Monday, September 30, 2013

Sometimes 'Should' Isn't Enough

Three books I'm most excited about since my last post:

1. The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater
Guys...guys...This book is amazing. Amazing. (And she's going to be at the Boston Book Festival, if anyone wants to see me hyperventilate.)
2. Untold by Sarah Rees Brennan
I..just...this book! You can't see it but my hand is on my chest dramatically. I love this book.
3. Battle Magic by Tamora Pierce
I started writing because of her. And she's been so influential on so many YA authors that you should check her out if you haven't already.

Something that comes up for me a lot as a bookseller, reader, blogger are books that everyone loves. Books that so many of my friends just adore, and bloggers who seem to have similar tastes as me rave about, and authors that I love love as well. I get so excited to read these books. I have such high hopes for them. I expect so much from them.

Sometimes it all works out and I join the masses and fall head-over-heels for a book (ie. The Fault in Our Stars). But there are these other times that I read the book and I realize that I'm spending the entire thing on the edge of my seat. Not because I'm so into the book but because I'm waiting for that moment where it all clicks into place. That moment where I realize why everyone is obsessed with this book.

And then the book ends and that moment has never come. I still don't get it. I want to, so badly. I'll go back and reread bits and pieces and scenes that almost became that moment. But I still just won't see it. I mean, I should like this book, right? It sounds like everything I love. Everyone else thinks I should. But I don't.

Then people will ask me how I liked it and I have this moment where I feel like I should like. Where I feel like my reputation as a reader is dependent on liking this book. No one will trust my judgement if I didn't like this book.  Then I usually stammer out some sort of answer like,

"Oh...uh... it was...uhm...hmmm. I can see how you liked it..."  "..."

I usually promise to go back and visit the book again, thinking maybe it was the circumstances in which I read it. Let's be serious though, with the reading list as never ending as it is, I probably won't go back. I have too much else I want to read or already liked and want to reread.

There are times where I try to figure out what might not have clicked with me. There are also other times where I think about it a little and then let it go. It's not always worth it. It took me a while to figure out that it didn't matter.

I don't have to love every book (no, I won't give examples). No one has to love every book. I wouldn't believe you if you told me that you did. We're different people.

I actually find it really interesting when two people who have so many other books in common so strongly disagree about one of them. It makes me wonder what drew them to the others to begin with. If it is a completely different set of traits that they are finding in common between the other books.

So, aside from everyone being different, and that being okay, it's actually really interesting that we are so different. It's why we booksellers ask so many questions about which books you like before recommending others. We want to find a book you'll really like while understanding that it doesn't necessarily have to be the most popular.

I don't love every popular book or every book that someone else thinks I will. But I still love some really fantastic books.


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