Book Blog Newbie Tag

So I’ve decided that I’m going to post a book tag every Friday. Why Friday? I have no idea. It just felt right, I guess. But I found this tag on The Bookish Mermaid’s blog (https://thebookmermaidblog.wordpress.com), and, since I’m still very new to blogging, I thought it would be the perfect book tag to start off with. I realise that my last two posts have been more about me than they have been about books, and so you’re probably all sick to death of getting to know me at this point, but on the off chance that you’re not, I hope you enjoy learning more about me, my reasons for starting this blog, and my reading life šŸ™‚

1. Why did you start this blog?

I love reading books, analyzing books, talking about books, and just everything to do with books in general. It’s probably a tad bit of an unhealthy obsession. But I thought that starting this blog would be a great opportunity for me to get to talk about books, whilst also allowing me to meet new people within this community. Plus, it’s kind of nice to feel productive whilst procrastinating (seriously, I have so many things I’m supposed to be doing rn, I have a problem :P).

2. What are some fun and unique things you can bring to book blogging?

Honestly? I have no idea. My constant random tangents and insufferable endearing rambling? My opinions on different books, which of course will be unique, as everyone’s opinions on books are? My inability to come up with anything to say, despite the fact that this is literally only the second question? (Seriously, I apparently suck at book tags. You learn something new everyday, I guess.) I’m really banking on my personality being fun and unique here, so hopefully it is? (Probably not, but ignorance is bliss, and all that.)

3. What are you most excited for about this new blog?

Hands down, the community. I would low-key love to live in an abandoned cabin in the woods with just my books to keep me company, that’s how much I hate people, but having been on goodreads for a year now, I’m learning that I would gladly invite you all to the inevitable forest library I would build. Everyone I’ve met so far in this community has been amazingly kind and genuinely hilarious and so incredibly interesting, and, in starting this blog, I’m really hoping to meet more people and make some new friends. (Especially since I discovered how much fun buddy reading is last year and would love to br more books with more people :D).

4. Why do you love reading?

Oooh, now this is a fun, if a little very complicated, question. Because I love reading for so many different reasons, and I don’t even know if I’d be able to articulate just one reason, let alone all of them. But to put it as simply as possible: I love reading because it connects me to things I might otherwise not be able to connect to.

The most obvious of which would be people. I’ve met so many people through reading, and connected to them because of our love of reading. Reading and books have allowed me to start conversations with people I may never have talked to otherwise, and these people have become some of the most important in my life.

Reading also allows me to connect to other cultures, ways of living, and people who are different to me. I’ve learned so much about different communities through the books I’ve read, which has brought so much more understanding than I probably would have had otherwise. Not only do I just love learning, but I love learning about people, because that allows me to understand them better, and therefore better be able to connect with them.

Through reading, I’ve also found myself experiencing emotions I never thought I’d experience, the strength of which has sometimes been overwhelming, but in the best way possible. Reading allows me to express my emotions, the feelings I locked away for so long, by bringing them out of me with characters and stories I’m incredibly invested in. Which, in turn, brings me closer to myself, because I feel more comfortable exploring my emotions. And that’s a really beautiful thing, even if none of that probably made any sense lmao.

But if I’m honest, what I love most about reading is that it takes me on an adventure. I’m not really the kind of person who goes on many adventures; I kind of have a lot of anxiety about new things, so I tend to avoid them at all costs. But books allow me to explore not just the real life places and adventures I’d love to go on, but the magical and the fantastical. They get me out of my head and my thoughts for a while, and take me somewhere else, somewhere brighter and full of whimsy and hope. And every time I finish a book, when that feeling of accomplishment sets in, some of that whimsy and hope stays with me, and brings me further and further out of my shell and towards the life and adventure I want for myself. Reading provides me with new experiences, because I get to live vicariously through the characters I always grow so attached to, but it also inspires me to live that adventure physically, and I love that feeling of anything and everything in the world being in my reach, even if it’s sometimes crushed by mental illness on bad days.

I don’t know, I’m getting sappy. I don’t like being sappy. I’m going to move on now. But I also just want to say that I fall in love so easily with book characters, and I don’t even know why, and I love loving these characters, and that’s definitely another massive reason why I love reading. Wow this answer was long. Ok, let’s move on (hey, that kind of rhymes, lol (jfc I’m lame)).

5. What book or series got you into reading?

Well, that’s a bit complicated as well, actually. I’ve loved reading ever since I was a kid. Stories have always been my favourite thing in the world, and in that sense, there wasn’t really a book that got me into reading. But a couple book series that got me into young adult are: Uglies by Scott Westerfeld, the Trylle series by Amanda Hocking, and The Jennifer Scales series by MaryJanice Davidson (which was undoubtedly my favourite, and still holds such a special place in my heart (as is probably evident by the fact that I’ve literally read it 5 times)).

But there were a couple years, when my mental health started getting bad, when I just stopped reading. I lost interest in everything I loved, reading included, and it wasn’t until I read City of Bones by Cassandra Clare, a book that had sat on my shelf for years, that I got back into it. But, whilst The Mortal Instruments got me back into reading, it was The Infernal Devices that made me fall back in love with it. I. Was. Obsessed. I’d never felt so many emotions before; I’d never been so incredibly overjoyed, or so happy to be crying. I’d never laughed so hard in my life. I’d never felt the way I felt whilst reading TID, and as soon as I first experienced that feeling, I knew I’d never stop reading again, because all I wanted was to recreate it. And I’ve spent the past 3 years of my life doing just that (in between reading slumps, ofc, cuz no amount of desperation to read can get me out of those things).

6. What questions would you ask your favourite authors?

I reckon I’d ask them about the inspirations for their stories, and what made them want to share them. I just think it would be really interesting to hear about the origins of my favourite books. It could’ve been a person or a thing or a day or an emotion that sparked the creation of an entire book/series, and the idea that there’s something out there that, if it didn’t exist, neither would the books I love, is just so interesting to me. Like what could’ve inspired the books I love? Something crazy and insane? Fun and unique? Totally average and normal? Some combination of the lot of them? And even once those seeds were planted and the story grew, what made these authors want to share it? Why not keep it to themselves? What was their motivation for writing, beyond a simple passion and a story to tell?

7. What challenges that come with starting a blog do you think will be the hardest to overcome?

So, as I’ve mentioned, like, 96 times now, I have depression and anxiety (it’s super fun guys, you should all try it), and because of that, I sometimes have days where things just aren’t great with my mental health. Sometimes I don’t go online for days or even weeks, purely because I just don’t feel like I’m up to it, mentally, emotionally, physically, etc. And so I think the hardest challenge when it comes to this blog that I have to overcome is getting through the bad days without completely disappearing.

Beyond that, I think that coming up with unique and creative blog post ideas is going to be a bit of a challenge for me, because I’m just not very good at coming up with ideas like that. Like, my creativity is something that shows more in the minor details than in the overall ideas, and I’m worried that, because the unique and creative aspects of my blog are more subtle, that people are just going to completely overlook me. Luckily, though, I’m mostly posting on this blog just because I want to, rather then because I want to build a following or anything (though I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t care at all if people read this, cuz I do, I worked hard on this blog). But my point is, despite my worries about this blog being overlooked, having a large audience isn’t my biggest priority when it comes to this blog, so I’m not as affected by this.

8. When did you start reading?

At a very young age. I couldn’t tell you when, exactly, but I was reading before most of the kids in my class were, at age 4 or 5. My family moved to Singapore from Melbourne when I was around that age. My parents were worried that all the kids at my new school would be ahead of me, so they got me a tutor and I learned to read very early, and I ended up being ahead of most of the kids in my class, especially because I developed such a love for reading, and ended up practicing more than most kids.

9. Where do you read?

I don’t really have a special place that I like to read, or anything like that. I mostly just read wherever I can, whenever I want. I do love the aesthetic of reading at a coffee shop, though, so I tend to read at Starbucks a lot (and if anyone reading this is from Melbourne and is about to shun me from my home city because I go to Starbucks…fair enough, I’m disappointed in myself too. There are just so MANY of them in Asia, it’s just easier).

10. What kind of books do you like to read?

I pretty much exclusively read young adult, because I am a young adult (funny how that works, eh?) I do read the occasional adult or middle grade book, and I’ve been getting a lot more into new adult lately, but I’d still say that the majority of what I read is definitely YA. Beyond that, I read a good balance between fantasy/sci-fi and contemporary novels, however, I tend to enjoy fantasy/sci-fi books more. My favourite genre is definitely fantasy, probably high fantasy slightly more than urban fantasy, but it really just depends on my mood. And then second to that would be contemporary novels about mental illness, because I’m complete trash for them (provided the rep is good obviously).

But yeah, those are all the questions. And I still have no idea how to end a blog post. Like, seriously, how am I supposed to conclude these?? I guess I’ll do so with a fun fact: I said at the beginning of this post that I would be posting tags on Friday. And I will be. But, also, it’s technically Saturday now, so uhhhhhh…(yeah I don’t sleep, lmao). But yeah, guess I’ll see you in the next one (except not really cuz I can’t see you (but you got my point (I hope (oh god I need to end this)))). Byeeeeee šŸ™‚

-Laura Herondale

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