Bookworm Quirks: Books I Want to Read, but Do Not Want to Write

Books I Want to Read But Do Not Want to Write

There are several versions of quotes with the same message: If you can’t find the book you want to read, go write it.

And all around the world, there are resounding cries of “But I don’t wanna!” from readers that don’t like to write, aren’t good at it, or have no idea where to start.

Here are the books I would love to read but don’t want to write for a variety of reasons.

More Diverse Books

As a straight white blonde, it’s pretty easy for me to relate to 90% of YA protagonists, especially in the contemporary romance genre. But even I’m getting sick a bajillion ‘me’s! Give me more skin tones, shapes, sizes, orientations, lifestyles, interests, hobbies, dreams, strengths, weaknesses, plot lines! We aren’t all the same, so why do so many books tell the story of the same five girls? I don’t feel like it’s my place to write these stories, to use these voices for myself, so PLEASE tell me about your favorite diverse authors so I can support them and their voices!

Pirates Please!

Will I ever get sick of pirate stories? No. Never. But that is so much research and any research-heavy material scares me (I really hate feeling dumb and wrong, y’all.) so I shy away. I might get the courage to write a pirate book one day, but who knows? Certainly not me.

Mermaids!!

Same goes for mermaids! While there’s less reSEArch (get it?! Sea! Mermaids!) and more world-building, the same fears apply. Send me fun mermaid recs!

Books with Fun Hobbies

My favorites in the category are The Language of Flowers and A Vintage Affair. Any book that makes me want to learn more about an interest of the character’s is probably going to be a favorite. Give me the party planners, the florists, the photographers, the fashion designers, the actors, everything! Every creative endeavor. Just hook a girl up.

Sound off in the comments: What books do you want to read but not write? Do we have any in common? Do you have any recommendations to fill these voids on my shelf? Let me know!

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Bookworm Quirks: Books are Confusing, or, Why I Need a Book Club All the Time

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For one semester in college, I was in a book club. It was new, and I was transferring. It was one of the best book experiences in my life. We only read two or three books, but I realized I knew so much more about books than I had thought. When people were there to discuss aspects of a novel, there were theories and concepts in my mind just waiting to come out. And I understood the books I read so clearly.

Recently, I’ve been reading or rereading a lot of books that I really want to discuss with a group. From the super diverse If You Could Be Mine to the slow moving but intense The Miniaturist, I’ve been trying to figure out how I feel about books by just reading and writing reviews. But it’s hard, y’all! There’s less back and forth, more waiting. And it was so nice to see ‘Book Club!’ in my planner.

On the other hand, I’m a speed reader. And waiting on others to finish a book just makes me feel sluggish. Or I’m in a reading slump and haven’t touched a book in over a month. So it’s struggle either way, I suppose. But who wouldn’t prefer to struggle with a group of like-minded bookworms rather than alone?

What do you think about book clubs? What books have you read recently that you needed to discuss? Sound off in the comments!

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Bookworm Quirks: Crying Over Spilled Ink, or, How Books Emotionally Manipulate Me

Crying Over Spilled Ink

Many bookworms know the struggle of ‘the feels’, when a book makes you feel a lot of emotions, typically unhappy ones. Being a Highly Sensitive Person, I’m very subjective to emotional manipulation. So being a reader is a tough gig.

Some books are about tragic things, such as The Fault in Our Stars. Others hit me in ways they shouldn’t, like Off the Page and Between the Lines by Jodi Picoult and Samantha Van Leer. Others have intense scenes that have gorgeous wording or imagery, as seen in Just Listen and Keeping the Moon by Sarah Dessen.

In TFiOS, characters meet because of their poor health. From page one, we know this can only end in tears. In my case, when I read it in one sitting in the back of a car on a road trip, I had nine separate sobbing sessions. It hurt. You know in Shakespeare in Love, how Shakespeare wrote Romeo and Juliet to prove love could be portrayed on the stage? It felt like John Green wrote TFiOS to prove it would be accurately written. While Green is known for writing pretentious teenagers, these felt real. Like I could have known them from school or seen them at the movies. And that makes the ending hit so much harder. Anyone can get sick. Even people you know.

Have you ever seen that tumblr post that begs someone to write a novel where the main character falls in love with the reader? It’s already happened. Jodi Picoult teamed up with her daughter, Samantha Van Leer to create a duology about a prince stuck in a fairy tale and the reader who wants to help him escape. The second book deals with the falling out of their efforts. I don’t want to spoil anything, but it hit me so hard. I’m in a long distance relationship in which we only get to see each other once or twice a year. I was reading these books near the end of a visit to see him, and many of the feelings I was struggling with were reflected in the novel. I was crying and sobbing while he held me close, begging me to stop reading if I was so upset. But if I read it when he wasn’t there, who would comfort me? I still haven’t been able to reread the books since, even though they are among my all time favorites.

Sarah Dessen is the QUEEN of YA romance. She creates characters that feel real but don’t seem ordinary. And in Keeping the Moon, she tore at issues I’ve long fought with. Colie was a bigger girl that was laughed at, made fun of, and bullied terribly. She lost weight when her mom became a fitness guru, but still felt like that girl everyone was judging. I felt like Sarah Dessen was writing about me, but the sad reality is that many girls feel this way. In Just Listen, the main character has to get past her assumptions and judgements to find where her life is taking her after a huge life change. She feels like her world is ending, but in the grand scheme of things, they aren’t. I am so bad at that! Every tiny setback sends me spiraling, and I also have to learn the importance of this quote: “Don’t think, don’t judge. Just listen.”

All of these books broke and fixed and broke my heart. Among SO MANY MORE. So tell me: what books did you cry over? Why? Did you have similar reactions to these books? Sound off in the comments!

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Bookworm Quirks: Kinds of Love I Love, or, Relationships I Love to Read About

Kinds of Love I Love

Most books are about romance of some kind. I’m not complaining about it because I’ve always been in love with love. But as anyone who has to constantly defend their adoration of Valentine’s Day will tell you, there are several kinds of love and they all deserve to be written about!! Here are my favorites and a few books that fulfill that need.

Family Love

My Life Next Door

There are few things I love more than a well-written family that gets along. You know when you watched Easy A for the first time and could not stop laughing at Olive’s amazing parents and brother? They are so fun! Who wouldn’t want a family like that? Well, that’s the feeling I’m always searching for when I pick up a new book. Thankfully, My Life Next Door hits the spot. The Garretts are so real and loving. It shows that families don’t always have to get along to be amazing, and that love is what makes life worthwhile. There’s love overflowing between these characters, and it’s such a delight to read about them.

Sibling Love

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Related to Family Love (HA! Get it? Related. They’re siblings and family!), Sibling Love is all about the brothers and sisters that would do anything for each other. To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is gorgeous in so many ways, but especially in the ways Lara Jean interacts with her sisters. There’s so much love without it feeling forced or fake. I’m so here for it!

Friendship Love

Keeping the Moon

THIS IS MY FAVORITE KIND. I LOVE FRIENDS. There are so many books I could use for this, but Keeping the Moon really satisfied everything I look for in a story about friendship. It had the struggle of wanting to support a friend who keeps making decisions that are TERRIBLE for them, trying to fit in when you don’t know who you are, and allowing others to show you your best traits. I just love friendship SO MUCH, y’all.

Self-Love

Keeping the Moon

Keeping the Moon also deals a lot with something I’m so glad to see emerging into the YA scene: self-love. Dumplin is also very much about loving yourself, but I haven’t read it yet (I know, I’m terrible!). Colie recently lost forty pounds when her mom because an international fitness guru, but she still sees herself as the fat girl at the dance everyone laughed at. But through breaking down her walls and making new friends, she learns that she is strong, no matter her size. YES, PLEASE!

What are the kinds of love you love reading about? Do you have any book suggestions? Sound off in the comments!

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Bookworm Quirks: Genre Burn Out, or, How I Completely Ruined the Most Popular YA Books for Myself

Genre Burn out

When I started college, the Hunger Games was the new phenomenon. Just as happened after Twilight, a billion books with the same setting or focus started saturating bookstore shelves. Now, I’m not saying this is a bad thing. Some of my favorite books came from the recent Dystopian resurgence.  But with all those cool new books coming out, I burned myself out quickly and badly. As a result, new Dystopians are a bad taste in my mouth. I’m sure they’re very interesting and probably something I’ll eagerly read at some point. But until I get past the burn out, I won’t be looking at any of them.

This sucks, for the record. Because knowing a book is going to be awesome and having the motivation to read it are incredibly different things. For example: I’m currently looking at the Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer. They look amazing and I’ve heard a billion good things about them. And while I love a good retelling, these are not only tinged with sci-fi, one of my least favorite genres, but they’re set in a distant future. And that means that if I try to read these before I’m totally out of the Dystopian Distaste Forest, I’ll end up with a skewed opinion of them. Who wants to do that to perfectly good books?! Since I haven’t read the series yet, I don’t know if they’re truly Dystopian or not, but the future setting is enough to make me wary of how I’ll feel while reading them.

Due to this embargo on a huge genre, my reading phases have had to adjust. I have looked at tons of contemporary, from light and frothy to deep and intense. I’ve added childhood favorites to my reread list, I’ve relied on my reading challenge to aid in finding fresh reads, and I’ve eyed The Selection to see if it’s just enough of a mix between total favorite book and genre I’m staying away from to dip my toes back into the Dystopian pool (I’m not sure, but I’m going to reread it anyways).

I betrayed my silly reader heart, and as a result, I have to be careful what I had to my shelves. Instead of the new Dystopians, I look for the exact opposite in Rainbow Rowell and Jenny Han, hoping that their wonderful books will help usher in a new era of my love for the genre I’ve consumed too quickly.

Do you struggle with genre burnout? If so, how do you get past it and how long does it take? What genres have you gotten sick of reading, and what do you read in their stead? Help!

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Bookworm Quirks: How Working in a Bookstore Has Changed Me as a Reader

This is my new feature, Bookworm Quirks. This week is about how working with books has changed my reading habits. If you’d like to join in on the fun, either leave a comment with the link to your post or email me at bookybunny@gmail.com and I’ll add the link to end the of this post. Thanks for reading!

In January 2014, my sister bought a bookstore and named it Dog-Eared Books. I started working when she had go someone once I got home from school, and at the end of summer I started working there full time. It’s been amazing and I never want it to end.


(My sister and I dressed up to work Hallo-read! She’s the Moose from If You Give a Moose a Muffin, and I’m Liesel from The Book Thief.)

Working at DEB has changed my reading habits a bit though. Part of my pay is 2 books an hour, and if we had the newer books, I would work for that alone. But since it’s a used bookstore in a small Texas town, we don’t get much of the books I typically look for in stores. Because of that, I’ve had to broaden my reading horizons and it’s opened me up to books I never would have looked at otherwise. I’ve gotten my first Jodi Picoult, Neil Gaiman, and Kristin Hannah books here, and while I’ve yet to get to their place in my TBR, I’m excited to try them out.

I’ve also added a bunch of childhood favorites to my bookshelves, from The Kid Who Ran for President to Help! I’m Trapped in a Vampire’s Body! I love walking through the kids room or middle lit shelves to find books I’d completely forgotten about since elementary school. I mean, hello, Phantom Tollbooth? Best book ever!

I’ve also gotten more open to books found at dollar stores like Dollar Tree. I’ve found really cute books there for a fraction of their cover price, and some are even in series that I already had started collecting!

But working in a bookstore isn’t all sunshine and pages. I’ve really started to resent romance and western books. Prolific authors like Nora Roberts, James Patterson, and Tom Clancy drive me crazy because we have tons of them and everyone brings them in without taking any out. It’s so frustrating when you have to move a whole shelf of books down just to make room for yet another Dan Brown novel. As a result, none of those authors or books will ever have a place on my personal shelves. Just thinking about them annoys me.

All in all, working at a bookstores has forced me to look at books I never considered before, as well as shown me avenues to find books that were completely off of my radar. But it’s also given me a bit of cynicism towards authors with a ton of books under their belt (I’m looking at you, Louis L’amour).

How have you been changed by working with books? Is your dream job shelving in a library or bookstore? What do you think it’s like? Do you have any pet peeves that make you think it’s not the job for you? Sound off in the comments!

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Bookworm Quirks: My Dream Library

This is my new feature, Bookworm Quirks. This week is about your dream library. If you’d like to join in on the fun, either leave a comment with the link to your post or email me at bookybunny@gmail.com and I’ll add the link to end the of this post. Thanks for reading!

I think all bookworms have a dream library. If you grew up watching Beauty and the Beast, it might be that gorgeous room that the Beast shows Belle and takes her breath away.


(swoon)

It could be the Hogwarts library or Flourish and Blotts.

Mine is twice as big as it probably needs to be. It’s a mirror image of itself (itself? or itshelf? Get it? Ha). It has the exact same books on either side, but one half only has clean copies, and the other has notes written in the margins, highlighted and underlined passages, dog-eared pages, tabs, post-it notes, everything. In the start of these shelves, I’ll have a little area with all the note taking accessories a bookworm could want, like a mini office supply. There will be seating in hidden nooks and crannies, and at the front will be a stereo so I can listen to whatever music matches my book, as well as a snack/coffee bar. Of course, there will be tables and outlets everywhere so I can write and work in there.

When I start a family, my kids will pick out a favorite place to read. Every month, they’ll find a new book off of their wishlist waiting for them on the little table next to their comfy chairs, all wrapped in brown paper and string. I want to have all the popular books so that they can read whatever they want at a moment’s notice. From Magic Tree House and Junie B. Jones to John Green and Rainbow Rowell, I want to have everything on hand.

As you can tell, I think about my library quite a lot. It’s my happy place, and I can’t wait to bring it from dreamland to reality. Tell me about your dream library. Is it filled with antique books and first editions? Does it have a mini-Starbucks in the corner? Sound off in the comments!

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