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Tag: Thursday Thoughts

Thursday Thoughts: eReaders

Thursday Thoughts: eReaders

Thursday Thoughts Soooo this week’s Thursday Thoughts is actually a different one, namely Cover Changes. A while ago I wrote a post on book covers so I’d like to direct you to that.

This week, instead of talking about covers again, I’ll be going back to an old Thursday Thoughts topics that I missed (because I wasn’t participating yet back in May): eReaders.

Do you own an eReader (or a tablet that you read on)? Do you prefer eReaders or physical books and why? Do you think it is wise to invest in an eReader? If you could only read physical books or an eReader for the rest of your life, which would you choose and why?

I own a Kindle and I love it. I wrote a post about my Kindle experience shortly after I got it, back in 2011. Now, three years later, I still absolutely adore it.

Sure, I prefer physical books. They are pretty and collectable, and the reading experience is different. I love reading physical books and I own more physical books than I want to think about and I’m totally in denial about it

But when travelling, physical books are incredibly inconvenient! Heavy and they take up space… and when you expect to finish your book you have to bring more than one, which is more space and weight and what if you didn’t bring an extra book? What will you read?! *panics* Back in the days we had no choice but to bring physical books on vacation. If you weren’t in the mood for a book: sucks. And if you ran out of books to read, you ran out. Too bad, and then you’d spend the rest of the vacation suffering infinite boredom (or perhaps these were just the vacations of my childhood).

These days however, I rarely even consider bringing physical books and I usually only bring my Kindle. Because a) the Kindle is light-weight and conveniently sized and b) there’s so many books on my Kindle that there will always be something I want to read!

Would I recommend buying an eReader? YES! At least… if you read fiction or other linear literature. While I’m sure there are ereaders out there that handle reference works and text books better, the Kindle for sure doesn’t. For example, in that post I wrote in 2011 about the Kindle, I mentioned reading PDFs on it. Well… reading PDFs is a pain on the Kindle 3G. And imagine browsing a text book! Nope nope nope…

Thursday Thoughts: Advanced Reader Copies (ARCs)

Thursday Thoughts: Advanced Reader Copies (ARCs)

Thursday Thoughts

As a blogger, YouTuber or generally bookish person, have you ever received an ARC? Did you request it or did they reach out to you? What advice regarding ARCs would you give to bloggers/reviewers who are just starting out? Do you have a preference between physical ARCs and eARCs? Do you have a specific plan or technique you go by in order to stay organized when it comes to reading and reviewing ARCs?

I have received a few ARCs. Most of them through Netgalley (eARCS), a few physical ARCs in Goodreads giveaways*, and a few from authors. I have not received physical ARCs from publishers (at least not with the obligation to review).

For me, reading is first and foremost a hobby, something I do for fun and most of all to relax. That’s why, to be honest, I am careful with ARCs. The point of ARCs is that, in return for receiving them, you write a review. They can feel like a chore if you’re not into the book or if the book is a let-down. No matter what, you still have to write something sensible about the book. Personally, I am a serious mood reader, so I make sure not to request too many ARCs, and to only request ARCs for books that I am genuinely interested in. I have no intention to get drowned in ARCs when my shelf is full of books that I desperately want to read as well. That’s why I’m 100% okay with not being on any publisher’s list for physical ARCs (my blog is too small anyway).

Don’t get me wrong, I do review ARCs, for a few reasons. For one, there are books out there that I am really looking forward to and receiving an ARC helps both me and the publisher 😉 But another reason is that I might simply want to promote the books. For example, I specifically request ARCs in the LGBT genre because I want to promote the genre as a whole. Same goes for Japanese literature.

My only technique for ARCs is: read them asap. In other words, read them when I’m still excited about them. If I don’t, they soon become this big thing that I keep procrastinating on XD

My tips for (new) bloggers
ARCs can feel a bit intimidating. I found it hard to start, personally. So here are some tips:

  1. My experience was that Netgalley is the best place to begin. It’s easy to navigate without getting overwhelmed, and very user-friendly.
  2. Make sure to have some content on your blog, reviews included, before you start requesting. The longer you have been active and producing (your own) content, and the more regularly you post, the better then chances are you will be approved for ARCs.
  3. Only request books you are truly interested in and that actually fit the theme of your blog.
  4. As I said before: Do not request too many books at once! Don’t get overwhelmed. Also make sure to request books you know you will actually read.
  5. Don’t get discouraged if you get denied for books. You’ll be accepted for a review copy eventually.
  6. Make sure to review the ARCs you receive in a timely manner and don’t forget to leave feedback through Netgalley as well, to improve your stats.

*) I don’t really count those ARCs I received in Goodreads giveaways, because there is no obligation to review. It helps if you review, but it’s not absolutely necessary.

Thursday Thoughts: Gender Bias & Sexism

Thursday Thoughts: Gender Bias & Sexism

Thursday Thoughts This week’s Thursday Thoughts.

What is your opinion on males reading books “geared towards women” such as YA contemporary, romance, most new adult, etc? In that same vein, what’s your opinion on females reading comics and graphic novels? Do you agree that sexism, or at least gender bias’, are apparent in today’s bookish world? Are you someone who “breaks” these bias’?

/flips table

Gender bias and sexism is the dumbest thing ever, period. It frustrates me so much. And it frustrates me when it comes to books, too. I talked about female authors before and my stance on that. And that’s just about authors, so I don’t even know where to start on the greater topic.

What is my opinion on men reading books ‘geared towards women’, and the other way around? Read whatever you like. Sexism is dumb, genres are just genres. It’s like the big toy question: is this a toy for boys or girls? Do you operate it with your genitals? No? (Obviously not.) Then it’s for boys and girls. Simple as that. And the same goes for books in my opinion. They’re just books.

I’m sad to see book genres separated in ‘for men’ and ‘for women’. Even though it might not always be said in so many words, reading books from the ‘wrong gender’ is often frowned upon. Although in practice, it seems women are less reluctant to let these labels stop them and they read whatever they like. But (and this is just my impression) men are less likely to read something if the stupid ‘for women’ label is stuck on it.

A little while ago, my colleague showed me a wonderful blog post about female characters in children’s books (read it here). I love what she’s doing. Did anyone ever notice it seems more acceptable for girls to read books with male protagonists than the other way around? It actually seems that women at any age (from childhood on) seem to read books with both male and female protagonists whereas men read mostly books with male protagonists. And, if there is a female protagonist, there is usually also a male protagonist?

And this is why labels are stupid. Because people are made to feel stupid for picking up a book. Whether it is the little girl who is told she shouldn’t read about superheroes because they are for boys, or the grown man who is ashamed to pick up romance novels because they are for women. Everyone will have preferences, of course, but can we please do away with the labels and read whatever we like without it being stamped ‘for men’ or ‘for women’? Great, thanks.

/breathes in, breathes out

I’m sure you understand I could say so much more on this topic.

On a happier note: Don’t forget to enter my giveaway! A little over 2 days left to enter!

Thursday Thoughts: My Favourite Bookstore

Thursday Thoughts: My Favourite Bookstore

Thursday Thoughts I love shopping for books, I’m sure you’re all aware lol. So another excellent Thursday Thoughts topic this week!

When it comes to buying books which store is your favorite? Do you prefer big chain stores or independent bookstores? Do you even have any independent bookstores near where you live? And, here’s the one that’s going to be the most revealing; How often would you say you go to the bookstore? Do you buy something every time you go there?

Not too long ago, my city lost its wonderful second hand bookstore. Due to some fuckups from the higher ups (it’s a long story, but the Dutchies will understand when I say: De Slegte/Selexyz/Polare) the store’s gone now. I really miss it, it was my go-to store with very reasonably priced used books including a decent English collection.

Because that is the problem with many stores in the Netherlands. They usually all have an English section, but it’s either small, doesn’t have a large or refreshing selection, or it’s… expensive.

That’s why one of my favourite bookstores – not in my own city – is the American Book Center. They are located in Amsterdam and The Hague and they have the best selection ever. I love them! And they even have discounted and used books!

Besides that I admit that for English books I often seek refuge online, with the Book Depository for example…

But I’d never buy Dutch books online. We have a fixed book price in the Netherlands, meaning books are rarely discounted. This means it doesn’t matter where you buy them. That’s why I love buying them in a bookstore, so I can support the store. We don’t have any especially nice bookstores (or even independent stores?) in my city but there’s nothing wrong with the ‘regular’ bookstore.

So how often do I go to the bookstore? Back when we had our used bookstore, which was on the way from my house to work 😉 , I’d go at least once a week (and would never leave the store without at least one book). Now I’m not going as often. I mostly buy English books online, and there’s not many Dutch books I desperately want lately. So these days I go maybe once a month? And might even leave without a book.
(Heavily compensated by all the books I bought online until recently. Back on a book buying ban right now!)

Thursday Thoughts: Read-A-Thons

Thursday Thoughts: Read-A-Thons

Thursday Thoughts

Have you ever participated in a read-a-thon? If so, which one was it and what was your experience? If not, do you want to participate in one? Do you like the idea of read-a-thons? What’s your strategy going into a read-a-thon or a period of time where you just plan to make yourself read more than normal? Are there any tricks you use to encourage yourself during read-a-thons?

Read-a-thons are extremely tempting for me. I love the whole social aspect of it, plus getting some serious reading done. Yet… I seem to fail epically at them.

I’ve participated in two read-a-thons in the past and I experienced them quite differently. The first one was the Classics Club Read-a-thon and I enjoyed it! I loved chatting with other participants. But it was a 24-hour read-a-thon and I just can’t live without sleep haha. So I gave up halfway and went to sleep and didn’t get that much reading done.

The other read-a-thon was the famous Bout of Books read-a-thon. I loved that it was a week long, but it was too massive for me. There were so many participants that I felt like I couldn’t connect with the other participants. The Twitter party? Awful (sorry). So yes, overall this read-a-thon for me was not a success…

Despite the previous ‘failures’, I’d definitely participate again. I’d love to participate in another 24-hour one and see if I can actually make it (prognosis: lol no). But more ideally it’d be another week long one with a small group of bloggers. My goal would be the same as always: connect with other readers, and read more than normal. I also like to set some specific goals, like “finally finish this book that I’ve been having a hard time finishing”, or “read a bunch of books for x challenge”.

Anyone’s doing a read-a-thon any time soon? 😉