It´s Suzanne Enoch time, y´all! With all the Historical Romances I´ve been collecting over the years I thought it was time to write reviews for my guilty reading pleasures. Are you familiar with Suzanne Enoch´s… More
This blog post is dedicated to all the book bloggers out there who feel insecure, unnoticed, misunderstood or wronged by the book blog community. For all the people who just started out and to those who´ve been around for some time… I hope you know that
- It´s okay to feel frustrated or disappointed when something doesn´t work out. Whether it´s because you were denied the ARC you requested on NetGalley or your name wasn´t picked in a GIVEAWAY you participated in- It´s okay.
- It´s okay if you don´t have a private library or a reading nook. You can still consider yourself a passionate book person and that´s all that counts.
- It´s okay if you don´t have a massive book collection. You´re not any less of a reader if you only own 20 books.
- It´s okay if your reviews aren´t professional. You don´t need an academic degree in order to type up your opinion on a book. Nor do you need any qualifications to be a book blogger.
- It´s okay if you make mistakes. We all mess up once in a while. It doesn´t matter if you have typos/misspellings in your posts or if you accidentally collected incorrect info for your blog posts… It´s not the end of the world.
- It´s okay if you´re not like others. You don´t need to be a carbon copy of someone else. The best you can ever be is yourself. If you copy another blogger you´ll be a shadow- One among many. You are not one of many. You are you.
- It´s okay if your Bookstagram pic can´t compete with other Bookstagram features. Be proud of the content you upload.
- It´s okay if your blog isn´t doing as well as you hoped it would. Growing your book blog can be a tiresome process. Just hang in there. Everything takes time, a little effort and love to grow- So does your blog and online presence.
- It´s okay if you don´t belong to the book clique. Book blogging isn´t high school. You´re doing this for yourself and your following.
- It´s okay if someone doesn´t like your content. You can´t make everyone happy. Besides, that´s not your job.
- It´s okay if you´ve never been to a book signing event. As a book blogger and as a dedicated fan of an author, you´re still relevant.
- It´s okay if you haven´t read any classic literature. You aren´t worthless if you haven´t added Austen to your reading repertoire. You´re a reader with or without the old hams.
My dear Book Bloggers,
Always remember- It´s okay. There´s no wrong way to go about book blogging. There are no rules set in stone.
Everything has its advantages and disadvantages. A private library takes up space. If you don´t have a spare room then that´s the way it is. Your reading space is your private comfort zone. Does it matter if your pillows match your cat? No. I don´t give a hoot if your socks are a shade lighter than your drapes and that the book you have wedged between your new fluffy socks matches the bedsheets… So, there´s that.
If you weren´t approved to read an ARC then see that as a blessing rather than a curse. This might mean you can´t have immediate access but it also means you have more time to browse for other books. GIVEAWAYS are often a hopeless case. Believe me when I say that you and hundreds of others are going through the same ordeal.
Many things in the book blogging community are unnecessary and overrated. Find out what works for you and what doesn´t. The important thing is- As long as whatever you do makes you happy then you´re doing something right. If you want to try something new out then go for it. Succeed or fail. Learn from your achievements and mistakes. Read books that make you happy instead of reading what you think others will approve of. Include profanity in your blog posts if you feel the need to or keep things as clean as a whistle if that´s what makes you happy. Don´t let other book bloggers tell you what´s wrong or right. Don´t let them make you feel insecure because they think they have a picture-perfect online presence and you don´t. You don´t need it.
So, it´s okay if your book blogger life has some crooked edges. You´re doing just fine.
A huge shoutout goes to Jonny @Jaunts & Haunts for nominating me for the Sunshine Blogger Award! I´m sending you loads of virtual chocolate and giving you many hugs for even thinking of me in the first place.
If you haven´t already make sure to shower Jonny with lots of love because he deserves every ounce of it.
What is the Sunshine Blogger Award?
The Sunshine Blogger Award is given to those who are creative, positive and inspiring while spreading sunshine to the blogging community.
– Thank the blogger who nominated you and link back to their blog.
– Answer the 11 questions the blogger asked you.
– Nominate 11 new blogs to receive the award and write them 11 new questions.
– List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award in your post/or on your blog
#1 What was the last book you strongly disliked?
Oooh, that would be `You` by Caroline Kepnes. It was one of those books I completely forgot I bought but then spotted it again, got excited, had high hopes, then ended up being so disappointed that I had to call my mom.
#2 How does your star rating system work for your reviews (if you use one)?
I use a 5-star rating system for my reviews that´s hopefully easy to understand.
5 stars: The best book existing.
4 stars: T´was great.
3 stars: Could´ve been better / Could´ve been worse.
2 stars: Nope.
1 star: Nope nope nope nope.
#3 What are your favorite pizza toppings?
I´d say pizza with extra cheese and sausage. Or pizza with prosciutto and thick chunks of shaved parmesan. I would actually kill for a pizza right now.
#4 Would you rather read a great plot with mediocre characters, or a boring plot with amazing characters?
Since I would end up giving either a lower rating I´d say neither.
#5 How many books are you currently reading, and which one is your favorite so far?
I can´t read more than one book at a time. I get confused really quick.
#6 What was the last book review you posted?
The last review I posted was for Book Review: How The States Got Their Shapes – Mark Stein
Not necessarily a genre I typically review but.. a book is a book, right? And this one was worth writing a review for.
#7 Do you prefer MG, YA, NA, or adult books?
YA, NA, and adult books have ( more or less ) always been my go-to genres. Nowadays I´m not really feeling any YA love so I´ll go with NA and adult books.
#8 Is there a popular author you’re NOT interested in reading anything by? (Elaborate if you’re comfortable doing so!)
I´m going to team up with Jonny on this one. J.K. Rowling. I have yet to read one of her books. I just can´t be bothered. The world she created is probably great but it doesn´t interest me… like, at all. I did try to watch the movies, though. Paid good money to fall asleep 3 times in a row at the movie theater.
And Cassandra Claire. Although, I think she´d fall into the “popular author I´m not interested in reading anything anymore” category.
#9 What marginalized rep would you most strongly like to see more of in books?
Again- I´m with Jonny. I´d really love to see more LGBT characters in books.
#10 Do you listen to music while reading?
Aaaaaaah! No. * hides face * I suck at multitasking. I can do one or the other but never both. But when I take blog breaks I tend to listen to music. Does that count?
#11 Do you prefer book twitter or bookstagram?
Bookstagram + Me
Twitter + Me
I´ll go with Twitter. Lol.
That´s about it, my dear bookish Padawans. I hope I didn´t bore you too much.
Everyone. I´m terrible at nominating anyone in particular. Besides- Doesn´t everyone deserve a Sunshine Blogger Award?
And because I´m so original *snorts loud* I´m going to copy Jonny´s Questions. Don´t forget to tag me so I can see your awesome answers ❤
- What was the last book you strongly disliked?
- How does your star rating system work for your reviews (if you use one)?
- What are your favorite pizza toppings?
- Would you rather read a great plot with mediocre characters or a boring plot with amazing characters?
- How many books are you currently reading, and which one is your favorite so far?
- What was the last book review you posted?
- Do you prefer MG, YA, NA, or adult books?
- Is there a popular author you’re NOT interested in reading anything by? (Elaborate if you’re comfortable doing so!)
- What marginalized rep would you most strongly like to see more of in books?
- Do you listen to music while reading?
- Do you prefer book twitter or bookstagram?
Hello and welcome to another Mug Monday.
For this week´s feature, I thought I´d share my newest Mug addition: Cat mug.
Also known as my recent favorite piece of ceramic. It´s also the most wanted mug in the house at the moment. Why? It´s pink and a cat´s head is on it. I have two girls. You may do the math and imagine the mug war that´s been going on in my house.
Over a single mug. MY mug. * sigh *
Anyway- Let´s talk about books.
I´m not sure what´s been put in the water lately because romance authors have been releasing books left and right. Everywhere I look I see an author announcing their new releases or throwing publication dates out into the world. Tons of cover reveals are happening as well. Right now, all I´m feeling is a sense of hopelessness because I certainly don´t have the money to buy all the books that are coming out… at the same time. How cruel is that?! For almost a year I´ve been complaining about how quiet it´s become in the romance world and NOW everyone decides to release together.
In this case, I have no other choice than to read all the unread books I already have on my shelves ( I swear, book bloggers have such a hard life. lol ). In the mug feature you can see ( well no. You probably can´t since my camera refused to cooperate ) a few paperbacks that are just waiting for my attention. Actually- the whole shelf above my mug is filled with unread treasures from my TBR pile. I should be occupied for a while.
With all the bookish goodness happening lately, I can probably get to these and ignore every other new release. I just have to stay strong for a hot minute and keep away from the internet.
Fingers crossed I´ll be able to read half of what I aimed for. 11 romances and 1 fantasy novel.
That´s it for this week. I hope this Mug Monday wasn´t too snooze-worthy.
Tell me: What are your November reads? Have you read any of the books in my November batch? Let me know in the comments below. I´d love to chat. ❤
Wishing each and every one of you a wonderful start of the week.
Here are a few questions I´ve been asking myself about my blog.
- Why am I not feeling my blog?
- Should I change my blog´s theme?
- Should I just keep my theme and give my blog a decorative make-over?
- What about my weekly themes?
Was I asking myself these questions because I was slowly getting bored with blogging? No. That´s impossible. Or, maybe it´s not such a far fetched thought. Maybe, deep down, I don´t like my blog. I needed answers. I needed some opinions.
Over the past months, I´ve spoken with a few people about this little first-world problem of mine. People whose opinions I highly value. Some are book bloggers, some are internet gurus who´re basically married to their MacBooks. I wanted to know if they were able to see why I wasn´t feeling my own creations. I asked for each to take a look at my blog and point out what they think needed to be tossed. I asked for them to not hold back with their opinions on my design, my graphics, my layout, and even my weekly themes.
I was ready for critique. I wasn´t ready for a full-on bash parade.
What everyone agreed on was the header. “That´s gotta go.” Of course, I was butt hurt after having heard their critique. “You´re running a book blog. I don´t see any books.”, a few said. I immediately went into defense mode:
“The books are in the content. I have the word `book´ in my blog name.”
Which brings us to the next critique point. One that had me wishing for a bucket of Ben & Jerry´s chocolate fudge brownie ice-cream. My blog name.
” Morgana´s Book Box is long. It´s not easy to remember.”, three people kindly pointed out. Okay, fine. I saw their point. Not saying I liked what they said but I got the picture.
“What´s with the bitmoji images?”, a few asked while they took my blog apart. Well, that´s just a smoother version of myself. You know, sans wrinkles, dark circles under my eyes, pimples, skin discoloration, scars… Need I go on? Photoshop is my second worst enemy so… Why not use bitmoji, right?
Needless to say- There was a long list of get-rid-of´s. But why? All I asked for was for them to help me figure out why I wasn´t feeling my blog´s makeup. I took their opinions to heart. My ego was bruised. I bought myself a pint of cookies & cream from Häagen Dasz because I had an emotional emergency. I thought I´d never recover from their honesty. Be honest but don´t fucking slay me.
Six out of six people told me my concept was outdated. Copied, chewed up and dull.
“You´re basically doing what everyone else is doing.” * nod * So is everyone else. Which isn´t a terrible thing. You can only do so much with a book blog.
In hindsight- they were all right.
- Weekly blog themes work but they don´t work for everyone.
- Animated selfies are not the real deal.
- Blogs are personal.
The worst part, for me, was when all said they wouldn´t follow my blog if we weren´t close. Which says a lot, if you ask me. They all agreed that my content was decent but that everything else needed more life.
Yes, I´ve been doing this concept for years. It´s a system that´s always worked. Why shouldn´t it continue to work, you know? They had an answer for that, too. One I don´t want to repeat or else I might feel the need to get another pint of ice-cream.
I asked for opinions and that´s exactly what I got. Now, I had two options:
- Ignore the critique and suggestions on how to improve my blog
- Think about everything and maybe make a few adjustments
I decided on giving the suggestions that were given to me a try. Some of my friends had great ideas I´d love to try out. Maybe the harsh critique was necessary.
Maybe I have been stuck in an endless book blogging loop. Maybe I need a break. Or a drink. Ice-cream would be good right now.
So, with all that being said, I guess you´ll see some crazy blog changes in the future. It´s definitely worth a try. I´ll probably remove some themes, change my reviews, add some new features… Who knows. Maybe I´ll start feeling my blog again. What I do know is that I won´t be changing my blog name.
Let´s chat: Do you think your blog needs a make-over? Have you ever asked for someone´s opinion regarding your blog? Let me know in the comments below. I´d love to discuss this. ❤
As always, thank you for taking the time to read my blog post. I hope you enjoyed.
Have a wonderful day and don´t forget to share the book – love.
My very own personal junk comments- Oh, how I´ve missed them.
Buckle up, bookish Padawans, for this will be an enlightening part seven.
#1 Suggestions for me and my non-existent gang.
#2 A dedicated non-follower.
#3 How soon?
#4 The wait was apparently worth it.
#5 Genuinely special? Can you elaborate?
#6 I´m reading this wonderful comment at the ending of mine day, too.
#7 I´m always happy to help all of you… again.
There ya have it. My wonderful Spam Box Treasures, part 7. I hope you enjoyed.
Be sure to stay tuned for next month’s Spam Box Treasures, part 8. All I´ll say is:
Frank is confused.
I hope you all have a wonderful day. Don´t forget to share the book love ❤