Things that Make Me Pick Up a Book

If you’ve ever looked through the upcoming releases on Edwelweiss, chances are that you’ve been overwhelmed by the sheer amount of books being released in your preferred genres. According to a 2013 Forbes article, there are anywhere between 600,000 and 1,000,000 books published each year in the United States alone. Which is exciting because there will be a book for every reading, but it’s also way more books than we can read in a lifetime!

With so many books to choose from, how do you choose which books to look at? Which ones to read? I thought I would make a list of the things that draw me to a book, as well as some of the themes and tropes I can’t get enough of.

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Going on a Patreon Adventure: Why Spike is Better than Angel (also: burritos)

Greetings friends and welcome to a new monthly feature where the topic is decided by my Patrons over on Patreon. Once a month I will add an extra post to my schedule, and it could be about anything. Honestly, I was expecting something more Serious than this, but the people want what the people want!

If you’ve been around for awhile, you might know that Buffy the Vampire Slayer is tied for my favorite show of all-time with the re-imagined Battlestar Galactica series. I am vocal in my strong preference for Spike and love for James Marsters, and now I get to tell you why. If you like seeing me pick about themes and theorize about science fiction, this post is for you… and if you like pictures of food, this post is also for you!

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Why I’ve done away with Star Ratings for Reviews on my blog

This month’s topic is about our thoughts on rating systems. You can follow along on the discussion by checking #DiscussionAttic and #DAApril for our monthly topic on Twitter.

This is a really timely discussion topic for me because the subjectivity of star ratings has been on my mind a lot over the past few months. My approach to reviewing has always been rooted in my experience as a scholar in the humanities: I have an Overly Verbose Brand and a lot of feelings. I am much more of a qualitative thinker and have such a hard time distilling that into a simple rating.

It also doesn’t help that there isn’t a guideline provided to standardize the rating system, so it is open for a lot of interpretation. Back when I first started my blog, I put together a Ratings scale so that my readers (and the publishers I work with) understood my own personal scale. But over time I came to realize that rather than adapting to my rating system, readers defaulted to their own.

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Bookish Banter: Should Stats Dictate Your Posts?

We all know that I am an analytical kind of person that thinks in charts and data. I love looking at information to identify patterns and ways that I can improve. I think that is a big reason that I prefer running to other sports: you can easily track your progress (pace) and ways to improve (proper hydration, run in a tailwind). So it surprised literally nobody last week when I talked about all the lessons that I learned from diving deep into my blog’s statistics.

Even though I think it is incredibly important to normalize conversations about statistics within the book blogging community, I also feel strongly that we shouldn’t let statistics rule our lives. I know what you are saying, “sure, that’s easy for you to say, Kal!” and I hear you. But that is why I wanted to follow up last week’s post with this discussion on whether or not we should let the posts we make be dictated by our statistics. The short answer is no, but of course I have more to say than just that!

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Required Reading: My Experience

This month’s topic is about required reading. You can follow along on the discussion by checking #DiscussionAttic and #DAFebruary for our monthly topic on Twitter.

Before I get started, I want to take a moment to acknowledge that I recognize that I am not the biggest authority on required reading for high school. I graduated in 2002 and over the last seventeen years (oh my goodness, I feel so old) the publishing landscape and educational system has changed drastically in the United States. I graduated before Common Core and three years before the SATs changed from 1600 to 2400. As such, I am don’t feel comfortable talking about required reading on a wide scale because I’m no longer in the demographic, and I feel that current teens experiences on how required reading should change would be more useful. 

I want to approach this month’s topic from the lens of my own personal experience oh so many moons ago and the lasting effect that it had on my reading habits. So first, a little bit about me!

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