Posts Categorized: discussion

Riverdale Recaps – Tales from the Darkside (Season 2: Episode 7)

December 5, 2017 discussion, tv shows 0

Recap

Vlora: Welcome to this week’s Riverdale recap! We had three separate storylines that sort of came together at the end this week. We’re also still keeping with the horror theme, as the episode titles suggest.

Bianca: True, but let’s ask the really important questions first: What is Betty Cooper’s future career? Is she going to be an investigator, detective, journalist or maybe the new mayor of Riverdale?
Vlora: Well, Riverdale could certainly use a new mayor. I’m not a fan of the current one.
Bianca: Me neither. She is such a helicopter mom (and she already used to be before all this Black Hood and death threat thing happened). She also pretends that her daughter is such a celebrity when no one outside of Riverdale has ever heard of her. I mean Riverdale is not New York! And in total, she is just really shitty at being the mayor.
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Why Old Books Deserve 340% More Attention From You

November 2, 2017 books, discussion 14

talk to me graphic reviews and cake

Talk to Me is an irregular discussion feature on this blog. It’s pretty much exactly what the title suggests: I’m going to tell you my opinion, and then I’m handing over to you, so you can let me know what you think in the comments.

Topic

Old books! Or should I say vintage books? Is that sexier? I haven’t even written the introduction and I’m already getting distracted, an autobiography by me. Let’s try this again. In the book blogging community we often focus on new releases. It makes sense – many bloggers (myself included) review ARCs, publishers push new releases, there’s a lot of hype around recent books and, most importantly, NEW STUFF IS SHINY. But what about older books? I’m not talking classics, which at least get some attention, but books from ten or twenty years ago (quick reminder, twenty years ago means 1997, what the hell). Do they really deserve less of our attention? Why do we forget about older books so easily?

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Self-Esteem and Mental Health (Shattering Stigmas)

October 6, 2017 discussion, miscellaneous 15



Today’s Shattering Stigmas post is going to be a bit personal, but I guess I can’t ask people to share their stories without doing so myself! I’ll talk about how self-esteem and mental health are related, and I also tried to come up with some book recs and tips to boost your self-esteem. Hope you enjoy!



Shattering Stigmas graphic
Shattering Stigmas is a two-week blogging event focused on mental health in literature and mental health generally – check back for guest posts, reviews and discussions around mental health.


I had low self-esteem as a teenager, but I didn’t realise it. I thought all teenagers are unhappy and feel like they don’t belong, because that’s the stereotype, right? Being stigmatised as lazy, undisciplined and undesirable due to being obese didn’t help. It took an event that made me feel particularly horrible to do some googling, and then I stumbled upon this post: I’m Not Good Enough – The World Through a Low Self-Esteem Lens. Reading it, I had a real lightbulb moment. The description fit me to a tee, and I suddenly felt so much better, because I realised what the issue was, and so I was able to work on it. Of course it wasn’t done in a day – in fact it’s still a work in progress – but I was able to improve my self-esteem a lot over the last few years.
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Books About Twenty-Somethings

July 3, 2017 books, discussion 8

Talk To Me

is a no-nonsense discussion feature on this blog. No-nonsense means I’m too lazy to make it look pretty. It’s exactly what the title suggests: I’m going to pose a question or tell you my own opinion about something, and I want to know what you think about it! Obviously feel free to write up your own post on the topic and link it in the comments.


Topic

We all know about the omnipresence of Young Adult books. Books about characters in their teens hold a certain appeal, perhaps because we learn a lot about who we are and who we want to be at that stage in life. But where are the books about twenty-somethings? I’m in my early twenties, and I’ve been desperately looking for good books featuring characters my age. Obviously they exist, but I feel like they are few and far between. Maybe it’s just me, but I’m finding it much more difficult to find books about people in their twenties than YA or adult books. I was shortly excited when New Adult emerged as a category, but then I realised New Adult mostly seems to be erotica (nothing wrong with that obviously, but not quite what I had in mind). So where are all the books about people my age? Some of the ‘older’ YA books, like Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell, focus on people going off to university, but they are few and far between.
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The 100: My Thoughts So Far (I AM NOT OKAY)

April 7, 2016 discussion, tv shows 4

TV Show Thursdays on Reviews and Cake

Welcome to TV Show Thursdays, where I discuss TV Shows, review episodes and give my commentary on anything TV Show related!


If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, or you’re following me on twitter, it’s no secret that I LOVE The 100. The plan was to wait until the entirety of Season 3 is out there so I can binge watch, but then I found myself with time and the need for a good show today, so obviously that plan failed. I decided that I am done yelling at people on twitter (for now), so here are my thoughts so far.

SPOILERS UP UNTIL SEASON 3 EPISODE 9. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.
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Do You Use Your Blog For Job Applications?

February 24, 2016 discussion 12

Talk To Me

is a no-nonsense discussion feature on this blog. No-nonsense means I’m too lazy to make it look pretty. It’s exactly what the title suggests: I’m going to pose a question or tell you my own opinion about something, and I want to know what you think about it! Obviously feel free to write up your own post on the topic and link it in the comments.


Topic

Everyone who runs a blog, no matter how big or small, knows that a lot of work, time and discipline goes into it. Depending on your blogging style and your niche, you’ll have to at least think about the following points to varying degrees:

  • content production: how often do you post what, how polished does it need to be and when do you have the time to actually write it?
  • social media presence and marketing: do I need to get pinterest even though I’m more comfortable on twitter? Does it make sense to create a facebook page for my blog? Will people actually follow me? Whether we play the social media game or not you win or you die; there is no middle ground, most bloggers have thought about this at one point or another and a lot of bloggers spend huge chunks of time devoted to their social media presence.
  • platform: should I go self-hosted or use an existing platform? If I go self-hosted, how much do I have to pay? Should I learn some code myself, or should I dish out for a customized theme? Do I need to know Photoshop to make a blog banner? Can I just use a free theme?
  • networking: how much time do I have to reply to comments and comment back? Can I approach bloggers who have a bigger following than I do without making a fool of myself, or will they think I’m a total dork?

These are just a few of the points that can face you when you run a blog. Of course it is always your decision how much time you put into your blog, but creating and maintaining a blog consistently takes a lot of discipline and creativity. It can, however contain personal information, informal writing, or controversial opinions, which is why I’m interested: do you put your blog on your CV if you have one, and if you don’t, would you put it on your CV if you had a blog?
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Speed Typing Test Review (How Fast Can YOU Type?)

December 29, 2015 discussion, fun, miscellaneous, writing 15

Help. There are so many more productive things I could be doing. But Kristen asked me whether I’ve ever done any typing tests in the comments of my speed reading test review, so you know what I’m doing for the next hour. I’m much more confident about my speed typing abilities than my speed reading abilities, but we’ll see how it goes. Please no one link me to anything that looks like a test, survey or buzzfeed quiz in the comments after this though, because I will have to forward my university expulsion letter and a bucket full of my tears to you.

typingtest.com

If you know me, you’ll know I did my research and totally didn’t pick out the very first test that came up when I Googled “typing test”. This test prides itself on being able to tell your “true” typing speed in 60 seconds (I wonder what a false typing speed would be) and is preset to give you a text from Aesop’s fables, but you can choose different texts to copy. I chose Space Cowboys, because that sounded a lot more fun.

I got 64 words/minute with 1 error, so 63 words per minute. I wasn’t sure if quotation marks and such counted as errors and the fact that the test always colored the next word I had to type blue distracted me a little even though it was supposed to be helpful (my brain is weird and confused but loveable, like Kirk from Gilmore Girls). The test says between 60 and 80 words per minute is fast, but the next level is “pro”, so you know I had to try it again. I left it on Aesop’s fables this time and got 77 words/minute with 2 errors, so still fast, but 5 missing to be a pro. I, um, got competitive with myself then. I chose Baseball Rules and typed 85 words with one mistyped word, so an adjusted speed of 84 words per minute, which officially makes me a PRO. YES, MY LIFE GOALS ARE COMPLETED.

You know I had to use this gif.



I also switched to German once and got a science-y text on musk deer (WTF) and typed 68 words/minute with 51 mistyped words and an adjusted speed of 0 words per minute. Um. I don’t quite know what happened there.
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Do You Review A Lot of Books You Didn’t Like On Your Blog?

December 17, 2015 books, discussion 26

Talk To Me

is a no-nonsense discussion feature on this blog. No-nonsense means I’m too lazy to make it look pretty. It’s exactly what the title suggests: I’m going to pose a question or tell you my own opinion about something, and I want to know what you think about it! Obviously feel free to write up your own post on the topic and link it in the comments.




Topic

Bloggers, I have a question for you! Recently, I realized I mainly review books, movies and TV shows that I liked, so there’s a much higher percentage of favorable reviews on my blog. Naturally, I was wondering if you do the same, or if I should make more of an effort to share negative reviews as well.
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How Often Should I Post?

December 8, 2015 discussion, miscellaneous 8

Talk To Me

is a no-nonsense discussion feature on this blog. No-nonsense means I’m too lazy to make it look pretty. It’s exactly what the title suggests: I’m going to pose a question or tell you my own opinion about something, and I want to know what you think about it! Obviously feel free to write up your own post on the topic and link it in the comments.


Topic

There’s a lot of blogging advice out there when you look for it, and I usually ignore most of it, but this has me stumped. How often should I post? To be honest, I usually just do as I please, which means that sometimes there are 7 posts a week (okay, admittedly not that often) and sometimes there aren’t any for three weeks. I think it’s important not to get stressed about it when it’s a hobby, because it should be fun, but I do get itchy when I haven’t posted something in a while. I agree with most advice out there that it’s important to be somewhat consistent, but that still leaves the question of frequency.
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Are We Targeting The Wrong Audience?

November 24, 2015 discussion 16

Talk To Me

is a no-nonsense discussion feature on this blog. No-nonsense means I’m too lazy to make it look pretty. It’s exactly what the title suggests: I’m going to pose a question or tell you my own opinion about something, and I want to know what you think about it! Obviously feel free to write up your own post on the topic and link it in the comments.


Topic

This post is inspired by a discussion about why reviews receive less comments than other posts on These Paper Hearts. In it, Stephanie raises the question of whether we are too focused on catering to fellow bloggers instead of readers who don’t have a blog themselves. As this is something I’ve been thinking about myself, I thought I’d start a discussion.

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Why I Read Young Adult

November 17, 2015 books, discussion 20

See? See! I’m not only telling you why I DON’T do stuff. Today you can get another unwanted and unasked for insight into how my brain works. Aren’t you excited? I know I am.



I’m 22, and I love reading Young Adult. I’m pretty confident that’s not going to change anytime soon. It’s not the only thing I read, but I think it’s safe to say the majority of books I read are classified as YA. I know a lot of people already outlined their reasons for reading Young Adult as an adult, but I’ll contribute to the discussion, because I feel like it, and because some people still view YA as lesser.
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Why I Don’t Go To The Library

November 10, 2015 books, discussion, fun, miscellaneous 19

This is sort of a companion post to Why I Don’t Review ARCs. I know it sounds like I’m just trying to be contrary, but I promise it’s more than just a leftover pseudo-rebellious streak from my teenage years. I think.

Let me start this off by saying I love libraries. I think libraries are one of humanity’s greatest inventions, and I spent about 90% of my childhood in one. For a couple of years, we had a library right next to our school, so it was basically get up -> go to school -> go to the library -> read -> go to bed, rinse and repeat. Then the library moved ten minutes away, and I had to walk up a hill to get there. Pretty sure that’s the most continuous exercise I ever got, which is saying something because it was a pretty short walk. I should look into gyms again.

So why haven’t I owned a library card in years and years? Well, my dear reader, much like Voldemort’s soul, the reason comes to you in seven parts. (If you’re asking what the eighth one is, it’s probably you.)

1. I’m lazy.

This should come as no surprise to you. I mean I’d have to actually leave my house and who wants that. Then I’d have to haul approximately fifteen books all the way to the library to return them and another fifteen from the library home. Why so many? BECAUSE BOOKS ARE SHINY AND I NEED OPTIONS. Like, seriously, they’re free no matter how many I take, so why limit myself?



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Why I Don’t Review ARCs

November 5, 2015 books, discussion, miscellaneous 25

Quick confession: part of the reason I started this blog was because I read that book bloggers receive ARCs, and I thought that was so cool. Now I quickly grew out of this, because I love blogging, and I realized I couldn’t care less about ARCs, but still hear a lot about ARCs, so I thought I’d address the subject.

Here’s why I don’t read ARCs:

1. I live in Germany, but I read books written in English. There are more than enough book bloggers in English-speaking countries, so it doesn’t make sense for publishers to send me ARCs.
2. This could easily be remedied by requesting ebooks, but I prefer print books, so that’s not an option for me.
3. I’m the moodiest mood reader in the history of moods. If I had a list of ARCs to read, it would just feel like work instead of fun.
4. I, um, kind of like book shopping. Would I like for books I’m genuinely interested in to randomly appear at my doorstep? Certainly, but I really don’t mind ordering them myself either. It can be costly, but money spent on books is never a waste of money in my head so that’s fine.
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I Bet I Can Write A Book

October 30, 2015 discussion, miscellaneous 20

After all, how hard can it be, right? Hahaha. Haha. Ha. Help.

Let me tell you a secret: Ever since I was a child, I wanted to write a book. As you all know, I still like reading today, but when I was a child it was basically all I did. I devoured books. It was my happy escape from reality, and I don’t know what my childhood would have been without books. So I guess it only made sense that I wanted to give some of that back. I wanted to give someone else the chance to experience what I’d experienced. More than that, writing became my way of dealing with things. I wasn’t writing that much, but whenever that teenage angst overcame me, and I was overwhelmed with some emotion or another, I turned to writing.



Over the years I wrote short stories for friends, in which they got together with their crushes; took Literature in school and wrote some more short stories, and a couple of years ago, I dabbled in fanfiction for a bit. I wrote shitty poetry and whiny diary entries and a story about our car Brunnhilde (don’t judge, she was part of the family). And then, of course, I started blogging. The one thing I never wrote was a book. I started countless books, but, like so many others, I never had the motivation to write past chapter two.


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Survey Results + Discussion!

September 3, 2015 discussion, fun, miscellaneous 19

GUYS. This is it! The post you’ve all been waiting for with bated breath, the post that’s gonna change it all, the post that… yeah, okay, I’ll stop. NO I WON’T I’M EXCITED. For my first blogoversary, I asked you to take a survey about this blog, and 15 of you participated – muchas gracias! I thought you might like to see a selection of the results, so I’m sharing them with you. To make this a little more interesting, I’ve taken it upon me to create some charts.

How often do you comment on my blog?

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Gendered Books

July 31, 2015 books, discussion 20

Talk To Me

is a no-nonsense discussion feature on this blog. No-nonsense means I’m too lazy to make it look pretty. It’s exactly what the title suggests: I’m going to pose a question or tell you my own opinion about something, and I want to know what you think about it! Obviously feel free to write up your own post on the topic and link it in the comments.


Topic

I went to the bookstore yesterday. Now usually this would be a celebratory experience. And it still was (yay, new books!), but while I was there I found something that irked me. Irked me quite a lot that is. So naturally I had to share it with you.

Standing before the English section (because obviously I can’t be bothered to read books in my first language, that would be ridiculous), I saw a book that sparked my interest. It was called “End of Time” and – thinking it might somehow be related to Doctor Who – I pulled it out to take a closer look. It turned out not to be Doctor Who related at all, but a German/English mixed-language book for English learners. Which is an awesome concept. EXCEPT. Right there on the cover it said “Boy Zone”. Apparently it was mainly targeted at teenage boys. I remember similar marketing concepts from my childhood, books mainly targeted at girls that were mostly about first love and growing up.

My Opinion

Now I know a lot of products are randomly and unnecessarily gendered. But given the role books have played in my life, gendering books just seems like a bit of a personal insult to me. I understand that marketing theory can’t stress the role of defining target groups enough, but for fuck’s sake people. I don’t believe in binary genders, and I’m of the opinion that gender is mainly socially constructed (of which this is a prime example really), but let’s just for a moment neglect that debate. Why the fuck is scifi only for boys? Why is there a “chick lit” genre? Why the hell can’t we all just accept that stories are stories and can be enjoyed by all genders alike? Yes, I’m aware that you can just buy the book anyway, but I’m operating under the assumption that a lot of people wouldn’t, especially teenagers who tend to be more insecure of their identity and self-worth and would often be sujected to bullying.

In the case of this book, there is a clear label on the cover defining it as a book for boys, but often the label is in our minds. If you show someone The Princess Diaries and Maze Runner, there’s no doubt which one would be considered more of a girl’s and which one would be considered more of a boy’s book. It’s just absurd to me that we’d limit good stories this way. It’s like saying Harry Potter can only be enjoyed by children or YA literature holds no worth for people who are older than the target group. A great story is a great story and a shitty story is a shitty story. C.S. Lewis said “A children’s story that can only be enjoyed by children is not a good children’s story in the slightest.” Similarly, a story that can only be enjoyed by one gender is not a good story. It also doesn’t exist, because the problem doesn’t lie with the story, it lies with society’s understanding of for whom it is acceptable to read it.

I know that this is a well-known and frequently discussed problem, but evidently it’s still a problem. It extends far beyond books – I’m often perplexed when I watch a movie and someone comments it’s a movie for men rather than women, because there’s action in it or it doesn’t primarily focus on romance. A lot of the time the thought never even occured to me. I feel inadequate when I’m more interested in a game night than watching Sex and the City. And I’m not saying I don’t enjoy things targeted at women. I absolutely do. I just don’t exclusively enjoy them, and I think that is true for everyone. “Educating” people that it’s more acceptable for one gender than another to like certain kinds of stories or do certain kinds of things makes me incredibly sad, because a lot of people will miss out on great books and experiences or feel ashamed that they’re enjoying them. It also simply just pissed me off, and writing is my tool to deal with my emotions, so there ya go.

Your Turn!

What’s your take on this? Do you think it’s okay to gender products in the interest of marketing and sales, or do you think it’s unnecessary? Have you come across gendered books before?

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Legitimate Reasons Not to Write

June 9, 2015 books, discussion, fun, miscellaneous 28

No Time

You would be writing if you could. Really. It’s just… there’s no time. In between work, education, your family, and your social obligations there just aren’t enough hours in the day. But don’t worry. If you had the time, you’d already have written at least three bestsellers. You’re going to have time someday. And the world better prepare for when you’re a millionaire.

No Muse

You specifically took this time to write. You cleared your schedule, cleaned your home and organized your stationery. There are even some motivational quotes pinned to the side of your desktop. Unfortunately for your future writing career, you’re just not feeling it today. The blinking cursor on a backdrop of white, blank page might as well be your best friend with how much time you’ve been spending together. Ah well, maybe some other day. There’s no need to torture yourself with putting down words you know aren’t going to be up to your standard anyway. You’ll just make up for it when your muse returns.

Bad Environment

Your fingers would already be flying across the keyboard; it’s just… your writing space sucks. Your office is too dark, the coffee shop is too loud and the library is too quiet. Besides, the laptop is cramping your style anyway. You could see yourself with a notepad, somewhere on the windswept cliffs of Cornwall, writing poetry. Or maybe on a summer meadow, leaning against the trunk of a tree as you come up with the outline for your next seven books. This just won’t do.

Shiny New Ideas

You’re well into your new book. You’ve already written five chapters and the genius twist you’re planning to implement in chapter 14 fills you with a sense of evil joy pride. But… there’s this other idea you had, and it was even better than this one. You should really write it down before you forget everything. In fact, was the old one even that good? Maybe you should try to write a couple of chapters of the new book first, see how it feels… Of course you’ll return and finish this one though, no question about it. If you had run with another idea every time something shinier came along, you’d never have completed an enti- oh, right.

NaNoWriMo Limits Your Creativity

You decided to finally participate in NaNoWriMo, because you’re sure it will give you that extra surge of motivation you need to finish your book. Less than 2000 words a day – piece of cake, right? Definitely doable – after all, you’ve written more than that on several occasions. It should take you what, an hour a day? Please, you can write for an hour in your sleep. The first week goes well. You miss a couple of days during the second week, but there’s still plenty of time to make up for it, right? By the middle of the third week you’re 15 000 words behind and finishing your book in the next one and a half weeks doesn’t seem very likely. You’re not sure where you went wrong. You’ve been thinking about writing so much, surely there should be something to show for it?? It’s okay, you’ll just put in some extra time during the weekend. You spend the entire weekend catching up on Game of Thrones, because otherwise people would spoil all the new episodes. You give up by the beginning of week 4, because this was a stupid idea to begin with. Writing is a creative endeavor. Creativity can’t be contained to a schedule.

You Have to Do More Research

See, the thing is you don’t want to just write a book. You want to write a good book. What if you mention those windswept Cornwall cliffs you’ve been imagining as your perfect writing space and then find out that you’ve been wrong all your life and there’s no wind in Cornwall? What if you set your murder mystery in Brussels and refer to it as the capital of Germany before you realize it’s actually in Belgium? You don’t want go making a fool of yourself, so you should do some more research. Yes, you’ve already spent weeks researching that one scene, but… there is no such thing as thorough enough. Definitely spend some more time Googling, and don’t let anyone tell you you’re procrastinating. They’ll all be jealous of the believable atmosphere in your book once it’s published. Which it will be. Soon.

I’m pretty sure I’m guilty of absolutely everything on this list. Hell, I didn’t even start NaNoWriMo to begin with. What are YOUR best writing excuses?

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Why Bambi Is Actually A Horror Movie

May 4, 2015 discussion, fun, movies, reviews 15

Remember Bambi? Bunnies hopping, birds singing, deer frolicking,… or that’s what you think. I watched Bambi with my roommate last week, and we spent about 20 minutes curled up in little trauma balls afterwards. Since my way of processing things is to write about them, you get to find out EXACTLY why.



Rape, death, annoying little children… this movie has it all. Let’s make a list! Do I need to warn for spoilers for Bambi? Consider yourself warned. Where was I? Right, list.
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Talk to Me: How many blogs do you really follow?

February 20, 2015 discussion 8

Talk To Me

is a no-nonsense discussion feature on this blog. No-nonsense means I’m too lazy to make it look pretty. It’s exactly what the title suggests: I’m going to pose a question or tell you my own opinion about something, and I want to know what you think about it! Obviously feel free to write up your own post on the topic and link it in the comments.


Topic

Let’s start the weekend off with a discussion! Today’s topic is about how many people you can realistically follow and the time you decide that you want to follow them and where. When I look at other people’s twitter profiles and see they’re following thousands of people, I often find myself wondering how many people they ACTUALLY follow (as in: read their blog posts and maybe interact in some way). I’m pretty sure no one’s able to actually keep up with a twitter or bloglovin’ feed that encompasses 2000 people, but I do wonder: how many people can you actually, realistically follow closely?

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Talk to Me: Blogging Communities

February 9, 2015 books, discussion, movies 10

Talk To Me

is a no-nonsense discussion feature on this blog. No-nonsense means I’m too lazy to make it look pretty. It’s exactly what the title suggests: I’m going to pose a question or tell you my own opinion about something, and I want to know what you think about it! Obviously feel free to write up your own post on the topic and link it in the comments.


Topic

Today’s post is about different blogging communities! Okay, so if you follow this blog or have stumbled upon it before, you might have noticed that, while I mostly post about books, I also post about movies and random stuff I like. If I’ve posted about something that is not book related several times in a row, I wonder whether I can still say I’m a book blogger. It doesn’t really make much of a difference, but since I feel most at home in the book blogging community, it’s worth consideration to me. I think I do consider myself a book blogger, but who says you only have to be one thing? Which brings me to my actual question: What kinds of blogging communities are there? And do most people just keep to one of them, or are they part of different communities?

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