blogging · books · collabs · discussions · features · shanti

Our Fourth Blogoversary!

It’s our blogoversary! Shar and I have been writing about books for 4 years on this little site, and we’ve changed a lot over that time, and hopefully gotten better at writing. We’re going to sort of interview each other about it to celebrate, because writing posts together is fun. This is definitely something to celebrate, and we’re so glad to be here to do it!

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books · features · shanti

Diagnosis: Stress Reading

Remember YA Psychologist? You should, because YA Psychologist was great. Anyway, in that vein, I thought I’d talk about a disease which has been afflicted me greatly recently: stress reading. Of course I read stressfully, when I am forced to read things for educational purposes. But I mostly read stressfully because of libraries. I love libraries and everyone should support them. But they do have due dates. This is particularly acute with digital books: because they’re digital, I don’t have to physically return them which makes me less likely to do so, and I also have ppor impulse control and end up with a whole lot of books that I don’t have time to read. But stress reading can happen to anyone, so I thought I’d share a diagnosis manual, because why not medicalise everything?

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Symptoms:

  • feeling like you have to read fast otherwise you’ll let people down
  • looking at your bookshelf and feeling panic rise within you
  • losing all self control when requesting books from publishers and at the library
  • having more than five books on your ‘currently reading’ list
  • not being able to read because you have so much to read

Possible Causes:

  • trying to read too much
  • underestimating how long it will take you to read things
  • going overboard at the library
  • prioritising what you read and therefore losing control of everything that is not a priority
  • Acquiring every book that is recommended to you
  • having other things going on in your life that mean you can’t read as much as you plan to

History:

This problem is almost as old as the written word. Since Lady Murasaki wrote The Tale of Genji in the 11th century, more and more books have appeared, and many of them would probably be great–if you had time to read them. Want to be readers tend to accumalate all the books they want to read, and consequently, are unable to actually read them. Book doctors through the centuries have diagnosed stress reading, and linked it to library fines, miscellaneous non-bookish responsibilities, and the ownership of book blogs. Cases have risen particularly in the last seven years with the rise of digital ARCS and digital libraries.

Treatment:

Unfortunately, stress reading is a recurring condition. No matter how you treat it, it will probably flare up again, probably when you have other things to worry about. Still, treatment is not futile. If you have a severe case, try to go on a book buying and library ban until you have read everything you have. Secondly, remember that a lot of pressure is self imposed. you can simply choose to return books without reading them. If you have books from publishers that you must review, don’t beat yourself up if they’ve been publisehd for a while by the time you review them. Healing will take some time; to find joy in reading and maximise chances of success, read slowly, read for enjoyment, and take breaks.

In case it wasn’t clear…I almost constantly have a low-grade case of stress reading. But I’m coming to terms with my condition, and am going to try to read a book I own for every library book I read from now on. Let’s see how that goes….

Do you suffer from stress reading? what do you do to treat it? tell me in the comments!

book review · books · shanti

Scythe by Neal Shusterman

Neal Shusterman seems to often write about death. Unwind was one of the few books that has truly scared me—I remember staying up late reading it when I was about twelve, feeling sickened and enthralled at once. In that book, he examines what it means to have someone else choose your death. In Everlost, he explores what might happen after death, the things that are able to change and the things that don’t. Again, it’s spooky, atmospheric, and very, very compelling. I’ve been hearing about Scythe for a long time—mostly, people raving about how good it is—and so, after checking it out from the library, not reading it, waiting in the holds list, checking it out again, not reading it etc. about five times, I have finally finished it.

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books · discussions · not books · Shar

On science, reading, and why I’ve been getting into more nonfiction of late

^^^ I hope this post lives up to its title hahaha I titled if before I started writing. As you may know, I’m a science student. Most of the book bloggers I know that have been/are at university are doing arts. This post is about why science people often disregard reading (fiction) and why I think this is silly.

Continue reading “On science, reading, and why I’ve been getting into more nonfiction of late”

books · features · lists · shanti

Non-Fiction Fiction Pairings

I am growing to love non-fiction. I know that not everyone reads non-fiction, which is fine, but if you don’t have much idea where to start, I thought I’d do a post pairing books popular in the blogosphere with some non-fiction books I love. If you recognise these books, or think you’d enjoy them, then definitely see if you can pick a copy up. I’ve tried to group books that are similar in content and tone, even if they come at it from totally different angles.

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book review · books · shanti · writing

Final Draft is Absolutely Wonderful

Final Draft is one of the best books I have read this year. It was an Experience, and I mean that in the best way. I genuinely believe that were this not marketed as YA it could easily pass as literary fiction. Not that YA is bad, and neither is literary fiction, but Redgate’s cerebral story is just really, really tersely written. and really Deep. Effectively, Redgate uses the form of a YA contemporary (on the surface, this book is pretty standard high-school-senior-comes-into-herself stuff) to interrogate that same form, and the use of cliche more broadly. I finished it last week and I already want to reread it.

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books · discussions · Shar

Is it still worth reading if you don’t remember it?

Hi Virtually Readers! The other day I was writing a review that I’d started two weeks after finishing the book, then left half finished. By the time I’d finished it, it had been more than a month and I had forgotten one of the main character’s names, as well as a lot of the minor plot points. To be honest I forget the details of most books I read—a year after I’ve finished it, only a few slightly random snippets of information will remain. So this got me wondering: is it still worth reading a book if you’re not going to remember it? Continue reading “Is it still worth reading if you don’t remember it?”

blogging · books · shanti · tags

NOPE Book tag

Hi Virtually Readers! I’m so sorry that I’ve barely been posting–well, I’m actually not that sorry, because I have been busy even though I’m on holiday at the moment, and I have been putting real people before my computer, which is hard to do but anyway….the blog has been neglected! but I am here today, and I am doing the Nope book tag, which Lara tagged me for (thanks, Lara!). This will be hardish, because I’m usually pretty positive about books, but I will try.

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book review · books · shanti

Along the Indigo and Towards Me

This book was not what I expected. I guess I vaguely skimmed the synopsis when it came out, then placed a hold on it and got it some weeks later, then didn’t read it, then waited weeks more for my hold to come through and finaaaaaallly read it a few weeks ago. Anyway, it turns out that it is not a high fantasy about an innkeepers daughter (which is good because I’m going to write that book) but instead an urban not-quite-fantasy about a girl living in a small town (as I found out from another reviewer, in the eighties) that she wants to leave.


 

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book review · books · Shar

Always Never Yours: Am I too jaded?

Title: Always Never Yours

Author: Emily Wibberly and Austin Siegemund-Broka

Genre: YA contemporary Romance

Themes: First love, belonging, family

Blurb (from Goodreads): Megan Harper is the girl before. All her exes find their one true love right after dating her. It’s not a curse or anything, it’s just the way things are, and Megan refuses to waste time feeling sorry for herself. Instead, she focuses on pursuing her next fling, directing theatre, and fulfilling her dream school’s acting requirement in the smallest role possible. Continue reading “Always Never Yours: Am I too jaded?”