Bookish posts

Five Factors That Make Me Want To DNF A Book

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I’ve talked about getting comfortable with DNF’ing books on this blog before. In that post, I wrote about why it’s hard to DNF books and how to deal with the guilt that comes along with it.

In this post, I want to dig a little deeper. What are my personal dealbreakers when it comes to reading books? When do you I decide it’s time to stop? And most importantly, let me know about your dealbreakers in the comments below!

Bad writing
One of my major dealbreakers when it comes to quitting books is bad writing. Of course, what this actually entails is subjective. I can get real technical about it: inconsistency in terms of verbs, passive voice, paragraphs or dialogue that doesn’t flow and/or that’s unrealistic. I appreciate style, but when I read a book and I constantly get annoyed by the way it’s written, I just quit.

Having trouble understanding a character’s motive
I always preach that I do not need to ‘relate’ to a character – I actually think it’s amazing to read about characters who are vastly different from myself – but I do need to understand a characters motive. WHY do they feel the way they feel, and how did that happen? If the author fails to make that clear, I just stop caring about the story.

Slow moving plots
I admit, I get bored easily. There are a lot of character-focused novels that I enjoy, but I do notice a trend: books with very slow moving plots are not my favorite. When I’m halfway through a book and I still don’t know anything about what’s going on, nor do I feel like the characters have really gotten anywhere, there is a big chance that I will just quit. At that point, it is no longer ‘suspense’ and I just stop caring. This is why I DNF’d The Raven Boys.  Continue reading “Five Factors That Make Me Want To DNF A Book”

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Bookish posts · personal

Mid Year Reading Goals Update: How Am I Doing?

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Does anyone else LOVE reading about other people’s reading goals? It’s just so fascinating to me.

At the beginning of the year, I wrote a post about my (somewhat unconventional) reading goals for 2018. Since we’re halfway through the year, I thought I’d update you on every single goal to see how I’m doing. I thought I was doing pretty well, but I’m not so sure now..

Goal 1: Stop worrying about how much I’ve read, or haven’t read
In 2018, I wanted to get rid of the feeling of competitive reading. As I said in my original post, I sometimes feel pressured to read ”x amount of books” and it can stress me out. I’m really trying to let this go, but it’s hard. I set my GoodReads goal for 52 books at the beginning of the year, with the idea that this was a ”loose” goal. But now if I look at it and I see I’m ‘only’ two or three books ahead of schedule, I want to read more because I don’t want to fall behind! This is stupid, because I should be proud I already read 29 books this year. In short, this is something I’m still working on.

Goal 2: Read more classic novels
This goal is going pretty well! So far, this year I read the following books that could be considered classics:
– 1984 by George Orwell
– Animal Farm by George Orwell
– The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
– Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
I’m quite happy with this list, and for the second half of 2018 I want to try to expand this to at least 10 books. I’ve found it very valuable to (re)read these classics now that I’m a bit older, as I feel like I can grasp the symbolism and meaning of the story much better. Continue reading “Mid Year Reading Goals Update: How Am I Doing?”

personal

HUGE Life Update: Moving to Rotterdam, Getting Out of my Reading Slump and Law School!

dalindcy life update

If you are among the people that read this blog semi-regularly, you’ll have noticed that the amount of posts have plummeted in the past two or three months. This dip in posts usually happens to me at least once a year, and I have come to the realization that it’s just how my cycle of inspiration and creativity works: rather than one continuous stretch, it comes in BURSTS. Churning out content in between isn’t impossible for me, but it comes less natural and I enjoy the writing process a lot less.

With less blog inspiration usually also comes a reading slump. And BOY was I in a reading slump the past few months. In June, I read ONE book. Kind of a big one, but still. The previous months I had read six to eight books. It’s fine, I don’t pressure myself to read because it is a hobby and it should be enjoyable. Instead, I picked up a drawing hobby! If you follow my Instagram, you’ve probably seen some of my artsy projects!

Luckily I’m getting out of my reading slump now. And that has everything to do with the fact that I have finished school for the year! I managed to get 60 credits this year, the maximum obtainable, which means I’m getting something called a propaedeutic diploma – and this is making it possible for me to fulfill a big dream of mine: I’m going to law school in September!

Something else that helped me get out of my reading slump is the fact that I have finally moved to the city of Rotterdam. I grew up in a small town south of the city, and had a two hour commute every day just to make it to my college. But hey, that’s finally over now! This also means I’ve moved out of my parent’s place, and I’m on my own for the first time ever. It feels weird, but I also know in my heart that it was time to get my own place. I needed the independence. I’m currently writing this on my balcony, and if I look to my left I see my new, beautiful bookcase you can also see at the top of this blog post. If that doesn’t make you excited to pick up a book, I don’t know what will. 🙂

Since so much has been changed in my life the past few months, I really felt the need to update you. It just doesn’t feel right to resume my usual blog post scheduling without letting you know what has been going on and why it has been a little more quiet on here. But now, I am reading again! Which also means I’m writing again.

Bookish posts

Collecting Books and Being Conscious of The Environment: is it Even Possible?

books environment ecofriendly ereader

I will be the first to say I’m not a fan of ecosmugness, but I am a fan of being ecoconscious and ecofriendly. But is it even possible to be ecofriendly as a (mostly physical) book lover? Shouldn’t we all just buy an ereader?

According to The Guardian, Using an Amazon Kindle to full storage capacity means you will offset the emissions caused by its manufacture in a year. Keep it longer and you save 168kg of CO2 per year (the amount produced by 22.5 real books, and we know us book lovers read much more than that). It’s said that those who swapped to an ereader between 2009 and 2012 cumulatively prevented release of 9.9bn kg CO2 emissions in total.

According to the same article, it’s estimated that the US book industry consumed approximately 30 million trees in a single year. This had a carbon footprint of approximately 12.4m metric tons of carbon dioxide. Shocking numbers? I thought so too.

Sooo.. I should probably buy an ereader now?
Hold on, not so quick. A study done by the New York Times found that one ereader requires the extraction of 33lb of minerals. This includes Coltan, a metallic ore that is in part derived from Congo, where the production has helped fuel the war. Add about 300 litres of water (79 gallons) and 100 kilowatts of Fossil Fuels to that, and you got an ereader. Books only need a fraction of those resources, and no Coltan at all.  Continue reading “Collecting Books and Being Conscious of The Environment: is it Even Possible?”

Book reviews

Book Review: Mindhunter by John Douglas

Mindhunter book review

Title: Mindhunter: Inside The FBI’s Elite Serial Crime Unit
Author: John Douglas & Mark Olshaker
Pages: 397
Genre: True crime, memoir
Publication date: August 1995

“Behavior reflects personality. The best indicator of future violence is past violence. To understand the “artist”, you must study his “art”. The crime must be evaluated in its totality. There is no substitute for experience, and if you want to understand the criminal mind, you must go directly to the source and learn to decipher what he tells you. And, above all: Why + How = Who.”

True crime is my thing. I do not shy away from murder, rape, and the details that go along with it. To some people that might seem weird and twisted, but there is something about the mind of a criminal – especially serial killers – that is inherently fascinating to me.

Let this book be exactly about that. Special Agent John Douglas helped pioneer behavioural science and criminal profiling in the FBI. For 25 years, he researched killers and their modus operandi. An important part of his research was conducted speaking directly to killers about their own crimes and analysing their behaviour in the interrogation room.  Continue reading “Book Review: Mindhunter by John Douglas”

Bookish posts

The 5 Most Forgettable Books I Have Ever Read

We’ve all read them – books that we once read and liked (or disliked..) and now don’t remember ANYTHING about. I have books that I read over a decade ago that I still remember a lot about now, and some books I’ve read a month ago and I can’t even remember the main character’s name.

If a book doesn’t stay with me, that is usually an indication of how much I enjoyed it, and how original the story was in my opinion.

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The Manifesto on How to be Interesting
by Holly Bourne
Yeah… so what is this book even about? I remember a few girls that were in a group or something, and there was a blog.. or is that Holly Bourne’s other book? The problem I have with her books is that the characters don’t feel very distinctive. They’re all kind of the same in my head.

 

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Cress by Marissa Meyer
So, I love the Lunar Chronicles, but this one I barely remember! I remember that Cress lived on a spaceship.. I think? And she had long hair, which is obvious considering she is supposed to be Rapunzel. But I don’t remember anything about her character or the relationships she had. I am actually planning to reread the series as a whole, but I haven’t been in the mood for reading in general. (Great, I love reading slumps). Continue reading “The 5 Most Forgettable Books I Have Ever Read”

Bookish posts

7 Things I Want to See More of in Young Adult Fiction

YA fiction favorite tropes

A while back I wrote a blogpost titled Why I Dislike Most Young Adult Books and it sparked a lot of interesting discussion in the comment section and on Twitter.

Young Adult fiction is very well loved in the book community and although I don’t hate all YA books – some of my all-time faves are YA books – I’ve become very picky with them. There are a few things I really love in YA fiction that almost instantly make me enjoy a book that much more. If you know of any YA books that utilize these tropes in a good way, don’t hesitate to recommend them to me in the comments!

Great family dynamics

The family dynamic in The Hate U Give was my favorite part of the book. I love a good family-oriented book in which the main character receives support from their family. Still too often do I find books that kill off a family member just to make the plot work, or the main character does not have a great relationship with their family, usually as an excuse as to why no one tells them they need to go to school instead of leading a revolution.

Books without romance

To piggyback off of my wish for more great family dynamics, I would like to see more books without romance. Instead, let me see platonic friendships! Let me see how a character goes through change all by themselves, without the romance taking credit for some (if not all) of it!  Continue reading “7 Things I Want to See More of in Young Adult Fiction”