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,

Book Community In Need Of Positivity

Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and WordPress… All popular social media platforms that served to entertain, educate, and give people the opportunity to escape reality, even only for five minutes. Social media has been a helpful tool for many in our book community, as well. It gives us the ability to connect with likeminded people.

Nowadays, social media has adopted an “If you´re not with us, you´re against us.” mentality. Posts are being analyzed and intentionally misunderstood. Book bloggers are being publicly shamed for not having a public political opinion. Lists for “authors to avoid” are making their rounds. It´s a special kind of toxic chaos many don´t want to be a part of.

Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and WordPress have turned into minefields. What was once an escape for many of us has turned into this game of Russian roulette. You just don´t know when someone will blow up. You don´t know if a random post about books and flowers will tick someone off. Every one of us has become potential targets and it´s time this madness finds an end.

People are purposefully avoiding social media out of fear of being “the next one”. They´re taking a step back because they can´t handle the vicious attacks, the anger and hate, and the accusations.

I´m still talking about book bloggers, authors, and anyone else in the book universe. Yes, even our little community seems to have fallen victim to the hate and it´s awful to watch how we´re virtually slaughtering each other.

It´s high time for some positivity in our humble book community. Even during an intense political movement, we´re still allowed to find some happiness on social media. And we should. Wouldn´t it be incredible to see something good on social media for a change? How about some bookish achievements? Or perhaps someone could share an awesome book related experience? How about giving someone ( a book blogger, a reader, an author, your neighbor, a random cat ) a compliment on social media? Sharing an awesome post from someone also falls under the positive category.

So, without further ado… Let´s start by remembering the basics of this community. The one thing that´s brought us together. The love for books.

Here´s a beautiful library. Let it remind you of all the books you´ve read and of all the book conversations you´ve had with fellow book lovers. How you´ve bonded over a mutual interest and continue to connect with people who share your love for books. We´re a community. Not a shit show.


Granted, this library isn´t going to feed starving children nor is it capable of solving the issues and injustices we´re all currently dealing with. But then again, we´re all not capable of doing that either when we´re full of hatred on social media.

I hope you all have a lovely day. Don´t forget to share the much needed book love.

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,

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,

Bookish Creativity – Making A Book Sleeve

It´s time to unleash the bookish creativity!

It´s time to (re)start my book sleeve project! 

You know what a book sleeve is, right? Those functional fabric pouches that protect books? The ones with all kinds of stylish designs that are mainly seen on Instagram or Pinterest? Yeah, those. Now, some claim these book sleeves are a must-have for every book lover. Personally, I think book sleeves are nice to have but they´re definitely not a must-have item. Especially for the prices they´re being sold for. 10 – 18 Euros for a book sleeve is not in my book-ish budget. I also don´t really feel the need to protect my physical books. But I still see the appeal. Book sleeves are cute. Sometimes a tad expensive but adorable.  

This is why I started making my own. I wanted to see for myself if the prices for these book sleeves are justified. I was curious to find out if these book sleeves could be easily made at home by someone who´s totally incapable of using a sewing machine ( like myself ). So, I started my book sleeve project.

The only things I needed were:

  • fabric
  • sewing machine

I have fabric. I have a sewing machine. So I began. And the end result wasn´t so terrible.

Not bad, right? All I did was take old shirts and an old comforter, cut them to the right size and sewed in semi-straight lines. Voila! Yes, I know it´s not perfect but I did the job. A book fits in each sleeve and that´s all that matters. I saved money! I didn´t save much time, though. Sewing these book sleeves took me almost 3 hours.

But this time I wanted to take things a little further. I wanted to see if I could ditch my sewing machine and use a different, easier technique. Cause let´s face it, I can´t handle a sewing machine. Not only am I terrible at sewing straight lines ( which you can see in the right picture ) I´m also afraid my finger will slip under the needle. I´ve heard sewing machine horror stories from people who knew people who also knew people, you know? Can´t be too careful.

It took me weeks to find an alternative- Hemming tape. So, I ordered a roll ( 4 Euros for 5 meters ) and when it arrived I went straight to work!

As for the fabric: I went for something simple again- Jeans and cotton. An old, last worn in 2001 jeans shirt from the hubby and an old pair of shorts I used for garden work.

The reason for the two fabrics is because I need something smooth and soft that acts like a puffer on the inside and something rougher on the outside. We don´t wanna harm our books, right?

After I cut the fabric to the right size ( which size that was, I don´t know. I go by eye measurements ) I cut some of the hemming tape and placed it on 3 edges.

( NOTE: The third pic has hemming tape on the top and bottom. I had to remove the upper stripe to create a pouch, which I didn´t take a picture of )

I used a paperback book from Devney Perry as it´s one of the larger paperbacks I have ( 22cm x 15cm ).

With everything cut and in place it was time to whip out the iron. Hemming tape is nothing more than ironing tape. It needs to be ironed between fabric. The heat from the iron melts the tape and glues the fabric together.

I know I´m not fooling anyone. I´m not trying to. My eye measurement skills suck just as much as my sewing skills do. That won´t stop me from continuing, though. The idea is to see if I can save money. Not to win the book sleeve of the year award.

This is the left side of the book sleeve. The part that gets flipped. No one will see my errors. I can totally live with that.

The next part was the easiest and most satisfying: cutting off the excess fabric around the parts I didn´t glue together and flipping the fabric inside out.

The hemming tape did its magic! The fabric held together. The only problem I noticed after having flipped the fabric was that I needed to do something with the opening. That meant I had to flip it back to the left side and use a little more hemming tape.

I´m happy to announce that the book sleeve project was a success! It may not be as perfect or as beautiful as the book sleeves offered on Etsy but it still works. I´m proud.

So, what did we learn today? You don´t necessarily need to buy a book sleeve. You can easily make one yourself with older shirts/towels/blankets/older pillowcases. Also, you don´t necessarily need a sewing machine to make a book sleeve.If you´re as talented as I am with a sewing machine then go for the hemming tape!

Time invested: 40 minutes

Cost: 4 Euros

All in all, think if anyone wants to pay good money for a handmade product that “protects” books then they should. If the quality of a handmade product is great then there´s no reason not to want to invest. Because that´s what´s valued. Personally, I value handmade products but it´s more of a “Do I really need it?” issue for me.


QUESTIONs OF THE DAY

Do you own a book sleeve? How many do you have? Have you ever made your own book sleeve? Let me know in the comments below. I´d love to chat ❤

Dear bookish Padawans, I hope you enjoyed this blog post. Be sure to stay tuned for the next DIY bookish-project!

Much love,