Showing posts with label reading. Show all posts
Showing posts with label reading. Show all posts

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Do You Need a Blog Schedule? | Book Blogging Tips (#53)




Over the course of my blogging career I've both had schedules and "post whatever you want" kind of phases. 

But when I look at other blogs, most of them tend to all have schedules, may it be because they post memes that are set to be posted on a specific week day and/or because they just have their life and blog together more than me.



Perks + Not So Perks of a Schedule

  • So what I like about other blogs that are organized is that if I end up super liking one of their features, I know which day I have to check back to see another of those posts. I'm mostly talking about original content here, though some people manage to get me hooked on their meme-only blogs, too, because of their sheer creative brilliance.
  • A schedule also makes the queuing more structured and maybe even easier. My blog solely runs on a huge queue, and because I have no structure whatsoever at the moment, (well aside from reviews scheduled every 6-9 days), it can get super difficult to fit specific posts in. 
  • Sometimes you'll go through a phase of ONLY wanting to write a specific type of post, but then again I don't want to queue them all in a row to bore my readers. 
  • If I had a schedule, I think the perfect one would go something like this:
Review - Meme - Discussion - Review - Recommendation

with maybe 2 or three days inbetween each post. I think it's nice to mix it up a little. I think the more diverse your content is, the higher the possibility you'll have something for everyone! Of course every schedule should be adapted to your personal taste and likes and this is by no means a "do this or don't do anything at all" type of advice. Just my personal 2 cents!

Perks + Not So Perks of #YOLO

  • Not having a schedule is just the way my blog has been running for maybe a year and a half, simply because it's so easy.
  • Without a schedule you can post whatever you want whenever you want and the maintenance goes does to a minimum.
  • You also have to be very careful that you're not missing days and weeks worth of posting due to slumps. Queuing is key for people who don't schedule-
  • Another problem here is that many readers out there like other blogs they frequent to be either consistently putting out content or at least to have a special meme that comes out regularly. I definitely do unfollow people who sometimes just miss a week or month without any indication. This doesn't mean that you have to post all the time or anything, it's just a personal preference that I have and I know many others share.

Now what, do I need a schedule or not?

To be honest, the best way to decide whether you need a schedule is to look at your content and try to see if you even have different categories. If you only post one specific type of content, it doesn't matter anyways.

If you do post different things - reviews, original posts, memes, - think about it. I put out a lot of original content and by just observing my views I've noticed that this is what most of my readers tend to go for. If a specific type of post gives you the best kind of resonance - stick with it. Make is a regular feature that comes out every week or month, so readers know when to come back!

I know it's super difficult to just decide to completely overthrow your blog from one day to the next and I definitely don't expect you to do that. If you're unsure, start scheduling one day of the week for a post type. Start posting reviews every Monday for example, and if that works out for you on the long run, go from there!





More helpful posts on blog maintenance in my Book Blogging Tips Series
6 Things Your Blog Design Has To Have
How to Scare Potential Readers Away With Your Theme
Pros and Cons of Book Blogging Memes
How Queuing Posts Makes Blogging 200% Easier

all original posts


Do you have a blog schedule?

Continue Reading...

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Books I Avoid, Books I Really Should've Read & more | Bookish Questions TAG




Y'all know I love a good tag. So here's another one I discovered, in which you learn quite a lot about my habits and my weird taste.


1. What book is on your nightstand now?
IF I WAS YOUR GIRL by Meredith Russo.





2. What was the last truly great book you read?
THE SEAFARER'S KISS by Julia Ember, you guys know how much I love this fabulous bisexual mermaid story.

3. If you could meet any writer—dead or alive—who would it be? What would you want to know?
Honestly I would just want to meet Oscar Wilde. He seems like a swell dude and I think we could be friends. I'd just want to hang with him.

4. What books might we be surprised to find on your shelves?
Probably the flat out ridiculous amount of Goosebumps and Fear Street and The Three Investigators books. I love them, they were my childhood. I've got about forty, I think.

5. How do you organize your personal library?
I switch it up. Sometimes it's by color, sometimes I poorly attempt to do them by author, but usually it's just by convenience. I don't have enough space for everything, so I basically just organize them by whatever fits.

6. What book have you always meant to read and haven’t gotten around to yet? Anything you feel embarrassed never to have read?
  • AMERICAN STREET by Ibi Zoboi
  • THE HATE U GIVE by Angie Thomas
  • AKATA WITCH by Nnedi Okorafor
  • ALUTA by Adwoa Badoe
  • INTO WHITE by Randi Pink
I don't feel embarrassed about not reading anything! One book at a time.

7. What book did you feel you were supposed to like but didn’t? Do you remember the last book you put down without finishing?

A DARKER SHADE OF MAGIC by V.E. Schwab was definitely a huge letdown for me. I'm almost mad that I didn't like it, mainly because I lovelovelove books that feature parallel worlds.

There haven't been any memorable DNFs lately, fortunately!

8. What kinds of stories are you drawn to? Any you stay clear of?

A book can only become a potential new favorite and five star if it has:
  • fantastic world building that makes me forget where I even am
  • decent, not overly flowery prose
  • a memorable voice
  • is so thrilling that I don't want to put it down and/or finish it in one sitting
I avoid books that have:
  • only white, straight characters
  • follow book tropes and a specific unoriginal formula with no spin on it
  • have special snowflake protagonists that are the chosen ones

9. If you could require the president to read one particular book, what would it be?
I really don't care about patronizing/policing what other people read. I would decline that opportunity.




10. What do you plan to read next?
Oh, I don't know. Maybe 27 HOURS. Possibly 27 HOURS. It's so long until release date but I don't think I can wait much longer.


Consider yourself tagged!
Feel free to leave your link in the comments!


Continue Reading...

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Annoying Things People Say to Readers #BloggerConfessions





Sometimes you just gotta be real with everyone and just tell 'em.

Sorry to you guys who have to keep up with this! 






#9
"I don't have time to read. I don't know how you can read so many books."
Well, but you do have time to keep up with all Game of Thrones episodes. Strange.
If you like doing something and have limited time, make time for the thing.

#8
"Omg, that book is huge! I could never read a book that long. Isn't that getting boring?"
The more book, the more fun.That's because you're weak.

#7
"Don't you think you already have enough books?"
No. There is no such thing as enough books. I'll stop when my whole apartment just consists of books. I'll make furniture out of my books. Watch me.

#6
"Why don't you watch the movie instead?"
???????????
Why don't YOU read the book instead?

#5
"Hey, so, you gave me this book to read and I may or may not have thrown it into the fire/got it catastrophically wet/ cut out pages I didn't like" *acts like it's no big deal*
...aaaand you're going on my never-giving-you-anything-ever list. Respect other people's property.

#4
"Haha, why are you crying , it's just a book!"
Hold on... let me just drop this on your head and then say "it's just a book" and "no big deal".

#3
"What are you reading?"
*shows cover* *mumbles something*
"Okay but what is it about! :)"
*looks into the camera*
#get a hint 2k16



#2
"Have you read this insanely popular book where *SPOILER* does *SPOILER* and they all *SPOILER*"
Well, I haven't. But now I don't have to. Thank you.

#1
"*thinks I know all books ever because I read a lot* *gets upset when I haven't read their favorite book*"
I'm flattered that you think I am all-knowing. If you'd like to worship me as your god and savior, please build a shrine and leave offerings on every full moon.


What annoying things have people said to you before?

Continue Reading...

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

7 Popular Authors That I Just Can't Get Into


Everybody's tastes are different, and my particular taste doesn't always seem to correspond with the general public.

Here are seven very popular authors whose books I just can't get into.
7. J. Lynn / Jennifer L. Armentrout
I really love her Lux series, but any and every book by her that I've read after that disappointed me massively. I'm so sad about this, especially her NA books under the pseudonym J.Lynn are so incredibly popular and it would've been so nice if I had liked them. 

6. Maggie Stiefvater

I stand by saying that I think she's a terrific writer. But really, the writing is just too poetic, too dreamy, too otherworldly to keep my attention for more than 3 seconds.


5. George R.R. Martin
I read the first two ASOIAF books and it's just all too lengthy and political for me. High fantasy is usually a hit or miss thing for me and I am very picky about this, so it's not surprising.

4. Stephen King
Honestly, judging by the fact that everyone calls him the king of horror, I wasn't even scared once. Maybe I just picked the wrong books. I've read FIRESTARTER, CARRIE, IT, and NIGHTMARES & DREAMSCAPES. I wish he could scare me. I love a good horror novel.

3. Sarah Dessen
I keep trying and trying and every time I finish a book by her I think to myself that I would've been better off had I read her books in 2007, back when everyone did and loved them. It's just not for me. I'll still keep trying with her newer works, I think.

2. Rainbow Rowell
I read nearly every books she's ever published aside from ATTACHMENTS and ELEANOR & PARK. I honestly, truly want to like her books but the only one I found mediocre was FANGIRL. I keep wondering what's wrong with me.

1. Cassandra Clare
I've read the first four The Mortal Instruments books, more out of morbid curiosity than actual interest. No matter how hard I try and really want to like them, I guess her books will never be for me. It's sad because there are SOOO many books in this series.





Which popular authors can't you get into?

Continue Reading...

Sunday, July 31, 2016

10 Things That Annoy Me About Fellow Readers | #BloggerConfessions



While I love the reading community dearly, there are always some people who make it hard for everyone. 

Whether it's the stranger in the tube who frustrated me by manhandling a library book, or the passionate reader who thinks they have to shout at me until I start liking their favorite book.

Here are 10 things that annoy me about fellow readers:

1) Patronize
The one thing that's so great about books is that there is a book that they'll love for everyone out there. There's no reason to give anyone crap for liking something they don't.

2) Damaging books that don't belong to them
Especially with library books or borrowed books. You can do whatever you want to your own property, but it makes me furious when people write in library books or damage a book I've loaned to them. It's disrespectful and rude and there's no excuse for this behavior.

3) Complaining about how people handle their own property
As long as a book belongs to you, you're allowed to do whatever you want with it. Set it on fire, tear it apart, write in the margins w h a t e v e r. But book snobs will give you crap for exactly that at any chance they get and it's super annoying and classist.

4) Not giving back books
Nothing is worse than me getting excited for my friends to read a book I've given to them. I'm waiting days. Weeks. Months. Still no answer. When I ask about the book, it's usually either "oh I forgot reading it" or "oh yea I read it 4 months ago". Please don't make me ask for my book back.

5) Being mean to people who don't share their opinions/taste
I'll never understand the urge to fight people who don't have the same taste? They're not going to magically change their minds.

6) Considering everything they like high-class literature and everything they don't, inferior
When you read a lot, you know that there is a HUGE difference between popularity and quality. But at the end of the day everyone can like what they want and it shouldn't be any of your business.

7) Rating books that aren't even released yet on Goodreads
Oh my god??? This??? Why??? Ahhh???? Usually it's either 5 stars or 1 star, no inbetween. If you haven't read the book - DON'T RATE IT!  Sure, if you've read an advance copy, you have every right to, but what the everloving hell is it with books that got announced half a second ago already getting rated by the fandom??? Why why why

8) Only reading recent releases
I don't understand this. I genuinely do not. There are SO MANY books out there and even I, a person that always and at all times takes on too many review copies, still read about 60% backlist titles. If you're not a blogger and just read for pleasure, why only the new stuff???


9) Liking what everyone else likes, just because
I have to admit, I do roll my eyes at people who similarly to 8) only list people who have been #1 in the  NYT bestselling section in the last 5 years. Any and every favorite authors list that goes something like Rainbow Rowell, Sarah J. Maas, Marissa Meyer, Marie Lu .... while these authors certainly are talented, HOW is it always this combination on everyone's favorite authors list?!
?????? 
What did you read before these authors got published? I assume you read books before you found out about them. Or... not??

10) Judging others: You read "shitty" books = you're stupid
The amount of times I've seen usually not very well-read people insult everyone who enjoys 50 Shades of Grey or Twilight, is insane. 

Everyone who must enjoy these books must be stupid, because they're bad books! Everyone who reads smutty historical romance is an idiot! Yes, totally because what you read for pleasure directly tells you someone's IQ. What kinda logic is that? Not the logic of a smart person.

What things are your #BloggerConfessions about other readers?

Continue Reading...

Thursday, July 14, 2016

No Comments on Book Reviews? | Book Blogging Tips (#42)




What I've noticed recently is that book reviews generally seem to get less reader interaction in form of comments. 

And I wonder why, because reviews tend to be the one thing I focus most on when I'm checking out a new blog. 


I personally read other blogs mostly for the reviews, but I figured maybe that's not what everyone seems to be interested in.

So I did a little digging, observed my own commenting habits, and tried to find out why people tend to comment less on book reviews than on other posts


1) People like to share their opinion

You'd think this would go towards the "reasons why people comment on reviews" pile, but it doesn't. Not everyone will read or even think about reading the same books as you. While I do follow many, many, and almost exclusively YA book blogs, there are maybe only two people whose tastes mesh very nicely with mine. 

If your readers haven't read the book - they can't share their opinion of it, so no comments on that!

2) Reviews are longer than most other posts

Everyone has their own way of writing reviews, but I noticed that people tend to write too much rather than too little. If I see a brick wall of a review in front of me, I sometimes just close the window and don't read it, even if I was interested in that blogger's opinion in the first place. I usually just zone out after a certain length and just skim the review. If I have skimmed the whole thing, I don't feel comfortable commenting.

3) Formatting is everything - you can lose a lot of readers over this

The only thing that's worse than having a 2500 word review is a poorly formatted 2500 word review. I do know some bloggers who do this only with their reviews but format everything nicely. If you post reviews like these, it's even less likely to get comments. 


Should we just stop writing reviews then? Nobody reads them anyways...

There are so many factors that can impact whether I read a review in the first place and whether I'll comment. Even if there's a perfectly formatted, wonderful short review of a book that I have read by someone that I trust - I don't think this would be a 100% guarantee that I'll comment. And you want to know why? Because I'm scared to disagree. 

Sometimes I don't like a book and I still keep reading reviews of it to see if I'm the only one, but I don't want a fight.

There'll always be books that people like or dislike, and there'll always be people who defend said book to their dying breath. I think maybe that might be the reason why there are usually so few comments on book reviews. People don't necessarily agree and don't want to start a fight. Maybe this, or they just don't read them.

Regardless, I'll still keep writing reviews. Will you?

Continue Reading...

Saturday, June 25, 2016

I Lose Interest in Books When Everybody's Reading Them



I wonder if it's only me. 

This whole hating-popular-things thing started on tumblr. There are certain books that are insanely popular there and that everyone seems to love.

Fan casts, fan edits, reviews, my entire dash is filled with posts about those books and every other day someone tells me that I just have to read those books finally.

But will I? I haven't read them and with every post I see about those books, with every person that tells me I should read them already, I start to hate these books a little more. 

The second I see something all over every blog, I'm not intrigued, I'm more annoyed, actually. 

Popular = Bad?

Of course not all books that are popular will be books that you'll consider good, but then again, not all books that are popular are automatically bad books.

Obviously, with a lot of people telling you to buy a book because it's good you might get the impression that you're missing out on some top quality stuff. But for me that's hardly ever the case. All books that I've read just because I had people bombarding me with messages, telling me to read them, turned out to be nothing like I expected.

Too high expectations are dooming every book before you even read a single page. Thus, popular books have it even harder for a super picky person like me. This has nothing to do with the quality of the books. The more popular and praised it is, the more likely I am to be disappointed and absolutely angry after reading a book when it didn't live up to my very high expectations.

Don't Tell Me What To Read!

I find the thought of everyone liking something already when I'm just discovering it very annoying. I know this is a terrible attitude and I'm missing out on many books, but I like feeling like I'm one of the first people to discover a new gem in my genre of choice. I don't want to feel like one of the millions of fans of a new book, I want to be among the first thousand, maybe. It's weird.

I think the bottom line is that I'm just a closet hipster.

Especially as a blogger, I want to be on top of things. I want to discover great books as soon as I can get my hands on them. It's virtually impossible though. There are so many books being released every month, every year, that you can impossibly read them all. If you can, you probably have superpowers.

And honestly? It shouldn't matter. It shouldn't matter whether you're keeping up with all new releases or whether you're still catching up on books that have been released 4 years ago, or whether you simply couldn't care less about new releases and read what you want. At the end of the day everyone should read whatever they want, whenever they want. 


Are you a closet hipster, too, or am I just weird?

Continue Reading...

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

10 Things that Make Bookworms Happy






There are many bookish delights in the world, but today I'll only showcase ten of them for you for Top Ten Tuesday.



#10: Owning a complete series with matching covers
I only have one set of matching cover books and it's so close to my heart. It's so beautiful.

#9: Watching the movie after you read the book
I'm one of those super impatient people that very likely will watch the movie beforehand when it's 100% something I NEED to see. But when I manage to get it together and read the book first, it's almost always magical to see the movie.

#8: That feeling when you look up and notice you've been reading all day
Remember those books that immerse you so complete in their world that everything outside of it, in the real world, doesn't matter anymore? I wish I'd encounter one of those again.

#7: Discovering bookish SWAG where you least expect it
You're just minding your business and trying to do some shopping when you casually encounter book-inspired clothes or jewelry. Makes my day every time!

#6: When a recommendation hits home
I am so humbled when people ask for my opinion, even more so when they actually end up liking the book I urged them to read! Success!

#5: Loving the first book in a series and realizing all sequels are already published
It's such a wonderful feeling to not have to wait to read a series.

#4: Book Sales
Can anyone of us ever walk past a book sale?

#3: Discovering a new favorite author!
There is nothing more pure than reading multiple books by the same person and loving them all.

#2: Book mail
I love, love, love getting books in the mail The anticipation before opening the package, looking at a new book for the first time - it's fantastic!

#1: The smell of a new book
Nothing can trump this. Honestly, this is the most beautiful smell in the world.


Which bookish delights do you enjoy?

Leave the link to your post in the comments if you like!
Continue Reading...

Saturday, January 23, 2016

I'm Challenging Myself to Read 1 Book in 2016 | Goodreads Challenges Suck?



Probably everyone who's an avid reader, whether they're a book blogger or just a spectator, has a Goodreads account these days. Whether it's to document, discuss, or just see what others are reading.

A huge part of the Goodreads experience is the Goodreads Reading Challenge.

Basically you simply set a goal for how many books you're going to read in the upcoming year and Goodreads tracks your progress for you.

In theory this is a nice concept, especially for statistic freaks like me who just love seeing everything they do translated into numbers. Goodreads tracks everything for you:

How many pages you read, how many books by a certain author you read, how many books from a genre you read - it's all there. It looks neat and gives you a great overview at the end of the year. I use the function quite often to simply check how many pages I've read or to see how many books I've given a certain rating. 
It's strangely addicting?!

But aside from that, the more people I befriended and the more I started immersing myself in the reading community, I noticed that this whole neat little concept isn't really just a fun thing to do on the side - it's serious business.
People are actively trying to read the most books on the entire website and surpass everyone they know. Like, not even in a friendly way, but in an obsessively competitive kinda way. Myself included. You can't help it, when you see someone post their score, you just want to surpass them. 

When I first started my blog and did the challenge for the first time in 2014, I read about 50 books I think. Last year around 90. But the thing is, I feel constantly pressured to one-up myself every year and read even more books, because there'll always be someone that has a higher book count than me. For people who are naturally just very competitive, this is a nightmare.
Having deadlines is always very stressful for me, and seeing all these people challenge themselves to read ridiculous amounts of books (I've seen 500+) and actually succeed and overpass me very early on just makes me feel like I'm failing at reading. That's actually a pretty stupid thing to think. 

What are we even competing for? 

Does it increase your coolness factor or IQ with every book you read? Eh. I don't think so.

I mean for some people competition is just a fun way to push themselves a little, but for me it's just unnecessary stress that I don't need in my life. The only goal I have reading-wise in 2016 is to read simply for pleasure. I want to read books because I want to, not because they're short and will help me reach my Goodreads challenge goal more quickly (I've seriously done this before).

So in order to avoid all this, I have challenged myself to read a single book this year.
No more competitive reading for me.

Are you doing the 2016 GR challenge? What's your goal?

Continue Reading...

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Should You Always Stick With the Same Blog Memes? | Book Blogging Tips (#31)

Memes are a big part of book blogging. In order to get your name out there when you first start, memes can be of tremendous help to get new traffic.

But what should you do when you're already an established blogger? Should you play it safe or experiment with your content?





Find what works best for you!

When I first started out blogging, my blog was 99% memes. I only discovered original content when I noticed that I tend to read those post personally with more enthusiasm than meme posts. Great memes to start off are:


There is no recipe as to what memes you should use when you're a newbie blogger, check out a few different ones and maybe change it up in the first few weeks before settling for a bunch of set memes.

Your blog grows with you!

When you're an established blogger you'll notice very quickly how your blog has changed over the years. I only do maybe one or two of the memes that I started doing over the years personally and that's perfectly okay. Some of the memes I started out with aren't even remotely things I'd put on my blog right now. I've been blogging for more than a year now and I don't think I could ever go back to running a blog based on memes. 

For some people the experience might be different, but I guarantee you, your content won't be the same forever.
Accept that your blog and your personal preferences will change and that's okay!

What about the readers?

I don't think that the majority of people that follow you only stay for a certain meme. It's the overall impression that determines for me whether you follow a blog or not. Even if you gained a huge chunk of your followers through a certain meme - always keep the stats and comments in mind.
Analyze what your readers like and maybe even make a poll about it so you can get some decent feedback.

My Opinion: 

Don't feel obligated to stick with doing the same meme for the rest of life. Especially when I started out I felt so much pressure trying to keep up with my memes that it almost made me lose my enthusiasm for blogging.
My philosophy when it comes to blogging is: Do what brings you joy, because the only expectations you have to live up to are your own.

Have you stuck with the same memes during your entire blogging career?


Come back next Thursday for another Book Blogging Tips post!

More Tips:
How to Handle Inquiries from Publishers and Authors
Pros and Cons of Book Blogging Memes
Is It Possible To Have TOO MUCH Content?
Should I Be Commenting Back?

See All
Continue Reading...

Thursday, December 3, 2015

How to Come Up With Post Ideas | Book Blogging Tips (#28)


If you want to get a set readership on your blog, you're going to have to stick out in the masses. There are thousands and thousands of book blogs out there, so what makes you special? 

In order to make people remember you, you will have to come up with a strategy to make your blog stand out. 
A great way to do that is to add original content. But how do you come up with good post ideas?


8. Try Out New Mediums

If your blog is usually filled with long discussion posts, or memes, try out book photography. There are different types of posts and if you've exhausted every kind of subcategory in the posts you usually do, go for something new and get out of your comfort zone. If you only post reviews, write up a personal post. If you only do personal posts, start a book meme!

7. Meme Directories!

If you absolutely can't think of anything original, just use content that's already available. Start doing a meme and make sure your contributions stand out in the crowd. You don't even have to create your own meme, a good Top Ten Tuesday or Stacking the Shelves post can be just as interesting as an original one.

A good meme directory I always like to link to is the Book Blog Meme Directory on bookshelffantasies.

6. Observe.

Don't copy, but take a look at the things your favorite bloggers do and get inspired. 

5. Check Your Reading Habits

Which kind of posts do you like to read personally? Why is it that you clicked on a certain post instead of another? Think about the types of posts you enjoy and fill your blog with similar content.

4. Get Inspired by Recent Events

Everybody loves a good pop culture reference. Take a look at what genres or books are popular right now, or what fandoms you're particularly familiar with and interested in. Maybe even launch your own meme!

3. Check Your Success Rate

Which posts were successful? There surely are some posts that have a considerably higher amount of views than others. Try to stick with similar content. What comes to your mind when you think of that topic?

2. Controversy

When in doubt, settle for discussions. What makes you angry? What makes you happy? Just flat out state your opinion, preferably on a topic that people have different opinions on. You'll be surprised at how much resonance you'll get for a respectfully written controversial posts about a recent topic.

1. What's Bugging You?

Personal posts are an awesome way to connect to your readers. 
If you're comfortable sharing your feelings or personal experiences with others online, you go for it and write up a nice personal post.

It's a little like an online diary and pretty therapeutic to just vent. Also people seem to really like being able to get to know you on a more personal level.


What are your tips on coming up with post ideas?

Continue Reading...

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Are You Ready to Start Your Own Blog? | Book Blogging Tips (#24)

Book Blogging isn't easy. Over the course of the last couple of months I started asking myself the question whether I'm actually ready for the commitment of running a blog. 

Sometimes things can get overwhelming, but that's perfectly okay.

To prevent you from feeling like this as a future or maybe current blog host, here are a few guidelines.


Commitment: Do you have the time to blog regularly?

While the term regular is quite relative in terms of frequency, you have to be aware that blogging has to be taken seriously. Whether you post every day or every other day or maybe even once a week - be regular with that schedule.
It won't kill anybody if you miss one week once or twice, but honestly, be aware that this should be an exception rather than a rule. When you've reached a certain degree of popularity, people will seek out your blog on purpose on a certain day and if your post is not up then? Hm. Maybe you just lost a reader there.

Longterm: Do you have the nerve?

You've got a nice blog, a few readers and a lot of posts scheduled. But you're in a slump and you don't feel like blogging. Maybe you want to stop doing it altogether? This can and will happen eventually. Be sure that you want to keep blogging, be sure that you won't give up no matter what happens. No matter if you get mean comments or not even a single one. Be persistent and 100% sure.

Goals: Why do you want to blog?
Examples:
  • Love the reviewing process
  • Want to share my thoughts
  • Interaction with others
  • Be on top the new book releases all the time
  • Fan of bigger blogs and aspiring to be like them one day
These are only things that came to my mind spontaneously - it doesn't matter what your goal is, just have one.

Essential: Do you read a lot?

If you don't like to read, stop right here. It's no use becoming a book blogger when you read one book a year, no matter for what reason.

Book bloggers are really avid readers, and when I say that, I mean it - I know fellow bloggers that read a book a day. I'm even one of the lazier readers, because I only read a book or two a week if even at all. I know we all have lives or jobs or both outside the community, but you can't run a book blog as a non-reader. You just can't.

Were you really  ready for it all when you started your blog?

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Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Impossible Goodreads TBRs - Do You Even Try? | YA Talk



"I'm adding this to my TBR" has become an ancient proverb to me. I say it so often that it probably lost all its meaning.

The times where I did actually go to my TBR to determine which books to read next are long gone. 






Let's Do Some Math

I actually started laughing when I took a look at my Goodreads TBR and saw this:

  • The average book is 80,000 words long
  • The average reading speed per minute is 200 words. 
  • An average-speed reader needs 400 minutes to read an average-length book, that's 6.6 hours.

I have 2239 books on my TBR. Pretending these are all average-length books and I'm an average-speed reader, I'll need 14,777.4 hours to read all these. That's 615.7 days. That's 20.5 months. That's 1.7 years worth of consistent reading. Doesn't seem that high, am I right?

Sadly, in reality I read about 50-100 books a year. The span is that high because I'm super inconsistent. If we pretend I read an average of 70 average-length books for the next few years, it'll take me 37.98 years to get through this TBR. Let's hope there's a lot of DNFs hidden in there.

How Books End Up There

Do I intend to actually read the majority of these? Probably not. I put books on my TBR too easily. 
  • I think I'll like the book, so it's going on my TBR. 
  • Great synopsis! On my TBR.
  • Ooh, my favorite author has a new book? On my TBR.
  • Hey my friend said it's a good book. On my TBR.
  • Wow I like the cover. TBR.
  • Wow I like that review. Gotta check out the book. TBR.
  • Great list of topics I like, better add every single book on it to my TBR.

Do you handle your TBR as carelessly as I do? Or am I just a mess?

Does Anyone Actually Work on Their GR TBR?

Because I don't. I used to, but right now I've got the book blogging community and an immediate TBR stored in my head. I know exactly which books I'm about to buy when my physical TBR shrunk a little. Who needs Goodreads if you have a surprisingly long list of recommendations?

I know that my TBR is nothing compared to the pile of books some of you guys have. I've seen TBRs in the six digits. 
The question is, is it really important what I put there? There are so many books on my list that I probably won't ever read and only added for some long-forgotten reason.

Should I have been more selective with what I add? Probably. Should I actually use it like it was intended - to keep track of what I actually read? Who does that?! I don't know. I just know that I have a lot of reading to do now. About 37 years of it.

How high is your GR TBR? 

Are you actively working on getting rid of it?

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Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Mary Sues and Why We Need More of Them | YA Talk



What is a Mary Sue?

The term originated from fan fiction I guess. It typically refers to characters who are beautiful, loved by everyone, super powerful, super smart, but usually don't recognize their beauty.

They're loveable because they're sometimes even insecure, but they can kick everyone's butts if they wanted to. Also, every guy that meets them falls in love with them.




Mary Sues typically also have:

  • a super tragic backstory
  • a hidden talent/skill that makes them special
  • been "chosen" by a higher power to be the only savior/ are the only person who can resolve the plot
  • an exotic hair or eye color that makes them stand out
Readers always joke about Mary Sues, but in fact they do still exist in YA. The thing is, most people don't seem to realize that their favorite novel involves a Mary Sue heroine.


Typical Criticism and Why I'm not having any of it

1. They are self-inserts of the reader, even author, into the story

They don't really have a personally besides being flawless and perfect, almost inhumanly perfect.

... so? The term self-insert implies that it's easy to identify with them. There's a lot of characters that I think don't have a personality and still are the driving forces of big franchises. We all want to identify with the main character when we're reading. Because we're all different, it's absolutely impossible to please everyone. So of course the books with less opinionated characters are more likely to appeal to the masses. It's easy to interprete if the author is vague about their portrayals.

2. They're an unrealistic reflection of everything that everyone wants be: beautiful, popular, perfect, strong and loved. 

And that's hella good! We want to read about the things we don't have. Reading is a way of escapism! We want to travel to places that we'll never see, we want to read about situations that we'll never experience. So yeah, for once we want to read about someone that has it all, is popular and loved and beautiful.

3. They're the result of very poor writing.

You can have a Mary Sue main character and still built a kick-ass world and have a great plot. Best example? Caelena Sardothien from "Throne of Glass".  If you've read the book, take a moment to think about it yourself and then we'll talk.


Actually: We need more Mary Sues

Being called a Mary Sue is neither a death sentence nor an insult. There are some characters that are wildly loved by everyone who reads certain books and to me, they're absolute Mary Sues. I'm not going to call names, but there's a lot of undercover Sues that people don't even recognize. They look up to them, especially female characters that are great at fighting, beautiful and getting all the attractive guys.

Featuring unapologetically strong and kick ass female characters has been a recent trend. I mean if you look the most popular movie -to-book film adaptations you'll rarely encounter female characters that are strong, beautiful and super scary while still being feminine. The fact that the term Mary Sue is mostly used to refer to female characters and points out character flaw that have existed for YEARS in literature (not only YA) with male main characters is just flat out ridiculous.

Just look at popular action movies and characters like Indiana Jones, Chuck Norris, Superman, Batman - all those guys are classic Gary Stus and these are only the most popular ones. If you think in terms of movies, I can hardly tell you a single Mary Sue character in a similar franchise. It's a blessing that it's become a trend in YA to show merciless fighter-type heroine main characters and I am absolutely in favor or bringing all those books to the big screen and finally getting some gender equality in the medium.

So yes, I want more Mary Sues. Do you?


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Sunday, July 5, 2015

A-Z Bookish TAG

I saw this tag on The Perpetual Page Turner and thought it could be fun. 

Make sure to check out the original post on Jamie's Blog



Author you’ve read the most books from:
According to Goodreads it's L.J. Smith and it's not a surprise to me. 
I hardly stick with a series until the end or commit to an author for more than five or six books. Unless it's L.J. Smith. Whenever I'm sure that I've finally found the best book she's written I encounter another series by her that takes my by storm.  The Forbidden Game series is my latest obsession and I was baffled at how fast I read it. You should definitely check one of her books out. Guaranteed for a creepy read mixed with a swoon-worthy villain love interest.

Best Sequel Ever: 
Dreamless by Josephine Angelini really redeemed her for me. I absolutely hated the first, but the second one was pretty alright.

Currently Reading:
The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides

Drink of Choice While Reading: 
Tap water. Always stay hydrated, kids.


E-reader or Physical Book? 
Physical book. I don't own an e-reader.

Fictional Character You Probably Would Have Actually Dated In High School: 
Dimitri Belikov from the Vampire Academy series. Oops.


Glad You Gave This Book A Chance:

A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin. Don't be intimidated by the size, seriously, it's really good. I wasn't a fan of the sequel A Clash of Kings though, but the first one is really a gem.


Hidden Gem Book: 
Starters by Lissa Price. So, so, sooo good.

Important Moment in your Reading Life: 
Probably every time I read the last page of a book. So satisfying.

Just Finished: 
Linden Hills by Gloria Naylor

Kinds of Books You Won’t Read:

I'm not a fan of religious books in general. Books about religious topics on the other hand are fine with me. I just don't like patronizing stuff.

Longest Book You’ve Read:
If you don't count three-in-one books, I guess it would be the first Game of Thrones book. I think it's about 850-ish pages.


Major book hangover because of: 
Great world building

Number of Bookcases You Own: 
1 1/2


One Book You Have Read Multiple Times: 
The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot. I have no idea how often I read this, I think I already broke the spine in like 2007.

Preferred Place To Read: 
Couch, Bed, Balcony. Preferably in that order. I like to change places a lot.

Quote that inspires you/gives you all the feels from a book you’ve read:

“If there's one thing I've learned, it's this: We all want everything to be okay. We don't even wish so much for fantastic or marvelous or outstanding. We will happily settle for okay, because most of the time, okay is enough.” 

Damn you, David Levithan. This is from Every Day. If I haven't tried to harass you into reading this, regard this as a gentle nudge.

Reading Regret: 
Trying Jenny Han novels. I'm too old for this.

Series You Started And Need To Finish
Ahahahaha. I'll only list the ones that I would actually bother to finish for the sake of our sanity.
  • Stefan's Diaries Series by L.J. Smith (2/6)
  • The Princess Diaires Series by Meg Cabot (2/15)
  • A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin (2/5)
  • Hourglass Trilogy by Myra McEntire (1/3)
  • Vampire Academy Series by Richelle Mead (5/6)
Three of your All-Time Favorite Books:

  • Something Missing by Matthew Dicks
  • Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
  • Life's That Way by Jim Beaver
Unapologetic Fangirl For: 
Vampire Academy. Dear God, please hit me with a shovel. When will this obsession ever die?

Very Excited For This Release More Than All The Others:

  • Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • The Next Together by Lauren E. James!!!!!!!!
"Finding Audrey" is actually already out in English, but I'm still waiting for the German copy to be released by the end of july. I absolutely love Kinsella and can't wait.

Worst Bookish Habit: 
DNF-ing books is the worst. I like to do that.

X Marks The Spot: 
Start at the top left of your shelf and pick the 27th book: Beautiful Creatures by Kami GarcĂ­a and Margaret Stohl.

Your latest book purchase: 
Linden Hills by Gloria Naylor.


ZZZ-snatcher book (last book that kept you up WAY late): 
Hourglass by Myra McEntire. Too good writing. I'm angry.



Thanks for reading and I TAG YOU to do this if you want to. 

Leave your link in the comments if you decide to do the tag, please!

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