The Art Of Pronouncing Book Character Names

Book character names– You just gotta love them. Even the ones you´re not sure how to pronounce.

As avid readers we´re often confronted with characters who have standard names. Whether they´re gender-specific names or gender-neutral… a reader has a good chance at pronouncing a book character´s name correctly. I mean, it´s hard to verbally butcher Dylan, Michael, Daniel, Gabriel, Cole or Samantha, Jessica, and Mathilda.

But then we discover a book that has characters who don´t have standard names. That´s when things can become tricky for a reader.

I´ll admit that I belong to those people who have problems pronouncing unique names, especially when reading fantasy. Usually, I just go along with whatever pronunciation I come up with and continue reading. My mental pronunciation of a character´s name is final no matter how often others try to correct me. I can´t help it. It´s like I´ve set my version of a name in stone.

 

Let the mental name pronunciation games begin ( and end )!

Fantasy authors love to give their characters that extra something. That particular sprinkle of special to make him/her/it stand out from all the others. They could be bold and fierce, beautiful, and deadly… They could kill demons and stare into Medusa´s eyes without turning to stone. That someone can´t be named Jimmy or Candy ( apologies to all the Jimmys and Candys IRL. Y´all are awesome in your own right ). The deadly warrior has to have a name that lives up to their reputation. They need a name that´s unique. So, what some authors will do is either take an existing name and tinker with that or they´ll play around with the alphabet- Creating names 50% of the reading population can´t pronounce.

From what I´ve seen, many of these difficult names often have the letters Y and H in them. Not to forget the hyphens, tildes, a slashed O, and sometimes an umlaut. For anyone who isn´t familiar with these letters or special characters ( for lack of a better term ), any name would be hard to pronounce correctly. It´s a challenge.

But do not fear! Not all authors leave their readers clueless. Some authors have pity with their readers. Some books have a pronunciation guide. Personally, I find this semi helpful. Most books include this little addition in the last few pages. Meaning: when the story has already been read. This means a reader who was unsure about a name spent 2-7 days mentally pronouncing a name wrong. The books that have a pronunciation guide in the first few pages are more helpful.

Unique Names Aren´t Tied To One Genre Only

Unfortunately, the fantasy genre isn´t the only genre that has difficult to pronounce names. We see this happen in romance, YA, historical, etc. Names can sometimes match the setting of a story. If a story takes place in Norway then I do kind of expect to see typical Norwegian or Norse names. For me, there´s no greater challenge than trying to pronounce a Gaelic or Norse name, especially when authors pick the most difficult name known in the history of names. The tongue twisters. The names even the natives can´t pronounce correctly. These names often leave me with no other choice than to come up with another name for the character.

Yes, I´ve occasionally given characters that had difficult to pronounce names other names. I´ve done this mostly because I was fed up with the guessing game.

Feyre, the main character from Sarah J. Maas´s A Court Of Thorns And Roses quickly became Fey. Just Fey. Feyre could be pronounced Fire-re or Fairie, right? The correct pronunciation, though, is Fay-ruh.

Laoghaire, a character from Diana Gabaldon´s Outlander, became Longhair. How was I supposed to know the correct pronunciation is Leery? Laoghaire looks more like Longhair than anything else. I´ve been calling that character Longhair ever since ( and funnily enough, no one has corrected me ).

It´s understandable why many authors decide on odd/unique/special/ancient/made-up names for their characters. These names aren´t easy to forget. They leave a lasting impression. Of course, this leaves me with a whole lot of questions for authors. Questions that´ll most likely stay unanswered. But that´s okay. I don´t really need to know why some names exist. I also don´t need to know if authors expect their readers to come up with the correct pronunciation from the get-go. Still, I wonder….

So, what´s the best way to go about this issue? I have no clue. I´ll stick with doing what I´ve always done.


What about you? Can you relate? Do you occasionally have problems pronouncing book character names? Which name has been the most difficult to pronounce? Let me know in the comments below. I´d love to chat. ❤


Thank you for reading my blog post. I totally appreciate it.

Feel hugged,

10 Bookish Memes That Will Brighten Your Day

What would our small book universe be without bookish memes? Probably only half as great.

The bookish memes below are what I would classify as “It´s funny ’cause it´s true.” because… well, they hit so close to home ( don´t all book memes? ). They express moments we´ve either felt, thought, or lived through.

Alas, here are my 10 favorite bookish Memes that´ll hopefully brighten your day.

#1 That Dreadful Moment...

#2 Word.

#3 Marie, who hurt you?!

#4 Naaw, the good old days.

#5 The pain is real, folks.

#6 YES!

#7 They forgot the re-read option.

#8 Sometimes it´s the combination of reading all night and wine.

#9 I know the feeling.

#10 But ONLY just in case.


Out of all 10 memes #5 is my all time favorite.

What about you? Which of these bookish memes can you most relate to? Let me know in the comments below. I´d love to chat ❤


Thank you for reading this blog post. I hope you enjoyed.

Much bookish love,

Thank The Books It´s Friday

I´m telling you – All I´ve done since Wednesday was sing Friday I´m In Love from the Cure. Not that Friday´s have any emotional meaning anymore these days but… I needed a Friday this week. And now it´s Friday. 

I´d rather not bore you to death with what´s been going on in my personal life. I have nothing to share other than the hardships of homeschooling and how I´m desperately trying to ignore social media. If I received a dime for every Covid – 19 conspiracy post I´ve seen I´d be rich by now. Or posts from people who virtually protest against face masks.

It´s been very difficult for me not to leave a comment on these genius posts published by some of the world´s unskilled thinkers.

Then the news about Stephanie Meyer´s Midnight Sun ( Twilight #5 ) finally reached my shores. 

Really? The author already tried beating a dead horse before with her Life and Death: Twilight Reimagined 10th-year anniversary release. Is she trying to make sure the poor bastard stays dead? Because it can´t die twice. Neither can the story make a comeback twice. Especially when it´s the same story told from a different point of view. It´s clear the author is trying to milk the (equally dead) cash cow.

I know I shouldn´t think poorly of authors trying to make a buck but can anyone fault me for thinking this way when seeing this?

$ 14 .99 for a Kindle copy? Is the secret of life in there or are readers just getting Edward´s POV? Rumor had it some many moons ago that this story had been leaked and that pissed the author off so bad that she refused to ever publish it. Talk about a mind change. This is the most ridiculous thing I´ve seen in ages. I think you´d have to be a die-hard fan of the books to spend that much money on a Kindle copy. Twilight Rant Over.

So, what else is new? I´ve ruined two shirts while doing some more bookish art recreations. Note to myself ( and everyone else ): Black color should be applied with a full bodysuit. The post that goes with this experience will be published very soon.

Anything else? Not really. Just lots of personal stuff that everyone else is probably doing as well. Gardening, spring cleaning, some more spring cleaning, staring holes in the air, wondering when my hands started looking old, and reading.

Oh yes, I almost forgot the most important part of this post: The books I´ve read.

I managed to break my personal reading record. 4 books this week. Granted, the longest book only had 232 pages but that´s not the point. I started and finished 4 books. Am I proud? You bet! If this lockdown continues I´m probably going to end up setting myself some quirky reading challenges. Something like How many 250 page novels can I read in a week? How many short stories can I read? How many books can I skim without missing too much of the plot?

I think it´s best to end here before I start getting any more weird ideas.


But before I go I´d like to know:

What are your thoughts on the Twilight addition? Are you excited or are you wishing the author would just move on to something new? What´s been your highlight this week? Let me know in the comments below. I´d love to chat. ❤


Wishing each and every book lover a wonderful weekend filled with lots of reading and relaxing.

9 Bookish Images That Mirror My Life

Sometimes book memes fit a book lover´s life situation to the T. They feel personal because book people can mostly identify themselves with a quote, a joke, or even simple yet hilarious facts.

While some book memes are truly great they still don´t capture the visual reality of a book lovers life. Words can be powerful but images show that power. Hence the reason for this post.

The other day I found a few images on Pinterest that, more or less, mirror my life as a book lover. I´m sure these images hit close to home for many other book fans but for me they, oddly enough, feel personal. As if someone had taken photographs of me, my life situation and my surroundings.



#1 Reading In Public

There are people who can read in public. There are people who can´t. I had a friend once who told me he could easily snap his full attention to a book no matter where he was or in what situation he was in. Much to my delight, we had/have that in common. I´m one of those people who can block everything out the moment I start reading a book. I´m good at squeezing 1-2 pages in when I have some time off, too. This image reminds me of all the times I sat in an overcrowded train but never feeling people around me. Once my nose is stuck in a book I don´t really see anything else around me.

#2 Reading Barefoot By A Window

This Pinterest gem is not me doing some fancy book-shot for my nonexistent bookstagram following. It could be, though. This is basically me on any given day- Feet propped up near a window, holding a book and balancing a mug in my lap. Why the window? Because the lighting is great and when the sun shines through I can enjoy the warmth ( I´m always freezing ).

#3 Bathroom Reading Sessions

Many parents will be able to relate to this image. I certainly can. I can´t tell you how often I sat on the edge of the bathtub with a book in my hands while one of my daughters sat on the loo. Although the bathroom isn´t an ideal place to read to your kids ( especially while they´re getting business done ) I didn´t really mind that much. They couldn´t read when they were younger and toilet visits were boring * shoulder shrug *. The only thing missing in this image: Cookies. Thankfully, they´re both old enough now to read themselves.

#4 Reading In Bed

It´s as if someone snuck into my bedroom and took a pic of my bedside! This image is so relatable because, I too, have a bed filled with books and magazines. What can I say? I´m a dedicated bed-reader. And God forbid when I´m working on a blog post…. Then we can add journals and notepads into the mix. I´m kind of surprised my husband hasn´t moved into another room yet.

#5 Window Book Shopping

Again, this isn´t me. But it´s someone checking out books from the sidewalk. I am so guilty of doing this. I´m even guilty for doing the exact same pose ( leaning forward to get a better look ). When I see this image I can´t help but smile because I have a few pics of myself doing the same thing. Sometimes you just have to stop to take a look. And with enough will power you can resist going inside and spend 5 hours looking for the perfect read. That was a joke. Of course, this is just the warm-up pose before entering the book store.

#6 The Overloaded Shopping Cart

The book stores in my neck of the woods don´t have shopping carts but if they did mine would definitely look like the one in the image. I wish my book store had shopping carts, though. Would make my life so much easier than having to hold 8 books in my arms before deciding to only buy 2.

#7 The Car Reader

I´m a car reader through and through. I love reading a book on road trips, when driving to the grocery store ( gotta squeeze in those 1-3 pages. And no, I don´t read & drive. I read when hubby drives ) or even when hubby and I are invited to a party… I´ll have a book in my purse and will read until we reach our destination. When I saw this image I remembered all those glorious moments of being able to finish that last chapter.

#8 Surrounded By Books

No, I´ve never been in a room that looks like the one in the image. But I sometimes feel like I am. Especially when I´m in a book store. This goes back to me being able to forget my surroundings when I start reading a book.

#9 Reading Hours

When my girls were in first grade the teachers looked for volunteers to read to the children during recess on rainy days. I wasn´t so hot on being on “reading duty call” but my daughters begged me to sign up. I did and spent a good school year reading to first graders more than once. I have fond memories of those days, especially of one kid who constantly fell asleep ( I probably bored him to death or he just missed nap time ). This picture reminds me so much of that time.


Those were 9 bookish images that mirror my life. But what about you?

Can you relate to any of these images? Let me know in the comments below. I´d love to chat. <3


Thank you for reading my post. I hope you enjoyed.

I hope you have a wonderful bookish day,

Much love,

Are Book Boxes Worth Buying?

 

A few posts back I wrote a blog post on What I´d Like To See More Of In Book Boxes where I more or less give insight on what book subscription boxes are and why they don´t work for me. I also touched upon the fact that these magical boxes of bookish goods are a little expensive, which will be the main focus in this blog post-

 

Are Book Boxes Worth Buying?

 

Well? Are they? The short answer is- It depends on who´s buying. Personally, I think they´re overpriced, regardless of where you´re ordering from. Domestic orders aren´t as expensive as international orders ( damn those high shipping fees ) but they´re still not so cheap. With the majority of book box subscription providers wanting $29.99 per box, I´d say that´s just a * cough cough * rip off.

 

 

But that´s just my opinion. Of course, what I think isn´t world-shattering.

As I´ve mentioned in my other blog post, I´m not against these book box subscriptions. In a nutshell, the idea is fantastic. You pick & subscribe to a one month/6 month / 12-month book box plan and receive your monthly goods. It´s like seeing a beautiful shining object you can´t resist. The only problem I have is that the items in these boxes aren´t worth the amount they´re being sold for.

Let´s break this down a little to help paint out the picture a little better.

1 Book Box – $29.99 + shipping ( within the U.S. )

Contents of each box can vary but mainly consist of

  • book swag ( bookmarks, pins, magnets, pens, keychains, stickers, buttons, etc )
  • 1 paperback copy
  • samples of tea/cocoa, etc
  • a candle
  • item related to paperback
  • book/genre bound jewelry

Again- these items are usually in book boxes. Oftentimes boxes have fewer knick-knacks or are theme bound ( a fairy box, a bass-ass Heroine themed box, magical box, YA box ). Also, some boxes have mugs, fan art, or stationery sets ( depending on the box ). But for the sake of keeping this simple, we´ll just stick with what I´ve listed above.

So, with knowing this we can start to break down what these items are and where they come from.

  • book swag = often provided by an author
  • paperback = provided by author / publisher
  • jewelry = author/Etsy shop owner
  • candles = Esty shop owners
  • samples of tea & Co. = Etsy, Indie companies

While there is absolutely nothing wrong with these items and the sources they come from… there is something wrong with the calculation. Things just don´t add up.

Swag is basically an advertisement. An author spends money on giveaway items to give away. For free. These items, in turn, travel and therefore bring awareness to their brand/name/book. Not every author says ” If you´d like my swag then it´ll cost you.” ( more about that topic in a future post )

Etsy shop owners who offer their creativity for these book box companies are also investing to make money. They use this outlet as a form of making people aware of their products ( unless they sell their products to book box companies. That´s also a possibility ).

 

 

Now, the most valuable product in these boxes would be the physical book. Let that cost around 12 – 20 smackers ( I´m being generous here ).

Wouldn´t it be easier and cheaper to order a book online? I can buy 2-3 paperback books for the price of one subscription box.

According to my calculations, each book box should cost little to nothing ( since most of the items are author donations and come from smaller business owners ). I´m talking peanuts/buttons/pennies… Sadly, it doesn´t work that way. There is more to this. Because I can´t imagine a company working for free, no matter what they say.

What am I paying for when a book box mainly consists of free stuff? $29.99 would be a tad excessive for a book and shipping, wouldn´t you agree? ´Cause, you know, swag is supposed to be free.

The truth is- You´re paying for the packaging. The box and every little detail that´s printed on it. One should also consider storage ( if one is used ). Common sense tells me that I´m not far off by thinking most of them are actually making some sort of profit out of all this. Why bother otherwise? Once fix costs are covered then there will definitely be some leftover amount.

Now, for shits and giggles- Let´s imagine I´m way off the charts with this topic. Let´s say that book subscription providers spend money on every single item in their boxes. Things still wouldn´t add up. Then the book box they´re selling would be too cheap and therefore, these providers would drown in debt sooner rather than later. So, there has to be a financial gain in order to continue.

I know this is a lot of information to process at once. It´s a little confusing if you don´t lay out everything neatly. Let´s get back to my original question:

Are Book Boxes Worth Buying?

I´d say they aren´t worth the money. You´re basically paying someone to put a sample pack together that so happens to include a book. You´re paying high shipping costs ( especially international people ) to get a box filled with items you could easily get in a store or at an author signing. You´re paying for the book, regardless. Might as well save some money and order the book online or purchase it in a bookstore.

What about limited stuff? Collector items? Sometimes book boxes come with cool objects. I guess one could treat the goodies that come in these packages as collector items. But then again, we´d have to go back to the “what is the value of these items” and all that. Unless an item is a one of a kind / never to be produced again object then chances are – There´s little to no worth, other than emotional value. That´s not nearly worth 30 bucks + shipping for me.

All in all, book boxes aren´t really as worthy as they appear to be. At least not for me.

 

 

Despite my reluctance to see the beauty in all this I still understand why these book boxes are appealing to others. I get it. And I would never disrespect anyone by saying they´re fools for investing their hard-earned money in these magical bookish boxes. To each is their own. ❤ It´s still interesting to lay all the details out and see if I´m getting my money’s worth.

On a kind note: Not every book box company functions the same way. Just the majority. Should you feel you´re getting your money´s worth with the subscription you´ve signed up with then I´m happy for you.

 

What about you? Are you subscribed to a book box? What are your fav/least favorite items? Do you think the book boxes are worth the money? Let me know in the comments below. I´d love to chat. ❤

 

That´s it for now, my dear bookish Padawans. I hope you enjoyed this blog post. Be sure to hit the like button if you did ❤

See ya next time!

Much book – love,