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May 29, 2013

Armchair BEA Day 2: Blogger Developments & Genre Fiction



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Welcome back to Armchair BEA! If you're not sure what it's all about be sure to visit the Armchair BEA headquarters.

Today we're focusing on how we develop ourselves as bloggers. Having blogged since July of 2009, I'd like to say I've seen a lot of things change over the years. I got into blogging right before it became the new way to advertise. I honestly have to say that my style & personality haven't changed much since I started.

This isn't a way for me to make additional income (at the moment) and it's not the most stress-reducing thing I do to relax. My blog is my outlet for my bookish thoughts. While I've tried participating in readalongs & reading challenges, for some reason my brain just felt like it was back in school being forced to read something; it took the joy out of the activity. So over the last four years I have come to figure out that I should read what's calling me at the moment & just express myself as openly as possible.

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Once I was fairly well established, I started requesting ARCs and really trying to stay ahead of the game on what were the newest & greatest books. That started to feel like too much work and effort for so little return. I'm not saying I'm not grateful for those wonderful publishers who did send me books and for the struggling new authors who have sought me out as a venue. Words do not describe how incredibly humbled I have been to have people seek me out and choose me as a reader and reviewer. But at the same time there are so many larger bloggers and media outlets to choose from that I didn't feel like I could compete because, to be quite honest, I didn't really want to compete. Now I simply let the public library, Goodreads, & Twitter keep me up to date on what's coming up and currently available.

Another thing that hasn't changed is my stance on e-books & e-readers. I know that a lot of people nowadays work at a computer all day. I am one of those folks. As a cataloger I look from print to screen all day to do my job. At the end of the day my eyes are so tired from looking at a screen that I just want to focus on paper right in front of me. I have a NetGalley account & am participating in the NetGalley Wellness Challenge, aimed at helping some of us struggling users to optimize our accounts, but it still will be a very select few books that I choose to request electronically. One day in the nearish future I'll make the switch, but for right now, I am hooked on what I still call "real" books. ;)

Today's bookish focus is on genre fiction. As you can tell, this is a primarily Young Adult book review site, but that doesn't mean I don't read outside my preferred venue. As I continue to grow as a reader, I am finding myself pulled in multiple directions. Occasionally I will post "What Else Have I Been Reading" posts featuring the outside-my-reading-comfort-zone books that I've read (or at least attempted to read). For the most part though I stick to urban fantasy, paranormal romance, contemporary fiction, & issues books. My preference for realistic, believable characters is my driving force. If I can't get in with the characters or feel anything for them, it doesn't matter what genre they're in. I do love good recommendations both within & outside of the Young Adult parameters, so be sure to sound off in the comments with your recommendations.

25 comments:

Becky LeJeune said...

I am definitely still hooked on physical books as well. I have branched out more into ebooks, mostly because I kept falling asleep reading only to have my husband wake me up to turn off my light (and for an insomniac like me that was awful!). So he got me an ereader with an auto shutoff and a light!

loreleimarsh said...

That is so awesome! I didn't even know there was a feature like that. :)

CeCe said...

I liked that bit where you talked about feeling like you were back in school and doing assignments. I never want to feel that way about reading and it is the reason I don't sign up for challenges or agree to reviewing books that I am less than excited about. With so many great books out these and so many interesting blogger events, I don't want to dread reading or participating in something.

CeCe @ Steaming Mug of Books

loreleimarsh said...

Exactly! I'm so glad I'm not the only one who feels that way. Sometimes I feel like I'm missing out on something, but I'd rather enjoy my solo reading than feel compelled to interact.

Liviania said...

My Kindle really doesn't strain my eyes, thankfully. I stare at a screen all day too.

turnthepagereviews.com said...

I agree about print books too! I belong to Netgalley and really appreciate the opportunity to read those books, but I borrow my daughter's kindle to do it- I prefer a real book any day.

52booksorbust said...

I was a dedicated real book reader for a long time, but now i think i may actually prefer e-books. The one drawback is that i can't display them on my shelves. AS long as you have an ereader that uses E-Ink, it mimics reading off a page and I don't notice the difference. Also it means that i am almost always carrying 1000 books in my bag!

tanya

Krazzyme(Young Readers) said...

My kindle doesn't strain my eyes so that's cool but sometimes I just want the physical copy because of the PRETTY cover so I get it

loreleimarsh said...

I've heard good things about e-ink and have played with e-readers in stores, but am still hesitant to make the leap. Maybe I'll get one as a gift one of these days and be "forced" to try it. :)

Barbara Bartels said...

I got a Kindle HD thinking I would make the switch. Instead I only use it in the car with my Audible account. I find I am listening to a lot of serious biographies lately. It's an easier way for me to get through them than to read hard copy. However, I prefer real books for all mother reading.

Helen said...

I have also struggled with finding a good balance between what I want to read vs. what I feel like I 'should' be reading as a book blogger. I think the only way to be happy and find that balance is to be, just like you said, very selective about what you choose as 'review' books. If I wouldn't pick it up anyway, I don't accept it because I don't want book blogging and worse yet, reading, to feel like a chore, you know?

loreleimarsh said...

Helen I completely understand. Reading has always been a relaxing hobby for me and reading something that I don't desire does not work with that definition.

Sabrina said...

I currently read way more 'real' books than e-books, but I see the numbers slowly evening out. It's growing on me. :)

Sabrina @iheartyafiction

Ems said...

I decided that blogging wasn't ever going to be an income-based thing for me. I tried, but it was SO stressful!

I hear you on the challenges. I am participating this year, but I will probably skip them next year.

ablightedone said...

I felt like that in school, too! Sometimes I didn't read the books at all. There were a few like Fahrenheit 451 that I enjoyed anyway. Reading what calls to you is always good!

I feel the same way about characters. I'll read any story that sounds interesting, but the characters need to feel realistic and be enjoyable in some way!

Kim (Sophisticated Dorkiness) said...

I have some of the same struggles with readalongs and challenges -- I want to do them, but when it comes to participating it starts to feel more like work.

Chrystal said...

I used to participate in tons of challenges, then I backed off them and now I am back at them again. Though I think after this year I might not do challenges anymore. I need to read for me and no one else. I think it does make it feel like I'm in school again with assignments. ;)

Infuse said...

great to stay true to yourself. i know that feeling of reading to order! not fun...
recommending the Waterfall 'River of Time' series for you - Lisa T Bergren author
Enjoy ABEA! thanks for the visit ..

DoingDewey said...

I definitely agree with you about not just pursing the latest books. I always try to make sure my main reason for reading and blogging is just because I enjoy it :)

Meg @ A Bookish Affair said...

I love print books as well. I use my Kindle for traveling but I would rather have a printed book!

ReaderKate said...

I'm the same way! I love to have a real book in my hands. I haven't looked into e-readers at all. Books are like my trophies when they are finished and on my shelf.

Kim Cuasay said...

Thanks for sharing! I find Arcs quite overwhelming sometimes but it is indeed very nice to have wonderful advance copy and I'm really grateful to the publisher(s) who sent them I love it! I got mixed feelings towards real physical copies and ereaders though they are quite handy sometimes but nothing beats the real ones XD

Leanne Yang said...

I love "real" books as well. I downloaded a few free e-books on my phone but I haven't gotten around to reading them mainly just because... it doesn't feel the same to me.

Diamond Cronen said...

Hi again :) I really liked reading about your blogging lifeline. I went from accepting all ebooks-- to making a compromise. I only do netgalley every once in awhile and I have a policy if authors send me the bound book I review right away- if they only have ebooks I will still consider reviewing (and if I really like it, I. Out them on my list but the list is so long it's 6+ months they have to wait for a review.

Anyways, I love YA too. So glad I found your blog it's really cute. :)

Dee @ Dee's Reads

ahz1 said...

I actually prefer buying paper books over ebooks. I like the feel of a paper book and there's nothing like going to a bookstore or used bookstore and spending an hour or more just looking at all the pretty books on the shelf. That said, I do have a Kobo Touch ereader that I love. You read much faster on an ereader and you can change the font size which is wonderful for tired eyes. I also prefer reading longer and heavier books on the ereader because of the obvious - I won't get a concussion from the book when I fall asleep and it's just easier to hold an ereader.
AH@Badass Book Reviews