Readers agonize over a lot of things.
And we’re often quite curious about multiple things, such as the ending of a book or if our favorite characters are doing okay or how emotionally ruined we’ll be when we read our favorite author’s latest book.
Today I wanted to talk about some questions that all readers will have that are tied to their agony in SOME shape or form—something light and fun since I feel like I haven’t done a post like this in forever! (Although… agony is not very light and fun?)
And obviously, if you’re a reader and you HAVEN’T questioned one or more things, you’re still a reader. You just have some wait time until you start to ask these questions (and then you know you’re in too deep to back out).
1. what do i read next?
I think this is one of THE hardest questions to answer as a reader because pretty much all of us have really large TBR. My Goodreads TBR is nearing 1,000 books, and I’m not really sure whether to be happy or scream.
Some people have TBRs for the month, and that’s really cool! In fact, I have a TBR this month as well (it’s just a matter of when I’m reading them). But in the other months of the year, I am a HUGE mood reader.
If I check out a book from the library, I feel like I’ll have to read it, but I’m capable of returning it unread as well. And sometimes I plan on reading a book one month and completely ignore and/or forget about it. (Likely forget about it.)
And my TBR is so huge and vast even though there are quite a few books I probably won’t ever read that the choices are as endless as my library and/or money can provide me… which is not that much.
2. should i reread a favorite or no?
THIS QUESTION IS SO HARD FOR ME. I have so many favorite books that I want to reread all the time: Six of Crows, The Lightning Thief, Simon Vs… (all of which I have already reread in the past 12 months).
Going along with the whole I-have-a-huge-TBR-and-it-will-crush-me-if-I-don’t-read-from-it thing, there are quite a few books that are really high on my TBR, and I want to read them A LOT. Like: The Astonishing Color of After, Rick Riordan books, and a bunch of books on my Pride TBR.
But… my childhood favorites? The books that bring me joy each time I read them? Whereas reading books from my TBR doesn’t guarantee I’ll love them? IT’S REALLY OBVIOUS WHICH CHOICES MAKES ME HAPPY.
But then I feel bad because all the weight of the books that I have yet to read are just cRusHInG me. It’s like if books had eyes and a mouth and they were making sad puppy dog eyes with a pouted lip. Why did I say that.
3. will i be disappointed?
I ask myself this question A LOT. I go into books with very high expectations and a lot of times, the book doesn’t meet them.
And then I get REALLY SALTY AND ANGRY. Because how dare this book not be perfect and meet my “5-stars-and-more-I-love-this-book-so-much” expectations??? After all my emotional labor of dreaming of loving it and cherishing it forever, smh.
Lately I’ve actually been answering “No” to this question, meaning either: 1) I’m getting less critical (?1?!!?), 2) I’m choosing books better suited to my tastes, and/or 3) my expectations are getting lower and lower. (Though I haven’t had a 5-star read that WASN’T a reread since April so maybe I’m speaking too soon.)
4. should i eat food and read at the same time?
Hear me out, I know there’s a large possibility that crumbs could fall into the middle of your book and you will get it out never again, but eating?? Reading??? Two of my favorite things to do???? It would be so convenient to do them at the same time but NO.
Sometimes I’ll eat sticky things. Sometimes I’ll eat greasy things. Sometimes I’ll eat chocolate or crumbly bread or apple slices that shoot juice out of my mouth as soon as I take a bite. And somehow sticky marks or greasy stains or chocolate thumbprints or pieces of bread or a drop of apple juice will find itself ON MY BOOK.
I swear I’m not trying to deface it but it just happens!!!!!
(Obviously this is where reading ebooks is better because all you’re messing up is your device screen. Definitely not that big of an issue.)
However despite the fact that many of my books have evidence of food in/on them, I will still continue to eat and read. Because I have no willpower to stop what I’m doing.
5. should i read or [insert other important thing]?
What happens for me usually is that I procrastinate and do some really unproductive, unnecessary activity for the whole day, until it’s night and I have to do my homework and read and actually, you know, be productive.
Whether it’s during the day when I’m doing useless things or at night when I’m doing what I’m supposed to, I always ask this question. For me, schoolwork comes before reading, but sleep? We can all sleep forever when we’re dead!!! (Even if you die early in life because of sleep deprivation.)
A lot of the time when I’m depressed, I have no willpower to stop doing nothing and actually do SOMETHING. So then I don’t read. Other times, I have no willpower to NOT read because I 1) am competing with myself (I’m 5 books behind my Goodreads challenge so competition is not working right now), and/or 2) I don’t want to pick the book down!
For example, last night I had the very important question of reading or replying to blog comments. I chose blog comments, and for the first time in months, one of my blog posts’ comments have all been REPLIED TO. I AM SO PROUD.
And then after that I had to decide between reading and YouTube. I chose YouTube (and I regret it very much).
6. are my favorite characters okay?
I ask myself this question daily and it makes me so anxious to think of my precious babies not doing okay. I mean, I asked Leigh Bardugo if Kaz and Inej were living their best lives and she didn’t respond. WHAT DOES THAT MEAN. ARE THEY NOT OKAY. DID THEY DIE. ARE THEY NOT TOGETHER ANYMORE. WHAT HAPPENED.
7. how many books should i bring when i go out?
This is where ebooks come in handy if you have a phone or other e-reader device on your whenever you go out, because then you can just whip out that device and read!!
But I’m a huge physical book reader and I hardly read ebooks (although I’m reading more and more), so usually I end up bringing books with me whenever I go out! Which begs the question: How many should I bring with me?
I mean, I can’t even read 10 pages in 5 minutes, but SURELY in the two (2) hours I’m going to be out and doing things, I’m going to need more than one book?? Right????
8. should i lend my book to this person?
I actually… lend my books to friends?
I know that a lot of people don’t and that’s valid but 1) I mean… the book is meant to be read and not just by me, and 2) it’s important for me to provide books for friends who may not be able to get it!
I actually had one book with water damage (before it was lent) returned to me in worse condition, along with my beloved Crooked Kingdom book being returned a little torn at the corners… but you know, I want to share the book love!!
(I know I’m being dramatic with Crooked Kingdom’s “damage” but IT’S VERY SPECIAL TO ME)
But I don’t think I’ll be lending Crooked Kingdom again, IT’S TOO PRECIOUS.
9. do i buy this book?
PERHAPS THE HARDEST QUESTION OF THEM ALL.
I’m both privileged and unprivileged in this situation: I am very much broke (I bought like four books last year, and most of them were using gift cards from friends/family), so I rely on my library and publishers to provide my books. I am VERY privileged to have a good library and be in a position to receive ARCs!
But you know, there are some books that I just can’t wait for my library to stock, or books that are so hyped (both by me and the book community) that I can’t get an ARC, so I want to buy them! And even then I still question myself and wonder if I should just WAIT a month or two till my library gets it. Because. I’M BROKE.
have you asked these questions before? what other questions do you agonize over? are you often disappointed in the books you read? what book characters do you worry about daily? and WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING??