The Inside and Out Book Tag

I’ve been meaning to write about some of my reading preferences for a long while, but I was struggling to turn my ideas into a coherent blog post. This week a solution presented itself when I discovered the Inside and Out Book Tag, thanks to Marina Sofia and Elisabeth van der Meer. Unfortunately, I don’t know who is the original creator of this tag. Though I don’t do tags often, my answers to the majority of the questions are just what I was interested in writing about.

 

  1. Inside flap / back of the book summaries: too much info? Or not enough?

It depends on the book. Some blurbs just give too much information away, while others fail to entice me into reading, since they don’t properly explain what the stories are about. I like a blurb that arouses my curiosity without spoilers. Some Portuguese editions, for example, have appalling “summaries”, as the only information they provide is a quote from the book and nothing else.

 

  1. New book: what form do you want it in? Be honest: audiobook, eBook, paperback or hardcover?

Paperback! It’s my favourite format by far. Very rarely do I buy hardbacks, because they are too heavy, usually more expensive, and I don’t like dust jackets. I only go for hardbacks in case I have been waiting for the release a book in a series for a couple of years, or when their covers’ design is far more appealing for some reason. I found the hardbacks of Ali Smith’s Seasonal Quartet eye-catching, since they only have a small dust jacket, for example. Audiobooks and eBooks are not for me, as I have a terrible listening attention span when I’m not taking notes of what is being said and I don’t like reading long-form writing on a screen. Continue reading

Bookish Resolutions for 2020

My resolutions or goals for 2020 concerning reading and the content that I create for this blog are mostly a continuation of or an improvement on what I’ve been doing for a while. I deliberately decided not to challenge myself too much and made sure to avoid setting goals that I could lose interest in. Only one of my resolutions is wholly new and may have a small impact on my book buying habits.

Regarding the number of books that I want to read, I’m keeping my goal at 35. However, I’m hoping to either surpass that number or read more pages than last year by selecting the books that I want to read more carefully. One of the reasons why I finished fewer books in 2019 than in 2018 was that I spent too much time forcing myself to read books that I ended up deciding not to finish, because I was either not enjoying them or they were not what I had expected.

I also want to finish three of the book series that I’m currently reading. Two of them will certainly be The Memoirs of Lady Trent by Marie Brennan and As Areias do Imperador (Sands of the Emperor) by Mia Couto, since I only have one book left to read from each. The other will probably either be The Farseer Trilogy by Robin Hobb or The Neapolitan Novels by Elena Ferrante. Continue reading

Bookish Resolutions for 2019

I want 2019 to be a more relaxed reading year compared with 2018, which means I won’t be following any strict reading lists or embracing short-time reading projects. Nonetheless, there are still a few goals that I want to achieve regarding my reading habits and the way in which I create content for this blog and the social media (not exclusively) associated with it.

First, I want to read at least 35 books. This is the same number I had in mind for 2018, when I ended up reading 39 books. So, I could have challenged myself and aim for 40 books this time. However, I want to have a margin for reading longer books if I so wish.

I don’t remember the last time I reread a book, and until recently I always thought about rereading almost as a ‘waste of time’. I would be revisiting stories I already knew, when I could be discovering new ones. However, lately I’ve been feeling the urge to reread certain books. First, it was the books that I knew I had enjoyed when I first read them, but that I remembered nothing about. That desire faded away without me ever rereading a single one. Now, I’m feeling a strong yearn to reread some of the books that I constantly mention as being favourites of mine, although I’ve read them quite a few years ago, before I started rating books and blogging. For that reason, I want to reread at least one of those books this year. Continue reading

Book Genres I Don’t Tend to Read

I consider myself to be quite an eclectic reader. I enjoy a variety of different genres – literary fiction, dystopian, fantasy, classics, horror, mysteries, historical fiction… Nevertheless, there are some genres that don’t usually appeal to me and that I, thus, tend not to read. It’s not that they are worthless or without any merit, they are just not for me. Their general characteristics don’t make me want to read them.

Regarding the first three genres that I’m about to mention, I may read such books, if, for whatever atypical reason, their premise and someone else’s opinion leave me curious to know more. It just almost never happens nowadays. The last genre below, on the other hand, I really never read, because I, personally, don’t see the point of such books, although other people find them helpful.

So, the four book genres that I don’t tend to read are:

Continue reading

A Playlist for A Reading Session

When I was at school and university, I always did my homework and studied while listening to music. I didn’t pay much attention to the song lyrics and the melodies on the background helped me to focus on what I was doing more easily. I started listening to music while studying when I was about 10 or 11. At the time, I listened to a lot of pop, but my music tastes have changed a lot since then and now my music library is comprised mainly of indie and alternative rock artists.

However, while reading fiction books, I tend not to listen to music as much and actually prefer a quieter environment, since I believe that helps me to get immersed in the story. To be in an almost silent location can sometimes be a challenge, though. I do like reading while I’m on trains, as it’s a great way to pass the time, but some people can make a lot of noise, mainly those who insist on listening to music or podcasts out loud with no regard for others.

So, to avoid having to endure the noise other people make while I’m reading, I’ve just created a playlist on Spotify to listen to while I’m enjoying a good book. It features music with no lyrics, because maybe without the temptation of paying attention to them it will be easier for me to immerse myself into the world of a book while listening to something I chose to. Continue reading

Rereading: Yes or No?

To reread or not to reread? That’s the question which has been on my mind lately. I don’t remember rereading a book since my childhood, when I could read a story beautifully illustrated two times in a row. As times went by I completely lost that habit. I don’t even remember rereading any of the Harry Potter books in my youth as many people seem to have done.

One of the reasons why I don’t reread is that there are so many books on my wish list which I’ve never read that I feel like I would be ‘wasting’ my time by reading stories I already know, instead of discovering new characters and worlds. I’m also afraid to reread books I loved, since I may not like them as much as before, and that feeling we get when we discover a new gem may disappear. Though, I sometimes pick some of my favourite books just to read a few lines at random.

However, lately I’ve been thinking about rereading some books I first read a long time ago and I remember enjoying, but that I’ve completely forgotten what the plot is about or the characters are like. Some weeks ago, while rearranging my shelves, I stumbled upon some of those books:  The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy, The Way to Paradise by Mario Vargas Llosa, City of the Beasts by Isabel Allende and The New Life by Orhan Pamuk. Continue reading