A Letter From An Illiterate YA Reader

Dear Joe Nutt

Dear Joe Nutt,

My name is Angel and I’ve been reading YA since I was in third grade. My first YA book, as I remember, was the Harry Potter series and ever since then I haven’t stopped reading YA or writing YA. Thanks to that, I’ve gotten a ton of opportunities – both business and personal – and have excelled at reading and writing. For some reason though, you think that YA is making me illiterate. That I don’t know anything about living in the real world. That YA is just about “gossip fodder”. Let me tell you why it’s not:

Comment: It’s making me illiterate.

Answer: Well, I don’t know what dictionary you’re basing your definition off of but “illiterate” means “unable to read or write”. Simply by the fact that I can read and write, your comment is incorrect.

Comment: I don’t know anything about living in the real world; YA is just about “gossip fodder”

Answer: Just from reading the Harry Potter series – which is a kid-to-young adult series – I learned about the power of love and friendship but I also learned about depression and hard work. In reading a recent release called A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J Maas, I was able to connect with Feyre’s emotional and mental abuse as I’ve faced the same. In so many YA books, I’ve found myself learning about empathy through seeing how some people really live. I’ve seen the effects of happiness, marriage, sex, diversity, divorce, suicide, depression, anxiety, sickness and rape within YA and seen the real world staring back at me with those same elements of life. I do know about living in the real world because I’ve read about it and slowly but surely, I’m making my way to show more ways of living with my writing.

So, dear Joe Nutt,

I’d say the Young Adult genre is pretty spectacular and I hope more people read books in the genre, regardless of their age or gender.

Sincerely,

A Not-So-Illiterate Reader

DISCUSSION: How Many More Editions Can We Take?!

 

Special Editions 1

Hello everyone! So I don’t know if you’ve noticed – if you’re on Twitter, you probs have – but there’s a HUGE uproar about the 4 different special editions coming out for Empire of Storms* by Sarah J Maas. Ya, FOUR. Let’s list them out shall we?

  • Exclusive Content – Barnes & Noble (US), $14.99
  • Exlusive Content – WHSmith (UK), $7.29
  • Exclusive Content & Poster – Target (US), $16.50
  • Signed Edition – Waterstones (UK), $10.42

Hmmm. The same book, four ways. Actually, let’s be honest, the exclusive content at B&N, WHSmith and Target are all probably the same thing. So basically one book, 2.5 different ways (.5 is the poster at Target), all different prices. Now if you were to get all four versions, you would be spending $49.20. Ummm *looks around* WHAT?! I would be spending near 50 bucks on the SAME BOOK just for the 2.5 different things. They did this with Lady Midnight* by Cassandra Clare and Trials of Apollo* by Rick Riordan but Lady Midnight was the first time it seemed to start getting out of control and now it seems insane. Let me breakdown for you why even more:

Here’s the thing, Empire of Storms is in the Young Adult genre which is geared to young adults (duh) who are typically 14 – 20 years old who typically DON’T WORK FULL TIME. This means that we usually depend on our parents for money to pay things and/or are quite careful how we spend our money. Buuuuuuut, we also love our books. So now the situation is: bookish nerds who want to expand our awesome collection of books but who also don’t have a lot of money to just spend on whatever. So WHY, people working behind the scenes on our beloved YA books, WOULD YOU RELEASE FOUR SPECIAL EDITIONS OF ONE BOOK? The answer is, more exclusives + book nerds = mo’ money in BTS peoples’ pockets BUT the thing they’re missing is WE DON’T HAVE MONEY TO BUY ALL FOUR EDITIONS. It doesn’t end there though. Nope. Now, because we don’t have money to buy 4 editions, we’ve got to pick: do we wanna buy the UK paperback or the US hardcover? Do we want exclusive content or a poster or a signed edition? The thing is, the end answer is “I don’t know. I just want to read the book and love it.” Instead though, we’re being forced asked to make a really hard choice that makes the process of buying the book so much harder and way more annoying/frustrating/sad than it should be.

My thoughts? Take away all the special editions. Yup. Take all the exclusive content and posters and put them to the side (leave the signed though but put it in the UK AND the US editions). Now take all that exclusive content and posters and put them in one mini extra package for EVERYONE to buy. I am 100% sure that people will FLOCK to stores to pick up the book and the package as so happened with me and Cursed Child at Target.

SIDE NOTE/STORYTIME: On August 1st, the day after Cursed Child* released and I got back from travelling, I went to Target to get CC. As soon as I walked in the door, I RAN to the back of the store where I knew CC was, skidded to a stop and grinned really hard and made squealing noises. Then I grabbed a book, examined it for marks, put it back down, grabbed another one & the poster package and kissed them both while doing a mini dance right then and there. The one little family who was standing there the ENTIRE TIME at the CC booth, scooted over a little LOL.

Anyways, as you guys just saw, buying books can be realllly awesome and fun if you take out all the stress and frustration that comes with having like 50 different special editions (Cursed Child only had a Target special edition which came with a poster).

Aaaaand that’s all for my discussion on special editions. Now tell me, what are your thoughts on special editions and how many there are of just one book? Is it good or bad? Tell me all your thoughts in the comments below! Thank you! Have a great day/night and tata for now!

*This is an affiliate link I have with Amazon🙂

DISCUSSION: How To #Booksfortrade

Copy of Copy of Copy of buy me pizza (1)

Hello everyone! So, if you follow me on Twitter, I’ve been stalking following the #booksfortrade/#swagfortrade tags and making trades with people and other people have been doing the same. None of this is unusual but lately I’ve been noticing a trend on Twitter that I actually ranted about several days ago here as you can see below.

Now you can click on the tweet and see what exactly I said but, long story short, there’s just been people who don’t really use #booksfortrade in a nice way IMO. “Who are you to judge anyone, Angel?” you’re probs thinking right now. Well, I’m someone who’s kinda in the midst of the ‘keeps being screwed over due to people’s insane wishlists’ situation. So I decided, with the emergence of the situation and new people on #booksfortrade, I thought I’d talk a bit about how to properly use #booksfortrade whilst causing minimal ‘screwing people over-ness’. Let’s begin….

For the newbies:

#booksfortrade is a tag on Twitter where you can put up pics/lists of the books you have available for trade and your wishlists for books you want in return. There’s a sister tag for it called #swagfortrade where you do the same thing but with swag (like bookmarks and posters etc. Not like the ‘too cool for school’ swagger). Furthermore, there’s actually a group hosted by a friend of mine, Nori, on Goodreads that’s a much more condensed and safe version of the tag that so far is pretty cool. I’ve only used the Twitter tag and it’s perfectly fine so don’t worry, you’ll be good there too.

SIDE NOTE: ISO means in search of. It’s basically like a mini wishlist (WL). Don’t worry, it took me forever to figure that out!

Anyways, what happens is you can look at someone’s pics and be like, “yo! I’ve been looking for ‘xyz’ book(s) everywhere! What’s your WL?/Here’s what I have to trade!” and then they’ll take a look at what you have and see if there’s anything they like and if so, boom! commence trade! If not, ‘maybe next time!’. Either way is cool. Now, if you commence trading, you exchange mailing info and then mail on the day(s)/terms you guys have decided on. Big thing to keep in mind throughout this entire process is:

COMMUNICATION IS KEY!!!!!!

And, ya, I mean more than just the exchanging of info and such. You want to communicate through the entire process – confirming you/they sent out the package, getting tracking #s, saying “hey I got your package! Thanks!” – is absolutely key because it should make the process much smoother. Oh and it’s even more key when things do go wrong because those things happen sometimes; “hey, I can’t send it today, I’ll send it (…..)”, “hey have you sent out your package yet?”, “hey, I haven’t gotten my package yet and it’s been quite a bit. What’s happening?”. Ya, those things happen all the time. So in order to minimize screwing yourself or the other person over, please please PLEASE talk to each other the entire time until both of you have your packages safely on your person (not your house! on your person!) and are officially done with the trade.

SIDE NOTE: if you are in talks with someone for a trade and they/you don’t officially cancel, you can’t shouldn’t talk to someone else about another trade. Now if the person takes forever to answer *cough me-who-has-a-horrible-memory cough*, give them little nudges until they get the hint you guys need to talk. But don’t sidestep and trade with another person until you and the first person officially cancel the trade.

Now to address the situation:

Okey dokey. *cracks knuckles* now for the elephant in the room. So, as you may have seen in my twitter thread way above, some people slightly abuse their #booksfortrade “power” and dangle the carrot in front of the rabbit without giving more options. Don’t get it? Here’s what I mean:

Person A has an amazing #booksfortrade list consisting of so many things you want but then they only ask for ARCs (advanced reading copies) that haven’t even come out yet or the most exclusive of ARCs that you know pretty much no one in their right mind would give up. And yes a ton of people do this but the difference between Person A and the ton of other people (like me) is that Person A gives no other choices. So then you’re stuck being the rabbit standing behind a glass door, staring/drooling at the carrot on the other side, with no way to get in because the door is blocked. It’s an annoying feeling tbh. So my advice to newbies and oldies is PLEASE GIVE OPTIONS. Like I have three wishlists just for books, will take FUNKOs* and Amazon Gift Cards and have another WL for swag. You don’t have to go that far but that’s a lot better than giving no other options.

Okay so I think that’s it for my thoughts on this discussion. Now it’s your turn, have you ever done #booksfortrade/#swagfortrade before? If so, what do you think of it (in gen and re: the situation addressed)? If not, do you think you’d be interested in doing trades? Tell me all your thoughts in the comments below! Thank you! Have a great day/night and tata for now!

PS. This is what I have for trade/my WL😉

PPS. Here’s a FREE downloadable for you with some tips & tricks!

*This is an affiliate link I have with Amazon🙂

I’m Getting Old! + Q&A

blogoversary

Hello everyone! So today is August 3rd, 2016 which, for me, means I am now 4 years old! Or at least my blogging life is! Now technically my blog on WordPress is like 2.5 years old or something like that because I actually moved my blog to WordPress in January 2014 however Avid Reader was originally on Weebly and it was started August 3, 2012. So ya, my blogging life/Avid Reader is 4 years old! It’s funny to say that because I’m becoming one of the older blogs in the blogosphere but I feel so young in that I’m learning so much still. For example, last summer, three years into book blogging, was when I found out about ARCs and how I could get them. Ya, I know, INSANITY. It’s all good though because I’m having a ton of fun learning and growing as a blogger, artist, business woman, reader and just a person in general. Anyway, I thought that for this blogoversary, I’d answer some questions sent to me on Twitter! Let’s goooo….

  1. From Michelle – What book that you read this year inspired you a lot?
    • Ooooh well the Grisha trilogy* by Leigh Bardugo is definitely the inspiration for like half the art I’ve created/am creating this year and I only read the series this year (I know I’m late to jump the bandwagon) so Imma say that!
  2. From Haniya – Describe your blogging experience in one word?
    • Amazing!
  3. From Michelle – What is your favourite product you created for your shops so far? 
    • Book HoarderOoooh this is a hard one! Hmmm I think I’m gonna say my “I’m Proud To Be A Book Hoarder” design is my fave, so much so I’m totally buying a pillow of it for myself hahaha. Check out the design here for RedBubble and here for Society6!
  4. From Haniya – What are some tips for newbie bloggers?
    • Oh I have so many but here are a couple:
      1. SCHEDULE POSTS
      2. Make friends & interact with other bloggers!
      3. GET SOCIAL MEDIA – esp Twitter
      4. be yourself & have fun!
    • If you want to check out some more tips, I wrote two posts about them here and here!
  5. From Haniya – What are some blogging design essentials?
    • Ah design and essentials! My two fav things to talk about LOL! Well I’d say some blogging design essentials are:
      1. easy to read font, colors and background!
      2. a simple but interesting header
      3. a search bar and at least one “follow me!” on your blog
    • And those are it for the tips! I know it’s not a lot but I’m creating a course alll about this as well as a post and downloadable graphic about this so don’t worry, more will come soon! Also, if you want more help from me on the design side, I do designs for cheap prices!

Aaaaand that’s all for the questions! That was fun! Now before we go I thought I’d point out that I have a mini survey I hoped you could do so that I and the blog can get even better! Also I wanted to thank a couple of blogger/writer people who’ve made my life – both blogging and personal – so much better! Thank you….

and pretty much the entirety of Twitter! Honestly, I don’t know what I could do without you guys and your love and support and awesomeness! Thank you all soooooo beyond much and love y’all to death! And thank you to YOU who is reading this right now!! I KNOW my blog would be lacking so much without your love and support! Thank youuuu!! Have a great day/night and tata for now!!

*This is an affiliate link I have with Amazon🙂

#PotterheadJuly: How Harry Potter Shaped My Life

potterheadjuly

Hello everyone! At the moment, I am currently on a plane or two, wearing a Harry Potter shirt and snitch necklace (with a drawing of Deathly Hallows on my arm lol), dying to talk to you guys more and waiting for my beautiful little Cursed Child. Okay that sounded weird but you get what I mean hahaha. Anyway, today is basically Harry Potter day as it is Harry Potter’s birthday, JK Rowling’s birthday AND the release of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. With all this happening, I get to have the privilege of telling you a little story and explaining something, specifically what Harry Potter means to me and how it’s changed my life. Let’s begin:

When people ask me what my favorite book is, I immediately say Harry Potter. There’s no question after, no “but why?”, because everyone knows how good it is. So they simply nod and move on; I never get to explain how much Harry Potter means to me or how much it’s changed my life, because it really has. It started in third grade in Mrs. McGonagall’s* class. I loved reading and was reading my way through pretty much everything. Mrs. M saw that and recommended me to read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. I think. I can’t remember much of the year – I’ve a very selective memory apparently lol – but I do remember laying down on a blanket, reading Harry Potter and breezing my way through them. I’d read them anytime I could during the day and as soon as I got home, I’d read them to my mom. Around the third book or so, I was reading them too fast for my mom to keep up and so begins me reading to myself. When we found out that there were Harry Potter movies, I was ecstatic and watched them after every book I finished. There’s one mini memory I have, actually, where I’m sitting on a couch at my grandmother’s house in Egypt, putting in a DVD of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix into the family computer and internally dying of happiness as I watched. When the seventh and (thought to be) final book came out, I was sitting in an airport chair reading and living Harry Potter and Deathly Hallows, watching everything come together, as I waited for the plane.

Harry Potter was only the beginning though, I started reading everything with a non-stop hunger and it hasn’t stopped since. When I went to go share my love of books with my friends, though, I found blank stares looking back at me. So a couple of years ago, nearly four years ago to be exact, I started blogging and you know the rest. Harry Potter gave me friends, hope, love and knowledge of pretty much anything and everything. Essentially, Harry Potter changed my life and is the reason for so much of what I am today and the series means the world to me. What does Harry Potter mean to you? How has Harry Potter changed your life? Tell me in the comments below and have a happy Harry Potter day! Thanks!

*my teacher’s name has been changed for privacy reasons