Life Update: The Missing Book Blogger

Life Update: The Missing Book Blogger

Hello everyone!

I’m sorry for the absence these past couple of weeks. TBH, it feels like I’ve been absent in more ways than one the whole summer. There’s been so much going on in the real world that the Internet world needed a step back. All that being said, I’m finally back to the swing of things and I can’t wait to share with you what’s been going on.

Well, there isn’t much to tell. I think many of you already know, but my husband and I moved across the country to Los Angeles.

For the next part of this blog post, I’m going to tell you everything that happened in a timeline.

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What’s Your Choice? Loving or Hating a Book

What’s Your Choice? Loving or Hating a Book

There are some wonderful books out that most of the reading world will love. It deserves all the stars and their only flaw being too beautiful. Most people read these books and most people give it four or five stars. It didn’t offend them. It was easy-to-read. It led to 80% of the audience to tears. These are great reads and if you read reviews, you’ll know you’re getting a good read.

However, there are other books in this world that will always polarize the audience. People will absolutely adore it and others will absolutely hate it or not finish it. Each of these books is like a fork in the road. One road will take you on to the sunsets and heavens of great reading. The other road will leave you confused by the roadside.

Recently, I picked up Uprooted, a book that’s a little bit polarizing on Goodreads. Some people absolutely loved it and credit the book to being a fantasy series they can actually endure:

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And others hated it to the point where they felt exhausted by the words:

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I started this book pretty hopeful that a wonderful fantasy story will push me to finish this book in a few days. Then, a week went by and I didn’t make it halfway. Then two weeks went by and I still didn’t feel the motivation to continue reading. Oh no, was I siding with the people who hated the book?

Seriously, I’ve tried so many things to avoid putting down this book. I borrowed the ebook from the library in hopes that reading it on my Kindle will change my mind. I also borrowed the audiobook because maybe someone reading the book to me will be a better experience. I think I really like the audiobook version, so I might change my mind about DNF-ing this book.

I’ll admit that I was upset when I put this book down. I really wanted to love it especially when so many people reached out to me and told me that they loved it. And at first I thought the story was intriguing and different despite some important details that were left out (oh, he’s training you to be a wizard? How come your opinion in this matter isn’t discussed?), but then the story kept going on and on and I couldn’t get into it.

At this point, I’m stuck. I wanted to love the book and write a wonderful review and make all the people who loved this book feel validated because yes, I loved it too. But now I’m a naysayer and I’m about to tell the world that I didn’t like the book. Will people love my honesty? Will people hate that I didn’t like one of their favorite novels?

It’s a point of contention for a lot of reviewers. You want to be honest with your reviews, but a small fraction of your body wants to be nice and like a book people recommended. Honesty may cause you to offend that one person who loved it. Honesty can also offend those who hated it.

But the moment I shared on bookstagram that I didn’t finish this book, all of a sudden a few people popped up sharing that they didn’t finish it either. People came up and shared how the book felt problematic and boring. That Agnieszka was manipulated by the Dragon and held against her will. Some people mentioned that the middle is the slowest part. I felt the same, but the middle is also 300 pages and that’s a lot of slow parts for me.

It’s kind of interesting how people sort of “hold their tongue” when it comes to certain books. We’re all waiting with baited breath if our favorite book reader liked that book we hated. And when they admit to hating the book too, it’s like a sigh of relief.

I guess that many book readers already understand that a book will either be loved or hated by other people. While as reviewers we try to be unbiased and explain that hating a book doesn’t mean you’ll hate it too, there’s still that little button inside of our brains that tells us we need validation. We need to be heard and understood and if that doesn’t happen, we feel that tension. We feel vulnerable and maybe a little upset that someone you so admire did or didn’t like a book.

But the truth must be known. If you loved a book, then share the love. If you hated a book, then that should be shared as well. A negative review doesn’t have to be overwrought with jabs at the book, but it needs to be clear so that others can understand. And I think that’s where we all ending up finding ourselves; at this crossroad between loving and hating a book.


Have You Ever Written to a Boy You Loved Before?

Have You Ever Written to a Boy You Loved Before?

After watching To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before for the second time, I started thinking back to my high school career and the boys I might have loved before. Then I remembered it. I actually have a story similar to what Lara Jean went through. It made me wonder, what would Lara Jean do?

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What Representation Means to Me

What Representation Means to Me

I just finished reading Jenny Han’s opinion piece in the NY Times about representation in films and what that opens up for people. You can read the article here.

Of course, I thought on what that all meant. What does representation mean to me?

With the release of Crazy Rich Asians and To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before, I can’t help but to reflect on my life. I really don’t want be the guy that will explain representation and why it’s so arbitrarily important. I think the meaning of representation is different with every person you come across. So I’m just going to share what I think.

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There Is Always Time To Read

There Is Always Time To Read

I recently read this article on Electric Literature about making the time to read. To quote a quote, it said:

As Molly Barton, one of the founders of Serial Box, told Vox: “I was aware that for many people, reading a book can feel rather slow and daunting compared to other media forms at this point. It’s harder to fit into your life.”

The article goes on to talk about the luxuries of reading, which is something that we all know and love about books. It’s supposed to be time-consuming. It deserves more time than you’re rewarding it. We all know this.

But for some reason, there’s just not enough time. We all want to be reading all day, but there’s no time for it to happen. We have people to take care of, jobs to go to, and errands to run. We always have an abundance of errands to run, doesn’t it feel like it sometimes?

I think the main complaint many readers tell me is that there’s just not enough time. We want to read, but there’s always something to do or someone to take care of that’s getting in the way.

It reminds me of that one episode of The Twilight Zone where this reader was always interrupted by something in his life. It kept him from doing what he loved; reading. Then strangely the world ended and he had all the time in the world to read. Only then does he accidentally step on his reading glasses. Here’s that clip I found on Youtube.

I feel like a lot of people can relate to this character. I always feel like someone needs something done or I need to run some errand or do some chore. I always feel like there’s never enough time in the day to actually read what I want to read.

But the truth is this and it’s not going to be pretty: there’s never enough time.

We’ll always have other things we need to do and our brains may sometimes take a break from reading. Life is funny that way, but we shouldn’t be upset by it. We should definitely not throw your hands up in the air and declare that you’ll never read again.

Reading, like any activity, needs dedication. There won’t be enough time to read, but if you try hard enough you can make time. Perhaps it’s while your kids are taking a nap. Perhaps it’s while you wait for that appointment to happen. In the small pockets of time throughout the day, there could be a book in your lap waiting to be read.

Another great way to get more reading in is audiobooks. I’ve only recently started using audiobooks and it’s great for reading when you’ve got to clean your house or run some errands. I’ve been using it while I pack my entire house up. That alongside your library card, you can easily download books to read without having to leave the house. I think that’s probably my favorite thing in the world.

Reading can also be the final thing you do in the day. The brain has magic ways of knowing that when you lay in bed, you sleep. So what if you took a book with you to bed? Perhaps you read for 10 minutes before you get groggy or perhaps you’re an hour deep into your book and you can’t stop. Either way, you can end your day with a little reading and pretty soon you’ll be making time to read.

So in the end, there’s never enough time to read. Even if you don’t do anything at all with your day, it’ll be hard to carve time out. But with some perseverance, some organization, and some dedication you can be reading every single day and you won’t even realize it. That is until you notice that you’ve finished 50 books in one year.

My Three Favorite Bookish Apps

My Three Favorite Bookish Apps

When you’re a reader, you might be interested in certain things. For example, you might want to be able to track the number of books you read. You might want to time yourself on how long it takes you to read one book. You might want to be social and share your reads with someone.

Luckily, the Internet exists and has provided us with numerous apps to keep us bookish folks updated and organized. I know that I have three very favorite bookish apps that keep my reading life pretty simple and organized. Here’s what I use:

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What If You Weren’t a Reader?

What If You Weren’t a Reader?

Recently, I’ve been working on moving and in the process, I’ve been touring apartments for potential places to live. When you’re touring apartments, sometimes you catch a glimpse into the lives of the residents. What are their interests? What kinds of people lived here and what kind of life could you expect?

I saw surfboards tacked to walls and cat litter all over the floor. I’ve seen marathon medals and dog beds and views of the California mountains. I’ve seen apartments with beautifully laid out furniture, but the one thing I couldn’t find in any of these apartments were books.

There were no books.

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