Time and time again I find myself in the same situation. Anytime I get a book that I’m anticipating, I end up avoiding it like the plague. And I’m talking about the type of books I cry about not being released yet on Twitter, add on ‘Most Anticipated Books of the year’ list, and ones I even stand in line 2 hours for to get ARCs of.
Why do I do this? It bubbles down to a strange insecurity.
Back in early 2017, I was dying to get my hands on a copy of The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue. Seeing more Historical YA books with Bisexual MCs has been a dream of mine. My ‘I will explode if I don’t read this book’-o-meter was off the charts. So, when Yallwest came around in April, I waited 2 hours in line for an ARC.
I didn’t let myself read the book immediately when I got it. Finals were coming up the next week meaning that if I read the book, I wouldn’t stop. May passed and I still hadn’t read the book. I was ‘busy’ I said with all of the cleaning up from the semester. July came and I thought: ‘I have to read this book I’m meeting Mackenzi Lee in Georgia for a stop on her GGTVAV tour’. February 2018 nears to and end and I still haven’t read the book.
The “GGTVAV situation” is no new thing for me. I constantly do this with books that I know will mean something to me. I waited well over a year to read More Happy Than Not, which is one of my favorite books ever
that made me cry so much I had to take a car drive around the city to calm down.
I know what you’re thinking: ‘What the Hell Are You Doing Alexis’. Well, there’s this whole process my mind goes through when I’m in this situation. Say I start a book that I know has the potential to become my new favorite book ever. I might get through the first couple of pages. Then, I’ll quickly make an excuse like “ugh, I won’t be able to read it in one sitting I should save it for another time” or “I won’t be able to take notes as much as I like so I should stop reading this while waiting for class to start” or “Oh, I’m not in the right mood”. Those are all excuses. I psych myself into this situation that the stars have to be aligned for me to read this book to give it justice for myself and the book.
And makes 0 sense. I read one of my favorite books of all time while sunburnt in the middle of a neighborhood party on 4th of July. I read another while waiting in line for my flight (and I cried on the flight after finishing it). I read another in between my night classes… and had to try not to cry.
Setting isn’t the problem. I don’t need to read on my couch with 12 pillows around me. The problem is that I’m incredibly insecure about what happens after I finish the book.
As a blogger, you want to be able to do the books you read justice. Whenever I finish an life changing book, I get petrified. What if I can’t give the book the love it deserves? What if I can’t quite articulate how much I loved the journey of the main character? What if I end up rambling on for 5 paragraphs about how I loved the book without being able to describe my feelings?
Probably the funniest thing about this: I’m actually good about talking about things I love in real life situations. However, when it comes down to writing down my thoughts about books in a more mechanical way, I find myself stuck. I’m stuck about where to start, and I’m stuck without the words to show my love properly.
I end up avoiding books I’m going to love because when I finish them, it’s inevitable that I’m going to want to promote them on here. I’m so scared of not being able to do a book justice, that I won’t even start it.
Depriving myself of new favorites, is ridiculous. I’m hurting myself, and I’m hurting everyone else because there’s a chance that I might just come through with that one perfect sentence to describe a book. And, of course, the only way to get better at identifying my feelings and reviewing books is to do just that.
I don’t know if I’ll ever be that person who create great one liners about a book is. I doubt I’ll be the person with profoundly quotable reviews. But, I do know that I need to grow up and start reading. Stumbling over my love for books is better than doing nothing at all.