Confessions of an Addict [#35]: Unrelated Observations and Pointless Conclusions.

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Your bookshelf brings all the boys in the yard.

Have you ever heard of a blog called, No Book Unread Project? It’s the brainchild of an aspiring writer who, in an effort to improve his writing decided that the best way to do that so was to read more. In his post, he figured he has 175 unread books. And for someone who has read 188 books in 2014,  this is hardly an impossible task.

However, you need to consider the quality of the books in his shelves vs. what’s in mine. It’s not even close. He reads high fantasy books in the likes of R.A. Salvatore. More than likely door stoppers. The kind that has complicated, intricate world building. My TBR bookshelf houses a schizophrenic selection picked mostly on a whim, or because I gave in to the pressures of a particular book’s noisy buzz.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. One should never pit their reading choices against another’s. My point is, while my family and friends may think I have Robotic Reader Eyes, I tend to pick books that doesn’t strain my brain too much: contemporary, realistic, and sometimes, if I ate enough peanuts, literary fictions. So in reality, though it might look possible in paper, I don’t think it would be if we switch TBRs.

The TBR Dungeon.

In the beginning of the year, I must admit that I thought this is doable; that I can simply saunter down in the basement and pick a book to add to my reading rotation until all the dragons in the dungeon have  been slain. As soon as I cleared the cobwebs and fluffed some of the dust bunnies away, however, the problems soon start taking turns bitch-slapping me in the face. Like, 453 of them.

Ain’t nobody got time for that!

These are books that have gone stale. They’re two to three years old. Unread. Old releases. Does anyone even care to read reviews of these old books? I think that’s the problem I’m having with at the moment. As a book reviewer, I want to post reviews that are relevant and new; not books that were published three years ago. But as a reader, I know that time is immaterial. Whether I read them tomorrow or a year from now, it doesn’t really matter. Because books are timeless. READING should not be constricted to an allotted time period, otherwise, it becomes a pesky homework and not…fun.

So now, I’m conflicted.  The hermit philanthropist in me is thinking: I can always donate them to my library, or the charity shop where I buy my books. The hoarder in me is thinking:  Are you crazy?! What if you’re missing something good? Something life-changing amongst the rubble of this neglected pile? The reader in me is thinking: shut up and start reading!

Such is the flow of my consciousness every time I’m confronted by my  gigantic TBR.

Do you think that your readership care about the publishing dates of the books you review on your blog?

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Confessions of an Addict [33]: Judge Me Not by the Stars I Gave

Brace yourself.  Gifs ahead.

Once upon a time, I was one of those sanctimonious people who’d been notoriously judgemental of readers who loved every single thing they  read.  Because how is every book that’s ever crossed their shelves of a 5 or a 4 star rating variety? C’est impossible!  But then I got to thinking, if a person is meticulous about their reading preferences, this may not be as impossible as I orginally thought. If they’re very specific about the books they buy, isn’t it possible that there’s an 80% chance they’ll love everything? Or perhaps if they’re not an impulsive book buyer like me,  they might just be better at knowing what to read than I?

So here I am firing back another question.  How can you trust someone who hates everything that she reads? Unfortunately, that’s where I’m at right now. My choices have been nothing but lacklustre than I’m left feeling disillusioned about the books on my shelves. Sometimes, it almost feels like I seek ways to find faults in them, which, of course is not true at all.

It has been a bleak reading stretch. And frankly, I’m getting pretty sick of my self. These 1 and 2 star-ratings do nothing to promote the love of reading. All it does is scare away potential lovers of books that I’ve lambasted on the blog. Okay, maybe lambasted is too strong of a word.

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The thing is, I’ve been trying to diversify my reading choices. I figure if I switch between YA and Adult Fiction intermittently, I’m bound to find that fantastic read that has eluded me as of late. So far, it’s been a bust.

I go by instincts when I’m at the bookstore. I’m always looking to test and expand my reading taste. I can’t be stuck at a certain aisle and peruse the same type of books because I know  it will get boring in no time. So the dictates of how I pick books have been sporadic.

But things had been so dire lately that I’m considering reading some  raunchy Erotica just to spice things up a little. Those that I tend to take pleasure in reading (don’t judge me!), but will  never admit to enjoying.

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And I do. I really, really do. But it’s been a struggle. It’s been depressing, actually. I’m sitting here thinking that all this hatred has to be counterproductive with the very reason I started blogging in the first place. I’m here to promote the love of reading. I’m not here to crush a person’s dream by writing a 500-600 word essay on how much their book sucked. But if I consider credibility and how translating those ire into a blog post have helped keep my sanity, I feel a lessening of guilt.

All I can infer is that I have to do what I have to do to remain honest, and that I can’t help it if I suck at picking good books to read. It’s a trial and error, you see? The risk of what I have to go through in order to broaden my reading horizon.

Though every time I’m near my bookshelf, I can’t help but throw a prayer or a plea.

For the love of God, give me something good to read!

please

Gifs sources: Tumblr | With Her Nose Stuck in a Book | Romance Thread

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Confessions of an Addict [#31]: The Blogging Habits of the Uninspired.

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Some days, it’s really hard to find the time and initiative to do anything productive on the blog. For most of the week, I’ll be lucky if I’m able to visit your blogs. That’s why I try to do the most of the blogging/commenting during the weekends. But by the time Saturday rolls around, I’m at least a thousand blog posts behind. I also have to make sure that I’ve got my posts scheduled for the week, so if I’m not inspired to write any reviews, chances are, you won’t see or hear much from me for that week.

Sundays are my designated writing days. During the week, I’ll write a little bit, never full blog posts. I usually have my line up of posts for the coming week drafted by Sunday, except for my Throwback Thursday.

Lately, though, I’m surprise that I’m able to keep my readers updated. So what brought on these sparks of inspiration? Well, for one, I finally found a good place to blog in my house. I’ve also figured out some factors that stop me from writing. I thought I’d share some of my findings.

Cluttered house, cluttered mind.

This came to me through an ironic epiphany of sorts. I find it hard to write (or read, for that matter) if my house is in a state of disarray. Particularly, in my bedroom where my corner office is not a big space. The thing is, my bedroom is furnished sparsely, so the odds of it being cluttered is very small. However, my side of the bed is overflowing with books – which, ultimately is the clutter that I speak of. Do you see the irony?

When I painted my living room in white, and re-arranged the books, I found the cleanliness of the space very soothing. Therefore inspiring productivity. Nowadays, I do most of my writing in one corner of my couch, surrounded by pillows and books for a view.

Music to my ears.

I’m sure most writers would tell you how much music helps the creative flow. I, for one, used to hate it when there’s background noise – of any kind! However, I found that if I’m listening to wordless music (instrumental or classical), I’m able to concentrate more. I suppose some easy-listening tunes help as well. My go-to playlists are albums by Regina Spektor and A Fine Frenzy.

A shower of thoughts.

Sometimes, no matter how much I force myself, I’m not able to string a few words to express exactly what I’m trying to say. I find that if I step back and do something else, I’m able to come back to the writing board with a fresh mind. My favourite thing? A shower. I’m not even kidding! Some prefer to go for a walk, but me? I like taking a shower.

 Where to find inspiration?

I can’t answer this question. I just write when it strikes. That’s why my phone is a handy tool. Because when it comes, I write little notes for myself for future reference.

What about you? What do you do to get out of a funk?

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