The more books I read in the more diverse settings and in the more various frames of mind, the more I realize that how I read and how I feel about what I read is quite subjective.
Here are a few examples:
1. The Red Herring Game
For instance, recently I read a mystery book that was by a new author to me (review coming tomorrow). I’ve been reading/listening to quite a few mystery books recently, but they’re all written by a select few authors, and although I enjoy them I also have the mystery figured out pretty early on. So, to read a book where I didn’t know the author’s style and was surprised at the outcome made me rate the book four stars.
Since rating that book I’ve pondered it quite a bit and nothing really sticks out to me as to why it got such a high (for me) rating. The only reasonable explanation I have is that it surprised me, so I was pretty happy with it.
2. The Hallmark Scenario
The same thing happens when I’ve been sick for a while and therefore indulging in Hallmark movies. Y’all, those things are lame. I can say this without malice because I’m sucked into the lameness as well and watch them happily when I’m not feeling well. But they drive me nuts. And then I read a book that has some of the same components of a Hallmark movie, but then they go on and have a good plotline instead of a lame one, and I’m instantly cheering the book on – like, way to go not being a Hallmark movie! Yet in reality, if I would have read that book at a time when I was far removed from Hallmark movies, then I probably wouldn’t have actually thought the book was anything special.
3. The Mindless Cheese Antidote
Next, imagine you’re exhausted. You’ve got a cold, you’ve had a busy week at work, and all you want to do is snuggle in your blankets and do something mindless. So, you find the cheesiest book possible on Overdrive. And start reading.
It’s so silly you keep reading just so you can roll your eyes at it.
This happened to me last night. For nearly two hours I powered my way (aka skim-read) through half of a book by an author who I once had to read for review and felt horrible about because her books are so not my style. Last night the cheese was the perfect antidote for how I was feeling. And, as an extra bonus, I had no problem closing the book when I was tired enough to sleep, plus I have no desire to finish the story so I won’t have to publically rate it. It’s basically a win-win for everyone.
4. We’ve Talked About This Saga
There are many books that I’ve picked up, found exceedingly uninteresting, and set back down. Skip a few months or years and you pick up one of those boring books, only to discover it’s one that you’ve recently seen an interesting review for, or it covers a topic that you’ve been chatting about at work, or it includes a historical person who you’ve been interested in studying. Suddenly that boring book is now top of your TBR pile and you can’t wait to get your hands on it.
Setting: Dancing on the treadmill
Listening to: Tightrope
Question of the Day: Have you ever experienced one of these scenarios?