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?

#TopTenTuesday: Books I want to re-read as an adult!

We’re back with another Top Ten Tuesday, a weekly meme hosted by Jana @ That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s prompt is: books I wish I read as a child. But I don’t know.. I’m not really feeling that prompt right now. So I’m going to twist it up a bit and look at books I read as a child (kid/tween/teen) that I want to read again as an adult!

I read quite a bit as a kid in elementary school, really enjoyed my humanities classes in middle school and basically almost moved into the library in high school. The sad thing is though, I don’t really remember a lot about the books I read. I remember which ones I enjoyed but if you asked me what they were about… Well, I’d be (mostly) hard pressed to tell you 😂 So I’d love to try re-reading some of these and seeing what I’d think of them now as an adult!

Continue reading “#TopTenTuesday: Books I want to re-read as an adult!”

#TopTenTuesday: Titles That Would Make Good Band Names

We’re back with another Top Ten Tuesday, a weekly meme hosted by Jana @ That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s prompt is: Titles that would make good band names (submitted by Michelle).

Ooh, this is a really fun topic! I’ve never looked at a title and thought it’d make a good band name but now that the seed has been planted, there are quite a few that pop up in my head! You might notice a trend in the types of titles that I pick… Also, for some reason when I’m thinking bands my mind doesn’t immediately think boy/girl pop bands but more like… heavy metal/rock bands? LOL Maybe it’s residual from my emo days when I used to listen to bands with names that (now) remind me of book titles 🤣 It’s weird that my brain does this but interesting. Anyway, without further ado, let’s get to it! I’m really curious to see if any other bloggers will pick the same book titles?!

Continue reading “#TopTenTuesday: Titles That Would Make Good Band Names”

#TopTenTuesday: Books I Heart But Rarely Talk About…

We’re back with another Top Ten Tuesday, a weekly meme hosted by Jana @ That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s prompt is: Books I Enjoyed but Rarely Talk About (This is for the books you liked, but rarely come up in conversation or rarely fit a TTT topic, etc.)!

OK, I have to admit that I struggled a bit with this one because a lot of the books I loved/enjoyed I DO talk about quite often? I feel like maybe I talk about all of them too much? Admittedly these books are more “recent” reads over the last few years because my memory is truly terrible. It’s weird and (I know) doesn’t make sense but it is what it is! So I went digging through Goodreads and found some reads that I think qualify (sorry if I end up cheating just a little bit)! I don’t talk about these books much because there’ve never really been any prompts in tags, award questions, or TTT topics that necessarily fit it!

Continue reading “#TopTenTuesday: Books I Heart But Rarely Talk About…”

#TopTenTuesday: It’s because of the ‘GRAM!

We’re back with another Top Ten Tuesday, a weekly meme hosted by Jana @ That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s prompt is: books I bought because of… bookstagram!

I’m sure by now you’re all aware that book instagram or bookstagram exists. You might even have one and run it alongside your blog! Some days it’s hard to believe that I actually started on bookstagram and then took the big leap to start a book blog. It’s especially hard to believe now since I’ve basically all but abandoned my bookstagram 🙈 #shame But while I have you here (*shameless plug*), feel free to check out my bookstagram and follow me if you feel so inclined: @dinipandareads!

Last year I started a bookstagram and got quickly sucked into the book community! I fell hard and fast for all the beautiful hard covers and gorgeous accounts. I tried to “keep up” with the good looking posts by buying props etc. but it’s so hard to find quality things here I decided I didn’t want to spend all that money for it! LOL But there’s seriously something about seeing gorgeous books in aesthetically pleasing photos that give me some serious *grabby hands* feels. Does that only happen to me?! 😂 So here are some of the books that I absolutely needed to get my hands on all thanks to the ‘gram! Honestly, if it wasn’t for bookstagram I probably would’ve never even heard of some of these, so I really can’t be that mad, right?!

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#TopTenTuesday: Signs You’re A Book Lover

We’re back with another Top Ten Tuesday, a weekly meme hosted by Jana @ That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s prompt is: signs you’re a book lover (basically, people know you’re a book lover because… i.e., you’re always carrying a book or two, your library card broke from overuse, etc.)

Friends, these last two weeks have been a time and my weary mind is finding it so hard to focus on anything (as I’m sure almost all of you can relate to). It’s insane! I think the only thing I’ve been able to focus on lately is gaming–not even reading and that’s the craziest part, right?! Maybe this week’s list will remind me why I can still call myself a book lover? 🤣 My brain is seemingly determined to forget what books are since I got my Switch Lite last week… I’m really hoping that something is going to suck me back into reading though, because right now I’m struggling to put down these games. But before I digress even further… here’s a list of 10 signs that I’m a book lover! 📖

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#TopTenTuesday: Best Families/Friends in Romances

We’re back with another Top Ten Tuesday, a weekly meme hosted by Jana @ That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s prompt is: Genre Freebie (pick a genre and build a list around it! i.e., best/worst romances, non-fiction for travelers, memoirs for foodies, classics that feel timeless, romance novel kisses, science fiction that feels too real for comfort, women’s fiction for newbies, etc.)

As I’m sure you’ve noticed, I’ve been on a romance/romcom reading streak lately. I’ve tried picking up countless SFF books that I’ve been excited to read but intricate world building, science speak, and made-up/new languages do not seem to be the thing for my weary and anxious mind right now. But romances/romcoms have been a solid winner and they’ve brought much joy into my life!

I’ve come to realise that one of the reasons I love romance is because of the family/friend characters in the stories; not all of them have it but the ones that do are a shoe-in for favourites! I am a total sucker for great banter between siblings and groups of friends. They’re the kind of interactions that worm their way into my heart and make me feel happy and light–not to mention they’re usually the ones that have me “awwing” and cackling like crazy! So today I’ll be sharing a list of romances that have great families/friends and that you should definitely check out if you’re looking for something light-hearted, funny and maybe just a smidge sexy! 😉

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#TopTenTuesday: Spring Possibility Pile!

It’s that time of the week again, friends! We’re back with another Top Ten Tuesday, a weekly meme hosted by Jana @ That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s prompt is: spring TBR possibility pile!

To say that I’ve got a ton of eARCs that need to be read over the next few months would really be a mild understatement. Why do I keep requesting more books and why do I keep signing up for more blog tours after telling myself I’d take a nice long break from it for a while? *shrugs* I got problems. As fun as it’d be to list all those books here, there are a few others that have been sitting on my TBR that I’d like to get to soon as well, so this is my possibility pile for those reads!

Continue reading “#TopTenTuesday: Spring Possibility Pile!”