Sunday, March 11, 2018

When you finally read that book that's been on your shelf forever... and you love it!

{This is my second TBR-themed post inspired by Caffeinated Reviewer's March Take Control of Your TBR Challenge}

When I finally dig into books that have been sitting on my shelf forever, thankfully it's not all DNFs and disappointment. Sometimes it feels like a treasure hunt. Like I've uncovered a diamond in the rough and I just can't believe I didn't pick that book up sooner. What was I thinking?!

I'm going to use a loose definition of "forever" for the purposes of this post, but let's call it at least a year, though I'm sure I'm not the only bookworm who has unread books hanging around a lot longer than that! Here are a few I've read since December that fit the bill:

A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeline L'Engle

According to Goodreads, I put this on my "Have a Copy" shelf in February 2013 -- that's 5 years ago! I had found a matching set of books #2-5 of the Time Quintet at my local used bookstore and felt I should remedy the fact that I missed out on them as a kid. Whether because the person who traded them in held onto Wrinkle or because another reader snapped it up before me doesn't really matter, but I wasn't surprised to see the most popular first book was not there. And it certainly didn't deter me from scooping them up and then tracking down the missing title elsewhere. And even though I did that rather promptly, the entire series still sat unread on my shelves for 5 long years. My mom even borrowed, read, and returned most of the series before I ever cracked the first one open! (Side note: She started feeling lost in book #5 and gave it up. I've since learned there is apparently some controversy over whether or not books #4-5 are *really* part of the series as it was originally a trilogy? I don't know enough about it to comment, but if you have any insight, please share!)

When I finally picked up Wrinkle for two different read-alongs, it only took a couple of pages to know it was going to be a really special book. The writing is excellent and I found it so very engaging -- the kind of book I just want to get lost in. I almost want to compare it to how it felt reading Harry Potter for the first time, though that might be a slight exaggeration. I did get a tad bit lost with some of the science-y stuff later on and I struggled a little bit with concentrating on book #2, but overall, I've been so glad to finally be experiencing this new-to-me series.


The Snow Sister, by Emma Carroll

I bought both of these in December 2016, thinking I'd read them during that Christmas season... and I didn't. Womp, womp. I brought Winterson's short story collection with me to my grandmother's house for the holiday, but never made it past the introduction which I didn't find all that inspiring. I tried again for Christmas 2017 and I'm so glad I finally did! Not every story was a hit for me, but I really appreciated the variety and breadth of the stories as well as the excellent writing. Even with a few meh stories, I book dart-ed a TON of memorable quotes and passages.  I even loved the little anecdotes that accompanied the recipes -- which I originally thought I would skim or skip in favor of the *real* stories. Lesson learned.

As for the Emma Carroll book, I can't say I'm surprised I loved this slim heartwarming Christmas novel (novella?) My love of middle grade has only grown in the past year though, so maybe I was better off waiting? But still, its short page length really left me kicking myself for not picking it up sooner. I find that seasonal books have an even higher likelihood of languishing on the shelves because if I don't get to them the first time, that typically means a whole year will pass before I even consider picking them up again. Those seasonal/holiday reading windows always feel so short! And if I miss the boat a second time, we're talking another whole year, and so on and so forth. I'm trying to establish a habit of pulling out all the seasonal books well ahead of time so I can see what my options are at certain times of year. It's a work in progress, but it definitely helps focus my reading choices and if I do skip a book, it's more likely to be a conscious decision rather than me just forgetting I had it until the season has come and gone.

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Do you have a book you ended up loving after it sat around for awhile? I'd love to hear about it!

12 comments:

  1. Glad to hear you were able to enjoy these, despite them sitting on your shelves for a while - that's a great feeling, isn't it?!

    I've never read A Wrinkle in Time myself, but definitely want to especially with the new film adaptation for this year. And I was so happy to see you enjoyed The Snow Sister by Emma Carroll - if you're able to, you should definitely check out some of her full length books because they are just amazing!

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    1. I've only read the first two Wrinkle in Time books, but I'm looking forward to the others. The film was really well done though (of course) different in some ways from the book. I think you'll like the first book even if you don't read further :)

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  2. I felt this way about The Vanishing Acts of Esme Lennox, I remember. Worth the wait, haha!

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    1. Worth the wait is such a good feeling!

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  3. That's always so exciting when a book that's been in the to-read stacks for a long time turns out to be great!

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    1. It really is! Makes me doubt my book-choosing skills a little bit less :)

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  4. I'm glad you loved A Wrinkle in Time! Have you read When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead yet? It was the Newbery winner in 2010, and it has a lot of A Wrinkle in Time references. It's been one of my favorite Newbery reads so far. :)

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    1. I didn't know that about When You Reach Me! I think it is going to have to get bumped a bit higher on my Newbery list :)

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  5. I have to admit, I've been going through old ARCs on my shelves and so far, it has mostly been disappointments. I might have requested things a little too freely when I first started blogging! I'm glad to hear reading your own shelves is going better for you and that you ended up enjoying A Wrinkle in Time :)

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    1. Thanks! I had to unsubscribe from certain newsletters that showcased ARC giveaways/requests because like you I got in a bit over my head! I still have some unread ones with wayyyyyy old release dates and I don't quite know what to do with them -- and I never feel like reading them. Too much guilt in that arena so I just had to stop, even though I also read & reviewed some really great ARCs, it was just too much!

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  6. Ever since the movie we can't keep A Wrinkle in Time on the shelf at the library. I have always heard good things about the book, but haven't read it myself. I am so glad it wan't a disappoint. :D

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    1. I imagine that's a popular title right now! I do love the burst of excitement over a book when there is a movie made from it :) I can see now why so many good things have been said about it -- I think you'd like it :)

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I'd love to hear what you think :)