The readership loves your end-of-post stats! Have you always tracked how long it took you to finish a book, etc., or did you start that for CBR?
I started tracking how long it took me to read a book several years ago. Goodreads makes it very simple for me to track all of my books, even when I started and finished reading based on when I update my progress in a book. Before Goodreads, I used a good old pen and paper, and I have tracked every book I have read since the eighth grade! Participating in CBR helps me remember what I read since I attempt to write a thoughtful review.
On the rotation of CBR Q&A questions, there’s one about how many chapters you give a book before you give up on it. Judging by your reviews of the Queen of Shadows series (“the long slog continues”), you never give up. Do you get invested even if you don’t like it? Why keep going with the series if it’s a slog?
I finish about 90% of the books I start these days. Even series that are maddening like the Throne of Glass, which has severe highs and lows. Even though that series is frustrating the heck out of me, I am a completest at heart. The Throne of Glass series has a great “big bad” and mysterious evil component, so I am keeping my fingers crossed for a significant payoff in the end. Unfortunately, I think I might be disappointed! It’s too bad, as I loved the author’s second series.
Several years ago, I forced myself to start abandoning books. My new rule is that I give up on a book if it hasn’t grabbed me by 20% of the way into it (I read by kindle almost exclusively). I gave up on a few books last year, but featured them on my Instagram stories to crowdsource whether or not I gave up too early! My biggest regret for not finishing is Normal People by Sally Rooney. It didn’t grab me at first, and then my library hold ran out, so I never finished it. But my friends told me to read it immediately, and the Bookstagram community solidly agrees. I’ll get to it someday!
How many times have you participated in CBR? Has it changed the way you read?
I tried to participate in CBR a few times. Last year I stopped reviewing books halfway through the year, but I did end up reading 55 books last year! Here’s to hoping I keep up with my reviews, though I am already two reviews behind!
CBR has not changed the way I read, but it has enhanced the way I read. I like posting my reviews as part of this community. After I post my review, I check the CBR website to see what other people thought about the book. It’s fascinating to see how much I like something, but others disliked it.
What was the first childhood favorite you read over and over until the cover fell off?
Oh man, I don’t know if I can remember! I am sure my copies of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe were in tatters. I read everything by John Bellairs as a kid, and I remember those paperbacks getting worn. However, my mother was a school librarian, so I read a lot of books from the library! She would have killed me if I wore a book out or tore the cover. I learned at a very young age to treat books with respect.
Which do you find easier to write, a 5-star or a 1-star review?
To date, I have not written a 1-star review. I am very picky about my book selections. I created a special notes section in my Goodreads so I can track whom my book recommendations come from, and get a sense of who is recommending me books that I love. And who is telling me to read crappy books! But to answer your question, I find it easier to write a bad review panning a book than a glowing 5-star review. Giving books five stars feels like the highest praise, and sometimes as I write the review, I realize maybe I didn’t like the book as much as I thought I did, and I rethink my rating. But when you have a terrible book, you know you have a bad book!
What’s the first book that made you cry?
Probably The Dark is Rising series by Susan Cooper. That book made a giant impression on me as a kid. The books were very intense, yet I remember so little about them now. Number the Stars by Lois Lowry and The Power of One by Bruce Courtenay are strong contenders for tears. I read a lot of “older” books at a very young age as I spent many weekends at my mom’s library, so I probably cried a lot at things I didn’t understand!
As someone who frequently posts pics of her tuxedo cat, I want to hear about your bio picture! Is that your darling?
Yes! My tuxedo cat is named Bianca, and she values her personal space. I have another cat, a giant orange tabby named Peter, who thinks he is a dog. And then I have an actual dog, a lovely black lab named Daphne. It’s quite the menagerie at our house, but they make excellent reading buddies.