Being a book blogger is a lot of fun. Sharing recommendations and photographing beautiful covers is exactly how I like to spend my spare time. Just like anyone else, I can’t resist a good story, an exciting plot twist, and characters who steal the show. But I’m kind of hard to please.
I sympathize with the picky and reluctant readers out there who love a good book… just maybe not the one every blogger and bookstagrammer is raving over. Today’s post is here, not to apologize, but to shed a little light on what it’s like to be part of a niche audience.
I JUDGE BOOKS BY THE COVER
I often judge books by their cover, and not just because I like pretty art and beautiful typography! My background as a graphic designer has taught me that book covers are just another kind of packaging. The book’s equivalent of a candy wrapper, if you will. Looking at the outside clues you in on what’s within. At a glance, I can usually tell which book fits the genre or style that I like to read.
I RE-READ MORE THAN I READ
I have a few favorite books that I return to over and over again because they’re exactly what I want out of a story. I’d rather spend my time enjoying something I already love than try and fail to find something new that checks all the boxes again and again. It also means I have extremely strong opinions about the books I do love, because I know them inside and out.
I KNOW WHAT I LIKE
Speaking of checking boxes, I have a rather demanding series of criteria when it comes to picking up new books. It can feel like being on a very specific diet sometimes. Instead of “no sugar, no gluten, no soy” it’s “no romance, no violence, not a series”.
Sometimes it can feel as though there aren’t any options for a reader like me. I’ve been re-training myself to focus on what I DO like to read. Interesting locations, good humor, appealing for all ages, ideally illustrated. It’s a small shift, but I’ve noticed it makes me feel less demanding and fussy if I accentuate the positives.
I DON’T MIND SPOILERS
This may be just me, but I’m not particularly adverse to knowing things about a book, or movie, or TV series before I start watching it. In fact, sometimes I’ll start something because I heard an interesting spoiler and want to see how it plays out. Again, this stems from the fact that I hate wasting my time on books I don’t L-O-V-E love.
It can be hard to get invested in something new and untested, so having a sneak peek before I spend any precious free time helps ease me in. It doesn’t hurt that I’m fairly forgetful. I might hear a spoiler, start reading, get super into the story, and forget what’s coming until it’s too late!
I BREAK ALL THE RULES
Just kidding! There are no rules about reading, so it’s no great act of rebellion to simply read what you want and let the rest go. Yes, I read well under my “reading level”, I prefer short stories to epic novels, I want my books to come with pictures, I’ll ditch a book (even if it’s good) if I find out it’s part of a really, really, really, really, really long series…
There are as many kinds of books as there are people who read them. If something isn’t for you, that’s okay. There are tons of others to choose from. As long as we’re still loving and enjoying books together, who cares if some of us are a little pickier than others?
You’re a reader, even if you:
- read the same book over and over again
- only read one book a month
- don’t get all the literary allusions
- watched the movie first
- read mostly non-fiction
- only read books with pictures
- don’t own any books
Can you relate? Share your picky reader quirks in the comments!