Do the length of reviews matter? |Discussion Sunday

Discussion-Sunday

Discussion Sunday is our meme used to have an open discussion about anything books. It’s not necessarily every week, just whenever we have a topic we’d like to talk about. If you’d like to join us on your own blog, please credit us and send us the link so we can discuss your topic with you! -Taylor

I’ve been thinking about this for a while and I’m finally so curious that I can’t hold it in any longer. Do length of reviews matter? Does a review have to be at least 2 paragraphs to really convey the readers thoughts? As someone reading reviews, do we really care about reviews that are only a sentence or two? Do those reviews with only a couple of sentences even count as reviews?

I noticed a couple of weeks ago how my own reviews vary in length a lot. Some reviews are pretty long and some are very short. The length of my reviews really depend on a lot of factors. If I wrote the review just after finishing the book or I waited a couple of days. If I liked the book or not. If I was in a hurry to post the review before I had to go do something else. But mostly, how passionate I was about the book.

If I absolutely loved (or hated) the book, I can babble on and on about it. I noticed that most of my short reviews tend to be books that I rated three stars. Three star books, for me, tend to be the hardest books for me to review because I neither loved nor hated it. How does one write long, detailed reviews for books that simply didn’t impress you?

Personally, I tend to read shorter reviews when I’m looking up reviews on a book. Probably because I’m a little lazy but also, I don’t have time to read a massive review. I just want to know if the book was good or not. Why would I spend 10 minutes reading a review for a book when I could use those minutes to be reading an actual book?

But do short reviews really convey anything? Are they thorough enough to do the book justice? Or do they leave out too much information? If the review hits the main points (plot, writing, characters) of the book, does it matter how long it is?

I believe that the length of a review doesn’t really matter as long as it tells me what I want to know, which is if they book or worth reading or not. Maybe it depends on who the reviewer is. If a good friend of mine wrote a review that had two sentences, I’ll call it good and proceed to either read the book or not. But if I’ve never read a review from the reviewer before, two sentences isn’t a lot to go off of.

How do you feel about the length of a review? Do you prefer long or short reviews? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this subject, whether you agree with me or not. :)

Taylor-Signature

Definition of Genres | Discussion Sunday

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Discussion Sunday is our meme used to have an open discussion about anything books. It’s not necessarily every week, just whenever we have a topic we’d like to talk about. If you’d like to join us on your own blog, please credit us and send us the link so we can discuss your topic with you! 

This week I’d like to discussion something that bothers me a lot of the time and that’s the definition of genres in literature and why they shouldn’t matter.

Now, I’m not necessarily talking about genres like horror or  contemporary but Young Adult, Middle Grade, and New Adult.

A few years ago, I was at an author event with Rae Carson and a few other authors and she talked for a little bit about how she had to make some of the characters in her Fire and Thrones series a little younger so that they would fit into the Young Adult genre. I didn’t really know until then that genres like Middle Grade, Young Adult, and New Adult are just age categories of the characters who’s perspective the book is written from. I had been lead to believe (by no one in particular) that books were placed in those genres based on the reading level. Which is how many people that I’ve encountered believe. The Young Adult Library Services Association of the American Library Association defines a young adult as someone between the ages of twelve and eighteen. And in that case, many “classics” are Young Adult.

When talking to older readers (about 30-60 years of age), I found that many of them call Young Adult literature “kids books”. And if you read Young Adult, you know that is not the case. I’ve also found that a lot of people tend to steer clear of Young Adult because they think it’s not as high quality because it’s “meant for kids”. I’ve even found a few Young Adult readers who won’t read Middle Grade because “it’s for kids”. And I find that disappointing. It’s disappointing that some readers will limit their reading. That they won’t give new genres a chance because of preconceived notions. I like to think that genres shouldn’t matter. If you see a book that you want to read, that looks interesting, you should read it even if it’s not in your “normal” genre. Personally, I read mostly Young Adult because YA books tend to interest me most. But I do love a good Middle Grade fantasy or an adult horror or a New Adult romance. And if the right book comes along, I’ll read it regardless of genre. I think all readers should be able to read whatever they want without limiting themselves to a genre.  Everyone has preferences but those preferences shouldn’t prevent one from new reading experiences. Genres like Middle Grade and Young Adult are just guide lines to the character’s age. Not rules to who should read them.

What’s your opinion on literary genres? How often do you read outside of your preferred genre(s)? I would love to know your opinion on this subject!

-Taylor

Masculine/Feminine Literature | Discussion Sunday

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Discussion Sunday is our meme used to have an open discussion about anything books. It’s not necessarily every week, just whenever we have a topic we’d like to talk about. If you’d like to join us on your own blog, please credit us and send us the link so we can discuss your topic with you! -Taylor

This week I’d like to talk about something that’s been on my mind for a very long time.

About a year ago, I was in Barnes and Noble with my sister when a mother with a young child came into the YA aisle. The kid was around 10 years old and the mother was in search of a book or two for an older daughter who wasn’t with them. When the kid showed the mother The Maze Runner and said that it looked like a good book, the mother glanced at the cover and said, “No, that book is for boys.” I was stunned. Both that someone would think The Maze Runner is just for boys and that someone would think a book that The Maze Runner is genderized. My sister and I are baffled to this day about why that women thought something like that.

So today, I really want to talk about why some books are genderized and why it’s such a big deal.

What about a book makes it a book for boys? What makes a book “girly”? Is it action/adventure books meant for males just as movies are? Why do people assume girls don’t want to read about superheros and things exploding? Personally, I love books (and movies) like that. What about The Maze Runner said “for boys” to that women in Barnes and Noble? If a book is written from a guy’s perspective, does that make it a masculine book? Granted, I think if a book is written in a guy’s perspective, it’s probably more appealing because it’s more relatable. If a guy walked up to me and asked me for a book recommendation, I’m much for likely to say Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson over The Selection by Kiera Cass purely because Steelheart is written from a guy’s  perspective. Not because The Selection is “chick lit”.

If books are masculine or feminine depending on what perspective it’s written in, what category does duel perspective fall into? All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven is written in both a guy and girl’s perspective and yet I’ve seen people refer to it as “chick lit”. Is contemporary in general “chick lit”? Is it the pastel colored cover that screams “I’m for girls”?

I personally think books should just remain books. I don’t believe there are books for girls or books for guys. I feel like this kind of sexism is almost exclusive to New Adult, Young Adult, and Middle Grade books. I have not once seen anyone refer to Game of Thrones in any kind of  genderized manner. But books like The Maze Runner and The Selection are subjected to being categorized by gender all the time. YA books tend to be marketed toward genders instead of readers.

I know this post is mostly rhetorical questions but the whole subject of books being for a specific gender baffles me.  It also bothers me to no end.

What are your thoughts on masculine/feminine literature? What books do you feel are marketed toward a specific gender? Does it bother you? Do you think there’s any need for it? Comment below with any and all thoughts on this subject. I would love to hear your thoughts and opinions, whether you agree or disagree with me.

Book Buying | Discussion Sunday

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Discussion Sunday is our new meme. It’s not necessarily every week, just whenever we have a topic we’d like to talk about. If you’d like to join us on your own blog, please credit us and send us the link so we can discuss your topic with you! -Taylor

This week I’d like to talk about book buying. Last month when I posted my monthly book haul on my Instagram, I received an interesting message from a fellow book Instagram account telling me how I was “wasting” my money by buying so many books and how “disrespectful” I was by posting my haul because not everyone can buy as many books as I do. Now, for the last 7 months, my end of the month hauls are no less than 20 books. They range from 25-60 books each month. The haul in question was 46 books.  Anyway, I found it extremely interesting and mildly upsetting that someone would say that I’m wasting my money on books. Especially coming from a social media account dedicated to books and reading. I tried asking them why they thought the way they did but they never replied. But it really got me thinking about book buying and why it’s important.

When I first started reading extensively in 2010, not only did I have no clue what Young Adult books to buying, I also couldn’t buy a lot. I would buy around 10 books a year and read each and every one of them,  whether I liked them or not. Mostly because I didn’t have any other books to read and I would have rather have read a book I didn’t like then not being reading at all. So once I got to the point where I could buy a fair amount of books each month and I knew what books I liked, I started to buy almost all the books I wanted. Now, I can’t go buy all the books I want each month but if  see a book or two that I want, I’ll go buy them. 1) Because I want them. 2) Because I can. I’m at a time in my life where I can go buy 10 books a month. I doubt I’ll always be able to do this and that leads me into my next point.

Because it’s extremely unlikely that I’ll be able to buy 20 books a month forever, I’m sort of stockpiling. I read a lot (15-25 books a month) so buying 20 books a month doesn’t sound so crazy if I can kind of keep up with it. So when I’m unable to buy so many books, I’ll have piles of unread books to keep me busy. Just two years ago, I seriously only had 5 unread books. It was a sad time because I started to reread books that I didn’t like all that much because I didn’t have a lot of reading options. I like having a lot of options when choosing what to read. I read whatever genre I’m in the mood for so when I only had 5 unread books about vampires and I wasn’t in the mood for vampires, I was kinda screwed.

I also buy books I know I want to read. Whether I’ll read them in a week or a year, I don’t know. But when I see a book I want to read, I’ll buying it. I know that I want to read it so I might as well buy it. There’s no harm in the book sitting on my shelf for 9 months so why not buy it? I know if I see a book in store and I don’t buy it, there is a very high chance that I’ll forget about it and never read it. That one book could become one of my favorites. Why would I want to forget a potential favorite?

And my last reason for buying so many books is really simple. It’s because it’s my money and I can buying whatever I want with it. I firmly believe that people should buy whatever they want and whatever makes them happy (within reason. Don’t go buying a bunch of drugs, kids). Books make me incredibly happy. And if I can afford to buy what makes me happy, why shouldn’t I? If buying clothes and shoes made me happy, I would buy those. If makeup and hair products made me happy, why shouldn’t I buy those? If you can afford to buy what makes you happy, you should buy whatever that is.  And anyone who tells you otherwise can butt out. Because at the end of the day, it’s your money. If you want to buy books, go do it. If you want to buy vintage records, go right ahead. For me personally, I can’t think of any greater joy than receiving a box of books in the mail.

What do you think of book buying? Should people limit themselves on buying books? What are you’re book buying habits? Comment with any and all of your thoughts. This is Discussion Sunday so I really want to hear your thoughts and opinions, whether you agree or disagree with me. I really want know. :) -Taylor