Jana Says

Living life from cover to cover

Confessions of a reading life

Last week, I wrote about the basic rules for my life. This week, we’ll focus on the basic rules for my reading life because, let’s face it, I spend more time with my face in a book than I do in real life #noshame 

I don’t know if these are more confessions or commandments so maybe we’ll say that they’re a hybrid (confessmandments? commandessions?) but regardless, these are how I approach my reading choices and decisions and general rules for being a reader:

  • The darker a book, the more I will be drawn to read it
  • I am not opposed to any specific genre of book unless it is romance. I do not like romance (think Danielle Steel, Jackie Collins, etc) at all. In fact, it’s probably the only genre I purposefully avoid and I get slightly ragey when someone recommends a romance book to me
  • If I like one book by an author, I will binge their backlist and follow on all the social media
  • One hundred pages is my limit. If a book can’t intrigue or grab me by then, we’re breaking up
  • If I have a book on my nightstand and I renew it twice without ever picking it up except to move it to make room for a different book, I most likely will never read it
  • I get fidgety when I have no books on hold at the library
  • I forget I have eBooks #sorryNetGalley #dontkickmeout
  • I usually read two books at once
  • The more uncomfortable I am in a situation, the more I will talk about books. 
  • I am intimidated by classics and they will probably stay on my TBR in perpetuity. 
  • While I am still convinced the book is always better, it’s not as firm of an opinion as it used to be #howdidthishappen #beflexible
  • When someone tells me they didn’t like a book I love, I judge them
  • I generally don’t buy books because a) my child demands food and clothes and if I bought books, she wouldn’t have those and b) I’m so afraid to buy a book in fear that I won’t like it and then spend months being angry I wasted money #buyersremorseisreal
  • I have to physically restrain myself from telling people what books to buy or checkout or offering my opinion on a book they have in their hand #itsabiggerproblemthanyouthink
  • I know my library card number from memory but cannot tell you my sisters’ phone numbers
  • When I am not reading books, I am reading about books #alsoabiggerproblemthanyouthink
  • I do not suffer from FOMO except when it comes to reading books

What are some of your reading confessions? 

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P.S. A big giant happy birthday to Steph! I couldn’t ask for a more awesome friend and co-host and fellow booklover. 

Linking up with Kathy and Nadine (a day early).

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  1. Jennifer

    One of my book rules of thumbs is that if I see someone reading a book I have read, I HAVE to tell them if I liked it or not. Lots of times I’ll just walk by and say “that’s a good one!” most people look at me funny but I know real fellow book worms appreciate it!

    There’s a great podcast by BookRiot called All the Books that I listen to for great recommendations!

    Fun post!

    1. Jana (Post author)

      All the Books is the only podcast besides Serial that I faithfully listen to each week when it’s released!

  2. alyssa

    I think 100 pages is a good indicator. For me it’s usually the point where I start saying to myself “okay but I do I care at all about any of this?” And usually if I have to even ask, the answer is no.
    Some classics are just downright bad. Or bad for modern readers, I should say. And I say this as a former English major who had to consider the topic of “classics” a lot. There’s not necessarily much value to reading the Greatest Hits of Lit as long as the alternative isn’t not reading at all.
    alyssa recently posted…Sunday Sweats 63: YTT Graduation + Half Marathon Training Week 3My Profile

  3. Kelli

    I set my limit at 50 pages, if you can’t grab me in 50 pages I’m done unless there are more than the average number of pages in which case I might give it a few more pages to grab me.
    Kelli recently posted…Old Books, New Reads – Vol. 1My Profile

    1. Jana (Post author)

      50 pages is fair. I tend to go to 100 out of fairness to the author. Writing a book is hard and sometimes it takes more time to get into it.

  4. Ali A

    Love what a book nerd you are! I used to be one 🙁 Now I just spend whatever free time I have writing on the blog rather than reading. I commute on the LIRR but have a really hard time reading on it; the background noise (people are so loud and annoying) and the fact that it puts me to sleep. I’m trying though! I really do love to read and you inspire me! Question- ever read Incredibly Loud and Extremely Close?
    Ali A recently posted…2016 F*ckIt Bucket List // Day 1My Profile

    1. Jana (Post author)

      I have not read it. 9/11 is a subject matter I shy away from on the whole.

      I’m glad you write on your commute because I need my Ali fix whenever possible.

      1. Ali A

        I get that, but 9/11 isn’t as much of a focus as you’d think. It’s one of my absolute favorites. And anything by David Sedaris, which I think I told you (or Stephanie — can’t remember!)
        Ali A recently posted…2016 F*ckIt Bucket List // Day 1My Profile

  5. SMD

    I love this post idea and may have to steal it.

    1. Jana (Post author)

      Steal away!

  6. Nadine

    I probably have a 50-100 page limit as well. Life is too short to read a bad book! The classics intimidate me as well!!! I have a few on my list that I keep putting off. I totally judge people by their book choices!
    Nadine recently posted…Spring Has SprungMy Profile

    1. Jana (Post author)

      I totally agree about life being too short to read bad books. That’s one of my mottos!

  7. Kristen

    i definitely judge people when they don’t like a book i love, and when i don’t like a book i know other people love, i am scared to be honest for fear of judgement haha. but i still am. i do quite like romance.. in fact, as long as there is some sort of romance in a book, i will read it. i prefer books with romance in them, rather than romance books, if that makes sense.

    1. Jana (Post author)

      That makes total sense. Books with romance don’t bother me but romance books do. They’re completely different.

  8. Ashley @ The Wandering Weekenders

    Haha! I love this so much, especially the one about knowing your library card by heart, but not your sister’s phone number. To be honest though, who actually has phone numbers memorized anymore? Isn’t that what cell phones are for? I know that I buy way too many books, but there’s just something about owning a copy for me. I really should hit up Half Price Books more often!
    Ashley @ The Wandering Weekenders recently posted…Our Universal Studios FinaleMy Profile

    1. Jana (Post author)

      I own a number of books but I really do struggle with buying them. I’d live in a book fort if I did so maybe it’s not the worst thing that I don’t. Then again, a book fort sounds great. #thestruggleisreal

  9. Tanya @ A Mindful Migration

    I don’t have a page limit where I will give-up a book if uninterested, but that actually sounds like a really good rule. I typically don’t read two books at once because I would mash them together in my mind. Growing up, I was strictly a library girl, when I was on my own and could afford it, I was a book buyer. And it was such a thrill for me to be able to keep my books versus returning and re-checking them out again and again (if I love a book, I will reread it, eventually. If I really love a book, I will reread it annually). My budget is tighter these days, so I’m a library girl again and requesting Amazon gift cards as presents! There isn’t a genre that absolutely abhor, but I have moods – sometimes I’ll only read a certain type of book, until I get sick of it. I am not a fickle eater, but I am a fickle reader!
    Tanya @ A Mindful Migration recently posted…Happiness is …My Profile

  10. TexErin

    I’m a one-book-at-a-time kind of girl. Books I continue to buy new: rock bios. Besides that, it’s the library, secondhand bookstores & book exchanges, or using gift cards given to me. I’m not a “classics” gal either. A confession from me: When I love a book, and I praise it and recommend it, I get nervous when others read it.
    TexErin recently posted…Around the World in 80 BooksMy Profile

  11. Kristin

    So I’ve found that if I’m uncomfortable and bring up a book, the person will generally give me a blank look and say they haven’t read a book in ages and it makes the situation WORSE.
    It took me over a hundred pages to get into The Sea of Tranquility and that has turned into one of my very favorites. But usually, I totally agree with your method.
    I don’t buy books either. Because if I don’t like them, I don’t want them anymore and have to give them away or something. I only keep books I like.

  12. ellesees.net

    i love your book obsession and the quirks (? not sure if that’s the right word) behind it. i have been reading beauty textbooks lately, which sounds boring but it’s really not!
    ellesees.net recently posted…Part 4: “I Hate Sponsored Posts”My Profile

  13. Latoya @ Femme Frugality

    It’s amazing the pull books have on some of us. I just linked back up with my kindle account and discovered I’ve ordered over 220 something books since I’ve had it. That doesn’t include the paperback books that have made their way into the household during the same time. I’m going to try to read back through all of them and save myself some money.

  14. Mackenzie

    Ugh, I hate romance novels too. Bleh. I really want to read books that are considered “classics” but I just cannot summon the energy. War and Peace, Jane Austen, etc… I really want to, but, meh, maybe someday.
    Mackenzie recently posted…Monday Meanderings: The 11 Pound EditionMy Profile

  15. kathy @ more coffee, less talky

    i’ve tried SO HARD to read classics but i just can’t. people go on and on about jane austen or P&P or anything by Dostoevsky but it’s so not my jam!
    kathy @ more coffee, less talky recently posted…humpday confessions [3-16]My Profile

  16. Kimmi

    I need to implement the 100 page rule….

    I am totally drawn to dark books. Seriously I liked the messed up stuff…no idea why.

    I know at least 3 library card numbers by heart. Original, College, and Current.
    Kimmi recently posted…Confessions 3/16My Profile

  17. lisacng @ expandng.com

    I’m going to steal your “max pages I will read a book until I give up on it”. And LOL that you have your card # memorized but your sisters’ phone numbers! I also don’t buy books, but I don’t because I’m cheap and don’t want to add more books to my crowded shelves :).
    lisacng @ expandng.com recently posted…Kitchen staples & quick recipesMy Profile

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