I am extremely talented at getting confused and muddled by books.
Honestly it’s the kind of talent I would take gold for in the Olympics. You could literally put money on me getting confused by the DUMBEST THINGS in books and you would win every single time. It not a talent I’m particularly proud of, but, you know what? When one’s only other truly worthwhile talents are (1) mentioning cake in like EVERY blog post until someone wants to strangle me, (2) reading so so many books because #obsessed, and (3) always losing my left socks — YOU HAVE TO TAKE YOUR TALENTS WHERE YOU CAN GET THEM.
Now there are reasons I get confused so often. And I will list them for you because I love lists and also I love talking about myself. Hence the blog.
- I have a memory like a WiFi connection. Which means it keeps dropping out and never coming back.
- I’m just not paying attention. Like you think that I am because I’m looking in your vague direction, but I’m really writing a book in my head which is freaking awesome by the way because my brain is great.
- Things sound the same after a while. Book titles…human names…blog posts I’ve written…current events…
- I think about doing something so much I feel I’ve already done it. Like talk to me about second-hand-fandom syndrome. I know everything about Captain America Civil War and I’ve never seen it. So after a while I just start accidentally acting like I know about something WHEN I DON’T. #ConfusingLife I do this with emails/messages too. Did I email you or did I just think about emailing you?
- I absorb about as much as a rock. Which means, I do rock. But also if there are too many words spoken or written all in a row, you know…I might be just looking at the pictures or thinking about what I’ll eat for lunch, because lunch is one of life’s greatest joys.
I’m just basically a fantastic calamity.
But an adorable one, so how can you be mad?
Spoiler: you can’t.
Unfortunately my life of confusion does bleed not my reading and book blogging life, leaving me in rather befuddling messes which I can only blame myself about but I generally blame someone else. Like my dog. Or whatever I ate for lunch. Or my bookshelf for being so GROSSLY GORGEOUS that I stare at it all day instead of using my grey matter.
So here are 10 things that have to do with books that I’ve gotten hopelessly confused about. And hopefully you will either relate or at least have a chance to laugh at me. Preferably the first though.
1. I MIX UP BOOK TITLES ALL THE TIME.
Which can be terrible when you’re trying to have a discussion with someone and are suddenly making up titles. Like me on Twitter the other day when I was adamantly recommending Queen Of the Geeks. WELL NO. The book is Queens of Geek. And FYI, Cait, no one knows what you’re on about.
I also have mixed up the titles of:
- Daughter Of Smoke And Bone vs Shadow & Bone
- PS I Like You vs PS I Still Love You
- The entire Starbound Trilogy…like aren’t the titles Their Fracture Broken Split End Hair Light World Stars? I don’t know, mate.
- History Is All You Left Me vs The Catastrophic History Of Me And You
- Everything with “Shadow” and “Queen” in the title BECAUSE C’MON GIVE ME A BREAK.
- The Impossible Knife of Memory vs The Knife of Never Letting Go
- Every Harry Potter book ever. Like it’s just Harry Potter and [INSERT A PRINCE OR PRISON OR DEAD SNAKE HERE OR SOMETHING I CAN’T SPELL HERE]
And don’t get me started on authors. Between Shirley Marr, Marissa Meyer, and Melissa Marr I just refer to everyone as Hey You.
2. I HAVE NO IDEA WHEN BOOKS ARE COMING OUT, I JUST…I GOT NOTHING.
This is actually fair because books have different release dates in different countries. This is also fair because I never look at a calendar. Calendars are evil. They remind you that your year is DISAPPEARING and you’ve not done like anything on your “2017 goals list” yet which is unfortunate.
I saw someone celebrating The Bone Witch just being published on instagram and I’m like “That came on In January??? Didn’t it???” And since it DIDN’T IN FACT, CAIT, NOW THAT YOU LOOK IT UP….I read a book 2 months earlier than I intended to.
Don’t get me started on accidentally reading The Gentleman’s Guid to Vice and Virtue * like FOUR MONTHS before release. **
* Actually do get me started because it’s my new!!! favourite!!! book!!! ever!!! And if you are not buying or reading it in June then what is wrong with you.
** Also while we’re at it. I never know remember whether it’s GENTLEMAN or GENTLEMEN. Why can’t I retain this knowledge.
3. WHAT BOOKS ARE ACTUALLY ABOUT.
I could probably solve this by reading the blurb, but WHO HAS TIME FOR THAT. * I’m forever picking up books and thinking I know what they’re about only to realise…no. No I was very wrong. I’ve just literally made stuff up.
- WE ARE STILL TORNADOES = actually not a Wizard of Oz retelling. Huh.
- THE SERPENT KING = This is not an epic fantasy, as I originally assumed.
- THE GLASS ARROW = despite looking like epic fantasy…it’s a dystopian?!?
- A THOUSAND PIECES OF YOU = I legit thought this was about a girl who did puzzles.
- UPROOTED = there are no dragons in this book. At all. I’m ridiculously confused.
* Smart people, probably??? People who like to be informed about what they read instead of just going into everything with grand assumptions based on covers and titles and whatever else their little brain has randomly imagined????
4. WHO IS NARRATING THIS BOOK.
Okay I admit, when I first read The Scorpio Races I didn’t realise it was two narrators. I mean the huge “SEAN” and “PUCK” at the top of the chapters apparently meant nothing to me. Sean’s nickname was Puck maybe??? I don’t know. I was just a small child. *
Least to say I got VERY confused that Sean was claiming to be aLONE and then to have BROTHERS and I was like “Dude, make up your mind and — woah now you’re a woman…wait.”
I’d like to say I grew and matured and don’t struggle from this now. But yet, no. Are there two narrators? Are they in two different time frames? Who is narrating this chapter now?? Because there is a 89% chance that I’ll forget who’s narrating in the middle of a chapter and just be chugging along hoping it sorts out.
* I’m saying this to make myself feel better, but I was like 16. Although to be fair…that is totally a child. I would refer to my yesterday self as “a child” too, by the way.
5. WHY BOOKS ARE DIFFERENT SIZES.
Although I’m 99% sure this is just because Evil That Does Not Sleep™ works in publishing and likes to make bookworms’ lives difficult. I think their duty is probably also fetching coffees and asking for mid-series-cover changes and for sequels to be 3cm taller than the first book.
6. HOW CHARACTERS KEEP BUMPING INTO EACH OTHER ALL THE TIME.
At first they’re strangers, and then, nooooo that guy you met in chapter ten IS ACTUALLY GOING TO BE PART OF YOUR EVERYDAY LIFE!! How does this happen. I can’t even manage to meet my mum in the same part of the house. “Come here,” she says, but when I get there, she’s elsewhere. So I yell and go elsewhere, and then she comes here.
How are you saying that fine princess managed to save that dude from a bog marsh monsters with PERFECT TIMING.
I can’t even time my tea to be drunk before it gets cold.
7. DECKLED EDGES.
Look, at risk of offending the deckled edges fandom, I want to confirm that I am neither for nor against deckled edges. I just haven’t the faintest why they exist. I’ve been doing craft with blunt scissors before and totally wrecked a page so just went ahead and “tore it artistically”. Is that what publishers did??? One day did some guy named Declan screw up and they were like, “BUT DON’T PANIC, DECLAN, IT COULD BE ARTISTIC. LET’S GO FOR IT AND WE’LL NAME IT AFTER YOU.”
I see you, Declan.
I see you making stuff up.
8. READING BOOKS OUT OF ORDER BECAUSE PUBLISHING IS ALLERGIC TO NUMBERING SERIES.
I ask myself this a lot: why can’t we have simple little series numbers on the spines?? WHY IS THE WORLD SO AVERSE TO THAT. I swear it used to be more common, but like these days finding a small “5” or “3” is almost like finding a unicorn. I forever end up buying books at op-shops/thrift stores and crying later because I bought book FIVE not book ONE.
As a small child I distinctly remember reading books out of order and being very, very confused. But pressing on because I’m not quitter.
ACTUAL THOUGHT PROCESS OF YOUNG CAIT READING BOOKS OUT OF ORDER:
Me: This doesn’t make sense.
Google: I CAN HELP!!
Me: They are eluding to things I haven’t read about.
Google: I COULD LET YOU KNOW.
Me: what if this is a sequel
Google: ASK ME. JUST ASK ME.
Me: I guess I can never know.
Although to be fair Young Cait had very limited computer time because Computers Will Destroy Children’s Brains apparently * and used what computer time she did have, not to look up books, but to calculate how much money and supplies it would take her to cross the Oregon Trail with a team of oxen and her very own dog. ** Priorities, apparently.
* Obviously the intervention failed because I live inside my laptop now and also my brain was destroyed so so so long before that.
** I really wanted a dog. And I feel like I remember it being $800, but I was spending a lot on a team of four horses and I wasn’t hunting, I was bringing along salt pork. Still. Expensive for the 19th century, mate.
9. TOO SIMILAR NAMES.
I’ve confessed before that I never remember characters names. But look, it’s like authors don’t even CARE that I’m struggling here and they do stupid things like NAME ALL THEIR CHARACTERS FAR TOO SIMILARLY. Why isn’t anyone catering to my needs?
- THE INEXPLICABLE LOGIC OF MY LIFE: The two main characters are Sal and Sam. I mean, do you just like to see me cry??
- A GAME OF THRONES: Like the whole thing is a mess. Between Bron vs Bran, Melisandre vs Missandei, Tywin vs Tyrion, Asha vs Osha, Bryndan vs Brandon, and Varys vs Viserys — I’m just going to quit. THIS IS WHY I LIKE JON.
- LIFE IN OUTER SPACE: Two of the secondary characters were Allison and Adrian. The protagonist wants to kiss Allison but I spent most of the book thinking he was kissing Adrian because I can’t possibly read the entire name.
10. WHAT THE CHARACTERS EVEN LOOK LIKE.
I have quite a hopeless imagination when it comes to book characters. Like if I saw a movie-adaption I would confidently say, “THEY LOOK NOTHING LIKE THAT!!” But what do they look like, then, Cait?
That’s a secret that not even I know. It just wasn’t that.
I try to pay attention!! I do!! But I always get surprised when I see fanart or people discussing characters’ races and I will be like “Ooooh, so they’re not a blob?” And then when books wax on poetic about high cheekbones and an elegant nose and eyes like the noonday sun after a dragon’s war blood was spilled like…what even does it mean. I’m laughing nervously and avoiding you.
ASK ME WHAT ANY CHARACTER LOOKS LIKE AND 9 OUT OF 10 TIMES I WILL GIVE YOU 0% DESCRIPTION BECAUSE WHAT EVEN IS GOING ON.
Despite all of these confuddling bewilderments…reading is still my favourite thing of ever.
This blog does exist as an ode to books. (And cake.)
And despite getting confused regularly, I don’t even care! I have rereads and fanart and people to discuss things with. I enjoy myself with my books and even if I might skim details sometimes or forget important things or have no clue what anyone looks like — AS LONG AS YOU ENJOY READING, YOU’RE DOING IT RIGHT.