Sunday, March 10, 2013

Leafing Lessons #1: Reading Without Purpose

This morning I sat down to write a book review.  Instead out popped a tongue-in-cheekish "advice" column of my recently learned bookish lessons.  I so enjoyed writing it that I might make a feature of it.  It's likely you won't find any great new ground-breaking wisdom to enrich your blog, your life, and your reading, but with any luck both you and I will be amused, and I will remember my own good advice to myself.  Herein you will also get to enjoy the astonishing wonder of my very favorite point of view, the second person, wherein the "you" obviously refers to me but could refer to you also.  Behold the perplexing wonder of the second person! (This should also serve as an apt warning not to pen your debut novel in the second person.  Kids, only try this at home.)

Just because you bought that book for 99 cents for your Kindle doesn't mean you have to be suspicious of it.  Okay, usually it does.  We live in an age where everything "worth having"  seems to always be getting more expensive, and quickly.  Usually when you spend 99 cents on something you get what you paid for: crap.  But not always.  Sometimes you luck into something good.

A trusted book blogger is worth their weight in books (and more!).  Sometimes when you're browsing the Kindle Daily Deal and you see a book that sounds like it might be right up your alley, but you're kind of afraid because it's only 99 cents, and it might be total garbage, all you need is the trusty Book Blogger Search Engine to tap into all those who would lead you down the correct path.  With extra kudos to those who you know write a negative review of a book they didn't love once in a while, so you can be extra-confident that when they sing the praises of a book, they're totally giving it to you straight.

It's okay just to read what you want to read when you want to read it.  It's wildly liberating, actually.  At least three quarters of the book bloggers reading this who have posting schedules as long as both their arms put together, a to-review pile that takes up a few shelves, an immense list of challenges to conquer, not to mention those 16 readalongs they've signed up for are now struggling to wipe the bewildered looks off their faces.  I'm talking to you!  I see you!  I know you, fellow book blogger.  I am you.  Sometimes if you happen to start a book that you're not "supposed" to be reading and it really grabs you, just keep reading.  It will remind you of the jolly good old days when you just read books for the hell of it before you started trying to make reading into an unpaid career with all sorts of rules and schedules and deadlines to meet.  It will reboot your love of reading and maybe poke your enthusiastic inner blogger who inexplicably went missing after a year or two of gleeful blogging, leaving behind the "routine and obligation" blogger you became. 


It's also okay to delay going into the grocery store and sit in the parking lot with your car running like a creeper if you have only 5% of that really good book left, and you want to read it without any interruptions from anybody.  Even if it makes you late, and people start to wonder if you got lost coming home from work. It's also acceptable to only mention that you're late because you had to stop at the grocery store when your friends and family call wondering where you are.  Divulging the "creeper with a Kindle" part of the story is totally optional.  If you can't keep quiet, perhaps you'll only want to tell the true bibliophiles in your life or maybe you'll keep quiet and save the dirty details for your book blog, you big Kindle creeper, you. 

You forget this, but paranormal YA almost-romances are good for the soul and should be read on a semi-regular basis.  A few summers ago I devoured paranormal YA like it was candy, and I really like candy a lot.  I can't figure out why I stopped. Reading paranormal YA, that is, I'm still eating plenty of candy.  (Small voice mutters in the background, "See Exhibit A: Reading as Unpaid Career").  And I'll admit that maybe YA paranormal almost (and actual) romances perhaps aren't as great for everybody's soul as they are mine, but I bet there are some slightly more plot-heavy lovelies that don't require you to wade through pages of flowery, if excellent, prose and employ your many powers of deductive reasoning and just let you enjoy a story without having to do too much work.    Don't forget to read these once in a while.  Your reading doesn't always have to be so gosh durned purposeful all the time, for crying out loud.

These lessons brought to you by Angelfall by Susan Ee, which I (you?) may have purchased from Amazon for a measly 99 cents at the recommendation of several trusted book bloggers, who I was very right to trust, of course.  Sorry, it's not 99 cents anymore, but the price is still extremely reasonable, just in case you want to try it out for yourself.  Careful, though, it might just make you into a Kindle creeper like me.

Have you learned any reading lessons this week? 


  1. I love this post. I've gotten better about reading what I want to read.

  2. I came over here after reading your comment on the Three R's blog...and I LOVED your post. I have been noticing a tendency of mine to plod along as if reading is a job, albeit an unpaid one. But my resolutions this year included the one about not accepting blog tours or books for review unless they absolutely reach out and grab me.

    And I try to include at least one book each week that I bought for myself because I love the author's work....

    As for the 99 cent deals...I've succumbed to them, and occasionally gotten a good one. But I need to be careful....

    Thanks for sharing! Here's MY SUNDAY SALON POST

  3. I love the 99 cent one. I have a problem with the freebies. They look a-ok, so I buy them, but then I never read them because you know they were like free so they much suck. :)

  4. Love this post! And I love the kindle daily deals - I've got some great books from there for 99p.

    I also read what I like, when I like, without feeling guilty. I still accept review copies, but read them in my own time :)

  5. Love, love, love this post! I totally do the grocery store thing - also the showing up for work 10 minutes early to read 1 more chapter sitting in my car thing...=)

  6. What a lovely post! Angelfall must be a good read to have inspired all these great bits of bookish wisdom. I am so very cautious about my Kindle buys - even when a book is free or 99 cents, I will always download the sample chapters first to see for myself. But searching the book blogger search engine for reviews is a great idea!

  7. Well, you saw my post, so you know my reading lesson for the week. :)

    I'm so glad that I can read what I want when I want. I'm not your typical book blogger, in fact, sometimes I don't even call myself that, so I don't feel "under the gun" to read this book or that book. I do participate in the occasional readalong or challenge, but not as many as some -- ahem, probably you. :P

  8. This is GREAT. I'm sharing it, and I look forward to more "leafing lessons" from you. :-)

  9. I just can't get past the whole idea of a trusted book blogger being worth their weight in books. Hence, if anyone out there finds me to be a trusted book blogger (shhh...we're ignoring the fact that I'm not really a book blogger), then that means I am worth one whoppingly huge pile of books, and well, for once I'm feeling pretty good about my weight. :P Ahh, Megan, I can always count on you to make my day a little brighter! :D

  10. This is such a good post! All sorts of great advice. I love skipping out on "required" reading once in awhile and picking up something older or different for a break. I haven't done that in a little while.

  11. Yay for reading what you want, when you want to read it!