I Love You, but I Don’t Like You Right Now: Pet Peeves About the Book Blogging Community

I don't have many...but if you do, it's over ✌️@doctor_nora_ DON'T PET MY MOTHA...:

I love the book blogging community. I love the excitement and the fangirling/fanboying and the different opinions and the tags and the graphics and the reviews and the books and the bloggers. While I am not quite as entrenched in it as many other bloggers seem to be, I definitely feel like book bloggers are my people. But, like with any other group of people we spend a great deal of time with, sometimes things start to get on my nerves. So I decided to share some of my pet peeves. Please note these are all in good fun and NOT directed at any particular blogger.

PET PEEVE #1
THIS BOOK IS SO IMPORTANT

One thing that really bothers me is when I read reviews (that are usually involving a hot button social issue) that say again and again how IMPORTANT this book is. What is important to you, may not be important to me. Honestly, the only book I would ever say is Important for Everyone to read is the Bible. And I respect your right to disagree with me on that.

I also have issues with giving a book a 5 star rating based solely on how important you think it is. For instance, None of the Above, by I.W. Gregorio is about an intersex character. It’s a unique topic and it was a very informative and interesting book. I learned a lot about something I didn’t have a lot of knowledge about before. However, once you got away from that, it really lacked a substantial plot and the characters were unlikable and it just wasn’t a well written book. It is not a book that, in my opinion, deserves All The Stars, even from people who have a much more generous rating system than I do.

PET PEEVE #2
I LOVE DIVERSE BOOKS…BUT RELGION IN A BOOK RUINS IT FOR ME

People are loving diversity in books these days, which is great. But one thing that bugs me is when people go on and on about needing diverse books, but then turn around and say how they “don’t like reading about religion in books.” (And often times by “religion” they mean “Christianity.”) Truly religious characters are a majorly unrepresented demographic in mainstream fiction. They come with a lot of preconceived notions that are often untrue, just like with many other underrepresented groups. I really don’t see how you can say you love diversity and then shun books for having a type of diversity you’re uncomfortable with.

PET PEEVE #3
DON’T GET ARC ENVY…BUT LOOK AT ALL THESE ARCS I HAVE

ARC Envy is old news in the book blogging community. And obviously it’s something you should try to avoid. Thou shalt not covet they neighbor’s ARC and all that, but it’s often hard to not even sometimes get a little jealous. However, what really gets under my skin, is when bloggers go on and on about how we shouldn’t “blog for ARCs” and every book they review are ones the publishers sent them. Or they get granted access to every book they request via NetGalley or Edleweiss. It’s like showing someone your HGTV-level renovated kitchen and then telling them, “Admire it, but DON’T want this!!”

PET PEEVE #4
YOU LOVE A BOOK I HATE

It really doesn’t bother me when I see reviews that hate books I love. I generally just feel sad for the reviewer for not realizing what a gem they just read. While I don’t agree with their opinions, I can usually see where they’re coming from. But for some reason I get, like, enraged when I see reviews loving a book I hated, or even just generally disliked. (I see RED when I read a 5 star review of Allegiant.) I am completely set in my point of view and cannot be persuaded to change my mind. It takes all my self control sometimes to not comment, “NO! You are wrong!!!!” on all the reviews.

So those are a few of my book blogging community pet peeves. Do you share any of these? What are some of your pet peeves?

*And please know, that even if you are guilty of some of my pet peeves, this is not directed at you, nor would it make me stop visiting your blog*

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All the Ways in which I am not a Proper Book Nerd/Blogger

Stephanies Book Reviews Header

For the most part I very proudly proclaim myself to be a Book Nerd. I love books. I love to read them, think about them, talk about them, recommend them, and review them. There are many characters I care more about than people I’ve known In Real Life and I’m not even sorry about it. However, there are times when I talk to other book nerds that make me feel like I’m not quite up to snuff. I also feel a kinship with the book blogging community, but again, often feel like maybe I don’t quite get it as much as others. The following are some reasons why.

Having plans:

1. I do not like browsing through book stores.

I know this is supposed to be every book nerd’s happy place, but not for me. First off, I just generally hate shopping. Well, really, I just kind of hate leaving my house. I don’t like crowds and generally avoid them as much as possible. I also really hate spending money. But mostly, I always gravitate towards books I’ve already read or own. I don’t know why, but I just seek out the familiar and have no real intention of buying them. Since I hate spending money so much, the thought of just picking up an unread book seems very risky. I’ll browse the Nook store looking for good deals or my online library forever, but browsing through an actual book store is just so not my thing.

2. I don’t understand read-a-thons.

If it was for raising money for a good cause I would understand (and enjoy more than, say, a walk-a-thon), but is it just reading as many books as possible in a certain time frame? That’s basically my life anyways.

3. I don’t really advertise my blog.

I have a twitter that I post my reviews and various other things to, but that’s basically the extent of it. And to be perfectly honest I still don’t entirely understand Twitter. I also really hate when people I personally know read my blog. I try to keep it a secret, mostly. Conversely, I get really bummed out with my blog stats.

I'm a perfectionist with a procrastinator complex. Some day I'm going to be awesome.:

4. I can’t keep up a consistent posting schedule.

So many blogs post daily – sometime even multiple times a day. Meanwhile I’m over here scrambling to come up with every post (like this one, for example). I can’t tell you how many discussion posts I’ve drafted to have in the pipeline when I’m in need of a post, but they end up sounding like trash so I never post them and my blog goes days without posts if I’m not reviewing all the books I’m reading.

5. I’m pretty awful at commenting.

Most people consider me pretty quiet. I can go a long time without talking if I feel I have nothing of value to add to the conversation. That’s kind of how I feel when reading blog posts, too. I often don’t have anything insightful or interesting to say and most of my comments are things like “Great review!” or “I love this book”. And if I actually say those things, then I truly mean them, but sometimes I feel like I’m just sounding so generic so I don’t say anything at all.

Are you a Proud Book Nerd/Blogger? Do you ever feel you’re not quite as nerd-tastic as your peers?

Discussion: Harsh Review or Rose Colored Glasses?

9 Ways Hanger is Messing Up Your Marriage

It’s no secret that I’m pretty stingy with my ratings. Since I started blogging almost 2 years ago, I haven’t given any books 5 stars. I’ve become a little more generous with my 4 star reads, but probably the majority of my reviews are 3 – 3.5 stars. I’ve realized that some of the books and series I routinely call my Favorites are books I only gave 3 stars to. Did I review the book too harshly when I initially read it? Or am I looking back on it as better than it is – through rose colored glasses, if you will?

Glasses

Book Examples

Kristan Higgins novels

In Your Dreams (Blue Heron #4)

I often share my love of her novels, but I’ve given every book 3 stars. Is it because I can’t bring myself to rate a straight up romance highly? Despite the fact it can be silly and predictable, the character development, writing style, and humor are all pretty clever. I think some of these probably deserve higher ratings.

Verdict: Too Harsh

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Anna and the French Kiss series by Stephanie Perkins 

Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss, #1)

I gave every book 3 stars, despite really enjoying the first two (I tolerated the last book – and still gave it 3 stars). The Paris setting was fun, the romance was cute. However, the cheating aspect really turned me off. Also, I found that Anna was a little too melodramatic at times and don’t even get me started on Lola. So yeah, I like these books, but they’re really not the best contemporaries I’ve read.

Verdict: Rose Colored Glasses

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The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle, #1)

I adore this series and the cast of characters, but I only gave the fist two books 3 stars. Obviously now I think this series deserves All The Stars, but my original complaint was that it was awesome characters, but a weirdo story. It’s still a weirdo story, but I think that I love the characters so much that I don’t care about the rest.

Verdict: Too Harsh (with maybe just a tiny tint of rose)

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Elemental series by Brigid Kemmerer

Storm (Elemental, #1)

I claim this as one of my favorite YA series, but all except for the fist book I’ve given 3 stars (and a couple of the novellas 2 stars). Sure I had some issues with each of these books, I didn’t always love the side characters or love interests, and I really did not like how it ended, but I adore the Merrick brothers and there was a good mix of family, friends, love, humor, and supernatural.

Verdict: Too Harsh

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In light of this, should I go back and re-rate some of these? Do you ever have this problem? Do you ever change your book ratings on Good Reads or blog reviews?

A Pet Peeve with the WordPress Reader – OR – How many clicks does it take to get to the center of your blog post?

Vintage 1970's commercial tootsie pop..Let's ask Mr Owl. How many licks does it take to get to the center of a tootsie pop?

When I first started my blog, I didn’t really do any research about hosts. Basically I knew about WordPress and one other site and the other site wanted me to give them more personal information than I was willing to do. So I went with WordPress and for the most part, I like it. I’ve also come across many, many WordPress blogs that I love that I may not have found otherwise. I do have one big pet peeve about it, though.

Sorry

For those not familiar with WordPress, when you follow other WordPress blogs, they are all shown in a newsfeed called “Reader”. It shows up like how an article posted to Facebook might look like and when you click on a post, it opens another window, within the existing page, to show the full post. But sometimes, instead of the full post you get the above message. And. It. Drives. Me. Crazy.

Not all blogs do this. And I honestly have no idea how you do this (I am not skilled in the black arts of computering). I also don’t know the reason for it. Does it drive up the viewing stats for your blog? For me, the Impatient American, once I see this message, I often just close out of the post altogether. Unless I am very interested in the book or the subject of the post really intrigues me just from the title and first couple sentences, I’m not following through. And on Top Ten Tuesdays? Forget it! When there are literally hundreds of posts on the same subject, I’m skipping the ones that take more effort to get to.

What do you think? Does this annoy anyone else? Or do you think it’s no big deal?

 

Reader Problems: Library Waiting List

Bookworm

Once upon a time I struggled with the idea of getting an e-reader. This is a problem only true readers understand. We love our books. We like looking at them on the shelf. We like being able to offer them to others (OR throwing them at people saying “READ THIS NOW” OR imagining a force field around them that will protect them from anyone else trying to touch them (other people might dog-ear a page, or spill something on it, or, you know, germs).

The clincher for me in deciding to go ahead and buy myself an e-reader was the possibility of library books. Of course actually going to a library would also work, but my inner, anxious, agoraphobic really liked the idea of borrowing free books without every changing out of pajama pants (and also, you know, germs). So I bought myself a Nook and now can’t imagine living without it. I’ve also gotten a TON of books from the library.

Do you know yours? A t-shirt to proclaim your library love.

The problem, though, is that there are only so many digital copies available at a time and the waiting lists are LONG. Of course there are those that say you shouldn’t complain about such things since it’s free and all, but this is America and I don’t only want it free, but I want it free now. So I go online and request a book I’m DYING to read and then it tells me I’m like #22 on the waiting list and there are 2 copies available. And the lending time of each book is 21 days. You do the math. (For real, you do the math because I’m not going to.)

So then usually by the time it’s finally my turn, I’ve read so many reviews of it already that I’ve inevitably been spoiled, or I’ve already gone ahead and bought the book. Which is,  of course, a whole other Reader Problem.

Nerd Girl Problem 113  this is so true for me thats why im getting an e-reader they`re so much cheaper

My most recent problem, I finally got My True Love Gave to Me and now the holiday season is over and I’m just not feeling it. So maybe if I request it again next October I’ll have it in time for next Christmas? Maybe?

Then there are the books I request and by the time it comes in I can’t remember, for the life of me, why I wanted to read it. So then I waste some time on a book that’s not my cup of tea, when I could be reading something more enjoyable.

Anyways, there’s no real point to this post. I just wanted to complain that waiting lists are annoying.

Do you suffer from this Reading Problem? What other Reader Problems do you face?

It’s Not Me, It’s You: Breaking up with the New Adult genre

it's not me

If I had no exposure to the New Adult genre and had to guess what it is, I would suspect something like this: Recent college graduate (or high school graduate if the character did not go to college), who is trying to figure out The Real World – getting a full-time job, finding a place to live, having to pay all your own bills, understanding health insurance and 401(k)s – all while juggling friends and family and romance and etc. I would guess the setting to be mostly in the workplace. I could also almost think that it could be about college freshmen, who are “new adults” by the fact that they are leaving home for probably the first time. However, though my college days are far behind me, I feel pretty confident in saying that the average college freshmen are (very) slightly more mature high schoolers. Even senior year of college can be seen more as a part of childhood than adulthood. But, I digress. (And please, these are generalizations, don’t get offended if you are – or were – mature and adult like in your college years.)

After reading several New Adult books, this is how I would define the genre: Young Adult stories with adult sex scenes.

Now I know that several New Adult authors dispute that definition. (I tried to search for some exact quotes from them, but since nothing came up on the first result page of any of my searches, I gave up. I’m sure you can find some if you really want to.) However, I don’t buy it. Most of the books that I’ve read had been about new college students who lose their virginity – graphically. Or fall in love and realize that sex can be meaningful – and graphic. Some have even had actual plot lines that did not center on sex, but was still inundated with multiple graphic scenes. Honestly, most of these books are bordering on erotica. And very few have ever mentioned majors, future careers, or paying an electric bill.

Now, if you like this, that’s fine. Read your horny little hearts out!! I’m not trying to demean other people’s tastes in books. I have just come to the realization that this genre is not enjoyable for me and thus, I think I need to give it up.

Does that mean I’ll never read another New Adult book? Probably not. (What is a break-up without a backslide?) For example, The Return is a book by Jennifer Armentrout that I have been looking forward to since The Covenant series ended. Seth was one of my favorite characters and I was happy to hear he was getting his own spin-off. However, while The Covenant series was YA, JLA has said that Seth is old enough for The Return to be NA. I’m DREADING that all this means is that the sex scenes will be much more graphic than they were in the preceding Young Adult series and the writing will be exactly the same. Here’s your chance, Armentrout, to disprove my New Adult theory! Please do!

THE RETURN_ARMENTROUT_Oct2014cover

And ughhhhh. That cover. Really???????????????????

What do you think? Do you read New Adult? Do you agree or disagree with my assessment?