Agreed, it was a partial one where I was solo in just two cities out of ten, but it was a HUGE step for me, nevertheless. One I will never forget, especially because of the lessons I learned. The biggest lesson was that when you are doing something for the first time, you need to give yourself space and allow yourself to make mistakes. You need to learn to forgive yourself, because how could you have known? This is what I’ve told myself over the past 7 years and though I know I probably will make more mistakes, I also know this: I won’t make those same mistakes again.
Reading is different things to different people. For some, it is a necessity. For some, it is a hobby. For some others, it is an escape. And for yet others, it can be the whole world compressed into a few pages. This list isn’t exhaustive, not by a long shot, for every reader has their own way of looking at reading. Everyone’s experiences are different and everyone’s expectations from reading are different.
But I think we can agree on one thing: reading should be accessible to everyone who wants to read. And one important part of making reading accessible is making sure that a book’s font is readable by all audiences.
I made a video on reader shaming about 2.5 years ago and I used that script as a reference for this blog post. As I read through it, I realized some of it was outdated, but so much of it was so savage. I don’t remember how the video came out because I can’t bear to watch my own videos, but it crossed 1,000 views, so that’s something, I guess? 😛
I’ve always maintained that reading helps us become better people and I still stand by it. But over the past four years that I’ve actively been on social media, I’ve seen reader shaming happen so violently, so carelessly, so heartlessly, that it has made me wonder if that were the case after all. But then again, I meet people who are gorgeous, beautiful people and my faith is restored.
The Internet, however, is as brutal as it is helpful. For those of us wanting to share our thoughts about books and to find others like us, it can quickly become a swamp where reader shaming keeps trying to pull us down. It’s not that one person had to say something, although I must mention that there have been tens of comments insulting me and my intelligence because I didn’t like a book that they loved and that I had the *gall* to speak that way about it.
I’d written this article a few years ago and will keep updating it as and when time and my changing tastes demand. For now, here is the 2022 edition of the 10 places on my Bucket List. ❤
Not all those who wander are lost. – J.R.R. Tolkein
There are many things that give a person peace. Family, music, writing, friends, movies – the list is endless. But there is one section of people for whom peace equals the chaos of traveling, the excitement of roaming the world, the wonder of seeing new places, and the joy that comes with learning about new cultures. Within this section is another small one. One that finds happiness just in soaking up the new atmosphere. One that has dreams of having just their solitude for company as they travel and see new places.
I am in a position of privilege, to be honest. I am comfortable, I lack for nothing, my family is amazing, I have the full support of my family, and I get to do what I love.
But I’m exhausted, because I’m a woman, and irrespective of where a woman is in terms of privilege, there will always be certain conditions placed on her acceptance. Sure, unconditional acceptance comes, many-a-times, but it seems begrudging. In a ‘what can I do if she desires this?’ manner. If acceptance is begrudging, is it unconditional? And is expecting unconditional acceptance even realistic? But then again, in a world as chaotic as this, is it really a bad thing to want a safe space where you are accepted for who you are and not for what you can offer? Is it really a bad thing to want to do what I want to do instead of fitting myself into a role that society has created for my gender? Who gave society that right anyway? Oh, wait… But let’s not get into that right now because I might combust.
Bookworms have unending TBRs or to-be-read lists, and that’s a given. But sometimes, all we want to do is give up the quest for the perfect new book and go back to books we’ve read and loved before. There could be multiple reasons for this. Maybe we find comfort. Maybe we just love the language. Maybe we relate to them. Maybe we’ve found solutions to our problems in them. Maybe we love the characters like we love our own family – you know that’s a possibility. A lot of maybes, really.
But whatever our reason might be, we have to acknowledge that we learn something new about the book, the story, the character, or the author on each reread. We find details that we missed, we connect dots that we got confused at before, and we fall in love with them all over again. If reading a book for the first time is a beautiful journey, rereading is saying, ‘Oh, I wish I could go back to that place!’ and actually going back there with joy and warmth in our hearts.
There’s a certain satisfaction that comes with reading the third book in a trilogy: it wraps up the journey that we’ve been on, sometimes satisfactorily, sometimes not so much. But either way, we tend to judge the trilogy based on this book because even though we say that ‘the journey is more important than the destination’, it isn’t true when it comes to book series. At least not all the time.
Yashesh Rathod’s Frank Carter trilogy is a historical fantasy series that follows Frank Carter on an adventure through time in Something Strange Over the Yellow Lotus, and across the seas in Macabre Expedition and At the Mountain of the Divine Tigress. My reviews of the first two books are already live. Please click on the links above to read them. 🙂
Also, if you’d like to watch my review of the first book, here’s where you can: Watch on YouTube.
I’ve never read a Mieko Kawakami book yet, although I’ve seen nothing but good reviews of books by this author. They give me an absurdist vibe and I cannot explain why. But I know that I want to get started on them, especially Breasts and Eggs, her most recent book that came out last year. There’s a strange kind of excitement and intrigue that takes hold when Kawakami’s books are in question. And so it is with All the Lovers in the Night, her newest book that releases on 12 May. I have a gut feeling that this is going to be a great place to start, if the blurb and the cover are anything to go by.
That brings me to the topic at hand: the cover reveal for this book that I seem to relate to on so many levels. Not going to go into the details right away. I’ll save that for when I read the book and perhaps do a discussion post on it?
At the beginning of the year, I wanted so much for myself that it became difficult to contain in one post. But I also wanted to ease my own pressure on myself. So, I put off writing the post and decided to take the year as it comes. And I’m glad I did because 4 months down the line, I’m looking at goals that I didn’t think I would be going after when the year started. This is because I feel like I’ve become someone so different yet so similar to that woman, that it’s hard to put a finger on what exactly has changed.
Yet, I still have a few goals that I want to achieve in this year that were part of last year’s goals. I won’t categorize them or slot them because I’ve started feeling that one or more of these will eventually bleed into the others.
Very often, book sequels tend to suffer from Second Book Syndrome, where the author’s second book doesn’t turn out to be as good as the first one. But when they defy this, the series becomes even more enjoyable. Yashesh Rathod’s Frank Carter series is one such that defies.
The first book of this historical fantasy series, Something Strange Over the Yellow Lotus, is a book I read and reviewed last year, and though I found it to be lacking in the language used and writing style, the plot is promising and despite the shortfalls, makes for an entertaining read.
If you’d like to watch my review of the first book, here’s where you can: Watch on YouTube.