Random Thoughts of a Romance Blogger: Picky Reader

Posted February 1, 2016 by Suzanne in Random Thoughts, Under the Covers / 17 Comments

randomthoughts

Am I becoming a picky reader?

I like to blame the year round book funk of 2015 on authors…why aren’t they giving me what I need to feel satisfied, apart from a few blazing highlights, I found most of 2015 I was stumbling round in the gloom, desperate for reading sustenance. Which, brings me back to my opening question, am I a picky reader? Perhaps it isn’t the authors not giving me what I want, could it instead be me? Am I one of those readers who can never be satisfied? It’s a running joke between me and the UTC girls that I tend to rate books lower than they do. All evidence that my reading slump is down to that overcritical brain of mine.

I sometimes think I have read too much romance. I know I know, I hear you say in disbelieve “Too much, there’s no such thing!” But, when every new book sounds the same as all the other books you have read recently, it begs the question, are you reading too much? Because, lets face it folks, there are only so many permutations of basically the same type of stories that you can read before you start to get bored and I have had at least five years of non-stop romance reading to exhaust myself on the same subject.

But then again, there are those shining examples I was talking about earlier. Those books, quite often from authors that I have been reading for a long time, that test my romance-book-exhaustion theory. I have been reading J.R. Ward and Ilona Andrews from almost the beginning of my romance reading career and yet they are still my favourites. I still contemplate booking holiday (and quite often do) so that I can sit back and immerse myself back in to their worlds. And then, there are still those more recent authors that have managed to catapult themselves on to my auto-buy list. It just seems like I have to pan through a lot of meh and mediocre before I hit gold.

So, am I becoming a picky reader? Or am I just becoming a more discerning one? After years of experience, I like to think that my taste has become more refined, I know what I like and I like to see new things; interesting twists on the tried and tested, I even just like to see great writing. I no longer suffer through bad writing and dull story lines and then carefully write generous reviews. I believe I am honest and in a market full of lower writing standards and unimaginative plots, that tends to lead to a lot of lower ratings.

So, disillusionment begone! Bring on 2016, I am ready for the good stuff.

suzanne

 

 

 

How about you? Are you a picky reader?

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Suzanne

Blogger/Reviewer at Under the Covers Book Blog
Gosh, we all seem to be admitting our ages…and I hate that I am at the point in life when admitting my age is a “thing”…whodda thunk it? I was kind of hoping I would remain 21 forever. However, I have moved out of that New Adult stage of my life and am now strictly in the Contemporary Romance age zone of 28. I would prefer to be in an Urban Fantasy arena, but I don’t think I own enough black leather. However, I could probably squeeze into some PNR, I am fully prepared to give a horn job to my favourite demon, or suck on my sexy vamps…fangs and I am definitely up for some heavy petting with some fine looking shifters. Than again their’s always Sci Fi…I am fully prepared to do the right thing and help some poor alien race with more 6 packs than a supermarket repopulate their planet. Not that I am loose woman or anything.

Annnnnd I will stop myself there, before I start waxing lyrical about my love of historical romance and fantasy as well; no one needs to know about my elf fantasies. As you can tell, I adore and day dream about most romance genres, and my three big loves are 1) reading about romance 2) writing about romance and 3) talking about romance with my gals. Which, is why I love Under the Covers so much, I get all my bookish needs satisfied and don’t get judged when I talk about my favourite characters like they are real people. Which they are right?
Suzanne
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Under the Covers Book BlogClare JamesSophia RoseJudyMonique D Recent comment authors
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Clare James
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Clare James

Hi Suzanne, I don’t think you’re picky at all. It’s just reader fatigue and maybe genre fatigue. There’s no way this couldn’t happen with all you read. And I truly believe it happens in every genre. But my suggestion is to expand genres and cleanse the palate. Also, go off the beaten and path! The romance market is really saturated right now, as you know more than most, so there is mediocre. But I promise, there is still so much amazing. I can also tell you that editors are feeling it too, and really looking/promoting fresh takes on contemp romance,… Read more »

Under the Covers Book Blog
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Under the Covers Book Blog

Hi Clare,

Yeah, I am making an effort this year to read things I wouldn’t normally so I can perhaps discover authors/genres that I haven’t read before. The market is definitely saturated! I think that’s where I have problems and where I have become more selective when I chose the books I want to read. But yes, your right definitely need to expand my genre and get off the beaten path!

Suzanne

Clare James
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Clare James

Good luck!
I’m doing the same with reading and writing! That’s why this post is great–reminds us all to up our games!

JennEllens
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JennEllens

I’ve had to become pickier to not have book fatigue. There are so many new releases every week/month nowadays. And with so many new books, there’s more repetition, at least to me, of what’s the “hot” thing, i.e., billionaires, doms, MCs, super angsty NA. Plus, with prices being so low, I would find myself buying so many more books, because why not! It’s .99 cents or $2.99! It became a matter of quantity over quality, for me. So for me as a reader, I just know I need to pull back and make better choices, and I need to mix… Read more »

Under the Covers Book Blog
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Under the Covers Book Blog

That’s very true, books can be a lot cheaper now, there are so many 99p reads out and most of them…they leave something to be desired.

That sounds like a good idea, I am also going to try and mix things up, rather than reading the same kind of things, the key to avoiding book fatigue does seem to be lots and lots of variety

Suzanne

Timitra
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Timitra

I so agree with you on so many things you’ve written Suzanne, thank you for sharing!

Under the Covers Book Blog
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Under the Covers Book Blog

No problem Timitra, thank you for reading 😀

Suzanne

JenM
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JenM

I try to mix it up to keep it all fresh, although I have to admit I’ve been reading way too many contemporary romances lately. However, my book club reads nothing but litfic and non fiction so I get a break there, and I also read a fair amount of UF and PNR (not just Ilona Andrews LOL). I’m also trying to branch out into reading mysteries with romance subplots. I went through a several years long reading slump awhile ago and I’ve been very careful since then to mix it up whenever I start to feel tired of whatever… Read more »

Under the Covers Book Blog
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Under the Covers Book Blog

Hi Jen It sounds like you break up your reading quite a bit, I need to learn to do the same thing. Although I do feel like I could never get bored of Ilona Andrews, I don’t think they have ever brought anything out that I didn’t love! I’m trying the mystery thing as well this year, romantic suspense and mystery are genres that I have never explored so I am hoping I will be nice and fresh to look at all the good stuff there. Agreed, life is definitely to short to waste on boring books, 2016’s aim is… Read more »

Jen S.
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Jen S.

I agree life is too short to waste on boring books. I’ve gotten much pickier myself. I have slashed a lot on my TBR (now I just have to fix my Goodreads shelves). Compared to the other reviewer on my blog, I’m much more critical. I don’t think that’s a bad thing, though. I hope you find some mysteries and romantic suspense you like. I’ve always been a fan of those genres. I think mixing up what I read (some fantasy, some thrillers, some romance, etc.) keeps me from getting burned out. But, sometimes the sheer quantity of books I… Read more »

Under the Covers Book Blog
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Under the Covers Book Blog

It’s amazing how out of control GR shelves can get! I should probably copy you and do some pruning of my own. Especially as GR is what I use to organise myself, I honestly don’t know how I would keep track without it. I hadn’t thought of that, that the more variety I read, the more books there will be. I think I need to be selective, I definitely don’t need to be saturated with more books I am indifferent to. I may have to do a post and ask what everyone’s favourite mystery/romantic suspense is so I can get… Read more »

Elizabeth
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Elizabeth

I’ve gotten pickier but my tastes have also changed a bit as well

Amy R
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Amy R

I think you are becoming a more discerning one. I feel the same way and have noticed my ratings are getting lower and I’m not afraid to DNF a book (I used to suffer thru them). I also find I have to be in the mood to read a certain genre or the books a no go for me. I just glommed the whole Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews, I read a lot of good things about these books for years and decided to dive in (i’m sadly now caught up).

Ruth S.
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Ruth S.

Can I star this post like 100 times? This is exactly how I have felt lately as well. I read books last year just to finish them because of my own issues with a DNF. My goal this year is to read books that fit what I want and to actual let a book go if it doesn’t work for me. As Amy Poehler says: good for you, not for me. 🙂

Monique D
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Monique D

I agree with you, and then you read that perfect book, and all is well again. It’s not you! There’s magic or there isn’t!

Judy
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Judy

Personally, I think part of the problem is that there is so many more choices now with all the self-published and small indie publishers. Which can be great that so many more authors are getting a chance to shine. But the flip side is that we can end up slogging through so much more to get to that one shiny gem of a read. It can leave you feeling exhausted with the process. Personally, I have been trying to switch up genres to keep it fresh and if an author or series leaves me *meh*, I move on to someone… Read more »

Sophia Rose
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Sophia Rose

I don’t really see being selective as a bad thing. I’ve been reading a long time and in the past there was never this much out on the market at the same time. With slimmer choices, one can be more tolerant and patient for the less than perfect fit for the reader. I feel fatigue just looking at the new release month each month and knowing I can’t possibly keep up. This has forced me to be picky. I tend to be less tolerant of issues I have when it comes to romance because it helps me filter through the… Read more »