Welcome to another week and the (ridiculously belated) first blog post of 2020 on Nen and Jen. What better way is there to start off the year than with one of your favourite memes, created by the lovely Artsy Reader Girl? Especially given this week’s topic: Bookish Discoveries of 2019.
As 2019 was the start of our blogging journey, there’s arguably a HUGE amount of bookish discoveries we made but we had fun narrowing it down to a few stand out things.
Reading by colour… it’s a thing!
One of my most astonishing bookish discoveries was that I tended to read not only by genre (which is what I had always thought) but also by colour. This could change on a daily basis or I would find myself reading only orange books for a week.
How did I realise only last year that I tended to read by colour? By my WWW posts. At first I thought it was a coincidence… when the pattern continued it was confusing. I hadn’t been doing it intentionally and yet the evidence was right there. It’s so strange and yet I’m glad to finally have found it out!
Thrillers’ plot twists more than make up for their scare factor
As a newbie to the thriller genre, almost all of the books I have read so far have caught me by total surprise. I haven’t established a set of predictions or preconceptions yet on the genre and so each book has had a delightfully unpredictable plot twist. I’m eager (and yet only slightly apprehensive) to continue reading in the genre. Hopefully I’ll still remain surprised by the endings!
Indie authors deserve more recognition
There are so many good books out there and a significant portion of them come from Indie Authors. To be honest, before I started blogging I hadn’t really understood the difference between an indie author and ‘normal author’. I read widely and enjoyed stories regardless of their publishing origins. Now that I’m more aware of the distinction, especially from a marketing and ARC review stand point, I’m eager to remain unbiased toward publication. I often read some amazing books by Indie Authors that I wish would get more recognition!
Libraries still exist!
Before September 2019, I hadn’t gone to a library in YEARS, #ForShame. Honestly, I hadn’t realised all that I was missing out on. Now, my favourite part of the week is doing a book haul at my local and ending up with WAY too many books to read in a month.
Re-reading is my default setting
When I first started blogging the expectation I set upon myself was to keep up with recently released books. It was a way to communicate more in the bookish community and also share recommendations and reviews. What it really made me aware of though was the extent to which I re-read my favourite books. Those that I truly loved were read at least three times over 2019 and re-reads made up at least half of my total read books!
Romance novels deserve better cred
I’ve always been a sap for the cliched romantic element in a story and always champion its existence, even in books where it’s not strictly necessary. Love and slow-burn all the way! It’s a real shame that a lot of readers dislike romance and give its readers a certain judgemental look. You all know what I’m talking about. The notion that if it’s a ‘fluff’ piece then you’re not a ‘real reader’. Pfft.
It’s not all about the numbers
Blogging and recording your reading numbers can be quite taxing. While reading challenges and sharing bookish thoughts had never tired me out before I was startled to realise that after only 6 months of blogging (quite sporadically), I had burned myself out. The desire to read had just GONE. It was heart-breaking and quite honestly gave me some serious anxiety. Reading had always been a comfort and its loss was quite confronting.
My approach to 2020 is to set no challenges or obligations. I’m blogging and reading when and where I choose and hopefully I’ll be happier off for it.
Books I adored weren’t always well written
If there’s something blogging last year made me HIGHLY aware of, it’s the structure and technical quality of writing. I’d noticed before if a book wasn’t good but wouldn’t always have wondered and questioned why. Re-reading a lot of my favourite books has made me more aware of their technical flaws and yet sentimental attachment to the characters will forever keep them dear in my hearts and on my shelf.
Blogging makes you more aware of book diversity
I hadn’t taken much notice of book diversity before blogging. Namely because I just enjoyed stories without breaking them down too much. I would rip to shreds the ones that didn’t accurately represent others but hadn’t made a concerted effort to include more diverse books on my TBR lists. I’m glad to be more aware of its impact in the book community and the importance of having stories more representative of the world around us.
The Bookish Community is so kind!
Honestly, before publishing the first blog post I was a WRECK. I hadn’t done anything similar before and the prospect of jumping in to a competitive environment or accidentally offending someone from my reviews was quite intimidating. What I soon realised though was that the community was not only kind but so, so supportive. I hadn’t expected that and was so stunned at the amount of support other bloggers had given our little venture into the bookish community. I’m so grateful!