Oops. This post is long overdue, especially since I hit 200 WordPress followers *check’s notes* exactly a month ago?? It’s July 12th as I’m finally getting around to drafting this post, and I hit 200 on June 12th! Wow, what a coincidence! (No, seriously, this isn’t staged–I’m genuinely shocked because I just checked the date I hit 200 now hahaha.) Well, at least now there’s some symbolism to this celebratory blog post going up so late.
Anyways, in case you haven’t gleaned it from the title yet, I hit 200 followers a month ago! Wow.. that is just wild?? I don’t know, when I started this blog, I really had no expectations for it, and I didn’t even stop to think about whether it would actually grow or not.
When I first started blogging I had no idea what blog themes were. No, seriously, I started blogging and I was pulling my hair out because I didn’t know how everyone got their blogs to look a certain way? What the heck, Caitlin, I am disappointed but not surprised!
Also, anyone remember my marble theme? Maybe I could’ve made it work, but gosh, I look back and I realize that design was not my blog’s strong suit. Seriously, props to you if you followed my blog while my design was absolutely hideous and you had to bear with it.
But somehow, my blog managed to grow and gain somewhat of a following?? I know 200 is not a lot in the grand scheme of things, but honestly, it seems like a lot when I see you guys’ comments on any of my posts. I cannot begin to thank you all for how supportive you have been. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Book Blogging is a hard job. Sometimes you spend hours drafting and formatting a post, only for no one to interact with it. I’m so glad that there’s at least one person reading what I have to say, and assuring me that I am not just yelling my thoughts into a void. Seriously, thank you so much for stopping by. It means the world to me.
Anyways, on to the questions and my answers!
If you could travel to any fictional world where would you travel, and why?
from Lauren @ Much Ado About Books
Funny that you ask this, because the first thing I ever posted on my blog was a Top Ten Tuesday featuring ten places mentioned in books that I’d like to visit. The obvious answer is Hogwarts, but that’s a no brainer and a generic answer, so I’m gonna have to go with the world in Howl’s Moving Castle, for a very petty but funny reason. Since it is based on fairy tales, this world has a rule of sorts that the youngest of three sisters will definitely succeed if she chooses to seek out her own fortune, and she’ll have an adventure fitting for the main character of a fairy tale. Well, I am the youngest of three sisters, so sign me the hell up!
what is your favourite bubble tea place? (i’m assuming you take bubble tea haha)
from Taasia @ Librae Paints Pages
I don’t know why, but bubble tea is referred to as milk tea here in the Philippines. But yes, I do love bubble tea/milk tea–whatever it’s called! But I wouldn’t really say that I have a favorite bubble tea place. I’m exposing myself for how much I like food and will just consume anything you give me, but every bubble tea place that I’ve tried serves good bubble tea. I just can’t tell the difference. But the most recent bubble tea place I bought from is Gong Cha, and I’d say that their bubble tea is pretty good! And I don’t know if this is considered bubble tea, but Happy Lemon serves these rock salt and cheese drinks, and they are heavenly I tell you. Seriously, do yourself a favor and buy a rock salt and cheese drink now!
Favourite review you’ve ever written? Fictional character you relate to the most? All time favourite food? Country you wanna travel to most? You can only read 5 books for the rest of your life, what 5 do you choose? Enneagram type? Damen and Laurent are both dying and you can only save one of them. Who would you choose?
from Laura @ Laura Herondale
Favourite review you’ve ever written?
Since I’ve started this blog, quite a few people have complimented me on my reviews, and I’m honestly pretty shocked, because I never thought that reviews would be my strong suit! I think it’s just that I’ve always been into writing, but nevertheless, thank you so much for all the love on my reviews! I appreciate it so much.
However, I can’t think of a review that stands out among all of the reviews I’ve posted on my blog. I am pretty proud of them all (except the first ones I ever posted, let’s not speak of them). I recently reread my review for The Weight of Our Sky, my first 5-star read of 2019 that more people need to read, and it wasn’t bad. I also like my review of Spin the Dawn, which features my favorite quotes from the book and an excerpt alongside my thoughts. I am a big fan of about three of the paragraphs I wrote in it, though there’s one section wherein I was trying to state that I don’t support the book being called “not Asian enough,” but my phrasing did not make sense at all. Lastly, I gotta hype up my latest review of Into the Drowning Deep. I drafted the post way back at the end of May, but I thought that it was a lost cause after I finished the writing it. I then went back to edit it in preparation for uploading in July, and when I read it, it actually made sense? I was so worried that I couldn’t convey the uniqueness of the writing pretty well, but I think I did so nicely. And I like how I concisely stated all of my thoughts on the book, so yes, please check my previous post out!
Fictional character you relate to the most?
The last book I finished was Radio Silence by Alice Oseman, and I really related to Frances Janvier, its main character. I’m not saying that I’m as smart as she is, because I could never, but I do relate to her perspective on grades and how other people view her. I get really anxious about the scores I get like she does, and there was one spoiler-y situation in the book that I could relate to so much.
All time favourite food?
I love food so much, so this is a little hard, but it has to be ramen! Remember when my site tagline was reader, rambler, ramen enthusiast? Even though I changed it, it still rings true now. Ramen is so versatile and delicious. It has everything–noodles, egg, vegetables, soup, meat. I’m so blessed to have a family who regularly takes trips to Japan, where I can taste authentic ramen!
Country you wanna travel to most?
I’ve always wanted to travel to Europe–any country there, because I’ve never been to that continent, and I desperately want to visit. My top countries to visit there would be France, England and Scotland. I seriously can’t choose which I want to travel to most because they all look so beautiful and have so many quirks! I would love to get the chance to see the Eiffel tower and visit Paris. England is my dream country to live in because I love how dreary but alluring it is. And I would love to see Scottish castles and explore the mystical country of Scotland in general.
You can only read 5 books for the rest of your life, what 5 do you choose?
Okay, only five books to read for the rest of my life. Well, this question stumps me because I’m the worst rereader ever. But I think that one book I would never get tired of rereading–and I actually have reread, shockingly–is Six of Crows. It does get a bit dense, but there’s just so much genius to analyze in it that I could probably be content spending the rest of my life dissecting the story and characters. Second would be Prince’s Gambit, the second book in the Captive Prince series, because I can always just comfort myself about being destined to reread the same five books by rereading Lamen scenes.
I don’t know if this is a good idea, but I would reread Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, even though I haven’t reread books 1-6 of the series yet, and the finale is probably not gonna make sense if I don’t reread the previous books first. But HP7 is a god tier finale, and I guess I’d just have to make do with my bad memory while rereading it.
So far I’ve just been mentioning fantasies and I really need to break them up with something light! A fluffy contemporary that I recently finished is I Wish You All the Best by Mason Deaver! The beginning isn’t really that fluffy since the protagonist Ben comes out to their parents and gets kicked out of their house, but Ben and Nathan’s relationship is the cutest! I could deal with reading about Ben finally finding a home for the rest of my life.
And finally, the last book I would reread for the rest of my life is We Set the Dark on Fire by Tehlor Kay Mejia, because I highly enjoyed this 2019 release, and I would love to get sucked into the world of Medio again and again, and continue reading about Dani and Carmen, my fave Latinx girlfriends.
I actually took the test a while back, and I don’t remember my results. Wait a second.. let me retake it [insert cool transition music or whatever]
I’m back after 14 pages of questions–some of which felt like a personal attack, but either way, my enneagram type is *drumroll please* Type 3 with balanced wings! It is a bit weird since I remember getting something like a seven or eight when I first took the test. But I do think that Type 3 fits me well. My basic fear is being worthless, which is, admittedly, true, and I am a little bit of an achiever.
Damen and Laurent are both dying and you can only save one of them. Who would you choose?
First of all, evil. But I’m gonna cut the part where I cry and scream at Laura for giving me this absolutely cruel dilemma, and say that I would have to save Laurent. Don’t get me wrong, I love Damen so much, but I feel like he’s already lived his life? He’s already had countless sexual and romantic relationships with people, won many battles, and overall has lived a fulfilling life.
Laurent, however, spent a good deal of his life being abused and having to fend for himself in a treacherous court. I would save him so that he could experience the life he didn’t get to live, and commit the good deeds that he wasn’t able to commit while playing his uncle’s game. (Let’s just ignore the fact that Damen is dead, and he would probably spend a good deal of said life mourning him.)
Do you have any readathons you like to participate in? Are you a writer as well or just a reader? Any fun hobbies other than reading and blogging?
from Arin @ Tomes of Our Lives
Do you have any readathons you like to participate in?
This is such a good question that I may write a discussion on! I want to participate in any read-a-thon I come across, as in any, because as soon as I see a list of challenges I immediately think of books from my TBR that can fit the challenge. Sadly, I don’t have the time to participate in any read-a-thons during the school year. I want to join the most popular read-a-thons the most, like the Reading Rush or The Book Junkie Trials.
I’ve wanted to participate in the Booktube-a-thon, or the Reading Rush as it has now been renamed, for years. It’s just that it always takes place in July, which is summer in the northern hemisphere, but is a school month for me. However, since our universities start school in August or September like they do in America, the summer after senior year is always long for those who study at my school. It’s a promise I’ve made to myself that in the summer of my senior year, I’m finally going to participate in the Reading Rush and ace it!
Are you a writer as well or just a reader?
It’s been a goal of mine since I was a child and discovered that writing was actually something I was good at to be an author. However, the right idea for a story hasn’t come to me just yet. And even if it does, I wouldn’t have time for it because my schedule is already filled with school, reading and blogging. That’s fine with me, though. Writing my own story isn’t something that I urgently want to do now, but one day, I do plan to become a published author.
Any fun hobbies other than reading and blogging?
I can’t think of a lot that are as prominent as reading and blogging–maybe eating, but I don’t think that counts. I do play table tennis! I was in my school’s team for two years, though I fell out of love with the sport during the second year I joined. Last year, I didn’t join it anymore, but this year I went back, and I’m slowly falling in love with the sport again.
What were your favourite books growing up? Favourite genre to read? Least favourite? What’s your earliest memory? Most recent 5 star read? Music while reading – yay or nay? Favourite thing about blogging? Most difficult thing about blogging? Do you have any pets?
from Iris @ Hoard of Books
What were your favourite books growing up?
I did a whole post on this. But the most notable childhood fave of mine is the Nancy Drew books! I read and collected almost all of those books. But the mystery aspect of the books wasn’t what charmed me. It was just that every book took place in a new setting and the mysteries all had to do with different things, like a candle, a mannequin, an artifact, etc., so child me just had to find out how those things played out!
Though a book series that I didn’t mention in that post is the Geronimo Stilton and Thea Stilton books. Again, much like Nancy Drew, their plots weren’t what drew little Caitlin in, but rather it was their different premises and settings. I wasted so much of my parent’s money on my quest to collect these books all the while when they were available at my school’s library too! The mistakes…
Favourite genre to read? Least favourite?
I think I’ve mentioned a few times that my favorite genre is fantasy, or just anything speculative fiction in general. I read so that I can lose myself in worlds and situations that would never happen in real life. As for my least favorite, I don’t think I’ve read widely enough to deduce that. I think that every genre has something to offer! Maybe problematic books if that counts as a genre.
What’s your earliest memory?
I honestly don’t know. I have no idea which of my early memories is the earliest one. But I remember this one time when I was watching an episode of iCarly, and Freddie said something along the lines of, “What does she think I am? Four-years-old?” and I remember me, who was four-years-old at the time, thinking “Hey, I’m four-years-old.” I also have this very early memory of looking at my hands and noticing the hair on my knuckles for the first time lmao.
Most recent 5 star read?
My last read was a 5-star-read! It was Radio Silence by Alice Oseman, which is only my second 5-star-read of the year. I definitely don’t think that the book is perfect–that one scene involving an animal death was very unnecessary, but I’m with everyone else that the purely platonic relationship between Frances and Aled, the main characters, is incredible. Plus, the author portrayed internet culture so well, which is unsurprising since she’s pretty young herself. And as someone who recently went back to school and is inevitably stressed about her grades again, the book’s messages on grades were super important to me. Bottom line, we need more books centering around the pressure to do well in school and attend a good university, because it’s such a prevalent issue that many teens face today.
Music while reading – yay or nay?
I am really sorry, but it’s a nay from me. I’m very susceptible to loud sounds while I’m reading. I can’t even read while in the proximity of a conversation, because my brain naturally tries to listen to it. Though if it makes you feel better, I’m like that with any other activity that requires focus, like studying. I cannot have music on in the background because I’m physically incapable of focusing on two things at once.
Favourite thing about blogging? Most difficult thing about blogging?
My favorite thing would have to be putting my all into drafting, editing and formatting a post, and having my work reciprocated through comments and interactions. It is always such a delight to see your thoughts on everything I have to say, and I love to interact with everyone. The fact that you all actually read what I have to say and share your own feelings is incredible, and it makes me feel not so alone in the blogosphere and book community in general. ❤❤❤❤😭😭
My least favorite thing would definitely have to be how long it takes for me to write a post. I’m sure there are some bloggers out there who can draft and schedule a post within an hour or so. But I’m not like that. It takes me about two or three hours to finish a post. And it’s because my first drafts consist of me thought dumping everything I have to say in an incoherent manner. I then leave future me to edit the mess I made into something understandable. This editing process takes a lot of time.
I also have this weird habit of continually rereading posts, altering some phrases and/or words, undoing my alterations, and then altering them again. I think that’s why some of my old posts are clunky. It’s because I keep overthinking how I structure my sentences, and then I go back, read my old posts and just cringe at how abrupt my paragraph transitions are and HOW I STILL HAVE TYPOS DESPITE THE FACT THAT I WENT OVER THE POST 3944848 TIMES.
Do you have any pets?
YES. I don’t talk about this enough, but I’ve had a family pet dog named Gordon since I was very young. I post pictures of him sometimes on Twitter, but I haven’t in a while–I should really change that. This is him!
What or who inspired you to start a blog?
My introduction to the book community was through booktube. I had no idea what book blogging was at the time. I then proceeded to dip in and out of keeping up with the book community. However, a little over a year ago, I got back into keeping up with the book community again, and I decided to make a new Goodreads account (I have an old one that is very cringey). There, I followed Chaima who blogs at Runaway with Dream Thieves. I’m sure we all know of Chaima’s popularity on Goodreads, and I was no exception to being a fan of her reviews. Since she links her reviews posted on her blog first before posting the actual review on Goodreads, and she hypes up the tags and TBRs she posts on her blog on Goodreads, I gradually read more from her blog and fell in love with it.
As someone who discovered the book community through booktube and considered joining countless times, but ultimately decided against it for many reasons, one of them being that I am so awkward in front of a camera, I realized that book blogging was the perfect way to solve the problem. I could just write everything I wanted to say, and I would be doing the same kinds of posts that booktubers were doing, only in written form, with the opportunity to edit everything I said before uploading it.
How has book blogging changed your reading game?
from Olivia @ Purely Olivia
I wasn’t very consistent with reading in the past. There would be periods of time wherein I wasn’t keeping up to date with book news, or reading in general. However, now that I’ve started this book blog, I am more dedicated to reading, and I don’t plan on dipping out of reading again any time soon. I am really adamant about not letting reading leave my daily to-do list no matter how busy my day gets, because there’s always another hyped book that I want to form my own opinions on, or a blog tour I’m a part of, etc.
Is being a book blogger what you expected it to be?
from Sophie @ Me and Ink
Again, exposing myself for how much I didn’t think about it before I started this book blog, but I didn’t really have any expectations for being a book blogger. I just knew that I wanted at least one person to read everything I had to say. One day I just registered to WordPress and started my blog.
I will say that book blogging has been so much fun, because I love blog hopping and interacting with everyone. Like the rest of the book community, the book blogger community is so kind. I’m just really sad because I want to post consistently, but it takes me forever to produce just one post.
What is the biggest challenge being a book blogger outside of North America?
from Mel @ TBR and Beyond
There is definitely a lot of privilege that comes with being a reviewer based in America, or even Canada.The first challenge that comes to mind as an international book blogger is the fact that most giveaways aren’t open to residents outside the US. I know it’s stupid, but whenever I see a Goodreads giveaway going on and excitedly enter my information, only to realize that the giveaway is US only, I get so sad.
I haven’t really tried requesting physical arcs from publishers yet because I have too many books to read as it is, but I probably would not get one since I am based in the Philippines. In some of the blog tours I’ve joined, physical arcs are gifted to US participants only, and international book bloggers have to settle for an e-arc.
As for author events or reader events, like Bookcon, BEA, etc., hypothetically, I’d like to go, but I’m way too lazy and antisocial of a person. That personally isn’t a challenge that I face, but I know a lot of fellow international bloggers who feel excluded by the fact that all the big reader occasions are based in America.
Additionally, I know that people always say that libraries are a good place to get free books. But no libraries here in the Philippines are near enough to my house, and they probably don’t have most of the books on my TBR.
By the way, I’m not mentioning any of this to shame anyone. If you live in North America and are able to experience these privileges, I’m so happy for you. I also acknowledge that I don’t really experience the usual obstacles that international bloggers face. I’m not the person to go to when it comes to the challenges of being a book blogger outside of North America, but I can redirect you to Marie’s post entitled The struggles of being an international book blogger. Marie is the queen of posts like this, and she could enumerate all the challenges we face way better than I ever could!
This Q&A is finally done, clocking in at about 4,230 words. I hope all of my typing has helped you learn more about me. I think that I divulged some facts about myself that I haven’t talked about much.
Once again, thank you so much for 200 followers, no matter how late this is. I love you all so much, and you all are such a light in my life. Seriously, I can’t imagine what my life would be like without the book blogging community. xx