a bookish dream world

i read and freak out about it

a bookish dream world

Category: #3 Bookish Discussions

Fandom Culture and the way Society looks down on fangirling : The BTS Example

This is actually kind of a self-discovery and realization I had while writing another post so I guess in a way, this is addressed to me too, as a reminder.

Recently, I started listening to BTS (and so I was writing about BTS on Twitter) and for some reason, I wanted to write about how I was NOT obsessed with them but how I did enjoy their music and how they made me feel.  And it struck me how a part of me was… ashamed ? DONT GET ME WRONG, THERE IS LITERALLY NOTHING TO BE ASHAMED ABOUT and I logically knew this fact.

However, for some reason, I couldn’t process it in that moment. I kept thinking about my Fangirl Age back when I was 13 and all the different Instagram fan accounts I had (not for BTS but for various TV shows like Doctor Who, Supernatural, Teen Wolf or movies like Harry Potter etc.). Now, I’m calling it my Fangirl Age but let’s be honest here, I never grew out of it. 

I’ve been very interested about how we as women (as a society) internalize a lot of bullshit that we then have to learn to debunk.

I think that the way people look down on fandom culture and specifically what we call “fangirling” is a testimony to how some people look at girls, as if being a “fan” is inherently synonymous with being childish and naive and other clichés when it comes to girls being passionate about something. (And by the way, I talk about fangirling and “girls” but I feel like fangirling transcends being a girl, or a guy, or a non-binary pal. I feel like I could’ve worded this better, I’m sorry I don’t know how.)

I’m taking the example of BTS because they’re a famous boyband (rightfully so) and because ARMY is mostly but not exclusively female (for some data) but it goes for every artist, every thing that we get obsessed with. Even using the word “obsessed” makes me feel some type of unease because it’s not obsession. It’s love and admiration and feeling understood and seen and being happy to be alive, to feel these weird feelings that we don’t always understand. It’s appreciation and it’s that indescribable feeling of Being Grateful and feeling so much love in your heart that you wish you could throw hearts around and burst (I’ve been extra emo lately, don’t mind me). 

And let me tell you something else that mustn’t be much of a surprise to you. Life is fucking tough and so, if you find something that makes you happy, don’t stop doing it. I’m not talking about murder, don’t murder please. I’m talking about listening to the music you love, and watching the movies you love and doing the things you love to do. Do them.

This also happens with the books I read. Reading YA, as a teen and then as a 20 year-old, I paid more attention to the disdain directed towards YA books because that disdain was also directed at Me, and at Readers of YA. People find the silliest thing to focus on, like the fact that you love to read fantasy or smut or God knows what. And listen, I’m not victimizing myself or others AT ALL. 

BUT YOUR TASTES IN BOOKS ARE VALID. I love reading, it’s not a secret and I love the book community. I love that there’s a place where we can all gush about our favorite characters and cry about bad plots, characters dying and morally grey characters who deserved better. I love that there’s a place where I don’t feel labeled as a nerd, or lame just because I like to read. But that’s not my point. What I’m trying to say is that WHATEVER YOU LIKE TO READ, IT’S VALID. Lately, I’ve been seeing a lot of “I can’t believe some people read that stuff” and I SHALL NOT BEAR IT ANY LONGER. WHATEVER YOU LIKE TO READ/WATCH/LISTEN TO IS VALID.

SO WHAT IF YOU LIKE TO READ A CERTAIN GENRE ? Honestly, when it comes to reading/entertainment, the only thing that matters to me is enjoyment. And it goes for movies, music, art in general, LIFE IN GENERAL.  

And if you’re not mature enough to understand people can have different tastes and we all enjoy different things, get out of my face. If you’re not busy enough that you have to focus on and attack teenagers and twenty-something about their reading/music tastes, get busier

Research Posts I Found Interesting : 

✨This one by pastelcoloredpain on Medium.com
This one by Alice Oseman on ChildrensbooksIreland.ie
This one by Ava Butera on AtTheBarricade.net

What do you think ? Please let me know in the comments below ! 

Why I Think Unhauling Books Can Be Very Healthy And Beneficial

Disclaimer : this is not an attack toward people who enjoy having pretty shelves/having a lot of books. You do you boo, there’s nothing wrong with that. I’m talking about what works for me 🙂

I moved houses a couple of weeks ago. We finally did it, moved to our new apartment and we’re not planning on moving again (for the record, I moved three times in the last two and a half years and it was exhausting). To make a long story short, back when we first moved in 2017, I had put a few of my books in boxes and down the basement they went, until we got a bigger apartment to store them in. And so 2019 rolled in, we have a new apartment and incidentally, I got my carefully-boxed-in-2017 books back.

Except, two and a half years is a long time. And I guess, when you say it like that, it’s not, right ? Except back in 2017, I was 18 and I’m now 20 years old and boy, have I changed A LOT.

Getting all my old books back felt weird. It also felt suffocating. Suddenly here I was with too many books, many of which I didn’t like anymore or I hadn’t liked in the first place but kept to maintain a semblance of “I-Have-My-Shit-Together-Look-At-My-Shelves” when really it was the opposite (having our shit together ? not in this house, ma’am).

I realized that my headspace has tremendously changed and I no longer feel like I have to keep these books. I looked at most of my old books and knew they didn’t belonged there with me anymore.

Un-hauling these books (i.e giving them to charity/selling them) felt so freaking good and it’s not something I thought I would ever feel. But the truth was, I was suffocated by them. And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with giving your books again. Sometimes, I’m under the impression that there’s a pressure when you’re in the book community to have pretty shelves (you know, the “Instagrammable” type of shelves) but I then realized, it was a pressure I was putting on myself. No one was forcing me to keep them. And so I gave them away and it was… freeing. There’s something so nice about knowing that the books you own are the books you love.

Anyways, that’s it for today !
What do you feel works for you ? Do you un-haul books often ?

Tell me below, I’d love to talk !

By the way, not that anyone cares but I wanted to let y’all know that I’m going on vacation for the next two weeks so if I don’t answer to the (non-existing) comments, that’s why ! I’ll also post less (worse than usual I mean). I do have one post schedule but ya know.

Let Girls Be Angry (#3)

I. AM. TIRED. I am tired of societal norms forcing girls to fit into a mold that wasn’t realistically designed. A mold that was made for us to feel inadequate, a mold that shouldn’t exist. I’ve given a lot of thoughts lately about anger and how it’s portrayed in YA.

Anger : noun : a strong feeling of displeasure and belligerence aroused by a wrong ; wrath ; ire. 

Getting into reading allowed me to  understand I was far from being alone in my anger.  I read about characters who faced problems after problems, who fell, got up again and kept going. I read about characters who stopped trying. I realized that my anger was valid. And so is yours. 

Why Portraying Angry Female Characters Is Important : 

I didn’t see myself until I read The Sun Is Also A Star by Nicola Yoon and read about Natasha. She said :  “Psychiatrists tell you not to bottle up your feelings because they’ll eventually explode. They’re not wrong. I’ve been angry for months. It feels like I’ve been angry since the beginning of time.

Female characters didn’t hold any appeal if they were angry. Society’s double standards didn’t allow girls to be angry without labelling them as hysterical or unstable. Girls and women weren’t allowed to be angry to the same degree men were. Still aren’t to this day. 

Reading about angry female characters made me feel valid and as horrible as it is that I had to read about it in order to feel that way, that’s what it did for me.  From Natasha (The Sun Is Also A Star) to Eleven (Stranger Things), I understood I could be angry. 

Being Aware of One’s Privilege : 

Reading has broadened my horizons because it educated me. Behind every book, there’s an experience, a thing or several things that happened to you, and you harness that energy from what you felt, and you put that in a book. I only understood that my anger (as in the anger that is mine, the self I am) and your anger (as in the other’s anger, the self that I’m not) don’t benefit from the same treatment. While I can be angry to a degree, there are some women who can’t, women who will be treated with unspeakable disdain for expressing their pain and rage. 

Female rage is valid. Don’t silence other women who feel angry with sarcastic comments and questions like “Are you on your period?”. Women, some more than others, know about the weight of silence, about how sometimes we wish we could scream, scream until we broke or until our heart gave out. Women know about shutting up, about being afraid to speak up, about letting the Egotistical Macho Men ™ walk over us because it feels like if we said anything, we’d be looked down upon. I can only speak through my experiences and the ones I’ve witnessed. 

I want to keep reading about female characters being angry and proud and daring and ambitious because it’s real, because the women I look up to are like that. I want to keep reading because it helps me deal with the hard truths and it gives me courage. 

Below, I’m going to link articles I read about female anger in literature (YA or not) : 

What do you think ? Tell me below !

How To Read When You’re Broke 101 (#2)

You know how we all say we’re broke and we shouldn’t be buying books but we do anyways because well… BOOKS. That kind of says it all, doesn’t it ?

Until now, let’s just say that my bank account and I weren’t on the best of terms but we weren’t on the brink of divorce. Now ? Oh. Now, we’re fighting for who gets the kids (BOOKS) and how I am fully deserving of an allowance.

With new releases, a constant desire to self-destruct and that one gorgeous edition of Six of Crows, I’ve been struggling. In March, I told myself I was going on a book-buying ban… which lasted three days. I know, pathetic. From the 28th of March to the 28th of August, I had set my mind on not buying any more books. And it worked. I didn’t buy a single book. However, after a quick look at my bank account at the end of August, I decided to extend my book-buying ban.

(I’m actually thankful I had a slump during that same month because I would’ve suffered x1000 if I hadn’t)

However, my poor little reader heart is now GREATLY suffering from the lack of ability to buy new books and it made me reconsider my life choices. This is a little guide to help you, if you too are in a great battle with that amount in your bank account. As much as I love reading, I can’t be spending all my coins on books (I WISH).

TIP #1 : Read classics

So I know classics aren’t everyone’s cup of tea and I get it, trust me. However, most classics on Amazon are free if you have a Kindle. If you don’t, some of them are available on PDF so you can read them on your computer. This tip, I admit, is a bit tricky since you do have to have either a Kindle or a computer which means… more money you have to spend. It sucks, I know.

TIP #2 : Go to your nearest library

This might seem like a given. Back in my old town, we had a little library and guess what ? I had never set foot in it. 18 years of living there and I had never gotten a subscription to this freaking library. And guess what it had ? YA ! Books ! I ! Actually ! Wanted ! To ! Read ! Unfortunately, we moved the next year and I haven’t had the time to go on a scavenger hunt to discover the libraries around me (although I’m pretty sure they exist !!!) Libraries are a great way to read if you can’t be spending money on books. I personally don’t have trouble with not owning the books. All that matters to me is that I get to read them.

TIP #3 : Try to get ARCs

ARCs means Advanced Readers Copy and are basically a way for reviewers and readers to get copies of the books before they’re put on the market (so before they’re published. I don’t know why I’m using all this language). Websites like Edelweiss or Netgalley provide ARCs. I personally prefer Edelweiss because they tend to allow more ARCs to international readers (meaning not from the US). If you’re scared of ARCs and of Edelweiss (oh boy do I get it, I was the same), this article by Marija @ Inside My Library Mind helped me so freaking much.

TIP #4 : Invest in a Kindle

I was very suspicious of Kindles (can’t trust the technology and all that hehe). I couldn’t stand the idea of not having a physical copy in my hands (THE SMELL, THE SOUND OF THE PAGES????? ANYONE ????) but investing in a Kindle was a great choice. Although they are expensive, they’re also a great way to save up money in the future : books you buy on the Kindle are less expensive and like I said, most of the classics are for free !

TIP #5 : Go the thrift store

In France, we don’t really have thrift stores like the UK or the US have for example. I’ve only used this tip when I went to the UK last summer and I bought Twilight (I had a craving, don’t judge me) for less than a pound ! If you can, go to a thrift store, you might me able to uncover some hidden treasures. Even though I don’t have a lot of experience with thrift shopping, I do however with salvaging my mom’s old books from when she was a teenager. She kept a box of her old books in the basement of my grandparents’ house for years (a tragedy) and I had never heard about them ! Consider asking your family members if they have some secret stash of books.

TIP #6 : AsK a FriEnD iF yoU CaN BorRow ThEIR bOOks

UM….. OKAY so I don’t lend my books easily. And by that, I mean I mostly don’t (unless you’re my best friend, I know where you live and I can raid your place like the SWAT — IM MAKING THE RULES!). Okay, that was dramatic. That being said, ask a friend if you can borrow their books if they’re reading stuff you like ! If they’re close friends, they (probably) won’t (don’t hold me to it) say no.

Those are my tips to save money if you’re an avid reader. If you have any tips of your own, please comment them below!
xoxo, Noa

Friendship in YA (#1)

Most YA books I’ve read have one thing in common : romance. And I’m not fundamentally against reading about romance in YA. Romance is great and I would be lying if I were to say I hate reading about romance. I don’t. I’m a ride or die, will-go-head-over-heels for my OTP, will scream when they finally kiss and probably cry a lot along the way type of reader. 

However, I find that as I grow older, I’m tired of romance. I’m not speaking about romance as a genre but romance in Young Adult novels because guess what ? Romance isn’t the center of everybody’s lives. It’s not what we all aspire to have and our existence don’t revolve solely around that. I want to read more books centered around friendship and I’m sure they exist somewhere. I wish that YA books about friendship were as advertised as the romance you can find in YA. 

💎Friendship is important in YA because it’s important in real life💎

Friendship is in my opinion one of the most sacred and important things in life. Friends get you through the hard times and enjoy the good times with you. They’ll stick with you your entire life. If you’re blessed to find a friend, no excuse me, A Friend, or maybe Several Friends, you’ll quickly find out they’re the most important person in your life. Friends, and I mean True Friends, Your Ride-Or-Dies, the ones you know/feel in your heart will stick by you no matter what, no matter who you choose to become, or who you are, they are I M P O R T A N T.

Unfortunately friendship isn’t a predominant theme in YA. It sure is more than it used to be but it still feels like it’s not enough.

I’m not making this post with the sole purpose of complaining : I know it’s also up to me as a reader to find these books.

I haven’t read all the books in the world and I haven’t read all the YA novels either so I might just need to read more and then come back to this discussion. As of now, the only books I’ve read “centered” around friendship are the Raven Boys or Harry Potter (see my GR shelf where there are 29 books that I noted as “friendships”).

💎And here’s the other thing : books don’t need to revolve around friendship💎

You might be thinking “What the hell is she complaining about? She’s not making any sense” (maybe you’re not thinking that at all) but hear me out please. What would be nice is to read more about developed friendships, that feel real (as real as romantic relationships feel when you read about them). For example, Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom have actual friendships and friendship arcs where the characters care about each other and grow fond of each other (don’t tell me Kaz and Jesper are not friends). I’m so tired of reading books where a so-called “friend” is thrown in there but they’re just your token friend, the one put there to make it feel like the MC has friends. 

What do you think about the depiction of friendship in YA ? Any books I should know of ? Leave a comment below ! 

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén