Fangirl Issues: When You Really Are a Book Cover Judger

“Don’t judge a book by its cover.”

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Oops. Someone’s guilty. No, not you. Maybe, if you didn’t agree and you suddenly got all defensive. Although, let’s back up a bit. Yes, there is no doubt that I too pledge guilty. But is this saying still relevant nowadays? Why can’t I judge a book by its cover? Is it still wrong for me to do so? These are some of the lingering questions that a bookworm like me has everyday. I don’t know if you noticed this or not, but oftentimes the books I review for the blog are blind picks. Before I read a book, usually I just skim the synopsis and go “Eh. What’s the harm right?” Most of the time, it’s proven effective because my expectations are low and it helps me to review the book efficiently and unbiased. The other deciding factor of reading a book: literally judging the cover.

Nowadays, I truly believe that you can judge a book by its cover. I believe that part of why we read a book is because we are drawn to the way it is designed and presented. The cover got your attention and it made you want to pick it up. There is no denying that it is now part of the overall reading experience. Probably only 10 – 20% of the time, but it still affects you. Aside from the blurb or the keywords that got your attention, the cover serves as the first impression. Whatever it is that you think about next is impartially affected by the cover itself.

On another note, and this is probably just the graphic designer in me but it’s part of the judgement. Is the typography on point? Does the color combination make sense? Are the illustrations lit af? Does it make we want to read it or does it make my brain say “meh”? Will I let out an exasperated gasp because of the amazing effects that they used? Is this worth it? They said ‘magic VR’ on the cover so I should like this right?

Another thing is that book covers can be distinguished just by looking at the overall ambience that it projects. For example, you can easily recognize a YA contemporary by looking at some key elements like the bright color and the brush / calligraphy / handwritten font used for the title. Let’s face it, if you’re a contemporary lover like me, you are sure to pick these up once you see it on your local bookstore or even online.

Exhibit A:

Another trend in YA contemporary books are the sans serif fonts (the long and movie poster-like fonts), that gives it an edgy feel. The font itself makes the book look like an amazing movie poster. Add in the summery feels, and voila! Here lies an amazing read under the sizzling sun.

Exhibit B:

What about fantasies? Well, forgive me for saying this, but you’ll know the book probably deals with magic if you see the fancy serif fonts and if the book is entirely in the darker spectrum. Sometimes it can be white, but there is always that dose of black. Usually, I avoid fantasies like the plague, but sometimes there comes a moment where you don’t choose the book. The book chooses you.

Exhibit C:

Have you also noticed these details before? Then congratulations! Welcome to the club. So now, what if you really are a book cover judger? Here’s something that we can do about that.

1. OWN IT. Own that title. You judge a book by its cover and that’s okay. But if you’re owning it, make sure that you know enough about a book before you join in on a general discussion. Maybe at least read the blurb or be aware of the genre. But when it comes to discussing book covers, GO FOR IT. BE THE FABULOUS UNICORN THAT YOU ARE. Be proud and let it be known that you know the color scheme for every Morgan Matson or Rainbow Rowell book!

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2. Help your friends decide which book to buy. An hour has already passed and you have already picked a book of your own. But your friend/s are still having dilemmas on picking a book that will fit their budget. Now you get to be the tiebreaker. Help them choose which one to buy based on how they chose to manifest the elements of the book on the cover! (Plus convincing them to buy it because of the pretty cover and knowing they like the premise is like getting extra book brownie points.)

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3. Spread the cover love! Books, like us amazing human beings, are unique in every way. Sometimes the stories contained within their pages may be on the same beat, but there is so much work that is put into one novel. So besides supporting the lovely authors, give a shout out to the amazing people behind the book cover as well! You love the story, but book cover artists made you fall in love with it at first sight. They are the real heroes for conveying magnetic layouts and designs that beautifully match the amazing words underneath the hardcovers.

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All I’m saying is that it’s not wrong to judge a book by the cover. You CAN judge the book when you have read it from front to back. You can also judge it by its cover, but that judgement will only remain impartial until you read the whole thing. The cover may be beautiful, but it can also deceive if you base your judgement on it alone. But as for picking a book based on its cover, YOU DO YOU.

But hey, that’s my two cents on a subject that I am truly passionate about. What’s your take on this?

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Fangirl Issues: Talking Less and Smiling More about Other Fandoms

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Contemplating if this should be filed under “Rainy Day Thoughts” but I know I’m not the only one asking these questions. But when an issue needs to be discussed, one thing’s for sure. It is very obvious that we would need Chandler Bing to help us get our points across.

This has been bothering me for a while but I want to point it out. Does it really make one less of a fanboy/fangirl if they talk less about their other fandoms, which is not supposed to be an ‘other’ in the first place?

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What made me ask this? Well, 2017 has been a year of realizations for me. The roller coaster ride that I went on this year has been really ridiculous. For a while it felt like I could not breathe, like I was emotionally stuck in a never-ending loop and the air won’t let me scream. I felt trapped in limbo, where I could not even be happy at all. I want to post something, but why can’t the words come out properly? I could let this out now because I am more comfortable now. I stopped blogging here for a while amidst a period of transition: I was chosen to co-blog for Stay Bookish, our thesis is finally done, and I am now an intern for a publishing company. (Yes friends, all of that happened while this blog went a bit dead.)

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During that transition period, I got lost. I did not know what my purpose was in the blogosphere. And that came from the name that I gave myself. The Ultimate Fangirl, or do I really deserve to own that title? Originally, it is to justify that I have a lot of fandoms like any other geek. But the name actually comes with a burden: Sure, I blog about my bookish fandoms. What about all of the “other” ones? TV shows, movies, anime, music… all of that. Where does it fit in since I already established this place as a book blog? In short, I had an identity crisis. If I don’t talk about my fandoms enough, does that make me worthy of the title that I chose for myself? Where do I fit it in then? How do I balance posting about books and all my other fandoms? In the same transition period, I really did not feel like writing and reading. It was a bit sad because it just had to happen during my blogiversary. However, with all the stopping and inconsistencies, I did not even bother celebrating it because I didn’t feel like the two year celebration was worth it. This also affected me in contributing at Stay Bookish as well. If I’m not reading, then what do I do? What do I post? If I cannot even stay bookish then what do I talk about at all?

But then after a busy month at the office, and a talk with a co-blogger and a close friend, I slowly realized the adjustments that I needed to do to make things work. I decided to take action and tried something different. During my commute to work, I read from e-books. I also tried watching TV and anime series on my phone. All of that went surprisingly well, because I found myself reading more and I got to catch with the series that I have been wanting to watch since forever. Now all that is left is to actually do something about it and manifest it in my blog.

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Now to finally answer the question that lead me to sharing stuff that has been on my chest since this year has hit me in the face: Honestly, screw that. It does not make me less of a fangirl if I don’t talk about a certain fandom more often. I know I am still a part of something, and just bringing up the topic can turn on a button in my brain that will leave me talking for days. The answer is simple: just do whatever floats your boat. Fandoms come and go, but it doesn’t mean they are not loved in the same manner. Being giddy and maybe a bit too over the top when discussing fandoms. That’s me alright. As for my blog, I can post whatever the hell I want. It is my blog, and it is a reflection of who I am. If I can post this and that, then so be it. My brain is as chaotic as my tastes, it is so random that I don’t even know what is coming next. One day, I’m reading books. The next, I’m full blasting anime recommendations. In the next one I am probably lusting about gorgeous book covers. The possibilities are endless, because as long as I am passionate about the topic, I am in for a ride.

If you’re having the same dilemma as me, all I can say is do what makes you happy. I know that there will be more of these in the future, tougher and will take every willpower that I have. Share what you can at your own pace. It also helps that you talk to other people about it, because they can help you figure what it is that you want to find amidst the chaotic crisis you’re facing.

As for me, I know I’m young and I have so much more to contribute. For now, it’s all about these fandoms that make me happy and are a part of what makes me. Yes, I know. It’s been a year that feels like a drought. I do miss posting here more often. So hi, how are you all?

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Fangirl Issues: When Things Get Violent

Fangirl Issues

In terms of violence and ridiculousness, this fangirl never thought that the day will never come. But if you’re into book blogging, there is a probability that this incident has happened to you, too. Hopefully, you haven’t experienced it yet. Because it is too violent, and I never thought that a person is capable to do such thing to a book.

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That person is me. I did things to a book that I never thought I would do. It was like a psychotic episode. But it is just because of the frustration that I felt while reading a certain book. I would not say what the book is, but I will say what it revolves around.

  • Dystopian
  • Involves a lot of love interests
  • Spear-headed by a female heroine
  • Situations can be easily manipulated with the slightest use of common sense

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My relationship with the book was so unhealthy, even my friends thought that I was turning over to the dark side. So my twin also reads the book, while I slowly worked my way to Book #2 of the said series. After she read the entire thing in a day and a half, she told me to stop reading. And I did.

What did I do to the book, you ask? I may have thrown it across the hallway… I read it in school, which explains how my friends saw my brief episode. Now, it wasn’t only across the hallway. I pushed it away from me when I was reading in the classroom. I threw a fit in the computer laboratory. Heck, my professor even asked why the book was so far away from me.

Okay Bianca, what’s your point?

My point is… don’t be like me. What I did was just plainly unacceptable. I know that a lot of people liked the trilogy in question, so I had to push myself into reading it. Also, I was on the verge of a reading slump. I can’t just read The Perks of Being A Wallflower over and over again. But it was just so wrong to do that to a book.

Now, if you’re a relatively new book blogger like moi, I want you to take this advice to your heart. Because I don’t want another person throwing books up in the air like me.

1.If you can’t finish it, don’t read it.

An exception is, if something in makes you want to read it. For me, it’s the writing style and a certain character. Although, one cannot promise that the feeling of hatred will not come back.

2. If you find the scene in the book intolerable, put the book down in a nice manner and slowly scoot away from it. Unless you borrowed the book from the library, then have a friend put it somewhere far.

Pick it up when your anger has ceased. But be warned, so follow the first thing that I said.

3. If you are making a point on how horrible the book is, just don’t. Because for one, you’re being a bad reader. Two, why spend your precious time hating on the book?

See, that’s why I followed my twin’s advice. A character in that book will always be my book boyfriend, but I think I cannot continue. Alas, I might never know what happened to him. But it’s for the best.

4. Remember that you are not the only one who hated it, but be careful because not everyone did.

We all have our differences when it comes to reading a certain book. It means that somebody else liked it. So mind your freedom of expression.

and finally,

5. Pick up another book.

It’s as simple as that.

Now don’t be like me, okay? I have learned a lot from this episode and I hope you did, too.

Have you ever had an episode? What did you do to handle it?

Brb

Fangirl Issues: Being A Neurotic Reader

Fangirl Issues

It all started when I decided to go to my Goodreads page. The amount of books that I have read this year is pretty low, considering that this was the year that my bookshelf was revamped and was fed more books.tumblr_lmayp5yjCf1qafrh6Then I realized that I just read one book in October. Yes, I read some chapters to keep me calm under the state of pressure (finals month). I switch through a lot of books because some of them lure me in their ebook format – but as I said before, I want a physical copy so that I could finish the whole thing. I mean sure, I read some stories because I joined something. Does that count? Still, I’m juggling a lot of books.anigif_enhanced-982-1432235818-11One night, it dawned on me. I must be a neurotic reader. I mean, I have no TBR’s. I read whatever floats my boat. I just pick whatever I want. Then they pile up. And I go “Ahhhhhh”, because I started on a lot of books and the information is cramped. So many books…tumblr_mb641bl1Iz1r1guvio1_500.gifI got the term “neurotic” from Jasmine at Jasmine Pearl Reads. It was a question she once asked while she was hosting a #WeekendYAParty chat. I realized it then, and I was equally proud. But is it really something to be proud of if you’re doing a book blog and barely review anything?godZwzuThat being said, it’s hard to be a neurotic reader. I don’t even know how to even deal with it. I am fully aware of what is up with me, yet you may be thinking: Why don’t I just make a TBR for every month. Sadly, I can’t. I never stick to it. Do I succumb to creating TBR’s? Uhmm no. And I’ll explain why. Since I am a neurotic reader, my TBR’s will be proven useless. For the reason that I will switch to books that are not on my TBR list. Self-control issues? I don’t know.

Do you guys know how to solve the problems of a neurotic reader like me?

Is it even curable?

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The dark side of the Force is seducing me.

Brb

An Open Letter: Using The Word “Hate”

 

Dear haters,

How is it that you have the time to hate? You could have used that time for something more useful, like admiring what you love.

If you think that it was a mistake, then you say something about it without using the word “hate”. Everyone makes mistakes. Everyone can learn from it. But you do not use the word “hate” on something that a person has poured their heart and soul into. For it is of equivalence of crushing their heart and soul as well.

If you think that it was a waste of time, then don’t spend the remaining time telling other people to hate on it as well. It is like ostracizing a certain person for being different and unique. Maybe other people want to be friends with it. But as I said earlier, people make mistakes. Let them make mistakes so that they will know that it is a mistake. A mistake is better internalized if one person felt it himself/herself. Much like an experience. You have added your “wisdom”, but it is still up to the person. Don’t make it your habit to stop them from trying a personal experience. If after that they share your sentiments then, good. Now you have someone to talk to. But for God’s sake, don’t start a cult. But if they like what they felt, mind your own life.

If you really “dislike” it, then don’t keep on repeating it. I don’t want it crammed down my throat. And other people don’t want stuff crammed down their throats as well.

Exhibit A: I hate ___________________!

WE GET IT. NOW GO AWAY AND MAKE TIME FOR SOME MORE USEFUL STUFF.

Exhibit B: Look at me, hating on ______________.

Sweet niblets. I have a question though, how many hours did you spend just thinking about the perfect method of hating that particular thing? Gee, how humanity has changed. You must be such a great person.

I made this letter to explain my thoughts. But it is also up to you if you follow it or not. We all have our differences and I don’t really care if you loathe some stuff or not. It still won’t make any difference because another person loves it nonetheless.

Have a nice day haters.

Best wishes, Bianca

Series That I Have Barely Started

 

This is brought to you by the internal screaming of my inner book nerd. Maybe it did take a lot of guts to start a blog that focuses mostly on books when I am barely there in reading famous series. Yes, I was in this big slump for a really long time until I graduated high school. Then I slowly got to reading books until I decided that, “Enough is enough. You have missed a lot of books. You are going to read.”

But until now, I haven’t even got into reading yet. Shame on me. In my defense, I don’t have a copy of the books. I read and feel books people. I have been ignoring bookstores for too long that everything just exploded in just roughly 3 months. I want this and I want that. Ugh too many books. And yet there are many more to come. THAT’S IT. NO ONE’S GONNA STOP ME.

That’s why I started a blog… So I can keep tab on the books and so that I know what I really want to have. Let me continue to shock you with the series that I barely started with. Please don’t be offended if your favorite series is in here. I don’t think they are bad books. It’s just that it’s an overwhelming lot that I don’t know why no one has banished me in their bookland or something.

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BARELY STARTED

  1. Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

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What a shocker. What blasphemy is this? Who in the right mind has not read the entire Throne of Glass series yet? Oh that’s right. ME. And now the Queen of Shadows will come out before my birthday? OY MATE. Give me a break first. 😦

Only read: Throne of Glass

2. The Heroes of Olympus Series by Rick Riordan

How dare me betray Uncle Rick Riordan? Because I thought it was a bad idea to start a series saying that Percy Jackson is M.I.A. Me and my bad mouth. I’m dying to read The Son of Neptune but darn. MIDTERMS.

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Only read: The Lost Hero

3. Divergent by Veronica Roth

I’m a really, really bad person for not reading this yet. But to my defense, my classmates put me on the borrower’s waiting list way too long that I never got on with the hype. So I said to myself: “Screw it. Some other time perhaps.”

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Only read: Divergent

4. Maze Runner Trilogy by James Dashner

You know the feeling of wanting to claw someone’s eyes out for spoiling a specific death in a series you’re dying to read? Well, someone did for me and it killed my vibe. It was actually a character that’s too close to my heart that I don’t think I can pick up the book. It hurts me to know that as I read, the closer Death’s door opening.

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Only read but barely through: The Maze Runner

5. The Grisha Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo

Here we go. Another shocker. Nope, I still haven’t read it. And the fact that I can’t buy it not unless I have good grades is not helping.

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Only read but barely through: Shadow and Bone

6. Daughter of Smoke and Bone Series by Laini Taylor

Not having the books is the only boundary this one sets.

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Only read but barely there: Daughter of Smoke and Bone

7. The Selection Series by Kiera Cass

I got bored reading The Elite. I am so sorry. But I will get back on my feet. I already have the series ❤

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Only read: The Selection


See? You should see my notebook. That’s not even the half of it. I only spared you because I still have programming stuff to do. But until then,

Brb

Fangirl Issues: How I Got Traumatized by Book Sales

I just cannot even. This actually happened yesterday, when my twin and I went to a 90% off book sale.

Because of tradition, fangirl issues are narrated with the help of Chandler Bing gifs.

(Note: Not really my twin-twin but my best friend friend twin)

I have been saving for the sale for like a week. I was really enthusiastic because for goodness sakes. IT’S 90% off. It was a painful week for me. God knows what book buying bans can do to your brain. Oh the agony.

Then finally, I wholeheartedly screamed TGIF. I can finally buy books! Yes.

So me and my twin ventured out to a place where both of us haven’t exactly been to. I know the place but I always go there via our own car and never by commuting. We were a bit anxious about the whole situation.

Then we arrived at the bookstore. At first, we thought it was the wrong one. I thought the building only has two floors. We asked security if we were in the right one and he said we are. I was all like, “So this has four floors. Oooh.”

After a few giggling and stopping briefly on the 2nd floor’s YA section, we put our game faces on. But then by the time we reached the 4th floor, my stomach turned. There were so many people.

My twin was thinking the same thing although I still went to go on to find some books. I said to myself, “You have a fangirl corner to uphold.” Then a staff dropped a book box near a table and people just grabbed a handful of books in it. I actually managed to snag a book in the box which is A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray. People fought for the box because it was full of YA books at 90% off. Then my twin pointed out a James Dashner book which is the prequel to The Maze Runner which is The Kill Order. I was about to reach for it when a girl snatched it away and gave it to her friend saying, “You like this one, right?”. Wow, it really is the hunger games. :/

We went on to the other shelves, hoping to find any lost chance for a YA book. I actually snagged a couple of books from the Blue Bloods series. But then I realized… I have read the books. I was ready to pay and my twin scouted for some more stuff but OH MY GOD.

The line for the cashier was ridiculously long! I mean saying that it is long is an understatement. That is the longest queue that I have seen in my entire life. Little by little, I dropped my books one by one. Minutes later, my twin said that it has been an hour and I barely moved in the line. We have less than two hours to get back to school so as to not miss a class. Tearfully, I said goodbye to the copy of A Thousand Pieces of You and left it on a shelf where it could be easily snagged by someone.

But of course, I wasn’t leaving the bookstore empty-handed. I went to the 2nd floor YA section and bought myself a book on my priority list. Feels good to get that book for my bookshelf. I will feature it on my August book haul. 🙂

Lesson/s learned:

  1. Always be early whenever there’s a book sale.
  2. Be prepared. Bring water.
  3. Do not go even if it’s a 5-hour vacant before your next class.
  4. Be prepared to say sorry if ever you snagged a book from a box. If you think it’s one of those boxes that the bookstore suddenly drops, it’s not.
  5. Prepare your introvert self to combat mean bookworms.

And that is the end of the story of how I failed at my first warehouse sale.

P.S. Now I am really scared because when I was in that warehouse sale, people were buying YA books in BOXES. I thought it was like the box the staff dropped but then they were all snotty and were like, “Excuzeee me. That’s myinneee.” I am so sorry. I don’t know how this works. It’s my first time. Please don’t be snotty.


Me and my crazy shenanigans.

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