Thank The Books It´s Friday

Hello and welcome back 

to

Thank The Books It´s Friday!

 

Boy, what a week it´s been, huh? Makes me really want to sit back and drink a whole bottle of wine alone and just think about how peaceful life is… offline. Let´s bring out the Friday squirrel to celebrate the weekend, shall we?

 

 

And while we´re at it, let´s hope no author on Twitter decides to make ungrateful statements for the next… I don´t know… 5 – 20 years? Possibly never again?

I´m sure you´ve seen the recent book Twitter shit-show created by the ( to me very unknown ) author Elizabeth Bear.

 

 

A kind reminder to people who tag authors in book reviews. How thoughtful. How ballsy. How generally rude.

Of course, I disagree on so many levels with this statement. The whole tweet is just a load of bullshit. It´s generalized and targets everyone in the book community. It´s also not specific enough. Are we talking all review posts or just the negative ones? I haven´t learned the art of sniffing out the specifics yet so it would´ve been slightly helpful if the author had been more clear instead of presenting a limited and highly unprofessional tweet.

This tweet caused quite a bit of a stir in the book-Twitter community. Book bloggers, authors, and even readers stepped forward to voice their disapproval. I can´t blame them. The tweet was a virtual slap in the face. Oh, speaking of face slaps… After having followed the thread for some time I spotted something even more disappointing.

 

 

Neil Gaiman, too?! Bitch, that burned.

 

This is, without a doubt, a touchy subject. It shouldn´t be, though. For all I know, the majority of the book blog community isn´t fishing for praises, compliments or even acknowledgment when tagging authors in positive review posts. Tags aren´t meant to cripple authors emotionally or piss them off.

I mean- sure. Authors have the right to voice their opinions. Go ahead and do your worst. But if that means pissing off a huge chunk of the book community then I´d say that´s not the way to win new readers or keep the ones that´ve been loyal ( indirectly waving at you, Neil Gaiman ).

A piece of advice for Elizabeth Bear: Try not to speak for all authors next time. Also-socializing is wonderful but not mandatory. A simple mention in your bio would´ve prevented a whole lot of backlash.

 

 

Uugh. See? A royal shit-show. People, we´re not even halfway through February and there´s already drama. I recently made a bet with a fellow book blogger on when the next literary shit will hit the fan… My bets were on late Spring, early Summer. * sigh *

 

So what else is new?

 

Oh! I´d like to give a loud Fuck you, very much to my daughter´s friend and their mom for giving me and the kids Scarlet fever. I´m on day 4 with a temp of 39°. I feel like I can fry eggs on my skin at this point. To be honest- I never thought adults could catch the Scarlet fever. I was wrong. I was also wrong to think this would pass quickly. As of now, I´m sofa bound with nothing to do but snooze off a few times during the day from being so exhausted and suffering during the night. Yes, dear friend´s mom… I hate you with a passion.

I decided to go online book shopping tomorrow. Deep down I know it´s just frustration shopping but at this point- I don´t give a rats ass.  * purposefully ignoring the stack of unread books next to me *

 

That´s about it for this week, my dear bookish Padawans. I hope you didn´t suffer too much through this minor aggressive post. My apologies. I´m not feeling so hot. I´m actually burning!

 

Before I go: Did you watch the Twitter show? What are your thoughts on the author´s tweet? Should authors make such demands? Let me know in the comments below. I´d love to chat ❤

 

Sending out lots of health and great positive vibes!

Enjoy your weekend.

Much bookish love,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Book Shaming A Reader

 

“She read books as one would breathe air, to fill up and live.” –

Annie Dillard in The Living

A beautiful quote fitting for most book lovers. There´s just something magical about reading. Whether it´s a romance, horror, Young Adult or a fantasy novel… There´s always magic waiting to reach our hearts and minds.

The other day I had a lovely chat with a fellow book blogger about books. We covered everything book related. At some point, I asked about her current read. She refused to tell me.

 

“I´d rather not say.”

 

What?! I mean, come on. We´re not sharing intimate secrets with each other. I don´t want to know how many people you´ve buried in your backyard. It´s just a book. When I asked why she answered with this:

 

“Because you´ll just make fun of me.”

 

My actual response

 

If the book blogger knew me better she´d have known I don´t judge people´s reading tastes. Never have and never will. I would never want to make any reader feel guilty for the books they read or the genres they enjoy.

It was clear someone must have done this or else the book blogger would´ve been more forthcoming with the book title.

The book blogger, a grown woman, was shamed after mentioning her favorite books-The Twilight Saga – in an online book group. Book lovers book shamed a book lover?

 

 

I´ll admit, I don´t have the hots for the Twilight books. I read them. I saw the appeal. I never belonged to the fan brigade, though. I even watched the movies ( which weren´t my cup of tea, either ). But does that give me the right to shit on someone´s favorite books? Absolutely not. Anyone who comes to my house and takes a good look at my bookshelf will see the Twilight Saga– all four books. So?

I read 50 Shades of Grey because I was told the sex in the books was out of this world ( I´m a HUGE fan of book sex ). I ended up actually liking the story. Shit on my reading tastes, for all I care- It doesn´t change the fact that the story wasn´t the worst that´s ever been published.

90% of the books I read are considered worthless by all sorts of self-proclaimed book experts because they´re not ” proper literature “.

 

 

When someone mentions a book or a genre I´m not a fan of then I won´t shame them. Instead, I´ll just think  “Oh, so she/he likes vampire romances/smut/whatever. That´s interesting“. Because that´s just what it is- Interesting. Different people, different tastes.

 

It´s the fact that you´re reading that´s important. Not the book or genre.

 

 

From what I´ve gathered, many book people like to hold the “You´re not a true bookworm if you haven´t read…” card in people´s faces. I´m sorry, but YOU DO NOT have to read Jane Austen´s books or Kafka´s works in order to call yourself a proper bookworm. You´re still one if you stick with modern novels only. YOU READ an old ham when and if you feel like it.

This really ticks me off because the emotional damage these people cause is unbelievable.

There are popular and less popular books and book genres. Romance is the least popular book genre ( yet it´s the most profitable ). Knowing that will not keep me from reading romances. I do not read certain books for the sake of wanting to belong.

 

“Fools have a habit of believing that everything written by a famous author is admirable. For my part, I read only to please myself and like only what suits my taste.”

– Voltaire

 

If your passion is YA fiction then I´m more than happy to share the excitement with you, even if I´m not as passionate about the genre as you are. The same applies to every other genre or book.

Book shaming is such a shameful act. How highly these book people must think of themselves when they attack someone´s reading tastes. And how little they know about the effects their words have on others.

To people who book shame…

 

 

My hope for the future is that the book community finds a way to respect one another and their reading choices. This book-universe can be such a beautiful place if we all allow it to be.

After a while, the book blogger FINALLY revealed the book title she didn´t want to share.

House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A. Craig. A YA, fantasy retelling.


 

Dear book people,

Book shaming is toxic. It doesn´t need to happen. Instead of judging someone´s reading taste we should be celebrating the fact that we share the same passion- Reading books.

 


What about you? Have you been book shamed before? Do you know someone who´s been book shamed? Let me know in the comments below. I´d love to chat. ❤

 


Thank for reading my blog post. I truly appreciate it.

Much book love,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Book Blogger I Am

I guess it´s time…

For countless weeks I´ve been yapping about making blog changes. Well, I can proudly announce that I´m one step closer to the blog I want to be. A blog that represents me visually. A blog that supports my purpose as a book blogger much better.

After already making subtle changes I decided it was time to upload my blog header. This was without a doubt the most nerve-wracking part of my apocalyptic blog make-over. Why? Well, I´m showing my face. And I don´t mean I´m using a pic of me with sunglasses or an image of me taken from a 2-kilometer distance. I´m talking about ” Here´s my face.” So, without further ado… Here´s my new book blog header image.

Am I happy with the new header image? Absolutely. Even if I had my doubts in the beginning.

There´s a positive and negative side to revealing one´s face on the internet.

The pros

  • I´m not a complete faceless voice anymore. My followers now know who they´re following.
  • A face gives the opportunity to connect on a different level.

The cons

  • My followers/blog visitors can and will judge my appearance before they judge my blog content.

Even if the pros outweigh the cons, it´s the cons that can make blog life a challenge.

I´ve thought long and hard about putting my face on my blog header. At first, I was advised to do it. My internet guru friends convinced me it was the best approach.

You´re not selling books. You´re selling yourself.“, they said ( sounds a little like prostitution. * sigh * Oh well ). I agree. As a book blogger, it´s my opinion I´m sharing. I´m not a business owner who can advertise and connect my business with objects. It makes sense for a Café to have an image of a cup of coffee in its header. It makes sense for a barber to show scissors & combs/a mirror/products in a header image. That´s somehow a given. The visuals help to drive the point home.
But what about book bloggers? We don´t have much to work with, to begin with. From what I´ve seen, many book bloggers go for typical graphics or ideas. A stack of books, books & a mug, an open book, cartoon self-images… Which is perfectly fine. I´ve never had anything against what fellow book bloggers use for their blog headers. Whatever works, am I right?

That´s my problem- None of the typical images used by others felt right for me. I don´t have a flashy style and I don´t classify as any type. The natural thing to do was to think about who I am and what I can bring to the book blogger table.

That´s when it dawned on me that I have nothing spectacular to offer aside from my opinions. My words are my tools. I work with my tools. So, it made sense to me to include my face in the header image. Keeping things simple is the way to go for me.

The biggest challenge will be having to deal with additional judgments ( should there be any ). It´s one thing when someone judges a book blogger´s opinions. It´s another thing when you give people one more reason to judge something about you.

I´ve heard quite a few bloggers talk about the hate they receive for their appearances. Online hate for the stupidest things is real. Do I want to add more online hate to my plate? 2019 wasn´t the kindest book blog year for me, and that was without my picture. I guess we´ll have to see what happens in 2020.

As uneasy as this topic has made me feel, I don´t feel uncomfortable enough to not upload a header with my face on it. I´m all for giving new things a try. Should this book blog header image bug the crap out of me then I´ll just change it. Nothing is set in stone.

My idea was to use a header that represents me, my book blog and the content I have on my blog. No pink flowers or butterflies, stars, cartoon self-images, coffee mugs, books, or overly wild and/or cool designs could ever do that for me. What you see is who I am. The everyday me. The book lover who´s constantly tired. The 37-year-old book blogger who loves to wear hoodies 24/7 ( comfort is everything, y´all ). The book blogger who´s just your everyday plain Jane with strong opinions.

Me. The book blogger.


That´s it for today, my dear book-loving-tribe. I hope you enjoyed. If not then at least I hope any part of this blog post made sense.

Before I go I´d like to know:

How did you pick your book blog header ( or blog header in general )? What was your thought process behind your choice? Are there blog header images you love/like/dislike? Let me know in the comments below. I´d love to chat ❤


Many bookish hugs,

What I´d Like To See More Of In Book Box Subscriptions

`Subscribe!`

`Get your box of bookish goods!`

I like book box subscriptions. They´re a wonderfully fun addition in our corrupt and twisted little bookish world. The stuff you receive with these boxes… Wow. It´s book mail extraordinaire! And they bring us book lovers together.. in a way… in a way that´s unknown to me.

Jess @Fiction No Chaser published a wonderful post titled Why Are We Obsessed With Book Boxes? and in her post, she made some really great points regarding these subscription boxes. If you haven´t already I´d recommend checking her post out as it´s great food for thought. While I was reading Jess´s post I couldn´t help but think of the actual purpose of these boxes and what the included items do for us book folk ( aside from giving us temporary joy ).

Unfortunately, many of these book subscription boxes don´t have a lot of useful bookish items. At least not for me. I´m sorry to say that, despite all the bookish goodness being sent out in cute little colorful boxes, I find it hard to use 90% of a box´s content.

This doesn´t mean book boxes are totally worthless. I´m sure many book-lovers are 100% satisfied with their monthly subscriptions. I mean- what’s not to love about a possible book, fan art, bookmarks, tea samples, candles, postcards, fan bracelets, and whatnot?

From what I´ve gathered, most book boxes are little bundles of book swag and the highlight is a book. Possibly a book and a mug. The rest is just swag- Promotional pieces.

Possible book box content ( seen from various providers ) for 1 book box

  • 2 bookmarks ( usually author/book tied = swag )
  • 1 magnet ( swag )
  • tea sample ( loose tea or bag tea )
  • bath & body product ( ? )
  • fan art ( in the form of a postcard or bookmark )
  • jewelry ( swag or fan art )
  • stickers ( swag )
  • buttons ( swag )
  • A book ( limited edition, hardcover, signed paperback )
  • A candle

At first glance, this looks like a shitload of products. Things appear to be worth the $ 29.00 + shipping.

When I see these items above I think of their practicality. I have no use for the majority of these items because I know for sure they´ll land somewhere where no one will ever admire them. I appreciate fan art from a distance. Having it in my home, though- I´m not the type to display fan art. Same with book tied jewelry. I´d never wear it. Stickers and buttons? Meeh. Not for me.

I´d never be able to fully appreciate a book box (anymore). I´m clearly not the targetted audience. Although, I wouldn´t mind purchasing one or two boxes a year if there were items I could use.

  • A mug. Not book tied but bookish. Seriously, this is something that will most definitely get used in my house.
  • A book. I know-shocking. But sometimes book boxes don´t have books. Just book swag and other things I don´t need.
  • A journal/notepad. Book people make notes, too. Why not throw in a cute journal?
  • A reading log. Because, why not?
  • Pens. This is something a person can never have enough of.
  • Tote bags. Always a fav. They come in handy.
  • Book sleeves. Now, that´s something a few could use. If not for a book then definitely to keep fragile objects from breaking.
  • How about bookmarks that aren´t book-tied?

The reason why we´ll never see book boxes with these items is because they´d be extremely expensive. Another reason why this type of book box would never roll is that they´re too specified- Put together to satisfy my personal bookish needs.

So, here´s a different solution:

Why not offer a book box shop where readers can put together their own boxes? This could excite more people and engage a larger book-loving crowd.

Unless someone actually offers this type of book box to the masses I´m better off purchasing a book online and buying bookish items on sites that offer more than what´s in an overpriced box.

Willow Winters Online Shop is a great place for readers if they who to purchase bookish products.

`Let me drink my coffee and just read.` mug. & Book Lover Office Bundle

Or, if you need more selection you could always lose your literary heart over at The Literary Gift Company – The one place where you can find A.N.Y.T.H.I.N.G your bookish hearts desires.

I think you´d have to be a real dedicated book box fan and a fan of whatever bookish goods in those boxes to be able to appreciate everything.

P.S. 
The `Book Box` topic isn´t over yet! I´m sure you´ve noticed how I mentioned that book boxes are overpriced? Be sure to stick around for my upcoming post Are Book Boxes Worth Their Money? to find out if book boxes are overpriced or not.


What are your thoughts on Book Boxes? Are you subscribed to a book box company? Which boxes have you received? Would you order another box? Or, do you think this is bookish absurdity at its finest? Let me know in the comments below. ❤ I´d love to chat.


Thank you for reading this post. I truly appreciate it. Hope you enjoyed.

Have a wonderful day,

Much bookish love,

Morgana

Typical Book Blog Posts I Don´t Do

Book hauls, monthly reads, weekly themes, cover reveals, author interviews, blog tours, reviews, lists, How-to´s, discussions, creative posts, photography,… There´s an impressive list of things book bloggers can use to make their blogs a fantastic place to visit. That´s what every book blogger wants – To attract an audience with their awesome features. Everyone wants their work to be seen. Why else offer your platform to the public, right?

Just the other day, as I was sitting here rethinking my whole book blog concept, I thought about all the fun stuff other book bloggers do on their blogs- Basically the stuff I don´t do.

So many have monthly blog recaps at the end of each month. Quite a few have book haul features where they show off their newest book purchases and talk about them. While nearly 99% of all bloggers I´ve checked out basically do the same type of book blog posts I somehow can´t be bothered to jump in on the fun and do exactly the same things everyone else is doing.

 

Monthly Blog Recaps? They´re popular, sure. And clever, too. You talk about every post you uploaded in the last month and link each post to the recap. This generates more views by helping people ( who missed out on the posts when they were originally uploaded ) find your posts. Makes sense. I tried to include this feature in my blog concept but can´t seem to warm up to it. It´s just so chewed up.

 

Book Hauls? Another popular thing many book bloggers do. The main reason why I´ve never included a book haul post in my concept is: I don´t see the point. To me, when someone does a book haul post they´re basically showing off what they bought. If you´re anything like me you don´t necessarily care if someone purchased 10 books or not. The worst book hauls are the YouTuber book hauls.

 

Weekly themes. Hold up! I´m actually a fan of these although they´d have to be original to make me appreciate them. Once I see a Manic Monday, Topic Tuesday, etc. I´ll move on.

 

Cover Reveal Posts.  ( and this is coming from a book cover judge extraordinaire ) I don´t think these are necessary. Many book bloggers make a point out of revealing book covers for upcoming book releases ( oftentimes months ahead ). Some have a whole category dedicated to this feature while others reveal covers sporadically. This is just another boring marketing strategy from authors and publishers to stir up the hype. They´re popular but they do absolutely nothing for me. Think about what happens to these cover reveal posts after a book´s been on the market after 2 years. But hey- this is just my take on the feature. NOTE: I used to do this feature a loooong time ago. Too bad I can´t remember when I last did a cover reveal post.

 

How-Tos. Gotta love a helpful post, right? Especially the book blog How-To posts about How To Blog, How To Gain More Followers, How To Write A Review, etc

The reason why I don´t do these types of posts is that I don´t feel I´m in the position to give advice. Book blogging isn´t something that comes with a manual. This is more of a trial by error sort of thing. Because what worked for someone doesn´t mean it´ll automatically work for you. I get that there are people wanting help and that people are willing to lend a hand but at the end of the day, it´s still trial by error. I also see another problem with this: When you receive advice from a book blogger who already has a decent following you can quickly become frustrated when you follow their directions to the T and don´t see immediate results.

The only positive thing I can get out of a How-To book blog post is when it´s something for how to build a book castle ( or something like that ).

 

Book Blog Tours… * Clears throat * I hate to bring this one up again ( since it gave me a good batch of gray hair when I first posted about this ). Many book bloggers love to add these posts to their blogs. I don´t. You´re welcome to read my reasons in my Why I Don´t Join Book Blog Tours Anymore blog post.

 

My greatest ( and only ) goal as a book blogger is to be original. And by this, I mean adding my personal touch to my book blog. I want to be transparent. Show the good and bad sides but still include the essentials. Weekly themes are a great way to show off creativity which is why I would always include something creative such as photography, discussion posts and maybe something that´s associated with reading e.g music, food…

I´d rather have someone read about my bookish experiences and maybe take something from that instead of giving direct advice.

As for book reviews– I´m not going to lie- I hate typing reviews but I still do it because I believe it belongs to a book blog. So, I´ll continue to publish reviews. * sigh *

 

This is not me saying other book bloggers are idiots for using these typical popular book blog features. No. I believe everyone should use whatever they think suits their purpose. If you´re a book blogger who´s been doing monthly blog recaps and you enjoy them then I´m more than happy for you. Everyone has their own agenda, including myself. I follow book blogs who are dead set on working the popular features and I think they´re doing a wonderful job. It works for them but not for me.

 


 

What about your blog? Do you use weekly or monthly themes? Do you include any of the blog post features I´ve mentioned above? I´d love to know your thoughts on the subject and to find out what special features you have.


 

As always… Thank you for taking the time to read my post. I hope you enjoyed. ❤

 

Many bookish hugs,

Morgana