Top Ten Tuesday (6): Bookish Confessions

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week there is a new topic. I’m a huge fan of lists, so this meme is right up my alley! 


This week’s topic is Top Ten Bookish Confessions (Anything! You dog ear, you hated a book but said you loved it, you have $500 library fines…anything goes!).  I think mine fall a little more under Bookish Habits rather than confessions, because I don’t think I have any dirty secrets like library fines or saying I loved a book when I hated it…
So here they are, my Top Ten Bookish Confessions, Sort Of (and these are in no particular order)(also, sorry for the really long post–I’m very wordy):
Hello, My Name is Andrea and I’m Spoiler-Phobic (Hi, Andrea…)  
If you’re a regular reader of The Overstuffed Bookcase, then you can probably skip this one because you’ve heard it before.  I HATE spoilers.  And yes, I am Spoiler-Phobic.  I’m actually kind of scared to read reviews sometimes because I’m worried I’ll read a spoiler.  And I think it’s gotten almost out of hand.  I will still read reviews on certain blogs because I know they don’t include spoilers, but with bloggers I don’t really know very well, I’m a bit iffy when it comes to reading their reviews.  So basically I’ve gotten to the point now where I’ll read a review if I know there aren’t going to be spoilers, or if I know I won’t be reading that book anytime soon.  That way I can forget any spoilers by the time I read the book.  I even started a new feature recently on my blog that kind of goes hand in hand with my Spoiler-Phobia:  Blind Reads.
Page Number Awareness
No, this isn’t like Stranger Awareness or Breast Cancer Awareness Month–it’s this OCD thing I do where I have to find out how many pages are in a book and then figure out (and write down) how many pages I’d need to read to be at 1/8, 1/4, 1/3, 1/2, 2/3, AND 3/4 of the way through (yes, I write down ALL of those).  Then it’s like a little party when I surpass one of those. I’m a very slow reader (see below) so knowing how far I am in a book and how far I have to go makes me realize how much time I need to finish a book.  It can also give me major motivation.
I am a SUPER slow reader.  When I’m really focused on reading, I can only read about 40 pages an hour.  But most of the time my mind wanders, or my phone goes off, or I need to get up and get a drink or use the bathroom, or my hubs or son need something (BTW, a very Happy Birthday to both my hubs and son today!  Yep, my son was born on my husband’s birthday!). Plus, I don’t have a whole lot of time in the day to read–only when my son is napping or after he goes to bed at night, and that’s also the time when I do blogging things, or spend time with my husband, or anything else that I need to do when my son is sleeping.  So it’s really bad that I read so slowly since I already have so little time to read.  But, I’m really working on it.  I need to find a nice balance between blogging/commenting and reading, because it seems like I’m always really behind on one or the other.  Also, it’s really hard for me to read more than one book at a time, so this might make me a slower reader, too.
So I’m a Little OCD
My books are all in alphabetical order on my shelves.  Well, except for my ever-growing TBR piles that I hope to get to soon.  A few of my friends separate the books that they haven’t read from the books that they have read, and one friend can’t believe that I have all my unread books mixed in with the regular ones.  But I just don’t think I can break mine up.  And I do not know how people organize theirs in other ways, like by color or whatever, or if they don’t have them organized at all.  How can you find anything if they’re not alphabetical?
Speaking of My Shelves
I currently have so many books on my physical shelves that I haven’t read that I had to make a new shelf on Goodreads called “Own TBR”, that way I can find them easily.  Some people might say that’s a perfect reason to organize my physical shelf by read or unread, but I’m still just not sold.  Alphabetical works, people!  But anyway, my “Own TBR” shelf currently has over 100 books on it, and that shelf does NOT include books for review.  (That picture is my new blog button–it may need some tweaking.  But that’s one of my bookcases in the background, and my TBR piles…)
It’s Like I’m in School Again
Seriously.  I take so many notes while I’m reading.  It started with my book club, before I had my blog.  Because we’d all have so many things to say about the book we were reading for book club and I would want to remember certain things, so I started writing notes.  Then when I started my blog it was just a natural thing to start taking notes on ALL the books I read. This may be a large reason for my slow reading, but I do think it helps tremendously when it comes to writing reviews.  All my thoughts are written down already, and I either write down complete quotes or write the page number so it’s easy for me to find those great quotes again.  I also write theories down as I go, especially for books with mysteries.  It’s just a fun thing to do.  And as long as the book is well-written and keeps me somewhat in suspense, it doesn’t bother me if my theories were correct or if they were wrong.
Keeping it New-ish
I never dog-ear my books, or write in them.  And the only time I don’t care about a broken spine is if it’s a used paperback.  So no worries if you let me borrow your book–it will come back to you in the same condition it was in when you gave it to me.  And I don’t care if you gave me a book that’s falling apart–if I’m borrowing a book I take even more care with it than if it was mine.
Still a Bit Unsure of the DNF
Until last year, I would never have even thought of not finishing a book.  I mean, in school I’d do it all the time, but reading for pleasure?  Heck, no! You gotta trudge through that until the very end, even if it’s killing you!  But after being in book club for a few years and then after starting a blog, I’m definitely realizing that I really shouldn’t be wasting my time on books I’m not enjoying.  There are too many other books out there to read (and tons of them are on my TBR list!).  I feel really bad because I didn’t finish a book club pick recently, and it was my first ever book for book club that I didn’t finish. But I did give it a fighting chance–I got to over 100 pages, which also happened to be around 25% of the book.  I’ve decided recently that 25% is my new DNF cutoff.  If I’m just not feeling it at all at a quarter of the way through the book, I don’t think I need to spend any more time on it.  I still hate doing that, but with all the books I own and want to read, it’s kind of necessary, especially since I’m such a slow reader.
Peace and Quiet
It’s really hard for me to read with music playing.  I end up just singing along and paying attention to the songs, so that doesn’t help my already slooowww reading.  When I was in school, I loved to study with music playing, and I can do my blog stuff (writing posts, commenting, etc.) with music in the background but I just can’t read and listen to music.
My Dark Days
Here’s kind of a more confession-ish answer.  I refer the years 1991-2002 to be my “Dark Days” because I (gasp!) didn’t read then.  I LOVED reading when I was a kid but then we moved when I was 11 and suddenly all I cared about was being cool and apparently at my school at that time, reading wasn’t cool. Of course, now I know it’s the coolest!  :D  So during those years I read for school but I really didn’t read much for pleasure.  I read a few things here and there but I just didn’t do much reading.  Then came Harry Potter, and I was thrust back into the world of reading.  I read more and more each year, and while I still don’t read a whole lot of books each year by most bloggers’ standards, I read more now than I ever have, and I’m loving it more than ever as well!
Sorry for such a long post!  If you read all that, you are awesome.  So what are your Bookish Confessions/Habits?  Let me know, or leave a link to your TTT in the comments, and I’ll stop by your blog!
Oh, and check out my upcoming His Dark Materials Readalong with Jessie from The Daily Bookmark!  We’d love for you to join us!


  1. fakesteph

    August 28, 2012 at 1:07 pm

    Holy crap! That is a long time to go without reading. I don't know if I've ever gone that long. WOW. WOW. Okay, that is the only one that really surprised me.

    1. Andrea @ The Overstuffed Bookcase

      August 31, 2012 at 4:48 am

      Thanks for making me feel worse about it, Steph! Just kidding. Yeah, I mean, I read a bit here and there and for school, but I wouldn't call myself a reader during that time. I definitely was as a kid, and I definitely am now, but not then! ;)

  2. Becky

    August 28, 2012 at 2:13 pm

    I sometimes mark every 100 pages in my books with a bookmark, so no judgement about your page number awareness haha.

    Here's Ours

    1. Andrea @ The Overstuffed Bookcase

      August 31, 2012 at 4:49 am

      I'm glad I'm not the only one! Lol! Thanks for stopping by–I'm off to check out your TTT! :D

  3. bookaddictsguide

    August 28, 2012 at 4:06 pm

    Eep!! I had dark days too!!! And HP was partially what pulled me out of it, plus books from my sister. I thought I was the only one!
    Great confessions! Loved reading them :)

    1. Andrea @ The Overstuffed Bookcase

      August 31, 2012 at 4:56 am

      Yay, we're not alone!! ;) Thanks for stopping by!

  4. Bittner

    August 28, 2012 at 4:11 pm

    In total honesty, it does drive me crazy that you don't divide your books by what you have read and what you have yet to read. BUT it only bothers me when you talk about it. I don't know what books you haven't read so whenever I go over to your house it is easy for me to just assume that you've read them all and I don't think about it. But when we are actually looking at your books and you start pointing out the ones you haven't read my heart starts beating really fast and my palms start to sweat and I slowly start heading for the door so I can get the hell out of there!
    Plus, I just think you are missing out. I love the feeling of accomplishment when I finally get to add a recently finished book to my "read" bookshelf!

    1. Andrea @ The Overstuffed Bookcase

      August 31, 2012 at 11:08 pm

      Yeah, yeah. Maybe one of these days I'll divide them up and try it out. Maybe. ;)

  5. adinabb

    August 28, 2012 at 4:27 pm

    I'm with you on peace and quiet. I can't read with music or TV or people talking. The noise keeps on dragging me out of the story. My brother on the other hand can't read without music. He's a strange fella :)

    1. Andrea @ The Overstuffed Bookcase

      August 31, 2012 at 11:09 pm

      I know lots of people that have music on, or the TV on while reading, and I just can't do that! I can listen to music while blogging, and I used to listen to music when I studied for school, but I just can't with reading! Thanks for stopping by–I'm off to check out your blog! :D

  6. quinnsbooknook

    August 28, 2012 at 5:28 pm

    I'm a really slow reader, too! I don't know how many pages an hour I read, but I know it isn't a lot. Glad to know someone else who loves to read, is also a slow reader.

    1. Andrea @ The Overstuffed Bookcase

      August 31, 2012 at 11:26 pm

      Yes, it's good to know we're not alone! I'm so horribly slow. You can go here Staples Reading Test to find out your reading speed, although I just sometimes time myself by seeing how many pages I read in an hour.
      Thanks for stopping by! I'm off to check out your blog!

  7. Lily Child

    August 29, 2012 at 4:12 am

    I had a bit of dark days myself. I was about the same age. I would read an occasional book for pleasure, but it was few and far between. I LOVE that I've gotten back in to the swing of things! Check out my top ten list:

    1. Andrea @ The Overstuffed Bookcase

      August 31, 2012 at 11:39 pm

      I'm glad to hear I'm not alone with the dark days! Thanks for stopping by–I'm off to check out your TTT! :D

  8. Jen Ryland/YA Romantics

    August 29, 2012 at 3:26 pm

    Aw, your confessions are not that bad. You'll be SHOCKED at mine. I embrace spoilers (see, spoiled it for you right there.) Isn't that terrible? I'm also totally OCD.
    And yes, as a blogger, I say: embrace the DNF. I used to be so OCD (see above) about finishing books but I am SO much happier now that I DNF now and then. I've realized the reading a book I don't love is such a drag on my mood.

    1. Andrea @ The Overstuffed Bookcase

      September 1, 2012 at 2:14 am

      Yours weren't that bad, either. Although I'm very surprised that spoilers don't bother you, because you never put spoilers in your reviews! But I totally appreciate that!!
      Yes, I think I need to embrace the DNF too. I just felt extra bad this last time because it was a book club book and everyone else seemed to enjoy it. But it just really wasn't my thing.

  9. Kate@Midnight Book Girl

    August 30, 2012 at 7:08 pm

    lol, my books are totally not in order! I have two large bookshelves that are arranged by color- I have no problem finding books because usually (and maybe a tad bit freakishly) I remember book covers/colors very well. Other books are more organized by size… although most of Stephen Kings and HP books are on a shelf by themselves.

    I don't go quite as crazy about book pages, but I like to get to page 50 as soon as possible, and then I'm also aware of the middle of the book when I'm reading a paperback or hardback. With my Kindle, it's all about percentages.

    I don't DNF much, but I give myself permission to just say screw it when it comes to bad reads. I was over half way through The Knife of Never Letting Go but that book was literally depressing me and giving me bad dreams, so I had to quit it. Recently I tried to read the second book in the Wake series, loved the first one, only to discover I was not enjoying it. So I think I'll DNF that one too!

    I am so glad that Harry Potter brought you back to reading, otherwise you'd have never been in book club with Bittner and Ame and I never would have met you and we wouldn't have such a wonderful group of blogging friends!

    1. Andrea @ The Overstuffed Bookcase

      September 1, 2012 at 2:33 am

      Yeah, you're totally the person I talk about when I say "organized by color" because I've seen pictures! ;) Although I know it's not all of your books… I do remember covers fairly well, but that's just crazy to me! Lol!

      I'm so glad Harry Potter brought me back to reading, too! :D I can't imagine my life without it now!

  10. Kimberly @ On the Wings of Books

    August 31, 2012 at 2:45 am

    1. As you know, I can't stand spoilers either. Drives me nuts!
    2. I always check to see how many pages are in a book. I can't read a book without knowing. I do not mark the progress, I usually rely on Goodreads for that.
    3. I wish I could give you some of my speed because I read too fast sometimes and that makes me sad when the book is amazing and I don't want to part with it.
    4. While we have slightly different ways of organizing we both share a common OCD factor. I think Kate's living room shelves look pretty, but they drive me nuts! I just want to alphabetize them.
    5. I separate my TBR books now so this is not a problem, plus every time I look at my shelf I'm reminded not to buy any more books (except I forget that when I go shopping).
    6. I'm in awe that you take so many notes. I tend to get really wrapped up in a book and forget to take notes completely. I've taken to writing my review right away so I don't forget.
    7. I do like to keep my books new looking. I used to dog ear paperbacks, but no more.
    8. I don't DNF a lot of books, I can only think of one, but I will stop reading a book and set it aside for awhile (or a long while) but I don't call those DNF cause I plan on coming back to them.
    9. I prefer peace and quiet too, I am easily distracted. I can't have the computer near me either. Too tempting.
    10. What??? I am so glad you rediscovered reading!

    1. Andrea @ The Overstuffed Bookcase

      September 1, 2012 at 2:38 am

      It would be AWESOME if you could give me some of your reading speed! That would make my life so much easier! ;)
      I always forget not to buy more books when I'm out… And those sales they just draw me in!
      The notes are very detailed at first, and then you can see a drop off at a certain part of the book, and then you can see when I've realized that I've hardly written down any good quotes so I come back with only quotes at the end. Unless it's a really fantastic book and then my notes have lots of ALL CAPS and !!!! and OMG. I get that all out in my notes, and then my reviews don't sound so fangirly and gushy. ;)
      Yep, I'm glad I rediscovered reading, too! It's such a big part of my life now, and I don't really know what my life would be like without it!

  11. LHughes

    September 16, 2012 at 2:40 pm

    I thought this was such a great post, so honest and well thought out.

    I totally feel you on being spoiler-phobic. Often I don't want to read reviews in case they influence my feelings about a book. Like if someone says character x annoyed them because of y and z… then I might notice those annoyances while I'm reading, when I wouldn't have noticed it otherwise, and then it causes me to enjoy the book less. That's my biggest fear in reading reviews. And it's really easy to comment on reviews later after you've read the book by just searching your google reader for the book title, so I just wait to read them.

    And I am so in the same boat as you with "Own TBR." My school just had a book fair this week and I had to hold myself back… my TBR pile is enormous… so I only got two books… The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight and The Girl of Fire and Thorns. Sigh.

    I try to keep my books in new shape too. At the store I will inspect my purchases to make sure there are no dents or crinkles or whatnot.

    And I must read in silence too!

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