Discussion: Where To Buy (Cheap) Books

Books.

As book bloggers, we love them, and often times, hoard them like dragons hoarding gold.

We all want to be like those book bloggers with endless shelves, and massive frequent book hauls, but it can be hard when you don’t have much in the way in disposable income for buying books.

Books are EXPENSIVE.

I’m 17, I may get an allowance, but not nearly enough to buy all the books I would want to (which is why I have 2-3 book hauls a year, generally from birthday/christmas gifts).

Without further ado, here are some of the places I find cheap books, to help you out in your book blogging, or just reading, adventures.


Local Used Bookstores

To me, this is the most fun option, because it means you get to go exploring.

If you google “used bookstores + city name” you’ll find at least one, unless your in a really small town or something (and my grandma lives in Tryon, a town so small everything is on a single street – and they have a used bookstore so…).

Exploring a second hand bookstore is super fun, especially when you find a gem hidden in the trash.

We used to have two near where I live, but both closed down recently and it makes me sad…


Book Outlet

Book Outlet is famous in the book blog world.

Basically, Book Outlet is a website where, while the selection isn’t everything/recent, it is pretty large, easy to sort through, and books – even hardcovers – can range from $1-$10 dollars.

And now they have flat rate shipping for the US and Canada!


The Strand

The Strand is a famous independent bookstore in New York (and its large and epic in person!) that has an online store.

While they do have full priced books, they have a clearance section, book sales, and the intriguing, mystical phenomenon known as “books by the foot” that I’ve never tried but I want to.

Its worth checking out.


AbeBooks

A site where people and stores can sell old books – some new, some used.

You can find some cheap copies every once in a while, and the site has a good reputation when it comes to antique and/or signed books.


Biblio

Basically the same idea as AbeBooks, but I prefer the Biblio site personally.


Half Price Books

Another famous site. As the name would suggest, they offer a pretty wide array of discounted books.


Project Gutenburg

Now, this one is a little different.

Project Gutenberg isn’t for buying books, but reading e-books for free.

Here’s their self description: “Project Gutenberg offers over 54,000 free eBooks: Choose among free epub books, free kindle books, download them or read them online. You will find the world’s great literature here, especially older works for which copyright has expired. We digitized and diligently proofread them with the help of thousands of volunteers.”

Its a free site, and if you like classics and e-books, its great!


Kindle Deals

If you have a Kindle e-reader from Amazon, Amazon has deals, discounts, book on sale, etc. that changes pretty often, but is worth checking out if your looking for something new to read.


Thrift Books

Another site, similar to Half Price, etc.

You can buy both new and used copies here, and prices can vary wildly (as stores can sell old copies here like Biblio but more organized), but you can find pretty cheap copies of even popular or newer YA books here every so often.


I’m sure there are other sites like these, but these are the ones I use.

I hope this helps some of you out and that you enjoyed this!

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Discussion: Do ARC Reviews HAVE To Be Positive?

Aren’t you proud of me? Being all consistent and writing discussions regularly for the first time ever? I told you had a list of ideas a mile long – I’m just working through it now.

Anyways. Onto the discussion you came here for.


I’ve seen a handful of bloggers touch upon this topic and I wanted to give my own view of it. Arcs are, especially, a book blogger’s lifeblood – one of my most popular discussion posts is on How To Request ARCs.

And for many of us, they are a perk to our hobby – but they are also a responsibility.

Regardless of your stance on negative reviews in general, we have do decide if its okay to negatively review on ARC.

ARC, simply put, stands for Advanced Readers/Review Copy.

An ARCs entire purpose of existence is to generate prerelease reviews and hype, so that the book sells better. Obviously, positive reviews are whats going to accomplish this, not negative reviews.

But upon reviewing an ARC, we all give a statement along the lines of “I received this book for free but it doesn’t influence my opinion”. I think for most of us, thats not even a conscious thing to write, its a legal, automatic, robotic thing. Like a user agreement – you mark agree and proceed to ignore it.

Even if you don’t consciously tailor reviews because its an ARC, I think it subconsciously motivates us to try and like the book a bit more – we feel bad giving a negative review when a publisher/author went out of their way, and spent money, to have us review the book.

But we need to be honest – thats the only way book blogs function. If our readers can trust us, if our fellow book bloggers can trust us.

If you heartily dislike the book – and you don’t want to give a negative review, maybe contact the publisher and let them know. Give them your feedback.

Otherwise, be careful with what you request or accept – if you’re not sure about it, don’t take it just because its offered – you don’t want to get yourself in that position.

Now, if you are reviewing an ARC, and you didn’t like it, DON’T BASH IT.

Explain why did and why did not work for you – what made you dislike it, its it a personal/subjective reason? Could others of certain tastes like it? Is the writing objectively good? Even if its a low rating, can you mention some positives?

We want to promote books. We want ARCs to serve their intended purpose, but not at the sake of our integrity. Be honest – just don’t be harsh or cruel.


What do you think?

Do you agree with me?

Do you have a different stance?

Let me know!

Discussion: Unhauling Books

With ever growing TBRs and book collections comes ever decreasing shelf space.

Especially when book bloggers move houses or go off to college.
Shelf space is a hot commodity not to be trifled with.

One ever common way to deal with this is the book unhaul.

Bloggers either donate books or host giveaways for books they no longer want on their shelves.


Different bloggers have different criteria for unhauls.

Some do it periodically to rid themselves of books below a certain star rating or that they distinctly disliked.

Some giveaway arcs they’ve finished.

Some get rid of old / beat up / or multiple copies of the same books. Sometimes it’s just a book they don’t intend to reread.

This is a good thing – or spreads the book Iove and stops your shelf from killing you in your sleep.


But I think I’m incapable of it.

Over the years I’ve turned in a handful of books to second hand stores, give.
A few to my sister or cousins.
But I am overwhelmingly a hoarder.

I always have been.
I probably always will.

I should probably embrace the unhauling.
Someday.
Someday.
Maybe.

Or next year when I’m packing up for college and start feeling the urge to set things on fire so I don’t have to deal with them.


What do you think?

Do you unhaul books?

Discussion: The Great Book Format Debate – Paperback, Hardcover or E-book?

This is a discussion post virtually every book blogger ever has added to.

I felt I should to.


Hardcover:

Pros-

  • Looks a lot nicer on a shelf.
  • Tend to have nicer covers.
  • Surprises under dust jackets.
  • First to be released.
  • More satisfying to possess/smell/feel/read usually.
  • The classic form of a book.

Cons-

  • Heavy
  • Hard to carry around / hold up to read for extended periods.
  • Dust jacket can get messed up or lost.
  • Way more expensive usually.
  • Take up a lot of space in one’s house/room.

Conclusion:

Hardcovers are preferable for looks but sometimes impracticable and expensive.


Paperback:

Pros-

  • Easy to read and carry than a hardback.
  • Cheaper and still physical for display and collection.
  • No dust jacket anxiety.
  • Easier than hardback to read for extended periods.

Cons-

  • They can take long to be released (over a year past the hardcover at times).
  • Usually have worse covers.
  • Get damaged easier (bent spines)
  • Don’t look as nice on a shelf.

Conclusion:

Easier, cheaper, but not as pretty.


E-books:

Pros-

  • Easy to carry around.
  • Doesn’t take up room/house/shelf space.
  • Generally the cheapest.
  • The modern book format.
  • No worries about loss or damages.
  • Don’t have to worry about being intimidated by book size.

Cons-

  • E-books can be tricky, because depending on the reader you have ( as in iPad vs. kindle vs nook vs app vs desktop vs what ever else exists) can make a big difference on the experience.
  •  Some books, especially image or formatting specific ones usually become unreadable in the best of times.
  • Can’t be lent to friends.
  • No physical shelf to be prideful of.
  • Have to buy a device that can cost $80+

Conclusion:

I love reading on my kindle – when I have mobis, PDFs only work on the desktop and I never have time to read there. Adobe Digital Editions gets tedious.

I’ve been using e-books since early middle school, as its easier to carry around in a bookbag and on vacations, and long books seem less intimidating. Also, decreasing shelf space.

E-books as a preference or option varies greatly by device and by the person.

E-books are the cheapest, easiest, and least satisfying.


Audiobooks:

Despite this discussion being ever popular, audiobooks are never included it seems. They always get a separate rave or rant. Its a book format like any other, only far it gets included. Hell, I made a rant about them in my first ever discussion.

Pros-

  • Easy to read on the go/ when multitasking.
  • Lets people who don’t usually have time to read, read.
  • Can be inexpensive.
  • Fun to listen to voices for the characters (on the better or full cast ones at least).

Cons-

  • Can be hard to focus on.
  • Can take longer to listen to than actually read.
  • Quality of audiobooks in narration varies drastically.
  • Makes it difficult to imagine characters for yourself.

Conclusion:

Audiobooks have less objective pros and cons, they mostly fall down to personal preference. I don’t abhor them or anything, but I prefer to read for myself. They I may have to listen to some that are full cast narrations, as those sound fun!


Overall Conclusions:

I will continue to prefer hardcovers, and only buying paperbacks when I’m desperate for a physical copy/at a second hand store.

My e-reader will continue to be for arcs.

Really there is no conclusion to be reached in this sort of discussion, I just wanted to make my pros and cons lists.


What do you think?

Which do you prefer?

Do you agree with what I said?

Let me know!

Discussion: On DNF Books And Reviews

DNF stands for “Did Not Finish” – an acronym you’ve probably heard around the book blogging community before.


People DNF books all the time, for all sorts of reasons.

Because they just weren’t liking the book.
Because they were bored.
Because they took a particular issue with the book (problematic /trope they dislike etc.).

Everyone has their own policy on this and I can’t speak for everyone.


I personally dislike DNFing books – it feels dishonest to pass judgement if I didn’t see it through.

I have only DNFed a handful of books. Generally because the content made me physically uncomfortable (like Nerdy and the Dirty) or I am extremely bored / disengaged / hitting a reading slump because of a book. Especially recently with my growing TBR.
Usually, if I put a book down, it’s with the intention of coming back later.


But why?
Why feel guilty about not enjoying a book and doing without it?
Book reviews are often subjective – what I enjoy or don’t enjoy may influence those of similar opinions – but it isn’t the end all be all of a books worth or who may enjoy it even if I don’t.


Recently my views of DNFing has changed. I think it’s okay. We read because our enjoy it, why continue if it becomes a chore. But we should explain ourselves.
Why did we DNF a book?
Something objective or something  subjective in its influence?
Could others potentially like it?
And definitely don’t bash a book you couldn’t finish – that I do see as unfair.


What do you think?

Do you agree with me?

What do you think of DNF books?

Discussion: Struggles Of A Book Blogger

Being a book blogger is weird, because it’s a hobby, at least for most it isn’t a job, and it’s fun.

But it’s also stressful like a real job – and requires a hell of a lot of effort, especially if your on your own.

Here, I’m discussing the 7 major things that can cause book bloggers stress.


Procrastination

Time management is a big thing. For most book bloggers, blogging isn’t a job it’s a hobby, which means carving out time to do it – and fun as it is, that’s not always possible. And even when it is, it can be hard to push your self to read or write when your brain is fried from real life.

Which leads to procrastination. Which is how you get the “accidental five month hiatuses” that my blog is no known for.

I deal with this by scheduling posts. Like last summer for while I was at camp, and like I have now for AP season – so I don’t have to worry about consolidating my melted brain so form a sensical string of words.

What do you do?


Stress Over Posting

Even when we do post, it brings a different kind of anxiety. Are people going to like it or hate it? Is it too over done? Is this original content stupid? Did I unleash too much of my weirdness at once? Did j say something dumb a future admissions officer will see and reject me for? (This last fear is one instilled in me by a very college oriented high school – like I needed more reasons to stress out).

These are legitimate concerns, and ones not easy to quell. This is the main reason generally behind my several month hiatuses to be honest.


Ever Growing TBR

This one is unique to book bloggers.

The ever Growing TBR.

TBR stands for To Be Read – a list of books a book blogger intends to read, and be a physical stack of book towering in ones room, can be a list online or wishlist of books to buy, can be a stack of arcs, or a massive ebook library – but the result is the same.

Sooner or later the TBR of s book blogger outgrows the reading speed – and threatens to crush them. Often this impending crushing can increase the prevalence of a reading slump and we get indecisive over what to read next and then just don’t. A vicious cycle.

Generally deadlines can get you reading again, but deadlines for reviews can bring their own kind of stress.

I myself have too many books in my TBR – a review TBR of about 50 and a physical TBR of too many to deal with.


Pressure For Content / The Look

The look of the blog matters.

Trying our best to improve the look of the blog, from graphics to the layout to the design to the domain is a big thing for us book bloggers. But when you don’t have the resources to get help and don’t have the skill to make good things yourself – it makes you feel a little behind the curve sometimes.

The pressure for the right look also applies to the content.

People like tags and memes. They are the life of book blogs. But too many and your blog is labeled unoriginal and boring.

Book reviews are a major thing. But so many discussions are being done on, really, other book bloggers don’t read book reviews – you might not even need them. But without them are you even really a book blog? But you can’t exactly churn out so many reviews since it takes time to actually read books- so what do you do?

The answer: Original content.

The elusive gold of book blogging.
It’s hard to come up with original posts consistently. And to be honest, most of us either take inspiration from or flat out copy each other (with credit unless your a terrible person). We do similar discussions and lists etc. But the continuing strive for better original content can keep you awake at night, thinking of ideas and second guessing yourself.

It’s hard to sustain.

So cut bloggers a break when there’s a lull in content okay? Okay.


Reviews / Discussions

Back to book reviews.
Every book blogger pretty much does reviews. In different styles with different frequency, but it is a staple of book blogging. (Though I read a great discussion at The Tattooed Book Geek that argues otherwise).

Reviews tend to take a long time though, so their less frequent – even if your reading pretty quickly.

Discussions are another thing – when everything seems to had been said but you still can to join in, what do you say? And how do you say t without sounding preachy or cheesy?


Role In The Industry

Sometimes other people read your stuff, and take your opinions seriously. Sometimes, I don’t feel qualified to be giving my opinion. I’m a kid! I’m 17! I have no authority! Except the fact that I’m a book blogger gives me a small amount of authority in a limited capacity – and it is occasionally terrifying.

I face this fear when I get review requests. People email me like I’m a professional. ADULTS email me asking me for my help/knowledge/influence and it’s weird. It feels like you can’t say no because, your just a kid and this is an adult. It’s a weird position, and not a universal struggle I’ll admit, just one I think about a lot.


Comparing Stats

Ah yes the stats. The thing everyone says not to worry about and yet everyone does.

But it’s hard not to.

When another blogger gets more comments or more likes then you.

When someone who’s been blogging for less time surpasses your follower count.

It’s hard to to try and measure up success. It hard not to get jealous. And want to be better than others. It’s human nature.

But sometimes being so concerned with stats can suck some joy out of blogging – that that sucks. But it’s honest.


This has been some of the struggles I’ve experienced being a book blogger – its fun, I love it, but people need to understand that it isn’t easy or quick before they start their own blogs or start getting snippy with bloggers for not posting more often. We’re only human.

Do you experience any of these?

Did I miss something glaringly obvious?

Let me know!

Discussion: Dream Reading Nook

Every reader, and especially every book blogger, has a dream reading nook.

Seem even achieve it!

But if your like me, and lack the space/resources to make it real, you need to settle for schooling through Pinterest.

I was contacted by Arhaus to share my dream reading nook, so here it is!

*All pictures are from online (namely Pinterest).*


I was inspired by Arhaus to share my dream reading nook –

This is what I came up with!


Bookshelves:

shelf-housebook-lovers-home-1

Wall-to-Wall shelves with a sliding ladder a-la Beauty and the Beast are a must.

I also love the hammock thing here. And I much prefer white furniture.


Furniture:

traditional-bedroom

A big enough nook seat to low on, and draw my knees up (as I prefer) to sit, is a must as well.

2c6b4c4e42defccbb6529f06eae8121e--book-nooks-reading-nooks1117d9de1e0b5757542b77ebacd88e67--dream-library-the-library6bb64a6fc2681e3fe3a0e587e2d5a33a--reading-areas-reading-nooks

Other variations I really love!


Decor:

These Cool Fairy Lights!

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Other things my dream reading nooks needs:

Candles, mugs, pillows, blankets, art prints, galaxy projector, etc!

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That is, essentially, my dream reading nook as told by a conglomeration of pictures of other reading nooks.

Let me know what you think and if you agree with me!

And if you share your own dream reading nook, leave me a link in the comments!

Discussion: Ways To Organize A Bookshelf

This is a pretty popular discussion – but I wanted to give my take on it, as I have a pretty unique system of organizing my bookshelf.

Here are five common organization methods to try out on your shelves – along with my own method (feel free to try it).


Color:

This one is very popular on bookstagram and booktube – though I personally have little interest as it seems like it would get annoying after a while -(per the order of the books having no rhyme or reason and series being separated).

But essentially, separate your books by spine color and lay them on the shelf to form a rainbow. It’s pleasing to look at even for the non-book hoarder.


Library System / Genre and Author:

This is a mix of organization systems – but you could do either individually. (As in, separate solely by author or solely by genre).

By genre is essentially, separating genres of books onto different shelves or sections so you can easily find a book for whatever mood you are in.

By author is generally by last name in alphabetical order.

If you do these in conjunction – alphabetizing authors within each genre section – then it becomes very easy to find a particular book rather than remembering where the hell you stuck it.


By Favorites:

Pretty simple. But your favorite reads at the center / eye level / front of the shelf and hide less favorites at the corners or back.

Your shelf will personally make you happier to look at. Since you’ll be staring mostly at you favorite books. This might also make it easier to write tag posts, as you’ll have your favorites in view.


By TBR:

You can do this two ways.

If you have multiple shelves, one can be read books and the other unread.

If you only have one shelf you can use half for read books and the other half unread books if you don’t want them mixing.

Or you can employ my chosen method – useful if you want to keep authors and genres together that are only particularly read: within a different organization method – put unread books vertically and read books horizontally as I prefer (but you could always do it the other way around).


Separate Hard- and Paper-Backs:

This ones simple – separate the hardcovers from the paperbacks.

Put the paperbacks in the back or the corners so they aren’t the focus, and the hardcovers more at eye level, center or main shelf – prettier and more eye catching and makes for a nicer overall bookshelf. Could also be done in conjunction with “By Favorites”.


My Method:

Obviously, some of these methods are not mutely exclusive. You can organize by both genre and author. By color and still separate hardcovers from paperbacks. Color coordinate TBR separated bookshelves etc.

My chosen organization is this:
By genre, by favorites, and by TBR.

Here’s what I mean.

I have one free standing shelf and two wall mounted shelves.

Books I love and books I need to read soon go in the free standing shelf (easier to reach – separated by genre and from each other within this).

Books of genres I read least or have the least to-be-read books within the genre go on the top / harder to reach wall mounted shelf. And so one.

Read books are horizontal and unread books are vertical. So unread books are easier to get. And read books overall take up less space, so as I read I get minimally more shelf space.


 Let me know what you think.

How do you organize your shelf?

Has this inspired you to try something new?

Which is your favorite?

Discussion: Dream Author Panel(s)

This post was inspired by Eventbrite.

I was emailed asking if I’d like to participate in this discussion and I loved the idea!

So here we are!


Eventbrite online registration page:
Organize and register for conferences in your local area


Note:

For the sake of this dream panel / wishful thinking discussion, we are going to disregard pesky little facts such as logistics of travel and scheduling as well as life or dead status. Alright? Cool.



Fantastical –

 Fantasy Authors Panel

JK Rowling (Author of Harry Potter)

Leigh Bardugo (Author of The Grisha Series)

VE Schwab (Author of A Darker Shade of Magic)

Maggie Steifvater (Author of The Raven Cycle)

Cassandra Clare (Author of The Shadowhunters Books)

George RR Martin (Author of Game of Thrones)

JRR Tolkien (Author of The Lord of the Rings)

Erin Morganstern (Author of The Night Circus)


Fluffy – 

 Romance/Contemporary Panel

Kasie West (Author of PS I Love You)

Katie Kennedy (Author of Learning to Swear In America)

Leah Thomas (Author of Because You’ll Never Meet Me)

Jeff Giles (Author of The Edge of Everything)

Rainbow Rowell (Author of Fangirl)

Jenny Han (Author of To All The Boys I Loved Before)

John Green (Author of The Fault In Our Stars)

Morgan Matson (Author of The Unexpected Everything)


Everyone is Unique –

Diversity and Mental Health Awareness Panel

Adam Silvera (Author of They Both Die at the End)

Becky Albertalli (Author of Simon Vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda)

Mackenzie Lee (Author of Gentleman’s Guide To Vice and Virtue)

April Daniels (Author of Dreadnought)

Sandhya Menon (Author of When Dimple Met Rishi)

Jennifer Niven (Author of All The Bright Places)

Emery Lord (Author of When We Collided)


Looking To The Future –

Scifi and Dystopian Panel

Rick Yancy (Author of The 5th Wave)

John Scalzi (Author of Redshirts)

Brandon Sanderson (Author of Steelheart)

Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff (Authors of The Illuminae Files)

Marie Lu (Author of The Legend Series)

Tahereh Mafi (Author of the Shatter Me Series)

Alexandra Bracken (Author of The Darkest Minds Series)

Veronica Roth (Author of Divergent)

Suzanne Collins (Author of the Hunger Games)

Andy Weir (Author of The Martian)

JJ Abrams (Author of S. The Ship of Theseus – its a book, it counts!)


New Spins –

Retellings Panel

Rick Riordan (Author of Percy Jackson)

Sarah J Maas (Author of A Court of Thorns and Roses)

Heather W. Petty (Author of Lock & Mori)

Brittany Cavallaro (Author of A Study in Charlotte)

Lin Manuel Miranda (Hamilton has a book so he counts OKAY!?!)

Marrisa Meyer (Author of the Lunar Chronicles)


Fictional –

Characters Come To Life

There are so many book characters I can picture growing up and becoming authors! So in my mind, when they inevitably do, they can all be part of an author panel together.
ALLOW ME MY IMPOSSIBLE DREAMS ALRIGHT!

Hermoine Granger (from Harry Potter)

Annabeth Chase (from Percy Jackson and the Olympians)

Katy Swartz (from The Lux Series)

Maddy Whittier (from Everything Everything)

Richard Gansey III (from The Raven Cycle)

Klaus Baudelaire (from A Series Of Unfortunate Events)

Cath Avery (from Fangirl)


What do you think? 

 

What you attend any of these panels?

 

What would your dream panel be?

(And remember, these lists are in no way comprehensive to what those panels could be, but if I listed every authors I’d want to meet in every category, there would be over 100 names and that would take far too long).

Buddy Read – Book Review: The Night Circus

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I buddy read this book with the ever amazing Icebreaker694


Original Release Date:

September 13th 2011

Date I Read The Book:

May 2017

Chronology:

Standalone

My Star Rating:

4.5 stars


Official Summary:

The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it, no paper notices plastered on lampposts and billboards. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not.

Within these nocturnal black-and-white striped tents awaits an utterly unique, a feast for the senses, where one can get lost in a maze of clouds, meander through a lush garden made of ice, stare in wonderment as the tattooed contortionist folds herself into a small glass box, and become deliciously tipsy from the scents of caramel and cinnamon that waft through the air.

Welcome to Le Cirque des Rêves.

Beyond the smoke and mirrors, however, a fierce competition is under way–a contest between two young illusionists, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood to compete in a “game” to which they have been irrevocably bound by their mercurial masters. Unbeknownst to the players, this is a game in which only one can be left standing, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will.

As the circus travels around the world, the feats of magic gain fantastical new heights with every stop. The game is well under way and the lives of all those involved–the eccentric circus owner, the elusive contortionist, the mystical fortune-teller, and a pair of red-headed twins born backstage among them–are swept up in a wake of spells and charms.

But when Celia discovers that Marco is her adversary, they begin to think of the game not as a competition but as a wonderful collaboration. With no knowledge of how the game must end, they innocently tumble headfirst into love. A deep, passionate, and magical love that makes the lights flicker and the room grow warm whenever they so much as brush hands.

Their masters still pull the strings, however, and this unforeseen occurrence forces them to intervene with dangerous consequences, leaving the lives of everyone from the performers to the patrons hanging in the balance.

Both playful and seductive, The Night Circus, Erin Morgenstern’s spell-casting debut, is a mesmerizing love story for the ages.


Discussion Questions/Thoughts:

Icebreaker’s Questions:

1)  What food at the circus would you try first?

Icebreaker: I’d love to try those “cinnamon things”. While I was reading the story, I thought they were churros. They don’t disclose if they are, but I’d still eat them if they’re as good as Widget says they are.

RiverMoose: Oh thats a hard one. Probably the “cinnamon things” as they are called – which in my mind were cinnamon buns. I love them, and I bet the circus has the best ones.

2) Which character do you think grew the most?

Icebreaker:  Isobel. I don’t want to reveal too much, but she changes her views on a matter and becomes satisfied after finally trying to move on. At first she struggles knowing the truth, but later she seems to have accepted everything.

RiverMoose: Well I don’t think the Murray twins count… So I’ll say Isobel, she went through a lot of character growth throughout the novel – though I don’t want to say too much on it for those who haven’t read it.

3) If you could rewrite this book, what would you change?

Icebreaker:  I wouldn’t really change anything. I actually enjoyed the slower pace of The Night Circus, the characters, and the style of writing. It’s a lot better than anything I would write, that’s for certain.

RiverMoose: I’d lengthen the ending. It felt kind of abrupt and too “and now everything is perfect because I wanted it to be” instead of actual resolution being worked towards. But wouldn’t really change anything else. It wasn’t even that I disliked the ending – it just felt too fast.

My Questions:

1) Which point of view was your favorite to read from?

Icebreaker: Bailey’s! It took some time for me to really appreciate his chapters, but he ultimately ended up being my favorite POV to read from.

RiverMoose: Honestly? I really liked reading Bailey’s chapters because, even though for most of the book they felt extraneous and not grounded into the story like the rest, it ties in nicely and I liked the little glimpses of the future you get through his because his chapters ran ahead in the timeline of Celia’s and Marco’s. I also really liked Herr Theissen’s. I liked all the POVs though.

2) What did you think of the writing style/multi-narrative structure?

Icebreaker: Oh, I thought it was all really unique. I don’t see many multi-narrative books, and it was refreshing to learn that this story contained second and third person narratives. As for the writing style, I tend to enjoy lots of descriptions, and The Night Circus contained very detailed ones.

RiverMoose: I liked it. It feels floaty and insubstantial at times – very flowery and descriptive but you’re still at times unclear as to whats happening, but I thought it worked really well with the setting of the story, and I liked how the multi-POVs and stories we get to see make the whole thing come together and come to life because it makes it larger scale.

3) Which tent would you most want to visit at The Night Circus?

Icebreaker: I’d love to see the illusionist’s or the fortune teller’s tent! I’ve always loved watching magic acts when I was little and that has never changed. However I’ve never had my future read before, so I’d like to see what’s in store. (I’d also stick around the circus for Poppet and Widget’s kitten act, haha.)

RiverMoose: I’m the sort of person who gets utterly paralyzed by choice so I’d probably just try to methodically work my way through the circus. Knowing many of the tents though, I think I’d enjoy the labyrinth.


My Review: 

I don’t really know how to review this book without spoilers. So here is a mini-non-spoiler review before we get to the full review: It was great, it relies very heavily on pretty, flowery, writing if thats your thing, and has multiple POVs/stories/timepoints woven together very well. I really liked it.

(Spoilers ahead – just a warning)

(Spoilers ahead – just a warning)

 The Night Circus is a slow-paced, world building extravaganza of a book. The story is the circus itself, and the people in and around it. Celia and Marco are the main story – their competition being the focus the other narratives jump off from and the reason for the circuses creation, though we also see the POV of the others involved in the circuses creation (like the Burgesses), those who love the circus (like Herr Theissen), and others in the circus (the Murray twins, along with Bailey whose story runs a few years ahead of the main story before it alines, it was a bit confusing at first, but it made sense after a while).

Its a very slow build, grand scale kind of story, with large time jumps and beautiful descriptive language. The mystery of the circus extends to the reader, as your left just as in the dark as the characters often are.

Its a bit difficult to get into, but once you start its hard to stop. Its very different from other books I’m read, but I found I really enjoyed. You really get to know the characters.

The end annoyed me just a bit (hence the 4.5 stars rather than 5) because it felt a bit rushed. All the talk of making their own choices, and preserving the circus being draining, needing to make it independent after they are gone, only for it to fall on Bailey? It felt like a copout, and as a resolution in general, it felt a bit rushed. I didn’t dislike it, it just could have been a bit better. I did really like the epilogue and how it was all wrapped up for everyone, I do wish we got a better explanation of why Mr. A. H. and Prospero have their competitions the way they do though.


Favorite Quotes:

“People see what they wish to see. And in most cases, what they are told that they see.”
― Erin Morgenstern, The Night Circus

“Someone needs to tell those tales. When the battles are fought and won and lost, when the pirates find their treasures and the dragons eat their foes for breakfast with a nice cup of Lapsang souchong, someone needs to tell their bits of overlapping narrative. There’s magic in that. It’s in the listener, and for each and every ear it will be different, and it will affect them in ways they can never predict. From the mundane to the profound. You may tell a tale that takes up residence in someone’s soul, becomes their blood and self and purpose. That tale will move them and drive them and who knows what they might do because of it, because of your words. That is your role, your gift. Your sister may be able to see the future, but you yourself can shape it, boy. Do not forget that… there are many kinds of magic, after all.”
― Erin Morgenstern, The Night Circus

“The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not.”
― Erin Morgenstern, The Night Circus

“Stories have changed, my dear boy,” the man in the grey suit says, his voice almost imperceptibly sad. “There are no more battles between good and evil, no monsters to slay, no maidens in need of rescue. Most maidens are perfectly capable of rescuing themselves in my experience, at least the ones worth something, in any case. There are no longer simple tales with quests and beasts and happy endings. The quests lack clarity of goal or path. The beasts take different forms and are difficult to recognize for what they are. And there are never really endings, happy or otherwise. Things keep overlapping and blur, your story is part of your sister’s story is part of many other stories, and there in no telling where any of them may lead. Good and evil are a great deal more complex than a princess and a dragon, or a wolf and a scarlet-clad little girl. And is not the dragon the hero of his own story? Is not the wolf simply acting as a wolf should act? Though perhaps it is a singular wolf who goes to such lengths as to dress as a grandmother to toy with its prey.”
― Erin Morgenstern, The Night Circus

“The most difficult thing to read is time. Maybe because it changes so many things.”
― Erin Morgenstern, The Night Circus

“You’re in the right place at the right time, and you care enough to do what needs to be done. Sometimes that’s enough.”
― Erin Morgenstern, The Night Circus

“I have been surrounded by love letters you two have built each other for years, encased in tents.”
― Erin Morgenstern, The Night Circus