Something that’s truly crazy, but also magical about being a bookworm is that every book you pick up has the potential to be a favourite. It could even end up being life-changing: a story or set of characters that
I mean, it’s weird to think that there was a time in my life before I had ever picked up a Harry Potter book, and fallen in love with the Wizarding World. Or that only a few years ago I had never read Six of Crows and had Kaz Brekker and his crew burnt into my heart, or that I’d never experienced the magic of a Juliet Marillier book or visited the incredible world of Brandon Sanderson’s Stormlight Archive books.
As recently as a couple of
Literally, every book you pick up is packed full of potential, and no matter how many reviews you’ve read, you never truly know what you’re going to feel about it until you read it. But you know something weird that I realised the other day? I don’t necessarily want to be absolutely wowed by every book I read.
In fact, I often find myself choosing to read books I fully expect to be mediocre. Perhaps the reviews are all middle-of-the-road, or I read another book in the series and thought it was merely OK, but I’m more than happy to approach a book expecting to enjoy it, but not find it overly memorable. And there’s two vital reasons why:
I’m not always in the mood for an emotional rollercoaster.
One of the main things that all my favourite books have in common, is that they’ve made me feel intense feelings. Every last one has made me care about the characters and their fate, and drawn me deep into the world of the story so that I almost feel as if I’m a part of it.
That’s an incredible experience, but it can also be kind of exhausting to be taken on that kind of an emotional rollercoaster. It’s also what I think results in ‘book hangovers’, where you feel totally exhausted and wrung out afterwards as you start to really miss the characters, and no other book seems to compare.
Sometimes I just want a reading experience that is enjoyable but not mentally or emotionally taxing…and that means I want to read a mediocre book that I don’t find myself getting overly invested in. Something I can read, enjoy, and then forget.
If every book was amazing, none of them would be special.
And the main reason I don’t want to be blown away by every book? Because if I was, then there would be no special books.
A vast majority of the books I’ve read in my life have been mediocre (to me, obviously! To other people they might have been favourites!), and it’s because of this that the ones that I’ve truly connected with have such a big place in my heart. They stick in my mind and heart, and when I stumble across another one that I just know is going to be a lifelong favourite, then it’s a truly incredible experience.
If this happened with every book, then it would no longer be special, it would just be the norm, and no one book would mean more to me than another. And that would be a terrible shame because one of the best things about being a reader is having those particular stories that mean so much to you, and that feel incredibly personal.
So I’d love to know if you also read books that you expect to be mediocre, or if you approach every book hoping to be wowed! What makes a book extra special to you?