lots of hype and rave reviews, I'll place it on hold at my local library. It took me at least half a year to finally get a copy of Gone Girl when it was popular (I'm so glad I didn't buy it instead). Just like I've become picky with how I spend my time, I've also become more intentional about how I spend my money, and I only buy books that I'd re-read over the years.

There is one exception to this rule: gifts - I love receiving a book as a gift on any occasion. Even if I don't fully enjoy the story, it will still look good in my ever-growing personal library.

Confession #5 - I don't enjoy non-fiction.

For me, reading is an escape from the real world. Non-fiction is too heavily based in reality, and to make matters worse, it's always biased. A non-fiction story will always be infused with subjective thinking of some sort, because we as people can only give our perspective and advise from our limited scope of knowledge - no matter how many certifications, degrees, awards and accolades they have under their belt. Every now and then I'll try a non-fiction title (I just picked up Becoming from my local library), but I never enjoy them as much a solid piece of fiction.

Confession #6 - I'm less likely to read the book if they've already made a movie about it

#KanyeShrug

And that's that. If there are any other bookworms out there who'd like to confess some things, this is a safe space. No judgement will be tolerated.

😉



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Comments

  1. Hahaha I enjoyed this post so much! I find cliff-hangers frustrating but I like them sometimes. For example, in Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's Half Of A Yellow Sun, the story ends with a cliff hanger that people still ask her about everytime she gets interviewed. It's very frustrating but someone pointed out that Chimamanda's most likely not going to make a sequel and she left things that way as a sad reminder that life truly has to go on. That sort of let me make peace with it haha.

    I too, find it difficult to read a book if it's been made into a movie. Don't know why, but that's just how I feel. I also skip the boring parts of books, life is too short lol.

    OMG I adore books that have different time periods, I'm a sucker for them. I also tend to buy books that I've read and loved as I know for sure that I want them in my library. Sometimes, I do buy books before reading if it's cheap or if I know for sure it's one I want to keep.

    My confession: I'm not the biggest fan of classics. I love some, Jane Eyre and Oliver Twist for example. But there are a lot that I haven't read and quite frankly am not interested in :)

    Coco Bella Blog

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    1. I had Half a Yellow Sun on my to-read list for years, and then the movie came out. 😂

      I actually don't mind the cliffhanger if that's how the writer chooses to sum up the whole store - forever. Sometimes that's really how life goes, we don't always get closure for everything, and I can appreciate the need to leave things open ended. But when they write another book in lieu of a proper first novel conclusion, then i get irritated.

      I do buy cheap books every now and then, too. I was out and about the other day and almost bought a couple titles for $6-$8 each, it's hard to pass up good/cheap books!

      And your confessions are safe with me! ❤️

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  2. I didn't read To Kill a Mockingbird in school, but I did read it on my own and I actually really liked it and understood why many people say it's their favourite book from their English curriculum. // I've never read Jane Austen either. // I've written term papers for books I never finished as well haha

    I usually only skim if I'm not feeling the book as a whole. So far I feel like I've come across more boring books than boring parts of good books, if ya get what I mean :3

    I very rarely buy books! I mostly borrow from the library, find ecopies online, or am sent egalleys to read or review. So I suppose it's more likely for me to go back and buy a book that I've read and loved than buy a new book to read through for the first time! But lately I've been wanting to get my hands on my own books, as in buying a new book to read through for the first time. I haven't done it yet, but I think I'll be doing it sparingly in the over few months :)

    I've been trying to expand the genres I read from these last few years. I naturally lean toward fiction because I find them more exciting, but I want to read more nonfiction, and have been making an effort to. I still read a lot more fiction than I do nonfiction, but I realised that I do quite enjoy memoirs. I just bought a copy of Becoming because I couldn't find it online and the waitlist for it at my library was six months long!! -Audrey | Brunch at Audrey's

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    Replies
    1. I read TKAM in school and was rather ambivalent about it. It wasn't until I read it again, years later (of my own free will), that I grasped its greatness.

      I put Becoming on my library list as soon as it was announced. It wasn't available yet, but by the time my library got their copies I was one of the first few in line, so I only had to wait a month or so. I'll definitely be sharing my thoughts here on the blog when i finish!

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