That´s Bookish Interesting- A Book Trigger Warning Site

When people ask me what´s it like to be in the book blog community I always give the same answer:

It´s interesting.

Because it is. Sure, it´s great fun to mingle with the book crowd and read/review and “research” on social media…  There´s always something new happening in the book blog universe. Just recently I stumbled upon something that caught my bookish attention. A site called Book Trigger Warnings.

Book Trigger Warnings is a site that´s dedicated to readers who´re looking for `safe` books to read.

Aah, okay.

 

 

In theory, not a bad idea. Some readers are sensitive / get triggered when reading potentially distressing material. Also, this idea offers insensitive readers, who´re looking for specific triggering elements, a way to feed their needs. The site can be seen as a win/win for both reader parties. 

In practice, though… This won´t be a simple thing to manage. Especially in a world where close to everything can be considered a trigger.

I won´t lie- I have mixed feelings about this site or any other site that promises `safe` options. I also don´t see the word `safe` anywhere near books. I can´t say I´ve met an author whose first priority was to write a safe book.

I accept a reader´s wish to want to read books that won´t trigger them. But where does the trigger list start and end?

Another concern of mine is: Most books already have trigger warnings. These are often included in online book descriptions ( either provided by a publisher or author ) or inside books. To include more trigger warnings would mean to reveal more information about the story. From my point of view, this means we´re moving further away from trigger warnings and closer toward spoilers. Not that I have anything against spoilers ( spoiler fan here ) but there are people who´ll literally threaten others if they mention more than what´s been printed on the backside of a book.

 

 

I can´t help but think about what book trigger warning sites do for authors / self-published authors ( or won´t do ). It´s no secret that most are already struggling with the trigger topic. Because trigger warnings influence sales.

 

  • Add no trigger warnings = Some readers could get triggered
  • Add a few warnings = Some readers will be triggered 
  • Add a generalized warning = Some readers will be triggered
  • Add any/all potential topic as a warning = Some readers will be triggered

 

A triggered reader will most likely leave a negative review. Negative reviews have the power to persuade potential buyers. So, an author is convinced they have to include trigger warnings for their books to not jeopardize their book sales. So far so good. But what if I told you that half of the triggered population isn´t genuinely triggered? Maybe they just don´t approve of certain elements in stories and demand to be warned?

The bottom line of all the points mentioned above is: Whatever happens, there will be triggered people. And there will be negative reviews. These can´t be avoided no matter what.

I applaud the people managing Book Trigger Warnings and wanting to provide safe reading experiences for their followers. It’s a genuine concept that targets a certain crowd. But I´m having a hard time wrapping my head around this topic.

We´re living in a world where people aren´t satisfied with walking away from something they don´t enjoy/like/approve of. The sole purpose of a book has always been to educate and entertain readers. By creating lists with `safe` reading options we´re helping readers stay in their comfort zones and unconsciously pressuring self-published authors to rethink their ideas for their future stories/to work harder on including the right trigger warnings.

Non-fiction can be a challenging genre for some readers. For readers who genuinely become emotionally distressed- I think the Book Trigger Warnings site could be helpful. It could also work the other way around for readers who live for emotional wreckage. But I truly believe many will misuse the site and that will take its toll on the publishing and self-publishing world.

Of course, I could be completely wrong about this topic. But then again, there is no right or wrong when it comes to trigger warnings. It all depends on the individual reader.

Despite my mixed feelings, I wish Book Trigger Warnings all the success, love, and chocolate cake in the world. May their site be as helpful as they hope it will be.

 


What are your thoughts? Feel free to leave a comment if you agree or disagree. ❤


Sending everyone lots of book love!

Have a wonderful day,

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 Expectations

For over a solid month I´ve spent my time living in the reading funk world completely unable to touch another book or even think about reading ( Well, I was sick, as well, so….).

Book slumps / funks (or whatever y´all wanna call it) happens to us all, even the best of us lot.

I can´t really speak for others but the main reasons why I land in Reading Funk Land are probably the same reasons why others  land there.

  • Reading Overload  Blasphemy! I shall burn in Hell for even thinking this could be a reason.

 

one does not

 

Seriously though… One simply needs a damn break from reading once in a while.

 

  • Previous Books  Whether they´re good or bad, some books can cause major reading slumps
  • Time  Because ya either have it, or ya don´t.

 

But this isn´t about me whining about how unfair life is and why it can´t give me the strength to read at all times… This is about book expectations. Right.

My latest reading funk has exploded my personal reading funk record. In 3 weeks ( !!! ) I haven´t been able to touch another book. Why? Because the last story I read exceeded my expectations.

 

Weird, I know. Can hardly believe it myself with the luck I´ve had the last 2 years with romance novels. I can literally name a handful of books from off the top of my hat that have either changed the color of my undies / pulled the rug from beneath me / blown my mind.

 

I think the whole problem with me and reading is:

 

It´s not the book´s fault. It´s my fault. 

 

I always have high expectations when it comes to books. Call me spoiled if you like, but I expect to receive the whole package when I pick a book. Unfortunately, what I expect and what I´m 100% aware of are two pairs of shoes. It´s always a sad day when I come across a book that got my hopes up then shattered my dream of being able to add to my collection of sacred reads.

 

 

The latest private book discussion with my book bestie told me I´m too picky. That I also might be the only person who even has expectations for a book before reading. Well, after a half a bottle of wine I started questioning my approach towards books.

 

What would happen if I didn´t have any expectations at all for a book? Is that even possible? Isn´t there always something a reader expects before buying their next read? Is it bad to expect?

But then I dismissed the whole topic because of how ridiculous it is. Of course, readers have expectations!

Even if it´s something as simple as ” Okay, I want a romance. The book endorsements say it´s a romantic romance.” then I expect the book to be a romantic romance and not some early 90´s Peter Jackson splatter flick.

 

The reason why I can´t eat takeout while watching splatter films anymore.

 

Am I asking for too much when I say I want the whole bookish package that will most definitely reach my expectations? Is wanting a nice cover image, decent print quality, fairly acceptable editing, and a great / gripping story too over the top?

Well, I can easily say I don´t mind being picky. Books cost money and I don´t have it ( money, nor books ) growing on trees. But having oversized expectations might be a little too much for this time and era, considering how many hobby writers have the power to create a beautiful package and a less than great content.

Maybe having expectations isn´t entirely wrong. Perhaps this is a case of screwing down my personal bookish standards so I can avoid constant disappointments.

Either way- Let´s see what gems 2019 has in store for us romance readers. May the book Gods shower our heads with meaningful and deeply emotional love stories.


What about you? Do you have high book expectations?

Feel free to leave a comment below to discuss this gruesome topic. ❤


 

That´s it for today, dear bookish Padawans. I hope you have a lovely day / evening. Share the book love.

Banner name

On The 6th Day Of Bookmas ( Stealing Blog Content vs. Being Inspired vs. “Being Inspired”)

Book Blogger Problem #162: Finding out someone stole your post idea.

Author Problem #2: Finding out someone either stole or felt too `inspired` by your story.

inspired

Bah. It´s an endless cycle of frustration and resentment when someone else obviously takes an idea and uses it for themselves. I should know. I´ve been there many times before. But hey, it´s not like I can do anything about it, right? Well, I´m kind of right.

Brace yourselves for this one, padawans. I´m about to dive head first into a topic many can argue over. It´s going to get juicy. It´s going to get ugly. It´s going to be a marvellous mind blow ( Don´t be disappointed if your mind wasn´t blown after reading this post. I just wanted to be dramatic for the sake of… drama. I haven´t had enough drama lately and I´m missing it a tad )

 

Imagine this:

You come up with an idea for a blog post. This idea you have… your gut tells you your post idea has the potential to win the Pulitzer prize because it´s THAT brilliant. You begin to write. And you keep writing until you reach the 2000 word count mark. You feel all sorts of awesome because you´re on a roll and have so many wise thoughts and ideas to share. You publish. You go to bed. When you get up in the a.m you immediately want to see how many people think you´re actually brilliant. For some reason, only 5 people think your article was worth a like. Not a share. Not even a comment. Just a hand full of likes. Okay. You can live with that. Awesome. 

Fast forward six hours. You´ve had a shitty day at work. Your house looks like an atomic bomb exploded in it. You even have to cook because life demands that you stand in the kitchen and feed the people who claim to love you. Life even wants you to smile, whistle and hum the tune of “Oh Happy Day” while stirring pasta sauce. But that´s okay. You were brilliant hours before because you uploaded one of the best fucking articles that has ever graced the face of the internet. 

An odd nagging sensation urges you to check your phone. You do it. Why you do it, you don´t know but you still check your notifications and the other blogs you follow. And then you see it. Your Pulitzer prize post only flying under a different name, a different logo and… and… and IT HAS SO MANY LIKES!

It´s a shitty feeling when this happens. 

 

But hey…. that´s how the world turns, right? There will always be people snatching shit from under someone else´s nose. Whether it´s a blog post or a story from an author – No one in this literary business is safe from sticky fingers or grabby hands.

In the beginning of my blogging career I remember being butt hurt when I saw my”original” post idea making the rounds. 9 years later, I can´t seem to find the energy to get riled up anymore. Why?

Because I´ve learned a few things.

  1. Stealing blog content isn´t necessarily stealing. It´s often a case of “inspiration”
  2. “Inspiration” has 2 definitions in this community
  3. Stealing is sometimes just plain ol´thievery

Sounds complicated but it isn´t. It´s actually very easy to understand.

Of course, this can also apply to writers ( indie, self – pub and traditional pub ) but since I´m not a writer in the classical sense I can only speak for book bloggers. The ladies and gents I consider siblings from different mothers… and shit.

So how does one tell if a blog post is stolen or not? For a book civilian, there´s no way to tell the difference. These people just google what they´re searching for and that´s it. For a book person working the book mill… these posts are like flashing neon signs. Us book folk notice. We see. And some of us don´t like what we see.

“Oh, I saw that the other day.” 

“Book blogger X published something similar earlier.”

“Why is everyone doing a Sum – Up Sunday post?”

And some of us don´t care enough.

The problem is: There´s a problem that´s not a problem but it still bothers many. And the problem with that is: People end up feeling hurt and mistreated because of something they have no control over.  Hardly anyone can come up with original content these days. There´s hardly a way to prevent someone else from taking ideas and molding them.

There´s also no way to tell who started what and what came from where first.

I love to use the phrase: You can´t reinvent the wheel. Meaning: You´re bound to find the exact same idea somewhere else. There´s competition everywhere in every niche. What sounds great might be great and work out beautifully for everyone else. Is there a reason to feel hurt, angry or resentful? It depends. And are there ways to prevent an emotional breakdown and a possible blogger feud? YES.

While I´m positive that there are people out there who couldn´t care less, some people find it hard to cope with the thought of someone stealing their ideas. It´s best to clarify the true definitions of each point I´ve mentioned above. Ready?

  1. Stealing content- When you make a clean copy of  someone else´s blog post and upload it word for word on your blog without a shout – out / a tag / a mention / giving credit.
  2. Being “inspired” – When you see a post a blog post written by another book blogger and use that idea for your own blog post only you add your own signature to it. The blog post is slightly different but the idea stays the same.
  3. Actually being inspired – When you see a blog post and become inspired to write a branch out topic. For example: Blogger X publishes a “My TBR List” and that inspired you to write a “How I Got Rid Of My TBR List” post. Or, you take a post idea that inspired you and you mold and remodel it to where it´s unrecognizable ( anything is possible with 3 liters of Coca Cola )

See the difference? Can you believe it took me years to figure this shit out? Point #1 is theft and also plain stupid. Point #2 can be acceptable depending on the people involved. Point #3 is a safe way but still no guarantee you´ll be publishing original content.

I believe all is fair if credit is given. Just a quick mention, a simple tag will do the trick. There´s hardly ever harm done when you include a name. Blogger wars can be prevented with giving credit.

And if not then just ask straight up if you can use the idea. Just don´t steal. Don´t take an idea and claim it for yourself. That´s a dick move. This ever-loving book blog community is filled with people who want to be noticed. They´re hard working and oftentimes sensitive when it comes to their work. A quick show of appreciation never hurt anyone. Listen- I´m the laziest book blogger there is out there and even I manage to give credit and ask for permission when it´s necessary.

 

So, what have we learned today?

We´ve learned that there are no “new” ideas to share. If you want to stand out with your posts then make them stand out. Give your unoriginal material the spark it needs to light up brighter than everyone else´s posts. If there´s one thing He – Man has taught me then it´s this:

 

And if someone happens to steal your ideas or becomes “inspired” by your blog post… Try seeing it as a silent compliment. Because they wouldn´t have felt “inspired” if your work wasn´t awesome.

Should you fail to feel any type of appreciation from the questionable act done by others then you can always call them out. Virtual witch hunts are still popular.

Personally, I try not to be affected by the issue. Unless I see someone copying my Instagram theme. A book in a box. Honey- that shit ain´t gonna go down well without mentioning my name.

 

It might be good to mention that author´s have the same power to stand out and shine brighter than He – Man´s sword. But that´s a new subject for another night, y´all. Wouldn´t want to expose the uncalled for doings from holier than thou authors in this post. They deserve their own special spotlight.

PS: Apologies for not having blown your minds. It´s not that I didn´t try, though.

 

I´d like to know: What are your thoughts on the subject? Are you bothered by book bloggers using ideas from others? Has someone taken an idea from yours? Let´s chat. 

 

Thank you so much for reading this post. I hope you enjoyed. ❤

Until next time. Don´t forget to share the book love.

Banner name

 

 

 

 

Mug Monday & Booktube Thoughts

Mug – Plain white        Book Topic – Booktube Thoughts

Featured Book – Absinthe Of The Heart ( book #1 ) by Monica James


 

Welcome back to Mug Monday! I hope you all had a great weekend and a wonderful Monday, so far.

My weekend was fairly uneventful. Saturday I went out with a few friends for drinks. You can imagine how our fossil meet up ended and how badly I suffered on Sunday? PS: I survived. All´s good again. I even managed to drag myself outside for some outdoor reading!

mug mon
Book: Absinthe Of The Heart ( #1 ) by Monica James. Genre: romance

Marshmellows are my hangover cure. Just eat a bag and suffer shortly after for a different reason. 🙂

Needless to say –  while chit – chatting and enjoying colorful cocktails with the old lady squad, one friend asked if I booktubed.

 

 

To be honest – That threw me off balance a little. I mean, I book blog. Isn´t that sort of the same thing? Well, aside from being visible… booktube is the same thing as traditional book blogging, right?

Yeah, maybe. I wouldn´t truly know because I´ve only watched one booktube video in my entire life.

I can´t even remember what the video was about anymore. But I do remember zoning out after 2 minutes. Then I began looking at the messy bookshelves behind the booktuber. It was distracting to see so many unorganized books and papers shoved between the books. Made my OCD heart bleed something fierce. Since then, I haven´t watched a book blog video. I thought it wasn´t worth the fuss.

Our booktuber discussion ended just as fast as it started and we continued to drink our wrinkles away until we were asked to leave ( because the bar closed! Not because we caused chaos. Old people, remember? We drink and release the magic of the mascara thinner when we enter our homes so no one can witness anything ).

Guess what I did the next day? Sunday was then spent watching booktube. Because maybe I just had a first time bad experience, you know? So, I watched and watched.

A hundred book review videos later…

I came to one conclusion: You see one, you´ve practically seen them all.

And that´s not meant in a negative way. Far from it, actually. Most booktubers are lovely beings with great style. Some I just adored and some were a little on the shy side, not really knowing what exactly they were doing, but still cute in their own right.

But they kind of seemed like a faded copy of each other.

Is that what traditional book bloggers are, too? Let´s not answer that one or else I might fall into a funk, take a long bubble bath and force myself to finish my current read- The one I´m avoiding, atm.

Booktubing stayed on my mind all Sunday long. Because it´s a tad exciting. Eventually, I talked with a few book bloggers and asked them if they ever considered booktubing before. Everyone I spoke with said they never have and never would. The reasons weren´t shocking or surprising.

 

“No. I can´t. I´m too shy.”

“I don´t feel comfortable with people seeing me.” 

“I´m an introvert.”

“I´m not cut out for that kind of stuff.”

 

Okay. All fine. Totally understandable. If recording yourself feels awkward then don´t do it. It´s as simple as that. Not everyone is ready to leave their comfort zone.

Only one of my book blogging friends asked me why I´m not a booktuber.

Good question. To be fair, I´ve never given booktube a thought. I certainly don´t have good excuses not to become one. Why?

  • I´m outgoing / outspoken. An extrovert.
  • I really don´t give a hoot if people see me or not.
  • I have enough to say ( Oh, don´t we all, baby )

So, what´s keeping me from diving head first into Booktube Land? Probably the fact that I´d have to wear a bra. No woman should ever underestimate the powers of bra – less book blogging. Maybe showing general interest in booktubing would be helpful, as well.

For now, I think I´ll stick with traditional book blogging. It´s something I can easily shove in my already packed schedule. Should I ever feel the overwhelming need to show myself via video and give everyone some real book talk I´ll let you know…


Questions: What are your thoughts regarding booktube? Have you ever considered becoming a booktuber? Do you follow booktubers? Share your favorites. What would be the main reason for not going into that niche? Let´s chat!

Hope you all have a wonderful day. Many hugs and virtual kisses.

Banner name