#YAIsNotAGenre

Today’s discussion might be a controversial one, but sometimes those are the best ones. I’m going to discuss something that I often get annoyed with and that’s YA as a genre. YA is not a genre it’s a category or age group. Fiction and Non-Fiction are genres that fall under categories.  Genre is defined by the New Oxford American Dictionary as “a category of artistic composition, as in music or literature, characterized by similarities in form, style, or subject matter.” Also according to the New Oxford American Dictionary category is defined as “a class or division of people or things regarded as having particular shared characteristics.” Books in the YA category (not genre) usually have different shared characteristics depending on the genre. In contemporaries, you won’t have characters wielding swords and fighting monsters, and you won’t see characters in a fantasy novel riding their bikes to the nearest book store (except for maybe Urban Fantasy or Magical Realism). These two characters could be the same age which would be the shared characteristic. I see the YA category as readers ages 18-26.

I know that this is confusing. Maybe I will write another post that goes a little more in-depth and break down category vs. genre more and then get into sub-genres if it will help.

Please discuss in the comments!

#DestressYourReadingLife

Today’s short discussion is about how I de-stressed my reading life, as in making it not be stressful. This post also coincides perfectly with the one I posted yesterday, which you can read here.

The first way I de-stressed my reading life was by setting my reading goal to one book and keep it at one book throughout the year. This has worked immensely as I don’t feel the pressure to read x amount of books and then feel like a failure because I had to lower my goal.

The second way I de-stressed my reading life was not joining a lot of challenges or doing a lot of readathons. I’m only doing two challenges, Modern Mrs. Darcy and the Library Love Challenge. They are the only challenges I’m committed to doing.

The third way, I’m paying less attention to what everyone else is reading and reading what I genuinely want to read. Part of this is also not getting so caught up with which books are hyped and what ones aren’t. This is a problem that I’ve had in the past, where I was reading books because that’s what everyone else was reading, therefore, feeling like I had to read them and not necessarily enjoying them. PSA: You don’t have to read what’s popular and new to be relevant in the book community.

What do you do to make your reading life less stressful? Let me know in the comments!

#TheStoryGraph

Today I am going to discuss an alternative to Goodreads for those trying not to use Amazon’s services as much.

If you were not aware, Goodreads an Amazon company, and if you follow me on there, you may have noticed that I haven’t updated it in some time and that’s because I’ve been using StoryGraph. I was introduced to StoryGraph reading the blogs of Misty from Misty’s Book Space and Kristin from Kristin Kraves Books. StoryGraph is similar to Goodreads in the way that you can still keep track of what you read.   StoryGraph is also much different in the sense that it goes deeper than just the number of books you read, how many pages you read, your highest rated book, your lowest rated book, your longest book, and your shortest book. The StoryGraph tracks your mood, pace, categories, and genres you read. StoryGraph has more options when reviewing books. There are options for whether or not the book is character or plot-driven, a mix of both, if the characters are likable or not, how diverse the cast is, character development, and whether or no the flaws of the main character are the main focus.  Another feature of StoryGraph that I   As I’ve been using StoryGraph more, I’m liking it much better than Goodreads, and I’ve been using Goodreads since 2010-2011ish.

Do you use StoryGraph? Why or why not?  You can also follow me here.

#AmazonAlternatives

Today’s post is an extension of one from last week which can be read here. In that post, I discussed a class-action lawsuit against Amazon due to their price-fixing practice in regards to eBooks. So, today I wanted to continue that discussion by talking about alternatives to Amazon Kindle eBooks.


*This post is strictly for eBooks.

Barnes and Noble Nook: The free app can be downloaded to both Android and iOS devices, and Tablets. There is also a section on the Barnes and Noble website that has eBooks at all price points:
Under $5
Under $2.99
You can search by Genre
Search price low to high, high to low, publication date, relevancy, and more
For children’s and YA books you can search by age group
Google Books: Also a free app available for both Android and iOS devices and Tablets. You can search by genre but not by price.
Deals page on the app with books under $5
iBooks: Only on iOS devices.
Has a user-friendly interface.
It doesn’t list the price of the books until you click on the book.
eBooks.com: I discovered this on the website of a publishing company. There is an app that is compatible with most devices running iOS and Android, it’s not compatible with Windows phones. You do need Adobe Digital Editions but they also have a selection of DRM Free books. 
You can also read online and don’t need an app.
Website is easy to use
Can browse by age group and genre
Can’t sort by price
Indiebound: Indiebound has a list of independent bookstores that offer eBooks through a service called My Must Reads.
Have to download an app and be a registered user to browse the app
You can only search by title and not the author
No option to pre-order eBooks
Kobo: I’m not very familiar with this one but I do know that it exists.
App available for iOS and Android devices, a desktop app available for Windows and MAC
OverDrive/Libby: This allows you to borrow eBooks from the library. Just be sure to read in the app and don’t have eBooks sent to your Kindle device because Amazon sends the information to publishing companies which hurts libraries.
I mainly use Libby because I like the interface better
Hoopla Digital: Also allows you to borrow eBooks from the library.
No waitlist
Project Gutenberg: A library of over 60,000 works of literature in the public domain that have been digitized. The literary works that are found on this website are no longer protected by the United States copyright laws.
No special app required
A great resource for classic literature


#TheProblemWithAmazon

If you pay attention, I mean really pay attention to what goes on in the retail world of books you know how damaging Amazon is to the industry, it’s been said over and over again. Amazon is also horribly damaging to libraries which has been said multiple times too, you can read an article about it here. I DO NOT buy books on Amazon (have I in the past, yes), and make a conscious effort to reduce purchasing other items on Amazon due to their unethical selling practices.

However, if you need extra motivation to stop purchasing books from Amazon you should be aware that there is currently a class-action lawsuit against Amazon and the Big Five publishers (they are not named as Defendants) which you can read about here. The Big Five Publishers are Hachette Book Group, HarperCollins Publishers, Macmillan Publishers (they HAD an eBook embargo against libraries because of Amazon), Penguin Group Inc., and Simon & Schuster. The lawsuit alleges that Amazon colluded with these publishers in a practice called price-fixing. In this case, price-fixing means that while the publishers increased their prices for eBooks to other retailers, which are considered Amazon’s competitors, Amazon was protected and not affected by the increase (source). This practice is harmful to consumers who aren’t aware that they are paying higher prices at other retailers.

As a consumer, this makes me angry. I’m also tired of the “but books (eBooks) are cheaper on Amazon” argument, it’s not valid. If you continue to purchase eBooks from Amazon you are enabling a dangerous, and unethical practice.

#BacklistReads

Today I am going to discuss Backlist Reads or Backlist Books. I’m sure everyone by now is familiar with backlist books and has heard of the Beat the Backlist Challenge. Backlist books are books that you want to read that have already been published that you still haven’t read.  Books published before this year 2021 count as backlist books. Now, I don’t see backlist books as ONLY books that you own.  I feel like backlist books can be borrowed from the library, and if you know me, I love borrowing books from the library because it is a great resource. I did some math, I have 58 backlist books that I own, and to be completely honest, is decent, in my opinion. I have 23 physical backlist books and 35 backlist eBooks, and if you have read this post, you know that one of my goals is to read more backlist books. 

What do you think? Do you count library books as backlist books too?

#Bookstagram5.0

After much thought, I have decided to rejoin Bookstagram, yes, you read that right. I’m rejoining Bookstagram. I will be following my favorite authors, Etsy shops, and publishing houses, I may also follow other readers whose accounts that I enjoy. I’ll probably most likely be posting what I’m currently reading with no props, book mail if and when I get it, and library hauls. I’m probably not going to follow everyone that I followed last time.

My new Instagram name is ashley.reads88 and will be connected to my Twitter account.

*I will also not be doing follow for follow, I am going to be extremely picky about who I follow.

#November2020CalendarGirls

Hosted by Flavia the BibliophileDani @ Mousai Books, and Darque Reader Reads. Calendar Girls is a monthly blog event created by Melanie at MNBernard Books, and Flavia at Flavia the Bibliophile. It is designed to ignite bookish discussions among readers, and was inspired by the 1961 Neil Sedaka song, Calendar Girl. Just like the song, each month has a different theme. Each blogger picks their favorite book from the theme, and on the first Monday of the month reveals their pick in a Calendar Girls post. Make sure to post back to the hostess’s post, and I will make a master list for the month. The master lists allow everyone to see the other Calendar Girls’ picks and to pop on over to their blogs. Thus, we all get to chat about books and even make some new friends!

The theme for November is Author’s Day: your favorite authors.

My favorite authors, in no specific order are:
Angie Thomas
Nic Stone
Romina Garber
V.E. Schwab
Tiffany D. Jackson
Robin Roe

There are more authors that I love but these authors are my auto-reads.

#June2020CalendarGirls

Hosted by Flavia the Bibliophile, Dani @ Mousai Books, and Darque Reader Reads. Calendar Girls is a monthly blog event created by Melanie at MNBernard Books, and Flavia at Flavia the Bibliophile.  It is designed to ignite bookish discussions among readers, and was inspired by the 1961 Neil Sedaka song, Calendar Girl. Just like the song, each month has a different theme. Each blogger picks their favorite book from the theme, and on the first Monday of the month reveals their pick in a Calendar Girls post. Make sure to post back to the hostess’s post, and I will make a master list for the month. The master lists allow everyone to see the other Calendar Girls’ picks and to pop on over to their blogs. Thus, we all get to chat about books and even make some new friends!

The theme for June is Drive-In Movie Day: Favorite Book Adaptation.

My pick for this month is:

Screenshot from my Nook

*Disclaimer: When the theme was announced for this month, I knew that I was going to pick this book.  My decision to pick this book, especially right now is very timely.  

I thought that the movie adaptation of this book was done very well, and really helped to bring the story to life.

#HowToGetFreeLegalEbooks

discussion-2

Today, I’m going to discuss how to get free eBooks LEGALLY outside of the obvious Nook and Kindle deals that you can get from emails such as Bookbub, Bookperk, LitFlash, and other email newsletters that send out eBook deals.  Yes, I put an emphasis on legally, I do not condone or support piracy, however, I do acknowledge that I come from a place of privilege that not everyone has and might not have any other option.

Epic Reads Insiders– Sign up to become an Epic Reads Insider.  Epic Reads is a YA imprint of Harper Collins Publishers.  Every once in a blue moon Epic Reads Insiders will send out surveys whereupon completing the survey you can download a free eBook, you will need the Glose app to read on your Nook, Phone, or Kindle and you can also read the books on your computer on the Glose website.  You’ll also need to create an account with Glose.  Epic Reads Insiders also has giveaways where you can win Advanced Reader Copies.

RivetedLit– RivetedLit is a website from Simon Teen.  Every month RivetedLit posts full-length books that can be read for free.  There is no app for RivetedLit so you’ll need a WiFi connection to read the books online.

NetGalley– You’ll need to create an account.  Most book bloggers use NetGalley.  NetGalley is a great way to get free eBooks, while they are Advanced Reader Copies, it’s still a great way to read and review upcoming publications.

Edelweiss– Edelweiss is similar to NetGalley but I don’t use it, as it’s not as user friendly and I have better luck with NetGalley.

And last but not least my favorite place to get free eBooks:

The library.  Yes, the library is my favorite place to get eBooks for free and my favorite apps for this are Libby and Hoopla Digital.  Libby is an app created by OverDrive and I use it more than I use OverDrive.  Hoopla Digital is also a great app as there are never any waitlists for eBooks.  The difference between Libby/OverDrive and Hoopla is that you can read books borrowed from Hoopla in your web browser, with Libby/OverDrive I’m pretty sure you need to download the apps.  However, I do not recommend having eBooks borrowed from Libby/OverDrive sent to your Kindle device, read the eBooks right in the Libby/OverDrive apps.  I personally love reading right in the Libby app, it gives you estimates on how long it will take you to finish the book you’re currently reading.  If you want to know why you should never have your Libby/OverDrive eBooks sent to your Kindle device, I highly suggest reading this article from Publisher’s Weekly.

I did not include Audiobooks in this as I don’t listen to them often.  I also did not include Scribd as it’s a subscription service, and the whole point of this post is FREE.