reading for fun

I often hear people say how some books are ‘important’ and should be read even though they may be harrowing, miserable and depressingly long reads.


For me reading has always been my hobby for as long as i can remember. Its a ‘me’ moment when i can sit down, open a book and slide into another world, someone elses life full of humour, pathos, excitement etc.

Its about enjoyment for me and if the book i’m reading be it a proof copy or one i’ve purchased myself does not hit the spot and i find i’m not enjoying it then I stop reading and i’ll pass it on.  Why on earth would you put yourself through torture reading about things that bring you down, make you feel worse than before you sat down to read.

Think about it! If your hobby was knitting and a friend said, why dont you try crochet its a really good hobby and you gave it a go but couldnt get on with it, you’d say no its not for me i’ll stick to knitting, Ta. You wouldnt spend weeks, months or even years forcing yourself to crochet when it made you feel miserable because you’d not be enjoying that hobby anymore.

Thats how i feel about reading, if a book disappoints me or is too serious, miserable, graphic, cruel etc it has to go.  My books like my flims and TV series have to entertain me and make me feel uplifted afterwards or they havent done their job.

So i say this to anyone who suggests we should all read this or that author because their books are ‘important and should be read’  I will be the judge of whats important and i wont read what doesnt interest me.

There is enough terrible things going on in the world today for me to ruin my hobby by sitting and reading fictional accounts of more misery.

Blue Monday? what a load of old tosh!

So, someone, somewhere presumably in the murky, tacky world of newspapers has declared that today is Blue Monday have they?

Based on the fact that the weather may not be wonderful ie cold, snowy, rainy, windy

Well it is January folks so cold, snow and wind are part of this thing called Winter. Hey, what a surprise eh?

And also based on the fact of people bemoaning their post Christmas debts?

I’m afraid I have no sympathy with them then. Christmas is what you make it. If you have loads of money then spend it on your perfect Christmas but if you dont then learn to have a smaller celebration and remember what Christmas is really meant to be all about.

Anyone who maxes out credit cards to buy heaps of pressies and food deserves to feel depressed by now and can blame no one but themselves.

I refuse to let the media tell me what to think or feel. Its Monday 18th January. It may be cold or snowy where you are but if you are happy and healthy then rejoice the advent of another day on earth.

Why book bloggers should NOT get paid

There has been much talk lately on Twitter and other places about book bloggers getting paid to review books. I totally disagree I’m afraid.
I don’t know much about the publishing industry but I’m fairly sure they don’t have the budget of say, a fashion house or beauty product company, to be able to afford to pay bloggers for reviewing. As things stand we book bloggers; and I am proud to be one, get sent fabulous books, for free and which we are allowed to keep forever. This is in return for a review or some kind of publicity for this book. I think that’s a fair deal. A win win for all.
Imagine if publishers were to pay bloggers. The amount of people requesting books would go through the roof but if only say 20% of those were to be chosen for a paid review the other 80% would be up in arms and quite likely very jealous. If they were offered a copy to review anyway but without pay I reckon a large percentage would refuse. I’m not saying all bloggers would feel like this of course but money can make some people change and not for the better.
How would it even work? Would you get paid more if the book were a 600 page epic rather than a slimmer 200 page novel?
Would you get more for a hardback than a paperback? 
What about eBooks?
Greed would set in and formerly happy book bloggers, who at one time loved just getting an early copy of a book to read would turn away from doing so unless the money was there. The level of reviews and publicity would diminish which in turn would damage the publishing companies and the authors as less reviews out there may mean fewer sales etc. etc. It would be very bad for everyone.
Smaller more independent publishers would certainly suffer as they might not have the budget to pay anyone as opposed to larger more well established ones. They would be ignored totally by bloggers who, once money was added to the mix, would shy away from anyone who couldn’t or wouldn’t pay them.
I think blogger reviews may possibly influence potential buyers in a very small way but its a little arrogant to think they actually help sell books on any kind of large scale resulting in the need for payment. 

I hear bloggers say that the spend a lot of time online writing reviews and spreading the word about amazing books. Its their blog, their hobby and you shouldnt spend any more time than you can sensibly spare unless you want to. Unless you really enjoy it. And if you do then I dont see its a chore which needs recompense.

Don’t get me wrong, I would love to be paid for doing something I enjoy but I can only see it working as part of a paid job in a company, not as a casual employee.
When I first began book blogging back in 2014 I was horrified at the levels of jealousy between bloggers about who got a place on certain high profile book blog tours, so imagine how much worse it would be if money was involved!
That’s not even mentioning whether we liked the book or not. I have disliked books i’ve been sent on many occasions. What would we do then? Review it and lie through our teeth just to get the money? How many would not review at all as they felt it would be unfair? Would Publishers who did pay still want us to be fair and honest? You wouldn’t pay someone to slag off your book would you?
All honesty and trust would be gone and that would be sad.
The relationship between book bloggers, authors and publishers is such a special one and right now feels like a golden time for us all to work together towards promoting the things we all love. Books! So lets not rock the boat (no pun intended)
What do you think?
Do you agree or disagree with me?

Social or Un-Social Media?

Over the years I have embraced the internet. If it had been invented when i was a teenager back in the day I dont think i’d ever have got any school work done.

I am on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Google + and I have had a series of blogs, websites and Tumblrs. All of which i’ve loved using.

I dont know where i’d be without my friends in cyberspace, especially on Twitter which is what I use the most. I have a largish following of splendid folk, mostly bookish in nature who i chat to and get book recommendations from as well as wonderful Publicists who kindly send me early proofs of fantastic books. I am very lucky to be a part of the book blogging scene right now which is in a golden era.

Thats all lovely, but there has been a dark side to the internet for me and it happened a few months ago…

I wrote a blog post about something that I disagreed with. It wasnt meant to be a personal thing about anyone in particular but I felt that I needed to air my views on the subject in the hope that i could influence others not to do the same.
Now I am entitled to my opinion right? freedom of speech is still legal in this country i believe?

Imagine my horror when I got some nasty Tweets about the post. I lost so called ‘friends’ who clearly werent prepared to accept my views. 

But the worst thing of all was that someone actually began a blog especially to respond to my post and wrote just one huge post running down everything i had said!

They called the blog a similar name to my own one and posted a large screenshot of my post on there with a link to my blog for all to visit!

They called me names and made it a personal attack on me!

But they didnt allow me to reply, they closed the comments section and blocked me from responding to them on Twitter!  I wasnt allowed my side of the story!

This upset me badly as my post did not mention anyone in particular whereas theirs had my name emblazoned everywhere, it was horrible!

I decided to remove the tweet which shared my original blog post as this was causing upset too.

I also decided to remove the blog post because I never meant to cause harm.

In the end though I actually had to re-name my blog!

This meant I had to spend ages going around letting lots of people know of the new address and title which was a right pain but i simply had no choice.

It shocked me a lot but I havent let it get me down or drive me away though. The decisions of a few do not outweigh the enormous enjoyment i get from chatting online. I still write my blog and thoroughly enjoy it and I still believe I have a right to my opinion on there too.

The internet can be a place of fun and friendly interaction but beware the dark side!


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