Reading Stats: Am I a Seasonal Reader?

Some books have a certain seasonal feel to them. A fluffy contemporary is often thought to be a perfect beach read but you would never think to pick it up when it’s snowing outside. Spooky thrillers belong to rainy days in November, and hard-hitting literary fiction seems to be an important part of spring.

After having followed many different Booktubers, Bookstagrammers, and Book bloggers for a couple years now, I have noticed that quite a few of us avid bookaholics are seasonal readers. We associate certain times of the year and certain weather with different book genres.

I have no idea where I fall on the seasonality spectrum. Do I devour more of certain types of books in different seasons? I want to know! So I decided to inspect all of the books I read in 2018 and divide them up in the four seasons. If I read significantly more of one genre, length or age-type (middle-grade, YA, or adult) in a certain season, then I can safely say that I am somewhat of a seasonal reader.

I tried to make a list of book types that I have noticed the book community often associates with certain seasons (the months signify when each season happens in Scotland):

Hard-hitting literary fiction, classics and nonfiction. Longer books. More emotional books that deal with difficult subjects such as immigration, the global warming etc.

Fluffy, easy-reads and contemporaries, romance. Short books.

Thrillers, mysteries, horror, fantasy. Anything spooky, gory or highly immersive.

Historical fiction, magical realism, sci-fi, holiday themed books and old favourites, rereads.

These are simply my perceptions about which genres are often associated with the seasons. It’s hard to say exactly why I think each one belongs in each category, and you might disagree with me (I’d love to hear what you think belongs in each season!).

I assume that spring is related to hard-hitting, more difficult to read books partly because of New Year’s resolutions. Who hasn’t pledged to read more classics, nonfiction, literary fiction, award winning novels or longer books next year? I definitely have. In contrast, summer should be related to easy-reads because many of us are on a vacation and we just want to chill out. (Also, maybe we are a bit burned out from all those acclaimed books we read in the spring?) Autumn is for Halloween, and the idea is to read darker, spooky books when the weather turns rainy and stormy. Winter is a tricky one. It seems to me that it is a time for a tiny bit of magic, but not full on fantasies like in the autumn. It is a mixture of spring and autumn, full of emotional reads that are nevertheless very immersive. Also, rereads. Who doesn’t love rereading Harry Potter at Christmas? I can’t explain why sci-fi is in the winter section. I just feel like it belongs there. I have no idea why.

Will I follow these seasonal reading guidelines, or do I have completely different seasonal patterns?

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Unpopular Opinion: 1984 by George Orwell

It’s unpopular opinion time *yay*

I have decided to not add a synopsis of 1984 in this review because the story is so well-known. But don’t be scared to hop in Goodreads to check it out if you want to!

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1984 by George Orwell

Goodreads page

First of all, the message that 1984 conveys is extremely important. It digs deep into the methodological workings of politics and how humans can be kept in the grasp of a government. I’m not fighting the message in any way.

Nor am I fighting any of the millions of people who loved this book. What’s amazing about books is that we all experience them differently but we also differ greatly in how we judge them. I try to judge books based on both my enjoyment of the material and the quality of the book.

Whew, now that I have managed to say all that I’ll let my opinions of this book loose. I’m sorry but my opinions have turned into monsters.

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Discussion: The Dark Side of Scribd

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Scribd is a subscription service that has been often referred to as “Netflix for books”. It is a digital library that allows an ‘unlimited’ access to ebooks, audiobooks and documents for subscribers who pay a monthly subscription fee.

Within the past year, Scribd has blown up in the bookish community. I have seen loads of Booktubers (Youtubers who make videos about books) advertise for Scribd and hype their service. And it’s easy to see why: Scribd has loads of content from brand new releases to less known books in both audio and ebook format. Audiobooks have become wildly popular lately and Scribd is one of the only services that promise an unlimited amount of material in exchange for a very reasonable cost. In contrast, the most popular audiobook service, Audible, charges more than Scribd for a month and you only get one audiobook. And in addition to the audiobooks, loads of ebooks are available as well.

Sounds pretty amazing, eh? Yep I thought so too. I started using Scribd too but it didn’t take me long to discover that Scribd is not actually unlimited but it is “unlimited”. This is a discussion post of whether Scribd is worth it or if it is basically a scam. I’ll first tell you my journey with the service over the last 3 months and then I’ll dive into the discussion bit. Is Scribd really the service we want or is it designed to leave you frustrated and angry?

My feels about Scribd in a gif:

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Discussion: How to Rate Books?!

Hello there! I hope you can curl up into a comfortable spot and get yourself a steaming hot (or ice cold or lukewarm, whichever happens to rock your boat) cup of something nice to drink while reading my very first discussion post on my blog! Why? Because I have no idea what I’m doing but let’s see how this goes πŸ˜‚

For my very first discussion post I wanted to talk about star-ratings!

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I love to use star-ratings when I’m reviewing a book. I find it an easy and quick way to categorise the books I have read into favourites, something that I liked, average or meh. I also tend to fixate on star-ratings when I read reviews. A three-star rating from someone who’s taste I trust makes me hesitate to pick up the book, a two- or a one- star rating probably puts me off reading it and 4-5 stars encourages me to pick it up sooner than I was meaning to.

But using star-ratings and relying on others’ ratings can be a dangerous jungle. Star-ratings don’t have any generally accepted meanings; someone might rate a book 5* even though they recognise several problematic aspects in it while another could easily reserve all 5* ratings for spectacular, mind-blowing books only.

And are 5 distinctive numbers enough? I tend to stretch those 5 stars into ultimate possibilities and therefore IΒ can give a book 3.889 stars and a carrot for being awesome. (This somewhat undermines my original goal of creating discrete categories for the books I have read πŸ˜‚).

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Below I’ll explore 6 different scenarios that I have encountered lately in which I had no idea how to rate the book I read.

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