Five Bookish Confessions

Bookish Confessions

1.  I have never read a book by Jane Austen.

I throw this one out a lot as a bookish confession because it seems to surprise people, either because Jane Austen is popular in general or because I read a lot of classics and these seem like obvious ones I should have covered. However, while I have seen many movie adaptations, I have yet to read any of Austen’s books.

2. Even though I majored in English literature, I basically avoided reading modern American books.

I like British literature, and I particularly like older British literature. The distribution requirements for the English major at my college were designed in a way that assumed most students like more modern literature and had to be forced to read Shakespeare, Milton, Chaucer, etc. So I took one course for “post-1900 American literature” that actually included mostly books from the 1800s.  It was also “Environmental Literature,” so while it was interesting, it didn’t really cover books in the American canon.

3. I saw the movie for The Fellowship of the Ring before reading the book.

This may be surprising because I am obsessed with Tolkien, but my love for his work started with seeing the first movie (on DVD, not even in theatres!). I then went on to read The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings before seeing the next two movies.

Lord of the Rings Bookmarks

4. I don’t think Twilight is that bad.

I read Twilight purely because a friend was begging me, and it was easier to give in and get it over with than to fight it. This was before the massive “Twilight is the worst thing ever backlash,” when the book was kind of still just gaining popularity.  I thought I wouldn’t like it, but mostly because I don’t like a lot of contemporary/paranormal romance books in general.  I was right that it wasn’t my thing, and I never read more than book 1, but Twilight really isn’t the worst thing I have ever read. I don’t fully understand the hate.

5. I have actually read everything I was assigned to read in school.

I suppose this is a “good” confession, but I often feel alone in that I have read everything I was ever asked to read in school, both in undergrad and grad school. This sometimes involved reading three books or more a week, along with other readings.  In grad school, I think I missed the memo because apparently the secret is to do just enough work you can talk about a text as if you had read it, and I was putting in way more time than everyone else.  Also, studies suggest that, in any give college class, less than half the students will actually have read the assigned homework.

The Jungle Book

Briana

36 thoughts on “Five Bookish Confessions

  1. Cam @ Camillea Reads says:

    I’m so glad someone finally said it! I still have my Twilight series and while it isn’t my favourite, I still enjoyed it. I understand that there are some problematic parts to it but on a whole it’s a nice series to kick back and relax with.

    Looking through my read books, I find that I’ve read more early British literature than American as well.

    Like

    • Briana | Pages Unbound says:

      I’ve seen some people say they like Twilight still and haven’t been silenced by all the disdain, but I don’t know a lot of people who think it’s kind of “meh” but not The.Worst.Ever. :p

      Yay! Another British lit fan!

      Like

  2. alilovesbooks says:

    I didn’t major in English lit but I’m pretty much there with all of these. I loved Twilight when it first came out even though it’s problematic for so many reasons. I am a little surprised you haven’t read Austen but there are plenty of classic authors I’ve never read so fair enough. I also did all of the reading assigned to me at school, thankfully this didn’t require 3 books a week.

    Interestingly I had a professor at Uni who was into feminism who told me it was a female trait. That women feel like they have to read and understand everything while men will focus their efforts and do what they need to to pass. Seems a bit of a generalisation to me and not sure if it’s true but it always stuck with me.

    Like

    • Briana | Pages Unbound says:

      I tried reading Pride and Prejudice, but I had just watched the BBC miniseries like three times in a row, so it was a bit much to read the book then. :p

      That’s so interesting! I think I do associate the “do the minimum to pass” thing with a lot of men I know. (The valedictorian of my high school did this, and I didn’t have a lot of respect for him because of it, though clearly it got him the grades he wanted. Example: We had a poster project and “artistic merit” was not part of the grade, so he drew stick people and wrote a caption on a poster board. Same for a PowerPoint: “Visuals” were not really a graded component, so he put text on a blank white background and called it a day. The lack of effort was palpable, but since he technically had the correct content, he got A’s.). I’ll have to observe more to see if this is a general “guy” trend though, or just some of the people I know!

      Like

  3. Jheelam says:

    Bang on with “Twilight”. Though I find the plot convoluted, it’s not as bad as others make it so.

    I like British Literature too (might be because of colonial hangover ) but I find the language more relatable.

    Lovely confessions. 🙂

    Like

  4. looloolooweez says:

    “So I took one course for “post-1900 American literature” that actually included mostly books from the 1800s.” Um, what? This makes me want to smack that professor upside the head.

    Like

    • Briana | Pages Unbound says:

      To be fair, the professor was my academic advisor and he warned me only a few texts were post-1900, but for decreasing the class was listed as post-1900 in the course catalogue, so he had to let me do it. Maybe he got the class reclassified after that, or maybe I was really the only person avoiding post-1900 classes, so it was not a common problem. 😅

      Like

  5. saraletourneau says:

    I swear you and I must have talked about this before, Briana, but I also didn’t read LOTR or any Tolkien books until after watching the movies! The only difference is that I saw the whole trilogy first, then read the book trilogy.

    Twilight… I’m ambivalent about the first book, but the second book irritated me so much that I quit the series after that. I don’t even remember the title of that second book – that probably indicates how much I disliked it! XD

    I also read everything I was assigned to read in high school and college! I didn’t always like what I read, but I also didn’t feel comfortable discussing the assigned books unless I’d read them from front to back.

    Like

    • Briana | Pages Unbound says:

      I think we have discussed it! I think seeing the first movie worked well for me because I like the movies now because I didn’t have different notions from just reading the book about how characters should look/sound/whatever.

      Haha! I didn’t read the second book, so I can’t speak to that. Book four sounds weird from what I’ve heard from other people though. And, yeah, I get all the titles confused!

      Isn’t the point to go and read things and learn about them???

      Liked by 1 person

    • Briana | Pages Unbound says:

      I did an MA in English literature. Technically I was in a PhD program, but I decided I didn’t want to pursue a career in academia, so I just left with the master’s. It was already frustrating because most of the people in my cohort entered with a master’s, so they had read all this stuff I hadn’t AND got credits/classes waived. And also just had grad school experience already. So I was sitting around reading mountains of stuff and wondering how everyone was doing the work and teaching and writing papers for conferences, etc., and it took me way too long to realize most of them were faking having done any of the class reading because classwork doesn’t count but publications/conference presentations do, so that’s really where you need to put your attention.

      Like

      • Grab the Lapels says:

        When I entered my MFA program, I had already completed a master’s degree. So when I watched a lot of the people who had just entered grad school, I noticed many of them like to go out to clubs and party, kind of like they were still undergrads. But my education is so patchwork that I often felt like I was lacking or behind other people. I also noticed that this who had not previously done great work too a few years off, so they were still my age and very calm (I was frazzled). I’ve actually read that many people these days are now leaving academia at the master’s degree even though they had been in a PhD program because they discovered that the PhD program is really killing what they love about that specific field. A lot of them end up working in a totally different field but very happy.

        Like

    • Briana | Pages Unbound says:

      Oh, really?? I think seeing the first movie worked well for me because I like the movies now because I didn’t have different notions from just reading the book about how characters should look/sound/whatever.

      Like

  6. Stephanie says:

    Okay, I didn’t read The Lord of the Rings books until after I’d seen the movies too so I’m with you there. Book-to-movie adaptations are important things! They help get people reading books they may have not have otherwise read. I do like Twilight. It’s not by any means the greatest book I’ve ever read, but I do enjoy reading it from time to time. It’s light and fluffy, and sometimes you just need a book like that.

    Like

    • Briana | Pages Unbound says:

      Yes! I was pretty young when I saw the movies, and I don’t think I would have gone around reading adult epic fantasy without them! And then I read a bunch of medieval and Anglo-Saxon things I wouldn’t have otherwise.

      Twilight gets so much hate and, really, there are so many books that are much worse! I think it’s just because it was so popular.

      Like

  7. ashley says:

    I didn’t read Austen until last year or the year before and the only Austen book I’ve read is Pride and Prejudice, and I was entertained by it. It has such witty banter.

    Like

  8. Adam @ Roof Beam Reader says:

    I love these confessions! I read another’s confessions recently and they made me want to unfollow (I didn’t! But gosh, I was tempted! ha)

    I was one of those who read every assigned book in school, too, and usually enjoyed them thoroughly. Despite that, I didn’t realize I was “supposed” to be an English major until my junior year of college. I crammed it all in at the end! (And then went on for another degree, and another one more besides!)

    Like

    • Briana | Pages Unbound says:

      One time I read a bunch of “confessions” that were like “I hate book blogs that have blue themes. So boring.” And a bunch of other stuff that was just judgmental and negative. That was the only time I think the book/blog confessions thing really went wrong.

      So glad to find other people who actually did the reading! I mean, i wanted to read it! That’s the point of going to school, right?? It’s awesome you eventually fell into English too!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. PerfectlyTolerable says:

    Great confessions! I read all but 1 of my required reading throughout high school and college! And I don’t think Twilight is that bad either! I think its fun to hate on it tho. Kind of the way people love to hate on tween boy bands. I watched all 3 of the LOTR movies before reading any of the books!

    Like

    • Briana | Pages Unbound says:

      One time I had a Spanish professor tell me I wasn’t “supposed” to read all the reading because there was too much of it and I should just be able to talk about it, and it was weird. I wanted to read the stuff! That’s the point of going to school, yes???

      Awesome that so many other people saw the movies first too!

      Like

  10. Sammie says:

    *gasp* How dare you never read a book by Jane Austen. Because we’ve all, um, totally done that one, right? *shifty eyes* (Actually I have! Only because I had to for a book club … last year … but I’m still counting it! I was also not impressed, as I knew would be the case, so I’m pretty sure that makes you the smarter among the two of us.)

    I agree with the Twilight thing. I think the hate was so loud/strong because of how popular it got. I mean, I’ve read worse … a lot worse … but none of them were even half as big as Twilight. So maybe that was why there was just so much of it?

    I read all my assigned books, too. I found some of my favorite books that way. I’m actually not sure why people complain about assigned reading. Yes, some of it was crap, but I ended up liking more than I didn’t like. xD

    Like

    • Briana | Pages Unbound says:

      I tried reading Pride and Prejudice once, but it was too soon after seeing the movie! I will try again sometime when I am in the right mood!

      Yeah, popular books get a lot of hate, but obviously they’re popular because people like them so….

      So glad other people actually did the reading! I think the point of going to school is to read things, not just kind of show up and pretend you learned something!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Michael J. Miller says:

    I read the ‘Twilight’ series because a friend of mine was begging me to read it too and I also enjoyed it. Are they greatest novels ever written in the history of human literature? Of course not. But they were never supposed to be. They are fun stores about shiny vampires and the girls who love them. I’ve never understood all the hate either. I actually read them as I was researching and writing my master’s thesis on the Kingdom of God. I’d read and/or write all day and then I needed some mindless fun to relax before bed. So I started ‘Twilight.’ And I am not ashamed to admit I had to put the final novel on hold until I was done with my thesis because I was getting distracted from my research because of Jacob, Bella, Edward, and co. :).

    Like

      • Michael J. Miller says:

        Pop culture can be so dramatic like this. Something builds and builds in popularity then all of a sudden – BOOM – it’s time for a large segment to hate it because it’s “cool.” It’s exhausting trying to keep up with the always-shifting nature of culture and fandoms.

        Like

  12. anhdara13 says:

    Number 5 though. H O W??? I never managed to do that though I tried. Lol. Also I realised the only reason I ever read Austen (Pride & Prejudice, to be exact) was because it was one of the assigned novels for my O Level English Literature course. I enjoyed it well enough that I want to read the rest of her novels.

    Like

Leave a Reply! We'd love to read your thoughts!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.