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: Reading Reviews

Writing book reviews is an integral part of book blogging. That’s pretty much a given.

(Though, Drew over at The Tattooed Book Geek gave a pretty great discussion on being a book blogger without being a book reviewer

Most of us write reviews, with varying frequency and styles. That’s a given.

But how many of us read other peoples reviews?

Do you read reviews before you read a book, to decide if its worth your time?

Do you look at rating and recommendations before, and save reading reviews until after you review a book yourself, to avoid “tainting” the experience beforehand?

Do you avoid negative reviews of books you enjoyed, and vise-versa? Do you seek out differing opinions?

Book bloggers help both authors and readers by writing reviews, but what do reviews mean to reviewers?

For me, it varies.

I’ll read reviews if I’m not sure I’ll enjoy a book, but avoid them if I’m certain I want to read it.

If I come across a review of a book I read, I’ll usually read it, see what others thought of it, but I don’t generally seek out reviews of books I’ve read.

This differs a lot between bloggers, and so I want to know, how do you approach reading reviews as a reviewer?


Some other great discussions I’ve seen on this are:

Sara @ Freedom Library wrote about how reviews can affect your thoughts on a book.

Hannah @ Sprinkled With Words wrote about review tainted reading.

So you should go check them out!

 

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: 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: Reviewing Non-Novel Reading Material (Short Stories / Comics / Manga etc.)

Last month I wrote a Discussion on What You Review.

But, I wanted to expand on what I said when I saw a great discussion on How Does One Review Manga and Comics @ RakioddBooks. (And really, check out her blog!)

Because I’d love it if more book bloggers reviewed comics/manga/ etc.

In my discussion, I had mentioned reviewing non-books, but hadn’t gone into detail.

And when commenting on Raquel’s post, I thought I had enough to say on my own views that I’d make my own discussion post as a sort of response. Get my insight out to my own followers.

Here is what I commented:

I haven’t really read enough manga/comics recently to be thinking about how to review them, but I think I’d use a similar system that I use for short story collections.

As you finish a short story (or manga/comic volume) write a mini review, then, when you’ve read enough (5-10 depending on length I’d guess – or even once you’ve finished the series), you can post all the mini-volume reviews in one post with an overall conclusion on your thoughts of the series.

That way, you don’t have to worry about either not having a long enough review or forgetting details of the series as you review.

I’ve reviewed short stories before – I review the collection as a whole with mini-reviews for each individual story in the same post.

I think a similar approach works for manga and comic volumes.

That way you can track your thoughts on each individual issue for your followers, without forgetting details by reviewing at the end, or getting annoying with two sentence reviews posted separately for the whole series/run/etc.


What do you think?

Should they be reviewed differently?

Do you have your own thoughts on it?

Or do you think book blogs should only review books?

Because I like seeing reviews of other types of material.

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: 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).

Discussion: What Do You Review

Some book bloggers strictly review novels. Some review mangas, comics, short stories etc. Some incorporate tv shows, movies, animes etc.

This all depends on the blog, and the bloggers focus.
I review mostly books and a bit of everything else every once in a while.
I think people should just review anything they want, even if it is a book blog.
What do you think?
But that’s not my main point.
My main point is: which books do you review?
Do you review all the books you read? Only arcs?
Only positive reviews?
How do you decide?
I try my best to review every book I read – even negative ones, though that isn’t common with me. I haven’t done any DNF reviews, but I feel like I should.
Now, I don’t think you should bash books in negative reviews, but a negative review on why you specifically disliked a book and why others may or may not agree with you is perfectly valid – books blogs are for consumers and readers more than anything else in my opinion, even when we are sent arcs- that’s why we need to have honest reviews.
Only writing the positive ones feels a little less honest, even if we aren’t flat out lying about specific books.
What do you think?