Book Tales: Living the American book lover’s dream

I finally returned to reading this year. As someone who is known as a reader, it is strange for me to say this, but there was a long stretch of time when I didn’t pick up a book. Before that, I tried a few books, but it has been a while since books were a proper part of my daily routine. Now, thanks to Austin Public Library, I have access to more titles than I can possibly read.

It took me some switching around of ebooks, swapping them back and forth in the online library catalog before I finally settled on books that interested me enough to finish reading them. Once I had stopped returning my library ebooks unfinished, I progressed to checking out physical copies of the books I wanted to read. That was when the real fun began. I started reading books regularly before going to sleep. It was the best time of day for me to pull out a library hardcover and get lost in the pages. I reserved the contemporary books for bedtime reading and the fantasy books for daytime reading, mainly because I didn’t want fantasy creatures chasing me around in my dreams.

I used to suffer from emotional hangups where I judged myself for reading girly books and fantasy, but then I got over it. I was no longer an impressionable teen, after all. I wasn’t even a young adult anymore, as my brother pointed out on my birthday. I was a proper adult, and that meant I was going to read young adult books without guilt. (Do you see the irony?) Back in my teens and early twenties, I used to filter books in the quest to find ones that were squeaky clean. Now I know from experience to avoid books in which the author’s name is printed larger than the title of the book itself. As for the rest of it, I read through the lovey-dovey scenes and get on with the story without pausing to judge myself. It’s the violent and gory scenes that I try to filter out beforehand now.

Visiting the library is one of the highlights of the week. I got two book totes to carry the books back and forth. (They aren’t new. I just unearthed an old one I had from before and convinced my father to give me a sturdier one which was in his possession.)  I like putting books on hold beforehand and just sweeping in to collect them. Sometimes I wander through the young adult section to see if anything catches my eye and add it to the pile before checking out.

As for my TBR, don’t even ask. The list of books I want to read keeps growing and I keep falling behind. There are series that have been on my radar over the years, standalone books and series I hear about on Booktube, and random books that grab my attention while browsing the shelves.

I still buy books from Amazon. They are mostly non-fiction titles that I want to keep and refer to over the years. The bulk of my fiction reading comes from the library. As a book lover, I am in book heaven. There are a few books I want to read that the library doesn’t have, but there are so many that they do have that I am well occupied for now.

2017 was slow to start, reading-wise, but I have a good foundation for 2018 to be a great reading year. Most of my TBR will spill over to 2018 and once I’m done reading those books, the list will have expanded. That way, I hope to be happily engaged in book reading throughout the year.

When I look back at my reading goals (even as I previously described them on this blog), I think I held myself back by limiting myself to very serious non-fiction. Allowing myself to enjoy fiction is one of the best decisions I ever made. It’s like having a part of my childhood back. The wonder of reading and the thrill of discovering a story, but without homework and school projects lurking in the background. There was a phase when I wanted to revisit my childhood favorites, but now I want to explore young adult and contemporary fiction. I even read a book from the adult age category without knowing it. I only discovered afterward that it wasn’t YA, though I had a sneaking suspicion while reading because the main characters went into their thirties by the time the story wound up. It’s not that I don’t read adult books in general. It’s just that I used to find them a bit dull. I suppose a few years makes a lot of difference in perspective as a reader. This side of twenty holds a lot less patience about stories dealing with teen angst and a lot more openness towards main characters who have to pay rent.

As for which book tricked me into thinking it was YA, that’s a story for another time. Right now, I have to get back to reading the book on my bedside table.

 

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