Because of something i’d heard someone say I got to thinking, what if I never joined the online book community?
I wasn’t much of a reader as a kid. I did read sometimes but because reasons I struggled to remember what I read (I believe aphantasia is to blame as I was reading fast and not giving myself time to process what I was reading). Thankfully Goosebumps showed me reading could be fun as a kid, even if I did struggle I still enjoyed the stories!
But after high school? I ended up only reading when I wanted to know something. So, not often. I always wanted to learn how to read better, figure out what I had to do to remember what I read and have better reading comprehension, I just figured I was too dumb.
Well at 26 I decided fuck it, imma read. I knew what I wanted to start with, Harry Potter, since I had not been allowed to read it growing up like most people my age did. So, I read Harry Potter, in 2015. I loved it. But then I had a problem, what the hell do I read next? I think I looked up Harry Potter reviews on YouTube and found BookTube and then it spiraled from there. I learned I just needed to slow down and process. Actually think about what I was reading. I can’t describe it as well as i’d like but yea..
What if, there was no online book community? Or I just, didn’t interact with it at all? How would I have found that next book? I’m disabled and can’t really get out much, so I order books online. I could potentially browse book store websites to find new books .. Maybe I could google to find stuff about books? I don’t know but I know I wouldn’t know about nearly as many books as I do.
I also don’t think i’d have branched out as much. I love to read all over the place, all genres etc! I might have stuck to horror. I love nonfiction but I was also intimated by it by for awhile, and … I can actually blame the book community for that when I think about it. The few books I picked up between high school 2007 – 2015? All nonfiction. About Paganism related stuff but still. I soaked in the fact others were intimated by nonfiction and avoided it for awhile. So i’d have probably checked out more nonfiction. But would I venture out of horror and nonfiction? Maybe a little? Probably not a lot. And that would be sad. Some of the books that mean the most to me are in other genres.
I have made friends I am grateful for through the book community and learned about so many books and broadened my horizons (and hopefully will continue to do so). Does that mean it doesn’t have it’s cons? No. It’s a community, like any other, it’ll have cons, but the pros do outweigh the cons for me. 🙂
There is another thing. If I had no online book community, i’d never make a monthly tbr or pile of possibilities. I wouldn’t think to do such a thing. I might make a list of books I was interested in but, that’d probably be it. I’d be free to 100% mood read. And technically, I am free to do that, I just, haven’t done so.
I want that joy, of mood reading. Complete mood reading. No TBRs. No POPs. Yes I have a ton of ideas for stuff I want to read and do, challenges etc, but i’m not using them as things I have to do. I’m using them as things to help me decide what I want to read and see an accomplishment anytime I tick something off. Most of the things don’t have a time limit anyway.
Anytime that I decide what I want to do, i’m going to be honest with myself. If I want to do something else, i’ll do something else. But if I decide I want to read, then it’ll become a matter of figuring out what I want to read. What genre? Etc. What book can I hear calling to me. And that’ll be what I read. After all, i’m in my 30s and not in school. No one is going to tell me what I can or can not read and no one is going to tell me what to do with my free time.
No TBRs. No POPs. No Readathons. Those are going to be my rules. No announcing i’ll participate in a group read. I can always decide I want to read that book and read it because I want to and why not join in the convo? but no saying it ahead of time. Just spur of the moment mood reading. And I want to see where that takes me. I already know I like to read all over the place and have so many things I want to read, I don’t see it being a problem.
I also want to mention i’m thinking of reading some popular and controversial books next year. I don’t generally make the time to read them even though I want to so i’m hoping i’ll want to next year. There are plenty out there so ..! I also joined the popsugar 2023 reading challenge on storygraph just to see what I manage to do next year. No pressure to do anything, as already stated.
So yea, that’s all I got to say for this post. Any thoughts?