The bookish community has undergone several changes in the past few years and one of the most important steps in the right direction is the push to publish more diverse books. Readers have been clamouring for more stories that represent the world as it is today with all its diverse glory. However, there is still a lot of work to be done here, which is what articles like the one on The Guardian that states only 1% of UK’s children’s books have BAME (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic) main characters show. With social media, it has become easier for publishers to gauge what their audience wants and yet we continue to see little to no improvement in the state of things. While there are multiple reasons why the status quo isn’t changing at the rate it’s supposed to, today I want to bring up one of the issues that is rarely addressed when it comes to diverse books and publishing.
I wanted to do something different today, so here’s a (hopefully?) original idea where I talk about the books I’ve seen everywhere – on book blogs, on Twitter and Bookstagram. I’m considering doing it again, so I’ll only list the book that came out in the first half of 2018. I’m considering books where the publisher really invested in hyping up the book and also people on the book community doing it just because they really liked the book. There is currently a discussion going on book bloggers and influencers getting paid for their work just like influencers promoting other kinds of products do, which I think is something we as a community really need to talk about. For me, as book blogging is something I do as a hobby, I’m quite happy with receiving books in exchange for reviewing or promoting them. However, as someone who in the future wants to take this up as a profession, I do really want to see people being paid for all the hard work they put in to composing interesting posts, meeting deadlines, setting up for beautiful photos and so on. Now let’s get into the post!
I’ve been contemplating this for a while and what better time to talk about this than when the Indian Lit Readthon (hosted by me and 3 more blogging friends, if you didn’t know) is going on? This might be more applicable to international/non-English readers but I hope everyone can take away something from this. If I take a look at my ‘Read’ shelf on Goodreads, it is abundantly clear that my reading is almost 99% books written by non-Indian authors. While I have been trying to read diversely from last year, I haven’t actively reached for books published in my own country. In this post, I’d like to outline some reasons as to why and talk about my relationship with Indian literature.
I’m starting this really late and I’m well aware. Lately, life has somehow started getting hectic again and I haven’t had quite the stress-free February I was hoping for. So much so that I was thinking of not posting at all today, yet I hit upon an idea so incredible that I had to write it as soon as possible. So here I am with a list of books that are very popular and my experience reading them. They do make an interesting tale, if I say so myself.
The hype surrounding books can be both good and bad for a reader. Popular books are popular for a reason after all, that they are loved by tons of people across the book community. There’s a good chance that it may appeal to you as well. On the other hand, a hyped book comes with expectations. You do expect to love it as much as the next person, and sometimes, it just doesn’t work that way. I want to quickly go through a few books that were just as good as others made it out to be and a few I didn’t like as much as I had thought I would. The ones I didn’t enjoy are still 4 star reads for me, but the hype did contribute to my lower rating.
Countless people in the bookish community challenge themselves each year in terms of the number of books they plan to read, the kind of books they want to read or just cross off items on lists they have created for themselves. The start of the year is a good time to reflect on the sort of reading year you’d like to have and I’ve read several posts telling which reading challenges they’d like to enter over the course of the year. I participated in the Summer Biannual Bibliothon and BookTube-A-Thon in July as well as the House Cup Reading Challenge in October last year. However, this does not seem to be everyone’s cup of tea. Let’s explore how reading challenges have influenced the book community, shall we?
Often times when I state the fact that I’ve been reading since I was a kid, people tend to assume I have a great library back home. When I mumble something about e-books and using the library as a schoolgirl, I find that I myself am not convinced. I see bookworms on YouTube, the blogosphere, Twitter and Instagram (which I’m not involved in, but I see pictures shared elsewhere) and I start to feel incredibly guilty (also jealous) that I don’t have beautiful hardcover books (plus props, great backgrounds, lighting and an excellent camera) to share with the world. This post is all about me grappling with those feelings and coming to terms with being the kind of book lover who doesn’t own a ton of books.
Welcome to my brand new Saturday discussion post! Doing reviews and book memes is well and good, but without a good interactive post, I felt like the blog was lacking something. In July, when I was making Harry Potter-themed Saturday posts, I did a discussion post on The Cursed Child. Due to its good reception, I’m planning to continue that, but with a broader scope. Today I’d like to discuss about the habit of re-reading that has been weighing on my mind lately. To participate in this, hit me up in the comments section below or if you think you have a lot to say, write up a post on your blog and do a pingback so I can read your thoughts on this (there is no deadline for that).