As usual, my responses will be varied.
Bookish Things I’ve Quit
- Dean Koontz novels. Because of the proximity of his last name, Koontz’s novels were often near Stephen King novels in the bookstore and/or library. My parents shared one of his books with me in high school and I really enjoyed it. And for a while I read more of Koontz and would read his new novels as they were published. Which led to my reason for giving up Koontz — every time I read a new novel of his, it felt like I’d read it before. It’s not that his novels are all the same, but they all feel the same when I’m reading them. So, I eventually stopped reading him and haven’t picked up anything he’s done lately. It probably helped that I didn’t care for the Odd Thomas series.
- Expecting the movie/tv version to be as good as the book. This one is a difficult one for any bibliophile and it’s been especially difficult for me. And while I probably haven’t completely divested myself of this habit, I hope I’ve mellowed a bit on it. I realized that books only have the budget of my imagination and that there may be things in the novel that pique my interest but won’t necessarily translate well to the screen or make into the screenplay. And that’s OK. I’ve accepted it and tried to stop complaining too much. (Side note: This helped me enjoy watching The Martian. It also cropped up when I caught a few minutes of Pet Semetary on cable last week and was reminded that I didn’t like that adaptation because one sequence from the movie barely scratched the surface of how riveting, horrifying and memorable it was in the novel.)
- Reading all the Doctor Who/Star Trek novels that are published. I love a good tie-in novel. They’re the chewing gum of books for me and can be a pleasant palate cleanser. But as the years have gone along, I’ve become a bit more selective in the ones I read. Part of it is that there are simply so many tie-in books published for my two favorite shows that I don’t necessarily have the time or funds to read them all. And part of it is that some of the Trek novels have created their own canon beyond the end of the series and movies and I’m hopelessly behind on them.
Bookish Things I Wish I Could Quit
- My eyes being larger than my stomach. I’m sure this is a fairly common theme among bibliophiles — wanting to read everything that catches our attention. I use my library system a lot and I love it. And having the catalog on-line so I can put a book on reserve when I’m thinking about it is a great thing. Well, that is until I put a lot of stuff on reserve and they all come in at once (or as I call it, Hitting the Library Lottery). And, of course, when I’m there to pick up my reserves, I will browse. I often come home with a pile of books to add to the pile of books I’ve got here (and don’t even get me started on the Kindle backlog). This same principle extends to asking for ARCs on NetGalley or downloading e-books from the library or even picking up books from the used bookstore.
- Reading book one of a series and impulsively checking out/purchasing the rest of the series. This kind of ties into my first bookish thing in this category. But if a story or universe is enjoyable enough that I’m loving the first book, of course I want to continue reading. And I may impulsively seek out the next novel or novels in the series to either check out from the library or add to my collection.
- Making TBR lists and then not sticking to them. No longer being in school, I don’t have much required reading these days. And from time to time, I make a list of books that I want to read in the next week, month, quarter, year, etc. And then I often find myself being distracted by new (to me) books or an impulse to read this book that has been quietly sitting on the shelf for a while and finally the time has come for me to read it. Or maybe I’ve Hit the Library Lottery and a new book by a favorite author has come in and I re-order everything to read it. Or I end up reading four to five books at once.
Bookish Things I Can’t/Won’t Quit.
- Reading series in order. This is kind of a I wish I could quit, but won’t. A few years ago, I took a strengths test and one of my strongest areas was “context.” And when I saw this, I knew that it fit me like a glove. I don’t like coming into a television show, movie or book late and feeling like I’m missing something. And I don’t like reading or watching a series that needs to be read or viewed in order starting in the middle. I have to add here that sometimes publishers don’t help me out here because the cover of the book may not necessarily tell you that it’s part of a series.
- Audiobooks. I know some bibliophiles say that unless you’ve turned the pages, it doesn’t really count as reading it. To them I say — you’re missing a lot of fun in audiobooks. I listen them while running, doing chores around the house, sitting in traffic, etc. And I’ve got to admit I enjoy them (I also tend not to speed up the audiobooks as you can do with certain audio devices. It just ends up sounding odd to my ears). And I count them toward my reading total for the year. And I don’t have any intention of stopping any time soon
- Reading the Ender’s series. I know a lot of people have issues with Orson Scott Card. But Ender’s Game and Speaker for the Dead were two of the best novels I’ve ever read and hooked me on that series. To the point now that I am pretty much reading the parallel series that features Bean out of loyalty and the memory of those books more than I’m enjoying them. Part of it is that Card does just enough in each book to keep me hooked and part of it is that it’s one of the few genre series I’m caught up on. I will admit I haven’t read the recent series that takes place in the Ender universe but is written by someone else, so maybe there’s hope for me after all.
So, while that isn’t ten I think that’s a pretty good list. I’m sure I will think of several more once I hit post and I look forward to seeing what other bibliophiles say today.