Book Tag: The #ReaderProblems Tag

A pair of burgundy boots rest on a bookshelf of fantasy novels

I’ve seen a couple of you take this tag recently and it looks like fun, so I’m jumping on the bandwagon. This tag was created by Tiffany of About To Read over on BookTube back in the day, but it’s still going strong! Reader Problems – some things never change…

You have 20,000 books in your TBR, how in the world do you decide what to read next?

I like to invite my good friends Whim and Obligation to peruse my reading list and then let them arm wrestle over who gets to pick my next read for me. Luckily, they’re often in agreement (or perhaps that should be: thankfully, I usually have enough obligations that Whim finds something that satisfies) so I can read what I fancy without feeling too guilty.

Reading purely because I have to can definitely take the shine off a book – I’m happiest when I can pick whatever path I fancy through the TBR jungle.

You’re halfway through a book and you’re just not loving it. Do you put it down or are you committed?

I don’t usually make it halfway if I’m not loving it. If I realise I haven’t read for a couple of days or if I feel like I’m having to push myself to read, then I give it some thought. If it’s just my mood, I’ll often put it down straight away to come back to it another time when I’ll do it justice; if I suspect it might just not be the book for me, I’ll give it 25-30% or 100 pages to change my mind before I call it a DNF.

…that said, if I have got halfway, I’ll likely push to the end out of sheer stubbornness!

The end of the year is coming and you’re behind on your reading challenge, do you try to catch up? And if so, how?

…yes. No matter how often I tell myself it’s just a number, if I’m only a couple short I’ll definitely try and close the gap. There’s almost always a novella or two on my TBR that can help (as well as some doorstops that I’ll suddenly find convincing reasons not to start yet. Yes, The Priory of the Orange Tree is still on my conscience, why d’you ask?)

I’m getting better at just letting go of the Goodreads Challenge though. I think the Game of Books has helped (yes, by focusing me on a different set of numbers, shhhh) – and I like that it pushes me to read books that are longer, more challenging or have gathered more dust on my shelf rather than just picking up something fast and easy.

The covers of a series you love do not match, how do you cope?

Can you hear the existential screaming on the wind?

(I once wrote a Top Ten Tuesday about how much this irks me. Also WHY do publishers insist on matching covers but then DIFFERENT SIZE PAPERBACKS? WHY? Put this in my basket of irrational bookworm rage next to OMG YOU CHANGED THE FONT NOOOOO).

Everyone and their mother loves a book that you do not. Who do you bond with over your shared feelings?

I am blessed with a broad and eclectic group of bookworm friends on WordPress, Twitter and beyond. Best of all, we don’t all share opinions all the time. There’s always someone I can waggle my eyebrows with in our mutual incomprehension over some inconceivably popular thing.

You’re reading a book in public and you’re about to start crying. How do you deal?

Let it go, let it go…

I’ve learnt to just sniffle in public and to hell with it. Thankfully, whilst many books make me well up very few result in full-on ugly-crying and if I think that’s where we’re headed I’ll usually put the book down until I get home – nobody needs strangers on the tube asking if you’re alright.

Melissa Caruso gets the prize for coming closest to making me have a full-on meltdown in a cafe in Copenhagen, but I channelled it into a tweet thread of response gifs whilst frantically drinking water. I’m not crying over here, my water is just extra sparkling and splashing on my face, okay?

The sequel to a book you loved just came out but you’ve forgotten a lot of what happens. Are you going to reread it?

Absolutely. In fact, I’ll probably try to tempt a couple of you into rereading it with me. Who doesn’t love a buddy read?

You do not want anyone to borrow your books, how do you politely say no when someone asks?

I seem to have ended up in a life of long-distance friendships and ebooks, which means I don’t have to deal with this scenario. There are basically three people who ask to borrow books on an irregular basis, and I trust all of them so I don’t have to say no.

You have picked up and put down 5 books in the last month. How do you get over this reading slump?

It’s definitely time for a reread of something I love! It might take another 5 to figure out exactly what, but a childhood or teen favourite is often a safe bet: the Chronicles of Prydain by Lloyd Alexander are endlessly charming – and John Wyndham is oddly cosy for a man who was generally writing about the end of the world.

There are so many books coming out that you are dying to read, how many do you end up buying?

I know my end of month accountability post doesn’t look like it, but I’m reasonably good at resisting a purchase if I don’t think I’m going to read it soon… unless it’s on sale, that is. In which case, ALL OF THEM.

After you purchase all of these books that you’re dying to read how long do they sit on your shelves before you get to them?



I like to think I get to most of them within a year – but I’m far too scared to check back and prove the point.

Fancy examining your Reader Problems? Tag yourself in and share the link!