Why I Read What I Read

Since I got my account in 2005, I’ve attempted to catalog every book I’ve ever read on Librarything, even the embarrassing ones. The count is over 2000.

The reasons I’ve read what I read include many silly ones, yet there’s only one reason I’ve ever been challenged for reading something.

Reasons I read books that I knew literally nothing about that no one criticized me for, in approximate order from most to least recent:

  • It’s about pandemics and we are in a pandemic and I required emotional release.
  • It was written by a writer who was interviewed by a writer I like.
  • It was written by a writer who interviewed a writer I like.
  • They made it into a musical I hadn’t seen.
  • The film or TV adaptation was coming out soon.
  • People I didn’t care about wouldn’t shut up about it.
  • I wanted to yell at people for liking it based on pull-quotes, but the author and their apologists kept saying I had to read it first, so I did.
  • One of my few offline social outlets is a book club, and this was what they picked.
  • I wanted to read a critique of it by an author I liked, so I read the original first.
  • The audiobook for it was available and I was out of listening content.
  • The cover and/or title implied it was ~*~*~innnnnnn spaaaaaaaace~*~*~
  • It had the Oprah book club seal.
  • There was a vaguely positive blurb from an author I’d kind of heard of on the back.
  • It had an intellectually-provocative title.
  • It had a sexually provocative title.
  • It looked or sounded like something someone had mentioned to me once but it turns out it wasn’t.
  • It was set in the Star Wars universe.
  • I was forced to read it in school.
  • It was one of the options other than the one I’d picked on the school summer reading list.
  • A classmate I loathed liked it, and I wanted ammunition.
  • A classmate I loathed hated it, and I wanted ammunition.
  • My sister read it for school and told me about the orgy-porgies so I had to read it.
  • It was a religious text.
  • It was in the clearance bin.
  • My cousin gave me a random mixed box of books she didn’t want anymore and it was in there.
  • A cute boy said it was good.
  • It had something (anything) to do with the Arthurian mythos, even just the title.
  • It had something (anything) to do with retelling (classic European) fairy tales, even just the title.
  • It had full-color inserts of movie stills. I have read an embarrassing amount of movie novelizations, including movies I still haven’t seen, because of those pictures.
  • My mom had it and I wanted to relate to her, even on things wholly irrelevant to me like being pregnant.

The only reason anyone has ever criticized my reading choice, even if it was more a reading prioritization and the book was already on my list for years based on multiple recommendations and taste overlaps:

  • The work prioritizes the perspectives and centralizes the experiences of people who are not white, straight, cis, male, and/or from the United States.
Why I Read What I Read

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