Wednesday, August 10, 2011

My Taste in Books <3

(blogger won't let me have a title :/ )



Before internet days, reading was a much more personal experience for me. It consisted of me roaming around my library/book shop and either:

  • randomly selecting titles that looked interesting
  • stalking my favourite authors section
  • re-reading faves 

I easily (without guilt) abandoned books that didn't capture my attention in the first few chapters (easy to do with library books). I completely ignored books that didn't look like it was my style.

And then ...

along came my blogging and goodreads days ~ where a lot more books began floating around my radar.

Some books are insanely hyped before they are even released (a lot of people add to the hype without even knowing if the book delivers). Hype has the opposite effect on me ~ it makes me tentative (and, weirdly, sceptical ~ even though I am so not a sceptical kind of person) ~ I much prefer genuine word of mouth as a tool to get me interested in a book.

But, I expanded in the kinds of books I trial ~ and occasionally (okay, rarely, haha) surprised myself with loving something I thought would not be for me. I started persevering longer with books I previously would have abandoned. I picked up books I previously would have disregarded.

I had a season where I was frustrated with myself for feeling out of the loop on so many books. Books beloved by others but blah to me. Hyped books that ended up being lame. Being annoyed at myself for slogging through books that I was not particularly enjoying, to get the end and think, "so what?"

Here's what I have learned: I know what I am drawn to and I know what I love.

I love books that are quietly awesome.
Melodrama irks me.
I always love the characters more than the plot.
I'm not looking for high concept premises or shocking twists.
I prefer characters that bleed onto the page.
I like reading the truth, being moved and authors who get under their character's skins.
I'm not interested in paranormal love stories that are more about the "forbiddeness" of the whole thing than the actual characters.
I dig lyrical prose and quotable sentiments.
I love a whimsical vibe and a quirky sense of humour.
I love grinning and characters with a unique voice and outlook.
I don't like try-hard edgy books.
I want a story that genuinely lingers. Authors who shine with genius-like brilliance. Themes that move me and challenge me.
I love hope and redemption and life.
I will swoon over a character's personality and dialogue rather than their looks (perfect looking characters are so blah).
I like books with a funky edge. Flawed characters. And a lot of heart.
I love books that somehow manage to peek into my soul.
I love reads that make me nostalgic, make me sigh and fill me with longing.
I like relaxing, smiley reads and also hard-hitting, ache-y stories.
I want to read books that have characters worthy of me spending my time with them. 

Lately I am feeling more and more sure of myself as a reader. More certain of what I love. I unashamedly rave about my favourite books ~ even if the hard and fast crowd think they're boring ;). I skip right past popular books that others are going crazy for. I don't feel bad if I fail to love a book that it feels like everyone is loving. I find magic in quiet hidden gems that seem to be overlooked by the crowd. I am proud of my favourite books and I am over guilt-tripping about my (extensive) graveyard of abandoned books.

No one has the same taste as me. No one will 100% love what I do. And, I like that :)

(this post was going to be about something else, but turned into an impulsive kind of reading manifesto, haha).

On that note: I am currently drafting a new page for my blog filled with my favourites. Books I insanely, crazily love <3 ~ books that are totally my thing ... yeah :D

23 comments:

  1. Beautiful post! I too love characters that are flawed - perfection is BORING! And annoying. I also love whimsical and lyrical prose. In fact, I agree with pretty much everything you said :)

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  2. Nomes, I adore this post! So lovely, and looking forward to reading the list of all your faves xo

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  4. Love your post!
    It made me smile.
    :)
    I agree with alot of the stuff you said, aswell.
    I love characters who are unique, have a great personality and have funny quirks and I love when an author nails it and captures a 'real' character and makes a connection with the reader.

    p.s - perfection is yawnish

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  5. Can we share this manifesto? Seriously?
    Sometimes I feel like writing a post similar to this but I end up beating myself up about reviewing/review books/etc and stop writing it, but your list captures my thoughts perfectly and that's why I love your blog :)

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  6. My favourite post of yours yet. Love it so much! <3

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  7. I share a lot of your thoughts. I read a similar post regarding them missing being able to go to a book -store and browse around and pick a book they have ever heard of before blogging. But in all honesty I have always had that. Sure there are now titles that I know I want but there's also a lot of exploring. I still love going to my library and book-store and going on a whim and picking what clicks with me. I think it's important to never loose that part of you. Choosing the book, exploring and taking a chance on a book comes naturally to us as readers and I don't think we should ever compromise that or let anything change that.

    I like my thought -provoking reads, Flawed characters with a gritty premise. Reads that stays with me for day. I love for my characters to be wonderful, and to fall in love with them because that seems tough to do these days. And I love being completely proved wrong and surprised by a book. I love read the synopsis and then digging in without knowing as less as possible. The synopsis sometimes is enough to go on a whim and decide the books for me. The greatest feeling when you're right.

    I do miss the days when I could read without guilt. Not feel bad about my review pile and feel like I should read or pick up a book I really don't want to. it's took me a few week though to actually implement that. The guilt is always the hard part but I think it's important to not become overwhelmed by the review books because these things have put bloggers off in the past and I don't want that again. I've been reading a lot of book that I bought a long time ago because of that. I feel bad but I know it's good for me too.

    I love how your so more confident in what you know and love in books. I have that too now. Reading the synopsis is is mostly make or break for me although nowadays I do like to read your and Audrey's review when it comes to titles I'm not too familiar with that I spot on your blog. I love when I read the review and I know that it's completely for me.

    Fabulous post missy. Think it's helped us all a bit ):

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  8. oh you guys make my heart swell, haha <3

    @ Blueicegirl: thanks for your lovely comment <3

    i love all your thoughts on it too. i have pulled RIGHT BACK on receiving review books. the novelty wore off fast when i had to actually read and discovered that even though i LOVE reading, i don't just love reading anything, haha.

    i had a lot of guilt over review books as well. and forcing myself to finish them. it's overwhelming at times (and was making me stressed out).

    I'm so glad you had time lately to read some older books you have. i have been making time for rereads and it's been so GOOD for my heart and soul (cheesy, I know)

    love always,

    Nomes

    @ Audrey: you can steal it. but it is just an off the cuff impulsive mini speech, haha. i feel like i should refine it or figure out what i have missed or something? LOL. anyways it is how am feeling right now. and i am totally content to be the reader that i am :D

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  9. Gorgeous post Nomes! I love your list especially the point "I always love the characters more than the plot".

    I am glad to hear you are feeling like your usual reading self and that reading funk is disappearing.

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  10. What a list/post. You made me smile. I agree with you on so many counts. I love a whimsical feel and books that are quietly awesome. GREAT post. I look forward to seeing this list you are working on.

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  11. *hugs*
    I know we probably don't agree 100% with the books we'll love, but I love all the points you made.

    Hype makes me wary of a book, and I love soft, quieter books, the type that linger and stay with out for a long time.

    And I like happy books.

    I used to feel guilty about passing on some 'popular' books, or ditching books when they didn't grab me, but I don't care much these days.

    And I can't wait to see your page of favorites :D

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  12. I definitely read for character as well. If I don't enjoy the character or his/her voice then I'm totally lost. Hype worries me as well... it's effective and it's the truth sometimes (aka Jellicoe Road and Divergent were as awesome as people said they were), but other books? I read them because so many people have loved them and I go "wait, really?" (The Goddess Test, Shiver).

    I've been thinking about doing a favourite page like that as well. I think it's cool to see the books that people love so much that they want to specifically point them out on a page like that.

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  13. =))
    I'm waiting for this new page.

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  14. It is so fun to find a kindred spirit! I was just talking about this exact thing with a friend the other night. Telling him that I read what makes me happy. There are so many things on your list that ring true for me as well. I think I am going to have to do a post about this post.

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  15. Nomes, please consider giving me your brain. I really need it.

    Loved your manifesto. I've talked about this before too. So what if I love a book you didn't like or vice versa. Not every book will work for everyone. Every element of a story appeals differently to readers. That's what is so great about reading. Finding your own interpretation of a book.

    One thing I've been trying to do is relax on the whole forcing myself to finish a book I didn't like. Life is too short.

    Looking forward to your favorites list!

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  16. OMG you read my mind on so many points lol. Loved your post Nomes!

    "I love books that are quietly awesome"

    "I dig lyrical prose and quotable sentiments."

    "I love books that somehow manage to peek into my soul"

    "I want a story that genuinely lingers. Authors who shine with genius-like brilliance. Themes that move me and challenge me."

    "I love hope and redemption and life."

    Have you read The Taste Of Apple by James Laidler? (Aussie YAY) to say it's quietly awesome is an understatement. If you've got a minute check out my review, I think you'd love it :)

    http://teddyree-theeclecticreader.blogspot.com/2011/08/taste-of-apple-by-james-laidler.html

    Ordinary Beauty by Laura Wiess is another one that comes to mind, when I read what you're drawn to.

    loved, loved, loved the post, you write so eloquently and honestly!
    Ok finished my ramble now lol

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  17. Awesome post. Since meeting you Nomes, I've come to revere some of the same qualities in books that you do. I think picking up your recommendations has changed me as a reader - for the better. I'm hoping that it will change me as a writer too, though I haven't been writing enough lately to test that theory. :)

    Looking forward to your new list.

    *hugs*

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  18. This is a brilliant post, Nomes.

    I have to agree with the melodrama/paranormal forbidden fateful love... blarrgh. Not for me.

    I tend to avoid them like the plague unless someone has specifically said- You should read this!

    I always fall in love with characters for their personality.... but when they take their top off frequently.. well that's OK too. :-D

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  19. Great post and I agree with everything you wrote. Sometimes most of the hyped up books leave me scratching my head wondering if I was reading something different to everyone else!

    But I do love the book blog world - it has opened up my eyes to so many new books out there and I have added a fair few favourites to my shelves on the recommendations of other reviewers.

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  20. Your post was so beautiful. I love how you love books. I love that you don't do hype, that you care about the characters, that a book has to be more than just a story and has to get under the skin. Love, love, love.

    Like you I have found that blogging has really opened my eyes. Before I would skim the shelves at the library, touch the spines of the books, and slowly pursue that gut feeling. Now I know what I want to read and I take less time looking, and more time feeling. It's such a great experience.

    And yeah, book bloggers have persuaded my reading, but I still read for me and that's something I hope will never change. No matter how "big" I get.

    Freaking love you. You are awesome. I look forward to your book love post :)

    ♥ Trish

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  21. Nomes,

    I'm pretty sure you know how much I love this post and that I share a lot of the same views. I agree that hype is often times worthless. I much prefer getting recommendations of books from other readers. (and I think that random obscure books are even more exciting than new releases)

    I've been thinking about what I enjoy and don't like in books and I think it is just fabulous that you compiled all your loves into a list. I think we all become more confident as readers as we get a bit older. I used to have patience for a lot more than I do now.

    Anyway, thanks for being your lovely self. I truly look forward to your post about your favorites.

    xo
    Flann

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  22. Wonderful post you've basically said everything i feel.
    I wish everyone could appreciate how wonderful reading books are, especially really really good ones.
    And blogging/goodreads is so great it has opened my eyes to so many great books that i would of never have found.

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  23. I love your reading manifesto! Reading is a really personal experience. Thanks for sharing :)

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Thanks for the commenty love :)