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


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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