Happy weekend everyone! As part of my 2021 reading resolution, I promised to do at least one book tag per month. It was something that I carried over from my 2020 reading resolution and, so far, I have managed to keep up this resolution and for October, I am doing a book tag that I have encountered last year. Yes, it took me a year to finally do Reader Problems Book Tag (haha) which I first encountered through Sarah Collins Bookworm.

It piqued my interest but I still can’t remember why it took me this long to finally do it. Nevertheless, I hope you enjoy my version of this book tag.

You have 20,000 books on your TBR. How do you decide what to read next?

Indeed, this is a huge dilemma, especially over the past few years. With my reading list constantly getting longer, I have, at times, experienced quandaries. But as I have mentioned several times, I am a mood reader. Rather than spending time figuring out which book to read next, I simply pick based on my mood in that particular moment. When I feel emotional, I pick a book that I think exhibits my current mood.

If there was something that has been helpful in isolating which books to read next it would be establishing monthly reading themes. I usually come up with a theme, e.g. Japanese, Asian, Booker Prize, or Pulitzer Prize, prior to the start of the month. I a no fan of a monthly to-be-read lists (because I pick books based on moods) but having monthly themes made it easier deciding which to read next.

You’re halfway through a book, and you’re just not loving it; do you put it down or are you committed?

This is a no-brainer, at least for me I guess. You see, when I was younger, I resolved to complete every book that I open, regardless if I am enjoying it or not. Yes, it can be a struggle but I still hold on to my silly resolution because I am still hopeful that the story will redeem itself towards the end.

There are, however, two exceptions to this (HAHA). The first one is Haruki Murakami’s The Elephant Vanishes. I decided to close it because I am no fan of short stories and I struggled with one too many surrealistic elements that Murakami’s works are about with. James Joyce’s Ulysses. It was part of my 2017 Top 20 Reading List but I struggled situating myself in its labyrinth that I finally made the difficult decision of DNFing it. However, I have promised to read Ulysses once I have become well-read.

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?

I try to take part in as many reading challenges as I can. Currently, I have joined one, the Beat the Backlist challenge because, in connection to number 1, I am hoping to tick off books from my backlist. Unfortunately, I am lagging behind. I also have three personal reading challenges. These are 2021 Top 21 Reading List, 2021 Books I Look Forward To List, and 2021 Goodreads reading challenge. The first and the third challenges, I am sure, I can complete before the year ends as they are my focus. However, I am looking at increasing my Goodreads reading target. It is currently set at 75 (it was originally 60 I think) but now that I am reading my 71st book for the year, I just might increase my target to 80 or 85. We’ll see how the succeeding weeks develop. I am halfway done with my 2021 Top 21 Reading list.

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

I find it annoying when a book series I have don’t match. I am a standalone type of reader but I do have my fair share of book series. I try to have them be uniform but it is, at times, challenging. However, I am seriously considering completing the books under the same format. So far, the only mismatch I have is Douglas Adams’ The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy Series and Patrick Ness’ Chaos Walking Trilogy. The differences in the former are way more glaring than the latter.

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

Most of my friends read young adult fiction, a genre that I am quite averse to (HAHA) although I have read my own fair share. I read more adult fiction and classics. Basically, I have no one to bond with or to share my thoughts with. But I don’t mind as I don’t find it necessary to nitpick on books that some people like. As I aside, I just share my thoughts in my book blog and anyone who share the same sentiments can always drop a comment.

You’re reading a book in public, and you’re about to start crying; how do you deal?

Books and stories have their unique way of getting into me. Some made me emotional while some made me laugh out loud. However, it is rare that I find myself crying although there are tears here and there. I can’t remember if I teared in public while reading but if ever, I would stop and process all the emotions first then look away, pretend that I am unaffected. But anyway, I am a sensitive guy so I don’t flashing my emotions in public.

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?

I am not the type of reader to reread books because I have quite a lot. What I do is to build on the story in sequel. If nothing is making sense, I try to read the prequel’s synopsis or simply use Google as it is easier. Strangely enough, I can still recall The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy even though three years have passed. I just mentioned it because I still haven’t read the succeeding books. It is my goal to read the rest of the series next year. It is actually a goal that I have been delaying for some time now but I am hoping to really make good of this promise.

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

I have learned my lesson. I rarely lend my books and if I do, it is to people I really trust would take care of them. However, I find it difficult refusing people who want to borrow my books. Instead, I ask them to take really good care of my books. If the request to borrow a book is through Facebook or social media, I just ignore their message and hope that this will send the message across.

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

Although I have never experienced long bouts of reading slumps, I see to it that I take breaks. If I am in no mood to read, I put down the book to pause. I will pick the book up once I am up in the mood for it, which does not usually go beyond a day. There is no need to force myself.

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

It will depend on the situation. When I am generous enough, I will probably buy all of these books after consulting with my back account. If I feel like I won’t be able to pay for the books, I will choose the ones that are on top of my reading list. But with the number of unread books I have, I have been keeping the lid on although I keep on debating whether to buy or not. It is the Cancer qualities in me.

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

Again, this will depend on my mood. If there is an urgency to read them, such as my goal of reading the 2021 Booker Prize shortlist before the announcement of winner, then I read the books immediately. On the other hand, if there is no real urgency, then it will depend on my mood (a lot depends on it apparently haha). It can remain unread for months and even years, and even gather dusts. Despite this, I know that I will read them in the future.

And that ends my version of the Reader Problems Book Tag. I hope you enjoyed it. How about you fellow reader? How do you cope with these dilemmas? If you are interested to do the book tag, feel free to do so. However, don’t forget to tag me so that I can also check your answers.