I don’t really know how to introduce this post! Apart from the fact that I actually CAME UP WITH A POST IDEA and am not just posting a tag or monthly wrap-up…WILD. Please say you guys are proud of me because I’m proud of me!!
cutting down on my TBR
I took my TBR from like 400+ books to 200ish books. I think, when i first started involving myself in the blogging community, everyone was talking about their “never-ending TBR” and i was like “I nEED that never-ending TBR” so I would be constantly adding books to my TBR on goodreads even if i wasn’t even interested in them?! Or knew what they were about? If I’d vaguely heard of the book? TBR. pretty cover? TBR. literally any book? TBR. So I was accumulating a lot of books on this “Want To Read” list…and I didn’t even know if I even WANTED to read them.
This is obviously, so so stupid. So I went back, a few weeks ago, and just batch edited and deleted loads of books off my TBR that I knew I didn’t want to read. Here are some thoughts I had while I was clearing it out.
- The book’s hyped but i’m not interested
- I’m probably never going to pick this up, let’s be real
- Why is this on my TBR?
- I don’t even know what this book’s about
- If i had this book in my hands, would I read it within the next month? Yes? No?
I’m really really glad I did this because now I feel like every book on my TBR I actually WANT to read. Which feels so much nicer! It feels like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders. Honestly, I recommend everyone does this. I know it’s hard to let go of books but you WILL feel so much better after you’ve done it and you can refine what you read and hopefully enjoy more of your reads!
not writing unnecessarily long reviews
Pre-2019 Ilsa would feel the need to write reviews and comment on EVERYTHING in a book. “The plot was really enjoyable. The writing style was easy to read. The characters were nice. The pacing was alright.” like I felt the need to write a WHOLE paragraph on these mediocre things in a book that I didn’t have any strong feelings about. Which made my reviews really boring, in my opinion. I didn’t tend to do this in negative reviews because it is much easier to pick point the things I HATED. But positive reviews, I would always be unnecessary. Now, I only write reviews which only note on the things I actually have important things to say about. This, I think, makes my reviews more cohesive and interesting? (I haven’t written a real review in a long time)
Negative reviews i’m “proud” of:
Positive reviews i…”like”:
trying to read outside YA
Okay this isn’t working out spectacularly because I usually have one brain cell and YA books are really easy to read most of the time? But I’m trying to read more classics (I’ve read 3 so far) and Adult books (that have been on my TBR for a long time) I haven’t started to read non-fiction yet but I would love to try out some memoirs soon!
My reading pre-2020 was VERY Young Adult focused and while I love the genre, all my new 5 stars of this year are non-YA so I can totally see how I’m growing out of the genre. I enjoy YA don’t get me wrong and still read LOADS of it, I’m just wanting to broaden my horizons because there are SO!! Many good books out there that I think I will love. Also I have a 5-star prediction shelf and out of the 28 books there, only 9 are Young Adult books. (which is about 30%)
understanding what books I want to recommend to people
I feel like before I would recommend any book I enjoyed to everyone like “please read this!” but now I’m starting to understand what books I enjoy are actually good and high-quality and what books I enjoy for self-indulgent reasons.
For example: Shatter Me, Serpent & Dove and Caraval are not books I’d recommend to a lot of people because I know they’re not, objectively, very good books and mostly weak and I only enjoy and love them because I’M Trash. However, there are books I would be less hesitant to recommend like The Diviners series, Strange The Dreamer and Six Of Crows which I actually recognize as very good books that I love!!
un-hauling physical books
At one point, I came to the stage where I owned quite a lot of books (though not as much as many bookstagrammers and other book influencers) I was receiving a lot of ARCs, books through trades, and other places. Again, a few weeks ago, I went through my bookshelf and there were a lot of books I’d read and enjoyed (or not) and I wondered “why am I holding on to these?” I realised I only wanted to keep books that were 4 or 5 stars because why did I have them? If I didn’t feel strongly about them? So now I’m un-hauling twelve books on my shelf (twelve doesn’t sound like a lot to most people, but it’s a significant amount of my collection) that I’ve read but don’t feel the need to keep and 13 other books I haven’t read but know I don’t want to read. (So that’s 25 books I’m unhauling!)
just…understanding my taste better
As I mentioned in this post, I’ve finally figured out my rating system, and now I understand what kind of books I mostly enjoy. I know what books are my favourites, I know what I love. Before, I was very confused about my taste and I would rate books and be not-confident in the rating. But now I think I’m a lot more picky with my taste which makes me sure of the books I do love.
(just…saying my average rating is 2.92…)
How do you feel your reading has changed over the years? How many books are on your TBR? What age group do you read a lot from? Do you want to read more Classics but realise you have no brain cells? Because Same.