I read a lot of books. More so when I was younger, and had a lot more time to read around school, but that doesn’t stop me from buying potential books to read.
As a result I’ve invested my time and energy into many books, both good and bad, and even some okay. The good ones I usually keep in my room, and the bad ones usually go to the sad and lonely shelf in the middle of a hallway in my house. Trust me, there’s plenty of bad and okay books on that shelf. But hey, when you read a bunch of YA novels, you’re bound to run into many bad ones before you find a good one.
Most of the bad books I’ve read I’ve already forgotten. However, there are a few series that I just can’t let go. This might be because of the fact that among the bad series, there was a good book that I actually enjoyed. Usually this would be the first or second book, getting ruined by the third or whatever else book (In the Mortal Instruments, it was the opposite: I thought the first three books were decent enough, but liked the fifth book the most). Two series that exemplify the above for me are Hunger Games and A Court of Thorns and Roses. I thought the second books in both series were the best, but I didn’t much appreciate reading the third book, to put it politely.
But if only one or two books were really exceptional to me, why do I still cling onto its fandom? Well, I’m usually reminded of the series when I see fan art or something else of the sort. It gives me a sort of nostalgic feeling, and makes me want to re-read my favorite parts of the books I liked. It keeps me hooked onto the fandom, even if merely grabbing the barest shreds so I don’t get too invested in the culture again. Fandom culture has gotten pretty toxic over the years, and I don’t like to involve myself much in them anymore. Discussing their evolution will be saved for a different time, however.
As for the fan art, it’s not just any old fan art. It’s usually drawn by artists I follow, who happen to have read or currently read the same books as me. When I see their interpretation of certain scenes or characters, I am redrawn to those books, even if I haven’t touched them in over two or three years. I blame nostalgia and the familiarity of the characters. My brain recognizes the characters and clicks, triggering a sense of desire to pick up the books.
Art Credit @ Charlie Bowater