Let’s Talk Bookish: Making Friends Through Blogging

Let’s Talk Bookish is a weekly meme created by Rukky @Eternity Books and hosted by Aria @Book Nook Bits, and it’s where we get to discuss certain topics, share our opinions, and spread the love by visiting each other’s posts! If you want to join in the bookish discussion fun, check out the May 2022 prompts!

Now without further ado… The topic asks us about:

Making friends through blogging…

(SUGGESTED BY RACHEL @ A BOOKWORM’S PARADISE)
Prompts: Is blogging a good platform for making friends? Is it only new bloggers that are going to make friends with one another? Does blogging allow for connecting with people of different ages and different backgrounds? How easy or hard has it been for you to make friends through blogging?

BLOGGING AS A PLACE TO MAKE FRIENDS

I don’t know why it’s (still) surprising to me but I do think blogging is a good platform for making friends. I had a personal blog for several years before I took a break and started book blogging but even though I didn’t have as much engagement on that blog, I still managed to make a few good friends who I’m still in touch with now!

Something that I’ve found increasingly more difficult as I get older is making friends IRL (I feel like such a flop saying that but it’s true, lol) and while I don’t think making friends online is a breeze, I do think that having that digital barrier makes it a little less intimidating? I also think that connecting via a platform like blogging is easier because you’re interacting based on something you’ve read/seen that interests you too.

GLOBAL CONNECTIONS

I definitely think that it’s easier to make connections with people from different backgrounds and ages because that’s not the main focus of blogging and so that’s secondary to whatever you’re connecting over. I do think there are different cliques within the community though and I think the age/backgrounds can change depending on what genre(s) you read and what group you interact with more. As someone who dabbles in just about every genre and doesn’t specifically focus on romance or fantasy, I’ve found it’s easier to connect with people over a wider range of books.

This it totally random but I personally love checking out the country statistics on my blog and seeing where my visitors are from—unsurprisingly, most are from the US/UK but I’ve got views from the most random places too, like Macedonia, Martinique, Bhutan, and Kazakhstan amongst others.

IT HASN’T BEEN SUPER EASY BUT ITS BEEN FUN!

I feel like I got a little lucky when I first started blogging because I immediately connected with a few new bloggers and their enthusiasm made me feel less hesitant to put myself out there while blog hopping and really engage and interact with others. I wouldn’t say its been particularly easy to make new friends but I’d like to say that I have made a few over the years and I just hope that they enjoy interacting with me as much as I do with them! 😅

There are always so many new faces and I can hardly keep up with the blogs I follow as it is most of the time, but I try to blog hop and discover new bloggers as often as I can. I don’t think only new bloggers are capable of making friends but I think it does depend on how much you engage/interact! I love finding new content with similar tastes as me and it’s great when the engagement becomes mutual; sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t and that’s okay.

I have to say that I really appreciate all the bloggers who have become friends and who take the time to engage on a regular basis both on the blog and through Twitter. I hope you know how you are and know that I appreciate you all so much!!! 💜

Do you think the blogging platform is a good place to make friends? Have you made any good friends on here or do you struggle to connect with others?

Let’s Talk Bookish: Buying vs Borrowing Books

Let’s Talk Bookish is a weekly meme created by Rukky @Eternity Books and hosted by Aria @Book Nook Bits, and it’s where we get to discuss certain topics, share our opinions, and spread the love by visiting each other’s posts! If you want to join in the bookish discussion fun, check out the May 2022 prompts!

Now without further ado… The topic asks us about:

How do you decide what books to borrow or buy?

(SUGGESTED BY JILLIAN @ JILLIAN THE BOOKISH BUTTERFLY)
Prompts: Do you buy a lot of books? Do you borrow books from a library, or from friends? What do you look out for in books you buy? Are there any book genres you typically buy more of? Do the types of books that you buy differ from the types of books you typically borrow? Do you prefer to borrow or to buy books?

DO *i* buy a lot of books?

Well… *side-eyes the small stack of books I just bought earlier today* Sometimes, I guess? Hah, who am I kidding! Yes, I buy pretty much 95% of my books. The other 5% are ARCs or books I borrow from Kindle Unlimited, which is the only platform I use to borrow books from. I don’t have access to a library where I’m from (Indonesia) and so if I want to read anything, whether it’s old or new, I have to buy it myself.

KINDLE UNLIMITED OR NOTHING

The only borrowing of books that I do these days is through my Kindle Unlimited subscription. Most of the books I read on KU are romance and since it’s a genre that I’ve been reading more of over the last two years, it’s been a really great resource for me since I tend to read pretty quickly. If I had to buy all of the books that I read through KU I very likely wouldn’t read half the number of books that I do and I would also be a very very poor panda! 🥲

BUYING VS BORROWING GENRES

I never actually thought about the differences in genres of the books I buy vs the books I borrow. As I mentioned, most of the books I read on KU are romances, so that’s obviously the main genre of the books I borrow. That doesn’t mean I don’t borrow other kinds of books—I’ve found a few indie fantasies and some graphic novels on KU but they’re not as common finds for me. This also doesn’t mean I don’t buy any romances because I still very much do and there have been times when I’ve loved a book I read on KU so much that I went and bought myself a copy! I think for the genre of eBook I buy the most, it’s still gonna be romance because it’s just harder to find physical copies locally and most of the time I don’t have the patience to wait for international shipping (especially not with the panini).

Now that I’ve thought about the genres, I’ve noticed that most of the books that I buy physical copies of are contemporary fiction or fantasy (usually YA). I try to buy at my local store as much as possible and these are the genres that are most commonly found in store. When I buy special editions they also tend to be fantasy (either YA/Adult) but I think that’s mostly because they’re the ones that are offered through the sub boxes that I know of.

MY PERSONAL PREFERENCE

As it is, I don’t really have much of a choice whether I borrow or buy a book! I think if I had access to a library I would definitely prefer borrowing books over buying them because I do spend a significant amount of money on books—and I realise this is very much a privilege because I don’t have any other adulting responsibilities aside from a few monthly bills! Again, it’s a choice to buy books because it’s not like I don’t have any reading material or an empty existing TBR… 🙃 But I think being able to borrow books would also help me be more discerning with the ones that I add to my shelves because then the books I choose to buy would be the ones I know I love, would probably re-read and I want to keep forever.

So, what about you friends? Do you mostly borrow or buy your books? Do you notice a difference in the books you buy vs borrow? Do you prefer to buy or borrow?

Let’s Talk Bookish: The Makings of A Great Audiobook…

Let’s Talk Bookish is a weekly meme created by Rukky @Eternity Books and hosted by Aria @Book Nook Bits, and it’s where we get to discuss certain topics, share our opinions, and spread the love by visiting each other’s posts! If you want to join, check out the April 2022 prompts and May 2022 prompts!


Now without further ado… The topic asks us about:

THE MAKINGS OF A GREAT AUDIOBOOK

(SUGGESTED BY MIKAELA @ MIKAELA READS)
Prompts: Do you listen to audiobooks? If so, what makes a good audiobook? Is it the narrators or does it depend on the genre? What are some of your recommendations for amazing audiobooks? If you don’t listen to audiobooks, why not, and do you ever plan on doing so?

LISTENING TO AUDIOBOOKS

I listen to audiobooks but not very often. I remember trying one for the first maybe 4 years ago and it just didn’t work for me. I can’t recall which book it was but my attention drifted so quickly that before I knew it, 20 minutes had passed and I could recall nothing of what I’d just heard. I quickly realised that I needed to focus all my attention on listening otherwise I wouldn’t retain anything. Audiobooks also worked for me if I read along with the physical/ebook as it helped me to keep focused. Honestly, every time someone mentions actively doing something while listening to audiobooks I’m left in awe because how?! I truly wish that I could work or do other things while listening and be able to remember and process everything that happens but my brain, she says no.

WHAT I LIKE ABOUT THEM FT. MY FAVOURITES

Aside from having to intensely focus on the audio, the narrator is probably the most important factor in determining whether or not I’ll enjoy an audiobook. I love narrators that are able to create clear and varied tones for the different characters—the ones who are able to embody them and really make their various personalities shine through. Accents, I find, are also very important and I find it incredibly distracting when an accent comes off weirdly but I do love when narrators have accents that fit the story (like with Shuggie Bain (Scottish) and Milkman (Irish)!). I also don’t mind if there are sound effects, like in full productions, as long as they don’t overshadow the narration or become overly repetitive or distracting.

What I love about reading audiobooks is how much more engaged I feel with the story and how the narrators bring the characters and settings to life. I also love how quickly I can get through a book when listening to it—I’m most comfortable listening at x1.5-x1.9 speeds although I’ve tried faster speeds but again, my brain says no. 🤣


Full cast productions are by far my favourite and I don’t think there’s anything I don’t love about them. Sadly, I haven’t read too many of them but I’m always on the look out for more so if you have any recommendations I’d be keen to know what they are! These are some of my favourites:


Nonfiction books that are narrated by the author are usually a win for me but I have found one or two where I’ve struggled a bit to follow along but that’s mostly because my brain just can’t sync up with their fast cadence. I’m not much of a NF reader but audiobooks work best for me when I do pick them up. Some of my favourites are (the latter two aren’t narrated by the authors but they were very engaging narrators!):


As for the genres, I tend to mostly listen to nonfiction, fantasy or contemporary fiction. Funnily enough I haven’t yet listened to a contemporary romance audiobook but I do have one or two lined up that I’m looking forward to trying. Here are some of my favourite audiobooks so far:

Do you listen to audiobooks a lot or do you also struggle a bit like me? What do you love about them or what is it you struggle with most when listening to audiobooks? Do you listen to specific genres or all of them? What are you favourites? I’d love your recommendations, please! 💜

Let’s Talk Bookish: To Annotate or Not to Annotate…

Let’s Talk Bookish is a weekly meme created by Rukky @Eternity Books and hosted by Aria @Book Nook Bits, and it’s where we get to discuss certain topics, share our opinions, and spread the love by visiting each other’s posts! If you want to join, check out the April 2022 prompts and May 2022 prompts!


Now without further ado… The topic asks us about:

TO ANNOTATE OR NOT TO ANNOTATE…

(SUGGESTED BY ARIA @ BOOK NOOK BITS)
Prompts: that is the question*. Do you like annotating books? If so, how do you annotate them? Is there a difference for you between ebooks, physical books, and audiobooks? If you’ve ever had to annotate books in school, does this affect your willingness to annotate the books you read for fun? What are some downsides to annotating books in your opinion?

ANNOTATING BOOKS: YEA OR NAY?

Until this year, the most annotating that I’ve ever done was highlighting favourite passages on my Kindle and occasionally writing a few notes with my thoughts/reactions. I never really considered annotating my physical books until I saw this post by Sumedha @The Wordy Habitat on how to annotate books when you’re reading for fun. I’ve always been curious when I see people annotating their books but I never thought it was something I wanted to do until I read Sumedha’s post and now I’m so glad that I’ve done it!

I’ve since developed a love of using sticky tabs to annotate and while I don’t take the task too seriously, I’ve come to realise how helpful it is to have these tabs to look back on when I write my reviews. I really shouldn’t be surprised about this fact so I don’t know why I am! 😂 I have to admit that I’m more partial to annotating physical books simply because I love using sticky tabs (is that sad and do I really care if it is? No, it just is lol 🤪)!

ANNOTATING EBOOKS VS PHYSICAL BOOKS

The main difference when I annotate ebooks and physical books is that my ebook annotations are usually much simpler. Unless I read on the Kindle app via mobile or browser, Kindle doesn’t show the different highlight colours so everything that I highlight is essentially clumped together in my notes section. For that reason, I tend to write more notes with each highlight when I’m reading on my Kindle than I do if I annotate physical books. When I read physical books I mostly use transparent sticky tabs to mark various elements that I want to remember—mostly focusing on themes, world-building, important plot points/events, romance (if any) and gripping quotes. I have written notes in books (in pencil!) but I still don’t do it often and for some reason, I still haven’t taken to writing on sticky notes and placing them in books either. If something really strikes me as an *important thought* I usually open up my Notes app and jot it down but again, I don’t do that often. This means that I rely on the sticky tabs to remember the good/important bits and considering how horrible my memory is, I’m somewhat surprised that it actually works. But since it does, I’m not particularly keen to change my method.

ARE THERE DOWNSIDES TO ANNOTATING?

I wouldn’t say that there are really many downsides but I’m also not thinking overly much about it! 😂 One that quickly comes to mind is that if you write in your books they probably won’t be as easy to sell as most(?) people tend to want “pristine” books rather than well-loved ones with writing and other things in it. Obviously, it’s not everyone because I personally have enjoyed finding annotations in my book(s) as I love to see what others think/feel about it and whether it’s the same as me.

Perhaps another downside is becoming too focused on annotating and losing the enjoyment of the read. There have been points during certain reads where I realised I became so focused on wondering what I should mark that I actually stopped myself from becoming immersed in the story. Thankfully, I didn’t get too far into these reads before I realised what I was doing, after which I told myself to chill and just mark whatever I feel like, even if that means tabbing huge chunks of the book because at least then I’d actually have the chance to enjoy the read since I’m annotating for fun anyway!

Do you annotate your reads or is it not for you? If you do, do you annotate your ebooks, physical books and audiobooks differently? (Also, very curious how you annotate audiobooks if you do it!) Do you think there are downsides to annotating?

Let’s Talk Bookish: Eating, Reading & Books to Make You Hungry!

Quick edit: I just learned of some changes to the Let’s Talk Bookish weekly meme so I’m now updating this introduction session. Since April 2022, Rukky @Eternity Books will no longer host LTB and instead, Aria @ Book Nook Bits will be its new host—congratulations, Aria! 🎉 With the change, there are also four brand new headers, so be sure to check out Aria’s announcement post + May 2022 prompts! The April 2022 prompts are still listed on Rukky’s page.

Let’s Talk Bookish is a weekly meme where we get to discuss certain topics, share our opinions, and spread the love by visiting each other’s posts!

Now without further ado… The topic asks us about:

EATING & READING: YEA OR NAY?

(SUGGESTED BY FIVES @ DOWN THE RABBIT HOLE)
Prompts: Do you ever (carefully) eat and read at the same time? Or are your books too precious to possibly get dirty? Perhaps eating and an audiobook? Do any books ever make you hungry? Is there a time and place for a nice snack or meal with a good book, or should books be focused on independently?

eating & reading: yea or nay?

Eating while reading is something that I do on occasion but I haven’t made it a habit because I can be quite clumsy and no matter how careful I am I somehow always end up marking a page or two in whatever I’m reading! This usually only bothers me when I’m it’s a nicer copy or special edition but if it’s easily replaceable, then I don’t mind it too much. If I do feel like munching while eating I usually go for things that are easy to eat like cookies, popcorn or crisps. I’ve actually started to eat my crisps with chopsticks—a hack I learned from my sister and as much as I suck at using chopsticks, it has actually been great cos I hate sticky fingers! 😂

What I love about eating and drinking while reading is that, for me, it sets the tone for a cosy day. In the mornings, I love to snuggle up with my book on my reading chair with a coffee + brekkie, while in the afternoon it’s usually a cuppa tea + whatever snack I’m craving, and in the evenings it’s usually a glass of spiked chocolate milk lol!

do BOOKS MAKE ME HUNGRY?

The answer to this question is a resounding YES! I get hungry while reading… a lot? 😂 I’m quite the foodie IRL and whenever I treat myself, for whatever reason, it usually involves books and food. As much as I’m an emotional reader I also feel like I’m a “hungry reader” because it doesn’t take that much for me to conjure up the images of whatever food descriptions I read! I’m currently reading Fake It Till You Bake It and it’s making me crave cupcakes like you wouldn’t believe—and I’m *this close* to baking tomorrow so I can eat a cupcake while reading!

On that note, here’s a list of books literally off the top of my head that I remember made me pretty hungry and I would definitely recommend having a snack on hand while reading these titles:

Well, this was a fun topic to talk about! Do you like to eat (or drink) while reading? Do books tend to make you hungry? What are some of your favourites? I’d love to know!

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?