Let’s Talk Bookish: Keeping Up With New Releases

It’s been a hot hot minute since I’ve done a LTB so I’m sorry if I’m a little rusty and more rambly than usual! 😂

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 November 2021 prompts & a list of all prompts!

Now without further ado… The topic asks:

DO YOU KEEP UP WITH NEW RELEASES?

(SUGGESTED BY PIPPIN @ THE PIGEON)
Prompts: How current is your reading? Do you tend to read recently published books or pick from the publishing backlog, and why? Is there any particular merit to keeping up with current releases, or is it all hype? How has book blogging changed your habits on this front? And, in the future, are you thinking you want your reading to shift either way? 

How current is your reading? do you pick from the newest releases or from the backlist?

Ever since I discovered the book community I think my reading has been pretty current as I’ve been reading a lot more ARCs compared to backlist titles. I don’t think I purposely search out the newest titles but because a lot of what I’m reading has started to revolve around blog tours, especially in the last year+, I’ve definitely prioritised these newer titles. Taking a quick look at the books I’ve read this year, I do notice that there’s a difference between the genres I read too. For example, I tend to read newer titles when it comes to contemporary fiction and fantasy while I tend to read a mixed variety of mostly old and some new titles when it comes to romances! I think this is because I tend to join blog tours that are for contemporary/fantasy titles and when it comes to romance I randomly trawl through Romance Twitter to find out what authors/titles are being mentioned and catch my eye! 👀 But I don’t pick books specifically because they’re frontlist or backlist titles.

Is there any particular merit to keeping up with current releases, or is it all hype?

I mean, I think there’s definitely merit to keeping up with the current releases but I also think it’s a personal preference? I feel like keeping up with the latest books and jumping on the hype wagon keeps you in a certain spotlight because, of course, you’re featuring titles that are hot right now and that everyone else is talking about too. Being part of that hype and being able to join in the current discussions about popular books is a boost for you especially if you engage in various platforms; but I also think there’s a lot of pressure to keep up with new books which can get overwhelming, especially if you’re based internationally and don’t have access to the same resources as those based in the US/UK/Canada.

What I love about a lot of newer releases is that it’s easier to find more diverse and representative reads. It’s so great that more people have the chance to see themeslves reflected in stories, whether it’s in fantasies and (for me especially) in romances, while with a lot of backlist titles that’s not always the case. It’s been said before, and I’m sure it’ll keep being said, but I wish that a lot of these reads had existed for younger me because I would’ve felt *so* seen, and I’m happy that more people (especially younger readers) will get that experience now!

How has blogging changed your habits on this front?

Ever since I started blogging I’ve noticed a shift towards reading newer titles. Looking at my reading journey through a “before and after” lens, I honestly can’t remember how I ever discovered “new” titles prior to joining the community! Being international, it’s not as if the local bookstores that sell English books always have the latest titles (or if they do it takes a good long while to appear in store!), but then again, I have to be honest and say that I never really paid attention to publication dates prior to starting up this hobby! 😂 Now that I’m more aware of upcoming releases it’s easy to get caught up in the hype (even though it makes me nervous in equal measure) and I (mostly) want to read what everyone else seems to be reading, too! 🙈

are you thinking you want your reading to shift either way?

I can see my reading habits shift to more backlist titles if I choose to stop doing as many blog tours in 2022, which is a possibility, and if I decide to pursue my “re-read project”! Though I wouldn’t necessarily say that I want my reading to shift either way because I don’t really—I’m happy to read both newer titles and backlist titles and at the end of the day, what matters is that you enjoy what you read, right? 😉

Do you keep up with the latest releases or are you more of a backlist reader? Do you prefer one to the other? Does the hype entice you or nah?

Let’s Talk Bookish: A Blogger Identity Crisis

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 August 2021 prompts & a list of all prompts!

Now without further ado… The topic asks:

HAVING A BLOGGER IDENTITY CRISIS

(SUGGESTED BY RUKKY @ ETERNITY BOOKS)
Prompts: Have you ever had a blogger identity crisis? What triggered it? How did you get over it? Has an identity crisis ever led you to significantly change the direction for your blog? Do you think having an identity crisis every once in a while can help you become a better blogger, or is it just a sign of insecurity?

HAVE YOU EVER HAD A BLOGGER IDENTITY CRISIS? WHAT TRIGGERED IT? HOW DID YOU GET OVER IT?

It’s hard to believe that it’s been almost three years since I made my first post on this blog! Over the years I’ve taken a couple of breaks and I think most of them were a result of feeling overwhelmed by everything, rather than because I had a blogger identity crisis. That said, there have been plenty of moments where I’ve been swamped by feelings of ‘imposter syndrome’ and I gotta be honest, it can be pretty debilitating! These feelings are always triggered when I look at other bloggers who create fantastic content, whether it’s amazing reviews, thought-provoking posts, and even new original tags—whatever it is, it usually leads me to think to myself: what are you even doing here when there’s no way you’ll ever compare to that?! Yikes, I cringed typing that sentence because I really hate the comparison game but… Here we are? 🙈

I don’t know if I can say I’m “over” the imposter feelings as they tend to come and go, which also depends on my head space in general, but I’ve dealt with it by acknowledging that as long as I enjoy what I do, does anything else really even matter? Obviously, accepting this attitude/mindset is often easier said than done, but even if I don’t grow a big following or don’t make any kind of lasting impression on readers, at the end of the day, I’m sharing my passion for books because I want to. If others decide that they enjoy what I have to share then that’s absolutely brilliant and I thank you all so much for following along on this mad journey! At the end of the day though, if it makes me happy to do what I do that should be enough, and on most days I’m really okay with that 😊

HAS AN IDENTITY CRISIS EVER LED YOU TO SIGNIFICANTLY CHANGE THE DIRECTION OF YOUR BLOG?

I can’t say that having an identity crisis has led me to changing the direction of my blog. As this is a book blog my content is always going to be about books and I don’t foresee that changing in the near future. Maybe I’ll have a sprinkling of ‘real life’ content in some posts as I get more comfortable being part of this community but it won’t go beyond sprinklings, I think. Admittedly, these moments always make me want to push myself to create more fun and engaging content and although it doesn’t always work (or at least not for long) I do feel better whenever I manage to do something new when I make a ‘comeback’.

DO YOU THINK HAVING AN IDENTITY CRISIS EVERY ONCE IN A WHILE CAN HELP YOU BECOME A BETTER BLOGGER OR IS IT JUST INSECURITY?

Personally, I know that a lot of my crisis moments stem from my massive self-doubt and insecurity but I do think that having these ‘shake ups’ every once in a while can be helpful. It’s especially good if you’re able to take a step back and handle the situation constructively without letting it overwhelm you and stop you from moving forward.

Have you ever had a blogger identity crisis? How do or did you deal with it? Do you think it can be helpful to experience a crisis now and then?

Let’s Talk Bookish: Can Books Be Effective Horror?

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 August 2021 prompts & a list of all prompts!

Now without further ado… The topic asks:

CAN BOOKS BE EFFECTIVE HORROR?

(SUGGESTED BY DANI @ LITERARY LION)
Prompts: Some people love to be scared – others not so much. When it comes to reading do you think books can be scary? Are you less scared because there are no pictures? Do you feel other mediums such as film are more effective for horror? Have you ever been kept up at night by a book? 

TO BE SCARED OR NOT TO BE SCARED, THAT IS THE QUESTION!

Considering the fact that I am The Ultimate Chicken™️ I guess you can say that I’m one of those people who don’t like to be scared! But it’s not so much the monsters, body horror or gory scenes that scare me, it’s more the paranormal/supernatural ghosts and possession type of horror that scares me absolutely witless.

CAN BOOKS BE SCARY?

As I tend to scare quite easy, I avoid the ghost-y books (and movies/shows/podcasts) as much as I can! If I had to choose a genre to never read again, it’d probably horror because I’m just that much of a chicken. There have been moments when I willingly stepped out of my comfort zone (like when I read Rules for Vanishing—gah, this book cover still REALLY CREEPS ME OUT and I can’t have it looking at me, LOL!—and didn’t have the worst experience with it, but I definitely lost sleep (actually, I didn’t sleep at all). 🥲

Obviously like with most reading experiences it is subjective but I do think books can be scary, though it depends on a few factors, such as the reader’s fear level, the type of horror, and the atmosphere (amongst other things, probably).

I personally find that books can often be scarier than movies/shows because of my very vivid and overactive imagination. It doesn’t take much of a description for my mind to start conjuring up the terrifyingly realistic scenarios or images of what I’ve read and then having that morph into nightmares that have me turning on the lights and stop me from sleeping 😂 Like, I’ll close my eyes and then whatever scary thing I’ve just read about will be imprinted behind my eyes for at least the rest of the night and it’s the worst!

It’s not only the descriptions of said scary thing that contribute to the fear though, as the atmosphere of a book can also play a big role. Saying that immediately made me think of my reading experience with House of Salt and Sorrows. Some scenes in that book were so scary because of the eerie and gothic setting—everything was so dark and gloomy and the story had the feeling of being cursed and I think aside from me being easily freaked out, it had to do with the combination of the eerie gothic atmosphere and the total unexpectedness of it. Ugh, my brain still has no problems remembering the scary bits now and W H Y. 🙈

Do you scare easily or do you love all things horror? Ghosty things? Do you think books can be scary or are movies/shows more effective for you?

The 2021 Mid-Year Check-In Tag

I know we’ve already gone well over the mid-year mark by now but as I’ve been away for the last few months I decided that it’d be a good way to catch up on some of the things I’ve read this year!

I started the year off pretty strong in terms of marking what I’ve read and crossing off prompts for one of the challenges for the POPSUGAR Reading Challenge, but as the months rolled on, the more I read, the less I reviewed and the less I updated my books and challenges. When that started happening is when I decided to take my break and while I’ve been trying to catch up on updating things, I’m a little embarrassed to admit that I’ve forgotten a lot of what I’ve read! Oops… I know that a lot of the books I sped through were romances but I read through them so quickly I honestly can’t remember what I thought of them anymore. So I’ve just decided to leave off marking those off for now and I might come back to them later on.

Clearly, we’re off to a good start, right? 😂 All that being said, I don’t have fancy stats, charts and graphs and what’s marked on my Goodreads Reading Challenge isn’t the most accurate record of what I’ve read cos plenty of books are missing but… We’re rolling with it! (I feel like I’ve said that a lot these last few posts, haha!)

Best book you’ve read so far in 2021?

I thought it’d be a lot harder to choose but I am tied between Jade City and The Ones We’re Meant to Find. They’re both SFF though one is adult and the other is YA, and their stories couldn’t be more different either. But aside from fantastic writing, the characters were just *chefs kiss* — I love them so much!


Best sequel so far of 2020?

I haven’t read a lot of sequels this year but even so, I think Jade War would steal the show. THIS BOOK!!! 🥺😭


new release you haven’t read yet, but want to?

What haven’t I not read yet? 🤣 So much… So much… But one release I want to read very soon, as in this weekend soon, is She Who Became the Sun. I read these two amazing reviews by Lia and Jess and I’m sold!


Most anticipated release for the second half of 2020?

There are so many I don’t even know where to start! I don’t think I have one especially anticipated release but these are some I’m super excited for…

The Heart Principle by Helen Hoang
Under the Whispering Door by TJ Klune
Beautiful World, Where Are You? by Sally Rooney
Battle Royal by Lucy Parker
The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood
Vespertine by Margaret Rogerson


biggest disappointment?

I know my choice for this is quite an unpopular opinion because everyone seems to have loved the book but… I was really disappointed with A Kingdom of Flesh and Fire (please don’t come for me)! I was bored for the majority of it and the haphazard world building + info dumps combined with Poppy’s incessant questioning monologue just really got under my skin in the worst way 🙈 It didn’t stop me from reading the third book though and I’m glad I did cos we finally get the strong Poppy we’ve been waiting for and I really enjoyed it!


biggest surprise?

I’m gonna go with the Murderbot Diaries. So many people love this series and I was (often) told that I’d love it too and they weren’t wrong, but I was surprised by just how much I love this whole series! Murderbot is such a well-written character and they have quickly become one of my all-time favourites! I’ve read all six books as a buddy read with Leslie @ Books are the New Black and it was so much fun!


Favourite new author (Debut or new to you)?

I think this cherry goes to Fonda Lee, author of The Green Bone Saga and two of my top favourite reads so far this year. I was so intimidated by the hype around these books but I’m so glad that I finally read them this year because they were mind blowing! I cannot put into words how much I loved them. I think this series is outside my comfort zone in many ways so I was not expecting to fall hard and fast. Fonda Lee’s world building, characters, and plot are just… The ultimate *chefs kiss*! 🤣


newest fictional crush?

This is easy but I’m kind of cheating a bit because it’s a book that I just read last week and obviously, it’s well past the mid-year point! But I honestly can’t think of anyone else right now because I loved Axel Bergman, our hero from With You Forever by Chloe Liese. If you love inclusive, heartwarming, steamy romances with great H/H, and meddling, boisterous and loveable families, you won’t want to miss this series!

Bonus crush: I also have to give a special shoutout to Rafe, our favourite very buff, very tall, and very tattooed male nanny.


newest favourite character?

I can’t choose one! I’ve read so many amazing characters this year but some favourites that come to mind:


Book that made you cry

As an emotional reader, books make me cry fairly often! 😂 Though perhaps out of all the books that did make me cry, the one that made me cry the longest/hardest was The Death of Vivek Oji by Akwaeke Emezi. This one crushed me!


Book that made you happy?

Just as easily as I cry in books, it also doesn’t take much to make me laugh but I’ll go with Take A Hint, Dani Brown by Talia Hibbert. I adored Dani and Zafir—their banter was bang on and their chemistry was so fire! 😍 I had so much fun reading this book and it gave my heart all the happy feels 💜


favourite book to movie/tv adaptation that you saw this year?

So… I haven’t really watched many things this year? I still haven’t watched the popular adaptations like Shadow & Bone yet. I guess the only thing that comes to mind would be Fruits Basket—does that count? 😂 I think it was a manga first, right? I binged the first and second seasons on Netflix super fast!


favourite review you’ve written this year?

I’m really bad at talking up any of my posts on this blog so this was a bit of a struggle to pick… I’m sharing my review for The Ones We’re Meant to Find by Joan He. This was a blog tour review but it was also the first review where I made a journal spread and I had so much fun with it 😍

I was also quite happy with my reviews for Silence is a Sense, The Death of Vivek Oji, and Shards of Earth!


most beautiful book you’ve bought so far this year (or received)?

This has to be the Strange the Dreamer Box Set. Sadly though, the quality of the books aren’t half as good as I expected and considering what I paid to buy them, I was pretty disappointed. Still, the artwork is gorgeous and they’re a beautiful addition to my shelves!

Note: this picture is not mine—I found it on Google!

what books do you need to read by the end of the year?

I wouldn’t say I need to read any of these, except for the ARCs of course, but I do really want to read most of this smol sample of my TBR by the end of the year!

Well, that’s done! *phew* This post always takes me longer than I anticipate but I’m glad I did it! It’s made me realise that I haven’t read half as much as I thought I have, even with the “missing” books from my list! 🤣 Oh well… How are your reads going this year? What’ve been some of your favourites? Have you read any of the books I mentioned here?

Let’s Talk Bookish: What is your posting type?

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 August 2021 prompts & a list of all prompts!

Now without further ado… The topic asks:

WHAT’S YOUR POSTING TYPE?

(SUGGESTED BY NICOLE @ THOUGHTS STAINED WITH INK)
Prompts: Do you schedule posts long before they’re published, how long? Do you write several drafts of a post and edit them, or do you not edit at all? Perhaps you simply write a post and put it up for the world to see immediately? There’s no right or wrong answer!

I didn’t intend to create my first discussion post post-hiatus so quickly but when I saw today’s prompt, I felt that it was just perfect timing to get myself back into the groove of writing and posting, as it’s a topic I’ve even mentioned in my ‘I’m back’ post yesterday!


do you schedule posts long before they’re published (& how long)?

Ahaha… That’s funny!!! I think one of lines I repeat most often in many of my posts is how I hope to be able to schedule ahead of time to reduce the pressure on myself. Le sigh, it’s been close to three years since I started blogging and… it hasn’t really happened yet! 🙊

I’m one of those people who (really) love to plan organising things but I’m also one of those people who struggle to follow through with said plans 90% of the time! I’m blaming it on my pro-procrastination skills and the fact that I do tend to thrive when I’m chasing a deadline—even if it’s one that I set for myself. I know it’s so unhealthy but it’s healthy that I acknowledge that, right? 😂 BUT I DIGRESS.

The only times I have been able to schedule posts in advance is when I finish reading an ARC months before its pub date and that has only happened a very smol number of times. I do feel pretty accomplished when this happens though, haha! I’m quite envious of the bloggers who do regularly schedule posts ahead of time, whether it’s just for the week or month ahead. Please teach 🥲

Do you write several drafts of a post and edit them, or do you not edit at all?

I don’t create multiple drafts of posts but I do have a habit of editing my posts as I write them, and once I’m done, I go through them again at least twice before previewing and then posting. This is definitely the reason why I need to spend so much time blogging because I can’t just post something without reading through it a few times, and I almost always end up removing or rewriting big chunks, and fiddling with the layout and design for way too long. This is something I do for all my posts and not just text heavy ones, so blogging anything always takes a lot of time—which is why if I ever manage to get my act together and schedule posts ahead of time, I know I’ll be making my life so much easier! 😂

So, are you like me or are you normal? 😂 If you schedule your posts ahead of time, can you pls teach me your sorcery?

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?