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?”

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Bookish posts

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

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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?”

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”

Bookish posts

My Favorite Books About Books

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In my opinion, nothing can quite capture my love for books like a story that has books as one of its central themes. Even as a child, I loved books, but there was no one in my immediate surroundings who shared that love.

Luckily that has changed! But because of that, I started seeking out books that explored this love for books within the stories, and some of them ended up being my favorites!

Schermafbeelding 2018-05-10 om 17.08.30The Shadow of The Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón. If you know one thing about me, it’s that The Shadow of the Wind is one of my all-time favorite books. It’s gorgeous, flowery writing, Barcelona setting and coming-of-age story will never be boring to me. This book, and the entire series, revolves around something called the Cemetery of Forgotten Books. This library is tended by Barcelona’s guild of rare-book dealers as a repository for books forgotten by the world, waiting for someone who will care about them again. Our main character Daniel gets a book from this cemetery, and completely falls in love with it – something we can all relate to.

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Inkheart
by Cornelia Funke. Oh boy, do I remember loving this series as a kid. Inkheart is the story of twelve-year-old Meggie. Her father, who repairs and binds books for a living, can “read” fictional characters to life when one of those characters abducts them and tries to force him into service. Inkheart is a middle-grade (or Young Adult on the ‘young’ side of the spectrum) novel, but don’t let that stop you. The story is complex and the characters are well fleshed out!  Continue reading “My Favorite Books About Books”

Bookish posts

The Complete Guide to #Bookstagram: Getting Started, Taking Pictures, Gaining Followers And Other Advice

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One of my favorite parts of the book community is definitely Bookstagram. What is Bookstagram?  I know, I could hear you asking that question. Basically, Bookstagram is Instagram specifically for books.

You might have a personal instagram where you post pictures of the highlights of your life. The great food you eat, the cute kids you have, the fun parties you go to. Bookstagram is just like that, but we only post pictures of books. Because books are basically our social life. I’m not joking.

Today I’m going to guide you through the world of #Bookstagram. But before we get started, feel free to follow me over at @Books.andrants

Why would you want to use it?

Well obviously because it’s a lot of fun. But if you’re a part of the book community there are also some other benefits. But I still stand by the fact that fun is the main reason to join Bookstagram!

Promotion. Especially if you have a blog of BookTube channel, your bookstagram will be an extension of that. With Instagram stories it has become even easier! See it as a way to broaden your audience and reach people you normally wouldn’t reach.

Artistic expression and inspiration. Not gonna lie, bookstagram inspires me. Some of the people I follow make their pictures so incredibly pretty and it inspires me to try out different ways of creating my own photos, how edit them etcetera. Experimenting is the only way to grow!

Tips before you get started

I know you’re probably dying to post your first photo, but before we get there I want to talk about the things you need to consider before actually filling up that feed!

Pick a username that matches your blog or YouTube channel. Seriously, DO IT. It makes it so much easier for people to find you on instagram if they follow your blog and vice versa. Of course your username might be taken and you have to be a little creative. @Booksandrants was taken (grr!) which is why I have @Books.andrants. I also recommend a name that somehow makes it clear that you are a bookstagram, something with ‘book’, ‘page’ or ‘read’ in the title is always good.

Write a short bio. I know, I know, writing bio’s is the hardest thing ever. But at least put your name, and maybe where you’re from, what genres you like to read, your favorite authors or hobbies. I don’t know, get creative!

Add a link to your blog. You only get one ‘clickable’ link on Instagram (links in photo captions don’t work) so make it count!

Creating your photos

Finally, now it gets REALLY FUN. And also hard. There are a lot of different components to a good bookstagram photo, so let’s go over them one by one.

Your camera: I know what you’re thinking: Dalindcy, I don’t have a fancy ass DSLR camera to take photo’s with, so I will never be a successful bookstagrammer. Wrong. I have a DSLR and I still take half of my pictures with my iPhone 8. Of course your followers like good quality pics, but you do not need a $1000 camera to get there. With some editing, your phone pictures can look gorgeous.

Your aesthetic: you need to decide how you want your photo’s to look. Do you want to do flatlays or not? Lots of color or black and white? Do you want minimalistic photos or not at all. Or do you just not care and do you want to post whatever? There are no rules when it comes to book blogging, but I have noticed that accounts that have a specific ‘theme’ do get more follows. But make it personal!

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Above you can find an example of my feed: No, not all of my pictures are exactly the same, but they do fit together, which brings me to my next point! Continue reading “The Complete Guide to #Bookstagram: Getting Started, Taking Pictures, Gaining Followers And Other Advice”

Bookish posts

The Pros and Cons of Being a Mood Reader

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Do you ever scroll through your Youtube subscription page or Bookstagram feed at the beginning of the month seeing stacks of books with the caption/title ”This is my Monthly TBR!” And can you just not relate? Is it impossible for you to set a TBR at the beginning of the month and stick to it? Do you always end up reading other books? Congrats, you might just be a mood reader.

I am a huge mood reader and I recognize that it has its ups and downsides, which is what I want to discuss with you today.

Pros of being a mood reader

  • I almost never struggle to choose a book: In my reading routine post I talked about how I’m often already eyeing a few books when I’m about to finish one. Looking at my reading history, I often alternate between different genres because that’s just what I feel like reading. I’ll read a huge fantasy novel and then some light contemporary next.
  • Less DNF’ing: Because I am really in tune with my reading mood, I have a feeling that I know what I’m going to like at that specific moment. Because of that, I don’t often DNF books these days, even though I’m pretty comfortable with it. I almost always pick something that I can personally connect to at that very moment.
  • I read broadly: Not to say that you can’t read broadly if you set monthly TBRs or that this is the case for every mood reader, but because my reading moods are so out there (I’ll feel like reading a classic and a high fantasy or a memoir or whatever) I read very broadly, all the time!

Cons of being a mood reader

  • It’s hard to fit in ARCs: If you like reading a lot of advanced reader copies and you need to have a review up before a specific date, you might hate being a mood reader. If I read a book that I’m not actually in the mood for, it often lowers my enjoyment of that book, and that affects the review. This is why it’s sometimes hard for me to fit in ARCs and I don’t read them as often as I used to. I still really enjoy ARCs from time to time though!
  • My TBR will never end: because I sometimes am not in the mood to read anything on my TBR and I end up buying something else (or getting it from the library). I often end up enjoying that book, and I’m glad I read it even if it wasn’t on my TBR, but it does mean that my TBR shelf doesn’t think out as fast as I’d like to.
  • Mood reading can lead to a slump easily: I do switch around a lot, but if I get into the mood for a specific genre I pick up book after book after book in that genre, or I marathon an entire series. After that, I often get into a slump for that specific genre, or just a reading slump in general. I think mood reading can lead to a slump easily because it’s so easy to burn yourself out on a specific genre or just reading in general. You just feel meh about the genre and nothing excites you.

As we speak, I just finished the shades of magic series by V.E. Schwab and I think I’m kiiinda in a fantasy slump right now, time to pick up some contemporary..

Continue reading “The Pros and Cons of Being a Mood Reader”