I’ve Been Meaning to Read That

Hello friends! It’s been a hot second since we’ve posted anything on the blog, so I’ve decided to get things up and running with a very important discussion. Recently, I’ve noticed that when I talk about books, with bookish and non-bookish people alike, I often utter the phrase “I’ve been meaning to read that.” And confession time. I don’t always mean to read that. 

Now, there are a lot of different ways that I use that phrase, and in each situation, it means something different. So I’ve decided to classify each situation into an alignment chart, to make everything a little bit clearer. Sometimes I’ll be scrolling through a few blog posts and I’ll notice that a lot of people are talking about a specific book. That book will make its way onto my handy dandy mental TBR and stay there for a while. These kinds of books are interesting because I don’t usually get excited for them and mainly “mean to read them” because I’ve been seeing them around so much. I’ll usually mention that I’ve been meaning to read it when I’m in a bookstore and a friend of mine will notice the book on the shelf and ask about it. Or since it’s probably a hyped book, when it inevitably comes up in conversation. 

Me when I see a copy of a hyped book IRL

This category of “I meant to read that” can be classified as true neutral. I do intend to read them someday but I’m not leaping to do so, and if I never end up reading it, I’ll be fine. 

The next “I’ve been meaning to read that” happens when associated with what some might call classics. Either the books are actual classics, and I express my earnest desire to read the book as a way to seem like I would like to round out my reading more (even though we all know that at this point I am more likely to read a retelling of The Count of Monte Cristo than the actual book). Or the book is a YA “classic” like Twilight, Divergent, or The Shadowhunters. For the YA classics, I say I intend to read them as a way to end conversations. Do I actually want to read The Shadowhunters? Not really. Do I still have a desire to be clued into the fandom just a little bit? Yeah. 

What’s going on in the Shadowhunters fandom, someone please explain

I feel like with those books, there is a chance that I’ll end up reading them one day. Maybe if I’m trapped in my house for an unknown amount of time, or if school just decided to get canceled and switch all learning to remote platforms or something *cough* COVID-19 *cough*.  Just spitballing here. I would align this category as chaotic good. Because I mean well when I say I’ve been meaning to read it, but it is a bald-faced lie.

The last “I’ve been meaning to read that”, that I’d like to discuss, is the kind that some people might be displeased with. This is the “I’ve been meaning to read that” of complete deceit. Sometimes I might be blog hopping and come across a blog that I’d like to comment on, or I’ll be having a conversation with someone and they’ll mention a book that they’re super excited about. The common occurrence in these two cases is that the book they’re talking about is usually very outside of my usual genres. You might already see what’s coming, but I sometimes, rarely, almost never, might tell someone that I’ve been meaning to read a book that I would never lay my hands on. 

I know it sounds bad! But sometimes you might want the conversation to continue, or you might want to become friends with a blogger, but the only posts they have up are about books you don’t ever plan on reading! Is it right to do this? Absolutely not. But is it understandable (and forgivable)? I sure hope so. This one, without a doubt, falls into the alignment of chaotic evil. I would like to argue that it might be lawful evil. But that’s up for discussion. 

So, my question to you is, do you also say that you mean to read books that you actually don’t ever plan on picking up? Do you think it’s bad to express false interest in a book to continue a conversation? And most importantly, can you forgive me if I’ve ever falsely expressed interest in a book that you’ve spoken about?

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 Do you often say that you’ve been meaning to read things? Have you ever expressed interest in a book that you never actually plan on reading? Have you read City of Bones? Tell me about it.

49 thoughts on “I’ve Been Meaning to Read That

    1. That happens to me all the time!! There are just sooo many books that are always coming out, and then there are all the books that have *already* come out 😅 I have books that I said I would read from years ago that I still haven’t gotten too. But maybe someday…

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  1. Sometimes I will express false interest in a book. It usually isn’t totally false! I might honestly think the premise sounds really interesting! But like…it’s a CONTEMPORARY. I know I won’t read a contemporary, no matter how interesting it looks. I know that, no matter how much I tell myself to go read that contemporary, I am never going to do it. That book is never leaving the bookstore shelf in my arms.
    (Except for…maybe two contemporaries that are interesting enough to get me wanting to read them anyway.)

    I don’t know about the whole Shadowhunters series, but I can say that the very first book of the series was really…not good. There’s always a possibility you might like it, though! I think a lot of people did. I just…Eh. I read it when I was pretty young, but I remember there was kind of this elitism where it was okay for the magical people to be mean to humans because magical people were cooler. And also a fauxcest arc was set up. 😣 I’ve heard the spinoff series were better? I don’t really have the desire to find out, though.

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    1. Same!! There are times when I’ll express interest in a book because it honestly sounds interesting, but it’s just not the sort of thing that I would normally read. Sometimes I take the leap and end up reading it, but it’s a pretty rare occurrence.

      Also, uggh I have heard a lot about the fauxcest arc which is one of the reasons that I’ve been avoiding the Shadowhunters. But everyone seems to really like the spin-off series and I just feel so left out! Maybe I’ll just try reading the spin-offs instead of the main series 😅

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    1. Gaah, I wish there was unlimited time to read all the books I say I’m going to! Recently, I realized that I was commenting for at least 8 months that I meant to read a certain book before I read it 😅 I am super happy that I ended up taking the time to read it though because I ended up really enjoying it!

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  2. that’s an interesting one!
    I do actually say sometimes that a book interests me and i’d wanna read it … and yet not even adding it onto my “virtual wanna read” shelf on goodread 😂 so what happens? I forget about it ! ahaha … I think we all do something similar like that.

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  3. Oh gosh, this post spoke to me so much 🥺 I’m a big blog hopper, so I think it’s safe to say that I’ve commented on a lot of posts in my lifetime. Back then, I definitely remember blatantly lying and saying that I planned to read x book when I couldn’t think of anything to comment! I think this is a pretty harmless lie though, and I wouldn’t be mad whatsoever if I found out that you lied to me about wanting to read a book once.
    Now, I make sure to have integrity in all of my comments, and I never do that anymore. It may not be a malicious lie, but it’s a lie nonetheless and I’d rather not do that to other bloggers. Though when I do tell people that I plan to read a book, I might not be planning to pick it up any time soon. And if I’m iffy about whether or not the book is on my TBR, I’ll tell them that I’m thinking about reading the book!

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    1. What I do love about blog hopping to a bunch of different blogs that have different reading tastes than I do, is that I do tend to pick up books that I never would have thought of picking up! Sometimes it isn’t the best choice and I see, oh, this is why I don’t usually read this genre but sometimes it works out 😁

      Since realizing that I had started saying I meant to read a book I hadn’t meant to at all, I’ve tried phrasing things differently. Like pointing out if I thought a book sounds interesting, even though I know that it’s not exactly for me.

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  4. Most of the time my ‘I’ve been meaning to read that’ is true neutral. I might pick up the book someday, but if I don’t I won’t feel bad or anything. And I might without I realizing am also guilty of the last one 🙈

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    1. True neutral is also the most common one for me! I think that it also has a lot to do with just how many books there are. Like if I could I would read *everything*, but I can’t so if some books I had planned on reading slip through the cracks, then oh well. 😅

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  5. Honestly it’s so bad but I’m exactly the same! There are so many hyped books in the blogosphere that I constantly say I’ve been meaning to pick up and yet I know realistically I won’t. And also kind of don’t want to? I should really stop but it’s always just my go-to comment if I want to support someone’s post… I just don’t want to put a downer on it and say I have no interest in it😂
    Great post Chana!

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    1. Right!! I wish there was a way we could just comment something like, I support your post and I’m happy that you’re excited about this book, but I’ll probably never read it! 😂 I think the more that I notice I do it, the more I try to stop doing it, but it’s pretty hard.

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  6. This is a great post! You’re right, there are different levels of “been meaning to read that.” I didn’t realize until you spelled it out though how often I’ve done that lol. And you’re using alignment to discuss this= perfection. 🙂

    I like to think of myself as chaotic good but… have I ever done the chaotic evil thing? *gulp* Maybe if I tell myself it was more chaotic neutral I’ll feel a little better. Maybe?

    Seriously though, fun post!

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    1. Thank you!! 💕 I was so excited when I started putting each type into an alignment and I kind of wish I would have done one for every type of alignment but then the post would have been waaay too long 😅

      Hahaha, I think most of us might be guilty of being chaotic evil at least once. Though we try to fight it, it is within us! 😂😂

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  7. Oof, I’ve ‘been meaning to read’ so many classics… And so many books my friends gush about… Though if I’m not interested in something I’ll just say ‘sorry but it’s just not for me’ so I won’t end up in a situation where I guilt myself into reading a book I know I won’t enjoy (Which did happen in the past and Hush Hush still haunts me in my nightmares lol)

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  8. Hahaha! I think we all do this at least a little bit, so you don’t have to feel bad. When I say, “I’ve been meaning to read that,” I usually believe it, at least in some little part of my brain. If it’s a book that’s way outside my genre, I’ll say it only if it’s something I’ve heard a lot about and there’s some small piece of me that thinks I might just actually pick it up … but I probably won’t. I mean, chances are SUPER slim. So, I’m right there with you.

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    1. Yayy! I’m so glad to see I’m not alone! Yeah, there’s always some part of me that’s like, if I had access to the book, I wouldn’t absolutely refuse to read it. But then I would never actually go out and get the book myself. This is why I usually end up reading the books “I’ve been meaning to read” when a friend forcefully lends it to me 😂

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  9. I can relate. I hear about so many great books from bloggers that I would love to read, but know I probably won’t read because I already have several hundred books on my TBR (many of which I’ll probably never read either). I can’t count the number of times I’ve said that I need to check out a book and then don’t.

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    1. Ooh, I cleaned out my Goodreads TBR recently and lemme tell you, it was freeing! I would always go to the bookstore and check my want to read shelf, and then realize that I didn’t actually *want* to read a bunch of the books on the shelf. I do wish that I could check out every book that I say I want to, but there are just too many books for there to be time for that 😅

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  10. I definitely say that I’ve been “meaning to” read things. I especially relate to the “true neutral” use of the phrase; I have several books on my bookshelf that were probably acquired because they fell into that category. Hopefully I’ll get to them… someday…

    And I have read The Shadowhunter Chornicles; I started the series years ago, and have fallen into a trap that I can’t seem to get out of. I have complicated feelings about the series as a whole, but overall, I seem to enjoy them enough to keep reading, because I just finished the 870 page monstrosity that is Queen of Air and Darkness and *mostly* enjoyed the experience. 🙂 (I have plenty of other thoughts if you’re curious, but won’t overload your comment section!)

    I loved the use of an alignment chart, by the way – it made my D&D heart happy!

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    1. Hahaha I related so hard to “…someday…”. I had a bunch of true neutral books on my shelves that one of my friends lent to me and I tried returning them because I knew I would never end up getting to them, but she forced me to keep them till I read them. So oops 😥

      Aaah, I have seen Queen of Air and Darkness in the bookstores and it SCARES me because it is so ginormous! I see that so many people love the spinoff series, so I want to try reading it for that. And *please* overload the comment section with all your thoughts, I’d love to hear!

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      1. Haha, I was scared of that book, and I’ve read the whole series! I think where Cassandra Clare really shines (and the reason why I can’t stop reading her books) is with her characters and the connections between each of her series, but that makes for a really complicated book series to get into! I would definitely recommend starting somewhere other than City of Bones if you think you would enjoy it more; the only thing is making sure you pick a place where it isn’t confusing to start and won’t totally spoil all the other books (if that’s something you’re concerned about). I might recommend starting with Clockwork Angel, but if you want an In Depth Breakdown™, here’s a video that talks about where to start! https://youtu.be/fCOEZ-e7EM4

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  11. I can definitely relate to all these ‘I’ve been meaning to read that’ situations! And the Shadowhunter books is the same for me… I read the first one a while back and it was OK, and even though I’m not super excited to continue the series I probably will read them someday. I just want to know what everyone loves so much about them, and be included in the fandom! 🙂

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    1. There are so many hyped books that I read just so that I can get clued into what’s going on 😅 I see so many posts mentioning a Jem and a Will and I’m just like, who are these people?? Do we like them?? Do we hate them? One day I shall read the series! Probably 😂

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  12. hahah i love classifying things (especially books) in charts to make everything more clear. i literally have spreadsheet pages dedicated to books of different genres i want to read lol

    i feel you on the classics. it’s more of a ‘i want to be included and understand the book communities love for this book/series” rather than “i’m GENUINELY INTERESTED in this book/series” but honestly, those books really get PUSHED down my tbr unless a friend wants to buddy read or a new spinoff series happens etc. etc.

    that is true chaotic evil but i think we all have done that at some point in our reading careers (rip to us and our honesty) but IT REALLY IS the easiest way to talk to someone, literally just mention their favourite book

    this was such an interesting choice and i loved the discussion and points you brought up!!

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    1. Omgg, yesss. Spreadsheets! My dream is to have an excel sheet for every little thing in life. It sounds neurotic, but it would be the ultimate goals 😂

      Yes! You worded it so well! I so often mean to read books because I kind of want to get clued in. Like there are only so many stan tweets that I can come across before I’m convinced that I have to read a book 😁

      Lol, maybe I need to start asking people to just tell me about their favorite books because I would love to hear anyone rant about books they love, even if I never plan on reading them.

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  13. Oo this is a great discussion! I say that phrase SO MUCH and most of the time what I mean is “I know that’s a super hyped book and if I maybe in the future have the opportunity to read it I will, but I won’t go searching for it”😂

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  14. I feel like I’m saying this all the time! In my case, I don’t think there are many books that I absolutely would NEVER read, so I guess I am being honest when I say I’ve been meaning to read something. Granted, I have a long list of books that I hope to read at some point, so I might not end up reading them for a while. Shadowhunters is one that’s still on my list-maybe I’ll get a chance to actually read it now that the coronavirus is canceling/closing everything!

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  15. Ah I love this so much, this is so relatable. I often say there are books I’m meaning to read, but… actually reading them is another thing ahah. There are books I’m really meaning to read, sometimes, I’m genuinely interested in them, but then, time passes and I just lose interest. I also sometimes, like you said, tend to say I’ve been meaning to, or I want to read this book, but I just do in the very moment I’m typing a comment and sometimes, after investigating a little further , I realize that this book might noooot be for me at all. I don’t feel like it’s a really big, outrageous lie though, I hope, hahaha.
    Love this post! 🙂

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    1. Yeah! I think that if when you’re writing the comment, you’re like, oh, I might actually read that. Then it doesn’t really count as a lie. There are also soooo many books that I’ll only remember that I wanted to read them when I see them in a blog post. So I’ll keep on commenting that I want to read them and then just forget about it later 😅

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  16. This is hilarious, and so very TRUE! Like especially if I am somewhere where people are raving about a book and I have no intention whatsoever, but I don’t want a 20-minute lecture about why I MUST read it, so. There’s definitely times when I genuinely DO want to read it but then, like you said, never do. Because look, time is hard! Sometimes if I really REALLY plan to read it, I’ll say it that way- like “I definitely want to read that one, like for real!” haha.

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    1. Aah, time is so hard!! Especially when there are just *so many* books out there! Like I would love to be able to read everything so that I can discuss it with people but alas, it’s just not possible. Hahaha, I get so many lectures about books I must read…I do often placate people by saying I’ll try it out (though we both know that’s a lie) 😅😅

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