Bookish Confessions


I vaguely remember seeing a “bookish confessions” discussion idea before, probably during a Top Ten Tuesday a couple years ago.  At the time I enjoyed reading other bloggers’ bookish confessions, but didn’t have much to contribute on my own.  Ah, how times have changed…  Here are a few of my bookish idiosyncracies.

1.  Finding bookshelves in the Room of Requirement, aka my apartment building’s trash room.  Cause let’s face it.  I have a lot of books, and can always use another bookshelf.  I live in a city where most people are transient.  People don’t live in the same place for a very long time, and often people will leave behind unwanted bookshelves.  Two of my bookshelves and a game shelf came from the Room of Requirement, and I have no shame.

2.  My bookshelves are “organized” in the style of Jenga/Tetris.  I generally have more books than bookshelves at any given time, and so I have become quite good at fitting the maximum number of books per bookshelf as is humanly possible.  I’m always jealous of people who can organize their books by author/genre/etc.

3.  I’m a librarian but rarely check out books from the library for pleasure reading.  Oh, I use my local libraries (yes, plural) for other things, and I do enjoy browsing the books there.  In grad school, I would frequently get textbooks through interlibrary loan.  When it comes to fun reading though, I generally stick to books that I already own, because my TBR pile is already so large that I feel bad deliberately seeking out other books to read instead.

4.  I enjoy reading erotica.  This is one that I didn’t expect.  I had always looked down on the genre as trashy and never gave it a chance.  Then I took a class in library school about genre fiction and ended up doing a project on it.  I read a couple books and was impressed by the amount of character growth that could happen in a book that I had previously dismissed as smut.  (Note:  This extends to well-written erotica, not Fifty Shades of Grey, which is objectively terrible.)

5.  Sometimes I cry on the Metro when my favorite characters die.  Kahl Drogo, I’m talking about you…

6.  Similarly, sometimes I miss my Metro stop because I get so wrapped up in the story that I lose track of time.

7.  I despise “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.”  It’s probably the third worst book I’ve ever read.  The very worst was a book called Wild Animus (see the Amazon reviews for a good laugh), and the second worst is the aforementioned Fifty Shades of Grey.  I get that Mark Twain is a classic, but I hated every single character in the story and wanted them all to die in a fire.

8.  I liked the movie version of “The Great Gatsby” better than the book.  Although I haven’t read the book since high school, and I think that I was probably too young to understand the book.  When I read it, I didn’t have much life experience, and had a hard time empathizing with any of the characters.  If I read it again now, I suspect that I would enjoy it far more than I did when I first read it.

9.  I dog-ear pages to mark my favorite quotes.  Not very often though.  A quote has to stand out to me, and I have to be reasonably sure that I’m going to want to use that quote in a review.  These dog-ears are so tiny that they are barely noticeable unless one knows that they are there.

10.  I love finding notes or marginalia in used books.  It’s like finding a hidden treasure.  I see wear and tear on books as a sign that they have been well-loved.  Recently, while reading N.K. Jemisin’s “The Kingdom of the Gods,” I discovered that the glossary had smart-ass comments about different characters in the book, and it pretty much made my day.

What about you?  What are your deep dark bookish secrets?

11 thoughts on “Bookish Confessions

  1. I love marginalia! I also like writing marginalia. In books I own, of course.
    I’m a bookseller, but I use library a lot. This is a source of some amusement at work because we all have such huge TBR piles already, and I make mine even bigger by going to the library at least once a week.

    1. Now, it was a different story when I worked in a physical library, and had the power to override the due dates on books I was reading. I enjoy reading more though when I don’t have deadlines.

  2. I’m totally with you on 2, 5, and 10.

    I truly TRY to keep my bookshelves organized in alphabetical order, or by series, or by size or color, but it never, ever works like that. Not enough bookshelf space. I have a great wall of books in the corner that sometimes falls on my cats…Ahem.

    I’m pretty sure everyone thought I was a crazy person that day when I was downright bawling on the train home one day when I blew through The Perks of Being a Wallflower.

    And I still have all my used college textbooks if only for the marginal notes. The copious amounts of books from school that have notes in the margins is still one of the best take-aways from my education. Priorities!

    Awesome post, Grace. I might have to steal this one.

    1. Before I got my most recent bookshelf, I had so may books stacked on a different bookshelf that it was starting to become structurally unstable. Luckily that problem’s been solved. 😛

      This was such a fun post to write. Looking forward to seeing yours!

  3. When I used to commute on the subway I could never read the end of a sad book since I didn’t want to break down in tears in front of strangers.

    1. I never *intentionally* read sad books on the subway. That’s just where I always happen to be when characters die.

      And speaking of reading on public transit, occasionally I’ll become so engrossed in a story that I’ll miss my stop. I may or may not have done that last night…

    1. I’ve done that too! I’ve also been known to try to walk and read at the same time, which usually doesn’t work very well. 🙂

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