About a year ago, I admitted something really important to myself. I am a rebel. For those of you who know me in real life, this is going to seem totally wrong but stick with me. Gretchen Rubin, of The Happiness Project fame, released a book called The Four Tendencies that has changed the way I think about myself. In this book, Rubin describes four personality types and through a series of simple exercises, it is pretty easy to figure out which one best describes who you are.
For a while, insisted that I was an Obliger; someone who meets outer expectations but struggles to meet expectations they impose on themselves. After coming up with all sorts of plans to get things done according to strategies that work for Obligers, I only became more frustrated. I would sign up for a reading challenge, complete the tasks for one month and then just quit. I would register for an amazing online writing class, complete the first assignment and then disappear. Around the time that I was getting really annoyed with myself, I had lunch with a good friend and we got talking about The Four Tendencies. She told me she was a rebel, someone who resists both outer and inner expectations. At first glance, as with me, this made no sense. She, like me, appears to be a rule follower and someone who, on the surface, is a person who gets things done easily. But no. When we both really thought and read about this tendency we understood that we are both rebels. We are going to do what we want to do when we want to do it.
After coming to this realization, I have gained a greater understanding about some things I do naturally. One came to mind last week while I listened to one of my new favorite podcasts, Currently Reading. In the most recent episode, the co-hosts, Meredith and Kaytee discussed how they choose the next book they are going to read and both referenced that they were mood readers. They also commented on the fact that if they set a goal to read a certain book, they had almost always doomed themselves to failure. All the bells and whistles went off and I realized that they were describing me. Enter the definition of a rebel. I have to read what I want when I want to read it. Suddenly I knew why I have never completed a monthly book challenge no matter how great it is (like The Read Harder Challenge or the Modern Mrs Darcy Reading Challenge and why I can’t create a beautiful Monthly TBR post on Instagram.
And this realization also helped me to understand why, as a rebel, the library is my best friend.
I can check out as many books as I want without spending a dime. When I walk in to the library, if a book catches my eye, I check it out. If I get home and I no longer feel like reading it, I return it.
If I am reading a library book and I decide I don’t like it, I stop reading. I can do this if I am ten pages in or if I am 100 pages in to a read. No harm no foul. No money spent so therefore far less guilt if I choose not to read a book at all or choose to stop reading at any point.
The library hold list helps the rebel in me too. If I hear about a book I want to read, my first inclination has always been to hop on-line and buy it. Over time, I have gotten much better about pausing and requesting the book through our library website. There have been countless times that I will get a message that a book I have requested has arrived and by the time it has, I really am no longer interested in reading it.
This post came to mind as I was scrolling through The Be A Bookworm Challenge sheet. Today, even though I have done it already, I am going to follow the prompt, ‘tag your library.’ For those of you have been completing the challenge alongside me, thank you! And for those of you who have no idea what I am talking about it, it is never too late to jump in and join us. Details can be found right here.