Challenging myself

This is a thing that has been going around BookTube, and I liked the idea. So the first video I saw on the subject was Conrad’s video on being a book snob. And then Jenny’s and Candace's videos on challenging yourself with reading. Essentially they boil down to, using books to for more than just enjoyment, and reading books that are seen as difficult, or different, like classics and things like that. This is a gross simplification from my side, you should really watch the videos.

Anyway. It led me some thoughts on my own reading. I feel like my reading has been a bit… bland, or beige. It feels like I’ve been just reading the same genre again and again, because my favourite genre is Fantasy and it spans a lot so I have felt satisfied staying with fantasy, but I’m not satisfied with it anymore. I won’t stop reading Fantasy, obviously, but I’ll friggin’ change other stuff! Yeah. I’m weird.

So one thing I’ll change, which is weirdly scary, because I’m a weird, obsessive freak. I will stop doing monthly TBRs. This doesn’t have too much to do with challenging myself, but a little. I am starting to feel really boxed in by the monthly TBRs. I have these moments where I just really want to pick up something that isn’t on my monthly TBR, and it feels like I’m failing when I’m not finishing my TBR. I have to finish my current TBR or the obsessive part of me will have a panic attack and trap the other part of me. So I’m going to finish my TBR, in theory, and then in August I will read what I want. It’s not scary, or it is.

One reason I’m cutting out the monthly TBR is that I want to read more classics, and I don’t read them as fast as other books, I need more time, and I get sort of panic-y when I don’t finish things inside schedule. Which isn’t good. So I’m cutting myself some slack on the time constraints when it comes to classics.

I also want to expand my horizons, which is why I want to read classics, because they’re such a huge part of history, and they’re a big part of the conversation and just the common memory, and it’s nice to be able to be part of the conversation.

I also feel like I’ve been sort of scared to read classics, because what if I don’t get them? What if I just don’t understand? Because I tend to read books in English, which is my second language, and also, Classics aren’t just English, they’re complicated friggin English, Cassics take longer. Also, I should learn to write better sentences.

I have been a book snob in a different way from Conrad. Not exactly a snob I’d say, more like a, I don’t even know the word. I’ve been very; I don’t want to read that type of book (contemporary, literary fiction, crime) because it’s not the thing I like (which is Fantasy). I really want to break out of that mind set, because I’m obviously cutting myself off from a lot of great books.

This is kind of slap dash and all over the place, by the way, but my thoughts aren’t very structured today. I also, because I am a crazy person, make a lot of lists and quantify my life, and my reading life, because I enjoy that. In these lists I discovered that most of the authors I read are English/British or American. So that’s diverse and exciting. So I would also like to change that, and try to read authors from other countries.

So in conclusion I will challenge myself, whatever that means, and at the same time cut out the monthly TBRs and try to read more classics, and all that hullaballoo.