Monday, September 24, 2012

49 book confessions

I love to read.

However, I often feel guilty taking the time to read, when my To Do list is overflowing with more important tasks.

I wish I read more than I do.

I have a hard time starting a new book. I recently heard this referred to as a Book Hangover: The inability to start a new book because you're still living in the last book's world. Exactly!

I go through periods where I'll read several books in a week, followed by not touching a book for a couple months.

I once read eight books in one day. 

There are 75 titles on my library wish list.

I have 73 sample books downloaded to iBooks.
There are 39 cookbooks on my Amazon wish list.

I have a strange fascination with prison literature.

Before Larry and I were dating, he lent me two books: A Single Shot (which he described as the most depressing book he'd ever read) and Into the Wild. I read 75% of Into the Wild on a plane ride home from Vegas. I never read A Single Shot.

I have a hard time committing to a book over 500 pages. When I make it through a really long book, I feel a huge sense of accomplishment.
books That being said, I have several ambitious tomes on my nightstand: Crime and Punishment and The Executioner's Song.

During the nine years we've been together, Larry and I have both read only three of the same books: The Road, The Book Thief, and Just Kids.

I read the most at the beach.

I read many different genres, but never science fiction, fantasy, or romance. Or anything about vampires.

Larry thinks the books I read are depressing.

I've never read To Kill a Mockingbird.

I love reading on my iPad. I also love reading paper books.

I usually don't read a popular book until several years after it was published.

I can't read more than one book at a time. Larry's always reading a couple simultaneously, which I think is weird and confusing.

I'm generally not a fan of short stories.

The book is always better than the movie.

As a child, I loved to read and spent my nights reading with a flashlight under my pillow. I was a night owl back then, too.

Sometimes I still stay up way too late engrossed in a good book. I don't need a flashlight anymore - the iPad is backlit.
My favorite books from my childhood were The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Gregory the Terrible Eater, It's Not Easy Being a Bunny, and The Trumpet of the Swan. There was also a book about a dog that dug and dug and dug (to the other side of the world) - Google says perhaps this book was The Digging-est Dog? But I can't be sure. I also loved all books by Roald Dahl.

My first chapter book was Charlotte's Web. My mother read a chapter to me each night when I was in kindergarten from a copy that was hers when she was a little girl. We both cried when Charlotte died.

When I was a kid, my mother took us to the library every week. We put our book selections in an L.L. Bean tote bag. I remember the day I was finally old enough to get my own library card - so exciting. But now? I haven't been inside a library in almost ten years. (But I still check out books electronically.)

When I was in second grade, my godmother gave me the first two Nancy Drew mysteries. I was hooked.

Also, in second grade, we read Ramona Quimby, Age 8 in school. There is a passage in this book when Ramona's mother serves tongue for dinner. I read this shortly after my own father brought home a tongue. I became a vegetarian for the next year.

Yes, I did read The Babysitters Club books. I knew they were crap, but I loved them.

In fourth grade, our class participated in the Book It! reading program sponsored by Pizza Hut. I loved reading the books, but I also loved the free pizzas and the awesome purple holographic buttons.

In eighth grade, I found a copy of The Catcher in the Rye on my parents' bookshelf. I remembered reading in Seventeen magazine (Yes. Sad, but true.) that many people named The Catcher in the Rye as the most influential book they'd ever read. I sat down to read it. I thought it was good, but not life-changing.

In high school, I stopped reading for pleasure and only read the books assigned in English class. Even then, I didn't read all of them. I loved American Lit. I hated European Lit.

Books I loved in high school: Ragtime, All The King's Men

Books I hated in high school: A Tale of Two Cities, 1984

Books I read the Cliff's Notes instead: Moby Dick, The Grapes of Wrath

I didn't read a single book for pleasure in college. The demands of my major (architecture) left no time for pleasure or hobbies or reading. Heck, I hardly even slept during those five years.

I don't understand reading a book more than once. There are so many books to read out there, why spend the time re-reading when you could use that time to read something new? Exceptions to this rule include Charlotte's Web and The Trumpet of the Swan. I plan to re-read them and hope that they haven't lost their magic.

I used to force myself to finish books I didn't like. Now, I remind myself that life is too short for boring books. There are plenty of good ones out there - why waste time reading something you don't like?
I couldn't finish On the Road. I thought it was boring, pointless, and made me want to punch both Sal Paradise and Jack Kerouac in the face.

I've only read the first Harry Potter. Maybe someday I'll read the others. Maybe I won't. There are dozens of other books higher up on my To Read list.

I've never read any Twilight books and I have no intention of ever reading them.

I've never read any Hunger Games books. Despite the fact that these books are of a genre that doesn't interest me, several friends who have great taste in books have recommended them. Maybe I'll read them.

I hate dust jackets.

I love browsing books at bookstores, but I never buy them there. They're cheaper on Amazon.

I still haven't finished my 2011 goal to read all of the Pulitzer fiction winners from the last decade. (To date, I've read 6 1/2 of them.)

My goal this year was to spend $0 on books to force myself to read the unread books on my shelves (library e-books are ok, too). So far, it's working.

I'm currently reading Wild by Cheryl Strayed.


Pickles and Dimes said...

I love book posts!

Reading is my outlet. Without it, I would combust in a giant ball of rage. When I'm stressed, I read. When I don't have time to read, I get stressed. It's a weird circle.

What did you think of The Road? Everyone I know hated it, but I loved it so much I can barely articulate why. (Not to be confused with On the Road, which, like you, I could not stand.)

Jason says I read weird, depressing books. (I do. I like to read about the apocalypse.)

Funnelcloud Rachel said...

Shauna - I liked The Road. It is definitely not the type of book I usually read (post-apocalyptic fiction is Larry's cup of tea, not mine!), but it kept my interest the whole way through. I still haven't seen the movie - there were so many scenes from that book that I don't really need to see brought to life!

Tessica Venteicher said...

This post is fantastic and I've probably 70bajillion things I could say in response but this is probably not the forum! But, yay books!

Funnelcloud Rachel said...

Thanks, Tessica! You should write your own book post - I would love to read it, especially since you've read about 70 bajillion more books than I have!

Karen Travels said...

You are the second person I know in blogland who is reading Wild. I bought it, but I don't have time to read these days!!

Funnelcloud Rachel said...

Karen - I think Wild is perfect for outdoorsy types like us. I would love to have the balls to do a major months-long hike, but I think I might be too much of a wuss. I'll have to live vicariously through books! I'm only about 50 pages in, but already the first chapter made me cry.

Sarah said...

LOVE this post, Rachel! We are two peas in pod with so many things in this post - book hangover, BSC, and that my next book is Wild (just got the notification from the library today!) :)

Funnelcloud Rachel said...

Thanks, Sarah! We'll have to get together and discuss Wild!

Brandi {not your average ordinary} said...

I think I was the only teenager who read 1984 and liked it. Clearly there is something wrong with me.

And I'm so glad I've finally learned that if you don't like a book you can stop reading it. No one is going to test me on it. Ever.

I get reading in to my days by reading at the gym in the morning while I'm on the elliptical. A good book is even more reason to workout.

And reading this post? Best way to spend my bit of free time at work.