Showing posts with label libraries. Show all posts
Showing posts with label libraries. Show all posts

Sunday 23 September 2018

#BannedBooksWeek: Nerd Church - F**k It, Let's Talk Censorship (Ft. Thirteen Reasons Why)

Warning: this post discusses suicide, suicidal thoughts, mental health problems, sexual harassment, and censorship.

Links may also discuss these topics.

(Did you notice I self-censored in the title of this post? I can't bring myself to swear without *'s because in a traditional Welsh household, the only one allowed to swear is your mam. Lol.)

Banned Books Week banner with megaphone and book: 'Banning books silences stories speak out! Banned Books Week September 23-29, 2018'
Via Banned Books Week

Banned Books Week is back! (23-29 Sept 2018)

And, darling nerdlets, I'm here once again to ask all the goddamn awkward questions!

Cos that's kinda what this week is about!

Tuesday 23 August 2016

A Rough Guide To Supporting Authors When You're Broke

There's a lot of great books out there. So many, in fact, that you could easily splash the cash on numerous volumes of lovely paperbacks, hardcovers, and e-books... if you actually had the cash.

If, like me, you don't have that much money and have already sold your soul several times over (whoever collects first gets the prize! My bet is on Goodreads - I think I owe them about 3 souls,) then you can still support authors and the wider publishing/bookish industry my nerdlets!

...You just have to be a bit more inventive about it.

Firstly, there is nothing better for books than a good ol' fashioned library.

Sit down and let me explain how libraries help not hurt the publishing industry:

  • Libraries actually have to buy the books they lend out (true story,) which means if an author proves popular (i.e. is borrowed a lot,) then the library is more likely to buy copies of that author's books in the future.

  • You can 'try before you buy' - some books I just wouldn't've bought if I didn't already know that I like the book/author because I've borrowed their work from the library.

  • Libraries are free marketing! - nothing works better than word of mouth, and covers on display. Never underestimate the power of copies on shelves - books can reach a wider and wider audience if there are people actually reading them.

  • Libraries make readers happen - get that child in there asap!

That's all well and good, but how else can we support authors when we're broke?

Let me tell you some things that can help, my nerdlets, listen...

  • You can yell at your friends and family to READ THE BOOK.

  • You can ask friends and family for the book for birthdays, Christmases, or as ransom payment other occasions.

  • You can follow your favouritest authors on social media/RT, like, re-blog, share, and generally spread the word about the author and their work.

  • You can write reviews on your own blog, Amazon, Goodreads, or wherever, and promote your review on social media. Talking about books is awesome, and does half the work. The more people are interested, the more people will buy books.

  • You can add the book to your TBR, or your 'read' list, on Goodreads - this means your friends on there will see that you've added it, and might check it out themselves.

When you do have money (*laughs hysterically at the thought of having spare cash*) think about what book you're actually going to buy.

Will that £5.00 for a back-list title mean more, to a smaller publisher, than the £15.00 price tag of the new bestseller does, to a bigger one? (Obviously, substitute your own currency where necessary.)

That doesn't mean you can't buy your favourites, it just means that it's good to think every now and then about where your money is going.

If you can borrow the bestseller from the library, but can only find the smaller title in an online store, then you have the chance to do the option that supports more books and saves you money on top.

This is especially important when supporting diverse books and authors, and supporting independent authors and publishers.

Money talks in this world my friends (sigh) so use your purchasing power wisely.

J. K. Rowling's new book is always going to sell millions of copies - if you want her new book (man, I want Harry Potter and the Cursed Child!) then ask for it for your birthday.

A debut novelist at a small or niche publisher? Far less likely to sell. So every copy counts. Buy that copy while you have the cash in hand.

But don't let people make you feel bad for not supporting the industry enough. You know how much you can afford - they don't.

If it wasn't for review copies, library books, and second-hand stores, I honestly don't think I'd be able to draw attention to so many books, and help other readers find the books they'll enjoy.

I don't blog for the books (I didn't even know there were review copies when I started - little na├»ve creature that I was,) but I'm firmly of the opinion that if publishers want the publicity that bloggers can bring, then they need to understand that we can't afford to buy every book vying for our attention.

But even if you're not a blogger, you can do your part.

I'm not asking for much - in fact, if you want to get your paws on all those books, I've probably just saved you some cash.

Just think about how you spend your money, and if you find a good book, don't be afraid to talk about it! (But if you don't want to, then meh - do your own thing!)

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Monday 18 July 2016

How You Can Be An Eco Book-Nerd (With 5 Handy Tips)

Books are awesome. Book nerds are awesome. Being eco is awesome.

Why don't we combine the three??????

It can be difficult, sometimes, to be eco when your favouritest hobby (e.g. reading) is based on paper and electronic stuff.

But fear not nerdlets! I have 5 handy tips for minimising our planet-destroying ways while still reading what we want!

1. Natural Light = Good.

Just because we read about vampires doesn't mean we have to live like them. When and where natural light is available, open your curtains and use it!

I have a BAD habit of waking up in the morning, putting my light on, and reading in bed under the electric light.

This is OK and understandable when it's a grey and basically nocturnal January morning where you can barely see your hand in front of your face, but in the middle of a bright summer's day, use what the sky gives you! It's free!

2. Swap Time!


Swap with a friend to get extra life out of paper books and magazines. Sometimes this works out better for one friend than another.

(I read fast and The Bestie reads slow - she gets more of my stuff than I do of hers. But that's OK, because she's awesome.)

In the end though, this is a great way to clear space for new books while re-using the old ones.

You can also lend/borrow books, but I know some of you are a bit fussy about that. I'm not, but that's 'cos I'm a rebel, me ;)

3. Use Your Library, and WALK To It


Libraries are awesome and get you new books for free! True story.

This also means utilising one copy of a book several times - that re-using thing again!

Now, the other fab thing about libraries is that walking to them is cheaper than the gym AND means saving on the eco no-no of unnecessary car usage.

Of course, if your library's further away, you might not have that opportunity, but try using public transport where you can!

4. Sleep or Off?

There seems to be no general agreement over whether it's better to put your e-reader into sleep mode, or just switch it off. Apparently, Amazon claims it makes no difference.

With my Kobo, I have to say the battery life definitely seems to last longer if I put it off when I know I'm not going to be using it for a while.

Sleep mode is great for saving energy if you're chatting to someone, or popping to the loo, or whatever.

Likewise, there seems to be little to no info out there on whether you should charge your e-reader regularly, or leave it to run down.

My advice? Pay attention to what your own particular e-reader does. And go with that.

And as long as you remember to put it either on sleep mode or off, it's better than just leaving it on all the time ;)

5. The Hidden Eco-Book-Sins


I'm talking about tea, coffee, and snacks. We all like a little bite to eat and something to drink while we read. But we forget about the energy involved.

I'm not saying to go nuts and guard your kettle valiantly with a teaspoon, but watch how much water you're boiling. If it's just you and your book, then you don't need to put all that much water on to boil.

And remember to recycle your snack-packaging where possible!

So my little Eco Book-Nerds, go forth and spread the word!

And remember, not only will the planet be better off, but you'll also be saving yourself/whoever pays your bills some cash. And who doesn't want that?????

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Wednesday 25 May 2016

6 Ways To Read More Widely

Lots of people want to read more widely.

But, as creatures of habit, we tend to get stuck in one genre, niche, or whatever. Here then are some handy-dandy tips for reading more widely.

I'm here to serve, after all :) (and entertain, and be totally random, and possibly scare you.)

1. Confuse the f**k outta Goodreads.

If you're generally bookish, you will already know of Goodreads.

If not, then welcome to bookishness! Let me take your coat and strap you to the table! (That was a joke - please don't run off.)

Goodreads is basically social-networking for books. It's addictive and demands your soul as a blood-price :) I'm currently about three souls in debt.

I have generally succeeded in f**king up my Goodreads recs. This was done by a combination of random reading habits, and adding pretty much every major genre to 'favourites.'

As a result, Goodreads now throws me recs for pretty much every book on the planet.

The downside to this, unfortunately, is that there is no rhyme or reason to my recs. This can be irritating and unhelpful sometimes - like, when I'm in a certain mood and none of these books fit that!

But, I have also found some randomly awesome stuff this way.

2. Explore a new genre.

I wasn't a fan of YA contemporary novels, but my fellow book bloggers infected me with their never-ending enthusiasm for the genre, and I'm currently on a bit of a YA contemporary binge.

And you know what? I'm actually enjoying it.

So don't be afraid to leap head-first out of your comfort zone.

If there's a genre that you want to give a try, try looking up lists of recommended titles on Goodreads or do a Google search, and see what catches your eye.

3. Explore a new author.

You've heard absolutely loads about [insert flavour-of-the-month author here] but you don't think they've written anything you'll enjoy.

Don't force yourself to read something if it patently isn't for you, but also take a look at the author's back-catalogue, and read the synopses of some of their books.

I thought I wouldn't like Rainbow Rowell, but tried out Carry On because it looked most like the sort of stuff I enjoyed. Ditto with Jodi Picoult and Salem Falls.

And you might end up actually finding an author you click with as a result, or at the very least an interesting read.

4. Browse.

This may seem like a no-brainer, but it's still worth a shot.

Go into your local library or bookshop and just browse. Pick up books at random and look at their synopses.

Buy/borrow (dependent on whether it's a library or a shop, obviously,) any that aren't too expensive and you like the look of.

Be brave and don't be afraid to give something new a try - you might find a gem.

5. Indulge your guilty pleasures.


If you enjoy something - enjoy it. And people who claim to be 'well-read' but poke their noses up at 'lesser' or genre books?

They aren't well-read. They're just jerks :)

I used to feel uber-self-conscious at reading things that were seen as trashy etc. But I've decided I'm not going to feel guilty any more.


6. Take recommendations from a variety of sources.

If you listen to the bookish interweb chatter, or just your friend who's raving about the latest bestseller, you're likely to come across something you haven't heard of before.

And you might just be tempted to give it a whirl ;)

What about you guys? Any tips for reading more widely?

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Monday 18 April 2016

My Contemporary YA TBR

I'm not usually much of a contemporary-genre reader, but I've been meaning to read more and more books that fall into that category.

TBR list

I more than partially blame the bookish community online (you know I love you guys!) because their enthusiasm is uber-infectious.

I guess it's proof that reading is a communicable disease - and one that we need to get out there and spread ;)

This, then, is my contemporary YA TBR (To-Be Read list.)

A lot of people have slightly different definitions of what the contemporary genre actually is.

I basically went with a modern-ish setting and no magic, sci-fi, paranormal, or horror elements.

The rules can probably be bent six ways from Tuesday, but this is my list.

It's pretty damned long, so just be glad that I didn't decide to post my full TBR - we'd be here all day ;)

Unfortunately, there's only so fast a girl can read.

So it's going to take me an epically long time to get through this. Not least because I can't afford this many books.

And most of them aren't available from my library system (trust me, I checked.)

Still, I'll make my way through a fair few I'm sure.

Obviously, since I haven't read these books, I don't know how good (or not,) they are.

Hopefully they'll be worth the read!

  • Beauty Queens by Libba Bray

Beauty Queens Libba Bray

Amazon: UK - US

This is about beauty contestants stranded on an island in the middle of nowhere.
And with a premise like that, I just had to add it to my list.

  • She Is Not Invisible by Marcus Sedgwick

She is Not Invisible Marcus Sedgwick

Amazon: UK - US

I added this to my list because I read Blood Red, Snow White (UK - US) by Marcus Sedgwick yonks ago, and loved it.

This one is about a blind girl, Laureth, who is trying to find her missing father.

  • The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie

Amazon: UK - US

This book has won a butt-load of awards, and people talk about it a lot, so I figured it was one to give a chance.

It's about the experiences of a Native American boy at the local (white-populated) high-school.

  • Marcelo in the Real World by Francisco X Stork

Marcelo in the Real World by Francisco X Stork

Amazon: UK - US

Marcelo is autistic and has always been protected from 'the real world.'

But one summer, his father decides it's time to introduce him to life as the rest of us know it, and gets him a job at his law firm.

  • Read Me Like a Book by Liz Kessler

Read Me Like a Book by Liz Kessler

Amazon: UK - US

An LGBTQ+ book that's about a girl who has a crush on her female English teacher.
It looks fairly interesting, so on the list it went!

  • Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen

Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen

Amazon: UK - US

A huge amount of you lot out there in bookish internet-land are massive Sarah Dessen fans, and this one sounds interesting - it's about a girl whose brother is in prison.

I added this to my list because the lovely Tina @ As Told By Tina had it on her list of top ten contemporary novels.

  • Saving Francesca by Melina Marchetta

Saving Francesca by Melina Marchetta

Amazon: UK - US

Another recommendation from the lovely Tina, this is about a girl who's stuck at a boys' school with only three other female students.

  • Shade Me by Jennifer Brown

Shade Me Jennifer Brown

Amazon: UK - US

This might count more as crime than contemporary - but it can be contemporary crime, right?

It looks pretty damned interesting - it's about a girl named Nikki who sees emotions as colours due to synaesthesia, and ends up trying to solve a crime.

  • Simon vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

Simon vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda

Amazon: UK - US

A bunch of you have read and loved this. And there's been a lot of general buzz/hype about it since it was published last year.

Another LGBTQ+ title, this is about a teenage boy who's very firmly in the closet, and some flirtatious e-mails ending up in the wrong hands.

  • Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz

Aristotle and Dante Saenz

Amazon: UK - US

Everyone seems to like this book - and I read Ann Elise Monte's review which convinced me to finally bite the bullet and add it to my groaning TBR.

Again, an LGBTQ+ title, this also has a butt-load of awards, and was on Tina's list - so lots of ringing endorsements here, there, and everywhere.

  • All American Boys by Jason Reynolds & Brendan Kiely

All American Boys by Jason Reynolds & Brendan Kiely

Amazon: UK - US

This might've been a Goodreads recommendation - I honestly can't remember.

This is about a black kid who ends up in hospital after a police officer beats him, and the white kid who witnessed the whole thing.

It seems pretty topical, and, if done right, could be pretty amazing.

  • Panther by David Owen

panther david owen

Amazon: UK - US

I actually really want to read this - it's about a boy whose sister has depression, and its effect on both her and the family.

As you probably know if you've read this blog before, I have depression. And I'm really interested to see how it's dealt with in this book.

  • Starring Kitty by Keris Stainton

Starring Kitty Keris Stainton

Amazon: UK - US

Another LGBTQ+ title, this is about Kitty, who falls for another girl, Dylan, but doesn't want anyone to know. Dylan though, doesn't want to be kept a secret.

  • The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Amazon: UK - US

Loads of people love this book - probably at least partially due to the movie.

My BFF says it's good, and she's usually a fairly good judge of taste. So on the list it went!

  • One by Sarah Crossan

One Sarah Crossan

Amazon: UK - US

I read a review of this one by the lovely Emily @ The Paperback Princess. And I guess she got it stuck in my head.

Also, it's a novel in verse, and I've never read a novel in verse before.

  • The Art of Being Normal by Lisa Williamson

The Art of Being Normal Lisa Williamson

Amazon: UK - US

This is a book about a transgender girl, and deals with trans issues.

There's been a lot of general buzz/hype-ish-ness around it, and mostly good things. So I figure I'll get round to it at some point.

  • Remix by Non Pratt

Remix Non Pratt

Amazon: UK - US

This was a Goodreads rec. which I'm none-too-sure about. I figure I'll give it a try anyhow.
It seems to be about a music festival... or something.

  • The Manifesto on How to be Interesting by Holly Bourne

The Manifesto on How to be Interesting

Amazon: UK - US

This is a book about a girl who loves to write. It also deals with mental health issues.

So, obviously, I had to add it to my TBR. Immediately.


  • Boy Meets Boy by David Levithan

Boy Meets Boy

Amazon: UK - US

I've heard good things about David Levithan.

And this seems cute, so I might give it a shot.

  • Beautiful Music for Ugly Children by Kirstin Cronn-Mills

Beautiful Music for Ugly Children

Amazon: UK - US

Another title that I don't know much about, this is another LGBTQ+ title that focuses on trans people/issues.

  • How to Build a Girl by Caitlin Moran

How to Build a Girl

Amazon: UK - US

I absolutely adore Caitlin Moran - she rocks.

All of her books are on my main TBR (and I will get around to all of them - eventurally!) but as this is a YA contemporary novel, this is where it goes.

This is basically all about being a teenage girl in 1990 (shh, it counts as contemporary now!)

  • All of the Above by Juno Dawson

All of the Above

Amazon: UK - US

Juno Dawson is like my star sign - because she's just a star.
I read Hollow Pike (UK - US) by Juno Dawson years ago - and absolutely loved it. She tends to write books with a paranormal edge - which is why this is the only one on my 'contemporary' TBR.

There are definitely other books of hers that I want to read!

Also, check out her YA diversity list for more recommendations - it's awesome!

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