Struggles every reader with a bad memory understands // ft. books I loved but remember nothing about oops

ICYMI, I suffer from this thing called BOOK AMNESIA.

It’s basically the syndrome where you a) read a book. b) either love, hate, don’t care about it, whatever your opinion is and c) forget about it! (C is the most important symptom.)

If you say this has NEVER happened to you, you’re lying, Pinocchio.

And, as usual, because I’m a SUPER HELPFUL* person with a tendency to expose everyone (mostly myself tbh), I decided to make a post in honor of us book amnesiacs!!

I’m also linking up with this week’s Top Ten Tuesday (now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl) prompt: Books I Really Liked but Can’t Remember Anything/Much About!

LET’S GET TO THE EXPOSING.

*Don’t look at me like that, it’s true.

1. Forgetting what happened in a book.

This is one of the foremost!! Struggles!! Of having!! A bad memory!! Even if you generally have a good memory, I will never ever ever believe you if you say this has never happened to you okay AT LEAST ONCE (unless you’re some sort of superhuman).

And it’s epecially lethal in the case of series!! I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve complained about forgetting the previous book in a series, but IT’S A LOT. It’s not my fault thouuuuughhhh.

There are many books we read throughout the year, and in case you forgot, a year is a horribly long time?! In the span of that time, am I honestly supposed to remember what happened in a 500 paged book? BECAUSE I WON’T. (Thank god for recaps like there are on this site and this site.) EVEN IF I LOVED IT.

And it’s such a struggle since now I either a) have to reread the series (which isn’t always a bad thing but also look at those UNREAD BOOKS on your TBR, hm and also who has time) b) continue with the second book not knowing or remembering the characters or what happened, and therefore not enjoying it as much or c) cry and eat chocolate <– best option

2. Not knowing or remembering what you read because you haven’t updated Goodreads/written it somewhere.

GUYS. I straight up forgot several books I read last year because I forgot to put them on Goodreads and it’s not in my phone and now I’m having a C R I S I S because I actually really loved them (well, one of them) and now I haven’t mentioned them anywhere and NO ONE WILL EVER KNOW.

I have the vaguest memory of books I feel like I’ve read but I have no idea when and if I did actually read it or I’m just imagining it?? Nowadays I’m neglecting updating Goodreads as well which becomes a struggle trying to remember when I read a book BECAUSE GR FAILED (to somehow read my mind and automatically add it for me, of course).

Here’s your daily reminder to write down somewhere what book you read and when you read it and also write down your thoughts on it immediately if you want to save your sanity!! 

MEEE figuring out when I read a book and if I liked it or not

3. Not being able to write a proper review because it’s been too long since we’ve read it.

And by too long I mean like, 2 days. THAT’S 48 HOURS OKAY. IT’S A LOT.

Nowadays I try to write at least a list of major points that come to my mind right after reading a book, in the notes of my phone because then I can say something other than “OMG I LOVED IT MY HEART DIED” or “UGH IT WAS A PLATE OF SOGGY POTATOES”*. You know?

Because it’s so incredibly hard to write a review when it’s been several days. You’re just sitting there knowing that you loved it but also having no clue why other than the pieces of your heart are on the ground (pain = good book) and that it made you FEEL THINGS. But what things? One may never know.

This is also why that ‘review to come’ will never come and you SHOULD JUST STOP LYING.

Why am I exposing myself here so much jeez

*I have not used this sentence yet in a review but I think I really should.

4. Being asked, “What was it about?” and stuttering like a dying fish.

Tbh, a fish might actually be able to summarize a book better than me BECAUSE I SUCK AT IT???

It’s honestly scary when someone asks me “what was it about” after hearing me squeal and scream about it because they expect me to be able to answer*??

What goes on in my brain when someone asks me what a book is about BECAUSE PANIC??!?!?!?!?!? (at the disco)

Literally I would make the best and worst publicist because my SCREAMING AND SHOUTING is so annoying you would obviously pick up a book because I said so** but then I would never be able to tell you what the book was about even if I loved it to death.  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

*The worst is when it happens in person because I can’t just shove Goodreads at them and run away??? WHYYYY.
**Pff, obviously.. right?? Also if you actually have done this I hope you know I LOVE YOU AND YOU SHOULD TALK TO ME ABOUT IT unless you hated my favourite book in which case I’ll come after you with my scary non-weapons go hide in my guilt

5. Losing interest in a book after it’s been a year between the release of the first book and the sequel

A year is a looooooonnnnggggg time. That’s 365 days and there’s so much that happens? And so many books you read in between? There’s only so much space in our brainnnnn and I just… need to delete some information to make space for new stuff?

And so then I don’t care as much about what happens to the characters because it’s been so long and it lost that ~magic~ it originally had?

It makes me so sad though!! Because what if I originally wanted to continue with the series but then I’m less excited about the sequel coming out because I feel so emotionally distant now from the first book???

6. Not remembering what books are released when

If you’re even mildly implicated and involved in the book community, you know how many books are released every month!! The answer: A LOT.

See, the second I just look at a new book, there are like, 10 more books being released. Which is great, sure!!

But also all these amazing books are being released and I’m so excited but I also don’t know if they’re releasing tomorrow, in 6 months, or the next year. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

But I plan on reading them so that counts for something right???

Thankfully, as far as struggles go, this one isn’t as bad as the other ones?? Goodreads got our back, it’s all good. 😉

7. Putting your bookmark somewhere and never finding it again

See, let me tell you a story!

I once had an extreme bookmark fascination!! They could be so pretty and funny and were so functional, and I used them all the time….

UNTIL I LOST ONE.

Tears of sadness as one disappears! But it’s okay, I got another one!

And… there goes that one.

Oh, see, let’s just put them all together in this very organized and specific place so that I always know where they are! Great idea, right?

BUT THEN.

You pick one up, use it, then put it down and the next thing you know is you’re doing this.

But you never found it again.

THE END.

No, but seriously if you’re someone who can remember where your bookmark is, YOU ROCK. And have great skills!! Because my memory sucks and I can’t ever remember where they are!!

I’ll just sit over here, bitter over my lost friends, petting my twin, the goldfish, and my slips of random paper that are my bookmarks.

Ah, struggle #1, visualized! Loving books and having very little idea as to what happened is literally the story of my life and ahhHHH well let’s go, exposing myself once again. You can see from my “mini blurbs” how much I remember (no spoilers though obviously). I REMEMBER A LOT.

Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare (read 2016): Julian and Emma are parabatai! Mark is a sweetheart! I love Cristina! Fae threats! Julian is such a cutie and I love his family!! Anaand that’s it. BUT LOVE THIS BOOK.

The Crown’s Game by Evelyn Skye (read 2016): Magic! Russia! Kingdom! BAD MAGIC.

Ruined by Amy Tintera (read 2016): I can’t even remember anything. I mean, there are people with magic who are shunned? But I don’t even remember the main character. Something with an e? Emma? Evaline? But seriously this book was so good.

The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh (read 2015): SUCH A LONG TIME AGO WHAT. Shazi is fabulous! Love her and Khalid! Hate-to-love romance! Food! Tariq was awful can someone smack him please! Magical and beautiful writing!

The Imposter Queen by Sarah Fine (read 2016 or 2017 I forget): SO GOOD. There were.. imposters? Oh oh and ice and fire magic was super cool!

Angelfall by Susan Ee: I looooove Raffe!! Also Penryn’s love for her sister is amazing and so pure. So gory and interesting and SO UNDERRATED.

More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera: I ADORE ADAM SILVERA’S BOOKS. And this one was amazing but all I remember is sadness!! Broken heart!! But give me the gay!! Where did my heart go oh look it’s broken!!

Not If I See You First by Eric Lindstrom: Blind MC!! Loved her even if she was super negative!! Felt so bad but also it was cute!! Ugh why can’t I remember things

Starflight by Melissa Landers (read 2016? I think?): Hate to love romance! So much banter! Sci-fi, which I don’t usually read but this was really good!! Action!! And the side characters were great!

Rick Riordan books (read… uhhh.) : I read pretty much all of Rick Riordan’s books, I think, except for the newest ones? But I remember Percy!! And Annabeth of course!! And humourrr his books are always so fun.

The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare: I ADORE CASSANDRA CLARE but I also don’t remember her books very well oops. Clary’s the special snowflake, Jace has an identity crisis??? Aaaand love triangles everywhere, but THE SERIES IS GOOD I SWEAR.

Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes: Okay this series is totally cliche but apparently I enjoyed the books??? But I remember zilch. There’s magic! And incest at one point?? wait why did I like this I forget

Wow I just used way too many exclamation marks, oops. BUT GO READ THESE if you haven’t already I swear they’re better than my stupid mini blurbs!

Do you also struggle with a bad memory with books??? Do you remember the details of books you read in the past or no? Do you also lose interest in a sequel after it’s been too long? What books do YOU love but also don’t remember much about? EXPOSE YOURSELF.

Happy Tuesday!!

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Do we put too much pressure on ourselves to produce “quality” content? // BLOGGING IS HARD, OKAY.

Blogging is many different things.

WOW, HOW OBVIOUS INSIGHTFUL, ANALEE.

It can be fun! It can be a way to share our thoughts! It can be also be stressful! Or a step towards dominating the internet! All or none of those things!

But for it to be all of those things, we need, of course, CONTENT. Yet within content comes my dilemma, because within content there’s the question of TYPE of content and within type of content there’s the question of is it good enough or will others enjoy it?

Because as much as this blog started off as a place for ME and my thoughts, it has expanded to where I think about it as a place for me to TALK TO OTHERS, and others to talk to me. Without the community, truthfully, I probably wouldn’t have continued blogging for so long, you know?

Which is why I started thinking more on content and what people enjoy reading and responding to, and the idea of “quality content” which swirls around in my head quite a lot.

HENCE THIS POST.

SPOILER: This post is going to be kind of all over the place but I HAVE A LOT OF FEELINGS.

What is considered quality content?

I’m going to be repeating quality content quite a bit throughout this post, even though it’s VAGUE as heck. I don’t even know if we can define quality content, honestly, cause it can be so subjective. For me, I would say it:

  • makes you think
  • makes you think AND/or laugh
  • is well written?
  • makes you go #relatable
  • you enjoyed writing?
  • includes cats rolling over

Personally, when I think of posts from other bloggers that I consider as “quality content” or posts that I am happy with myself, those are the things that come to mind. FOR ME. And the type of posts I personally enjoy reading.

(But spoiler quality content actually cannot be defined by these characteristics at all)

So far, so good, yeah? Okay, good, cause I’m completing changing the focus to stats in like two seconds but it’s RELATED OKAY I SWEAR.

Bear with me, this post is low-key a mess but  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

The relation between stats and quality content

BECAUSE IT ALWAYS COMES BACK TO THE STATS. *muffled screaming into a pillow*

See, there’s this idea I have for my blog, that so-called quality content (above) = better stats. Or for better stats you need quality content. Either one.

Aka ALL POSTS must always be super well-written, funny and/or insightful and that NOTHING ELSE works for the stats and hence must be avoided at all costs.

(Slightly hyperbolic but you know what I mean.)

Ughghghghghgh this kind of thinking is so problematic!!

I wouldn’t want anyone else to feel as if they were held or forced to very high standards for themselves when writing posts; so why is it okay for me to do so myself?

Answer: IT’S NOT.

Not all of it is bad, of course. I myself ENJOY writing “quality” posts that are relatable and fun! I think they share a lot of my personality, and allow me to be creative and share my thoughts, which is what I aim for. The fact that I choose to write more of those because stats are higher for them (aka people seem to enjoy them more) doesn’t make that post any less genuine

So sure, wanting to write quality content, or things that people enjoy, based on stats, isn’t necessarily a bad thing!!

But the part that posts that don’t work for stats are neglected more often? Yeah, that’s been a part of writing posts, too, not gonna lie.

And spoiler: it’s not great. Because for me, it’s built up this RIDICULOUS notion that if the stats aren’t as high or don’t reach the “usual” for a post, it’s not “quality”, or popular, content.

WHICH IS GARBAGE.

Why? Because stats can be totally random!! Sometimes there are posts I am SUPER confident in, posts I write that I’m happy with, that I enjoyed writing and that maybe even fit my “usual quality” type of post… but still a flop in terms of stats. And then I post something similar another time and it becomes super popular. WHO KNOWS.

If a post doesn’t reach or surpass the usual number of stats, it’s not really your fault?? Because it’s not like you can control it? Yet I still feel that disappointment, that feeling of failure, associated with that post EVEN IF I loved writing it. And that freaking sucks!!

why can’t I be more chill about blogging oh my god

I completely derailed from where I intended to go with this post, but my answer to the original, titular question: A huge, fat, YES. I can’t speak for everyone, but concerning my own blog, I definitely put too much pressure on myself to post certain types of posts, or writing a certain way in order to have “quality content”, whatever that may be.

But what’s ridiculous, is that I BRING IT ON MYSELF. That feeling, that pressure I feel, to post things that are of “good quality” comes solely from my own insecurities and ambition(maybe?). What if my posts are not as good as the ones as [insert name here]? What if people don’t enjoy this post because it’s too [insert adjective here]? What if, what if, what if…????

Let me ask: Is there anyone out there policing whether or not something is quality content (apart from ourselves)? NOPE. Is there really even any definition to what type of post is quality content? NOPE.

Therefore the pressure is IMAGINARY and we need to breathe and chill* and write whatever the heck we want, OKAY???? Okay.

*I need to take my own advice, geez.

Basically, to sum up this whole mess of a post:

  1. Wanting to please your audience with “quality content” being posts you enjoy writing, isn’t a bad thing!
  2. Not posting something you want to post for fear of it not being “quality content”/getting lower stats IS problematic though because IT’S YOUR BLOG, and you should have the freedom to post what you want, yes? 🙂
  3. Regardless of the pressure we may bring onto ourselves, a post doesn’t HAVE TO be well-written, funny, or anything, just something true to your heart and something you enjoy writing.

What are your thoughts? Do you put pressure on posting certain types of posts due to stats? How do stats affect your posts; do they influence what you produce, or not really? Have you ever held off on posting something for fear of receiving a negative response or less stats? 

Even after all that “don’t put pressure on yourself” and don’t worry about stats talk, I’m super self-conscious about this post because it’s unlike my recent, more fun and happy posts??? Less organized, more cluttered, not at my usual time, but this has been SO REAL for me, on and off and I wanted to share my thoughts. 🙂

I hope you’re happy and having fun eating, sleeping, reading, life-ing, doing whatever!! ❤

How reading books is like playing or watching SPORTS // I compare my most favourite thing ever to my least favourite

Fact: I love reading.

Second fact: I really don’t love sports.

So why not compare the two? Because OBVIOUSLY THEY’RE SUPER ALIKE.

Am I crazy? Yes. No.

(Okay, maybe slightly.)

LET ME EXPLAIN.

In books, in movies, everywhere, we’ve always been shown the two “opposite” groups: the bookworms and the nerds, vs. the jocks, the athletes. And I find it SO annoying how the nerds are always portrayed as being so different, or feeling less than, the more athletic/sporty group of people????

Personally, sure, yes, I’m a bookworm with little interest in sports. But that doesn’t mean I consider myself less than people who play sports, or that I’m not happy being a bookworm? (How can you not be happy being a bookworm tho.) I’m happy being a bookworm! But there are others who like books, and who also like sports! And that’s fine too! It’s not mutually exclusive!!

Wow, I just went on a mini-rant there, but you get the point! Tons and tons of tropes and stereotypes make nerds and sports so incompatible, such a foreign thought and it just frustrates me. IMMENSELY.

So in order to demolish the idea that sports people and books people are so different*, I’ve decided to compose a list of ways reading is like watching/playing/training for sports! (Because watching/playing/training are all the same. Obviously.**)

*Okay, maybe they are a teensy bit different. A teensy bit. BUT SHH LET ME PROVE A POINT.
** ;))Read More »

Easy ways to make your blog posts more appealing! // Basically I’m the most helpful human ever

A lot of us, cater to our readers!

Sure, we blog for ourselves, because we like blogging and sharing our thoughts, but we want the people reading our posts to enjoy it! And of course, the number one thing in that is CONTENT, buuuuut:

There is also the aesthetic side of your posts that will simply make life so much easier for readers and add to the appeal-factor of your post. You know? Of course, these are just suggestions and things that I personally do or have seen other people do, and I’m in no way trying to say you HAVE to these or that without these your posts are horrible. I promise!!Read More »

8 odd things about my secret blogging habits no one asked about but I reveal anyway!

I am a very secretive* potato!!

Hence, this is a very monumental day as I am actually SHARING my top secret blogging habits! * no one gasps but GASP *

Everyone blogs a little bit differently, and we all have our own blogging habits! Some of them are pretty normal/reasonable, other ones are perhaps a little more… unique? Different?

Either way, I just wanted to share some of my own blogging habits and hopefully either relate to your own habits or spark a little chat about blogging habits because we’re ALL BLOGGERS HERE! Time to spill secrets. 😀

*Okay, maybe not, but humor me here, okay?Read More »

9 Reasons I have TRUST ISSUES with WordPress!

“WordPress is useful! WordPress is easy to use!” They say.

And sure, they’re not completely wrong? (Obviously or I would not be blogging on WordPress at all because I hate anything complicated and that I don’t understand there are many other platforms available if I didn’t like it.)

YET.

No site is perfect and so I find myself facing great troubles that cause much woe*! So obviously I came to wonder if WordPress has done this before to other people or whether it just holds a grudge against me… Hence, here are the odd glitches that have happened to me on WordPress, or just simply why I have trust issues with WP!

*No exaggeration whatsoever. Nope.Read More »

Blogging disappointments: Unsuccessful blog posts! // SAD FACE.

Disclaimer: There are many positive things about blogging! Books! Friends! BOOKS!

YET.

Life is not full of positives always??? (I know, it’s an injustice.) And sometimes, we face disappointments which also applies to blogging (obviously or I would not be writing this post). There are a few I can think of but what I wanted to focus on for today’s post is unsuccessful blog posts!! (No duh Analee, go ahead and ignore the title again why don’t you??)

Read More »

Blogging things I am very behind on // Because procrastination! And other distractions!

Hi everyone!! How are you? I hope you’re doing well since the last time I’ve spoken to you guys, which wasn’t that very long ago actually. 🙂 Today, I wanted to talk a bit about blogging habits… a bit more of an unconventional topic, though perhaps?? I don’t even know what inspired this post, honestly, but it’s something that I was wondering if anyone else had dealt with? Blogging, as we all know, takes much time and there are certain things you need to work on regularly, of course, like blog posts. But that’s not the only thing that goes with blogging! There are so many aspects to it which I am TOTALLY BEHIND ON, apart from blog posts (though I’ve been getting better at preparing blog posts so YAY), that can still be important! And I wanted to share those today!!Read More »

Bookish characters who are absolute QUEENS and make me look like a dull potato.

HI GUYS!! Ahhhhh I know, it’s been forever since I’ve last posted, and I am SO SORRY for that but I haven’t been feeling well lately, so I just really didn’t get around to writing blog posts or blog hopping for the past couple of weeks. I hope you guys have all been well and I promise I will be around to blog hop sometime soon!! I’VE MISSED TALKING TO YOU.

But I digress. I would love to shower you with all my love right now but you might get bothered sooooo I won’t do that. Yesterday was Victoria Day here in Canada in honor of Queen Victoria’s birthday, and so I got inspired to do a little themed post of BOOKISH QUEENS!! (Because queens are the best.) They’re not all in the literal sense, but these are characters I just love so much that I think are, in their own right, queens. Let’s do this!

Woah, an intro less than 500 words!! Go me.

1. Nina & Inej from Six of Crows duology

OH HI it’s just one of my favourite duos of ever???? The whole Six of Crows squad is my faveeee but these two are the only ones who really qualify for this post right now haha. Inej and Nina are both so badass and they are just such fabulous queens, slaying no matter what they do! (Just the first two bookish queens and already my talents are disappearing *sigh*) Also, they both like food (Nina in particular–you see why I love her??) and that’s automatically evidence of a smart queen in my book.

2. Yael from Wolf by Wolf

Omg. Can someone give this girl a medal?? And a crown? And all the hugs????? Poor precious Yael, her strength astounds me. Here she is riding a motorcycle race and with a goal to kill Hitler (admittedly, I wouldn’t want to be in her place BUT not the point) and then there’s me whose race is to finish exams in time and whose goal is to read more books and get more sleep?? (Failing both, fyi.) GO YAEL, true queen here.

3. Cinder from the Lunar Chronicles

Girl, we have a CYBORG here who’s saving the world like a true queen. I love Cinder so much, such a sweetie and poor soul. She accomplishes so much?? Like HOW.

4. Elli from The Impostor Queen*

You’re welcome for that uncomfortably large close up of her face!! Like people needed more reasons to dislike faces on book covers hahahaha. Even I’m kind of disturbed by this close up jeez she should smile more, smiles are good okay I’ll stop now. 

But okay, this series is hardly talked about as much but Elli is actually such a great character! She’s one of the *actual* queens as well, but there’s a whole lot going on there that makes it more complicated BUT nonetheless, she is also a true queen in other ways that I am unable to disclose so take my word for it. (I’m trustworthy I promise!!)

*I just had the greatest revelation ever realizing impostor isn’t spelled with an e???!? I am actually mindblown, you have no idea. Why isn’t with an e though??? It’s pronounced more with the e rather than an o??

5. Lila from Shades of Magic

MY FAVOURITE PIRATE!! (Psh, nah she’s not the only pirate I know…) I didn’t like her very much wayyyy back at the beginning, but all that’s pretty much history because Lila is just too fabulous, honestly. I don’t know how she keeps slaying like this. (Kell and Lila are also the best thing of ever btw) Her sass, her wit, her fighting skills and A+ pirating talents make her one of the best ever and it will take a VERY amazing pirate-queen (she’s not actually but this is a thing now??) to out-queen Lila, let me tell you. *Me: rethinks all of life’s decisions*

6. Kestrel from The Winner’s Curse

Just fyi, Kestrel is one of the most badass characters out there. JUST SAYING. Despite not having any superior fighting skill–in fact she’s kind of horrible at combat (I relate)–Kestrel proves her strength with her intelligence and strategy against her enemies. Definitely one of the main reasons I love the Winner’s Curse series so much. Let’s just say you wouldn’t want to be on her bad side?

8. Shahrzad from The Wrath and the Dawn

Can I first squeal over the fact that Renee Ahdieh’s Flame in the Mist is also now released and I CAN’T WAIT TO READ IT?? Ahem. Okay. Anyway! Shahrzad from TWATD is actually SUCH an amazing character, I love her so much and she’s just such a fab queen as well. SO MUCH LOVE. I honestly don’t know what else to say haha. Slay, girl!

9. Zahra from The Forbidden Wish

GUYS. If you haven’t read this book yet: YOU MUST. Apart from the fact that this is an Aladdin retelling that is quite frankly almost BETTER than the Disney story (I KNOW. Mindblowing already.), this book is such a great diverse, action-packed fantasy with such wonderful characterization. The main character, Zahra, is such a strong, and unique character. I honestly don’t know how else to describe her character, because truly she felt like a breath of fresh air while still being fabulous (as a queen is :P) and I LOVED IT.

10. Juliette from Shatter Me

Brb as I fangirl over the fact that there is going to be more books in this series??!? (But I have to wait SO LONG *cries*) Okay, I’m back!! Because Juliette, my darling girl here deserves some spotlight, I don’t think I’ve mentioned her enough on this blog here lately haha. Her powers are just so cool and I also adoreddddddd her character development over the course of the series. Going from a shy, scared girl to being a strong, fearless QUEEN with fabulous skills. Go, Juliette!!

11. Starr from The Hate U Give

CUE CHEERS for a character featured from a contemporary novel!! Honestly, there should totally be more… either I haven’t read as many of them, or my brain is slow and I just didn’t think of them. (OOPS in the second case but I mean?? I’m a goldfish, how fast are their our brains anyway.) Nonetheless, Starr is legitimately one of the best characters out there ever, and such an absolute queeeeeen omg someone give her a crown PLEASE. If you haven’t read this yet: YOU MUST.

ALRIGHT!! I’m going to stop there because a) I have to go and b) if I continue I WILL NEVER STOP haha.

I had so much fun writing this post!! To everyone who lives in Canada I hope your Victoria Day was great!! I really had planned for this post to go up yesterday but I went out to the tulip festival and I clearly didn’t get to do that oops. But anyway, which of these bookish queens do you agree with? (All of them obviously.) Are there other bookish queens you know of? (Literal or otherwise!) Let me know!! I’ll be around to visit blogs later as well, I can’t guarantee my activity for the rest of the month (what’s left of it, anyway, how did it go so fast??) but I do hope to have a couple of posts up and catch up on the loads of posts I’ve missed haha. Have a wonderful Tuesday everyone! Sending you lots of hugs. ❤ ❤ 

I finally did it! // NEW Blog theme, headers, and profile! *Cue excitement*

I know. What are you even reading right now??!

Forget that, what are you SEEING right now??!*

You’re not mistaken, I promise!

As the title says, I finally did it! I changed my blog theme (Visual) after 2 years of blogging. *celebrates with chocolate and binge-buying all the books I said I would not buy* I am SO excited to finally go through with it.

I mentioned it a couple of times, wanting to change my blog theme, discussing the option of self-hosting as well, because I wanted more options for my blog and was getting tired of my theme, to be honest. It didn’t motivate me to blog anymore, and I’ve been restless to change it! The dark theme just wasn’t doing it and I’m a firm believer in doing whatever feels right for yourself and your blog.

So, I finally decided on this theme!! It’s super popular throughout the blogging community I noticed, and I was kind of worried people would think I’m copying their theme, but in the end I really couldn’t find many other themes that suited me and what I was looking for and I just really love the look of this theme. 😀

*That is, if you’re actually on my blog and not looking at this post on the Reader or email LOL.

Now, for the fun part! Graphics!

I made this graphic using the lovely watercolor background that Angie from Angie Makes so kindly offers as a freebie! There were several variations I played with, but in the end I thought this one looked good. I had a variation of this where I used the Playlist Script font which was so beautiful but I decided to keep the Brusher font I’ve been using for my header images. It just has the nice mix of looking elegant but playful, I guess??

I’m debating whether or not I should go for a gold theme instead though??????? GUYS I’M SO BAD AT MAKING DECISIONS. I think the pink one looks good though??? Or is it too pink? (I GIVE UP. )

But, for the sake of this post and my sanity, I’ll go with the pink theme unless there’s some serious problem haha.

So, I would totally do the whole text box thingy with the HTML code and stuff but like… laziness?? And it’s hardly necessary, this is mostly so you guys can see what my profile picture will now look like, hopefully… When I get around to changing it! It’s going to be so weird, to see the different icon, I think, I got so used to having the one I have now haha.

And that’s the new design for the dividers I plan on using! I never really used dividers before, but I think they’re a great way to break up text, especially since I don’t always have a lot of images.

I’m honestly not sure AT ALL how and if I’m going to be changing my post headers though?? I kind of like how simple and easy they are to make at the moment, and I’m not exactly sure what I’d change them to. We’ll see! I kind of don’t mind the one I have right now, just might change the font.


Oh yeah, that’s new too! 😉 I also have another variation for the ending graphic, not sure if I’ll use this or the Let’s chat but it’s an option and I think it’s cute ahah. ❤

Have you ever changed your blog theme? I hope you guys like my new theme and graphics! Let me know your thoughts!! 

Fantasy is actually not the only genre I love?? // Why I love contemporary + Books you have to read because I said so

Obnoxiously loud statement of the day: I reeeeeeeally want it to be the weekend.

Seriously, why is it only Wednesday???

Also, this post was supposed to go up on Monday and I’m behind on two posts that were supposed to go up this week?? #whylife #ugh *cries*

But talking to you guys always makes my day better, and so now I say HI! I hope you’re having a lovely day. I woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning, ignore my momentary grumpiness and screeches of first world problems haha.

To the task at hand! All of you know (even if you didn’t before, it’s in the title so UM.) how much I love fantasy! I’ve always loved it (HP and PJO, anyone?) and got even more into it after joining the blogosphere. BUT. I am a polygamous lover (for books, not irl, just in case you got confused lollll) and so fantasy is actually not the only genre I love! *cue gasp* Contemporary, is a genre I only really got into once I started blogging, and I do love reading it! My fantasies are always going to be dear to my heart, but contemporaries can be so much fun and also very very important. This month, I’ve noticed my reading material has mostly been contemporaries, and this month also had a large number of contemporaries being released, so I thought it would be a perfect time to talk about why I love contemporary books so much and also grace you with my wonderful book recommendations!  That all of you will absolutely agree with and add to your TBR immediately. Of course. 😉

1. There are so many different stories to be told.

Not that this doesn’t apply to other genres (don’t get me wrong, it TOTALLY DOES #fantasy anyone?), because this aspect is kind of universal to reading in general and is not in any way exclusive to one genre, BUT. It’s the aspect of reading that makes contemporary special to read for me. Of course, there are books that follow a similar structure and storyline, (sooooooo many tropes everywhere) and seem like they’re copies of another book, but at the same time I know I can pick up a contemporary book most of the time and be brought into a story unlike others I’ve read, if that makes sense. (Also because nowadays I’m a bit more selective and try to picks books that I’ve either been recommended or think I’ll like haha.) At the end of the day, there are just so many different types of stories to be told and I can appreciate that, no matter what genre I read.

2. I can relate to the characters (more?)

Again, this can and does definitely apply to other genres! (Let’s play a game: see how many times that phrase is repeated throughout this post!) And there are of course exceptions where the character could be an oddball alien who doesn’t like reading and I will not relate at all. (#truth lol)

BUT it is kind of comforting to read about characters who deal with more mundane and normal struggles? As much as I’d like to relate from experience, I actually can’t understand what it feels like to face off against Voldemort (or even just go to a magic school, honestly–because who wants to battle old Voldy anyway?) or go on epic heists with a whole squad of fabulous people (I wishhhhhhh #sixofcrowsquad). The magical thing about reading those books is feeling like we’re a part of that and being taken to this whole new world (AND I LOVE THAT SO MUCH), but sometimes it’s a great feeling to read about the experiences of people who are not as other-worldly. Let’s forget about the fact that I hardly experienced half of the things that happened to contemporary novel characters either. And also the fact where the majority of them seem to despise having friends and I can’t relate because friends are lifeeeee .

3. Diversity! (YES PLEASE)

Again, this totally can (and should??!) be found in other genres! But in contemporary is where I have noticed it to be most evident and I hesitate to use this word, but common??? Although most, if not every genre, is making the effort to include diversity (or at least they should be!), the books I find that have, I don’t know, LGBT exploration, mental illness/disabilities, or POC characters seem to be found generally in contemporary. Again, diveristy is NOT exclusive to this genre! That is not what I’m saying at all, but in contemporary it seems to be more often that I see diversity explored–but maybe I’m just reading the right books or the wrong books in other genres. 😉 Either way, the amount of diversity rep that I’ve found in some books is AMAZING and one of the reasons I love this genre so much.

4. Cute and fluffy is so much fun! All the smiles!

I love blood and all the battling as much as the next person (who is actually probably creeped out?? And have you realized how inaccurate this statement can be?? The ‘next person’ can have all sorts of feelings and you don’t know how much they like something what am I doing with my life I don’t even know anymore) But sometimes it can be kind of therapeutic to sit down and read something that maybe doesn’t take as much focus, or commitment (because fantasy is almost never just one book) and just something that’s light and FUN. Because life is stressful and winding down with a cute and fluffy book that you know will have a happily ever after can be SO SATISFYING. Maybe that’s just the romantic in me speaking, I don’t know, I kind of love cute contemporary romances from time to time ahah. Also the best of the best can make me SMILE or laugh and bring out all the happy emotions that remind me there is a life outside death haha. (But also this applies to any genre; if a fantasy novel can make me laugh or smile in between all the heartbreak, INSTANT LOVE. cough Shades of Magic series cough)

5. But there are also books that BREAK YOUR HEART and that is fabulous.

If you thought contemporary is all about the light and fluffy (now I’m thinking of baking cupcakes???? Oops. But I do want cupcakes right now???), well you’re not wrong! There is like, an abundance of light and fluffy books that all seem to follow the same recipe (ha) and one of the reasons I feel like people don’t take contemporary seriously? BUT a mistaken perception is that’s all it is, because it is SO NOT. There is actually a relatively large amount of books that have either a) broken my hearts so much I CAN’T EVEN. OR b) shined a light on topics that are not talked about often and hence are SO SO PRECIOUS??! And those books are forever imprinted in my heart and just as beloved as the fantasies that claim my heart. (!!!)

I would totally list more reasons but doing these ones took a lot more time than I expected (dangit my habit of writing extremely unnecessary long things) and I am very short on time right now, but I wanted to write this psot because it’s been SO LONG since my last one, but I also want to give you guys a good list of books to read so I’ll be cutting my original plan to 5 reasons instead! I think I got the main ones though?? I hope??


Books you need in your life

For the relatable characters and cuteness

Tell Me Three Things is SUCH a fun and sweet novel! It seems like it has a love-shape of some sorts, but it actually doesn’t really and was overall super cute and I highly recommend if you’re looking for a fun novel! I can’t wait to see what book this author writes next.

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is also a favourite of mine!! It’s actually not a stand alone though, so bewareee. So far the first two are released and the third one is going to be released in a few days on the second? I liked the first better than the second I think but I am still super excited.

Literally any of Sarah Dessen’s contemporary will probably be amazing. I haven’t read all of her books, but the ones I’ve read are so good and The Truth About Forever is one I will always recommend! Other good ones are Just Listen, as well as Saint Anything that I also loved. ❤

If there’s a book that is beloved by nearly all that’s read it, it’s FANGIRL! Such a favourite everywhere, and for good reason too! Fangirl speaks to everyone and anyone who is/was ever an introvert and gives us a super adorable romance while we’re at it. Agh. So much love!

Awwwwwwwww is all I say to this haha (and also there are so many books with this kind of title??? Be more creative plz my brain gets confused). Kasie West is another one of those authors who literally writes the cutest books ever?? I chose this one because it’s the most recent one I read (like, sometime last year) but I also adored The Distance Between Us, The Fill-In Boyfriend (super annoying main character though), and a bunch more. For a cute contemporary, this is where you go!

Morgan Matson seems to be one of the most popular authors when it comes to contemporary as well? She’s written multiple books that so many people love, but I’ve only read one of hers haha. Definitely hope to change that because I’ve heard Second Chance Summer is another one of her good ones and The Unexpected Everything was so cute.

Last but not least, Anna and the French Kiss aka one of the most cringe-worthy titles ever but such an adorable story? (I also really really really really want to go to Paris!!) I haven’t picked up the following companion novels Lola or Isla, but I’ve heard so many good things (about Isla especially) that I can’t wait!

For the diversity, cuteness and also relatable characters (#win)

Am I putting both of her books here? Why, yes I am because both are literally SO GOOD. I’m going to have to say Simon vs is my favourite (I LOVE IT SO MUCH) but I recently read The Upside of Unrequited and now I am in love with it tooooooooo. SO MUCH LOVEEEEE. Also side note Becky Albertalli liked and replied to my tweet on Twitter???!!! *cue freaking out*

Everything, Everything is not without flaws, but props for diversity (POC main character, #ownvoices) and it is super adorable with very cute little artsy images that I loved!! Holding Up the Universe was also super adorable and diverse (YAY). I’m getting lazier and lazier but The Summer of Chasing Mermaids has a POC main character, is very loosely based off The Little Mermaid (very very loosely) and also has a super cute romance!

Also:

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas that has all of the above and also deals with very very important topics and is kind of the best ever???? READ IT. (I just found out she’s writing a second book and BE STILL MY HEART.)

For the above + broken heart

Because authors seem to stick to a certain type of book and in this case Adam Silvera decides on destroying our heart but also shower it with feels and love and cuteness?? BUT SO MUCH HURT. And pain. *cries* The Problem with Forever also does this and it was so adorable in some parts but my hearttttttttt omg. </3

Eleanor & Park BROKE MY HEART so much, guys. *cries* And I’ll Give You the Sun has the bonus of being one of the most beautifully written contemporary book ever IT WAS SO GOOD. My heart was destroyed, the characters felt so reallllll and just all around amazing. Same goes for The Sky is Everywhere *cries* (although the main character makes the worst decisions). Jandy Nelson is basically a fabulous author? (Literally every author on this list ever.)

Broken hearts galore

Goes unsaid for all those who have read All the Bright Places but it is UTTERLY HEARTBREAKING BUT ABSOLUTELY AMAZING. So beautifully written, and my heart still hurts thinking about the story and its characters!

A List of Cages did have some happier/lighter moments (ADAM <3) but it is completely heartbreaking and also such an important read, diverse and also it has the best brotherly-type relationship EVERRRR (including Kell and Rhy ofc). ❤ If you can stand heavier and tear-worthy topics, read this one because it is just such an amazing book.

I’m still reading Whisper to Me, and I’m not even halfway yet but my heart is already in the process of being destroyed??? AGH. I totally did not expect it either is the thing, it seemed like a super cute book (just look at that cover??) and I forget blurbs very very easily. I’m kind of scared to finish it because I know the feels and all the heartbreak is going to increase SO MUCH. But I love it??


Raise your hand if you think my posts are too long!

Me: *raises hand* *laughs guiltily* 

I hope you still enjoyed this post ahah, I feel like it’s a post long overdue, but now here it is! Do you like reading contemporary? What books were your favourites? Which of my recs do you plan on reading (if you haven’t already)? (All of them is the right answer, fyi. :P) I hope you guys are all doing well, happy Thursday! ❤

Books I would’ve read in March if I hadn’t been in a slump // Lists + books = fun!

Thought of the day: The universe doesn’t like to give me sleep. 

Hey everyone! I hope your first few days of April has been going well! I’m currently writing this super late, hence the above little thought because SLEEP. One of the things I love almost as much as books that, unlike books, I don’t get enough of…

But moving on, the title of this post is kind of unconventional, but, I didn’t want to exactly do a wrap-up seeing how there were so little things that happened (including the amount of books read… I believe I read 2? Possibly 3? You’d think I’d be able to remember the amount since it’s so small, but. Goldfish here.) The biggest thing, however, was my birthday and blogiversary, which I already posted about so you see? And I also talked briefly about how much I adored the movie of Beauty and the Beast (SO SO GOOD GUYS)… I am a boring little potato sometimes.

SO March wasn’t very interesting, small exciting moments aside. I’m glad I was able to still post a bit for you guys though! I’m currently trying to come up with an easier schedule for me so I can post a little more regularly, but anyway. Today’s post is kind of like a TBR?? Except not really, because I’m a huge mood reader and planning out what to read is lots of fun (because LISTS and BOOKS) but actually following that plan? Um. Yeah, no. So instead, it’s just the list and the books without any sort of attachments to it? I’m not making any sense, am I. Oh well. Letès just get into the books I would’ve read in March if I could’ve. 

Caraval by Stephanie Garbar:  I have lost count of how many people adored this book?? It sounds like something I would totally devour and I totally would’ve loved to read it last month. I will definitely be getting around to it someday, fingers crossed this month?! 

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas: I KNOW, I KNOW. This book is at the top of my TBR right now, I know this isn’t a TBR post, but aghhhh if only my slump hadn’t attacked during March! I had been looking forward to this book for so long. Everyone has been praising this book nonstop, it’s a diverse read, own-voices, SO MANY REASONS TO READ THIS. 

Hunted by Megan Spooner:  Beauty and the Beast retelling? Yes please! I haven’t read many reviews on this one, but the ones I have read are really good (haven’t gone looking for the bad ones, granted) and I really would’ve loved to read this last month, seeing how the movie of B&B was released then! SIGH. Slumps.

RoseBlood by A.G. HowardI haven’t read any of A.G. Howard’s books yet, and I plan to read her previous series Splintered as well, but I really wanted to try this one out! It’s a standalone for one thing, as well as a retelling of Phantom of the Opera. I’ve heard mixed things, but I definitely want to give it a try someday!

The Cursed Queen by Sarah Fine:  Remember how I said this isn’t a TBR? Yeah, I’m going to be honest and say I don’t think I’ll be reading this anytime soon… I loved the first book, The Imposter Queen, but it’s been such a long time that this has lowered in priority at the moment. I do want to read it though, and had I been in a more reading mood for March, I could definitely see myself picking this up.

Vicious by V.E. Schwab: In case you weren’t aware; V.E. Schwab is one of my favourite authors ever?? The Shades of Magic series has forever changed me and I am IN LOVE with her writing. I don’t even know why I haven’t read this yet???! Someone push me to read it. 

– Starfall by Melissa Landers: I hope to read this sometime as well, but again, it’s been a while so the details from the first book are a bit blurry! The POV changed too, which I’ll admit has me more hesitant because I loved the main characters in the first book so much. The struggle of companion novels. Authors, stop getting me so attached to the characters if you’re just going to snatch them away from me later?? (That goes for character deaths too actually.) 

– The Bone Witch by Run Chupeco: I don’t know if I really would’ve read this, but I definitely wouldève loved to, and will pick it up sometime in the future, hopefully! I’ve heard that it’s a diverse book, and it sounds really good, so fingers crossed for someday!

By Your Side by Kasie West Kasie West is so great at writing fluffy contemporaries! Her contemporaries are always so cute and fun and although this one has gotten mixed reviews (some expressing disappointment at the lack of the library plot being used properly, nooooooo) I definitely think it would be fun to try all the same.

Written in the Stars by Aisha Saeed I love finding new diverse reads, and I stumbled across this one a while ago and I’ve really wanted to read it! I even tried starting it a few times I think, but didn’t get too far in and obviously, didn’t finish it. We’re not doing a monthly TBR here, but if we were, I definitely want to give this a shot!


That was what, 10 books? I can’t say really if I would really be able to finish all of these, or if perhaps I would’ve chosen other books than these ones had I not been in a slump, but nonetheless these are some books I had a good chance of picking up! Some of these I hope I can read this month, others I may not, who knows! Sidenote: there’s a fair amount of fantasy here?? Whoops. Sorry not sorry. I would love to have any other recs though, contemporary or otherwise! I also want to read more diverse books; feel free to hit me up with suggestions for those as well. But mostly: have you read any of these books? Which should I prioritize? How was your month of March? (Pray for a no-slump month for me plz. :P)

I hope you have a lovely day! ❤

Basically a whole bunch of contemporary! // 2017 April Book Releases

It’s no longer April Fool’s, but funny-not-funny story for yesterday: I woke up to my sister screaming and acting like there was a spider on my bed. AGH. #sisterproblems

Hello everyone and happy second day of April! I hope your first couple of days of April have been off to a good start! I haven’t posted for the past few days though, sorry about that! I’ve been so busy and just haven’t gotten a chance to blog hop, read, or write a post at all. WHY DOES TIME HATE ME. A struggle that goes on forever. I know I don’t really have to apologize, but nonetheless.

It so does not feel like April though?? I will never understand this whole time and month thing, honestly. It feels so short. But, it is (apparently) April, which means it’s time for new books being released!! I had not had much time at all to read last month, like at all (I finished 3 books?? Which is not terrible but not at all my usual number… I hardly read any books.) BUT. I am of course an addict for new books and I am loving the titles being released this month!

April 1st

All the Forever Things by Jolene Perry: I don’t know about this one, actually?? It sounds and looks super cute but I’ve briefly skimmed some reviews and it doesn’t seem to be something I think I’d enjoy. But, nonetheless, willing to keep an open mind!

The Secret Science of Magic by Melissa Keil: The main character in this one is a genius! And has social anxiety! (? correct me if I’m wrong, someone!) And that’s all I know about it! But it sounds amazing and I’ve seen people rave about it, so count me in.

April 4th

Definitions of Indefinable Things by Whitney Taylor: Seemingly a cute contemporary! It sounds like a really fun read.

The Last Thing You Said by Sara Biren: Another contemporary! April is really bringing on the cute contemporary reads–not that I mind! Contemporary is one of my favourite genres, next to fantasy. Bring on the cute reads!

Alex, Approximately by Jenn Bennett: Ummmmm. No idea what it’s about. Oh well. It’s a contemporary? Sorry, I am no help with this description thing…

Gem & Dixie by Sara Zarr: Another contemporary! I have no idea what it’s about (I AM A GOLDFISH, OKAY.) but it looks cute!

Letters to the Lost by Brigid Kemmerer: I believe this is a contemporary?? THE COVER IS SO PRETTY. I’m in love.

But Then I Came Back by Estelle Laure: Coma patients! Friendship (??) and another contemporary! This one sounds pretty interesting, actually.

Toward a Secret Sky by Heather Maclean: Uhhh… Do I know what this book is about??? Nope. But the cover is pretty??

Defy the Stars by Claudia Gray: A sci-fi novel! I liked the author’s previous works well enough, so I’m interested in seeing how this one turns out.

Shadowcaster by Cinda Williams Chima (Shattered Realms #2): I haven’t read any of this series or any of the author’s books, but I really want to!! I’ve heard her fantasy books are really amazing, and I can’t wait.

Perfect by Cecelia Ahern (Flawed #2): This is the sequel to the first book, that released last year (Flawed) and I haven’t read that one either, but for those who have, I hope you enjoy this one!

April 6th

The State of Grace by Rachael Lucas: I believe this book deals with a character with autism?? I can’t comment on the rep or the content at all, obviously, but I heard it was good and I’m hoping that’s true?

April 11th

The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli: IT’S ALMOST HERE!!! Becky Albertallu aka creator of my best friend Simon is releasing a NEW BOOK. *flails* *dies*

Spindle Fire by Lexa Hillyer: Retelling galore!! You guys probably know how much I love retellings *cough* Beauty and the Beast phase *cough* so I’m super excited for this one.

Blacksouls by Nicole Castroman: PIRATES AND PIRATING! YAY. I really enjoyed the first book, Blackhearts, and I need this one asap?? Plz and thanks.

Alex and Eliza: A Love Story by Melissa de la Cruz: I’ve recently gotten into Hamilton??? SO PERFECT TIMING because I’m obsessed with it and I will devour this book because: Hamilton and Eliza’s story. Yayyy! (Don’t disappoint me pleaseeeeee.)

Side note: The lack of coordination color-wise of these covers side to side makes me frustrated. WHY CAN’T THEY FOLLOW A THEME. I suppose they all have some black?? Except Spindle Fire is like gray?? I CAN’T.

Given to the Sea by Mindy McGinnis (Given Duet #1): Mindy McGinnis has wowed me before with previous works SO I WANT THIS NOW thanks.

Fireworks by Katie Cotugno: I believe I may have read one other book from this author?? But like I can’t remember if it was by this author or not? But I honestly don’t know about this one… it just rubs me the wrong way for some reason. *shrug*

Literally by Lucy Keating: No idea what this one is about! I swear, I go on Goodreads. I just have a tiny little issue of forgetting the synopsis 2 seconds after I read it and being too lazy to reopen and read it again. Oops.

Duels and Deception by Cindy Anstey: Awww what a cute pastel-blue cover with fancy-ish writing! I like it. Do I know what the story is about? Ummmm deception? And duels, duh.

April 18th

Meg & Linus by Hanna Nowinski: I love this cover design!! I WANT THIS NOW. It also seems super cute, so. Even death-and-more-death people need their contemporaries!

The Adjustment by Suzanne Young: I haven’t read this series, but, it’s ending so I might just end up reading the whole series one day! Until then, I hope the people who are reading this series enjoy this. 🙂

April 25th

North of Happy by Adi Alsaid: I actually wasn’t the biggest fan of the other book I read from this author, I believe it was Never Always Sometimes? Something like that. BUT. I am willing to give this author another chance!

The Whole Thing Together by Ann Brashares: I actually read the synopsis again for this one! Because I needed to find the cover. And it sounds like a great book about relationships, family, and self-discovery, so yay!


In a nutshell: April is full of contemporary releases! If you’re a fan of contemporary, like me, I’m sure that news makes you happy. If not, well, there are still plenty of other past releases this year to keep you company! (Seriously, there are SO MANY BOOKS being released my goal of reading them all is rapidly growing more and more impossible… *cries*)

Which of these are you looking forward to?? Do you enjoy contemporaries? Are you being overwhelmed with the copious amounts of books being released?? Let me know in the comments!

The ups and downs of blogging // 2 years blogiversary + birthday!!

Failed moment of the day: I literally spelled my blog title “Book Snakes” in an email and did not realize it for the longest time ever. Oops. (But it kind of sounds good? Is that just me…)

Hello everyone!! Ignore the above. 🙂 I meant to post this yesterday, but I got kind of caught up with things and didn’t get the chance, unfortunately. By things, I mean I turned 19 yesterday??? And it’s my 2 year-blogiversary?? It honestly doesn’t feel any different but somehow I’m older? But like I’m still not down with this whole adulting thing… #helpwhereismychildhood

This isn’t going to be a me-focused post, but a mini timeline:

I started my blog on March 20-something (let’s go with 24th because it’s around the time I started posting more often + saves me from mixing up dates), 2015. I have since then:

  • Survived high school (?!)
  • Started university (SO MUCH WORK but I suppose it’s an accomplishment haha)
  • Continued part-time work (aka I have even less time)
  • Bought too many books
  • Went to Disney World + Universal Studios (HARRY POTTER omg I CAN’TTTTT) and literally had the best time ever
  • Seriously though you can’t imagine how amazing it was.
  • I’m actually in love with Butterbeer and I even got a stuffed Hedwig I love herrrrr
  • I know I never even mentioned this until now?? lol. But I went during the week of Christmas (SO BUSY my god) and it was basically my dream come true in HP World. I adore roller coasters so much and it was heaven.
  • Written 435 posts (including this one)
  • Procrastinated on too many things

Can you believe it’s also been 2 YEARS since I started this blog??? My. mind. can’t. process. this. HOW has it been so long??? (Well, long for me, anyway, seeing how I never thought this would last this much time.) Granted, I didn’t blog for 7 months during this time, which is probably why it doesn’t really feel like 2 years, but nonetheless, it’s been 2 years since I started the blog! I wanted to take a moment to thank you guys, first of all, for sticking through my rambling inconsistent nonsense (who would have thought???), and secondly, for making this whole blogging thing SO WORTHWHILE. ❤ ❤

BUT. Blogging is HARD. I don’t think I’ve ever talked about particularly the things that are difficult, so here we go!

What I struggled with

Finding the time to blog

This is actually something I still struggle with, honestly. What is time and how do we have enough of it to do the 19876 things in our lives??? Someone please offer the answer, because I have no clue. When I first started, I tried to post everyday, and for a few months at a time, it worked. But my quality of posts were not as good, and I ended up giving up on the daily posts thing because life just gets SO BUSY. I occasionally prepare my posts in advance now, but other times, even that proves to be challenging. The posts alone can take so much of my time, it takes at least an hour for most posts, depending on the type… but then you add in making graphics, commenting, and all other blogging things… LIKE I SAID. No time. *cry face*

Writing blog posts

Finding the inspiration and idea to write a blog post–a creative, and interesting one–was actually much harder than I’d expected?? Am I the only one who thinks this?? I love writing discussions, for one, but coming up with a topic?? Can be so hard. Sometimes I’m totally struck by inspiration and it can be easy, but other times I try (and fail) to writing something semi-coherent and enjoyable to read haha. I’ve had to resign myself to this fact: there are very few ‘original’ topics. Most things (such as this pros and cons of blogging, if you will) have already been written about. But, as I learned, it’s your own take on it that makes it an interesting post! But that is hard when the topic just isn’t coming to you… *glares at past blogging slumps* Very familiar with that, unfortunately. 

Blog hopping & commenting

I adore blog hopping and commenting on other blogs!! It’s so much fun and I always love hearing from other bloggers–that interaction is what makes blogging so special, right? What I struggle with is again, time. Time, to not only reply to comments on my own blog, but also leave a comment on the commenter’s blog, and then go blog-hop on and comments on other blogs. I try my best, but sometimes I get behind on my commenting game, and reply to comments a bit late–and then also spend double the amount of time binge-blog hopping and catching up on posts I’ve missed. It’s just so time-consuming though, and I feel so bad that I can’t make it to every blog ahah. If I haven’t stopped by your blog in a while, I promise, I’m trying! 🙂

Getting caught up in the stats

I didn’t expect much when I first started blogging in terms of stats (i.e. followers, likes, comments, etc.) but I think after two years there are things I’ve come to expect from my blog, and I won’t lie, stats kind of really impacted my blogging experience in a negative way sometimes. As a human being, as a perfectionist-in-certain-areas person in particular, being ‘successful’ (in quotations because everyone has different definitions) is kind of a goal. And blogging takes so much work, and effort, that getting, say, lots of views, or lots of comments on your posts feels good, and when you don’t, it can lead, inevitably, to disappointment, which can lead later to a lack of motivation to blog. The easiest thing, I’ve learned, is to not care about the stats as much, but that’s easier said than done. It’s perfectly fine to care about the stats, just need to find that balance so that it doesn’t start to bring you down.

Comparing myself to other bloggers

Is it just me who has looked at other bloggers before “Their blog is so [successful/popular/creative/eye-catching/insert attribute here]” and subconsciously compared it to my own? There are SO MANY absolutely amazing blogs out there that 100% deserve all the praises, and I would be the first one to gush over the many fabulous qualities. I think it’s great to show that support, those bloggers deserve it so much! But then, comes in the creeping thought of “Is mine not good enough?” or “Why isn’t mine as successful?” and that’s when it gets difficult. I’ve been through it. Let me say this: YOUR BLOG IS GREAT, PEOPLE. I truly mean it. Stats, everything, doesn’t matter if you’re happy with your blog. It’s perfectly fine to love other blogs (you totally should!!) but take a moment to just appreciate your blog as well instead of comparing it because that will make you so much happier. ❤ #lessonlearned xD

What makes it all so worth it:

The blogging community

#1 reason, hands down!! My praises for the blogging community are literally endless. The limitless amount of kind, caring and such amazing people that I’ve met during my blogging years make me ask why aren’t people around the world more like them?? Legit, if the world was as lovely as the blogging community, we’d have world peace and so much more love!! ❤ ❤ Even better is the fact that through the blogging community, I’ve gotten the chance to meet and learn, about so many people, so many things, and of course, new books. It feels so great to know that whenever I have a book I adore (or a book I despise), there will ALWAYS be someone there to either fangirl or rant with me. That sense of belonging, got lost to me a few times over my blogging journey (7 months disappearing kind of does that…) but blogging again re-introduced me to the magic that I fell in love with; There is no better feeling than fangirling with another fellow human, a friend who understands you. And I know I’m verging on cheesiness-overload (if I’m not already swimming in it), but I really mean that! The amount of friends I’ve made through blogging has made all of it SO WORTH IT. All of the struggles I mentioned above? Mean nothing, at the end of the day when I think about how great all of you are. THANK YOU for being such lovely human beings. ❤ ❤

Gosh, now I’m all emotional. This is terrible for my rep, guys. Ugh. ❤

There are so many other good sides to blogging, trust me, but I’m really short on time right now and I hope this is enough aha. ❤ ❤ The blogging community is absolutely the best part though?!?


I still can’t believe it’s been 2 years. 

Okay, okay, I’ll get used to it! But thank you once again, and tell me: have you gone through any of these struggles?? How long have you been blogging, and what do you love about it? (Me, obviously, but that’s a given. :P) I love talking to each and every one of you, thank you SO MUCH for just being so supportive. ❤ ❤ A million hugs to all of you!!

Blogging Babbles: Blog design, Self-hosting and other daunting thoughts | DISCUSSION

*everyone double takes at the title as they realize it is not retelling/fairytale/Beauty and the Beast themed*

Yes, you read that right!! I will admit, yes, perhaps I was just a tiny bit obsessed with Beauty and the Beast for the past days leading up to the movie’s release, and had a few* themed posts the past week or so. I do hope you guys enjoyed it!! BUT. I am ready to move forward! My 2nd blogiversary is coming up soon**–though I need help deciding whether it counts because I didn’t blog for 7 months last year???–which means I’ve got a more blogging focus going right now. (You can tell I’m really into the “theme” idea here…).

*3, to be exact. Not very many, in the grand scheme of things. I was contemplating writing a post this time on why you should watch the movie itself, [which I adored by the way] but I figured a post of me screeching about how amazing it was wouldn’t be very helpful. So. JUST GO WATCH IT. And then come to squeal with me on the blog or on Twitter. Ahem.

**I can’t believe it’s been 2 years?????!! BUT. It’s a bit more complicated because I wasn’t sure if I was going to count this because I took a 7-month hiatus last year where I didn’t post anything??? I literally was DEAD. I’m scarred just looking at the HUGE BLANK in my blogging calendar for that time. Is my blogiversary even valid right now if technically it’s been 2 years – (minus) 7 months of blogging???? HELPPPPPP.

The topic you see here today is something that I had wondered/asked myself and was conflicted about for quite some time: Changing your blog’s design and the big question: self-hosting–Should you do it, the process, pros and cons, etc. AND I AM SO CONFLICTED. So let’s discuss! (Aka helpppppppp me I am a smol uncertain bean here)

The great self-host debacle begins!

*sigh* I make it sound so much more interesting than it is.

Why it is tempting.

My blog, has had pretty much the same look ever since I started blogging; the Visual theme offered by WordPress.com. A dark background with white lettering. What you see now is what it’s pretty much what’s always been, and there’s not really anything I can do to change its apperance. And I think that’s one of the things that has me thinking about the daunting idea of self-hosting, because it offers more freedom and control over blog design and how it looks. 

See, I still really like the theme I have now, but I’ve really been juggling with the idea of having a white background as a change instead of the dark one I have now. I do like it, because I feel like it’s unique in the sense that not many people (that I follow or have seen, anyway) have this theme, or a dark background. But even aside from that, I liked how it looked. But a light background is tempting because it feels so much more positive and uplifting than the dark one I have and also several people said they might like it better… It could bring a much-needed change to my blog?? I don’t know. *shrug*

So, I scroll through the free themes WordPress.com has to offer, preview a bunch of them, spend too much time screeching in despair, and I can’t find anything new, that suits me. I found a few themes that I like, but have been used so many times it doesn’t feel like me or feels like I’d be copying other bloggers haha. Which is silly, I know, but something in my head all the same. Others in theory are really nice but lack some of the qualities I’m looking for.

There’s also the option of WordPress.com’s Premium themes, before we hop on the self-hosting wagon. I’ve looked through some of those as well and although they’re nice, I couldn’t find anything that fit either. Shhhh I’m not being that picky. Don’t get me wrong, they’re really nice and I haven’t seen all of them, but at the moment, I’m still indifferent.

Which brings me to self-hosting! The two main reasons why it’s tempting to me at the moment: a) freedom over several things, but especially blog design, i.e. more options to play around with and b) my own blog name. Aka no “.wordpress.com” after your blog’s title URL. It’s nothing I can’t deal with, but I’d love to have my URL just be “booksnacks.com”, and self-hosting would allow me to do that.*

*I’ve also heard you can also buy your domain to get rid of the wordpress.com?? Or buy the URL?? Something like that? So it would still be WordPress hosting your site, but you can get rid of the ‘wordpress.com’?? Correct me if I’m wrong! But that’s definitely another idea as well.

The perks of self-hosting (WordPress.org), in a nutshell:

  • Full control over blog design, formatting, theme, etc.
  • More media space (I think?)
  • Option of monetizing your blog via ads
  • Basically lots of freedom.
  • Own domain (no wordpress.com)

There is a bunch more stuff about self-hosting vs not at these links, if you want to check them out: Difference between WordPress.com and .orgpros and cons, a helpful comparison.

To play the devil’s advocate…

Aka my fears and questions show their little heads

  • “What if you lose your posts while moving over to a different platform??” Okay, the earlier ones can disappear into the darkness but I have worked hard on the rest of the posts?? I poured my soul into them*, but mostly so much TIME and it would kind of suck if that all disappeared. o.O
  • “What if I lose followers/views?” I mean, it’s not that much of a big deal, but it would kind of suck if that happened?? Being a very lazy person, I like the convenience of having to only press one button in order to follow wordpress.com blogs, and the WordPress Reader is how many people find my blog so like…?? Again, not a big deal but it’s in your head all the same, you know?
  • “Do I even want to self-host?” Remember me being a very lazy person? Yeah, well seeing how switching to self-hosted would be I’d have to put in all that extra work and time keeping the blog in proper condition. And I don’t have enough time as it is…??
  • “I finally got the hang of this WordPress thing?? And self-hosting seems so much harder??” Correct me if I’m wrong, but self-hosted blog require more work, no? And definitely a lot of new things to grasp and learn about. I know there are tons of articles out there helping out with that sort of thing, but still. New. Concepts. #notime
  • “I can’t really pay for it??” I mean, I can but that’s an added expense that could’ve been spent on a) chocolate b) BOOKSSSSS c) new fuzzy socks or d) Bath and Body Works and e) MORE BOOKS.
  • Tbh why am I even having this discussion??
  • Cause the whole concept of self-hosting depends on PAYING.
  • And I just don’t have the finances for that?? #studentlife

BUT. It is still definitely that I’m interested in mostly because I want to change my theme but I can’t find anything for free that suits what I want and self-hosting would offer more freedom? As well as the fact that having a dot com url would be kind of nice. Yet WordPress.com is free and I have to do less work so. #nice And it’s also a great community and it’s easy to interact with others (via Reader)? UGH. SO MANY STRUGGLES. #halp


But what are your thoughts?? Have you thought about self-hosting? Have you changed your theme before? (Should I change mine??) If you are self-hosted, how is your experience? (Also does a blogiversary count if it’s technically been 2 years since you started but you hadn’t blogged for 7 months in that time??????)

Let’s chat!