I have a secret. Actually, it’s not-so-secret since I started my tumblr blog and began posting them. I love quotes. Especially book quotes.
In fact, I’m scared that some of the time I love a quote from a book far more than I love the book itself. An isolated quote without the context of its book in the way means I can mould my own meaning out of it, apply the words to my own thoughts and experiences until they fit so snugly they could be my own.
I hunt the web for quotes, devouring them all and saving the ones I really like. I bookmark them, I memorise them, I even make my own quote pictures.
In true Blue Peter style, here are some I made earlier:
But my not-so-secret isn’t all harmless fun.
I read and like quotes from books and poetry I’ve never read before. This means I consciously spoil them for myself.
I’m currently reading Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins. When I first decided to read the Hunger Games trilogy I “researched” it to see if it seemed like something I’d want to read. What this really meant was going on Goodreads to find out if I liked the quotes there from the book. One of the first quotes I read was of Peeta telling Katniss “There is no district twelve”.
Now, I don’t yet know entirely what this means for Katniss and Peeta but I can tell it’s somehow BIG to the plot and I have to quash the itch to jump to the end of the book to find out what he means. Every time I pick up Catching Fire, all the while I’m reading it, this quote (and the mystery behind it) nags at the back of my mind. If I’m honest, it ruins the book a little bit for me.
This reading of quotes from books I haven’t yet began also means I’m less likely to read that book. Oh, a good quote from a book definitely makes me put it on my mental Books to Read list. But a lot of the time, after reading a good few quotes from the same book, I feel I already know it.
Those few words are a pretty good indication as to the author’s writing style and the major themes and topics that the book covers. And because people generally post the most memorable and meaningful quotes from a specific book, I’ve already read the best bits of it before I’ve even turned over the first page.
My book list is ever-expanding so such books get thrown right to the back where it’s unlikely I’ll get around to actually reading them for god knows how long.
So I’ve made a pact with myself. I must not, under any circumstances, read any quotes belonging to anything I have not previously read. It’s going to be hard. I’m going to have to stop religiously refreshing http://quote-book.tumblr.com/ and I’ll have to stick to the ‘My Books’ section of Goodreads.
But I think I can do it. My reading enjoyment depends on it.