on annotations, book reviews and bookish pet peeves

last post of my three part bookish hanash

Advertisements

Read Jolen’s post here.

I don’t annotate books. I hate writing on my physical books for I feel like that’s a major sin any bookish person would do on their print copies. I use sticky notes if there is something I want to note or write the page down on a notebook and put my thoughts in there. I don’t highlight my favorite quotes in a novel either. I use transparent sticky bookmarks. To make my life easier, I read in my Kindle because I can highlight and put notes in there how many times I like without physically harming the book.

Relatability as basis of one’s reading experience. If it happens all the time, then yes it could be annoying. It’s common for readers to find books they would easily understand and could see themselves with. It’s easier to read a book you could connect with than a character you would have to decipher to get what they’re up to. Sometimes it’s not even relatability per se but how they understood the character’s actions or personality. I wouldn’t call them self-absorbed unless that’s their only basis of how they rate the novel. Most of the time readers would ask themselves; did l like it? Was the ending good? Does the attitude of the protagonist makes sense? Was the narrative okay? Was it boring? Was the pacing dragging? Was the world building solid?

When I make reviews I make it a point to discuss the narrative, the character’s development and the pros and cons of the novel. I don’t like one dimensional characters, they often make me want to hurl the book across the room. One of the worst heroines I had the misfortune of reading was Eona from a book by Alison Goodman. I gave this a one star rating no matter how good the world building was because the freaking heroine doesn’t handle decisions very well to the very end. That novel has an average rating of 4.12, with over 30k+ readers with majority of them singing praises for that series. Am I a minority? Yes, the goddamn heroine has no character development and it annoyed the hell out of me. Sounds shallow, right? I read to enjoy not commit murder.

It’s always subjective why one like a book or not. You said these readers who look for relatability shun other pieces of literary, maybe what they are looking for is not in that book. It’s hard to read a book on a certain topic if you are going through something similar right now. Take it from me. I had to refuse a beta reading request because the book was about break up and I was not ready to read one about it yet back then. It took me a year since its publication to finally get my hands on that book. Did relatability affect my book judgement? Yes. This time, it can’t be helped.

This industry is still business especially on mainstream novels. There was a time paranormal novels are so in after the Twilight saga, almost all the books you’ll find months after that are full of Twilight tropes. These are proven formulas that sell. I discussed this once in Off the Wall, when Pop Fiction here in the Philippines had a sudden massive following that almost all publishers get books from Wattpad.

I’d been in the book blogging community long enough to see how readers and reviewers develop their book choices. Heck, I found my renewed love for reading because of Twilight Saga but I did not stop from there. It took me years to expand from my reading comfort zones. Sometimes preference change as you grow old. You cannot make a person read something if they don’t find the urge to do it. The only time you’ll rethink how you see these readers is if they won’t ever grow up, literary speaking.

Book Review Pet Peeves. Authors who rate their books 5 stars. I don’t get it. If I see an author doing that, I skip the book no matter how good the legit reviews are.

Reviews with so many GIF. Damn, can’t they express what they want to say in words?

Overly positive reviews even if the book has a so-so average rating because it’s an ARC. It’s the reason I don’t accept copies from authors or publishers when I was still active in the book blogging community. I buy the book and bash it all I want if it sucks.

Reviewing books that are the current hype. It generates traffic. I read and review books after their hype are long over.

Reviews with no sense at all. All fangirling. All “it’s soooo awesome, great, best read of all time” with no explanation to back up their claims.

– wl, a.

Here’s the state of my current bookshelf. I trimmed down the books I have, sold and gave away those that I won’t be reading anymore and gave others to my friends and relatives. My books are all over the place, you’ll find several on top of the dresser, on the coffee table, on the computer table, sometimes every corner of the house if I don’t tidy it up. Since I always travel, you’ll see one in my bag too.

my w’s of reading

second post of my three part bookish hanash

Why I read. Simply because I want to. You’ll rarely find me reading classics and literary winners. It’s not that I don’t like them, I read to enjoy and not to make my brain bleed. Continue reading “my w’s of reading”

what kind of reader are you?

a three part post on my bookish hanash triggered by Jolen’s post

Reading has been a part of my life for the past two decades. I fell in love with books at a tender age of eight and since then it held a special place in my heart. I sometimes tease my partner that it’s the constant third party in our relationship. Continue reading “what kind of reader are you?”

i hate you George

Dear George,

I don’t know what GoT into me, why I ever decided to read your first book. It took me years dodging your books. I should have continued doing that because look where it GoT me, frustrated over the characters you killed. I don’t have to warn others that this letter contain spoilers since I am so late in reading this. I know majority have watched the series and are now waiting for Season 7 so I’ll just lay everything out in the open.

I was hoping against all hope that you’ll spare Ned’s life. Even at the very end, I was hoping for some miracle but you fvcking killed that hope when you allowed Jeoff to cut off his head. I shouldn’t have hoped, my heart bled when you let Lady died, so what’s there to be shocked about, right? I should have braised myself for the worst. I am so thankful I haven’t watched the complete series yet because I know I wouldn’t be able to take how graphic and gruesome the deaths of every character you killed. I do have a general idea of how they looked like, thanks to google, and I did watch until episode 2 of Season 1.

It’s not that I don’t like your book. I did. The deaths just did not sit well with me. I enjoyed how you wrote the book; I liked getting into the heads of the characters. I even understood how Tyrion thinks compared to how he was portrayed in the series. It took me 3 months to finish the first book and I even have a plan of reading all 5 books this year which I don’t think is possible but I’m not giving up on it yet.

You are an awesome writer George and GoT deserves a five star rating but I only gave it three. I know you’ll be killing more and more and more in the coming books so I’ll “try” to get my head around that and also try not to get emotionally invested to any of the characters.

Oh, if I haven’t stressed it yet—

FVCK YOU.

wl, a.

P.S Can somebody lend me the second book, please? I don’t want to read in my kindle. It’s so frustrating reading in a device when there are times you want to slam down the book. I don’t have the budget of getting a new kindle so better not to read George R.R. Martin books on devices that can break. Don’t worry, I won’t hurl it across the room or wherever. I’ll take good care of it. Belle’s book is still in one piece, I think.

Rollie, can we meet one of these days so I can borrow books three to five, please?

keep the faith

book review + blog tour

It was two in the morning, in the cold hallway of Medical City’s ER, a girl was sitting beside a hospital bed, face buried in front of a device with tears in her eyes. She was trying to hide her face from passing nurses, doctors, and patient’s relatives because they might think she’s having an emotional breakdown over a serious medical prognosis. Given the place where she’s in, crying means something terrible has happened but no, she’s just reading a book.

That was me reading Keep the Faith.

I have not cried over a book for a long time. I actually haven’t read romance and chick lit for quite some time, but even in the days where I read nothing but romance, I can’t remember the last time I felt so connected with the lead character, how the story felt like home. I had that with Faith and her journey of healing and moving on.

Continue reading “keep the faith”

my year in books

one hundred in twenty-sixteen

Who would have thought I could read one hundred books last year? Compared to the years when reading 100 books for me is typical, completing my reading challenge for 2016 is a feat. I had a bad reading slump the year prior so I wasn’t very keen in finishing the challenge. I wasn’t even expecting to finish ten books! With the baby coming, work and all changes that comes with being a mother, I knew finding time to read is next to impossible so whenever I have a miraculous me time, all I do is read and read and read and viola! I finished a hundred books!

100books_2

Most of the books I read were fantasy, science fiction or dystopia which is surprising because I don’t read those genres so much before. I can also count in my hands and feet the romance novels I read last year, a shock to my reader friends since they expected I would go back to gobbling up romance novels but after years of reading too much romance, I outgrew the genre. I find myself reading genres I don’t read before, books you wouldn’t think I would ever read and more of locally published novels. 2016 is a year of discoveries both in my life and reading.

Continue reading “my year in books”