Friday, 13 April 2012

5 of my (not-so-secret if you follow me on Facebook/Tumblr/Twitter) dirty little reading secrets

"Three can keep a secret if two are dead."
- Benjamin Franklin

The other day I read a post over at BookRiot by Rebecca Joines. This one, in fact: 7 of my dirty little reading secrets. It was a quick and simple post, and I very much liked the idea of it. (As you can tell by the title of this post). My secrets are never so horrid that anybody would need to be dead for me to keep them. I don't know anybody whose life is that topsy turvy. Truth be told, I don't have much that's absolutely secret. Thanks to social media and my inability to keep my mouth shut/fingers still, all of my embarrassments are out there for everybody to see. In all of its somewhat dubious colour and detail. So here's a quick writeup for today. (I know! A short post from me! Has hell frozen over?) 5 of my (not-so-secret if you follow me on Facebook/Tumblr/Twitter) dirty little reading secrets.

What are YOUR dirty little reading secrets?

I dog ear library book pages like nobody's business
And because I'm a horrid person I'll probably keep on doing so. (Although I would like to add that I do un-dog ear them afterward, although they will permanently bear the mark). I'm always sort of sorry about it. Just not enough to stop altogether. It could be considered a kind of compliment. Something about that author, that book, that page, that passage prompted me, nay MOVED ME, enough to physically mark out proof that I sometimes do have life changing thoughts. (Am just realising that didn't really sound apologetic enough).

I read the endings first
And I am absolutely unrepentant about it. I read a little of the beginning and then flip to the back and read the last few pages. I don't remember how this habit started, either. This is, sorta/kinda, my justification: Life is too short to be stuck with a crap ending, and I NEED A HAPPY EVER AFTER LIKE I NEED CHOCOLATE. That and the fact that, at this point in time (although it's pretty much standard for me) I currently have out 32 books, with another 28 on the way in the next day or two. We have a limit of 35 items at one time. That means I can take 3 more books out. Three. That's it. Two. Which means I need to be double-quick at working my way through them (luckily some are picture books, a couple DVDs (like Miranda season two YAY ME!), and some CDs), or be ruthless with what I choose to read first. So when the next round of my requested books come through I'll read the beginning and the ending and then, if I don't like either, it'll go to the bottom of my (ever growing) to-be-read pile. Every time I tell people I read the ending first they get this sad look on their face and I know that they're thinking, "Somewhere a fairy just died," and that I am Ruiner Of All The Things.

I don't like Jane Austen's Emma
Something about Emma, as a character, makes me want to whack her over the head with something/anything. And I always see her as a flibbertigibbet. And I always feel so terribly guilty about that. And yes, I'm fully aware another fairy just died. (I swear, that should be a tag of its own for this post).

I have a hard time reading books by New Zealand authors
And I'm not quite sure why. I feel bad about it, if that makes me stand a little bit taller and a little less slouchier in your eyes. I celebrate New Zealand writers. I just don't read their work. Two years running I've tried to do something about it and failed each time, although I did find a few great gems along the way. I seem to chuck back more than I reel in. A lot of it, I suspect, is because I stopped reading NZ fiction in my mid teens, so maybe my NZ reading age/hopes/expectations are permanently stuck at 14/15/16 with Margaret Mahy's Haunted and The tricksters. (Which I read for the romance angle, even back then I was unknowingly all about the romance). I'm working on improving my cultural cringe. Just not in a quick way. And yes, you can leave recommendations to assist me, and I do so promise to faithfully read each and every one. No matter how long it takes.

I adore fanfiction
And I'm absolutely unembarrassed about admitting that. Fanfiction, for those who don't know what it is, can be defined (sort of) thus: fictional stories written by fans of an original work. In my case, my fandom is Supernatural. (We are plentiful, and we are insane). That means that I read online stories written by fans of the show that are about the characters, or the actors themselves. Disregard what people tell you about fanfic being all about the strange and the weird (although some of it is) and the downright sexually perverted (some of it is that, too, although I believe that's a perspective thing - one person's EWW is another person's OOH, after all). There are some great stories because, simply, there are some great writers. And me? I'm all about the happy ever after endings.


breve711 said...

Actually reading is a bit of a secret. Apart from my flatmates, sisters and best friend, I don't know anyone who reads. One workmate who was temping during the school holidays (19yo uni student) told me he has never read a book that he didn't have to for school. I couldn't believe it. It lead to asking the courier driver if he ever read books, the answer being "not since I was a little kid" I take books with me to work that I read when I'm waiting at the bus stop, on the bus...and it sits in my bag during breaks 'cos i'm too embarrassed to read them when people at work will see me.

I used to read fanfic...about my favourite band at the time, Creed lol in my late teens when I had just started uni I was obsessed with all things Creed, incl. fanfic. A friend on one of the boards actually wrote me into one of hers...good times. The only other fanfic I've read was for the Lord of the Rings and it was brilliant.

Anonymous said...

Confesson time indeed.

I often get partway through and skip to the end - doesn't mean I won't read the book all the way through, but I want to know that I am not wasting my time so I skip to the end to make sure it is worth it!

It's a rare day that I'd re-read a book.

I too dog ear books, unless I can find something paper-ish to use as a bookmark, which doesn't often happen.

I don't like "classic literature" -I periodically try again, but I just can't get into it. But I do read classic sci-fi.

I prefer sci-fi to fantasy - and it irks me that these two always get lumped together, they're pretty different overall.

tosca said...

@breve711 Thanks for taking the time to comment :) I am constantly amazed by the number of people I meet (both in and out of libraries) who say they don't read. Do you think they mean 'I don't read for fun'? It blows my mind. I'm sometimes too self-conscious to read my more lurid romance novels on the bus. This doesn't happen all that often, though :P As for fanfic, I have tried a couple other fandoms (Sherlock, Smallville and Glee) and discovered they really weren't to my taste, and so have stuck with Supernatural for the last 3 years or so. I've yet to try the LOTR ones, but do want as I've heard they're quite epic.

tosca said...

@Anonymous: I most heartily endorse reading the end so you know, upfront, that you're not wasting time! You don't re-read? Possibly I'm amazed by that because I re-read too much. I was guiltily un-dog earing books just last night *pulls a face* I adore classic lit but, had it been left to my mother, I would never have read them at all. She abhors the stuff :P I know EXACTLY what you mean by scifi/fantasy being lumped in together. They're two very separate and distinct genres and it's driven me barmy for years that libraries don't separate them out *stamps foot*

Kelly said...

Whew! Glad to know I'm not the only one who finds it hard to read New Zealand authors! I know I should, but quite often I find their books so hard. I had to stop reading one of Janet Frame's after one chapter once. I also got about 2/3 of the way through Mister Pip before I had to give up. It makes me feel really bad, but at the same time I guess they're not my genre.

There are some NZ authors I like though. I loved Helen Brown's "Cleo" - now I'm itching to read the sequel to it, and even though he's a young adult author I've always enjoyed David Hill's books.

breve711 said...

@anonymous i love re-reading my favourite books! i rarely read new authors because i hate starting a book and not liking it.

the only nz author i've read is nalini singh, and i didn't know she was a kiwi at the time.