Top 10 Tuesdays: Book-Related Problems

Top 10 Tuesdays is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish

Since Top 10 Tuesday topics are still on hiatus, I was once again on my own to choose a topic. To be honest, I had a pretty rough day today so maybe it was only nature that I would gravitate to a more negative-seeming topic. Not long after I started my blog, I posted about my Bookish Pet Peeves (here and here), and it’s actually pretty fun sometimes to complain about all the little annoyances that come along with being a reader. I did my best not to repeat what was already mentioned in the Pet Peeves posts (try saying that 5 times fast!), but here are 10 of my most recent book-related problems:

1) When the library can’t find or doesn’t have the book I want – As I’ve previously mentioned, I have a great public library system and I heavily rely on it to get books for my reading challenges. It’s annoying when the library doesn’t have the book I want at all, so I have to ask them to purchase it — it’s an easy process, but they take a really long time to get the book in, and never really update you on the progress. It also annoys me when the library claims to have the book that I want only for me to discover that the book I want has been lost or never returned. This year, I was waiting and waiting for a copy of The Lie We Tell Ourselves, which was due back in late December. After waiting two months with no change to the status, I finally decided to contact the library and ask what was going on — they ended up purchasing a new copy for me, back in February I believe, and I am still waiting to get it!

2) My ever-growing TBR list – Over the past three years, my TBR list has expanded exponentially as I started to participate in reading challenges and explore Goodreads in general. My list is now over 1500 books! This on it’s own is overwhelming, but it doesn’t mean that I’ve stopped adding to it. I recently went on a spree of looking at upcoming books for the rest of the year and even into 2018, and added any that looked interesting onto my list. I tend not to remove books from my list, and if I’m honest, I haven’t found any yet that didn’t interest me anymore. There are definitely some that are more “need to read this soon” and others that are “meh, I’ll get to it eventually” but if I don’t have them on my list, I forget about them completely.

3) I hate to lend out my books! – Call it a kind of trust issue, but I really hate lending out my books to other people because I am very picky about the condition that my books are kept in. I hate when my books get damaged, dog-eared, spilled on, etc. even when it’s my own fault, but I would be very upset if I lent them to someone who didn’t take care of them. I know not everyone is as picky about how they keep their books as I am and in general, I think people would be pretty careful but I just don’t trust that they would treat the books well enough. Plus, I’m always afraid that they will forget to return the book at all.

4) Book to movie adaptations that completely change things – I have never understood why filmmakers decide to make movie versions of books when they don’t like the way the book ends. It seems really weird to me to say “I really think this book would look great on-screen…but I can end it better than the author did!” I generally consider the author the authority on their own book, so I assume that they end the story the way they wanted it to end. For me, changing the ending of a book when it becomes a movie often changes the whole message of the story. Not only that, but I find it off-putting and end up leaving the movie more annoyed that it was changed than really processing what the new story was. I don’t mind as much when they change small details or even sometimes skip over events for the sake of time, but changing the storyline completely is just strange to me.

5) I can only read one book at a time – This seems like a bit of a strange one to mention as a problem, especially considering the sheer number of books I read in a year, but I have trouble reading more than one book at once. Usually what ends up happening is I get so invested in one book that I end up essentially abandoning the other one until the first is finished anyway, so there isn’t much point to trying to read more than one (for me, anyway). Also, since I keep track of what I read on Goodreads, it bothers me to have ridiculously long reading times on books that really didn’t need to take so long. For example, it would bother me to spend a week reading a 200 page book when it normally would only take me a day or two.

6) I always overestimate how much I will be able to read – I have a horrible tendency to misjudge how much I will be able to read in a given day, even on days where I have literally nothing else planned. When I go on trips, I always take more books than I can reasonably finish but at least that can be partially justified by the excuse that it gives me options if I want to mood read. At home, I don’t really have a schedule or anything like that for reading but I usually have an idea in mind of how much I will be able to read, and no matter how much I think I’ll be able to finish, it’s almost always a lot less than that. Sometimes it’s because the book is much more dense than I expect, sometimes I just get distracted by other things, but it’s very, very rare that I end up reading as much as I expect and even more rare for me to exceed my idea of how much.

7) When my opinion on a book is completely opposite from everyone else’s – I think it goes without saying that it is perfectly fine for everyone to have different tastes and opinions about books, and I don’t expect everyone to think the same way as I do. It’s more that sometimes I’ll read a book and love it, go online eager to jump into a discussion about it…and discover that everyone else couldn’t stand the book (Me Before You is the prime example). Or, on the other hand, I slog my way through a book only to find the Goodreads page and other blogs full of raving 5 star reviews, leaving me to wonder what I missed. Part of the fun of discussing books is hearing other people’s opinions, but when mine seems to be so radically different from everyone’s, I sometimes wonder if we even read the same book.

8) My struggle to rate books on Goodreads without the option of half stars –  Sometimes a book really is exactly between a 3-star and 4-star rating, or even more annoying, a 4-star and 5-star rating. It’s rare that I read anything that I would rate below a 3, luckily. In general, I tend to be fairly generous and round things up when my rating would be between two numbers but I base that decision mostly on my overall impression of the book. For example, a 4.5 star read that I really enjoyed and had a lot of fun with might be rounded up to a 5 even if the story wasn’t perfect. A book that’s really a 3.5 might be rated a 3 if I found it slow or boring to get through, even if I liked many other elements. It’s annoying because I don’t always feel that my Goodreads ratings are really accurate, but it’s the best I can do unless I wrote a review for each book. It would be so much easier if I could just give half stars!

9) My reluctance to write reviews on this blog  – Speaking of reviews, I’m sure those of you who have been following this blog for a while have noticed the lack of reviews compared to other book bloggers. My original intent with the blog was to review and talk about the books I read for my “rejects challenge” from the Around the Year group on Goodreads, since those are books that I would not be discussing on the group’s page. That fell apart pretty quickly since my time is devoted to books for my other reading challenges, so I haven’t read much for the “rejects challenge” nor have I reviewed the books I have already finished. I find writing reviews more difficult than other posts because I find it hard to find a balance when it comes to spoilers, and sometimes very difficult to talk about several books without being repetitive. As I said above, most of the books I read are between 3 and 5 star reviews so I worry that many of the reviews would seem pretty much the same.

10) My inability to recommend books when people ask me for a recommendation – This one may seem a bit strange because so many of the posts here are recommendations in some form. I think the difference is that Top 10 Tuesdays and other posts are pretty broad when it comes to recommending books so there is room to offer a variety of choices, and hope that people will inevitably find something that interests them. I find it much more of a struggle to recommend a specific book to a specific person, and I hate being put on the spot to think of a recommendation. When it comes down to it, I know the kind of books I enjoy and I might be able to recommend something if I know the other person has similar taste, but to be asked randomly puts a lot of pressure on me to sift through the books that I know and try to figure out what someone might like, usually without much knowledge of what they actually enjoy reading.

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