New Year Thoughts…

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On this cold (18 degrees Fahrenheit) winter day I’ve been looking back on this last year. It’s still so surprising to me that, after a lifetime of loving books, it took finding Booktok to realize maybe other might like to hear my thoughts. It genuinely never occurred to me that people might enjoy, and value, what I had to say about the books I’m reading.

Over this last year, I’ve made wonderful bookish friends and started making regular content showing all the books I’ve read and loved. I’m still learning this whole blogging thing so though my blog is still pretty basic looking…I’m having fun learning as I go.

Through this process, I’ve learned what an ARC is and how to get them. Between Goodreads giveaways, Netgalley, and a few indie authors reaching out to me I’ve gotten quite a few ARCs and most of them were amazing stories I’ve shared with you. Just yesterday I got my first email from a publisher offering to send me an ARC…let me tell you I was over the moon! I’ve been too nervous to reach out and request ARCs directly from publishers, mostly fearing my social media stats aren’t quite high enough to get approved outside of Netgalley or giveaways…but maybe it’s time I try. I’ll never know what’d they would say if I never try right? Maybe that will be my new goal for this year, craft an email/letter to send to publishers to request ARCs.

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This last year, I feel like, I’ve become better in tune with what genres, and subgenres, I enjoy as well as really diversifying the kinds of stories I read. I’ve also gotten more confident in pointing out harmful tropes/stereotypes/potential triggers I find in books. If I find a problem with something I’d rather put it in a review so others have warning before diving in.

Another lesson I’ve learned, which almost sounds silly, is that it’s okay to DNF books…there is no reason to force yourself through a story you’re not connecting to, or finding problematic. For years I would push myself through books, I wasn’t connecting to or that made me uncomfortable, hoping the ending would make the entire reading process worth it…and 9/10 I’d wasted my time. There are too many amazing stories out there, waiting for me to read them, to waste time on stories that weren’t meant for me.

Making friends in the bookish community has been amazing. When I first joined Booktok, I was worried if I messaged people they might find me annoying, I tried my hardest to not be a bother. I still don’t message as many people as I’d like but I’ve started to grow more confident in making friends and messaging people I’ve never talked to before. I mean if we’re already mutuals there’s got to be something about me they like right? I look forward to getting more comfortable reaching out to new people so that I can have even more people to chat books, and life, with.

This post really was just a verbal dump *nervous laugh* but it felt good to get it all out. I hope you’re all doing well, staying warm, and enjoying a good book!

Photo by Craig Adderley from Pexels

Published by Noelle Loves Books

Growing up, Japanese and Indigenous, it was hard to find books that showcased stories and worlds that accurately portrayed Noelle’s experiences. Fantasy quickly became her main love, as you could really be anyone, anywhere. As the years went on, and technology grew, Noelle was finally able to see more stories and authors that looked and felt like her. Noelle is open to all genre’s though she can mostly be found reading own voice, fantasy, and romance. Ratings: 5 Stars: Completely blew me away 4 Stars: Loved the story but didn't feel completely blown away by it 3 Stars: Liked the overall concept of the story but either had poor execution, had a lot of plot holes, or was written poorly 2 Stars: I struggled to understand the plot, poorly written, or just had really unlikeable characters along with a poor writing 1 Star: Horribly written, major plot holes, or extremely unlikeable characters and plots.

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