Do You Review Every Book You Read?

Hey everyone!😊

Do you guys like the header image I made for this post, and if so, do you think I should make more?

Anyway, long time, no discussion post!

Well, that is about to change, because today I want to discuss this question:

DO YOU REVIEW EVERY BOOK YOU READ?

Personally, I don’t review every book I read. To be honest, I think I read too many to have time to write long, detailed reviews for each of them. (Oops🙊)

When I first started this blog back in April, I used to review mostly just my favourites- the ones that were the most memorable to me from before I started my blog. But then again, the reviews were super short, and quite frankly, not even close to being my best work. Seriously, just compare this review to this one, and see how much more I’ve been writing!

That has now changed, and lately I have been trying to review as many books as I possibly can, whether it be just with a tiny, little recap on Goodreads, or a full-fledged rave on this blog. This still isn’t to say that I’ve been reviewing every single book, in fact, no, not even close. Most of the books I review on my blog are either ARCs, or books that I felt like I had a plethora of words to spill out about.

Honestly, I find that the hardest books for me to review are sequels, regardless of whether or not I’ve reviewed the first book in the series. If I recap all my thoughts about the first book, then I find it a bit hard to embark on many new ideas for the review of the second book, so I tend to just leave it without a review. And if I don’t review the first book… well… it’ll also still be a whole lot of confusion of what to write, and if you guys, my readers, will even understand what I’m talking about😆. I may as well just write a review for the whole series once I’m done, I guess!😜

As well, I sometimes feel pressure to review every single book. Publishers seem to like it better when approving on Netgalley, and some of my favourite bloggers/reviewers do it, too, such as Michelle, Lola, and Sarah. (I LOVE the reviews you guys write, by the way, and I read every one!❤️) If a blogger I look up to writes reviews for everything they read, then why shouldn’t I? (FYI, I try to ignore this pressure and do what’s right for me😉)

Overall, I have been trying my absolute best to get as many reviews up for as many books as possible, and I believe that I am doing much better than I did back in, say, May! For my problem of not reviewing sequels, I have mostly just been writing tiny, minuscule reviews on Goodreads, and so far, I think it’s been working quite well for me. (Here is one I recently wrote for Pandemonium, sequel to Delirium!)

So tell me, do YOU review every book you read? Why or why not? If not, are you trying to, or are you a-OK with the amount of books you currently review? Let me know in the comments below.

Au revoir!💜

Do YOU Judge Books by Their Covers?

Hi everyone!

Today I’d like to discuss with you guys whether or not you judge books by their covers, and why people tend to do so sometimes. For the record, for this post I only mean it in a literal sense, as this is a book blog, after all!

Honestly, I often do judge books by their covers. Despite the belief of not doing so, I’m pretty sure everyone does at least once in their life. If a book’s cover is white and black and/or has dull colours or images, I am much less likely to pick it up. I believe that the colours are key when creating a good book cover, and that way more readers would be intrigued to look into books if their covers have bright, amusing colours. Here is an example of what I’m talking about:

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This is the cover of Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare, which is the first book in a very popular series called The Infernal Devices. I know that many bloggers and readers rave about this series (even though I have no interest in reading it, haha😆). I am not a huge fan of this cover, which makes me even more reluctant to give it a try, but if the cover had bright colours and images, I probably would be more interested in reading the synopsis and seeing what’s inside the book.

I have to admit that I don’t read much fantasy, mostly because of their covers. The colours on the covers all seem to be dark and depressing, thus not really attracting me. I don’t like dark, spooky, paranormal books very much, and if a cover is like the one above, it will send a connection to that genre, which I don’t like.

But sometimes, I absolutely despise a cover, and the book turns out to be pure gold. Take the cover of The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, for example. This is one of the most loved books EVER, but its cover just doesn’t live up to what’s inside. It’s really an amazing story, but I was reluctant to pick it up at first because of the cover. I understand how some people could absolutely LOVE the cover, but I just didn’t feel it! But after I read the book,  my negative thoughts about the cover completely vanished and were replaced with the feeling of adoring this book.😝

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On the other hand, some covers are absolutely extravagant, and are real works of art. (I know, I know, all book covers are supposedly works of art and that designers work so hard on attracting readers with them, but there are some specific covers that are just a little more engaging.) Take the cover of The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson. It’s beautiful. Like, I have no words!😍😍And the content inside is beautiful as well, making this book gorgeous inside and out.❤️

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I think you know what I’m going to talk about now- about books with gorgeous covers but don’t live up to the content inside. My pick for this one would have to be Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren. I didn’t dislike this book at all, nothing like that. I just found it to be a little bit young for me, and not really my taste. The cover is ADORABLE and so is the book, but still!

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Do YOU think it’s okay to judge books by their covers? (For me, it depends, and I can’t really explain, so I may update later when I come up with something.) Have you read any of these books and/or (dis)agree with me? Do you ever judge books by their covers? Tell me in the comments below!

Au revoir!💜

Discussion Post: Netgalley

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Hi everyone!

I haven’t done a discussion post in quite a while! I haven’t really had an idea, but I came up with the idea of writing about Netgalley and decided to go on with it.

If you don’t know what Netgalley is, it is a site that many bloggers, reviewers, teachers, librarians, booksellers, and even more can use to receive digital ARCs (Advanced Readers’ Copies) of upcoming/newly released books, in exchange for honest reviews. If you’ve read some of my reviews, you may notice that a few of them say this:

*I received a digital ARC of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.*

This means that the book was one I requested on Netgalley to read and review, which I was approved for by the publisher, so I got to download it, read it, and write up a review!

At first, I had quite a bit of trouble getting publishers to accept my requests. Admittedly, my profile just explained what genres I liked and that if they wanted me to review their book to just check out the review policy on my blog. I didn’t even include my blog email or a direct link to my blog in the company field, like Netgalley recommends. I was just a naive new little blogger requesting to her heart’s desire, even though it was only a couple months ago! (My blog has grown and developed A LOT since then, FYI.)

I then started reading the criteria that Netgalley recommends you include in your bio in order to get more approvals; as well as the approval criteria of the publishers that had declined me in the past. I found that this helped me A LOT, and all the declines just turned into more approvals! This is now what my profile looks like:

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As you can see, I included more up-to-date stats rather than general information, which is what many publishers like to see. Publishers like knowing that they have a committed reader and reviewer at their hands, rather than someone who will take advantage of the awesome free eBooks.

In my bio, I’ve included what I do (blog), the types of books I read and review, when I created my blog, my number of followers as of a specific date, the average number of likes per post, how often I review, the number of unique visitors per month, my blog email, and a couple reviews I’ve written for previous Netgalley approvals. I’ve also made a promise to update when the stats change, which I have been doing. If you are new to Netgalley or don’t have this information in your profile, I suggest you add it for a better chance of approval!

Adding in this information really helped me because at the beginning, most of my only approvals were from indie authors, but I am now able to review for a number of publishing houses, including SOURCEBOOKS Fire and ABRAMS Kids! I plan to request more books from bigger publishers in the future, once I’ve reviewed more books from smaller publishing houses.

This brings me to my next point of reaching (and maintaining) a ratio of 80%. This basically means that your chance of approval drastically seems to improve once you’ve read and submitted feedback for at least 80% of the books you’ve been accepted for. As I am a very quick reader and am pretty good with deadlines, this hasn’t really been an issue for me. What I like to do when I get approved for books is read them all before requesting others, as I am even more likely to be accepted with a 100% ratio. As I write this, I’ve submitted feedback for 10/11 approvals, giving me a ratio of 91%. The one book I haven’t reviewed yet is one whose file isn’t really working, so I emailed support and hopefully they’ll be able to help!

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I know having a ratio of at least 80% is very hard for some people, especially those who have huge TBRs. Here are a few tips I have to get that 80% back:

  1. DON’T go on requesting sprees! Even if you think, “Oh, so what, I’m probably going to be declined for them all anyway,” well GUESS WHAT? Chances are you’ll be accepted, and will have to fulfill all those reviews before the books get archived. That won’t be good for your ratio! My tip for you is that you download, read, and review them all as soon as possible once you get them, and if a book is archived before you’re able to do anything with it, that you submit feedback to the publisher saying that you were unable to read it in time and that you’re sorry. That still counts towards your ratio, you know, so don’t you worry! This has personally never happened to me, because as I said before, I think I’m very diligent with this process. But this has happened to many others, and that’s my advice!
  2. Schedule when you’re going to read and review books. The rule I’ve made for myself is to read an ARC and then a physical book and then keep continuing on with that pattern until all my ARCs are read and reviewed, so I don’t strain my eyes from reading from a screen all day. This has been very effective for me, and once I’m done, I can request more ARCs! Also, I don’t do this myself because I read and review my ARCs ASAP, but consider putting in your planner or calendar, whether it be physical or digital, the dates that your ARCs release and/or archive. I know that this has been helpful to many reviewers to manage their time wisely around reading and reviewing their ARCs.
  3. Only request the books that you know you 100% are interested in and want to read. Many bloggers have requested books that they’re not sure they’ll enjoy, and end up getting approved for them, to the point when they’re no longer interested and they end up just sitting there until they eventually get archived. Guys, I can’t stress this enough, only request the books you know you want! Your Netgalley ratio will thank you, and you will enjoy the ARC process way more.

So there you have it, my tips on using Netgalley and being able to get accepted for books! I hope this guide has helped you to better navigate around Netgalley and all its quirks, and get one step closer to receiving some of the most hyped up galleys!

So tell me, do you use Netgalley? What are some tips YOU use to get a better chance of approval? Tell me in the comments below.

Au revoir!💜👋

 

Borrowing vs. Buying Books & Day 30 of 30 Day Book Challenge!

Hi everyone! Today I wanted to discuss and weigh the pros and cons of borrowing and buying books, and you guys can help me make the ultimate decision of which one is better, because I honestly love both! So let’s get started!

BORROWING

Pros:

1. You can read books FOR FREE!

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2. At the library, you can place holds for books that you really want without having to pay even a dime, so they will come to your local branch as soon as they are ready!Unknown-1.jpeg

3. Self-checkouts at libraries!images-2.jpeg

Cons:

  1. You only have a limited amount of time to read the books you take out (for my local library, it’s three weeks)! Unless you renew, you have to pay money if you return the book(s) late! If you’re a slow reader, libraries may not be the best choice for you, because you’d have to read the book under a deadline.
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  2. The books can be dirty, because dozens of people have already touched them! People could have touched the books with dirty hands or they could have eaten while reading.Unknown-3.jpeg
  3.  If you lose the book, it’s your responsibility to replace it!Unknown-4.jpeg
  4. You need a library card to access materials.Unknown-5.jpeg

BUYING

Pros: 

  1. You get to keep the book for as long as you want- it’s yours to add to your collection!!Unknown-6.jpeg
  2. The books are usually new (if you go to an unused bookstore, at least), and clean as a whistle!images.jpeg
  3. It just feels so much better coming out of a bookstore with a few books knowing that they’re yours to keep!Unknown-7.jpeg

Cons:

  1. The most obvious con is that you need to spend money to get your hands on these books!Unknown-8.jpeg
  2. The lineups on a busy day!Unknown-9.jpeg

So now that I’ve rounded up the pros and cons of each, I still can’t decide which one I like better! What do you like to do more when it comes to books- borrow, or buy? Tell me in the comments below! 🙂

30 Day Book Challenge:

We have come to the last day of the 30 day book challenge, meaning I’ve had my blog for about a month now! I think I can say that I’ve been really enjoying blogging and doing this challenge for you guys so you can get to know me and my reading tastes a little better!

Nevertheless, today’s prompt is my favourite book of all-time. Hmm… this is a toughie… but I’m going to say that I absolutely ADORED Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson! I love too many books to say that it’s my absolute favourite, but it’s definitely one of the best books I’ve EVER read! Check out my review for it here!

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Why I Love Goodreads So Much! & Day 24 of 30 Day Book Challenge!

Hi everyone!

Instead of a review today, I’ve decided to tell you all why I 💗Goodreads and how it has shaped me up as a reader!

1. Then: When I was in a library, I had to look through shelves and shelves of books, looking for one that I would be interested in that is for my age group!

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Now: Thanks to Goodreads, I can know what books I want to borrow beforehand, so I can look them up on my library’s website and see if they’re available, so when I get to the library, I’m in and out in 5 minutes since I knew exactly what I wanted!

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2. Then: I would forget when and if I had read books, which led to me rereading things a lot until I found a book that I hadn’t yet read!

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Now: Thanks to Goodreads, it is much easier for me to track when I start and finish books (and what I want to read as well)! My Books Read In… page is a list of books in order of when I finished them, based on information I put on Goodreads!

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3. Then: I had no idea what to read and what others my age were reading, so I simply didn’t read as much.

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Now: Thanks to Goodreads, I can keep an eye on what books are trending and get recommendations tailored to my interests! The Goodreads recommendation tool has led me to many new favourites!

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4. Then:  I was way less motivated to read because I was simply lost in a world full of books!

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Now: Thanks to Goodreads, I can set myself reading challenges so that I will be determined to read a specific amount of books every year! At first I had a goal of reading 50 books this year, but I’ve completed that so I extended it to 75!

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As you can see, Goodreads has saved me from a long reading slump, and transported me back to Bookland! Without it, this blog probably wouldn’t even exist, and I wouldn’t have picked up as many amazing books! Why do you love Goodreads? Do you have any other reasons that I should write? Tell me in the comments below!

30 Day Book Challenge:

Today’s prompt is a book that is underrated that I think more people should read. I really liked The Whole Truth and its sequel And Nothing but the Truth by Kit Pearson! She writes some great young adult historical fiction which is often overlooked by readers! I will be writing up a review for both books soon!

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