Few days ago I watched a video from one of my favorite Booktubers, Melissa, and I realized I feel the same way about books I don’t actually want to read but I feel I should. Don’t get me wrong, it’s basically just a psychological thing, I can be easily influenced by the internet, nobody is actually forcing me to read them. But you know, joining the bookish community means also being exposed to all kind of book and new releases and, at some point, you may start feeling like you HAVE to read those books or series because everybody read them and said they’re amazing even if it’s not your genre.
For example, fairytale retellings aren’t actually my jam, especially if they are in a sort of sci-fi/dystopian environment like The Lunar Chronicles. I don’t read sci-fi and I don’t actually go mad for fairytale retellings, BUT I found myself many times looking at Amazon for catching Cinder at a good price. I felt like I HAD to read this series to be a good bookworm, because it’s what everybody does.
I know how stupid I sound.
I had the same issue with some british classics such as Wuthering Highs or Jane Eyre or Emma. I’ve read them in the past, because all the cool bloggers I admired (back in the days of my first blog in italian) loved these books and they even matched their Pinterest aesthetic. I finished them because I couldn’t leave unfinished my readings at that time and also because I was so insecure that I wanted to prove myself I was like them. I basically forced myself liking those books. Emma was an exception, since it was the NovelTea Book Club pick of the month some time ago and, since everybody said great things about it, I decided to give it a try. Well, I ended up not finishing the book, because it wasn’t for me at all and I’m happy about that, because, for the first time, I didn’t finish a book that I didn’t enjoy to prove something to myself.
Another example is Night Circus. Everybody loves it on Goodreads, they say it’s such an amazing book and recommend it around, so I added it to my Amazon wishlist, hoping to catch it on sale. But, again, I realized I don’t actually want to read it because I hate everything that has something to do with the circus since I was a child! (Despite I don’t tolerate animals used to make a show, I don’t like that kind of art even with human beings) So why the heck should I read a book about a subject I dislike so much??
The positive thing is that, recognizing my behavior, I can modify it, right?
I don’t want to care about how my reading choices may look from the outside. Reading books about the adventures of Jessica Fletcher (Murder, She Wrote) is not cool? I don’t care, I’m going to keep reading that series because it’s amazing to me.
So, please please please, bookworms, do not read books you don’t care about just to fit in! Fight your insecurity!