Over the weekend, I read the Yellow Lighted Bookshop, a book that celebrates that beautiful feeling of going into a physical store. I agreed, for the most part; e-books are never quite the same as a real book. Thinking about it, though, I realised that it’s been a long time since I’ve properly browsed a library or bookshop. Why is that? I think the answer may be Goodreads, or the general bookish world.
Because I follow so many book blogs, I’m constantly being bombarded with hype for new books, or love for an older series, etc etc. When I see a lot of bloggers I love talking about something great, I obviously want to read it myself. Consequently, my TBR is around 500 books long (and I know that’s pretty small compared to some people!).Continue reading “Does Goodreads ruin our reading experience?”→
The lovely Read at Midnight has set us a challenge – to criticise a wonderful in a book or series, and realise the flaws everything has. All throughout October these posts are happening, so make sure you check out her blog and see what other people are talking about!
I got thinking about representation of minorities, and how so many people get furious about bad representation of whichever group they fit into. After reading (and enjoying) What We Left Behind, I skimmed through some of the reviews. People hated this book! Apparently, without my realising, the idea that was being portrayed of trans and genderqueer people was terrible, and completely inaccurate. If I hadn’t read the reviews, I would have just accepted the way the character acted in this book was completely normal. Is it the end of the world that they weren’t represented that wonderfully, though? As a bi person, I get overly excited when I see a bi person on tv or in a book, especially if they actually say the word. A lot of these people just sleep around, or are dismissed as straight or gay depending on their current relationship, and as we all (hopefully) know, this isn’t accurate at all. Magnus Bane, for example; he seems to have sex with anything and everything, and is obviously pan. As soon as he falls for Alec, though, he starts having conversations with him about the struggle of being gay. They never name his sexuality, but he acts like a stereotypical gay for a lot of the series, despite talking about past relationships with so many other people. I try not to let it get to me, though. At least these characters exist, instead of being pushed out of fiction as they are most of the time!
Then there’s the black criminal, the confused/closeted gay (Alec, Simon, other Simon, Baz, etc etc), the tumblr-angry-feminist trans person, the ditzy woman (like in this series), the
aggressive man, etc etc. There are so many negative representations all over the place, in basically every book we read. It’s giving out this idea that everyone who fits into a particular label acts in this particular way, which is not true. For some of the more “obscure” ones, the people we don’t see in our everyday life, that the regular person might not know exists. We all know men and women exist, so there’s no excuse to have a bad representation. Trans or asexual or pansexual or anything like that are much more rare, and if you don’t live in a particular corner of the internet, you might have no idea they exist. So isn’t it good that these books are bringing them to our attention?
I’m talking completely hypothetically, of course. For me, the answer to all of this is pretty easy. If you don’t understand a topic, don’t write about it. Let the trans author write the trans character, the bi write the bi, etc etc. If you haven’t experienced that situation, or haven’t asked someone about it (for example, I could unpick my brother’s brain about being a man), don’t write about. That way, we can ensure that the only representation that is going out there is the right representation. It might not be the same for everyone, but it’s a side to a story that us uneducated people can learn about. Bad representation is never better than no representation, and we need to stop letting our favourite books get away with promoting the wrong thing.
Throughout the year, the media classes from my school are challenged to produce either a movie trailer, a music video, a documentary, or a short film, depending on your year group. Then, October comes around and we celebrate the best of these with our own little awards ceremony. Despite only being nominated for one award (and knowing we wouldn’t win it), I had a great night! Continue reading “The Hutt Valley Oscars (Hoscars!)”→
Well, first off thanksEm for the idea for this post, you da best.
Let’s be honest though, you’re all the best. You’re my favourite people in the whole wide world, and I really hope you know that. In the real world, there’s a limited amount of potential friends you can choose from. You find people in your classes, your groups, friends of friends. On the internet, your friend pool is limitless, and it means you find people you’d never regularly talk about. From England to the Netherlands to me in New Zealand, we’re scattered all over the world, and have somehow found this twitter group to bring us all together. If you don’t understand the amazingness of the internet, now you know.
It’s hour 22, and 10:30pm where I am. The event finishes at 1am, and I’m the kind of person that goes to bed way too early. I did plan to stay up until the end, but I’ve actually done a lot better than I first expected, so I’m wondering if I might change that plan…
I’ve been up since 9am, so I’ve done a good 13 hours. This is nothing compared to a lot of people, but I’m pretty proud of myself! And much more importantly, I’ve managed to get three books finished. Sure, they were all pretty short, but it matters more that I got them done!!
The three books I’ve read are the Yellow Lighted Bookshop, The Bridge, and The Mine’s Afire. I should be getting reviews of those done pretty soon, with the first one being by far my favourite!
The plan is to do a bit more tweeting, then go to sleep. I should probably put sleep above more reading, as much as I don’t want to. Good luck to everyone who is going to the end, I’m proud of you!
We’re half way through Dewey’s 24 hour readathon! If you’re interested in knowing my plans for the day, have a look at my post from last night.
What are you reading right now? I’m reading The Bridge by C.L Walker, a fairly short Kindle book
How many books have you read so far? Only the one, a non-fiction called The Yellow Lighted Bookshop
What book are you most looking forward to for the second half of the Read-a-thon? Properly reading some more! Plus participating in challenges, I’ve done barely any today
Have you had many interruptions? How did you deal with those? Well, the readathon started at 1am for me, so I missed the first 8 hours from sleeping… Maybe I should have got up earlier, but oh well. I also went for a driving lesson, and of course food breaks. Now I need to get a lot more serious if I want to finish some more books
What surprises you most about the Read-a-thon, so far? I’m always surprised by how intense people get! Honestly, all of you who manage to do the full 24 amaze me, I’m so proud. I don’t know if I could ever do that. And the people who freeze food and have audiobooks for fresh air, and all of those little things I never think of and never plan in time. YOU are the stars of this readathon!