Do you ever think that maybe, if you had read a book a different time, you might have had a different reaction to it?
I wanted to write this post because a) it gives me a reason to use awesome gifs like that one, and 2) I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately. Because I have read quite a few books this year. About 105 of them, to be precise. To be fair, a few of those are re-reads (I tend to read The Fault in Our Stars when I’m really stressed, for example). But not many of them. The majority are books I’ve never read before.
And, I mean, it can be positive or negative.
I guess we should talk about negative first.
Because, you know, after that I can cheer you up with the positive. That’s always good. So sometimes I read a book, and maybe it’s been a bad week, or I’m tired, or maybe I’ve read a bajillion other similar books recently. And that makes me dislike a book. Sometimes I think I might have liked it in a parallel universe, or even loved it – and it worries me that I might be missing out on that because of a matter of timing.
I think it was actually Throne of Glass that got me thinking about that. I can distinctly recall that I read it during a really busy week at school, and there was a lot going on. So that might have been one of the reasons I didn’t enjoy it as much as I wanted to, despite LOVING the second book. It was the same with Daughter of Smoke and Bone, which…I don’t know. I wasn’t amazed by it.
And at the rate I read books, I don’t really have time to re-read them, even if I might love them the second time around. Or I have no inclination to read them again. Obviously it might be about more than just timing, but I really do think it can be a big factor in your enjoyment of a book.
Also, have you noticed that there are lots of TRENDS in YA books? Love triangles, things like that. So if you read too many books where that trend is obvious, it will affect your reaction to a book (or it does to mine, anyway). Maybe, if you hadn’t read all those other books with the same trend, you would have loved it!
So that’s another thing.
But then we have positive.
Occasionally you read a book at JUST the right moment, and it’s perfect, and you might not have liked it as much otherwise. Like when I reread The Perks of Being a Wallflower – I didn’t like it the first time so much, but the second time, I don’t know what changed – I guess it was just what I needed to read at the time. Apparently I also needed to bawl my eyes out because that happened too.
Sometimes I think…oh my gosh. What if I hadn’t like The Fault in Our Stars? Or any of my other favourite books?
What if, because of hype, or not reading it at the right time, I missed out on one of my MOST FAVOURITEST BOOKS EVER. That would be a tragedy. But it wasn’t. Because I loved it. Some books are ones that I could have easily disliked if I wasn’t in the mood for them, I think. Because of awesome timing, though, I ended up liking them. I think this is probably the case with Geek Girl by Holly Smale – you’ve got to be in the MOOD for it, you know?
And the same with Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson. That book affected me hugely, and I still have no idea why. But for books to hit me on such an emotional level, I really do need to be in the right mind-space, or it just doesn’t work. I can’t summon that feeling. In If I Stay by Gayle Forman, I liked it, but I couldn’t connect with it. And sometimes it’s hard to separate the flaws of the book itself from the circumstances you read it in.
Let’s be honest: I’m not going to re-read every book I didn’t like, even if everybody else loves/loved them. Because there’s not enough time in the world. And yeah, maybe I would have really liked those books if I’d read them at a different time.
I’m just grateful that the timing has been right for many of my favourite books, and that I fell in love with them.