Top Ten Tuesday: Bookish discoveries I made in 2019

Happy Top Ten Tuesday! Today’s theme is bookish discoveries I made in 2019. This post might be a little similar to the “changes in my reading life” theme from a few weeks ago, but I’ll try to keep it different!

1. I love audiobooks.

I used to be really picky about my audiobooks. Non-fiction only, because what if the character’s voice sounded wrong? The narrator had to be one of a few very specific people, because how else would I know they’d do a good job? Ugh, might as well just read the physical copy. But then I started a job where I stare at a screen inside a cubicle for most of the day. Sometimes people have conversations two feet away from me and it’s hard to concentrate. I have to listen to something, so why not books? I’ve hardly come across any poorly-made audiobooks. Even if the content wasn’t great, the narration usually was.

2. I am definitely a mood reader.

I used to be able to tell myself to pick up any book and read it and I’d just… do it. I don’t know how, because now it’s like I have a mental block stopping me from picking that book up unless it’s the only thing on the planet that I feel like reading. I’m not fighting it anymore. If I’m at work and the audiobooks I have checked out from the library aren’t doing it for me, that’s why I have the Libby app on my phone. I’ll just check something else out. If I’m trying to get through a physical book and it’s just not clicking, I’ll put it down and try something else. It’s great for when I read for fun and less great when I have ARCs.

3. Hype doesn’t always kill books for me anymore.

I read a lot of hyped books in 2019, and you know what? I didn’t hate all of them. I’d been so scared to read things like American Panda, Dumplin‘, and The Poet X, and I really enjoyed all three!

4. Most of the time, ARCs aren’t worth the stress.

I used to check Netgalley daily and Edelweiss weekly. I used to jump on those “fill out this form if you’re interested” emails from publicists. I used to love signing up for blog tours. Now, I just don’t. All I’ll end up with is a pile of books that I don’t really have time to read, I’ll stress about having to read them, and I’ll feel guilty when I don’t. I might as well just read books that I already own or books from the library.

5. I don’t need to stuff my house with books to be happy.

I used to keep every single book that I ever purchased, even if I hated it. I’ve started making trips to a used bookstore because (1) it clears up a lot of space, (2) it’s not like I get any enjoyment from seeing books I disliked on my shelf, and (3) I can turn those books I didn’t like into cash. I still keep my favorites, of course, but I’m not going out and buying a bunch of new bookcases anymore.

6. I really like Julie Murphy’s books.

This goes along with #3, but I avoided her books for so long because of the hype! I wish I’d read them sooner, because she’s a really great writer. I read three of her books in 2019, and I’m hoping to get to Ramona Blue in 2020.

7. It’s more fun to hate-read with someone than to hate-read alone.

I like to read really terrible books out loud with my boyfriend. We laugh, we comment, we make predictions, and it’s great. (Sometimes we read good books, too, but most of the time they’re terrible.)

8. I like non-fiction a lot more than I thought I did.

I read more non-fiction in 2019 than I think I ever have before, and I’ve really enjoyed a lot of it! I’ve gotten through political books like A Warning and Proof of Collusion, memoirs like Let’s Pretend This Never Happened and Stay Sexy & Don’t Get Murdered, educational books on topics I’m interested in like Because Internet and The Body, and a whole ton of others. I still read mostly fiction, but I also like the feeling of learning about something on my terms.

9. It’s okay to DNF.

It took me forever, but I’m finally okay with DNFing. I don’t DNF every book I dislike (I’m still doing one-star hate-reviews) but if the book is bad and boring, I’m not wasting my time anymore. There are so many books I want to read that it just doesn’t make sense to spend time on books I can’t even write a sassy review about.

10. Mini-reviews are great for when I don’t have a ton of thoughts.

With all of the audiobooks I get through at work (usually 3-5 each week), I had to come up with a way to get those reviews out without doing like six posts per day. Mini-reviews ended up working out really well! I have a bunch of mini-review posts scheduled, and they’re perfect for when I only have a couple things I want to say about a certain book. I still write really long reviews when I have a lot of thoughts, but let’s be honest… I don’t always have a lot of thoughts.

Did you do your own Top Ten Tuesday post today? Feel free to leave your link in the comments and I’ll check it out! What did you discover in 2019? Let’s talk in the comments!

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