Admittedly, I’ve never been one of the Cool Kids. When the rest of my classmates were reading Goosebumps or teen romances (or nothing at all), I was reading Tolkien, Stephen King, or whatever fantasy author caught my eye. Even going to the library was a sign of uncool nerdiness, and I was on a first name basis with the librarians. In college I was too busy keeping my GPA high enough to keep my scholarships while working enough hours to pay the rent to worry about being cool. And let’s face it: in college, Cool really doesn’t matter. At least, it didn’t matter to me.
I’m nothing if not consistent. I started this book blog a few years ago to keep myself on track for a reading goal. I didn’t get much attention for it and I was fine with that. Now that I’m taking blogging a bit more seriously, I’m discovering that there is an entire realm of ‘Cool Book Bloggers’ that I am not a part of– blogs full of fun memes and lists and read-a-thons, discussions about how to keep track of upcoming releases, author interviews and blog tours, ARC reviews, and a whole slew of book-related things that I never imagined where Things until I started reading more book blogs.
Lo, and behold, I am still not cool.
Goodness knows I’ve tried. I mean, who doesn’t want to be part of the In Crowd, with their shelfies full of matching sets of hardbacks of multiple series, and endless enthusiasm for all the wonderful upcoming stories? Who doesn’t want to be part of a fandom and discuss, for hours sometimes, what is going to happen to this or that character, who is shipping who, and ‘OMG, can you believe that plot twist at the end’? Fandom is fun!
Alas, I am not part of popular fandoms. I’m just on the edge of them. I’ve read the Harry Potter books a few times, and I can tell you what Hogwarts house the Sorting Hat at Pottermore put me into (Ravenclaw), and I know all about Katniss and her struggle to be a revolutionary leader (I’m team Peeta), but that’s about where it ends. I have friends who will gush about some new dystopian series, and I’ll say, “That’s nice, I hope you like it,” before going back to what I was doing. I’ve read books by some of the current giants in the fantasy world– two books by Sarah J. Maas and one so far by Cassandra Clare, for example– and I didn’t enjoy them. Whether it was character, plot, or prose (or all three), some element turned me off the book altogether.
It’s a shame, really, because many of my friends love these books and would be happy to talk about them with me, but I’m over here being enthusiastic about books written by people in my parents’ generation.
At least I’m not shouting at people to get off my lawn.
But while I might bemoan the current state of editing in fantasy novels or roll my eyes when Bestselling Author I Don’t Like announces a ‘brand new series with a kick-ass female main character’, at the end of the day I realize there is plenty of room in the world for me and all the cool kids, and that we’re all free to like what we like.
So when you start gushing about the New and Amazing New Release, please forgive me if I give you a blank look and say, “I have no idea what you’re talking about”. I am not one of the cool kids. I’m not trendy and I’m a bit square, I know, but I am always open to new things. I’ll keep giving these new cool books a try. Maybe one day I’ll find one I can fall in love with.
I doubt that I’ll ever really be cool.