I was tagged by the magnificent Cait from Paper Fury for the 25 bookish facts about me tag. I’ve tried to come up with the most original, not-known facts about me, but I guess there might be some facts you already know about me. I’m not going to repeat that I’m a huge Potter head or that my favorite genres are fantasy & fairytale retellings. I’m also not repeating these 10 confessions, my reader problems, these 5 confessions or talk about how fiercely I hate spoilers. Spoilers are like that last piece of chocolate. You saved the best for last - and then you find out someone else ate it. You can imagine it was hard to come up with 25 new facts, but here it is:
2. Up until five years ago I only read Dutch (mostly adult) books. I’m not really sure what brought the change, but I made a complete turn and now I hardly read any Dutch books. English books feel better and more natural. I disliked how childish YA books read in Dutch for me.
3. I hate answering the ‘what is your favorite author?’ question, but if I have to come up with one it would be Juliet Marillier. I have talked about her many times before, but I think she deserves more attention. Her books are pure magical and were actually my gateway into fairytale retellings. Daughter of the forest will always be special to me and I’m planning to do a reread soon, so I can review the books to make you read it. I already did this with Wildwood dancing and Heart’s blood.
4. I disliked the Sci-fi genre, until Marissa Meyer opened my eyes. I always had certain associations when I thought about Sci-fi and I thought it wasn’t meant for me, but now I’m willing to try more. Stitching Snow was a huge success and my next books will be Illuminae and These broken stars.
5. If you would have talked about e-readers to me years ago, I would have told you I never wanted to own one. Hehe, naive, cute younger Mel. I still prefer buying physical books over e-books, but I can’t think about my reading life without appreciating my Kobo Glo HD.
6. My bookshelves are a mess and it makes me feel anxious and stressed out. I’m in the middle of living together with my parents and living with my boyfriend, so my books are spread EVERYWHERE and I hate it. Hatehatehateit. It gives me joy to have them in one place, displayed in the way I want. Not thrown around in different houses like a tornado went through my shelves.
7. I believe I was born as a bookworm. I’m happy I was gifted with a love for reading. I am surrounded by non-readers or occasional readers. My mother always read bedtime stories and took me and my sister to the library, but I turned into a book dragon and my sister went to the other side. It is a lifestyle.
8. This brings me to the fact that books make me ridiculously happy. Everything that has to do with books makes me delighted. My wallet is crying because of this, but buying books, putting them on my shelves, petting them, reading them, loving them, obsession over them, fangirling and talking about them, walking around in bookstores: best feeling.
9. My wishlist is also 90% made up out of books. Most people don’t even ask what I want for a holiday anymore. I either get ‘money to buy some books’ or I have to give them a list with titles. They know me so well. (Other 10% are bookish items, DVD’s or small random things like scented candles or a necklace.)
10. Books makes me feel less awkward in conversations. I have a feeling it’s at least something I can talk about (unless that other person is a book hater, which makes the conversation immediately less enjoyable. Shoo!) They have given me the book community + my book club = best friends I could wish for. You guys get me, because we are all the same in our love for books and that acceptation is wonderful. Still a social awkward turtle though.
11. I am never ashamed of my hobby or the books I read. I did talk about this in my embarrassing books discussion, but it’s important to own what you love. Yes, I am a reader. No, I am not boring. Yes, I read YA. And no, that is not only meant for teenagers. Shut up.
12. I never eat while reading. I’m too afraid I will make the pages filthy with my hands or that I drop crumbs inside the book.
13. TBR piles confuse me, because I can never decide how I feel about them. Good thing: I always have something to read and I’m surrounded by new lives and journeys I can’t wait to explore. Bad thing: I feel restless that I still have so many unread books and I just keep buying new ones to add to the piles.
14. Having favorite authors is amazing and scary at the same time, because I always have that little part of me that is afraid their new book will disappoint me. Disappointment is terrible. It’s a good thing this has rarely happened over the years.
15. Being international sucks at times. Publishers can’t send ARC’s to your country, authors don’t visit, there are hardly any events, small offer of English YA books in most stores, a lot of giveaways and pre-order actions are only for UK/US and so on. Positive side is that I feel extra appreciation when some of these things do happen.
16. One of the reasons I bought my new camera (Canon 700d) was to become better at book photography. I’m still learning what I can do with the camera, but it has been a lot of fun so far. It’s also funny to see reactions from the people around me, because not all of them get it when I make another photo of a book in a bush. Some Instagram accounts I look up to: Aimeereads, Headinherbooks, Bookmarauder, Paperfury, Booksenchanted, Thebookishmisfit, Forevermint and Wordrevel.
17. I love writing reviews and I blog with something I recently dubbed as ‘post explosions.’ Reviews are great, because it makes me think about stories in a different way. There are weeks where I don’t write any posts and where I rely on my backlog. There are weeks where I easily write four posts on one day. It is a nice balance for me, because I never have to force myself to write and I have enough material to work with.
18. I prefer books with a focus on female MC’s over male MC’s 9 out of 10 times. There are always exceptions of course. When it comes to for instance The Lunar Chronicles or Six of Crows I love every character, but when the story is based on one POV I prefer it to be a female.
19. I need more retellings about unpopular fairytales with diversity. The more Beauty and the beast retellings the better, but I would also like to have a spotlight on lesser known tales. That’s why I loved Valiant, about the Clever little tailor or The wrath and the Dawn inspired on A thousand and one nights. There are so many awesome fairytales out there, they need some retelling love too.
20. I spend way too much time on Goodreads. It is my go-to website and I love browsing through lists and keeping up with what my friends are reading.
21. I’m still confused about novella’s and whether I should count them towards my Goodreads goal or not. I feel that novella’s should be 1. legally free to read on the internet or 2. bundled and sold as physical copy. I do count them on my GR, but sometimes it feels a little like cheating, because they can be read in 15 minutes.
22. Talking about that Goodreads goal, many people stress out over it. I honestly don’t care about it in a way that it makes me feel nervous. If I make it: great! If I don’t: better luck next year. It’s just a challenge, but not something I feel I HAVE to accomplish before the year ends. There are already enough things I can worry about, I’m not going to add my passion to that list.
23. I like to do my own research after finishing a book. Like, when I read a historical book I like to read about the true events. Or now with The Martian, I looked up things like: how long does it take to grow a potato and what are the best conditions to grow them? When it comes to biology I always pay extra attention, because if you add something to you story it’s important you make sure it is right. Background information does matter.
24. Important things in a book are world-building, characters and plot. I think I would rate it: 45% plot, 30% characters and 25% world-building. The last one is essential for me in fantasy though, which is why I would love to see maps in every fantasy book. I think it’s easier to read a book with a good plot and okay characters than the other way around. I still haven’t figured out if I’m more a plot-reader or a character-reader.
25. I could finish more books in a year. I could cut down on lots of things, like blogging time and watching TV shows, but I think that this is the reason why I never burn out on reading. I haven’t fallen into a slump for years and I think that’s the magical solution for me.
Do you prefer hardback over paperback? Do you eat while reading? Do you prefer a male or female POV? How do you feel about novella’s? What is the most important aspect in a story according to you? Let me know!