Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Do You Like to Read New Books?

for the love of books {3 of 365}
via RebeccaVC1 on Flickr
I am a self-proclaimed rereader. This may be a misleading title, because it isn’t as though I don’t read new books all the time. In fact, in general, I do read more new books than old ones.

I consider myself a rereader, though, because if I’ve only read a book once, then I can’t have had the highest opinion of it. Or, possibly, I just finished it and am not about to just flip back to the beginning right away (though I am often tempted). If I love a book, then I will read the heck out of it, again and again, until I’m familiar with the ideas and the text and the characters so much that I can quote what is making you laugh while I watch you read. (Yes, it sounds creepy and is.)

I live for that experience, and so reading too many new books can be an altogether depressing experience.

I don’t know if anyone else gets this feeling, but there are times when I can forget I like to read. Which isn’t as weird as it sounds. I’ve heard that introverted brains can get disengaged from even one’s favorite activities, and until you activate long-term memory of that activity, you can “forget” that you dislike that activity. For me, it isn’t that I don’t know I like to read (the bookshelves are in my room for a reason) but I lose any and all interest in picking up a book.

That’s where, at least for me, book slumps start. And I have actual evidence.

Last summer between May and July, I read 28 books. As far as I can tell, all of them were new reads for me. And there were plenty of books in that mix that I loved. Early on, anyway. As I cleaned out my TBR, by the end of the summer I was reading rather disappointing books, and my habit of reading ten or so books every month dropped.

I only read three books that August. I enjoyed one of them.

It wasn’t until I picked up a book that activated my “Yay Reading!” memories that I picked up more books again. It was The World Forgot by Martin Leicht and Isla Neal. Love.

I’ve picked up 23 new books this summer, and there are guaranteed to be more. I’ve reread (or restarted) nine books, and only two of those have I really adored. I look at my dwindling TBR pile and I’m tempted to not pick anything up. Just DNF’ing The Scarlet Pimpernel is an idea I long to keep up with.

But, I can’t. I still have goals to reach, and I have some averages to maintain. And that’s why I have a few great rereads that I’m looking forward to in the near future:
Vicious by V.E. Schwab (I CANNOT WAIT because it is SO GOOD!)
Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo (I should do this anyway, before Crooked Kingdom comes out!)
Twilight by Stephenie Meyer (This time with an exciting study activity to go with it. Fun stuff!)
via // via // via
I still do like reading, and I’m aware of that. Part of being a good reader, then, is knowing that I am a rereader. And I will have to do some rereading to keep my habits on track. The more you know!


Do you ever find reading new books draining?


16 comments :

  1. Ooh, that's an interesting fact about introverts' brains! I DID NOT KNOW THAT. I'm kind of a very routine person so it's just habit for me to be reading. I DO get into slumps though, like right now I've read like six 3 or 2 star books and it's a bit draining. Wah. For me though, I know if I read too much contemporary I just need to read some fantasy to recharge.
    I think it's really great that you re-read a lot! And like how you know it's what makes you fall in love with reading. THAT IS REALLY COOL KEEP IT UP. :D

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    1. IT WAS IN A BOOK SO IT MUST BE TRUE. That's kind of sad when you get stuck reading disappointing books. :/ Still, it's good that you know that you have fantasy to bring you back up!

      THANK YOU CAIT I APPRECIATE THAT WE CAN MUTUALLY RESPECT OUR DIFFERENCES LIKE THIS

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  2. Oh my goodness, it's in words! I relate to this so much. Like, I absolutely love reading, but I've been in the worst reading slump for ages. Like, I've DNF'd so many new books just because I have no inclination to read. It's taken Winter, by Marissa Meyer to get me finishing a book again. I never knew that fact about introvert brains, but, it makes total sense to me now. I think I need to gather up a few of my comfort books and do some rereading now methinks, rekindle that love of reading with a really good book.

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    1. That has totally happened to me before! I definitely get it. And thankfully, there are books like Winter that can make things a little better for us. But still, yes, having a few comfort books makes things sail a little bit smoother, at least in my experience. :)

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  3. Last year I told myself that I could only reread 20 books and ended up rereading like...18? This year I haven't placed any such restriction. There are a couple of books that I like to read twice a year (Tamora Pierce's protector of the small) some that I like to read once (Michelle Coopers Montmaray Journals and Allan Stratton's Chanda's Wars) and some that I don't specifically try to read once a year but it happens anyway (Garth Nix's Old Kingdom books) And this August I'm planning on rereading some fantasies like the Belgariad and Eragon, just to get rid of the back to school blues. The books I reread are definitely the books I love best, and great as comfort reads. I've reread maybe 15 books so far this year (though one was 600 page non-ficiton climate change treatise for school which I had to read twice in six months *grr*) Anyway, awesome post ;)

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    1. Huh, that's an interesting way to disperse your rereads over a year. Eragon is definitely a great book for kicking back with after school! :) And wow, that is a really, really long treatise on climate change. Congratulations on surviving.

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  4. I love rereading. On the whole I'd say that I'm reading more new books at the moment, but I'm looking forward to rereading some old favorites soon. There's something so comforting about picking up a book you KNOW you're going to love. It really isn't as draining as taking a chance on something new.

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    1. Right? It's nice to be able to have that question removed, so you can focus on the story and not what's going to happen next and how it relates to you. You already know!

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  5. My brain does that very same forgetting thing, and I've gotten into a few book slumps because of it. I think rereading an old favorite is a great way to get out of those slumps. And sometimes I'll just pick up a book I've already read just for fun. I love rereading and the nostalgia of it (and the almost guarantee that you're going to enjoy the book, as you've already enjoyed it once). I do have this need inside of me, though, to always keep reading new books. And while that does mean a lot more mediocre reads, it also means finding new favorites! Plus I like having a lot of recommendations handy when someone asks, "What do I read next?"

    But revisiting old favorites is always fun. I'm currently rereading Jane Eyre!

    Enjoy your rereads. But, of course, you will. ;)

    Ally @ The Scribbling Sprite

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    1. Nice! And yes, having read a book before provides a certain kind of security, doesn't it? Still, if reading new books is your thing, that is totally awesome too. :) I don't have that kind of daring in me, although having those recommendations does make a big difference, haha.

      Ooh, that is my favorite classic! Enjoy your reread as well! (Although probably you've already finished it...)

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  6. YES! My brain does that as well, especially if I'm in the middle of a classic (*shakes fist at Jane Austen*) or something boring/bad. I'll totally lose my motivation to read, then I'm like WHAT'S WRONG WITH ME WHY DON'T I WANT TO READ???

    I adore rereading. I like holding the same book in my hands, feeling the spine cracked just like it was last time, that milk stain on page 43 where I was eating breakfast and reading at the same time, that same stupid continuity error halfway through, the same characters, the same jokes. (I may or may not have been picturing Artemis Fowl when I was writing that. *runs off to reread the series*)

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    1. What is it with classics, right? Losing your motivation can be so easy.

      Having a particular volume accompany you through your daily life can be such an encouragement and big difference. :) And YOU GO GLEN COCO YOU READ THAT ARTEMIS FOWL IF YOU SO DESIRE!

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  7. It's interesting because I never re-read books. Even if I've forgotten everything that happened in it, I've never been able to re-read something. So I like reading new books, but I understand that slump when most new books you read are disappointing. That's my issue with ARCs, I often avoid them because I want to know I'll like the book for sure and that it's good.

    Liselle @ Lunch-Time Librarian

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    1. I know you're not the only reader to focus on new books. :) Disappointing new books can totally happen to everyone, though, and I suppose ARCs would make that problematic, especially if you're expected to provide a fair review afterwards. That would be a little too much pressure for me.

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  8. I like reading new books but I also like to re-read because why not? It's not like I have many books, anyway xD

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    1. Pull a Rapunzel and just stick to what you have, eh? :D

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