Do I Know My Reading Taste?

The answer to that question should obviously be yes. I buy books that interest me, and then I read them. I don’t always like them, but that’s normal. That’s just how reading works. But what if I’m DNFing a lot of books? What if I’m picking up a lot of books because they’re cheap, but by the time I get to them, I’m no longer interested? That’s when it gets to be a problem.

And that’s exactly the problem I’ve had for a few years now.

I’ve gone from never really being able to buy books to buying them on the regular. I still have to get things cheaply where I can, but my book pile collection has grown a lot. When it comes to new books, I make sure that I want them, but, if I can get a book second hand or in The Works…? Yeah, sometimes I just pick books up for the sake of it. My TBR has grown massive, so I decided to pull out all the books I’m unsure of and read the first few pages to see if I can renew my interest. If I didn’t like the book, then at least it would be off my TBR before I’ve pulled it from my jar.

So, these were 27 of the 29 books:

The majority of these were books I’ve picked up cheap or just for postage, apart from a few I was gifted and some that I got with book boxes where I didn’t know what the book was. My hope was I’d want to keep at least 20 of the books and would now be more interested in reading them.

I ended up keeping 18, and honestly, I’m still happy with it.

I find the problem with having books for a long time is that you sometimes forget what they’re about. If you don’t remember what the story is supposed to be, you’re not going to be excited anymore. As well as that, some of these were by authors who I’ve read other books by since getting them and DNFed them (The Never Tilting World and Phoenix Extravagant), and I was kind of nervous I wouldn’t like these. Fortunately, both books grabbed me from the first page, and I now want to read them.

I’ll be honest, a few years ago, I did become very aware that I needed to be a little bit more thoughtful when picking up books second hand. And it looks like I’ve kept that in mind after all. Out of the 11 books I’ve gotten rid of, 9 of them I got second hand, but it’s still a lower number than I was worried it would be.

Doing this has very much made me aware that I do have a problem with just picking up books whenever. I need to be picky about what books I ask for and pick up no matter where they come from. It’s one thing to try and read outside of my comfort zone when I’m genuinely interested in the book. It’s another to go ‘oh, that could be fun, I guess’ and grab a book just because I can.

The amount I DNF makes me feel like I don’t know my own taste. I’m not saying I want to stop DNFing as life’s too short for that. I’m okay with giving up on books if the writing style doesn’t work for me and I’m not enjoying it. What I want to do is be more aware of what I’m picking up. Do the first-page test before I pick the book up – even if I have to pop onto Amazon on my phone browser so I can read a preview.

So this year, I want to narrow down what my taste actually is. I’m still going to explore more books in different genres, but they’ll need to be books that I think will work for me. I also need to accept that I’m not a big fan of those massive epic adult fantasies. The writing style rarely works for me as I like books with more dialogue, action and character. That’s fine. I also prefer books that are either average length or shorter. 500+ pages often scare me, and I will be more cautious about picking the book up unless I’m completely in love with the plot.

So that’s it. I’m not sure if I do know my reading taste, but by the end of the year, I’m going to have a much better idea.

What about you guys? Do you go a little over the top with cheap books? Or are you pickier and know your reading taste? Let me know in the comments below.

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