Meet the Book Blogger Tag!

Hello, lovely people! How is everyone doing? I hope you’re all doing okay 💜

A few months ago and also just the other day I was tagged by Kerri @Kerri McBookNerd, Leslie @Books Are the New Black and Jordyn @ Jordyn Reads to do the Meet the Book Blogger Tag! If you’re not following them yet then what are you waiting for? They always post great content, have awesome blogs and are super fun to interact with. Thank you Kerri, Leslie and Jordyn for tagging me to do this cos it looks super fun!

The Rules

  • Thank the blogger who tagged you ☝🏽
  • Mention the creator: Lauren @Lala’s Book Reviews
  • Tag as many (or as few) people as you’d like
  • Have fun and get to know one another!

INTRODUCTION

Introduce yourself

I’m so awkies with these intro things but… Hi, fellow readers. I’m Dini, I love to read, I love pandas and that’s how this blog name was born! I’m from Indonesia and have lived here for the last 8 years but I spent the first 25 years of my life moving around and I’ve lived in six countries that I considered home while growing up. In the real world, I work at a Dutch NGO as the regional communication officer for Southeast Asia! 😊

Something most everyone wants to know…do you have any pets?

I do! Tripper and Cookie have been with us since we adopted them off the streets of Cambodia in 2010. They’re pretty well-travelled doggos and maybe slightly spoiled but I just can’t help it—I love them so floofing much! We aren’t sure what breed they are but think that Tripper is part Lhasa Apso and Cookie part Terrier?

Tripper
Cookie

What is your favourite thing to drink?

Um, I guess it depends? Living somewhere perpetually hot, I always like to have a cold drink. Usually, it’s ice-cold water or a cold brew with extra ice! If I’m treating myself, I go for an iced caramel macchiato with an extra shot of espresso! 😍

What is your favourite thing to drink?

I miss the days when I used to live somewhere with four seasons cos now it’s just hot and hotter. I miss AUTUMN because sweater weather! I really miss wearing jumpers and other cool-weather clothing cos I love to bundle up and be comfy but I literally sweat looking at jumpers these days cos it’s SO HOT! 🫠

Do you have any special talents?

Um… Not really anymore? Lol. I used to play the viola in the school orchestra and I was also a soprano in the chamber choir at several of the schools I went to, which was fun because we got to travel to different countries in the region for international school competitions! Don’t know what I’d be like now 😂

BLOGGING

When and why did you start your blog?

I set up my blog in January 2019 but I didn’t post anything until a few months after in March 2019. I was so nervous! 😂 No lies, I started this blog so I could gain access to more ARCs when I first discovered them, without realising the limits that international readers face, but I have no regrets because I discovered this amazing community!

What is something that you wish you knew about blogging when you first started?

I mean, I should’ve known really but I guess I wished I knew how much work it actually took and how many hours a week I’d have to spend to create a presence in the community. I’m still a small fish in this ocean of amazing creators but I didn’t realise just how much time I’d spend doing all of it. Don’t get me wrong—I loved it and still do but it was very time consuming especially when I was working full time.

What has been the hardest part about blogging?

I think this is very much a “me” thing as I simply excel at procrastination but… Finding enough time to create posts, respond to comments, and blog hop every day! I’ve tried preparing posts in advance but it’s just no, so I end up doing things on a whim (such as this post)! This leaves very little time and brain juice for me to blog hop and engage with others every day after I finish posting and it does bum me out cos I know I miss out on a lot but I try my best! 😅

What has been the most rewarding part of blogging?

The friends. I didn’t come into this community expecting anything and it amazes me that I’ve found people who want to engage with me and it just makes me SO happy having these new friends in my life. I’ve really met some amazing people through the book blogging community who make me so thankful that I started this journey. 🥰

Do you write your posts ahead of time or write them the day of posting?

Haha, see the answer above where I mention that I excel at procrastinating. I’ve successfully prepared a few posts in advance but most of the time it’s the day of (like now)! 😂

READING

Who are your top 5 favourite authors?

Oof, this is a tough one!

  • V.E. Schwab
  • Fonda Lee
  • Talia Hibbert
  • Meghan Quinn
  • Taylor Jenkins Reid

What genre do you read the most?

It would definitely be romance now but I still read my share of fantasy (MG/YA/Adult).

What genre surprised you by how much you love it?

I have to pick the historical romance sub-genre. I picked up my first historical romance last year and wow, I did not expect to love it so much! I can’t wait to read more! 😍

Which popular book didn’t live up to the hype for you?

Um, don’t come for me when I say this, alright? The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. I enjoyed it well enough but I went expecting to fall rapturously in love with it, so I couldn’t have been more disappointed when that never happened! 🥺

Who are some popular authors you haven’t read?

Oh, there are so many and it’s not cos I don’t want to it’s just so many books so little time? Becky Chambers, Seanan McGuire, Rick Riordan, Jasmine Guillory, Olivia Dade, Jhumpa Lahiri, N.K. Jemisin, Tasha Suri, S.A. Chakraborty, Sara Desai, Pierce Brown… The list can go on ∞! 😂

What upcoming release are you excited to read?

Omg, there are so so so so so many!?

Do you listen to music while reading?

Not often, no. If I’m in the mood for music + reading, I usually leave a favourite lofi playlist on in the background or my favourite classical music for reading playlist!

Where else can we find you online?

TAGGING

That’s it from me, folks! If I haven’t tagged you but you wanna do this tag anyway, please do and link back so I can check out your post! As always, thanks for reading, engaging with me and hanging around! I appreciate you sm. 😍

Let’s Talk Bookish: The Evolution 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! You can check out these pages for March 2022 prompts & a full list of the past prompts!

Now without further ado… The topic asks us about:

THE EVOLUTION OF BOOK BLOGGING

(SUGGESTED BY RUKKY)
Prompts: How long have you been blogging, and how has the book blogging community changed since you started? Do you think it’s been a positive or negative change? What do you think the future of blogging will be? Would you want to keep blogging even if blogging becomes very “old school” and isn’t really done anymore?

how long have you been blogging and how has the book blogging community changed since you started?

I’ve been blogging for as long as I can remember with personal “open diary style blogs on LiveJournal, Xanga and eventually WordPress. But I made my first post on this blog on 19 February 2019 and I can hardly believe that I’ve been blogging for about 4 years now because I still very much feel like a newbie and the imposter syndrome is still very real on most days for me! 😂 While the engagement I have through this community is the highest I’ve ever had with blogging, I’m not sure that I can tell if anything has changed much since I’ve joined, especially in regards to having a blog in the “traditional” sense through WordPress etc.

Something I have noticed though is the emergence in popularity of Bookstagram and BookTok and the use of other channels such as Pinterest to more widely promote posts. Not long after I joined, I noticed a few bloggers engaging less on their blogs and they decided to shift their focus to creating content on IG and TikTok as they find that it’s easier to engage and more visually appealing, plus I heard others mention that it took less time to create something. I’ve also seen a few book bloggers start BookTube channels in addition to their blog, which I think is pretty awesome! Do those other platforms also count towards “book blogging”?

what do you think the future of blogging will be? will i keep blogging even if it becomes “old school” and isn’t really done anymore?

Honestly, I think blogging is going to be around for a while. With social media and the rise in popularity of bookstagram, now followed by BookTok, I believe there are already plenty of people who see blogging as “old school” and (to a point) “irrelevant” because it doesn’t have the same direct or measurable impact those other platforms have. Blogging is also text-heavy and definitely not as “fast and easy” to consume as media on those other platforms, which a lot of people find more convenient these days. I’ve also seen reoccuring discussions about how book bloggers get less credit or attention in comparison to bookstagrammers/booktokers, although I don’t know if that means more people will abandon their blogs for those platforms or not.

There are many moments I feel imposter syndrome wondering what I’m doing blogging but then I remember why I continue to blog now (which has actually changed from what it was at the start!) and ultimately, I’m blogging for myself and my love for talking about books with others who are passionate about the same stories and authors as I am. I noticed that a lot of bloggers start with blogs and them move onto Instagram and TikTok but it was the opposite for me as I started with bookstagram but found that it drained me *so quickly* and blogging was more my speed. All that being said, I think there’s a reason why people still blog after all these years and why there continue to be new book bloggers even when it’s seen as “lesser than” compared to the other reviewing platforms. I do believe bloggers are here to stay and hopefully, I’ll be one of them! 😊

What do you think of the evolution of blogging? Do you think blogs will last or do you think with the changing social media ‘landscape’ blogs will become “old school” and irrelevant Do you have bookstagram/booktok/booktube in addition to a blog?

Let’s Talk Bookish: Buying Secondhand 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! You can check out these pages for March 2022 prompts & a full list of the past prompts!

Now without further ado… The topic asks us about:

BUYING SECONDHAND BOOKS

(SUGGESTED BY HASINI @ BIBLIOSINI)
Prompts: Do you buy secondhand books? Why or why not? What are the benefits of buying secondhand? What are the cons of secondhand books? What do you recommend people do to better support secondhand bookstores?

BUYING SECONDHAND BOOKS

I don’t have the opportunity to buy secondhand books often these days but I used to love buying them when I lived overseas! There’s just something about being surrounded by the smell of pre-loved books that makes me feel slightly nostalgic. Is that just me? 😂 When I finished uni and moved to Cambodia, I was ecstatic to stumble upon this amazing secondhand bookshop in Phnom Penh and that’s how I kickstarted reading again after reading nothing while at uni, and that’s also where I first discovered Nora Roberts, Michael Crichton and Stephen King. It was like ✨magic!

Since moving to Indonesia though I’ve rarely bought used books. There was only one secondhand bookshop in Bali and a lot of the books were your typical beach reads or non-fiction/coffee table books priced at nearly the same as new books! Sadly, I rarely found anything that interested me enough to buy so I more often than not left empty-handed.

PROS and CONS of SECONDHAND BOOKS

I think the biggest pro of buying secondhand books is that they’re cheaper than buying new books. Obviously, that wasn’t the case for me here in Indonesia but when I shopped in AU, UK and Cambodia, I could find a PB for £/$1-2 and sometimes even for as low as 50p/c and I’m sure we can all agree that’s a total steal!

Maybe it’s a bit of a ‘romantic’ notion but one of the things I loved most about buying secondhand books is the possibility of finding something left behind by the previous owner, whether that’s annotations/sticky notes or bookmarks in whatever form—I just love that little peek you can get into someone’s thoughts/life. And that might sound totally creepy but I don’t mean it that way! 😂 I think it’s similar to why some enjoy people watching? I’ve found a sad poem and a love poem, a couple grocery lists, a few business cards and receipts, and some cool bookmarks too!

I can’t think of many cons to secondhand book buying. Perhaps, depending on where the shop is located, the genre options might be limited. From what I remember, I came across a lot of non-fiction, mysteries/thrillers, and women’s fiction with a sprinkling of SFF though they were rarely big-name authors or recent releases. Another con could be that if you buy a secondhand book online there’s a chance the condition of the book is worse than the seller noted. I’ve previously seen people talk about the horrifying conditions their books came in and it was not terrible! 🙈

sUPPORTING SECONDHAND BOOKS+SHOPS

I’ve always wondered how secondhand bookshops can get more support, and well, specifically for my situation, I’ve always wondered about how to make secondhand bookshops more common here! 😂 Other than buying your books more frequently from secondhand shops and talking about the shops and your finds on social media to promote them, I’m not sure what else I’d recommend to support them!

What do you think of secondhand books? Do you buy them often, do you wish you had access to more secondhand bookshops or are they not for you? How would you recommend people support secondhand books and shops?

Let’s Talk Bookish: Updating Old Content

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 March 2022 prompts & a full list of the past prompts!

Now without further ado… The topic asks us about:

UPDATING OLD CONTENT

(SUGGESTED BY NICOLE @ THOUGHTS STAINED WITH INK)
Prompts: Do you ever go back and update older content on your blog? For instance, after getting new graphics or going self-hosted? Why or why not? Do you sometimes curate/clear out old posts that you no longer want published, or rewrite/update them? Do you think people should periodically clean up their old content and update/delete things that don’t align with their current positions/beliefs?

UPDATING OLD CONTENT: YEA OR NAY?

Since I started in 2019, my blog has seen quite a few graphics changes and though I’ve done my best to update my older content, I haven’t been able to get through them all yet. When I look back at my very early posts, the content layout is pretty messy especially since many of the graphics that I originally used have been deleted, plus, the content lacked in detail compared to how I set my posts up now, particularly when it comes to my reviews.

While I think updating older content is based on the preference of the blogger, I like to keep my posts updated on the off-chance that someone decides to look at some of my earlier content. My older posts don’t get a lot of hits at all but I’d like to think that if it does happen, it doesn’t hurt to know that the posts still look good—hah, is my vanity showing? 😂 But seriously, I like to keep everything looking nice and orderly on here, lol.

I’ve mentioned this a few times now but I’m planning to revamp my blog this year and even though I know it’s going to take up a lot of my time, I’m hoping to update all my posts with the newest headers and in-post dividers/banners and whatever else needs changing! Unless I spot a glaring error or the post(s) reads awfully, I don’t think I’ll go so far as to edit the content as it’d take me longer than forever to complete and it’d give me an excuse to keep pushing it off when I’m already the queen of procrastination! 🙈

OUT WITH THE OLD!

I never really thought about removing old posts that I no longer want to be published on my blog but I did recently privatise a few reviews for books by an author that I no longer want to support. Funnily enough (or something), one of those reviews was my most viewed post of all time, so I was a bit sad about removing it. I did view the post to see if I could figure out why it was so popular (other than because of the book itself) but couldn’t spot what made it stand out! 🙈 So far, this would be the only reason I can think of for me to remove a post but if someone reaches out to say something I wrote was harmfull/misinformed, then I wouldn’t hesitate to look it up and remove/edit the content.

SHOULD OTHER PEOPLE CLEAN UP THEIR CONTENT?

I think whether people should/shouldn’t clean up or clear out their old posts is entirely up to them. A lot of people blog as a hobby and might not want to spend more time editing old posts or removing old content when they already invest a lot of time into their blog regularly. If I’m honest, most of the time I don’t read blog content from years ago, unless I’m directed to that post through a search or if it’s linked to another blog post, so I don’t think I’m fussed either way. If someone wants to remove a post from their blog because they don’t agree with what they wrote anymore, that’s great. If someone has posts with harmful content or that supports harmful authors that I don’t want to support/read/see, I wouldn’t choose to engage with it but then I’d probably choose to unfollow them anyway as I wouldn’t want that content on my feed! 🤷🏻‍♀️

Do you update your old blog content or do you want to update it? Do you have specific reasons for wanting to update the posts? For what reason (if any) would you remove or edit a blog post? Do you think others should too?

Let’s Talk Bookish: Maintaining Blog Aesthetics

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 March 2022 prompts & a full list of the past prompts!

Now without further ado… The topic asks us about:

MAINTAINING A BLOG AESTHETIC

(SUGGESTED BY HAYLEY @ ON THIS I PONDER)
Prompts: How much time do you spend on making your blog look nice? Is it more about making it functional? Did it take a long time to set it up? Are you still changing it around? Do you ever feel like your blog design is not properly appreciated (for example, are most people reading your posts via the Reader and not actually visiting your blog)? What are the best tools you use to customize the look of your blog?

One of the things that got me very excited about starting a book blog was getting to play around with the aesthetic! Sadly, I signed up for the dot com version of WordPress so I’m pretty limited in what I can do but I also don’t consider myself web savvy enough to play around with the self hosted version—although the number of amazing templates available for self-hosting makes switching over very tempting! But I digress…

working on that blog aesthetic

When I first started my blog looked very different to how it looks now. For starters, I didn’t have this blog header, my “customised” post headers or the dividers that I use now. I wasn’t even sure what exactly I’d be posting aside from reviews, so I dove in without much of a plan! 😅 When I did figure things out, I have to admit, I spent quite a bit of time playing around with fonts, graphics, etc., before I felt ‘happy’ with how things looked. Doing this is something I enjoyed though so I didn’t find it burdensome and the only thing that bugged me was the limit to what I could do because of the platform. I’m happy with the pastel colour palette, the fonts I’ve chosen for my graphics and I think that, overall, my set-up is still functional while looking nice-ish.

THE TOOLS I USE

Free
  • Canva great place for ready made social media graphics and templates
  • Freepikcool place to find free vectors/graphics/pictures (for personal use)
  • Flaticonanother cool place to find loads of free graphics/icons!
  • Creative Marketyou get six free goods each week and it ranges from free fonts, graphics, photo filters, etc.
Paid
  • Adobe Illustratorthis is mainly where I make my blog headers and dividers!
  • Creative MarketI found two fonts that I really like for my blog and purchased them on CM for a great deal! You can find some really great and affordable stuff on this site.

NEW CHANGES ON THE HORIZON

With all that being said, I do want to make one ‘final’ aesthetic shift at some point this year to coincide with upgrading to my own domain. It’s a big step (for me) but I think I’ll be sticking around for a while to come, so I want to make my blog more ‘me’ and more accessible—I think right now I might even be blacklisted on FB/IG and I’m not sure why cos I don’t think I’ve posted inappropriate content, lol? I’ve commissioned one of my besties who’s an artist to create some art for me, including this new PFP and I’m very excited for what’s to come! 😍

If you’ve been following my blog, you might notice that I’m already using a different header for my blog tour posts and I’m hoping to eventually change them all to this new style. I think it’s still cute but looks slightly more ‘elevated’?

(If it doesn’t, let’s not burst my bubble please, LOL! 😂)

AESTHETIC FEEDBACK

I’ve had a few comments about how ‘cute’ my blog looks with its colorful headers and graphics and I’d be lying if I said it didn’t make me happy to hear that and I really appreciate the comments! 🥰 But if you do have any feedback about what I can do to make it better I’d be more than happy to hear your thoughts so let me know in the comments below!

Did you or do you still spend a lot of time on your blog aesthetic? Do you have plans to change it up or do you like it as is? Do you feel your aesthetic is appreciated? What tools do you use for your blog?

Let’s Talk Bookish: Changing Book Ratings/Reviews

This was actually the prompt on 18 February and I wrote the post but apparently, I was too emotionally compromised by my current read at the time that I didn’t realise I never scheduled it to post… Oops! 😂 I wasn’t entirely feeling this week’s topic and didn’t want to waste this post that I’d already written, so up this one goes now!


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 February 2022 prompts & a full list of the past prompts!

Now without further ado… The topic asks us about:

CHANGING BOOK RATINGS/REVIEWS

(SUGGESTED BY NICOLE @ THOUGHTS STAINED WITH INK)
Prompts: Do you ever change your rating/review for a book? When or why would you consider doing so? Do you think people should be allowed to change their ratings/reviews? Is it important to make it known what the previous rating/review was if you’re changing it?

DO YOU EVER CHANGE YOUR RATING/REVIEW FOR A BOOK?

I have changed ratings several times but it’s usually only a minor change. For example, instead of 3.5 stars rounded down sometimes, I’ll end up rounding it up or vice versa. I can only recall making a drastic rating change (went from 3 stars to 1.5 stars) once and I don’t even know why I even rated it ‘well’ in the first place cos after re-reading my review I could tell I didn’t enjoy it at all! 😂 When it comes to reviews, I don’t actually recall changing one in a big way.

WHEN OR WHY WOULD YOU CONSIDER DOING SO?

My main reason for changing a rating is usually because I’ve had time for my thoughts and feelings about a book to sit for a while. I tend to immediately rate and review a book, so it’s usually based on the initial “high” of finishing a read and more often than not (at least these days) I find that my feelings for the book change after some time has passed.

As for changing a review, I would only change something if I re-read my review and it sounded weird (or even incomplete) or if I feel I’ve missed a point or two that I think would be important to include. I think I would also change my review for a book if I learn that a book or author is harmful or problematic and I don’t want to show my support for it (just as I recently found out with a romance author whose books I loved last year).

DO YOU THINK PEOPLE SHOULD BE ALLOWED TO CHANGE THEIR RATINGS/REVIEWS?

Yes, of course, absolutely! Why not? How we feel about and perceive things changes all the time and that obviously also applies to what we read. I mean, maybe we decide to re-read a book that we’ve previously loved only to find our feelings have changed, so why shouldn’t we then change our rating? I think this is especially the case if you come to realise or someone points out that the books’ content or the author is harmful or problematic.

IS IT IMPORTANT TO MAKE IT KNOWN WHAT THE PREVIOUS RATING/REVIEW WAS IF YOU’RE CHANGING IT?

I wouldn’t say it’s always *important* to make it known that a rating or review has changed unless, as I mentioned above, the book or author was problematic. Even though I know it isn’t possible all the time, I know I’d definitely want to have that information before I decide to read a book, so I’d do the same for others. That said, if I make a rating change (i.e. from 3 to 4 stars) I don’t generally make a comment unless I really want people to know why. For example, when I changed my rating for Normal People by Sally Rooney from a 4 to 5-star rating I did write a note because of how much the book stuck with me over time!

How do you feel about changing ratings/reviews? Have you ever done it and what pushes you to do it? Do you make note when you change it?

Let’s Talk Bookish: Re-Reading 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! You can check out these pages for January 2022 prompts & a full list of the past prompts!

Now without further ado… The topic asks us about:

RE-READING BOOKS?

(SUGGESTED BY FIVES @ DOWN THE RABBIT HOLE)
Prompts: How many times is enough? Why re-read at all? Is re-reading just a comforting pastime? Or is there excitement to be relived? What kind of books do you re-read? Do you ever re-read books you don’t like in hopes that it will be better the second time? Were there any books you didn’t like as a child but liked as an adult, or vice versa?

“I can’t wait to re-read THIS BOOK SOON!”

This is a phrase I’ve repeated countless times, especially when I’m blog hopping or scrolling through socials and see people talking about a book that I’ve read years ago and remember loving, or when an ‘old’ book resurfaces and gains a bunch of new followers. Seeing those posts and discussions never fail to make me want to pick up those books again but do I ever get around to re-reading them? It’s a no 99.9% of the time! 🙈

Safe to say, I’m not much of a re-reader. I’ve re-read a few, mostly Pride and Prejudice and Persuasion, but even then it’s not often and it’s not always all the way through. Those are my comfort reads whenever I’m feeling some type of way and so that’s why I keep coming back to them.

I wouldn’t say there’s a particular reason why I don’t re-read more, I think it’s just that I’m pretty terrible with time-management and there are always other books that I want to read? I sometimes feel like I’ve already spent time on those books and then I look at all the other unread books sitting on my shelves and it tends to make me feel a little guilty because those books deserve to be read too, y’know? 😂

dINIPANDA-RE-READS PROJECT!

That said, there are a few books that I do plan to re-read this year. After writing this post last year, talking about re-reading 5-star reads like it was the first time, I decided to do a little re-read project this year. I’m gonna start with books that I read in 2016/17 and remember loving, and I rated 4-5 stars on Goodreads but that I never wrote reviews for. I don’t think I’m gonna re-read everything I want in 2022 but I hope to at least get this smol project rolling and I’m also hoping to eventually get to these books that I read in MS/HS and that I’d love to re-read as an adult!

I’m very curious to see whether I still feel the same about these books (especially the ones I read in 2016/17). It’s a little intimidating since I consider many of them favourites and have a few special editions… I’m hoping that I don’t end up hating them but I also can’t deny that I’m eager to see if/how my reading tastes have changed since.

Here are some of the books I plan to re-read this year:

Do you re-read books? What do you love most about re-reading—is it a comfort thing? If you don’t re-read, is there a reason why you don’t?

Let’s Talk Bookish: Do Bloggers Owe Their Readers and Vice Versa?

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 January 2022 prompts & a full list of the past prompts!

Now without further ado… The topic asks us about:

DO BLOGGERS OWE THEIR READERS AND VICE VERSA?

(SUGGESTED BY RUKKY @ ETERNITY BOOKS)
Prompts: Do bloggers owe their readers anything? Do bloggers deserve anything from their readers? Do you think there’s a specific etiquette that bloggers/readers should follow when interacting? Do you as a blogger pressure yourself to provide certain things to your readers? Do you do certain things when you read a blog post?

Continue reading “Let’s Talk Bookish: Do Bloggers Owe Their Readers and Vice Versa?”

Let’s Talk Bookish: Book Buying Bans – Yea or Nay?

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 January 2022 prompts & a full list of the past prompts!

Now without further ado… The topic asks us about:

DO BOOK BUYING BANS WORK FOR YOU?

(SUGGESTED BY JILLIAN @ JILLIAN THE BOOKISH BUTTERFLY)
Prompts: The book community is full of consumerism. People want to not just read their favourite books, but own them as well. Sometimes this can get…a little out of hand. How do you control your spending/buying books you don’t have time to read? Does setting a book buying ban work for you? How long do you usually ban yourself for?

“Sometimes this can get…a little out of hand” 👀

I can still hear the echoes of the above phrase still ringing in my head, especially as I sit and contemplate how I’ve liberally indulged in book-buying since the start of 2022, which was literally 14 days ago. At this point, to say that I’ve been treating myself, might be an understatement and though I initially justified this splurge by saying that I really didn’t buy books last year, my brain has very conveniently blocked out all the eBooks I happily one-clicked because “out of sight, out of mind” and all that, right? 🤷🏻‍♀️

I will say though that despite all the one-clicking of eBooks, I am actually spending less on books than I was previously. When I first joined the book community, it was through bookstagram and I immediately jumped in on all the book-buying hype and my physical library grew immensely over a very short period of time; it was unsurprisingly unsustainable!

BEEN THERE, DONE THAT!

When I was still buying books like it was going out of fashion, I did set bans several times and they were successful—I resisted temptation and I was pretty proud of myself for not buying all the books! The longest I ever set a ban was 5 months and even then I didn’t buy books. That said, the minute these bans ended, I’d look up the books that I catalogued for buying while I was banned, and I would start “treating” myself to a certain number of them for the length of time I was banned (i.e. 2-3 books for each month I was on the ban). 🙄 So, ultimately, it was pretty pointless? 😂

Learning OVER TIME

A combination of things have helped me stop buying books so often. First, I left bookstagram. I know it’s not the same experience for everyone, but since I stopped trolling the feeds looking at everyone’s gorgeous bookish pictures, I’ve also stopped feeling the overwhelming need to constantly buy all the books. Yes, I’m still tempted to buy books when I see people talk about them all over blogs and book Twitter, but there’s less urgency for me to get my hands on it/them—especially when I think about all the books that are still sitting unread on my physical and digital shelves.

For physical books: I’ve started to focus more on quality over quantity for my physical shelves but it’s not a hard rule! 😂 But as much as I’d love to keep adding more and more hardcovers/ paperbacks to my shelves, international shipping is so freaking expensive and even when it’s free, it often takes forever and a day to arrive! In the last year, I’ve mostly bought special editions of favourites and while they’re way more pricey than your average version, they’re so worth it!

For digital books: These days I do the most indulging with eBooks but I usually tend to wait for good deals before buying them. One trick I learned was to do semi-regular checks of my wishlist and sort them from lowest-to-highest price to see if any have good deals. I’m surprised by how many popular titles/anticipated releases I’ve bought for £0.99-£2.00 as a result (some of the more recent titles include: Iron Widow, Defy the Night and Raybearer)!

BOOK BUYING BAN: YEA OR NAY?

While I’m not opposed to book-buying bans, I’ve found through experimentation (and knowing myself, lol) that they ultimately don’t work for me. That said, my priorities have changed over the years and as much as I want to own every single book under the sun, I’m also very aware of all the books that are still sitting unread on my shelf and as I get older, the guilt over leaving them unread has started to hit me harder! 🤣 Plus, international shipping is painfully high and since I stopped working full-time, it’s been easier to refrain from indulging so often. So… It’s a NAY for me!

Do you set book buying bans for yourself? If you do, how long do you set them for and do they work for you? What’s the longest you’ve banned yourself? If you don’t, how do you control your book buying habits?

Let’s Talk Bookish: 2022 Reading/Blogging Goals

Hello, friends! It’s been a while since I did a Let’s Talk Bookish post but I thought what better time to dive back into these posts than at the start of a new year, right?!


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 January 2022 prompts & a full list of the past prompts!

Now without further ado… The topic asks us about:

2022 READING GOALS

(SUGGESTED BY DANI @ LITERARY LION)
Prompts: As we enter the new year many of us will be setting goals on Goodreads and choosing new year’s resolutions. What are your goals related to your blog or books/reading in general? Are you going to have resolutions this year, and if not why not?

QUICK RECAP of 2021 goals/resolutions

I’m just gonna come out and say it: I didn’t do a great job of achieving my 2021 goals/resolutions. 🙃 I was so convinced at the start of the year that it would be my year and well, a couple of slumps, weird reading moods, and burnouts later, and that wasn’t the case at all. I felt pretty shoddy about it when I realised just how little I accomplished but after a little internal monologuing, I decided that it’s okay. Of course, I’m disappointed that I didn’t achieve what I set out to do, but I had as much of a rough personal year as a lot of others did—but the high point is: we got through it!

I thought I’d share a review of some of my 2021 goals/resolutions before moving on to 2022:

  • Read 150 books (GR challenge)this is the only goal I achieved as I ended up reading 199 books!
  • Tackle my existing physical shelves (at least 50 books)yeah, no. this really didn’t end up happening as i participated in a slightly overwhelming number of blog tours last year 😂
  • Catalogue all my physical/digital booksi didn’t even end up making/downloading a library tracker until january 2022 so… 🙈
  • Prioritise reading Asian (South/Southeast Asian) authorsi read 13 books by asian authors and considering i read almost 200 books, i didn’t do well with this one!
  • Read more amazing Middle Grade Fantasy!i read a few mg fantasies that i really enjoyed but 2021 ended up being the year of romance, and i think 2022 is going to follow suit.
  • Grow my blog to 800 followerssadly, i didn’t achieve this and have been in 700 followers limbo for the past 8 months but i’m honestly just happy to have a few regular readers who engage with me, especially after posting so erratically in 2021
  • Read more non-fiction (at least 4 books)nope. non-fiction stood no chance 🥲

IS THERE HOPE FOR MY 2022 READING GOALS?

Oof, that recap was a little more painful than I anticipated (😮‍💨) but I’m not gonna let that stop me from trying again in 2022! I also know myself and I’ve never been very good at sticking to resolutions or slaying goals. I’ve always kind of taken things as they come and just going with whatever flow I’m on, but I also like having a general idea of where I’m heading and what I want to work towards. All that to say, I’ll have these goals but I’ll try not to take them too seriously? It’s chaotic but we’re rolling with it, ok? 🤓

THE 2022 READING/BLOGGING GOALS

I’m gonna keep it pretty simple this year and include one or two ideas that I’ve been thinking about doing for the past year and I’m pretty excited about it, so hopefully, that means it’ll happen! 😂

  • Read 150 booksGoodreads Reading Challenge
  • Read 50 backlist titles – Because I really want to focus on getting the backlist read this year!
  • Complete the 2022 Popsugar Reading Challenge – I’m trying. Again. Maybe 2022 is the year I’ll finally complete it 😂 why not be ambitious, right?
  • Fill in my Library Tracker – I’m starting with recording my ebooks and then I’ll move onto my physical books!
  • Grow my blog to 800 followers – why not be a little more ambitious, eh?
  • Start my Re-read Project – I had this idea to re-read some of the books that I rated 4-5 stars before I started my book blog. I’d love to see whether I still feel the same way about them and I want to give them actual reviews this time! I hope to at least read 2-3 series or ~10 books.

That’s it for my 2022 reading and blogging goals! Do you set yearly goals for reading and blogging? Do you find setting goals helpful or is it just pressure you don’t need?