Sub-ratings for my reviews

You may or may not have seen it, but in my last published review (Angelfall by Susan Ee) I added a little extra thing to my review. Some sort of “sub-ratings“. I actually wanted to write a post about this to explain you why I’m doing this and how much these little aspects mean to me. I hope you will enjoy this!

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There may be times that you enjoy a book a lot, despite his many flaws. You can fall in love with the characters and yet hate the plot or writing style. Or the opposite: you can fly thought the pages because it’s addictive, but dislike the main character so much. That’s why I’ve wanted to change my way to review books. I’ve actually wanted to do this for quite a while now, because lately I’ve been a bit torn regarding how I rate my books.

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Discuss: Book amnesia

Reading series has plenty of positive sides. You get more of the world the author created, more from the characters you love so much etc…

But series can sometimes have a negative aspect too. The wait for the next book can drag for months or even a year. And that’s how you forget what happens in the previous book(s)… I usually have a bad memory when it comes to details. I don’t forget everything, but I never remember enough to continue with the next book immediately. And the even weirder thing I remember the feelings I had while reading the book better than the plot line itself. Which is rarely a help. I’m weird, right?

Diving into the next book in a series and hope for the best is what I used to do. But 90% of the times that ended up me being frustrated. Sometimes the author recaps at the beginning of the books and that’s very helpful. But not all authors do this (which is such a shame)! The worst thing is when the main characters talks/thinks about that one little thing that supposedly happened in the previous book and you. just. can’t. remember. You’re internally praying to the author to give a damn hint, but that rarely happens. It’s the worst e-v-e-r.

Anyway, that’s why I usually end up leaving that sequel I’ve been waiting for impatiently on my tbr pile. So yes, book amnesia is a real thing, you guys and it’s not fun. I’ve been trying to work on this problem, but it’s not easy! That’s why I wanted to write this post. To share the tips I have and to see if you don’t have anything else that can help me and probably a bunch of other readers too!

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Tip one: Reread the previous book

This is the most obvious thing you can do. Rereading books is the best way to really get into the world of the series, to get attached to that one character again etc.

PRO: most efficient way; CON: time consuming, the book might not be as good as you remember

Tip two: Take notes

As I blogger, I always try to be mysterious and spoiler-free in my reviews. And that’s absolutely NO help when you’re trying to figure out what happened in the first book 😀 That’s why it’s helpful to write in short sentences or key-words what happened in a little notebook. Doesn’t have to pages long, but just a few lines can be very helpful to remember what happens. Once you finish the book, stick your little note at the end of the book.

PRO: easy to do; CON: you might not remember enough if you just write down the essential

Tip three: Recaptains

If you don’t feel like losing time taking notes for some reason, then you can read recaps of other readers. For example on: Recaptains.  This is a site that’s being run by a bunch of readers who write summaries of books. This blog is HEAVEN when the series you want to continue is available!

PRO: perfectly detailed; CON: there’s isn’t a summary available for all the books

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Tip four: binge read the series

If you have enough patience, you can wait until all the books are out in the series until you start with the first book. For me this is a no-go, but it seems that a fair amount of readers are doing this! I think this can be handy for trilogies, but not for longer series. Especially when you know that you will like it and the author is still not finished writing the last books. For example with the Throne of Glass series. Would you be able to wait until books are published while reading all those awesome reviews? 😀

PRO: you’re completely into the series; CON: you need to have a LOT of patience!

Tip five: tab your book

Use tabs while reading books! I think this is the most quickest way to highlight important things while reading. You don’t have to write anything down and you can do it immediately without losing any time. If you’re like me and like to tab favorite quotes while reading, just use different colors for things you want to remember! For example: one colored tab for the swoon worthy line my book boyfriend said and another for an unexpected clue in a murder case. Be inventive! 😉

PRO: super easy and quick; CON: you might run out of tabs 😀

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So what about you? Do you also suffer from “book amnesia”?

If yes, I hope at least one of these is helpful. And in case you have any other tip, I’d be glad to read about it in the comments! 😉

Discuss: Tips on how to reduce your tbr-list!

Having a tbr-list is very handy, but it can also be very frustrating. I hope I’ll be able to help you with these little tips!

1. Clean it up!

I’m assuming all of you have Goodreads. This social media is THE best way to keep up with your reading experiences, but that tbr list can be freaking long after a while.
Sort your tbr by date and set it from old to new. You’re probably not interested in most of the books  at the bottom of your list. I even dare to bet you my whole personal library about this fact. Be strong and reduce your tbr with at least 1/4 and make you sure you reread the blurb of ALL the books one by one. Only the ones you REALLY see yourself reading in the future you can leave. It’s just a matter of being honest will yourself 😉
So settle yourself with a nice cup of coffee/tea while doing this and try to do this once every few months.

↳ Suitable for people who have a large online tbr.

2. Set up book-buying limit

Are you one of those types of booklover that loves to haul tons of books in a short time? Then this is a perfect tip for you. Use a monthly limit on your book expenses! Do NOT use a book buying ban! When you’re actually allowed to buy books, you don’t have the urge to say ‘oh f*uck it’ and buy 10 books in the nearest store. That’s how you learn how to control everything more. For example: I have a limit of five books a month and it has been helping me a lot, because now I don’t have this HUUUUGE tbr pile on my shelves!

↳ Suitable for people who have a large physical tbr.

3. Discover the magic of audiobooks

Yes, I know, actually reading the book yourself is fun, but if you haven’t tried listening to a audiobook, you really should! It can give you so much more! It’s also super handy when you’re having a busy period. Listen to it while you’re driving, on the train, working out, cooking… It will make every mundane task (that doesn’t require too much thinking) extremely fun. You’ll be saving up time like a pro and you’ll see your tbr lowering in no time!

I, for example, listen to audiobooks when I’m too tired to read or when I’m cooking. It makes it so relaxing! I also love to listen to it when I’m walking in the streets. Switch your music for a nice audiobook some time to time and keep it refreshing 😉

4. Use monthly tbr’s

My tbr for April

Making a little tbr at the beginning of the month really helps! I’ve been doing for quite some time now, and it make me read more and more. I don’t always strictly follow it (not required by the way), but it helps me to have an overview about what I plan to do. It’s like planning a vacation. You need to view you’re possibilities and pick whatever suits you best in the period that’s coming.

But don’t forget to be reasonable! Set up a mini-tbr based on what you usually manage to read during a month. If you manage to read 10ish book, don’t set up a tbr of 15 books. It won’t be motivating!

5. Set up a challenge

I’m sure all of you guys are doing the standard Goodreads challenge. But you can be a little bit more creative with it. Pick some subjects or fun little tasks while you pick your books. It will make the experience much fun! And if you’re a bit competitive (like me), you’ll want to do your best and the challenges will definitely help you to get this tbr down faster.

For more inspiration on challenges, I’m referring to a post Yvonne posted about the challenges she’s currently doing! Read more HERE.

6. Join some readathons

Readathons are the BEST way to get a few books down in a short period! A lot of people host them and I believe there’s a big one during summer. Goodreads even has a National Readathon Day (read more here). And if you don’t want to wait until the next big event, just organize one yourself. If you have few days off, just set up a little tbr, shut your computer down, install yourself in the most comfortable place in your home, make sure you have some snacks/drinks at arm-length and well… read! 😉

What do you recommend?
I really hope these will help you in some way! 
Do you have more tips to recommend? Share them in the comments!

Discuss: Tips concerning your book budget

For booklovers nothing is better than buying books (besides reading them of course). But we’ve all had a period where we just used up our whole book budget. And that period just sucks. Especially when you planned to buy that new release you’ve been waiting for months. So I thought, why not share some tips to avoid this problem? Not everyone has a big budget and I hope these little tips will help you!
1. Sell books

You may be thinking “NO WAY” right now. But think about it. It can’t be that you love every single book that’s on your shelf. You know I’m right. Sell books you didn’t particularly liked and save up the money for new books. There are plenty of ways to sell books these days: online, markets, in second handed bookshops,  etc. You can also try to sell them to friends or family. Just keep in mind to be reasonable with your prizes 😉
2. Go to the library

If you’re lucky enough to have a good and updated library near your work/home/school, use it!! Instead of immediately buying a book, go grab it at the library. And if you really liked it, just buy it afterwards. This tip is really handy if you’re not 100% sure about the book. This is the best way to try out new authors, genres etc.
3. Invest in a kindle / e-reader

I’m sure a lot of people already know this, but most of them intent to forget this, but ebooks are (usually) way cheaper than books! This tip is very handy if some books are not available in your country. Also for the same reasons as in tip 2. I really recommend the kindles from Amazon by the way. They last very long and are extremely good investments. I had my previous one (one of the first model with the keyboard) for at least 5 years and it still works fine! Now I have a Kindle Paperwhite and I love it. The battery last so freaking long. I bought it 3 months ago and I’ve charged it only 2 (!!) times.
And let’s not forget the millions of FREE ebooks that are available! 
4. Buy online

Yes, I know, browsing in an actual bookshop is way more fun. But it is also more expensive!
Online sites like Amazon and bookdepository (both free shipping btw!) sell books way cheaper than in bookstores. I don’t know if this is the same in every country, but for me I can buy two books online for the same price as one in a bookshop… 
Extra tip for Amazon: compare prizes on http://www.cheapriver.com/ ! Extremely handy tip especially for European booklovers 😉
By the way, it’s not because you buy books online that you can’t browse in bookstores anymore. You can go touch/smell the books there and then go home and buy the books you fell in love with in the store online 😀
5. Use a limit on your purchases and avoid buying bans

Buying books can be addictive! I used to be a major bookhauler. I bought at least 3-5 books at the same time (at least 2 times in the same month) and although it was fun in the beginning (because your personal library grows way faster like this), after a while my wallet started to be exhausted.
I tried buying bans, but that made me want to buy books even more. That’s why I have a limit of max 5 books I’m allowed to buy per month. It also helped me to enjoy the books I bought more. I also think using a limit is better than a strict buying ban. When you’re actually allowed to buy books, so you don’t have the urge to say ‘oh f*uck it’ and buy 10 books in the nearest store. That’s how you learn how to control everything more.
Do you have extra tips?
These 5 little tips are from my own book-experiences. Do you have more? Share them in the comments and help other booklovers!

Discuss: Is there such a thing as ‘reading too much’?

You’re probably wondering why I’m asking this. Let this be clear, I do NOT think someone can read too much. That’s just not in my dictionary… or whatever the expression is 😀

I often get the remark of ‘geez, you read a lot, why do you like it?‘ or ‘I don’t get why you like reading. It’s boring!‘ and even ‘It’s not good to read that much, you should stop reading so much“. Do you get these remarks too? I wish I could say I completely don’t care about this… and I don’t for like 3/4 of the time…. but I have to admit: it pisses me off.

It’s been a few times that I had a fight with my parents because they don’t get why I like reading. They don’t get why I spend almost all my money and time on books. They think I should “get off my reading cloud more often and get a grip on reality‘.  Like what the hell?!
Why do people always think that booklovers don’t know what reality is? Yes, I read a lot, but why should this automatically mean that I don’t know what’s happening in the real world? Or that I don’t care about the real and serious stuff happening in the world? Of course I care about these things!! I mean, half of the time I read New Adult books that discuss death, health, friendship, love… and all those other real things.

I always say: “Better be addicted to books, than drugs/alcohol/…” (you agree, right?)
The respond I get is often a shrug that means “I still don’t get you” or rolling eyes that mean “girl, you’re weird.” This just makes me so mad! This is basically a never-ending fight in my home.

I’m so grateful for instagram, goodreads and my blog. I also have a few friends that read, so I’m very grateful for them too. Because I can’t share all of this bookish things with my family. They often wonder why I don’t talk much about personal stuff… well… I often don’t because I’m sick of these looks and eye-rolls. Don’t get me wrong, I love my family to death, but I hate the fact that they don’t seem to understand why I like reading.

I’m telling you all of this because I would like to know how your situation is? Do your friends and family respect your love for books? Or not? Share anything if you want. I would love to talk to you about it.

I look forward to read your thoughts on this!