Part of being a book blogger, it seems, is having a TBR list so long that you doubt you’ll ever be able to conquer it. There are plenty of different things that make us add books to our TBR list, but before we know it we’ve marked hundreds, maybe even thousands, as ‘to-read’.
From amazing series that have been out in the world for a few years to new releases with insane hype surrounding them there are so many books out there, and most of them end up on our TBR list and soon forgotten about. That’s when the question becomes how do you keep on top of all those books, because if you’re anything like me you’ve forgotten what you’ve added and have tried to mark books as ‘to-read’ more than once.
How Do You Manage Your TBR List?
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When I write my reviews I split them into parts, focusing on the different aspects that make up the story; the plot, the characters, and for sci-fi and fantasy books the setting. It’s not something I look for in contemporary books, but seeing as I mainly pick up fantasy releases the setting is really important to me.
If I go back to why I read in the first place one of the reasons is to escape, and I can’t do that if I’m constantly being dragged out of the story because the world building is too flat. For me, for a book to get more than a three stars rating, it needs to have an incredibly developed world, one that I can fall into, lose myself in.
Why World Building is So Important to me in the Books I Read.
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There’s no denying it, books are really expensive. For a hardcover edition of a new release I’ll be paying anywhere between £10 and £15 and while it’s slightly better for paperback releases, I’ll only pay £5 or £7 for paperback editions, when you consider all the new releases we rave about in our blogs, all the new releases we can’t wait for, it adds up.
I spend a lot of money on books, most of us do, but there are lot of other things our pay checks have to go towards, and books are more of a luxury than anything else. But when you’re blog hopping you see book hauls or monthly recaps from people who have managed to buy tons of books and you just wonder ‘how?’ Well, I do at least.
Do You Feel You Have to Buy Books to be a “Good” Blogger?
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A little while back I did a Top Ten Tuesday post talking about my favourite morally grey characters, and a lot of the comment and responses I got from other bloggers were talking about how their favourite characters weren’t the heroes of their favourite books, but the anti heroes.
And I’m the same. While I loved characters like Ezra in Illuminae, or Kell in A Darker Shade of Magic, I always preferred scenes with AIDAN in, or learning more about Holland’s past. I sometimes enjoyed reading about the morally grey characters more than reading about the heroes, and the more I thought about it the more I wondered why.
What is it About Anti Heroes we Love So Much?
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We’ve all done this, I know I’m guilty of it, and maybe they’re not so much lies as they are best intentions gone awry but it soon becomes a habit. Now, for me, these have become phrases that have practically no meaning anymore because of how many times they just haven’t been true.
After all, despite me saying a book is next on my to read list I normally never get around to it next, possibly the pitfalls of being a mood reader, and despite me going into bookshops or looking through Amazon with the intention of just looking, not buying anything at all, more often than not I come out with at least one brand new book if not more.
The Little White Lies Bookworms Tell
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One of the amazing things about reviews is that they can lead you to books you may never have picked up otherwise. The Bone Season series, the Percy Jackson books, Bone Gap. What those books all have in common is that they are stories I love, but ones I doubt I would have picked up had it not been for the reviews I saw on WordPress.
It also works the other way around. There have been books I’ve added to my to-read list that have quickly been taken off again when I saw one too many negative reviews. However, and I’ve said this before a few times, we all have different tastes in books so why do we trust others people’s opinions on books so much without trying giving it a chance ourselves.
How Do Reviews Influence Our Own Opinions and is it a Good Thing?
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I was browsing Goodreads the other day for more books I could add to my already massive TBR list, when I came across an “upcoming” release I’d almost forgotten I was waiting for. This book is the last in a series that I first read when I was still in primary school, and maybe that’s given you a clue as to how long I’ve waited but in case it hasn’t this is a book that was supposed to be released in 1999.
Let that sink in for a moment; I’ve been waiting for a book, the last in the series, for nearly twenty years now, and looking on Amazon the release date has been set to 2030. At this rate I’m going to have to get this book delivered to my nursing home, but it did get me thinking and I came up with this discussion topic.
Series Vs. Standalones
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Really quickly before I go into this discussion my comments appear to be being marked as spam by WordPress. If you could check and break me out of spam jail if you see any of my comments there I’d be very grateful.
Everyone’s heard the phrase ‘never judge a book by its cover’ before, but let’s face it in some shape or form we all do. Maybe it’s not as obvious as seeing a book with a bad cover and thinking ‘oh, this is going to be a terrible story’ but I do think, for me especially and maybe you as well, covers influence our opinions on what books we do and don’t pick up.
The covers are always the first things we see. You’re browsing on Amazon, or wandering around Waterstones and you don’t have time to look at every single blurb of every single book so you use the covers to help decide what books you may want to know more about, what books you will read the blurb of.
How Much Do the Covers Influence Our Opinions on Books?
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A few months ago I wrote about the types of relationships I’d like to see more of in YA books, and unsurprisingly parent/child relationships was the first one on that list. While the YA contemporary genre has a wide variety of amazingly written and developed parent/child relationship, in fantasy books there tends to be case after case where the parents are long gone.
After a while when you’ve read the same thing over and over again in the introduction, almost a footnote to the main character development, you start to wonder where all the decent parents are.
Where are all the Parents in YA Books?
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Instead of doing a normal discussion today I am going to use today to talk about NaNoWriMo and my current WIP. There may even be a few snippets at the end.
Spoiler alert, there are.
So if you’re not aware NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month, and for the whole of November people taking part try and write 50K words before the month is over. This is not my first year taking part, but it my first year taking part and blogging at the same time, and it’s also the first time I’ve written in a long while.
NaNoWriMo Update and Introducing my WIP
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