Saturday, 14 September 2013

Book Talk Topic: Growing Up As A Reader







Growing Up As A Reader

Before I discovered Goodreads, reviewing and blogging, I read. Not a big surprise, eh? I have read books for as long as I can remember. Truth be told, I didn't really think about what I was reading then. Didn't think about underlying messages or clich├ęs. I just liked a book or I didn't, and a book just shouldn't be boring. That's it. If I would have rated books then, there probably wouldn't have been any one-star ratings, except maybe for books that were so incredibly boring that I almost fell asleep. It was then that a major thing happened. I discovered Goodreads.

I loved the site immediately. Not only was it incredibly useful for shelving books and discovering new ones, there were reviews. I could spend hours just sitting on the couch reading Goodreads reviews (I still do that, by the way). I especially enjoyed the one-star, ragey reviews. I just thought those were the most fun to read. But through reading these reviews, I discovered and learned. I saw the clich├ęs that were in most books, saw what certain things really meant, and I started growing up. 

The best example of my bookish coming-of-age would be the House of Night series. Don't shoot me, but that used to be one of my favorite series. I loved the books, devoured them, even. Actually, it was through these books that I started to read English books. There were just more of the English books of this series since translating takes a while. Since I really couldn't wait for the next book in this series (I know, I know), I decided to read the English version. And the next one. And the next one. And suddenly, I found that the English language was just so much more beautiful. I started to dislike Dutch books. In English, everything just sounds twice as good.

Anywho, Goodreads and English books opened up my world. See, it's mostly the hugely hyped books that get translated into Dutch (think Twilight, House of Night, Fallen). And, I'm sorry to say, it's hugely the hyped books that are quite... crappy (or so I think). I didn't realize how much I was changing as a reader until I read Hidden, the tenth (!!) House of Night book. Good God. I hated it. What utter crap I was reading! It was nonsensical, with stupid Mary Sue characters, a stupid plot, etc. I disliked everything about it.

I rated the first nine House of Night books 4 or 5 stars. The tenth, not so much. I decided not to change my rating of Marked - Destined, though, since I did like the books that much when I read them. But it's striking, isn't it, how much someone can change? Have you changed as a reader? And is there a book or series that's basically a symbol of that growth?

6 comments:

  1. I've only been reading for one year and a bit and that's when I joined Goodreads, I guess I was really biased and loved everything I read but in late December- which was when I opened up my blog- I became much more critical.

    Great post, Celine! <33

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    1. Yeah, that's basically me (except I've been reading a lot longer than that). Blogging and reviewing have made me so much more critical!

      Thank you <3

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  2. This is a great post! Since I joined Goodreads, I discovered a whole new world in YA books and urban fantasy. I loved posting my reviews and checking out other reviews and joining the groups, things would have been different without it! As you said, it also helps us think of books critically too.

    Jeann @ Happy Indulgence

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    1. Thanks! Yes, Goodreads helped me discover so many books. And I learned to think critically! It's one of my favorite sites.

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  3. Interesting post! I actually don't think my taste in books has really changed, but I do find myself being slightly more harsh with ratings since finding Goodreads. Goodreads has also just been good with introducing me to new books! I love the "readers also enjoyed" thing on the side :D

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    1. That's interesting. My tastes definitely changed, and I got harsher too. And I love Goodreads <3 I have discovered so many favorites there!

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