Books, Baths & Boobs- Recreating Bookstagram Images: Part 2

Bookstagram

Book & Bubble Bath

 

Original Instagram image posted by:  @pebblesinlove

 

Hellooo and welcome back to my epic experiment Books, Baths & Boobs, where I attempt to recreated well-loved Bookstagram features.

Today I´d like to chat about reading in the tub. Raise your hand if you´re one of those people who love to soak yourself in a bath filled with bubbles! I´m one of those people. In fact- Taking a long, much needed hot bath with bubbles and having something to read is a luxury of mine. Mainly because it´s the only time ( and place ) where I can find some peace. Where´s Mommy? In the tub and unavailable for the next 1-1.5 hours.

I love reading in the tub. I love picking a book ( could be a new release or a reread ) and to walk those few joyful steps towards the bathroom. I´ll grab a bottle of wine on my way and lock the door behind me. THAT is what I call a perfect evening. If you´re asking where the candles are in all this: I´m not a fan of candles.

For some time other book bloggers have been questioning the necessity and authenticity of these Book & Bubble Bath images done by countless Bookstagrammers. For me, I don´t see why these shouldn´t be done. All this is about creativity. Unfortunately- this type of bookish creativity is often misunderstood or not welcomed.  Me? I think whatever works for you will be accepted and will work for others as well.

Just recently I spotted this really pretty gem by Instagrammer pebblesinlove.

 

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Isn´t that pretty? And doesn´t the image just scream “Read in the tub, woman!”? First of all, I like that the image is in color. I have no idea how many or if any filters were used for this book-bath feature. Do I care? Nope. It´s a great shot. A shot I thought I´d recreate. How hard can this little book and leg peeping recreation be? I read in the tub all the time. Surely, I´d be able to get this done within minutes.

Here´s a list of THINGS I USED

 

  • 3 different shampoos ( for the extra bubbles and because I ran out of bubble bath )
  • 1 paperback ( Call It What You Want by Brigid Kemmerer )
  • My phone

 

My Recreated Feature

 

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I have mixed feelings. Nothing went as planned. What I thought would be a piece of cake ended up being a 1-hour literal pain in my ass. Either I´m too short or my bathtub is too long because I wasn´t able to work relaxed. What looks so effortless was actually hard as hell. I slipped a few times and yelled “I`M ABOUT TO GO UNDER!” to no one in particular.

 

My ” I`M ABOUT TO GO UNDER!” shot. 

( I have 17 of these panic pictures )

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Slippery Bookstagram Business

 

 

And then there´s the issue with my less than presentable ghost-white skin. Thank the books for those three filters because without them you´d all be blind by now from white skin. I actually had to lighten up the bubbles and over filter my skin or else all you would´ve seen is white and a book. Then the troubles with the wet hand.

The book hand was dry. The phone hand wasn´t. I had to put my phone down every few seconds to rearrange the bubbles because they kept floating away. If your phone isn´t waterproof then you might want to ask someone to help with the shot.

 

My conclusion

It´s clear that the only problem I had was with the recreation. After this little stunt, I took a few other Book & Bath shots and those took me less than a minute to finish. It´s not easy to recreate someone else´s work. Personally, I´d classify the Book & Bubble Bath experiment as decent. Not a full success and not a complete failure.

 

Would I recommend taking Book & Bubble Bath shots for Instagram? Sure, why not? If done correctly ( not like I did ) then they can be a lot of fun.

Would I do this feature again? I bow before anyone who does these features but I think I´ll stick to reading in the tub from now on. While it was great to try this out, it was also a little difficult.

 

NOTE: No books were harmed or sacrificed for this experiment. All pages are intact and still in immaculate condition.

 

What do ya think? Was the recreation a hit or miss? Have you done a Book & Bath Instagram feature yourself? Tell me your secrets ❤

 


 

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

XO´s

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Switching Book Genres

Reading slumps- You can´t avoid them no matter how hard you try. And trust me- I´ve tried.

 

 

But you can prevent them from happening too often. I´ve gone through all the household tricks to overcome a reading funk but none have helped me as much as a genre swap.

 

The good old mixing genres trick.

 

I don´t know about you but I´m that person who will get annoyed really quick when reading too much of the same. Thoughts like  “Uugh, not this again.”  or the occasional  “For fuck’s sake” will slip out of my mouth, along with loud groans and even louder sighs when I get to the stage of having read too many romances.

 

It gets a little one-sided when I stick to one genre.

 

As much as I love my romances I do tend to find them boring as hell sometimes. Yes. I said it. You read that correctly. I get bored with romance. I can´t, for all that´s pink and fluffy, stand to read 10 from-friends-to-lovers / from-enemies-to-lovers romances back to back. The same would be impossible with thrillers or historical fiction.

I bet you´re thinking  “Why doesn´t she just read a different romance?“. Good question. Not easy to answer, though.

You see, as it is with any other genre, there are sub-genres. Romance is just an umbrella term that covers all bases. I don´t consider sub-genre changes to be helpful because no matter the sub-genre- A romance basically stays a romance.

YA college romances carry more or less the same theme as a second chance romance do. Erotica novels are literary pornographies but at the end of the day, they´re still romances. It´s all about the drama and fluff. There´s a common goal. The only drastic difference ( for me ) is the writing.

(NOTE: This is just my take on the subject. These are by no means facts.)

So, in order for me to keep myself from slipping into a reading slump and to maintain a healthy level of appreciation for books, I swap book genres.

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I like to compare reading with having meals. If you constantly eat the same dish night after night you´re bound to develop a certain reluctance towards the dish. As much as I love lasagne I couldn´t eat it every day. As with everything else in life: overindulgence can have a negative effect. I guess you could spice up your lasagne nights by changing ingredients but that won´t change the dish. A lasagne is still a lasagne. There´s no difference for me when it comes to reading.  A romance is still a romance no matter the sub-genre.

 

 

For me, it´s all about keeping a healthy balance when it comes to reading. Switch things up a bit by jumping from romance to fantasy or horror then back to romance. This not only prevents reading slumps from happening but also gives a reader the opportunity to get back to their favored genre with a clear head.

 

” I´ll have a roomie romance today and fairies dancing in a meadow next week.” 

 

This “technique” has helped me loads.

 

I know book bloggers who don´t have problems with sticking to what they prefer and what they love. They read and review for a specific genre that works for them without giving other genres another thought. These bloggers claim they love one genre and one genre only. I admire that. I think it´s great when readers stick to their guns.

 

Of course, I could just put a book down and call it a day when I´m in a mood. But where´s the fun in doing that? I figured out that it´s not always a matter of needing a break. A simple genre swap can be just as effective.


 

What do you do when you´re in a reading slump? How do you get back to reading when you´re in a funk? Tell me your secrets. I´d love to chat. ❤


 

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this post. I hope this was somewhat helpful and if not, at least enjoyable.
Sending out many bookish hugs,

Have a wonderful day.

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Terrible Book Conversations I´ve Had

 

In an ideal world, we´d be able to talk about books and our conversation partners would respond exactly the way we´d want them to respond.

Curious. focused. Interested. And above all – willing to engage in a pleasant exchange. Much as the way we behave when someone mentions books.

We don´t live in an ideal world, though. And we don´t always have the opportunity to have great book chats at parties, coffee meet-ups, dates, etc. Which is sad. What´s there not to love about book talk? There are so many book-related topics one can discuss. Cover art/design, story, editing, Kindle Unlimited, Kindles, genres… You can chat about what book topic you like. There are no limits.

I´ve had my fair share of book conversations over the years. Some were great. Some were questionable. But all in all, I´ve had a decent amount of memorable bookish téte-á-tétes. And as it is with everything else in life – The negative often stands out best.

I´m an extroverted book person. I love to hang out with the people who curse themselves my family and closest friends. I love people and I enjoy meeting new people.

What I don´t love is to have conversations about blogging or reading. Why? Because more often than not I have bookish discussions with non-readers, with self-proclaimed intellects, worldly people and… with my mother. I’m a very patient and open-minded person. But certain discussions can literally drive me bonkers.

Alas, here are a few much-hated book/blog conversations I´ve had in the past years.

 


#1 `You… blog?` – with an emphasis on `you`

You´d laugh at this if you knew how many times people have said that too me. Usually, people say this with a confused and/or amused look on their faces. As if the concept of me blogging is totally bogus. At first, I thought it was because I don´t necessarily look like a blogger. But then again – What does a book blogger look like? I have the proper attire ( comfortable clothes and a mug permanently attached to my hand ) and I certainly have the unrequired qualifications. Is it because of my wrinkles? It´s true that the years haven´t been too kind to me but still… Is it an age thing? Or is it just me in general?

 

 

I feel a little bummed when people approach me with this because it kind of makes me feel out of place.

” Yes, I´ve been blogging for years.”, is what I usually reply with and quickly switch the topic. It´s not that I´m ashamed of blogging and don´t want to talk about it. I most certainly am not ashamed of what I do in my spare time. I just don´t want to make the situation more awkward than it already is.

 

 

 

#2 `Romance novels?!` – spoken in a high pitched tone

Yes, I read romance novels. I blog about romance novels. The shame. THE SHAME. * insert dramatic voice *

Look, I´m fully aware that the romance genre isn´t that popular. Not everyone can stomach so much fluff. I don´t blame anyone who doesn´t like romances because I truly know how difficult they can be. Love is complicated sometimes and people would rather like to lose themselves in something with a little more excitement. I get it. But that doesn´t mean others can´t enjoy romances. The most popular ( and most hated for me ) things people say to me during discussions are:
” You don´t strike me as the type who reads romances.” Your people reading skills have failed you this time, huh?
” I never knew you were the romantic type.” Oh, just shut up already. I don´t need to be romantic if I want to read a romance novel.
“Are romance novels still a thing?” Who invited you to this party?!

Then there´s the audible reaction- Laughter. As if the genre´s a joke. Weeeell, it´s just as much of a joke as any other genre, I can assure you. Ask me how amusing I find the battleship that was in your last book.

This is something I don´t like.

 

 

 

#3 `I thought you only read romance novels`

 

 

No. I never said I only read romance novels. I may blog about romances and read lots of romance novels but my tastes go in all directions, honey. You just made your own assumptions. You may get over the shock now because this isn´t a shocking moment. It shouldn´t be.

I understand that small talk often doesn´t give opportunities to get to know someone better. If those people had listened carefully, though, they´d have known I read anything that sounds remotely interesting. Fantasy, horror, thrillers, YA, contemporary romances, biographies… My bookshelves aren´t decorated with one genre only.

This is a clear case of I-was-only-half-listening-and-picked-up-one-word-to-hang-onto. Which is fine. But it´s annoying when people lock you in a lane and call it a day. Romance reader = reads romances 24/7. This might fit someone else´s bill but not mine.

 

 

 

#4 The `Why` Questions

 

  • Why do you blog for free?
  • Why do you read so much?
  • Why not blog full time?
  • Why put up with everything?

 

Sometimes a book/blog conversation makes it to the next step. This means that your conversation partner was interested and wants to know more. They start throwing more questions your way. This is a tricky step because in most cases the conversations change from light to melancholic. Because the answers you give don´t make any sense to them.

I´m blogging for free because I just don´t make any money. This concept is alien for someone when they find out your hobby can be compared to a full-time job. If I´d give my hobby enough attention then yes… I would feel the need to want to get paid, too. But I don´t so…

I read so much because I love to read. Again, this is something someone who doesn´t blog or doesn´t like to inhale books won´t always understand. “I like to read, too, and you don´t see me reading 2 books a week.” I know, buddy. I know. Let´s meet for coffee so I can give you a complete rundown on why I read so much.

As to why I don´t blog full time: I love blogging but I don´t love it enough to make it my daytime job. Truth be told- I´d be a miserable schmuck if I had to do this during the day. Besides, I love my part-time day job. I also need something where I´m able to distance myself from the virtual world. As much as I love to sit here and chat with you all I do need human contact once in a while.

Why do I put up with everything? By this they mean going online, writing reviews, hanging out on social media, chatting with authors, bloggers and friends, dealing with positive and negative feedback, etc. I do this because- Why the hell not? Why do people do what they do? Beats me. But if it brings them any type of happiness then that shouldn´t be questioned.

I can tell by the looks on people’s faces when they think I’m wasting my time with my hobby.

I don´t mind the `Why` questions. It´s just that, for me, it feels like I´m justifying book blogging and reading, and that´s what I don´t like. No matter what I say they´ll never understand so I avoid the next step questionnaire at all costs.

 

 

 

#5 `That´s not a proper book.` – My mother said.

I love my mother to bits. We´re nothing alike but we get along wonderfully. I´m the super mellow version of the atomic bomb that is my mom. So, you can imagine how different our reading tastes are? They´re worlds apart, and even that´s too close.

Sometime during my teenage years, my reading tastes changed. I began picking up comics and short stories. I don´t remember what possessed me back then to show my mother my newest purchase but I did and that earned me one of the most horrifying discussions I´ve ever had, including a painful 1997 powerpoint presentation on the books she deems worthy of being called proper reads.

A traumatizing experience for me. I didn´t like the book she challenged me to read. To this day my mother tells me I don´t read proper books when she overhears a book convo between me and my brother. The last book that wasn´t proper according to mom? `Political Correctness Gone Mad ` by Stephen Fry, Jordon Peterson, Michael Eric Dyson, and Michelle Goldberg. Oh, but the Laura Ingalls Wilder books are?!

I know many people who think someone´s reading history isn´t what can be considered proper literature. I mean, okay. Fine. You do you and more power to you. But don´t tell me or anyone else what´s proper and what´s not.
I have the “That´s not a proper book” conversation at least twice a year with mom.

 

 

 

 

#6 `You read too much.´

One of the few moments that have me coughing, gasping and sputtering- When someone just pulls out the `You read too much` card. The nerve. As if it´s a terrible thing to read a lot. Well, for some people, I´m sure reading is horrible. But I like to read. Telling me I read too much is like telling me I blink too often. Huh? Say what? Please, repeat that. And they will. Even with so much confidence that it makes you question them:
“Yeah, you read too much. You need to get out more and live. See the world and stuff.”

 

 

Aah, now I get it.

It wouldn´t help to explain that by reading I am seeing a world- One an author has created. I am living when I read- I live the lives of many characters.

But these people mean reality. Okay, I can do reality, too. So I start telling them this:
“It´s all about time management. I can get out, live, see the world and STILL read a lot.”

* Sigh *

 

 

#7  `Book blogging isn´t a real hobby`

Okay, one could argue over that. Some people think book blogging is a hobby. Some think it´s work. I think it depends on the blogger and how they treat book blogging.  I don´t continue any discussions on this topic because it´s pointless.

So, book blogging isn´t a hobby. What can be considered a hobby? A hobby is an activity done regularly in one´s leisure time for pleasure. Book blogging doesn´t fall into that category? Do I need to take tennis lessons so I can say I have a hobby? Horse riding? How about collecting stamps?

When someone says book blogging isn´t a hobby I would like for nothing more than to have a strong drink.

 

 


 

Thankfully, not everybody I talk to says these things or reacts shocked or appalled. Sometimes I have wonderful book conversations with people who are genuinely interested in my hobby. Sometimes a book convo will end with:

“I think what you´re doing is really cool.”  Thank you.

I live for these moments. It´s not often when someone thinks I´m actually doing something useful ( aside from my “real” hobbies, of course ).

Here´s to many more terrible book conversations!

 


 

What about you? Have you had terrible book discussions at parties or with friends? What was your best / worst book talk? Let me know in the comments below. I´d love to chat. ❤


 

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. I hope you enjoyed.

 

Much bookish love,

 

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Being A Compulsive Book Finisher

What a title for a blog post, huh? Sounds terribly sinister. It´s almost as if I see this as some chronic disease- The book finishing disease. Hmm, okay. Sounds more like a first world problem than anything else, to be honest. But hey- Trust me on this one… It´s a true struggle. I just never gave this much thought because you sometimes don´t think about these things, you know? Not until you see something on the internet that reminds you of a problem you once had.

I stumbled upon an article the other day with the title It´s Okay to Give Up on Mediocre Books Because We´re All Going to Die.  

The second thing that made me stop was the tagline:

 

`Life’s too short to force yourself to finish books you don’t enjoy`

 

I can advise anyone who loves to read to take a few minutes to read this because it´s truly interesting.

The title and tagline, both, had me thinking about my own reading habits. Do I finish every book I start even if it´s really not my cup of tea?

I was that person. I was a compulsive book finisher. I forced myself to finish a book even if I wasn´t feeling the story. And I know why I did it. I know exactly how this reading habit started, too.

If I dig deep enough I find that I can put the majority of the blame on book blogging, or with the way I blogged.

I wasn´t always a compulsive book finisher. But I quickly became one through the book blogging business.

To make a long ( a very long ) story short: Sometime during the first half of my book blogging career, I noticed I was reading fewer bestseller books and more books from indie/self – published writers. Not at all what I had planned on doing. This eventually led to me accepting ARCs and even beta reading for authors. My book blogging schedule was filled to the brim, folks.

One can´t be too mad about receiving free books, right? But one can develop an unhealthy reading habit by accepting many advanced reader´s copies & agreeing to beta read.

“It´s amazing how you can read three books in a week!”

People would say this to me all the time. There were two things these people didn´t know and still don´t understand:

 

  1. Reading an Arc isn´t always fun. It´s an exchange. You receive an advanced copy of a book and have to present a review afterward. Beta reading for an author can be even less amusing because they need your detailed feedback.
  2. It´s even less amazing when you don´t like what you´re reading.

 

It´s actually comparable with watching a movie or a TV show you´re just not that in to but you force yourself to keep watching because you want to be able to talk about it afterward. Only, you have no agreement with the actors or directors. There´s no one eagerly waiting for your opinion. You do have an agreement with publishers and authors, though. Even if it´s a simple verbal, via chat agreement- You read and give feedback. You pay attention to what you´re reading.

Skimming wasn´t even an option. Some authors wanted to know specific thoughts regarding their book for whatever scenes they wrote. Imagine an author asking for your opinion on the 67th sex scene and you can´t give feedback because you skipped that particular part. Dreadful.

This is when I made it my mission to force myself to finish every book I started. And that has stuck with ever since.

So, through book blogging, I turned myself into a compulsive book finisher.  No matter how awful I thought the ARC or beta copy was- I pulled through, all for the sake of… I can´t remember. Was it because I had a shining reputation I couldn´t afford to lose? Maybe because I hate breaking off agreements? Who knows.

Am I mad about this? Well, I´m certainly not happy. As it is with any unhealthy habit- It´s hard to kick. When I realized what I was doing to myself I pulled the breaks.  Because who in their right mind would force themselves to read a book they don´t enjoy?

 

 

Me

 

 

Even though I´ve somewhat freed myself from needing to finish every book I still catch myself continuing a book I´m not enjoying ( then end up finishing it because I´m too far in ).  As I said before – It´s a hard habit to kick. Sometimes I have no trouble stopping a book on page 50  and sometimes I don´t realize what I´m doing until it´s too late.

 

`Life’s too short to force yourself to finish books you don’t enjoy`

I wholeheartedly agree with this tagline. Books are meant to entertain us. We´re meant to enjoy what we read. We´re not meant to push ourselves through something we don´t like.


 


 

 

On A Kind Note:  I don´t blame self – published authors nor do I blame beta copies for my own stupidity. I made a conscious choice back then without fully understanding the possible outcomes. It was a mistake easily made.

On Another Kind Note:  I also don´t see being a compulsive book finisher as a life-threatening issue. In my case, it´s just another annoying habit. It doesn´t affect my life in a negative way nor does it keep me from enjoying other things. I don´t accept ARCs anymore, though. Same with beta reading.

 


 

Let´s chat:

Do you finish books you don´t enjoy? Are you a compulsive book finisher? 

Share away in the comments below.

 


 

As always, thank you for taking the time to read my post. I really appreciate it.

Much book love,

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Thank The Books It´s Friday

Hola, bookish family.

Guess what? It´s Friday…

squirrel fuck

 

Thank fuck, indeed. It´s been a busy one, I can tell ya that much. Reading. Thinking. Blogging. It´s no wonder I´m in desperate need of all those cocktails I pictured myself drinking throughout the week.

But nonetheless- I had a great time roaming the internet and reading all sorts of book-related blog posts ( more about that next week ).

Since it´s Friday I thought we´d cast all the negative shit from the book community aside and shift our focus on what´s really important: Enjoying a few days off.

My grand plan is: To have no plans for the weekend. Maybe I´ll do a little reading, relaxing and let my paper white skin fry in the June heat or maybe I´ll do none of that and just sit outside and listen to my neighbors threaten each other with the cops again.

 

 

As long as I have a cocktail to slurp then I don´t really care.

 

As for my reading options…

I´m going to play a round of `Eenie, Meenie, Miney, mo` with a stack of unread books. Hopefully, that´ll help me pick my next read ( because flipping a coin wasn´t creative enough for me ). I have 3 romances and 3 fantasies waiting for my attention.

 

sbc

 

Has anyone already read any of these? Are they any good? Make sure to drop me a line in the comments. I´d love to know what your thoughts are ( if you´ve read these, of course ).

Speaking of books. Remember my ramblings on book covers? Weeeell, I finally gave myself that much needed last kick and came up with a concept and even put it into action. Yay for me! One that hopefully works. What exactly my new concept is will be revealed next Thursday, so stay tuned folks. ❤  ( a little tip: One look at my blog menu will tell you everything )

I guess that´s pretty much it for this week. Lots of everything and nothing has happened. The usual, I´d say. And with that, I´ll leave you and wish you all a wonderful few days off.


 

Before I leave:

What are your plans for the weekend? Do you have anything special planned? Or will it be another wonderful time doing absolutely nothing? Let me know so I can envy you.

 


 

Stay safe. Have a blast. Feel hugged.

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