Lately, I’ve been seeing a lot of discussion in the bookish community about what’s ‘better’; buying books or borrowing them from the library. For a long time, there’s been this common misconception that being a book blogger or a BookTuber means you have to own a lot of books, preferably hardbacks. Of course, that isn’t the case at all and I’ve also seen a lot of people assuring others that you can start a blog or a BookTube channel with very few books (or none!) as well, which is great.
However, now it seems like some people have moved over to the other extreme: if you’re only buying books and not borrowing from the library, you’re doing it wrong. They might not put it in those explicit terms, but I’ve seen multiple tweets judging people for buying books instead of borrowing them from the library, or for buying too many books because how can you ever read that many books? That rubbed me the wrong way, so I decided to write a blog post about it. In fact, I decided to do so over a month ago and here we are now with me finally doing it. Story of my life.
Anyway. There are two parts to this discussion: 1) accessibility and 2) preference and I’m going to talk about both.
As most of you will know, setting monthly TBRs (To Be Read) is a thing in the book blogging world. I love seeing what other people plan on reading that month, either on Instagram, their blogs or YouTube. It’s always fun to see people get enthusiastic about books they really want to read.
I rarely ever set monthly TBRs for myself, though. However, lately, my feelings on TBRs have changed a little.
I was planning on writing a book review today. I haven’t written one in ages and in between all of those recipes I’ve posted recently, I figured it was high time for another review. So, I looked through the books on my “Read” shelf on Goodreads to find the perfect book to write a review about. But… I couldn’t really find one. I’ve had plenty of interesting reads recently, so that’s not the issue. I also haven’t been in a reading slump, so that can’t be it either. What is it that made me go “meh” about writing reviews on these books?
One of the many things I love about being a part of the online reading community is how you get a peek into other people’s reading lives. Stripped down to its bare bones, reading is a pretty solitary hobby; you get yourself a book, you sit down (or lie down, or stand – whatever floats your boat) and you read that book. It’s just you and the characters, the story and the world of the book. It doesn’t feel lonely at all (this is something most readers will agree upon, I think), but it is something you do alone, most of the time.
And then you go online and talk about that book you’ve read with other people all over the world who also love to read. I love it! I’m very lucky to also have friends who love to read and love to talk about reading, but I’ve seen quite a lot of people within the community say how happy they are to finally be able to talk about books with other people who understand. I just think that’s wonderful.
Before I started blogging I had never even thought about setting myself goals when it came to reading. I read what I wanted when I wanted to read it (apart from the required reading for my university courses). But then I discovered book blogging and Goodreads, and, a little later, the Goodreads reading challenge and a whole new world opened up before me
, shining shimmering splendid.
I’ve had the idea for this post for a while now, after talking about it with my friend Emmie from Another Night of Reading, but I’ve been kind of scared to actually write and, more importantly, post it, because it’s kind of a sensitive subject. Or, at least, it can be for some people, because it involves criticism regarding the portrayal of virginity in Young Adult literature. Oh, and feminism. Lots of people are offended by that. So, if you don’t feel like reading a feminist and critical take on sex in YA I’d recommend not reading this post. If you do, read on, my friend!
A while ago, Beth from The Quiet People did a post on her definitive ranking of the seven Harry Potter books, and I enjoyed reading about her choices so much that I decided to do my own post about it. I’ve never attempted to rank the books before, so this ought to be fun. Or, you know, the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do in my life. One of those two.
Spoiler alert: If you haven’t read the Harry Potter books, first of all: HOW? and secondly: this post contains spoilers. Seriously, if you haven’t read (all) the books and do still want to: DON’T read this post.
This is something that’s been bugging me for quite a while now – so much so that I actually considered writing my dissertation about it, but then I changed my mind/realised it wasn’t all that viable. The question at hand is: where are all the parents at in young adult literature? (you know, just in case you missed the title).
I’ve discovered two rough categories when it comes to parents in YA novels:
- The “normal” parental unit
- The problematic parental unit
I will explain these below, but first I want to emphasise that this is a rough division of two trends I’ve noticed and that there are plenty of novels that don’t fit either of these two descriptions!
Another disclaimer: the quotation marks are very important here! In my opinion there’s no such thing as “normal”, but unfortunately society thinks otherwise (but let’s not get into all that right now).
As a bookblogger, I cannot help but compare myself to others from time to time – as I’m sure we have all done at least a few times in our blogging careers (and in life). One of the things I’m always most baffled by with other bloggers is their reading speeds. How some people manage to read over 100 books a year is beyond me (and I know a lot of you do!). I barely managed to read 50 books in 2015, and I spent quite a lot of my time reading in that year.
So, I wonder, what’s the big difference?
The first thing I do after I finish a book is go onto Goodreads to rate it. I click on “I’m finished!”, look at the five greyed out stars… and that’s when the first wave of anxiety usually starts. What did I think of this book?
If it was mindblowingly good and an absolute new favourite (such as Throne of Glass), then the choice isn’t that difficult. Same goes for books I flat out despised (which doesn’t happen that often – which we’ll get to in a minute). But if it is a book that I simply liked, or even really liked, it can take me quite a while to decide upon a rating. I start comparing the book to books I’ve read previously to decide if it’s “worth” 5 stars, which is often like comparing apples and oranges.
It’s a real struggle, you guys.