Top Ten Tuesday #4

Top Ten Tuesday is an original weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Click here to read more and join!

This week’s top 10 are bookish confessions. As a fairly honest bookish person, listing 10 confessions proved difficult — I didn’t think I would list that many, but with a little extra thought and searching…

1. I never finished Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows, which I’ve only recently begun to admit this year. I had left off at the moment Harry wakes up to see Hermione’s and Ron’s hands outstretched toward each other, feeling lonely. At some point shortly after I called it quits, and the decision had nothing to do disinterest. I stopped for a few reasons:

  • Any and all HP 7 spoilers went flying out from a friend’s mouth. This did play a role in some disinterest (though only a small amount!), but…
  • My memory is shoddy with just about everything. In fact, I’d say it’s only good for retaining English lessons from years ago and past reads. It’s therefore unusual for me to forget something so direly important to a book’s plot, such as, “What is a horcrux?”  But it happened.
  • I did not want Harry Potter’s adventure to end for me, and I could not find courage in me to face Dobby’s death scene.

Until I finish Deathly Hallows, I refuse to see the second half of the film. Book before film, always. At least for Harry.

2. One day a pile of library books were stacked at my bedside on the floor, which is located no more than a foot away from my desk. At the desk’s edge sat another book stack — rather wobbly — topped with my coffee mug. The wobbly stack didn’t support the mug’s weight, and coffee spilled everywhere. Philip Levine’s Breath collection mopped up a bunch of large stains. I never said anything, and I was never charged damage fees.

3. It’s easier to feel excited by adding new books to my collection than by reading them.

4. One bookish secret I have never told a soul until now is that I never finished Laini Taylor’s Lips Touch: Three Times. I felt far too anxious to start the next book in my to-read pile, so I read about quarter of Taylor’s third story at most. It’s not as though I felt bored by Taylor’s stories, because I liked the first one and enjoyed the second with enthusiasm pumping through my system. I liked the second story so much that the third felt disappointing, I suppose.

Notes found in Sylvia Plath’s Collected Poems

5. I love finding other people’s annotations inside previously read books, but besides annotations? That depends. I have found an old receipt for cigarettes, bookmarks, students’ tardy notes for school, and library check-out receipts. I like finding check-out receipts, because I see which books were borrowed and discover new reads.

6. As for me, you can find annotations in just about every book I read — even library books. I used to erase my pencil markings for the library, but then I grew tired of it. (And by “annotations,” I mean: yes, I write notes, but I more frequently mark quotable lines.) I feel like I am marring books, but I also like it when I find that someone else also found the same sentence as interesting as I do.

7. I chose to write a book report on Mein Kampf, which I checked out from the library. I guess you can say that, technically, I didn’t finish the giant second half of the book. Before going ahead on my decision to read Hitler’s book, I wish I had looked at the translator’s note. It acknowledged that Mein Kampf offers no insight on the reasons I picked it up. Not only that, but it racked up a library fee worth $20+.

8. Luckily I never had  to pay the $20 fee. The library system somehow kicked me out, so a librarian told me I could create a new account. “That’s good news,” she said. “It means you didn’t have any library fees!” Shhh.

9. Reading slumps plague me the most when my work load is light, and all the fun gets sucked out of my favorite hobby. I want to read, but the slump says, “No!” So I then force books upon myself and feel even worse.

10. It’s not that I’m not looking forward to J.K. Rowling’s The Casual Vacancy, but I’m worried that I won’t enjoy it. I want to enjoy it. I want to love it almost as much as I love her Harry Potter series, if only because this is J.K. Rowling: the woman who first got me to stay up until 4 AM, reading, entering a magical realm and refusing to leave. Up until that point, I don’t think I’d ever felt attached to a book before.

These are my top 10 bookish confessions! What are yours?

31 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday #4

  1. I understand about #1 but girl, you gotta finish the last book now. You’ve put it off for way too long and trust me, going back to reread the entire series start to finish is just one of the many ways to never stop enjoying Harry Potter! And I agree about #10. I’m afraid to read it because I’m terribly afraid I’ll be disappointed and that JK Rowling will somehow fall off the pedestal I’ve unwittingly put her on.
    One “confession” I suppose I’ll make is that I hate people who mess up my books. Only I’m allowed to make ridges in the spine or fold down pages. After a traumatic experience in which a friend returned a book to me with THREE extra ridges in the spine, I put my foot down. No more book borrowing.

    • The number of times I have looked at my HP books and thought about re-reading them… Mmm, I’m only thinking about the books right now and I’m experiencing a squee-fest. Once I’m done with Northanger Abbey (which will be soon), HP is coming off its shelf.

      Hear, hear! Letting people borrow your books is nerve-racking, and it’s worse the more you prize a particular book. I have cringed and audibly groaned when I’ve watched someone make creases and folds in books of mine. Damage to any one of my books nearly kills me. My one beautiful copy of The Golden Compass is just wrecked, and I haven’t even read it yet.

  2. I find it interesting to read other people’s annotations in books too. Sometimes they can even be highly amusing. I’m glad you didn’t have to pay $20 in library fees – phew! Reading slumps are the worst, aren’t they? Thanks for sharing your bookish confessions!

    • I can’t ever imagine letting my library fees grow to $20 again, nor do I think I can bear putting out that much on Mein Kampf! I got extremely lucky on that one.

      Each and every reading slump never ceases to prove itself a miserable experience. I like to read children’s books and short fiction when I feel one coming on — they make it easier to overcome those slumps!

  3. I can understand your reasoning for not finishing the final Harry Potter book, but you have to finish it. I was so upset when I finished the ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows’ because I felt like my childhood had ended, but you can always go back and re-read the books. I’ve read each individual book nine times and I still can’t get enough of them. Yes, I’m a huge potterhead. Just because you’ve finished the series, doesn’t mean it’s over! They will always be there and the wizarding world world won’t change.

    • Everyone’s encouraging me to re-read the books! (And so I shall!) I’m eyeing book one at the moment, and immersing myself back into Harry’s world sounds rather nice.

  4. I feel the same about “The Casual Vacancy” – in fact, I highly doubt I will read it. I liked Harry Potter, and I don’t know if I want to try her other stuff. By the way, I am just as forgetful with HP. I want to re-read the series just so I can remember things more and understand the story better.

    • I’m going to try The Casual Vacancy at least, although I doubt I’ll find myself so quickly absorbed into it (if at all) as I do with Harry Potter.

  5. I sympathise with no. 3. The thrill of buying a book is often bigger than that of reading it.

    A for no. 5. I only like annotations if they’re pertinent and thoughtful. Mostly I find stuff of the “So true!” type. I do like finding nice things in books, especially bookmarks, photographs, money and postcards. I could have done without the used hormone patch, the chewing gum and squished bugs I have found at various times.

    • I love finding another person’s interpretation of a text, but you are right: thoughtful is best. Ick — squished bugs. I once found a gnat squashed between the pages of a book I was flipping through, which I instantly sat down. Gum and hormone patches (eww!) haven’t been found by me yet, but I hate finding hair strands.

    • I will always admire her Harry Potter series regardless of J.K. Rowling’s other publications, but I’m still wary about this upcoming novel of hers. I will try it out, but I think a problem of mine might be is discovering I dislike The Casual Vacancy, yet feeling like I should finish it… It won’t be a pleasant experience if that’s the case.

  6. I must say, you seem to have amazing luck with libraries!
    And I agree, sometime you just need to have new books on your shelf. You have to go through the process of making a list, going to a bookstore, spending hours there, and then walking away with maybe two books that were on your list and five that you’ve never heard of before. I don’t even have to read all of them, just feel good that they’re mine, and I can pick them up any old time I want to.

    • It’s funny — the number of times I’ve escaped large fees, like that $20 — or not being charged for book damage (damn coffee stains!) — and I still grumble when I get a 50 cent late fee. I think I ought to feel a little more grateful towards luck and leniency!

      So true! I find myself taking books down just to hold them, even if I know I won’t get around to reading them for a long while. It’s a nice a feeling to have, knowing the books are there, they’re mine, and I can grab them whenever I feel like it.

  7. *Facepalm* moment Raya! You have to finish Deathly Hallows!! It’s been five years since it came out. You’ve put it on hold long enough. In all honesty I don’t think the HP journey will ‘really’ end because we all keep going back to the books at some point. Maybe you can read HP at the end of every year. I know Christopher Lee reads The Lord of the Rings every year!

    • I know! I feel terrible admitting I haven’t fully read Death Hallows. There was all the hype when part one and two of the movie came out as well, and I kept saying I would “get to it…” Of course I never did “get to it,” ahh.

      Any time between November and December sounds like a great time to read HP. The books and movies have always felt festive to me, and reading the books during festive a festive period sounds so fitting (:

    • It’s still too early to say, but I realize there will be a difference — for me, at least — in saying “I’m a Rowling fan” vs. “I’m a Potter nerd.” Up until now, HP is all we’ve been been able to associate her with! It’ll be interesting to see how she fairs with adult literature, though.

    • Tricky HTML tags!

      Reading has always been my escape from, well, nearly everything, and that includes responsibility — oops. I’m always searching for great reads when I should be reading the least amount of books, ha ha.

  8. Definitely #3, I get a much bigger kick out of getting a book in the mail or discovering it at a used book sale than I do reading it.

    And, omigosh, your Harry Potter confession reminded me of one I should so have put on my list. I totally spoiled a crucial plot point in the final book for a co-worker of mine when the book first came out. I felt so terrible about it. Actually, when I think about it even now, I *still* feel terrible about it, and the guy’s not even a friend of mine. Crazy, much?

    • I don’t know about you, but I find it difficult to not give spoilers away when I love (or even hate) a book. I just have to talk about it to someone — anyone! — and some things just slip. I’m usually good at catching myself before I say a major spoiler, but I feel crummy for giving away details before someone’s had a chance to read the book. It’s like tarnishing part of that person’s reading experience!

  9. I find 9 really interesting – I only ever hit reading slumps when I’m super busy. When I have free time I practically eat books for breakfast. Sadly, 2012 has not been a year which has left me with much “free time” haha.
    I think you’re brave for even attempting Mein Kampf. A part of me is interested purely from a historian point of view, but not interested enough to actually attempt to read that beast of a book. :P

    • Sometimes I get so fed up with life and rebel against responsibilities. I’m always looking for good books to get lost in and forget my problems, just temporarily. Unfortunately, these are times when I need to focus the most, yet I tend to direct my concentration on less significant things (like a book’s plot). Give me all the free time I can have, though, and I probably wouldn’t know what to do and find myself bored!

      • Hahaha, I guess this does make sense as well. I found this happened to me a lot when I was juggling uni and work, and always had assignments and readings to do for uni – that was when I most craved reading books for leisure, and other such things. I can get bored with free time, but often I try and get myself into a routine when I have lots of free time, so that I’m making the most of it. But, you know, that’s easier said than done, haha :P

  10. I tend to suffer most from reading slumps when I’ve actually got too many books waiting. It becomes a bit overwhelming and I find myself hopping around from book to book. Reading a few pages then putting it down. Then I need something that totally grabs me straight away to get me back on track.
    I must admit I feel a bit so:so about picking up JKR’s new novel. There’s just going to be such an overwhelming sense of expectation. I don’t envy her!
    Lynn :D

    • Ha, I find myself in the same predicament with book-hopping all too often. I can’t seem to stop raiding the library, so I end up with these tall stacks about the house… Unless I’m set on one book, I have trouble choosing. I’ve been focused on trying to get my library loot down to at least five books, and I’m getting there… slowly :P

      I’m going to test Rowling’s book out, for sure. I’m nervous, but I’m also excited to see what it will be like. (At the same time, I must admit that I’m interested to see what others will think as well.)

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