My reading choices make me feel unsophisticated

Last night I was looking at the list of challenges for the Around the World in 52 Books Challenge, and one of the challenges was to read a book from the Rory Gilmore Challenge. This challenge is comprised of 339 books which Rory (or other characters) read or talked about in the show, Gilmore Girls. I found a link to a “quiz” which asked you which books you had read and gave you a score at the end. Turns out I’ve only read 20 something of those books. Out of 339 books, I’ve only read 20 and I’m pretty sure the only reason I read them was because of school. Going into the “quiz” I knew I wasn’t going to get a very high score, but it was still a little shocking.

I’m very aware of how unsophisticated my reading choices are. I enjoy middle grade more than anything. Crime and Punishment bored me to tears. Earnest Hemingway is my least favorite author ever and I will never ever touch another one of his books again. And I’m pretty sure Catcher in the Rye is still one of my favorite books simply because I haven’t read it since high school. I’m pretty aware, and it had never bothered me that much before until recently. I have always thought about reading more of the “smart” books, but I always just go back to what I like. I think it’s time I improve myself, to truly learn something from what I read. Reading for me has always been something I enjoy, and sure, sometimes I learn some very important things, but I don’t necessarily use books as a tool to improve. Reading is mostly just fun.

I want to have intelligent conversations about the things I read, but how can I if I don’t read anything that truly stimulates me, makes me question myself or makes me see the world differently?

Perhaps I’m just thinking too much. Maybe it’s OK to just read for fun and nothing more. I mean, I do the same thing with movies, I don’t watch movies to learn something about life. I’d rather just live and learn and leave the movies for entertainment purposes only. But maybe I’m doing it all wrong.

I don’t know. Maybe I’m going through a quarter life reading crisis.

Do you strive to read books you can learn from or do you read books that will simply entertain you?


19 thoughts on “My reading choices make me feel unsophisticated

  1. Honestly, i used to think the same until one day i stopped and asked myself ‘who am i reading for?’ – since the answer was me, i decided i should read things that interest me, never mind if others think those books are less than the classics and such, because hey, i’m reading so i can have fun and imagine different worlds, why should i be reading something that bores me?? there are amazing middle grade books and you can learn a lot from them too, and even if you don’t learn anything, it doesn’t matter, does it? i mean, come on, reading shouldn’t be a burden, reading is for fun πŸ™‚

    Liked by 4 people

    • I agree! I think reading should be fun and if it’s ever a burden then what you’re reading is not for you. But I do sometimes wonder if I should strive for more. I don’t think I’ll ever stop reading middle grade though. They’re just too good! Thank you for your input!

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I think that if it would make you happy to read the “smart” books, go for it. Maybe you’ll end up enjoying them. But if it starts to feel like work rather than fun, or you know you’ll hate it, don’t.

    You should what you want, for whatever reason you want.

    Screw what other people think.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. If you want to, I’d suggest looking up “classics” that match other books you like. Like if you enjoy YA romance, you could start reading Jane Austen. If you like YA dystopia, read Brave New World or 1984. That way you are still giving it a shot, but not forcing yourself to read something you really don’t want to read (which is never good!). Very thoughtful post! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 3 people

  4. i think you can learn from *all* books, regardless of what type of book they are. even if you’re not learning something more academic, you gain more and more insight into human nature with everything you read. And most authors have philosophical messages they want to send, even if they’re writing childrens, middle grade, and ya. so i think you’re never not learning when you read!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I just live by the thought that reading anything at all is better than nothing. I hate the fact that people feel like they have to read classics in order to feel intelligent, especially when you learn from every book you read, whether you realize it or not. I did used to want to read classics to feel sophisticated, but now I just think I’d rather read them when I’m in the mood for it, not just because I feel like I have to, because then I won’t enjoy it. I do have a few waiting on my shelf, but I’ll read them when I want to, rather than because other people might judge me for not reading them. If you’re wanting to get into classics though, on Amazon the Wordsworth editions are only Β£1.99, so you can choose a few and if you don’t like them, it’s not too much of a loss πŸ™‚

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  6. It’s good that you are motivated to have more intelligent conversations about fiction you have read. I think book clubs and taking English courses that allow you to evaluate novels with a critical eye and will allow you to hold the conversations you wish to hold. For my understanding, elaborate more on what you mean by intelligent conversations. What is your motivation for that? Did you want to discuss the themes a novel had? How the author characterized their characters? The break down on their plot and whether or not it was done well?

    Honestly, read how you want to read. If you like reading novels for fun, go for it. I think being in a book club will help you practice holding conversations about books. Sure a book blog helps, but how many people have you talked to on your blog where you and the others carefully break down a novel you have read in terms of characters, themes, or plot?

    In order to critically discuss novels, you first have to find novels that are in-depth. Trying to have an in-depth discussion on say a novel like “Sally goes to the market,” wouldn’t work, compared to novels like Harry Potter, To Kill a Mockingbird, and other novels like that. Pick and choose your battle. Those are just my thoughts on the matter. I also have the same motivations, but I’m not overly concerned about it. I’m in a book club so it helps when we discuss details on the novels.

    Liked by 1 person

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