(SUGGESTED BY RUKKY @ ETERNITY BOOKS) Prompts:Do bloggers owe their readers anything? Do bloggers deserve anything from their readers? Do you think there’s a specific etiquette that bloggers/readers should follow when interacting? Do you as a blogger pressure yourself to provide certain things to your readers? Do you do certain things when you read a blog post?
(SUGGESTED BY JILLIAN @ JILLIAN THE BOOKISH BUTTERFLY) Prompts: The book community is full of consumerism. People want to not just read their favourite books, but own them as well. Sometimes this can get…a little out of hand. How do you control your spending/buying books you don’t have time to read? Does setting a book buying ban work for you? How long do you usually ban yourself for?
“Sometimes this can get…a little out of hand” 👀
I can still hear the echoes of the above phrase still ringing in my head, especially as I sit and contemplate how I’ve liberally indulged in book-buying since the start of 2022, which was literally 14 days ago. At this point, to say that I’ve been treating myself, might be an understatement and though I initially justified this splurge by saying that I really didn’t buy books last year, my brain has very conveniently blocked out all the eBooks I happily one-clicked because “out of sight, out of mind” and all that, right? 🤷🏻♀️
I will say though that despite all the one-clicking of eBooks, I am actually spending less on books than I was previously. When I first joined the book community, it was through bookstagram and I immediately jumped in on all the book-buying hype and my physical library grew immensely over a very short period of time; it was unsurprisingly unsustainable!
BEEN THERE, DONE THAT!
When I was still buying books like it was going out of fashion, I did set bans several times and they were successful—I resisted temptation and I was pretty proud of myself for not buying all the books! The longest I ever set a ban was 5 months and even then I didn’t buy books. That said, the minute these bans ended, I’d look up the books that I catalogued for buying while I was banned, and I would start “treating” myself to a certain number of them for the length of time I was banned (i.e. 2-3 books for each month I was on the ban). 🙄 So, ultimately, it was pretty pointless? 😂
Learning OVER TIME
A combination of things have helped me stop buying books so often. First, I left bookstagram. I know it’s not the same experience for everyone, but since I stopped trolling the feeds looking at everyone’s gorgeous bookish pictures, I’ve also stopped feeling the overwhelming need to constantly buy all the books. Yes, I’m still tempted to buy books when I see people talk about them all over blogs and book Twitter, but there’s less urgency for me to get my hands on it/them—especially when I think about all the books that arestillsitting unread on my physical and digital shelves.
For physical books: I’ve started to focus more on quality over quantity for my physical shelves but it’s not a hard rule! 😂 But as much as I’d love to keep adding more and more hardcovers/ paperbacks to my shelves, international shipping is so freaking expensive and even when it’s free, it often takes forever and a day to arrive! In the last year, I’ve mostly bought special editions of favourites and while they’re way more pricey than your average version, they’re so worth it!
For digital books: These days I do the most indulging with eBooks but I usually tend to wait for good deals before buying them. One trick I learned was to do semi-regular checks of my wishlist and sort them from lowest-to-highest price to see if any have good deals. I’m surprised by how many popular titles/anticipated releases I’ve bought for £0.99-£2.00 as a result (some of the more recent titles include: Iron Widow, Defy the Night and Raybearer)!
BOOK BUYING BAN: YEA OR NAY?
While I’m not opposed to book-buying bans, I’ve found through experimentation (and knowing myself, lol) that they ultimately don’t work for me. That said, my priorities have changed over the years and as much as I want to own every single book under the sun, I’m also very aware of all the books that are still sitting unread on my shelf and as I get older, the guilt over leaving them unread has started to hit me harder! 🤣 Plus, international shipping is painfully high and since I stopped working full-time, it’s been easier to refrain from indulging so often. So… It’s a NAY for me!
Do you set book buying bans for yourself? If you do, how long do you set them for and do they work for you? What’s the longest you’ve banned yourself? If you don’t, how do you control your book buying habits?
(SUGGESTED BY DANI @ LITERARY LION) Prompts: As we enter the new year many of us will be setting goals on Goodreads and choosing new year’s resolutions. What are your goals related to your blog or books/reading in general? Are you going to have resolutions this year, and if not why not?
QUICK RECAP of 2021 goals/resolutions
I’m just gonna come out and say it: I didn’t do a great job of achieving my 2021 goals/resolutions. 🙃 I was so convinced at the start of the year that it would be my year and well, a couple of slumps, weird reading moods, and burnouts later, and that wasn’t the case at all. I felt pretty shoddy about it when I realised just how little I accomplished but after a little internal monologuing, I decided that it’s okay. Of course, I’m disappointed that I didn’t achieve what I set out to do, but I had as much of a rough personal year as a lot of others did—but the high point is: we got through it!
I thought I’d share a review of some of my 2021 goals/resolutions before moving on to 2022:
Read 150 books (GR challenge) – this is the only goal I achieved as I ended up reading 199 books!
Tackle my existing physical shelves (at least 50 books) – yeah, no. this really didn’t end up happening as i participated in a slightly overwhelming number of blog tours last year 😂
Catalogue all my physical/digital books – i didn’t even end up making/downloading a library tracker until january 2022 so… 🙈
Prioritise reading Asian (South/Southeast Asian) authors – i read 13 books by asian authors and considering i read almost 200 books, i didn’t do well with this one!
Read more amazing Middle Grade Fantasy! – i read a few mg fantasies that i really enjoyed but 2021 ended up being the year of romance, and i think 2022 is going to follow suit.
Grow my blog to 800 followers – sadly, i didn’t achieve this and have been in 700 followers limbo for the past 8 months but i’m honestly just happy to have a few regular readers who engage with me, especially after posting so erratically in 2021
Read more non-fiction (at least 4 books) – nope. non-fiction stood no chance 🥲
IS THERE HOPE FOR MY 2022 READING GOALS?
Oof, that recap was a little more painful than I anticipated (😮💨) but I’m not gonna let that stop me from trying again in 2022! I also know myself and I’ve never been very good at sticking to resolutions or slaying goals. I’ve always kind of taken things as they come and just going with whatever flow I’m on, but I also like having a general idea of where I’m heading and what I want to work towards. All that to say, I’ll have these goals but I’ll try not to take them too seriously? It’s chaotic but we’re rolling with it, ok? 🤓
THE 2022 READING/BLOGGING GOALS
I’m gonna keep it pretty simple this year and include one or two ideas that I’ve been thinking about doing for the past year and I’m pretty excited about it, so hopefully, that means it’ll happen! 😂
Read 50 backlist titles – Because I really want to focus on getting the backlist read this year!
Complete the 2022 Popsugar Reading Challenge – I’m trying. Again. Maybe 2022 is the year I’ll finally complete it 😂 why not be ambitious, right?
Fill in my Library Tracker – I’m starting with recording my ebooks and then I’ll move onto my physical books!
Grow my blog to 800 followers – why not be a little more ambitious, eh?
Start my Re-read Project – I had this idea to re-read some of the books that I rated 4-5 stars before I started my book blog. I’d love to see whether I still feel the same way about them and I want to give them actual reviews this time! I hope to at least read 2-3 series or ~10 books.
That’s it for my 2022 reading and blogging goals! Do you set yearly goals for reading and blogging? Do you find setting goals helpful or is it just pressure you don’t need?
(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?
(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?
(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?
(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 anythingalways 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?
(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?
(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!
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.
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. 🥲
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.
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!
Other commitmentslike 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?
(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!
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”?