Let’s Talk Bookish: What Makes You Pick Up A Book?

Let’s Talk Bookish is a weekly meme, hosted by Rukky @Eternity Books  & Dani @ Literary Lion, where we get to discuss certain topics, share our opinions, and spread the love by visiting each other’s posts! You can check out these pages for more information on April 2021 prompts & a list of all past prompts!

Now without further ado… The topic asks:

What makes you pick up a book?

(SUGGESTED BY RAFAELA @ THE PORTUGUESE BIBLIOPHILE)
Examples: What makes you pick up certain books? Is a pretty cover enough? Do you check for good reviews? Is the synopsis important? Do you look for diversity or #ownvoices? Do you look for any checkboxes? Do you have autobuy authors?

WHAT MAKES YOU PICK UP CERTAIN BOOKS?

There really isn’t one answer for this question! There are many factors that play into why I pick up a certain book and it varies every time.

  • A lot of the time it is because I see a book being talked about in the community, whether through book twitter, the blogosphere or more recently through booktube, and that’s usually what puts a title on my radar in the first place.
  • Other times it’s from recommendations by trusted book blogger friends. There are quite a few I know that have similar tastes as me, which makes it easier to gauge what I’ll like based on what they say! And 99% of the time it’s pretty spot on.
  • Funnily enough, I’ll also pick up a book a particular blogger doesn’t like because I know we often have opposite tastes and so there’s a medium to high probability I’ll like it even though they didn’t! 🤣
  • I’m more likely to pick up books from certain genres because they’re the ones I tend to read most (SFF, Romance, Contemporary).
  • Sometimes it also depends on my mood. I tend to get stuck in certain head spaces and only want to read certain types of books, i.e. romances. When this happens, I end up bingeing a bunch of similar books in the (sub)genre, i.e. sports romances.

IS A PRETTY COVER ENOUGH? DO YOU CHECK FOR GOOD REVIEWS? IS THE SYNOPSIS IMPORTANT?

I’d be lying if I said I’ve never bought a book because of its pretty cover but you know I have and I know you have too. 😉 While having a pretty cover doesn’t always make me want to immediately pick up a book, it’ll at least catch my eye, and that’s usually step one in the process of me deciding whether I want to read a book or not!

If a book manages to capture my attention, I will always check out the synopsis first! I know some readers like to go in completely blind but not me. 😂 I like to have some idea of what the story is about so having a good synopsis that can give me a tasty morsel of the story without giving too much away is definitely important. If my curiosity is piqued, I’ll then check out the ratings/reviews.

When it comes to ratings/reviews, I tend to look at who on my friends list has read it and what they’ve rated it, paying special attention to the readers whose tastes I’m more familiar with. I also tend to skim reviews so as not to catch anything I might not want to see but I always end up reading at least the first paragraph to get a general idea of their thoughts. Now that I think about it, I tend to rely quite heavily on ratings/reviews, sometimes even more so than a synopsis (because as we know they can be pretty misleading at times)! The combination of synopsis and reviews really helps me decide when choosing a book that’s usually not in my comfort zone or from a genre I rarely read.

DO YOU LOOK FOR DIVERSITY OR #OWNVOICES?

If you’d have asked me this question prior to me joining the community, my answer probably would’ve been what do you mean? 🙈 I’m embarrassed to admit that for most of my life I’ve been a rather passive reader and haven’t made great efforts to look for diverse books, but this has changed drastically over the course of two/three years! Yes, I still read books about white characters written by white authors but I also actively seek out diverse and own voices books more and more lately. I honestly wish that younger me had access to as many diverse books as adult me has now, and I hope that only continues to grow so that even more people in the future find books that they can identify with and that will make them feel seen and heard ❤️

DO YOU HAVE AUTOBUY AUTHORS?

I most certainly do! This list has grown so quickly over the years and with all the amazing authors I continue to discover, I don’t foresee this list getting smaller any time soon! 😂 Some authors on the list are: V.E. Schwab, Elizabeth Acevedo, Fonda Lee, Taylor Jenkins Reid, Helen Hoang, Chloe Liese, Angie Thomas, Neil Gaiman, Carlos Ruiz Zafon, Beth O’Leary, Jodi Picoult, Laini Taylor, and honestly, so many more?

…It’s no wonder I can never save cos I apparently want to give away all my money for all the books! 🙈

What makes you want to pick up a book? How do you go about choosing which books to read or add to your TBR? Do you also look at the synopsis or do you like to go in blind? What about ratings/reviews?

Let’s Talk Bookish: Putting Off the Books I want to Read!

Let’s Talk Bookish is a weekly meme, hosted by Rukky @Eternity Books  & Dani @ Literary Lion, where we get to discuss certain topics, share our opinions, and spread the love by visiting each other’s posts! You can check out these pages for more information on April 2021 prompts & a list of all past prompts!

Now without further ado… The topic asks:

PUTTING OFF BOOKS YOU ACTUALLY WANT TO READ

(SUGGESTED BY JILLIAN @ THE BOOKISH BUTTERFLY)
Examples: Do you ever put off the books you actually want to be reading? What do you end up reading instead? Why do you put off the books that you would rather read for other stories? Do you treat reading books you’re excited as a reward?

PUTTING OFF BOOKS I WANT TO READ

Hi, hellow. Do I ever put off books I want to be reading? Yes. Yes, I do. This is me 99% of the time. 😂 I feel like ever since joining the book community this has become an increasingly bad habit which has also resulted in both my physical and digital shelves to grow totally out of control. The rate at which I populate my shelves with books that I want to read ASAP vs the rate I actually read said books is… Very unbalanced! 🙈 But surely, I’m not the only one that does this, right?!

Also, I’m well aware that I’m speaking from a place of privilege here—especially as someone who doesn’t have access to libraries and has to purchase all of the aforementioned books!

BUT WHY?

Honestly, it’s not as if I pick up books I don’t want to read—I do want to read them, I just usually want to read the books I put off slightly more (I swear, we’re gonna make this make sense). There are definitely reasons for why I do this.

  1. I’m a big mood reader. Even if I have a book in hand that I know I’ve been dying to get to, if the mood to pick it up has passed I’d rather put it off rather than read it when I’m in the “wrong” mood and risk not enjoying it as much as I know I would otherwise. I’ve done this a few times and it just made me sad. 🥲
  2. Sometimes the hype kind of puts me off. I know that doesn’t make sense because hype usually makes you want to pick up a book more thanks to FOMO and all of that, right? While that’s usually true, I’ve noticed that I tend to read most hyped books much later compared to everyone else. It’s not like I forget about the hype, and this is probably all in my head, but I feel like I can push aside the hype and read it without those expectations later on rather than if I read it while everyone else was reading it too.
  3. This also links to my worries about not liking a highly anticipated book which makes it so easy for me to put off reading it. I can name a million books from the last year alone that I was super excited for and may have even pre-ordered, but I still have yet to read them—one. year. later!
  4. Other commitments like blog tours and ARCs have also made it easier to put off the books I want to be reading. This tends to happen a lot when I know I’m ‘chasing a deadline’ but the mood suddenly strikes to read one of those ‘sad on the shelf books that’ve been there forever’ and yet, I can’t because I’m bad at time management and deadlines loom ever closer. 😂

DO I TREAT READING BOOKS I’M EXCITED FOR AS A REWARD?

I’ve tried to do this a few times and though it worked sometimes, as a mood reader, my moods tend to change quite quickly especially when I’m feeling restless and so this often doesn’t work. I think it’s a good idea though because then at least you’d have more motivation to get your shit done ✔ so that you can move on to reading what you want!

It’s been a hot minute since I did a LTB post but it felt good to answer this prompt today, and I thought it was a really fun one to answer
Do you put off books you want to be reading? Why do you do it?

Let’s Talk Bookish: Predicting Trends

This is actually last week’s topic but since I ended up missing it I’ve decided to do it this week instead!

Let’s Talk Bookish is a weekly meme, hosted by Rukky @Eternity Books  & Dani @ Literary Lion, where we get to discuss certain topics, share our opinions, and spread the love by visiting each other’s posts! You can check out these pages for more information on February 2021 prompts & a list of past prompts!

Now without further ado… The topic asks:

PREDICTING TRENDS

(SUGGESTED BY M.T. WILSON @ THE LAST BOOK ON THE LEFT)
Prompts: Have you noticed any trends in the genres/categories you read in the last few years? What seems to be trending now? What do you think the next trend will be? What trends would you like to see? Are trends healthy for the book world?

I thought this topic was pretty interesting but not a particularly easy one since it’s not something I’ve given much thought to prior to today. I also don’t know if what I’m saying “qualifies” or is relevant because I’m not sure what was trending beforehand so maybe some of these are old trends and I’ve only just now noticed them? Once I started thinking about it I started to notice much more than I thought and I’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic!

WHAT’S TRENDING?

I tend to read a lot of fantasy and romance but I also enjoy a good thriller now and again. Here are some of the trends that I’ve noticed in these genres:

  • Romantasy (Romance+Fantasy): I feel like the combination of romance and fantasy has become even more popular in recent years especially with books like the ACOTAR series.
  • Podcasts: A popular trend that I’m absolutely loving is the use of podcasts in thrillers/mysteries. I’m a fan of mixed-media formats but podcast scripts are a new form of telling the story that I’ve come to enjoy thanks to books like Sadie!
  • Retellings: I think, especially in the YA fantasy genre, this is probably the most popular trend I’ve noticed in recent years. How many times have we seen the Beauty & the Beast, Little Mermaid, Cinderella, and Snow White retellings? Honestly, I love a good retelling so I’m not even mad but I love to see that other less popular stories are being retold, too (Twelve Dancing Princesses, Red Shoes, Peter Pan).
  • Women supporting women: I don’t know if it’s just me reading the wrong romances at the start but I got really tired real fast with all the romances where women treat each other terribly over a man. I’m so over women being pitted against each other (in general and for that reason specifically) so I’m really happy to see more romances where women are supportive and don’t do terrible things to each other because they “deserve him more”. We need more women supporting women and I love to see it!
  • Fandoms or celebrity arcs: I’ve noticed this mostly in the contemporary genres, both YA and adult, and more specifically in romances. I’m noticing more stories about the “real lives” of celebrities and celebrity related romances (Dumplin’, Spoiler Alert, Daisy Jones and the Six). There’s also stories about the “real lives” of superheroes and about fandoms and popular conventions (The Extraordinaries, Renegades, Geekerella).
  • YA thrillers in school settings: I’m not sure if this is a “new” trend or anything but I’ve noticed a lot of YA thrillers/mysteries with high school settings in recent years (One of Us is Lying, Truly Devious, Good Girl’s Guide to Murder). I don’t know what it is about the school setting that works but I’ve really enjoyed the ones I’ve read.
  • Own Voices/Diversity: I don’t know if I should say these as “trends” because it feels odd thinking of them as such, as it sounds like they’ll disappear or fade away; but, as far as I’m aware, there are a lot more books that are being categorised/labelled as own voices in recent years compared to previously. It’s also a lot easier to find diverse books and not just in terms of cultural representation but also disability and mental health rep. I’ve loved seeing it in a lot of romances that I’ve read lately (The Kiss Quotient series, The Brown Sisters series, The Bergman Brothers series) and I hope we continue to see much more of it for always–like I said, I hope these aren’t trends that’ll “go out of fashion”.

WHAT COULD POSSIBLY BE NEXT?

I honestly have no clue what could be trending next. I think a trend that could possibly be making a comeback are books with vampires and witches. Again, I don’t know if it’s a trend that’s ever really died out to begin with but I’ve started noticing more of them coming out lately. I also have a feeling that with our pandemic reality perhaps the dystopian trend could also make a comeback?

I’d love to see more of the trends mentioned above because although some of them can get a bit tiring (i.e. the same retellings lol) I’ve still really enjoyed seeing most of them in books! Keep giving me those strong female protagonists and their healthy and empowering relationships with those around them.

ARE TRENDS HEALTHY fOR THE BOOK WORLD?

I don’t think it’s a simple yes and no answer because it can be both good and bad. One of the more ‘obvious’ downsides is that once a trend really picks up in a certain genre (i.e. retellings) you can be sure to expect a lot of future releases to follow that trend. This over saturation of the market definitely gets a little tiring when you’re looking for something different in that genre but end up finding only the same or similar stories. Alternatively, this can obviously be seen as a good thing especially for those who love to read them and want more similar books!

In the end, I think readers should (and hopefully do!) read whatever they want to regardless of what’s on trend. As I said at the start, I never really payed much attention or given much thought to what is or isn’t trending in the genres I read, as I pick whatever strikes my fancy. It’s definitely interesting to think about though!

What are your thoughts on book trends? Have you noticed any of these trends in the books you read too? Do you think trends are healthy for the book world or should they be “done away with”?

Let’s Talk Bookish: How Blogging Has Affected My Reading

Let’s Talk Bookish is a weekly meme, hosted by Rukky @Eternity Books  & Dani @ Literary Lion, where we get to discuss certain topics, share our opinions, and spread the love by visiting each other’s posts! You can check out these pages for more information on February 2021 prompts & a list of past prompts!

Now without further ado… The topic asks:

HOW HAS BLOGGING AFFECTED YOUR READING?

(SUGGESTED BY MINI @ BOOK AND CORNER)
Prompts: Has blogging affected your reading in a positive or negative way? If so, how? Do you think the pressures to produce content can result in a bad relationship with books? How do you balance blogging and reading? Do you think you would have started blogging if it weren’t for books or vice versa?

POSITIVES AND NEGATIVES

I think it’s safe to say that blogging has affected my reading in a mostly positive way. I started blogging because I wanted to get “serious” about sharing my thoughts about books I’ve read and because of that, I’ve started to become more critical of what I read. Before blogging I used to just “read to read” (nothing wrong with that true) but I never really thought about what I was taking in–and honestly, what I took in never really stuck for long either. This has changed in a big way since I became a part of the book community because of blogging and I think because of that I’ve really grown as a reader.

Related to that, I’ve also started to make conscious decisions about diversifying my reads and actively searching for diverse books to add to my TBR. I’m a bit ashamed to admit that I mostly read books by white authors prior to blogging because they were the mainstream ones that I’d find in the English bookstores here, and sadly, the bookstores here are still full of those mainstream authors, but at least I’m starting to notice more diverse gems in store! Aside from diverse books, I’ve also started reading more from different genres and in different formats. I started reading more middle grade books and graphic novels, and it’s been AMAZING! I’ve discovered that there are audiobooks out there that I can and do enjoy especially full-cast audios which are *chefs kiss!*

A positive and negative aspect of book blogging is also that I’m much more aware of newer releases. Aside from stepping into a book store, I honestly can’t even remember how I used to find new books prior to joining the book community! It’s actually really mind-boggling knowing just how limited my options were 😂 That said, now that I’m aware of all the new releases, I also kinda want to buy all the new releases? *watching my money fly away faster than I can say no!* In my first year of blogging (and bookstagramming) I went really wild with buying books and I know how privileged I am to be able to do that! Thankfully, the “need” has toned down a lot in the past year but there are still so many new books that I keep hearing about and my TBR continues to weep and grow too quickly! Also linked to owning the latest releases is reading all the latest releasesThe FOMO is definitely real. 🙈

KEEPING THE PRESSURE OFF

I admit that sometimes the pressure to constantly write reviews for all the books I read can get overwhelming and also a little bit stale. I feel like my reviews sometimes come off as such non-sensical garbage because my brain is just so tired of trying to put thoughts down in a way that makes sense (LOL) and that triggers a reluctance to blog. This has mostly happened in the last year what with everything else going on in the world, and while I do feel guilty about not reviewing all the books, I also know that it’s okay to not put pressure myself. I’ve started to get better at being okay with not doing full-blown reviews or doing mini-reviews for certain books (ex. romance series), though of course this doesn’t apply to ARCs because I do full reviews for all ARCs that I get! 😉 That said, I know that I don’t want to burn out with blogging as I did with my bookstagram (cos ya girl can’t handle all of that + a full-time job) so I know the important thing is to allow myself guilt-free breaks whenever I need it, and if that means not reviewing the books I read for a certain period, then that’s OK.

this blog wouldn’t exist if not for books!

I used to have a personal blog that I ran for 10+ years before this but I stopped blogging in the last 2-3 years and I had absolutely no intention of creating a new blog until… Well, books! 😂 So I’m 99.9% sure that I wouldn’t be blogging if it hadn’t been for books and although starting this blog was quite the on-a-whim decision, I now can’t imagine not having one and don’t see myself stopping anytime soon. ❤️

I just wanted to say that the book community is one of the best things in my life and I’m so thankful for all of the book loving friends I’ve made through it!

Do you think you’d be blogging if it weren’t for books? Or did you already have a different blog before you started a book blog? How has blogging changed your reading, if it has at all?

Let’s Talk Bookish: Are big TBRs a sign of ‘abibliophobia’?

Let’s Talk Bookish is a weekly meme, hosted by Rukky @Eternity Books  & Dani @ Literary Lion, where we get to discuss certain topics, share our opinions, and spread the love by visiting each other’s posts! You can check out these pages for more information on February 2021 prompts & a list of past prompts!

Now without further ado… The topic asks:

ARE BIG TBRS A RESULT OF ABIBLIOPHOBIA?

(SUGGESTED BY JILLIAN @ JILLIAN THE BOOKISH BUTTERFLY)
Prompts: Do you have abibliophobia? Do you add books to your TBR to keep it big, or is it a place where you keep books that seem interesting? Do you have multiple TBRs? If you don’t have a TBR, how do you find your next read?

WHAT IS ABIBLIOPHOBIA AND DO I HAVE IT?

If you’re sitting there scratching your head and wondering what ‘abibliophobia‘ is and thinking that it sounds kinda scary, you’re definitely not alone!

‘Abibliophobia’ is the fear of running out of reading material.

This isn’t something I’ve ever thought about it but right off the bat, I’d say no, I don’t have a fear of running out of reading material. Aside from having a large bookshelf that’s comprised mostly of unread books, I’m also very lucky to be able to buy new (physical and digital) books when the mood strikes, thanks to having a well-paying job and also thanks not having any financial responsibilities outside of paying monthly rent and bills. I know I’m definitely lucky in this respect, especially since I come from a country that doesn’t have libraries or other public resources, and where imported books generally cost 2-3 times more than local books.

DO I ADD BOOKS TO MY TBR TO KEEP IT BIG OR IS IT A PLACE WHERE I KEEP BOOKS THAT SEEM INTERESTING?

Since joining the book community 2 years ago, my Goodreads TBR has grown at a frightening pace and I’m actually a bit embarrassed at times to admit that my list is 1,000+ books long. Yeah, you read that right. That said, my GR TBR is mostly full of books that I find interesting and that I want to keep my eye on, and they’re not necessarily books that I will ever end up reading or buying. I feel like I always have to make that distinction because I certainly don’t own even close to 1,000 books even after adding up my digital and physical bookshelves!

I also have a terrible memory so adding to books to my list really helps me when I’m looking to buy books and I can check back to see if I’ve already marked something or not. Short answer: I definitely don’t add to my TBR to keep it big, and in fact I really struggle to keep it small and need to get better at periodically culling the list! As I’ve said in previous posts, I have a semi-problematic relationship with that ‘want-to-read’ button–it’s just too easy to click! 😂

Do I HAVE MULTIPLE TBRs?

I have two TBRs: my Goodreads TBR, with all the books under the sun whether they’re owned or not, and my Owned TBR books that consist of the physical and digital books that I have in my personal library. That said, unlike my Goodreads TBR, I don’t actually *have* a catalogued list of all the books I own and one of my goals this year is to actually start the list (I haven’t yet)! Meep… 🙈 Surprisingly (or maybe not) I don’t always look to my TBR to see what I want to read next. I have a irritatingly bad habit of buying new books instead of reading the ones that I already own, and I know being able to do that is definitely a privilege, and this year I’m working hard to slow down the spending roll and tackling the many (many 😫) books on my shelves!

Do you have abibliophobia? Do you have multiple TBRs and how do you use them? If you don’t have a TBR, how do you find your next read?

Let’s Talk Bookish: What Is A Good Ending?

I’m a bit tired today and of course I’m only writing this last minute… SO I’m sorry if I make zero sense and go around in circles 🙈

Let’s Talk Bookish is a weekly meme, hosted by Rukky @Eternity Books  & Dani @ Literary Lion, where we get to discuss certain topics, share our opinions, and spread the love by visiting each other’s posts! You can check out these pages for more information on January 2021 prompts & a list of past prompts!

Now without further ado… The topic asks:

What is a good ending?

(SUGGESTED BY RIAN @ DOGS AND BOOKS)
Examples: What are some books that had “good” endings for you? What are some books that had “bad” endings? What do you think makes an ending of a story satisfying? Is there anything you always hate in an ending?

WHAT MAKES A SATISFYING ENDING?

This is a great question and one that I honestly haven’t given very much thought to before and the more I think about it now, the more factors come up for me to consider. Are we talking series enders or are standalone endings or first-book-in-a-series endings? I mean, endings are endings (lol) but what I’m “okay with” when it comes to a first-book ending is obviously going to be different compared to what I expect from a series ender! I also think that some genres come with certain ending expectations, the most obvious being romance. I pick up romances for the HEA otherwise what am I reading the genre for? (It’s definitely not the angsty drama! 😂 ).

Since I joined the book community and started to really think about what works for me, I’ve come to realise that I’m one of those readers who like endings that give me an obvious sense of resolution. It doesn’t have to be “perfectly packaged” where everything is hunky-dory and 100% but at least the main issues are resolved, no lingering questions exist, the characters find some kind of peace, but most of all it just fits the story we’ve experienced. This “need” of mine to have a neat ending has changed a bit over the last year as I’ve started to feel less unsatisfied with open-endings as long as they fit the story.

One thing that I tend to hate is when endings are super abrupt AND open-ended. While I don’t think open endings will ever be a favourite, I’ve started to make peace with them. Then there are other times when the author ends the story so abruptly, usually mid-scene or at a half-formed thought, and it just feels so unsatisfying. Just thinking about it has me clenching my fist in frustration because WHY 😂

Another factor that determines what a good ending is for me also depends on where the author takes the final book in a series or the final parts of a standalone. I really dislike it when plots and character ARCs suddenly take completely different and unexpected directions that totally change the vibe of the story and results in a lacklustre or underwhelming ending. I also really dislike it when dramatic and traumatic events are used for shock factor in an ending especially when it’s (imho) unnecessary but will keep the dramatic plot going in a sequel.

BOOKS WITH ENDINGS I ENJOYED

If you’re not new to this blog, you’ll know by now my memory is like a sieve and I can hardly remember what I did last week let alone the endings of the many books I’ve read. Also, thankfully, most of the books I read do have satisfying endings (at least for me), so these are just going to be a few of the ones I enjoyed from books I read from the last couple years. I’ve also linked them to my reviews if available otherwise they’re linked to Goodreads.

The House in the Cerulean Sea // With or Without You // The Black Kids // Nevernight // With the Fire on High // The Silence of Bones // Verity // Final Girls // The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo

BOOKS WITH ENDINGS THAT … *CLENCHES FIST*

Some of these (or maybe even all of these) are unpopular opinions of well-loved books. A few of these had the abrupt open-ended endings that are so not my jam:

  • The Toll: I was so saddened by this finale because we spent so little time with the characters that made me love this series in the first place. We follow new perspectives and characters that I never felt attached to and ultimately, this finale ended up being so disappointing.
  • Normal People: I loved this book but I hated this abrupt open-ending. Why Rooney do this to me? 😭
  • At the Edge of the Haight: Another abrupt open-ending that left me with unresolved thoughts/feels.
  • Restless Slumber: This was the second book in the Forutna Sworn series and I was enjoying myself until the ending of this book tanked it for me. Just… Why? I was so angry! Lol 🙈
  • Descendant of the Crane: This ending… Oh, this ending was so… not on!

What do you think makes a good or bad ending? What is something you hate to see in an ending? What are some endings you loved and hated? I’m curious to know what you think about this topic!

Let’s Talk Bookish: Why I Blog

Let’s Talk Bookish is a weekly meme, hosted by Rukky @Eternity Books  & Dani @ Literary Lion, where we get to discuss certain topics, share our opinions, and spread the love by visiting each other’s posts! You can check out these pages for more information on January 2021 prompts & a list of past prompts!

Now without further ado… The topic asks:

Why do you blog?

(SUGGESTED BY RUKKY @ ETERNITY BOOKS)
Examples: When did you first start blogging and why? What keeps you motivated to continue? Have you ever thought about not blogging anymore? What would make you go on a hiatus for forever? Do you have any specific plans for your blog this year, and if so, what are they?

STARTING ON A NEW ADVENTURE

Blogging is an activity that I’ve done for a long time. I kept a personal blog for roughly 6-7 years and I was a consistent blogger until about 2016, when my life went a little topsy turvy, and I stopped writing due to a lack of inspiration and because my life got really boring and I had nothing to say. 😂

I decided to start this book blog at the end of 2018, although I only started posting around February 2019, at the encouragement of my friends. I was pretty hesitant about it because I was worried about losing motivation (yes, before I even started!) and I questioned whether I’d even have anything to say that was worth reading. At the time, I was much more active on bookstagram but it was also because of bookstagram, and learning about ARCs and the book community that made me realise starting a book blog was something I could actually do.

TRUTH TIME:

Let’s be honest, I started blogging because I wanted access to ARCs and while that did happen, there were still plenty of barriers that I faced as an international blogger though that’s a post for a different day! 😅 I was also curious about this magical book community that I’d only dipped my toes into through bookstagram. I honestly don’t know how I never realised the community existed pre-2018, and looking back, I don’t know how I even found books to read in the first place. 😂 As dramatic as it may sound, starting this blog has added so much positivity to my life, and so while I started it because of the enticing ARCs, I’ve stayed on because of the community and how fulfilling blogging has been.

keeping ON

Having this blog has reminded me why I loved blogging in the first place. Creating and owning a space where I can just be my nerdy book-loving self while gushing about all the fantasy, romance and fictional lives that I read about, with other people who feel exactly the same, has added so much joy to my life. I know a lot of you can relate when I say that I don’t really have bookish people IRL, and so having this platform where I can engage without fear of being judged for reading romance or young adult/middle grade books as a 30-something woman, has been wonderfully freeing! This blog has also helped me deal with my anxiety and depression by giving me something to look forward to every day, and all of that is what makes me want to keep posting.

Engaging with the book community on here has also really changed how and what I read, and I feel like I’ve grown a lot as a reader because of it. I’m more intentional with what I choose to pick up, especially when it comes to diversifying the books I read, but also in stepping out of my comfort zone more often. I’m thinking a lot more and being more critical about what I consume and I love how it’s also impacted how I think and act IRL.

doubts and other negative thoughts

There are definitely days when I question what I’m doing running a book blog. The doubts about whether I have anything to say that’s worth reading still persists sometimes, especially because most of what I post isn’t “original creative content”. I do a lot of weekly memes mixed with reviews, and while I know it shouldn’t matter because this is my blog and if I’m happy with it that’s okay, but I have a tendency to self-sabotage through these kinds of comparisons with other more successful blogs. 😂

That said, it’s still fairly ‘early days’ for me and I’ll just be celebrating my two year blogiversary this February, so I haven’t given serious thought to not blogging anymore. I still really love doing it and there are only a few reasons I foresee that would lead to me going on a permanent hiatus, which would be because I lose interest in books ☠️, I become too busy to post regularly, or if I for some reason no longer feel welcome in the community.

grow, baby, grow!

I’m not really much of a “goals” and planning ahead person (lol welp), although I’m trying to do better with that this year. I do know that I hope to keep blogging for at least the next 3 years but I do want to take it one-year at a time because who really knows what’s around the corner! If anything, my goals for blogging this year include:

  • Continuing to regularly churn out content (daily, if possible)
  • Growing my blog to 800 followers
  • Trying new types of posts such as a ‘family reviews’ series (my dad just bought a bunch of NF over the holidays and my sister said she wants to read more, so if I can convince them to share their thoughts on a book–this might be a once-in-a-blue-moon situation–I thought it might be fun!)
  • Also trying: buddy read reviews, blogger spotlights, and author interviews.

And that’s a wrap! Why did you start a book blog? Have you always blogged or is blogging new to you? What would make you go on a permanent hiatus? Do you have any big blog plans this year?

Let’s Talk Bookish: Reading Resolutions (+ My Resolutions)

Hello, hello and welcome back to my first Let’s Talk Bookish of 2021! 😍 It’s been just over a month since I joined in the discussions for this weekly meme and I honestly didn’t expect myself to jump back into it so quickly this year, but I’m going with the flow! Since it’s my first LTB, I’m going to be answering last week’s prompt but as always, you can find all info down below including the latest and future prompts.


Let’s Talk Bookish is a weekly meme, hosted by Rukky @Eternity Books  & Dani @ Literary Lion, where we get to discuss certain topics, share our opinions, and spread the love by visiting each other’s posts! You can check out these pages for more information on January 2021 prompts & a list of past prompts!

Now without further ado… The topic asks us about:

reading resolutions

(SUGGESTED BY M.T. WILSON @ THE LAST BOOK ON THE LEFT)
Examples: Do you set reading resolutions in the New Year? Are they helpful? Do you look back to see if you stuck to your goals? Do you ever feel pressured/stressed by these resolutions? Do you participate in the GoodReads challenge?

SETTING NEW YEAR READING resolutions GOALS

I have a pretty rocky relationship with resolutions and I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one who can say that. I generally love the idea of them and I love setting them but I’m also really good at not following through on them. 😂 I feel like ‘resolution’ is also quite serious a word to use when it comes to reading because it carries more pressure than let’s say the word ‘goals’. Does that make sense? Probably not…

But when it comes to reading I do set simple yearly goals and it’s something that I’ve always looked forward to doing! Honestly, prior to 2020 I only set myself one reading goal (Goodreads) but last year I took a bit of a leap and decided to add a few more to the list and I’m happy to say I did most of them 😊

are GOALS helpful?

Yes! I set these goals because they help to keep me motivated and I also use it as a reminder for what I want to do more. For example, the GR Reading Challenge goal helps me keep track of how much I’m reading but it also motivates me to actually keep reading. I’ve heard a lot of people say that they don’t like setting this goal because it makes it become too ‘competitive’ and while I do agree that some can make it that way, I don’t pay enough attention to other peoples’ numbers to consider it competitive. 😂 I like to challenge myself and see if I can read more than the previous year (so I guess in a way I’m competing against myself!) but I have fun with it and don’t put pressure on myself to do it. To keep the pressure low I also don’t set my goal way above what’s achievable (although of course it’s still a challenge!) and that’s totally okay too because I can add on to the goal as the year goes.

Aside from the Goodreads goal, last year I set myself additional bookish goals like “read more diverse, LGBTQ+ and own voices books” and then I found some reading challenges to help me keep track. I admit that when it came to challenges I did struggle (a lot) because (2020 but) I also felt more pressured especially if it was during a shorter time-frame. That said, it did help to keep this goal at the front of my mind whenever I had trouble choosing my next read.

Year iN REVIEW

One of the things I enjoy most about setting reading goals is looking back at the end of my year to see what I’ve achieved. While at times I have felt disappointed when I didn’t do as well as I hoped, I try to not let it get to me because reading is something I do for fun. It’s not a competition, I’m not going to be penalised if I don’t complete it, and once it gets to the point where I feel guilty or hounded by it, then maybe it’s time to take a break? 🤷🏻‍♀️

IT’S GOAL TIME!

On that note and speaking of goals, I’ve been thinking a lot lately about whether I want to set any this year and aside from the Goodreads Reading Challenge, which I think I will always set, I’ve decided to add a few more to my list again:

  • Read 150 books
  • Read more books by (South & Southeast) Asian authors
  • Read 50 books from my backlist and existing shelf (not including 2021 purchases)
  • Read 4 Non-Fiction books

What are your thoughts, friends? Do you set reading resolutions or goals? Did you set a Goodreads Reading Challenge goal this year? Do you find that setting goals helps your reading?

Let’s Talk Bookish: Rereading Books

Let’s Talk Bookish is a weekly meme, hosted by Rukky @Eternity Books  & Dani @ Literary Lion, where we get to discuss certain topics, share our opinions, and spread the love by visiting each other’s posts! I’ve listed the upcoming topics in brief at the end of my post, but check out these pages for more information on November 2020 prompts & a list of past prompts!

Now without further ado… This week’s topic asks us about:

rereading books

(SUGGESTED BY ARIA @ BOOK NOOK BITS)
Examples: Do you reread books? How often? Do you reread a series before reading the newest book? Is there a certain book or series that you always come back to reread? Do you count rereads towards your monthly/yearly goals? Do you feel guilty about rereading books?

Do i reread books?

As frequently as I go on about wanting to reread many books, especially the ones that are my favourites, I actually don’t reread often. Prior to the last two years I think I probably only reread one or two books a year or practically once in a blue moon. My memory is notoriously bad and I often can’t remember what I did earlier in the week let alone the details of books I read years ago, so I always intend to reread more; but with my ever increasing and already endless TBR I find myself feeling less motivated to pick up something that I’ve already read before.

I know many book lovers reread regularly for the comfort of knowing what comes next in a story, plus the fact that it’s a guaranteed win as it was such a joy to read the first time, and I totally get that. That said, I think part of the reason why I don’t reread so often is because I know what happens already and while I might’ve loved it the first time, I feel that takes a bit of the excitement away the second time around.

Aside from that, I think I also just like the idea of “preserving” how I felt about a book after that initial read especially if I really loved it. With rereading there’s always the possibility those feelings might change, and while of course sometimes it’s for the better, I think I prefer keeping those original feelings even if that means the finer details of the story/characters are fuzzy.


do i reread a series before the newest book?

Usually a good amount of time passes between books in a series and because of my awful memory, I know that if I pick up the latest without rereading (or at least recapping) the previous books, I won’t have a clue as to what’s going on! Though considering that my pile of unfinished series keeps growing because I say I’d like to reread the previous books, it’s a pretty good indication of how often I actually get around to doing it 😂 Oddly enough I only started wanting to reread series’ from last year, when before that I was fine with relying on recap sites to refresh my memory–I might struggle at the start but I’d eventually come around to (mostly) figuring it all out by the end. I’m quite tempted to just say “eff it” and pick up the newest book(s) for the series I have waiting in the wings, but I know I’ll come to regret that decision if I do it 🙈


REREADING THE ONES THAT GIVE ME COMFORT…

That’s not to say that I never reread or get around to rereading a series though! Last December, I reread the first two The Folk of the Air books before the finale came out. This is where that whole ‘changed feelings’ thing happened because I remembered adoring The Cruel Prince when I read it for the first time in 2018, but when I reread it those feelings changed… considerably! 🙈

I occasionally reread poetry/prose books, such as Lang Leav’s Memories, but my “go to” rereads are my favourite Austen’s: Pride and Prejudice and Persuasion. For some reason, probably more sentimental than anything, I can keep rereading these two books over and over again and I’d still love the stories as much as I did the first time(s).


TOWARDS MY YEARLY READING GOALS & NOT FEELING GUILTY!

I find it kinda amusing how strict people are with what does and doesn’t count towards monthly/yearly reading goals 😂 If someone wants to include audiobooks, children’s books, and rereads towards their yearly count, then why shouldn’t they and why are you policing them about it? It’s not a competition and it will have zero affect on you and your reading goals! But I digress… 😬

I do count my rereads in my yearly goals because I’m still reading a whole ass book after all! Do I feel guilty about it? No. Do I feel guilty about rereading? Also no! As a mood reader I’m very much for picking up whatever fits my current feelings and if that means rereading something then I’ll go for it, and I encourage everyone to do the same! Of course, it might be slightly different if you’ve committed to reading something before a certain date, but I do find that if I really force myself to read anything I’m not in the mood for, it’ll only negatively influence my feelings toward it, and that’s not fair to either the story or the author!

What are your thoughts, friends? Do you reread books and how often do you do it? What are your “go-to” rereads? Do you also count them towards your yearly goal? Tell me all!

Let’s Talk Bookish: Pros and Cons of Book Blogging

Let’s Talk Bookish is a weekly meme, hosted by Rukky @Eternity Books  & Dani @ Literary Lion, where we get to discuss certain topics, share our opinions, and spread the love by visiting each other’s posts! I’ve listed the upcoming topics in brief at the end of my post, but check out these pages for more information on November 2020 prompts & a list of past prompts!

This week is actually a ‘freebie’ and we could either go back and do a topic we missed or take a break. I decided to go waay back and do a prompt from September 2020!
Check out the other bloggers who already did this prompt too!

Now without further ado… This week’s topic asks us about:

the pros and cons of book blogging

Examples: What do you love about being a book blogger? What do you hate? What makes you stay in this community, and what’s one thing that could possibly drive you away? Do you feel appreciated as a blogger? Are book bloggers given enough credit?

IT’S A BLOGGER’S LIFE FOR ME

I decided to start my book blog after starting a bookstagram. I wanted a better platform for posting reviews and engaging with other readers, and while I was worried about starting another blog after the one I had for 15 years fizzled out, I found I really enjoyed talking about books and now here we are almost two years later!


there’s so much to love!

  • The community: The book community is truly the best! I’ve met so many amazing book lovers across the world and it has been so great to share our book loves and dislikes, and even tidbits about our personal lives. I don’t have (m)any book loving friends IRL, so it’s refreshing to be able to fully geek-out with people who understand why I’m freaking out over fictional events and characters in the first place 😂
  • Finding new favourites: I can’t even count the number of books and authors that I’ve discovered and ended up loving since joining the community. I’ve branched out of comfort zone more times than I can count and the result has almost always been positive. I don’t know how I used to find new books/authors before but there’s no going back now!
  • Sharing recommendations and getting others to try new books/authors: I’ve loved sharing my favourites on my blog and it’s always so exciting to see people mention that they’ve added books to their mountainous TBRs on my recommendation or because of a review I wrote. It’s a crazy incredible feeling especially when they love the book as much as I did! It kinda makes me feel like I’ve levelled up! 🤣
  • ARCs and Blog tours: NGL, one of the reasons I started blogging was because I wanted the chance to access ARCs! Who wouldn’t want to read the latest books before everyone else?! Then I discovered blog tours and discovered indie authors and got access to more new releases and well, the rest is history!
  • Becoming a smarter/better reader: Obviously it’s a process but I’ve definitely become a more conscientious and purposeful reader since I started blogging and that’s really thanks to the community. I never used to really pay much attention to what I was reading–I would just mindlessly consume for pleasure, and while I still do that, I’m also more critical of what I consume and I like to think its made me a better reader 😊

IT CAN GET HARD though…

As good as it’s been having a book blog and being part of the community, I’d be lying if I said it was all roses all the time.

  • It’s time consuming. No matter what anyone tells you, making posts takes a lot of work and eats up a lot of time! Even if I was better organised and actually scheduled ahead of time (cough), I’d still probably spend a big chunk of my free-time on it. I work full time so I mostly work on my blog before/after work or during work breaks, but a lot of my spare time does go toward blogging, including engaging with others! My friends/colleagues who know I have a book blog always comment on how it’s like a second job (albeit a very enjoyable one) and they’re not exactly wrong!
  • The pressure. I feel like there’s a lot of pressure to constantly be reading, churning out content and engaging with others in order to “stay relevant”. It’s not a competition but it can feel like it sometimes when everyone is trying to read more, review more, engage more, etc. All of this obviously comes as part of having a blog but at the same time, it does get overwhelming and can lead to serious burn outs too!
  • Kissing that hard earned money good-bye. As an international blogger, I don’t have access to the majority of ARCs or a library, so 90% of the books that I read are bought out of pocket. Plus, I rarely get book gifts because my family doesn’t believe I need more 🙄 While I’m happy to be discovering new books my savings certainly don’t feel the same way 😂 I’m really thankful to have a steady job that allows me to indulge in this increasingly expensive hobby and I do know how lucky I am!

FEELING APPRECIATED AS A BLOGGER…

I never put much thought into whether or not I’m appreciated as a blogger because I do it for my own enjoyment. It’s a topic that I’ve noticed frequently come up on socials when bloggers share how little they feel appreciated compared to bookstagrammers, booktubers and book-tokers (or whatever they call themselves). But it’s something that I personally try not to think too much about because it’d probably stop me altogether. 😂 There are definitely good days when stats don’t matter and those really bad days when I question what the hell I’m doing, but I do think it’s all part of the process. I don’t believe that people on other platforms don’t also feel the same way sometimes!

2020 has been a rough as year and reading and book blogging has really helped me push through the tough times, so right now my hope is that I won’t stop blogging anytime soon? Being part of the community and engaging with others really gives me the motivation to keep doing what I’m doing, and I’m still loving (almost) every minute of it! 😉

So, what. do you think about book blogging? Do you feel the same way about the pros and cons I listed? What do you love most about book blogging? Do you feel appreciated?