Monday, September 9, 2013

Discussion Post: Do You Keep Certain Books a Secret?

This quote…this quote says it all. A few years ago I said something similar to my mom about this. I told her that there are certain books I don’t tell people about because I’m afraid if they read them, they won’t understand the book like I do. They won’t appreciate it. They won’t get it like I do. There is no way they could love it as much as I do. My mom thought this was weird…go figure…

But then I read The Fault in Our Stars...I have never in my life read something from a book that felt like the author was speaking directly to me. That quote. That quote changed something in me when I read it. It understood. I felt like finally, for the first time somebody got it. Mind you, this was before I was a blogger and found that a whole community exists of crazy book-obsessed people just like me. Because I read this before meeting you all, you can imagine how refreshing it was to feel like I wasn’t alone. It felt amazing.

This book was added to my list of books I keep secret from my non-book friends. OBVIOUSLY my book friends—you guys—are exempt from this because you all get it. You have all either heard of them or read them and fell in love with them. I don’t keep these books from you guys so I’m not breaking the John Green rule when I make this list. And what's ironic? These are the books I most recommend to my book friends. So this time, I propose this question…

Are there certain books you keep to yourself?

I know I do. There aren’t many but these select few are books that have changed my life and have made me look at the world differently. These books hold a special place in my heart and as much as I love my real life friends…I can’t recommend these book because I fear they won’t understand them like I do. Call me a snob, I’m sure you all know what I’m talking about. Here we go…

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green—Obvi. Read paragraph 2 and you’ll remember why I keep this secret. This book was so perfect in every way, and Hazel and Augustus feel like family to me. I love them so much and I just can’t share this one…not yet. I had no idea what I was getting into when I started this book. I read Looking for Alaska-loved it- and started this one. I had NO idea how much I would be effected. I brought this book on vacation and, I kid you not, I read it by the pool in one sitting, didn’t move for hours, and sobbed openly…in public. I have no shame about this. No shame at all. Where's Judith? She knows how this goes. 

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak—Liesel and Rudy and Max and Death…I can’t let them go. I can’t give them to people I know might not love them as much as I do. I don’t want people who won’t appreciate the writing style and perspective to call it weird or say it was just okay. It would break my heart the way this book did. This book is so poignant and haunting and Death just…Death is just unique and beautiful and honest in a heart-wrenching way. I can’t describe it but I remember going out with my friends while in the middle of reading this book and not wanting to leave my house. I almost cancelled because I HAD to finish this book. Normal?

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein—Maddie and Queenie, they make a sensational team. The writing is unique and the relationship is beyond words beautiful. This book broke me down in a way that I felt raw while reading it. I sobbed for a good hour…probably more, while reading. I can’t imagine recommending this to somebody not knowing whether or not they will fall in love with this book the way I did. Queenie and Maddie make just the best team and the best of friends and the writing is just out of this world and unless you’re bookish I don’t think it can be appreciated fully.

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor—I did break my rule recently on this book because my friend and I are going to Prague so I told her she had to read it…but I was nervous. I won’t lie, she started it and said she ‘didn’t get it’ and it was hard to get into. My heart broke a little. Ok, maybe a lot. It took a conscious effort to not freak out and be like WHAT DO YOU MEAN YOU DON’T GET IT, ISN’T THE WRITING THE MOST BEAUTIFUL THING YOU HAVE EVER READ?! *Deep breath* She did end up liking it towards the end but I know that non-bookies won’t get this book like it should be gotten. The story is unique and the writing style is so beautiful that it hurts me to think other people won’t love it like I do.

The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay—I do have an acquaintance at work who read this and loved it. So it could be recommended to the general public but anyone who knows me knows how much I obsess over this book. Like…Josh and Nastya feel like family. People not loving them and getting them like I do would break something inside me. Their story is one of the best I’ve ever read so I could never send them out to people I wasn’t 200% positive I know would love them and take care of them. This book means too much to me

Ok, now that I’ve sufficiently dished out a bunch of crazy, I gotta know…

Do you have books you like to keep quiet? Books so rare and special it feels like a betrayal talking about them? I know I do. 


  1. I liked recommending books to people so we can talk about them, but I totally get what you're saying. The Fault In Our Stars feels that way for me too, as well as The Book Thief. I love both of them so much (and I hope the movie adaptations are good).

  2. I tend not to recommend anything by Cassandra Clare to people because I know she is either loved or hated, and her stories mean so much to me that I can't bare to have someone tarnish them. It sucks cause I wanna squee about them with friends but luckily I have a friend who loved them also. :)

  3. I don't think I purposely keep books quiet. If somebody asked about a good book recently read, I will definitely brag ;)
    - Krys

  4. I also keep books to myself, and only make recommendations based on what I think the other person will like. I did take a risk with The Book Thief a while back for my book club. I was afraid they wouldn't 'get' Death's narration, and by and large they didn't but they DID love the book nonetheless. I do try to recommend the Book Thief a lot, as I think it has so much to teach us. Recently I shared Nightfall by Isaac Asimov and it broke my heart when they started pulling it apart and making jokes about the plot and writing. So much so that I considered leaving the book club for a brief moment.

  5. The book thief.. I have to agree, I'm scared to share this book with someone else. What if they don't see the lovely prose, the awesome characters I love so dearly and the originality? But, there are no readers around me, so this book is save and I don't have to keep it a secret. Everyone here knows it's one of my favorites <3


  6. You know, most people think it's weird to bring crying books with you on vacation, but I do it all the time, as you know. Like you, I read TFiOS on the beach and sobbed so hard that my family thought I was going insane. Same thing with SCS - oh my god that book. I'm legit tearing up thinking about it right now.

    I really know what you mean with keeping certain books to yourself, though. It's what I do with Looking for Alaska. I don't share it with anyone, because I know not everyone understands it the same way I do. (I DON'T MEAN to be arrogant or whatever here, but when someone else reads it, it's different, y'know?) Sometimes the opposite happens and I WANT to share certain books that I love (TFiOS, If You Find Me) because I believe those books are complete and utter brilliance that deserve to be shared with the world because I know that everyone will love them.

    Oh! My best example of a book I keep to myself is Just One Day. See, JOD is REALLY close to my heart. Allyson's college experience is quite close to my own, and I completely understand her depression. That sounds... depressing. But I do. It's probably the one book I can't take people hating on, because it feels too close to me, and that would mean they would be hating on me. Sigh.

    Adore this post, lady!!

  7. The thoughts. They are coming.

    Okay, so.... Yes, I have done this before and can think of several books that I haven't recommended to certain people EVEN THOUGH I legitimately do think they'd like them. It's not that I can't handle the book being criticized. It's more that I can't bear the thought that they wouldn't love it in the way I did?

    And, interestingly, it's not that I keep the book a secret. Like I'll include it in TTT posts or even review it or mention that I loved it. I think it's more about a personal recommendation to someone else - that's what I avoid. I might not have a problem talking about a book I loved (and hoping certain people will pick it up because of that) but I'm WAY more hesitant to specifically tell someone else to read it. Because that just sparks them wanting to talk about it with me and OMG I JUST COULDN'T IF THEY DIDN'T LIKE IT.

    Does that make any sense?

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