Abandoning Books, TBR Lists, and Other Reading Miscellany

These posts are always fun to pull together. I love to read and, it appears, many others in the world do too. Plus the “quirks” surrounding reading habits can be downright fascinating (and polarizing – like the fact my father often reads the end of a book…first).

Here is another assortment of reading miscellany I’ve been pondering lately.

Do You have a reading schedule/plan?

I do not maintain a To-Be-Read (TBR) list. For a few years I categorized books as Want to Read on Goodreads but now, if I’m interested in a book, I just go ahead and put it on hold at the library. If it’s not compelling enough to order right away, I don’t keep it on my radar.

While in principle I think it sounds great to have a TBR list, I’m just too lazy (?) to keep track of another list, and enjoy the serendipity of ordering things as they cross my radar.

If I have too many books of interest vying for my attention, I suspend a subset of holds so I don’t have a huge influx at once.

(Also, the new integrated library system in my area has resulted in an overhaul of the online ordering platform and it is very easy to mark books as “Save for Later.” I still don’t consider this an official TBR list since there is no advance planning of what I’ll read/when.)

do you envision a character’s appearance?

I often finish books without generating a clear image of the main characters. At all. Despite repeated passages devoted to defining characteristics, I might have no idea by the end if the main character is tall or short, blonde or brunette (I know Anne of Green Gables has red hair, of course; more on Anne below). When I read Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi – a book loaded with rich descriptions – I didn’t have a single character fully formed in my mind.

Then there is Dirk Pitt. If one series of books were to capture my reading patterns as a teenager, they would be these Clive Cussler classics. My Dad had an entire shelf full of Dirk Pitt novels (with any swear words scratched out, which only made me more determined to find out what was being said). I had a clear picture in my mind of what Dirk Pitt (and Al Giordino) looked and sounded like. Then I saw the character portrayed by Matthew McConaughey in Sahara and never enjoyed the books nearly as much after that point. Matthew McConaughey did not match up with my character visualization of Dirk Pitt (nor did Steve Zahn or Penélope Cruz).

Now Anne (from Anne of Green Gables) looks, without a doubt, exactly like Meghan Follows. I watched the movies before I read the books and have such a clear picture of Anne as Meghan.

Atticus Finch is Gregory Peck.

But then Laura Ingalls is not Melissa Gilbert; Pa is not Michael Landon – for Little House on the Prairie books, my visualizations are based entirely on the Garth Williams illustrations.

I don’t have a concrete picture of Pollyanna or the Count from A Gentleman in Moscow (though Anna looks exactly like Cate Blanchett) or Jane Eyre. I’ve read The Boxcar Children a dozen times, but have no idea what Henry, Jessie, Violet or Benny look like.

musical connections to books

This might seem weird, but I have distinct musical memories tied to several books.

Nancy Drew = Clair de Lune. I have no idea why this connection exists; perhaps I was reading an especially memorable Nancy Drew book when this song was playing? Every time I hear this song it makes me think of Nancy Drew (and, by virtue, my entire childhood).

Here’s a more unsettling connection. The Christmas song Up on the Housetop reminds me of Richard Ramirez. As in the American serial killer. In high school, I read a book about Ramirez. In July. When I happened to get a new Christmas CD and listened to it on repeat. (Still in July.) It was the first time I had heard Up on the Housetop, so it is forever linked with that specific reading memory. Needless to say, Up On The Housetop does not get much airtime in my house.

She Will Be Loved (Maroon 5) = Harry Potter. When I was in high school, Saturday afternoons were spent listening to Casey Kasem’s countdown and reading Harry Potter. And She Will Be Loved was on…a lot. Hence the link.

Home (Michael Buble) = Animal Physiology. I used to sit on my bedroom window seat at Dot’s and study while the radio played. When Home was a big hit, I was taking Animal Physiology (and other courses too; I’m not sure why the link was formed between this song and Animal Physiology). To this day if I hear the song I feel slightly anxious, like I’ve forgotten a term paper deadline.

abandoning books

I recently went through a rough patch with books and ended up abandoning several of the worst offenders. I used to record these as DNF (Did Not Finish) in my reading spreadsheet, but lately I’ve stopped using that tracking system and have just relied on Goodreads where I only rate/record books I finish.

I’m much more likely to stop reading a book now than I was in previous years…but I still skim most books to the end. (I don’t count books that I have ordered, brought home, and decide right away are not a good fit as DNF. Those are “Did Not Start” and I just put them right back in the bag of returns for the library.)

books I wish I’D written

Modern Fiction: A Gentleman in Moscow, The Dutch House

Classic Fiction: Anne of Green Gables, Jane Eyre, To Kill a Mockingbird, The Swiss Family Robinson

YA Fiction: The Boxcar Children (my kids favourite book), Because of Winn-Dixie, All-of-a-Kind-Family, Harry Potter, The Trolley Car Family (my favourite children’s book)

Non-fiction: The Happiness Project (this book changed my life), Unbroken (Laura Hillenbrand is an incredible writer; her personal story is equally captivating)

Picture books: All the good ones. Seriously. I love picture books and think truly gifted authors/illustrators are creative geniuses.

Any reading habit you’d like to change

This isn’t a habit, per se, but I do wish I could retain more information about fiction. I tend to forget the plots and characters very quickly. Some of this is because I skim, perhaps, but mostly it’s just how I’m wired. I do the same thing with movies. I could literally watch a Marvel movie one night and the next morning forget major plot elements. It’s a bit shameful. I’d be worried about my memory, but I have an excellent recall for many other things, so it’s simply not something I prioritize. But I do feel jealous when friends and family quote lines from movies or books at length.

Maybe this is part of the reason I feel compelled copy down so many quotes from books (though I already tend to remember specific quotes/concepts from non-fiction books much more readily than fiction)?

I love reader responses on these posts, so please share all the details about your quirks! What book(s) do you wish you’d written? Do you follow a specific reading list/plan? Any surprising musical links to books about serial killers?

PS: Do You Read the Last Chapter First? And Other Questions for Readers… + Do You Judge a Book By Its Cover (I Do) + More Questions for Readers

Header photo by Konstantin Dyadyun on Unsplash

37 thoughts on “Abandoning Books, TBR Lists, and Other Reading Miscellany”

  1. Ooh I could read and talk about reading habits all day long!

    My Amazon wish list is my very loose TBR, and I pull a few from that list regularly and reserve them at the library. I always have around 10-20 books I’m waiting on from the library.

    I don’t consciously picture characters as I read, and I really prefer less description than a lot.

    A Gentleman in Moscow seems to be getting a lot of press right now. A friend texted me about it this weekend, saying she wanted to highlight basically all of it, and hubby read it recently too.

    I am still in a DNF phase and am a little annoyed that my May reading list will be shorter than normal because I’ve had a few books I’ve spent a day or two on and then abandoned. Ah!

    Here’s the most curious thing about my reading habits: a topic I’m very pulled towards is fishing communities. I have no interest in fishing in real life and have never lived in a fishing community, but anything involving a fishing community and I’m there. I think this perhaps is linked to Snow Falling on Cedars which I read and loved in school.

    1. I buy so few books, but an Amazon wish-list would be so similar to a library holds list; this hadn’t even crossed my mind, but now seems so obvious!
      I really enjoyed A Gentleman in Moscow, but didn’t finish Rules of Civility (I did like The Lincoln Highway, but it received mixed feedback).

      There must be something in the water – everyone seems to be struggling to find good books right now! It is annoying.

  2. Yes, I could talk about reading all day too!
    I used to have an actual TBR list, but nowadays I’m doing more like what you do- I hear about a book that interests me and just put a library hold on it. Sometimes It’s a bit impulsive, and when I get the email from the library telling me my book is in, I can’t even remember what it is or why I wanted to read it. It makes for some fun surprises.
    No, I don’t think I associate any books with music- it’s interesting that you do. And I usually do have a vague idea in my mind what the characters look like- not too detailed, but just tall, short, blond, dark, etc.
    You mentioned some of my favorite books from childhood- All of a Kind Family. I loved those SO MUCH! To the point of where I still think of them, fairly frequently. I should really re-read those- it would be so much fun. Also another series of books by Noel Streatfeild, the “shoe” books- have you read those? If not, you should! I also loved those and still think about them. “Ballet Shoes” was my favorite.

    1. Yes to the surprises/not remembering why I ordered a book. I’d say at least 50% of the books I don’t remember ordering…but there was always something that spurred me on.
      Sounds like a generalized mental image is quite common here; I’m surprised – I thought I might be an odd-one-out that doesn’t have a clear picture in mind of the main characters.
      I haven’t ever heard of Noel Streatfeild and just put a hold on Ballet Shoes at my library (I promise I’ll remember, when this book comes in, that it was because of a recommendation from you that I ordered it)!

        1. Wow! Who knew. I’m excited to read the book and I’ll try to remember to highlight my thoughts on the blog. Thanks again for the recommendation 🙂

  3. I also put a lot of books on my library “for later” shelf, and I think I have about 120 on there right now. I put things on hold and when they come in I read them in that order. Sometimes, if I have many books from the library, I will strategically read them in order depending on which ones I can renew and which I can’t.

    As for books I wish I had written, I don’t have any but I do have writers that I deeply admire and wish I could write like: EM Delafield, David Sedaris, Elizabeth Strout, Alice Munro, Margaret Atwood.

    1. I do the same thing about reading order often based on whether it’s a popular book that can’t be renewed.

  4. I do use the Goodreads Want to Read list. I actually love it! I have the app on my phone and for some reason I find that to be my preferred way to quickly add a book I hear about. I have over 100 books on that list, and I like browsing it when I make my “books to read this year” list. Some I might end up removing, later, but I like to just have a place to dump things I’ve heard about.

    I 100% envision character’s appearances. They aren’t always firm, full pictures- but it’s like this vague, yet also clear, image. Hard to explain. I do this with people’s voices, too- I always have a bit of an “idea” of what I think people will sound like. Even, um, you! And I’ve never heard you talk. I was a bit horrified recently when I realized that I had this “voice” in my head for Katie of Law and Creative, but it was an American accent!!! hahaha!!! And she’s British!! LOL! I laughed out loud when I had this realization. hehe. I am sure she sounds absolutely nothing like what I was envisioning. Who knows where I get these ideas. 🙂

    I generally never abandon books. But I am feeling LESS averse to this, lately. So I think I could, if I needed to. Maybe. 😉

    I love your list of “Books I wish I’d written”. Totally agree on A Gentlemand in Moscow and I also LOVED Unbroken. so much!!! (Did you know there’s a YA version? Your kids, or at least Abby, would like it I bet. Ethan loved it.)

    Reading habit to change….hmm. I’m with you on just wishing I could retain more. I also think I’d like to have a better “system” for recording quotes, interesting tidbits, etc. I need to look back at your post on this. I’ve tried keeping a notebook and jotting notes, but this never seems to work unless I’m sitting and reading at a table. Which, I’m often not. (sitting and reading in my glider isn’t very conducive to writing in a notebook- just doesn’t work!) So there are many times I read something, I wish I could record it, but don’t have a great way to do so….so I’m usually like, ehh, forget it…. I also have a bunch of random notes in various notebooks, half started/ incomplete. So I guess that’s the biggest area I’d like to “fix”. I love the idea of having notes for EVERY BOOK on my computer, but I’m not sure how to implement that. I think you said you use those little stick on flags? and then type up notes after. Maybe I could try that.

    1. I have done the same thing with people’s voices before; that one always throws me because sometimes people’s voices are SO much higher than I imagined. I read a blog for years of someone in Texas – when I heard her voice for the first time on her podcast it was so strange because she had such a strong accent and I think I envisioned her voice as sounding…like mine? Or you get an idea of what someone looks like based on their voice (say, in listening to a podcast) and then you see a picture. It can be such a weird experience.
      I think I did know there was a YA version of Unbroken; you’re right, Abby might like it! Laura Hillenbrand is such an incredible writer (Seabiscuit was good, too, but I think Unbroken was just incredibly well-written). I should re-read that book again soon. It’s one I own!
      I do use the stick on flags; when I finish a book, I go through and type up all the quotes (which I’ve marked with those flags). I have a single document (but with subcategories) where I put all the quotes.

  5. I use the Goodreads Want to Read category as my TBR but I am terrible about maintaining it. I just add every book that sounds good and then they just sit there. I guess my husband sometimes used it for gift ideas?

    One reading habit/shortcoming I would change is my ability to focus on and process dense non-fiction. There is so much non-fiction I want to read but I get bored and simply give up.

    1. I’m not a fan of dense non-fiction and I definitely skim/give up. I guess the density depends on whether I actually find it interesting too. I’m trying to allow myself more freedom to just…like what I like and not worry about what I don’t like. If that makes any sense. I know there are some very popular non-fiction books out there that capture other people’s attention, but that doesn’t mean they have to capture mine.
      As I mentioned, I have gotten a lot “gentler” with myself about abandoning books. And I tell myself I can always revisit the book at a later date (and have actually done this – picked up an abandoned book several years later and it was now the “right” time to read it).

      1. Yes, it totally makes sense. And I definitely try to grant myself that freedom too. But sometimes — like when someone recommends a book that they loved, or when I see a book I feel like I “should” read — I really wish I could just FORCE MYSELF to power through, you know? I think I am a lazy reader, LOL. I spent six years of college/grad school forcing myself to read texts I wasn’t necessarily interested in, and that was IT.

        1. Definitely understand both points (a recommendation + something I think I “should” read and/or “should” enjoy) and I do this a lot!

  6. Since I was a kid I have always envisioned the setting of a book as either being my parents house or either of my grandparents homes. To this day I still always picture one of those 3 houses as the setting of the book, usually without realizing I’m doing it. I’ve always wondered if other people do that! It’s weird too, because my grandparents moved when I was pretty young, but it’s still their original house that I picture. 🙂

    1. That IS so cool. I don’t think I’ve ever envisioned the plot of a book unfolding at a location I know well but this makes so much sense and absolutely fascinating 🙂

  7. Ooh, I could talk about books all day, too! Reading is such a huge passion for me!
    – I used to use the TBR shelf more on goodreads, but now I use a reading tracker that has a TBR tab and that has helped me prioritize my reading more. I almost exclusively read ebooks so I am limited to the 15 I can request at a time… although I am considering signing Paul up for a library card and using his ebook holds! For a reading plan, it’s based on what my book club is reading and what books become available at the library. I also have a list of books in the libby aps and some are immediately available, so if I need something to read, I go to that list.
    – I do not envision characters either! Although I am afraid to watch movie adaptations because while I don’t envision the characters, there is a chance the person cast conflicts with my vague idea of what the person would look like!
    – I do abandon books and feel like it’s an important thing to do because not every book is for every person and life is too short to read a book that isn’t for me!
    – And, like you, I wish I retained more from books. I try to read book club books fairly close to the meeting so I have a chance of remembering more. I think for me the volume of books I read is part of the problem of not retaining them.

    Also, I am glad to hear that your kids like The Boxcar Children books. I have great memories of reading those books as a child. I gifted one to my Godson and he didn’t like it/wasn’t interested! So I was worried my kids wouldn’t like them!

    1. You read so many books! I’m really interested how many people have mentioned not having a clear picture in mind of the characters. I’m quite shocked as I thought I’d be an “outsider” on this point.
      Life is too short to read books that aren’t the right fit. Couldn’t agree more. The only thing that holds me back is a sense of FOMO – like I’m missing something getting way better (I do sometimes skip to the end of a book though to see how it ends, especially if I know I’m not going to read the book). It’s harder to do with non-fiction and that makes me feel more guilty. Though, in general, if I don’t like it by about page 50, chances are, I’m not going to like it by page 250 either.

      We LOVE the Boxcar Children. We own a huge stack and these are the #1 audiobooks the kids listen to. I would say they’ve listened to at least 100 different Boxcar Children books. They’re such gentle mysteries…love, love The Boxcar Children (especially the 1st book – it’s out favourite – but then the rest of the many, many books that followed).

  8. I do have a long list of “want to read” on Goodreads, just because it’s a way of saving books (especially before they are published) BUT I almost never look at it because I use basically the same system you do – the library holds. I push them back if I’m not ready to take on another book now (my kindle is on airplane mode right now because I have 3 books I need to read before they expire!). I also use the ‘wish list’ function on the library holds if a book is available now but I can’t read it yet OR if I’m out of holds (frequently happens). I don’t do any lists and just go with what I’m feeling at the moment. I don’t typically DNF but I have in the past – what I tend to do instead is just skim (even more so than I usually do!!!) so at least I know what happens. I’m SLOGGING through Sarah J Maas’s latest (A House of Sky & Breath) right now and I just…. don’t know if I can do it. I read the first one in the series and didn’t love it so I’m not sure why I even tried this one. Sometimes 2nd books are an improvement though! We’ll see.

    I do generally pictures people in my head when reading, and then if those books are ever made into movies/TV, it’s never quite right. I have a hard time with fantasy/sci fi books because I just can’t make my brain form the right images.

    I’ve never really thought about what books I wish I’d written! I don’t think any part of me has ever desired to write a book, and it sounds quite tedious to me (despite LOVING reading them!) so I guess, nothing!

    1. Yes to the skimming very quickly; I do completely abandon some books (but often right when I get them home and might only read the inside of the cover + a page or two). But for fiction, particularly, I will skim the end at the very least.

  9. I have several sources of books that I pull from, but I don’t have a TBR per se. I am doing the Pop Sugar Reading Challenge, so I like to have a couple books that meet the criteria for those prompts, a romance novel, and a book or two from a list of best fantasy books by women authors. I also have my book club book most months. That seems to keep me pretty well set with books, especially if I get a recommendation from a blog or podcast and add that to the pile. I admire people who just have all their book recs in one place, but I’m not that person. I’ve tried to keep a TBR spreadsheet in the past, but I was never near a computer when I wanted to add books and I just stopped updating it.

    I’m so jealous of fantasy authors who can create whole world in their minds and then can share those worlds in an immersive way. Robin Hobb’s Realm of the Elderlings saga is my best example of this. The worldbuilding and character development are just so brilliant. I wish I’d written it, but, at the same time, I am so glad I have had that reading experience.

    1. I definitely don’t have the knack for fiction writing; the brilliance of some authors is incredible (and, of course, the best authors make it seem so easy…which it’s not!).
      I keep forgetting about people who belong to book clubs. That’s a steady stream of obligatory reads and an important consideration in terms of someone maintaining a reading list. The structure of a book club sounds nice, though it would make me slightly grumpy, I think, if there were a string of books I didn’t like. Though getting to grump about them in front of a group might make it worth it?

  10. I’m in a similar boat with you, I feel better about abandoning books now than few years ago. life is short and reading is a hobby not a chore. 🙂 I also tend to forget fiction plots quickly unless it’s something really memorable, which is okay.

    1. “A hobby not a chore” – what a great articulation, Coco. Sometimes it can feel like an obligation or a chore (especially if it has come recommended) but, really, most of the time we’re reading for pleasure and need to give ourselves permission to stop when…it’s no longer a pleasure!

  11. I like the idea of tracking what I have read with a sentence or two about the book. I also wish I remembered fiction and non-fiction more than I do. I finished Oona Out of Order and really enjoyed it. It was staying with me for a few days but then that just fades. I have so much I would love to read and need to have a better system. I think being more proactive, that when I hear of good book recommendations that I put holds on them before that also gets forgotten. Forgetting seems to be a theme for me here!

  12. Your music associations are so interesting! Up on the Housetop sounds so eerie associated with a serial killer; imagine a movie scene with something really dark going on and this cheerful Christmas music playing. Yikes!

    I often have a very vivid picture in my head while reading, but mostly involving the setting and any natural elements mentioned. I usually picture the light and the colors rather than faces, except in a few cases. Some of L.M. Montgomery’s characters have clear physical characteristics in my mind, not only the Anne characters who all look like the actors in the Sullivan films. I agree Megan Follows is Anne, Gregory Peck is Atticus Finch and Jeremy Brett is Sherlock Holmes.

    1. Ha. I hadn’t even thought about the music being a “soundtrack” of sorts to the book. That would be extra creepy.

      Jeremy Brett as Sherlock Holmes; how did I miss that one?! I really should re-watch that series again. Sherlock Holmes has always been – and forever will be – Jeremy Brett.

  13. I am not sure I have ever made a list of books that I have read or want to read, apart from a year at primary school when we wrote book reviews of all the books we read, that was probably the last time I read a lot of books in one year. I love reading, I am slow and steady and read about 5 or 6 books in a year almost all non-fiction. I have pretty much given up on fiction as it is really rare for me to find a book I even want to read let alone finish. My local library does not cater for me as a reader I have come to the conclusion, like you I don’t to buy many of the books I read, most of what I read throughout the year is birthday and Christmas presents when I ask for lots of books!.

    My association with music tends to be memories rather than books although I do remember listening to books with my mother, this was in the days before podcasts and downloadable audio books although they were probably available on cassette tape. They were on the radio and I would sit and listen with her on a Sunday afternoon whilst she did the ironing, I know I listened to several books that were probably way beyond what I would have been able to read at a that age. They were different actors for each character but they were true to the book, it was an audio of the dialogue with a narrator reading the contextual paragraphs. I listened to the Lord of the Rings in that format too.

    1. I’m not much of a fiction reader either. I love that you’re so intentional about your choices and I suspect you retain a lot more information than I do by processing the books more slowly.
      My kids love audiobooks; I can’t remember if I listened to books on tape as a kid, but I loved listening to short (1-hour type) dramatized stories with music we had growing up. I listened to them almost daily!

  14. I love thinking about these things, even if I’m a couple of days late! (Just recently rejoining the internet, ha.) Especially visualizing characters from books; my most visceral disagreement with movie/TV adaptation of characters by far is Melissa Gilbert and Michael Landon in the Little House series. I don’t particularly like the TV series much for a variety of other reasons anyway, but the “wrong” appearance of the characters was definitely a very large nail in its coffin for me. (The books directly mention Pa’s beard, potentially more than once, if memory serves! Why on Earth would they make TV-Pa clean-shaven?) Oddly, though, I felt pretty neutral towards whoever played Ma – I didn’t have nearly as distinct a mental image for Ma, and the actress was close enough that she didn’t bother me.

    A weird one for me is the Harry Potter series – I definitely read at least some of the books before ever seeing the movies, and I must have had mental images for at least some of the characters, but I have to admit that I’ve lost them completely: the actors are now inextricably linked with the characters’ appearances even when I read the books now. The same for The Secret Garden (90s version) – I can’t picture Mary, Colin and Dickon any other way than the kids in that movie, now. I actually have resisted watching any Anne of Green Gables screen versions because I’m worried that Matthew and Marilla and Gilbert and Diana and, of course, Anne won’t look the way I expect them to.

    About the Boxcar children, I haven’t read them in a while (though looking forward to sharing them with my child/children!) but I definitely always pictured them based on the front cover of one of the books. Maybe the first one, I think. I considered them my personal friends when I was in elementary school, and deeply wished a boxcar would just magically show up in my yard.

    1. I completely agree; I also feel like “Ma” – played by Karen Grassle – fits my idea of the Garth William’s illustrations. Pa definitely DOES NOT.
      Hmmm. I can’t remember what I pictured for Harry Potter before seeing the movies; now I certainly picture Daniel R as Harry (etcetera for every character, really). For Dumbledore, I picture the original actor (Richard Harris, who sadly died very early in the series production).

      I’ve never watched The Secret Garden movie!
      Oh – the Anne movies are SOOOOO good. No pressure to watch them, but they are such wonderful films and I HIGHLY recommend the first two. <3

      The Boxcar Children books are magical; especially that first one, but my kids love them all. I suspect Abby and Levi will look back on The Boxcar Children being the defining series of their childhood (mine was Nancy Drew).

  15. This was super-fun to read.
    I definitely picture characters in books (even if their appearance has been kept very vague). I have a vivid imagination and can you usually see full scenes in my head. Even if the image of a character is not crystal-clear in my head, I can easily say in a screen adaptation if the actor who was picked for the role was a “fit” or not. I sometimes don’t want to see a movie adaptation for that very reason.

    I am not very good at quoting books or remembering a lot of plot details. I have started books and only realized halfway through that I had read the book before. (Now that I am keeping track of my reading list, it doesn’t happen so frequently anymore.)

    1. I have done the same thing (about starting a book and it taking longer than I’d like to admit for me to remember – Oh, I’ve actually read this already)!

  16. I love when you do these posts!

    As I wrote about on my blog, I *do* have a reading schedule/plan and it’s rather ridiculous, ha. It’s VERY involved, requiring multiple spreadsheets and lists. I want to experiment with being more spontaneous in my reading life, though!

    Sometimes I envision characters and sometimes I don’t. I think most of the time I don’t, so the characters are just these faceless blobs I’m reading about.

    I’m very much pro-abandoning books. I think it’s an important skill to learn as a reader – you do not need to finish every book you start. Not every book will be to your taste, and that’s A-OK.

    As for reading habits, I would like to be better about remembering quotes or at least writing them down, especially for fiction. It’s a lot easier for nonfiction since I’m reading it for a much different purpose than I’m reading a fiction book, so I don’t really stop to take in the beautiful sentences as much.

    1. While I don’t read much fiction, I definitely do not do a good job of keeping track of great quotes. I copy out fictional quotes only occasionally. I don’t think I have the time/patience to do it with fiction more than I currently am, but I do always feel wistful about how many great lines I’m not capturing. Such is the reading life, I suppose!?

  17. Oh! All of a Kind family! I LOVED that first book -but I never knew it was a series! Looking for the button while dusting – EVERY DAY! Thank you for finding a childhood love for me! <3 I also others you list – Boxcar Children, another one I did not know had that many books in the series!

    Did you ever read Pippi Longstocking? Loved those, too, as well as Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle. Oh, happy memories.

    I rarely abandon books but did abandon Abby Jimenez's "romance" books when they went a bit off the rails for me. I tend to be pretty picky about what I read – more adventurous with nonfiction than fiction, to be honest.

    I am your complete opposite when it comes to visualizing books. I picture the entire book as I am reading it – so it drives me bonkers when my mental image doesn't match something in the text (e.g., I am picturing the shop on the north side of the street only to learn it is on the south side of the street and so I need to literally flip my mental map of where the story is taking place). This can be challenging with movies – e.g., Harry Potter – but my mental images are pretty darn strong. I also picture the Garth Williams illustrations for Little House, for instance, and the small line drawings at the start of each chapter for the original HP hardbacks.

    I do not have an official TBR. It's mostly "What's on my iPad that I have downloaded that I want to read now?" and then, sometimes, purchasing something if I desperately want, say, a mystery but somehow have only nonfiction or fluffy fiction available. 🙂

    Love these posts – keep them coming!

    1. Yes! The button-while-dusting trick was so brilliant. Such a fun series.
      And the Boxcar Children has 100s of books now (obviously not all written by Gertrude Chandler Warner).
      We just read the first Pipi Longstocking book this spring!

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