guilty reader! It feels so good to be finally writing a post that is not scheduled. I feel like I am living in the present and not trying to trick everyone into thinking I’m not on holiday — aha! I just got back from my trip to Amsterdam and while I’m still hatching a post tying it with books, I decided to do the Guilty Reader Tag.
This tag was created by Youtuber Chami (you can see her original video here) to expose all our flaws when it comes to reading. Just kidding — maybe just a little. We all slip up in our readings, and even the most dedicated bookworms fall prey to these sins! So today I wanted to see how much of a “bad reader” I am.
Spoiler alert: I am a very, very bad reader apparently!
Have You Ever Regifted A Book That You’ve Been Given?
First question in the tag and I’m already guilty as charged. The book I have regifted was The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald.
My dad bought me this book from a tiny publisher, and it ended up being my favorite book ever. I read it in ninth grade during my leisure time and could not stop talking or thinking about it. The following year, I moved schools and gave this to my now best friend. I had loved it so much that I felt like it deserved a new home. It deserved to be free and to fulfill its duty as a mind-blowing book!
It has now been four years since I gave her this book, which she still has not read. Who’s the worse reader now, eh!?
Have you ever said you’ve read a book when you haven’t?
As a literature student at university—YES. I can definitely say that I have not read several books on my syllabus because I either ran out of time, or because I simply didn’t feel like it.
I am sort of ashamed for not having read them because I have enjoyed the discussions we had in class about these texts (the lecturer for Hamlet was the translator who wrote the portuguese version!). But on the other hand, with so many deadlines looming over my head at the time it didn’t feel like a priority. I might go back and read Hamlet in its entirety, though, as I feel like watching the four-hour-long adaptation is not enough.
I think that I have come to terms with skim reading or only reading about the text in question, and I know this will happen many more times during my degree.
Have you ever borrowed a book and not returned it?
As bad as this is, yes — I have done this. During my last weeks of middle school, I had to read an Oscar Wilde short story, The Canterville Ghost, for Portuguese class. Because I had taken it out from the library and I was going through my rebel, rules-don’t-apply phase, I still have it on my bookshelf.
It’s been more than seven years now, so there’s no point in returning it. Nevertheless, I still feel a little pang of guiltiness when I see that thin, red spine between the books I have bought.
Have you ever read a series out of order?
I am currently reading this book as part of a buddy read, and I can’t wait to know how it ends. Last summer I read Becky Albertalli’s The Upside of Unrequited for the Booktube-A-Thon and ended up hating it. However, because there’s so much buzz and positive hype around Simon, I decided to give it a shot.
Have you ever spoiled a book for someone?
Although I can’t remember any specific books I’ve spoiled, I know that I’ve done it. I’m going to hide in a dark hole now.
I’m sure that I’ve bent edges, broken spines, and maybe even doggy eared some of the pages, but nothing much more drastic than that. If anything, just a little tea or coffee stain — but that’s it!
Have you ever doggy eared a book?
Absolutely! I do most of my reading on the go and end up losing all my bookmarks. For someone with a terrible memory, it is impossible for me to know what page I’m on if I don’t doggy ear it. This is something I’m not ashamed of doing, though! I am an enthusiast of defacing books (as long as it adds some emotional/intellectual value to the book).
Have you ever told someone you don’t own a book when you do?
This has probably happened with the books I’m most ashamed of having bought. Books such as Fifty Shades of Grey and Twilight are probably on this list.
Have you ever told someone you haven’t read a book when you have?
Again, I am very susceptible to cringing at my past reading choices, and there was no way I was going to lose face over Twilight. I know it’s bad to be ashamed of things like this, but there are some awkward, uncomfortable things that thirteen-year-old Rita did the world doesn’t need to know about.
Have you ever skipped a chapter or a section of a book?
Oh, yes. One of my favorite classics is Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte, and if you’ve read this book you’ll know which section I’m talking about. Yup — the one when Jane leaves the estate and goes to live with some weird relatives. I am glad to have skipped these 100 pages, as I would have gotten bored and never actually finished this masterpiece.
One thing I found out recently, though, is that I accidentally skipped The Handmaid’s Tale‘s epilogue. I thought it was simply acknowledgments, but as it turns out, it’s actually relevant to the plot. Oops!
Have you ever bad mouthed a book you actually liked?
Once again, more than likely! Books thirteen-year-old Rita loved were very problematic, and eighteen-year-old Rita sees that now.
A great example is Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire. That book has so much abuse, an unhealthy relationship, and glorifies violence against women — yet I absolutely loved it in 2014! I guess this is a good sign that I grew up and overcame my fixation on violent, “brooding” love interests. I feel comfortable looking back and trashing these kinds of books now that I know so much more about how people and relationships are supposed to work.