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the search for my favorite book

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I like to think I know myself very well as a reader. I like to think I have an intuitive instinct when choosing books. I read a variety of things, and I like to think I can enjoy any genre if I'm up for it. But despite what I might think, I am not a book wizard by any standard. I can't pull the perfect book out of thin air, but whenever I pick up a new book to read, I always expect it to become a new favorite. I never decide to read books I know I'll hate just for fun (I've heard of people who do this... just why?). But unfortunately, despite my efforts to only read books I know I will love, it doesn't always work out the way I expect, and I frequently end up disappointed.

When I was younger it seemed like every other book I was able to finish somehow made the cut to my list of favorites. Back when I was reading things like The Lord of the Rings, Watership Down, A Wrinkle in Time, Ella Enchanted, and The Witch of Blackbird Pond. But as I've grown older and more mature in my reading, and as I've read more and more books, it has become increasingly harder for me to find books that I can enthusiastically recommend to others as new all time favorites. I've read a lot of books I like and that I definitely think other people would like as well, I've just noticed that it's becoming difficult for books to break through and completely blow me away.

In the past several months I have read a lot more than I have in a long long time. I'm excited and passionate about reading again. However, none of the many many books I've read recently have lingered in my mind or have changed the way I think or process things. None have left me wrecked and desperately wanting more. I've enjoyed most of them and I'm glad I've read them, but there was no spark and no WOW reaction as I finished them.

I'm constantly comparing and ranking everything I read against my old favorites. Sometimes I worry that I might never find another book that will make me feel the same as others have made me feel. It's sad and discouraging at times. But for some reason or other I keep reading. I keep adding new books to my TBR. I keep following new authors.
I keep searching for new favorites because I know that they're out there somewhere. You never know when a book you pick up will surprise you and teach you something new and blow your mind. I'm on a continuing search for a new favorite book. It's a search that never ends, even after I find one. But that's what I love about reading.

16 comments

  1. I feel the same way! Just the other day I was thinking, when's the last time I read a book so amazing that I would call it a new favorite? It is disappointing because, like you, I feel like I understand pretty well what I like and what I don't. It's not that I'm reading books I hate...it's just that they're ones I like rather than love.

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    1. It's extremely disappointing! Especially when you think you know yourself as a reader, but then can't find anything that sweeps you off your feet.

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  2. I'm always trying to find new books, too. It's hard. But I know there have to be some really fantastic ones out there somewhere.

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    1. There aways is. It just takes treasure hunting to find them sometimes.

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  3. I agree with this-- I remember getting recommended All the Light We Cannot See and Eliza and her Monsters, and while I liked those books, I didn't love them. I think may it's also because our society has overused the word "good" and "love" that just describing the books with those two descriptors isn't just enough, perhaps? I don't know. But the search never ends, and while it does see tiring, the journey in this case is what makes it worth it.

    xoxo Abigail Lennah | ups & downs

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    1. That's exactly how I felt with All the Light We Cannot See! I was so sure I would love it based on what other people said. And I did like it, but I wasn't blown away by it's beauty. It didn't leave any lingering feelings of awe like I though it would. It was so conflicting. So glad I'm not alone!

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  4. Love this so much!!
    ~Ev
    http://homeandtheheartlandd.blogspot.com.au

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  5. Too relatable. I'm also such a picky reader. I only have two authors - Holly Smale and Harper Lee! I have given so many half stars ever since I've started reviewing books. However, I've given some more four stars this year. But some of those just managed to make it.

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    1. I'm so happy you felt like you could relate. It can be a big struggle. And I've been giving so many half stars too. Some books can be so conflicting!

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  6. Ahh I totally agree! It's so weird how tastes in stories can change. I used to be a giant fan of medieval fantasy with princesses and dragons, but now? Eh. I don't know what turned me off, but my preferences have shifted, and I've moved on to different things. Kind of like life, I suppose. It's weird. *shrugs*

    katie grace
    a writer's faith

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    1. Same! I have really evolved in my reading tastes throughout the years. It's not a bad thing, but it's interesting to look back on how much I've changed.

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  7. ASDFGHJKDFJLSKFJ I LOVE THESE THOUGHTS OMG <3 I feel SO MUCH THE SAME. I have a really hard time rating books 5-stars because of this...like...there are only a SMALL SMALL HANDFUL of 5-star books I've encountered. But you never know what book is waiting for you out there and will blow you away and ugh I love that thought I love how you put this into words!!

    rock on,
    abbiee

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    1. It's so so hard to know when a book is a 5 star read or not. I hate being a stingy reader/reviewer, but a 5 star read has to be special. Right?

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  8. This is basically my LIFE STORY RN... Omg, it's so hard to find books like these anymore. I find it hard to read sometimes because everything seems so hackneyed and old, and it's rare to find something that keeps me fascinated, much less changes my life and my world view. But I completely agree, it's not worth giving up. The search for the perfect book continues!

    xoxo
    Lizzy

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    1. Ahhh yes! The disappointment can make it hard to pick up a book, but it's important to fight through and remember your love for reading despite all the less-than-perfect books out there.

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