Small WordPress Tips & Tricks that’ll Go a Long Way ft. html, themes & more!

This is the (hopefully) most anticipated sequel to my previous post!

This post and my previous post were originally part of one gigantic post that I planned to write called Tips I’d Give to New Book Bloggers, but then I realized that one half of the tips was related to WordPress, while the other had to do with how to build an audience.

These tips are things that I think a lot of newbie bloggers don’t know about. As a newbie, I didn’t know about these things, and I’m pretty sure other newbie bloggers, or maybe some veterans too, don’t know about them yet! So I’m here to impart the little wisdom I’ve gained in my half a year of blogging to those who need it!

HTML

Did you know that there’s a way to have different text sizes in the same paragraph? Shocking, right? Because I’m convinced that WordPress hates formatting–and it does–but luckily, html is here to help us undermine WordPress.

Simply choose to edit a part of your post as html, and you can do all kinds of magic. Here is the html coding I use to make my letters different sizes:

<p>regular text <span style="font-size: 20pt;">new size text</span></p>

To make the text bigger, I choose to make it 20pt, and to make it smaller, I use 8pt. But you can input any number and play around with different font sizes! These are just the ones that work for me!

There’s also a way to align two or more images in a row using html codes! This is pretty helpful if you want to align images of book covers!

42036538 42036538 42036538

I used this code format to align these three images of Gideon the Ninth:

<div>
    <img src="https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1546870952l/42036538.jpg" alt="42036538" width="154" height="238"/>
    <img src="https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1546870952l/42036538.jpg" alt="42036538" width="154" height="238"/>
    <img src="https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1546870952l/42036538.jpg" alt="42036538" width="154" height="238"/>   
</div>

Html is not limited to these two tricks, but I think that these are the most helpful ways to use it. I’m a very baby user of html, so if you want to learn how to do other things with it, I suggest searching for formats on google because a lot of sites offer different code formats!

Post Scheduling

When I first started blogging, I didn’t know that scheduling posts was a thing. When people talked about writing posts and then scheduling them, I’d get so confused. Like, what is this scheduling thing? Luckily, I found out soon enough!

How to schedule a post!

Scheduling posts is extremely helpful if you’re an international blogger. Chances are, the majority of your audience is asleep while you’re awake, but not to worry, you can schedule a post to go up in the early morning hours of your timezone. Scheduling also helps if you have a posting schedule and pre-write a lot.

Until now, a scheduled post of mine has never failed to go up on it’s scheduled time. It may not post on the exact minute you schedule it, but in a few minutes, you’ll get a notification that your scheduled post is now published!

But when I first started scheduling posts, I was so confused because every post I scheduled went up eight hours after the time I had originally selected it to go up. Little did I know that I still hadn’t customized my site timezone to the timezone in the Philippines.

Unless you change your site timezone, it’s gonna stay at UTC, which will affect your post scheduling. Customizing your site timezone is pretty easy to do. Just click your site settings, and site timezone is probably the first or second thing you’ll see!

Pingbacks

Pingbacks are notifications that you get once someone provides a link to one of your posts in their blog post. Their pingback will become a comment on the post they provided a link to.

In my Sunshine Blogger Award, I linked to a bunch of my own posts. I then got notified for all of the times I linked to one of my posts!

Pingbacks are incredibly useful when you’re tagging someone in a tag or blog award. Giving them a notification eliminates the need to comment on one of their posts informing them that you’ve tagged them in something!

To give a pingback, simply provide a link to the blogger’s post in one of your posts. You can just insert it in any piece of text. Ex: I tag Caitlin Althea. The link embedded in Caitlin Althea is a link to one of my blog posts!

The biggest tip when it comes to pingbacks is not to link to the blogger’s homepage. Linking to their homepage will not give them a notification for some reason.

I’ve also learned that pingbacks are pretty funky if a self-hosted sites links to one of your posts. Sometimes I get a notification when one links back to my post, other times I don’t.

Linking Your Website to Your Name

This is a pretty niche tip, but it’s incredibly useful if you’re a blogger who comments on other posts a lot. It ensures that when you comment on a post, a click on your name will immediately lead an interested user to your site.

Usually, your web address isn’t a direct link to your site–it’s probably something like caitlinaltheahome.wordpress.com. If your web address is like this, users who click on your name will not be redirected to your blog. To make it convenient for them, change your web address.

You can do this by clicking on your profile picture and then Account Settings. Here, you’ll find your username, email address, etc. Your web address and primary site will also be there, so you can change them to the url of your home page!

Plus, when someone gets the notification that you followed them, or that you liked one of their posts, it’s easy for them to follow you back because a follow button will appear directly under your name!

As you can see from the picture, the first two people in my recent followers don’t have their sites linked (or simply don’t have sites), so there’s no follow button that will allow me to follow them back easily. However, the bottom three have follow buttons, which I can easily use to follow them back, or unfollow them (but I won’t do that of course).

Get Theme

Fun fact: when I first started blogging, I had no idea what WordPress themes were, so I was hardcore wondering how everyone got their blogs to look a certain way. Honestly, my life is just a series of events like this.

For those who don’t know what they are, they’re basically how your blog is formatted. If you embed a link in a word, some themes will show that there’s a link embedded in it by changing its color (like in Penscratch 2), but in Libre 2, which I’m currently using, words with links in them are simply underlined with no color change (unless I change the color myself). Little things like that are decided by your theme.

But have you ever come across a beautiful site and wondered what theme they use? Not to worry, you can actually see which theme a site uses (as long as it’s a site hosted by WordPress).

On the lower right hand corner of any site hosted by WordPress, you’ll find the follow button. Just click the three dots beside it and you’ll see the option to get the theme. Note: you must be logged into your WordPress account while doing this.

You can then search for this theme name in WordPress themes and choose to activate it in your own site! (Some themes require you to pay for them though, grrrr.)

Connecting Twitter (or other social media accounts) to Your Site

Connecting Twitter to my site was incredibly helpful because I always forget to notify my Twitter followers about new posts. If you connect Twitter to your site, your Twitter account will automatically tweet a post’s link at the same time that the post is uploaded. You can customize what the tweet says too!

You can connect Twitter to your site by going to Tools, Marketing, and then Connections! You also have the option to connect your Facebook, LinkedIn, or Tumblr to your site, but the most common social media site to connect to is Twitter.

Additionally, if you have the Subscibe via Email widget on your blog, and choose to let it display the amount of followers you have, your total number of Twitter followers will be added to the total number of WordPress followers and email followers you have! It’s a great way to make your follower count seem higher.

I hope you found this post helpful in some way! I’m definitely not a WordPress expert–there are still some WordPress mysteries I’ve yet to solve, but these are the ones that I have–at least to some degree!

I had a lot of fun writing this post! Until next time,

img_1711

6 Pieces of Advice that’ll Get People to Follow Your Blog!! (coming from someone who’s picky about who she follows)

So… I have had this blog for six months now. My first ever post on this blog went live on February 26th, 2019, and August 26th is my six month blogiversary. I’m celebrating (slightly) in advance!

It took me a while to find my footing and figure out what I actually wanted to do with my blog. But when I started taking blogging seriously and figuring out what I wanted from blogging, I had the best time.

I’ve had a lot of hobbies in the past–and tried to have a lot of hobbies–but none have stuck except reading, and now, book blogging. (The former stuck because of the latter.) People usually ask me how I manage to post so much whilst having school, and a big part of the reason why is because I love blogging. There’s a certain joy in drafting, formatting and editing a post I love, only for people to love it as well.

I have no words for how excited I am to continue blogging. The past six months have been great. I’m happy with what I’ve accomplished, but I know that I want to do more things, and I’m so excited to do them…. Actually, one of those things is to write an advice post.

Advice posts are incredibly fun to read, and most of the time, I find myself agreeing with what the blogger is saying. Plus, they are obviously really helpful, so today I’m gonna try my hand at writing them!

By the way, this is only part one of two advice posts coming to you this week. I was originally planning on writing one gigantic post, but then I realized that there were two core parts to it. Obviously, the first part is about how to get people to follow your blog. You’ll just have to wait and see about the second part.

Reply to Comments

I completely understand that some people out there don’t have the time or energy to reply to comments, and that everyone’s circumstances are different. At the end of the day, it’s your blog and you can do what you want with it. You don’t owe your viewers anything you don’t want to give.

But it’s way better if you take the time to reply to comments, no matter how late you are. (No one will mind, trust me.) When a blogger replies to their comments, my love and respect for them grows twofold, because it takes a lot of time and effort to reply to comments. I recently came back from a week of not replying to comments because of exams, and it took me hours to catch up on my comments.

Sometimes you just want to like a comment, or simply reply with “Thank you!!,” but I advice against doing this. When I write comments, and (probably) when other people do, I want to start a discussion, and it’s a little weird when the blogger doesn’t respond in turn. It’s like unboxing a package that just arrived at your house–only to find that it’s empty.

empty like my wallet

I don’t mean that you have to write a three paragraph reply to a three paragraph comment, but I like it when a blogger engages with my thoughts. Bloggers who do this really well are Xandra @ Starry Sky BooksBrittany @ Brittany the Book GuruMay @ Forever and Everly, and Marie @ Drizzle and Hurricane Books, just to name a few.

Have a nice blog aesthetic

I cannot stress how important blog aesthetic is!! Unless someone is viewing your site from their reader, which I don’t like doing because I want to see everyone’s beautiful blogs, your blog aesthetic is the first thing they’ll see. And no matter how good or well written your posts are, they’ll probably click away if your blog is, well, ugly.

Moreover, blog aesthetic, for me, indicates professionalism. We can’t all be Kat @ Novels and Waffles, but not to worry–literally anyone can have a blog aesthetic that won’t scare people off! May @ Forever and Everly wrote this amazing guide to blog design that covers all the basics of making your blog look pretty.

Everything you need to know is in her post, but for me, the most important thing to remember when designing a blog is consistency. When your color scheme and graphics start to clash, it’s sure to turn people away from your blog.

Write discussion and advice posts

One of the biggest mistakes I made as a newbie was thinking that I couldn’t write discussion posts. I thought that every topic under the sun had already been discussed, and that my opinions weren’t strong enough. Sure, every topic has already been discussed, but trust me when I say that there’s no harm in adding your own perspective on the topic.

You can literally come up with any topic and discuss it. I don’t think it necessarily has to be a topic you’re incredibly passionate about. It just has to be a topic that you can come up with different pros and cons for. An example of an excellent discussion that utilizes pros and cons is Olivia @ Purely Olivia’s discussion on the controversy of hyped books.

As an alternative to pros and cons, you could also list stuff. For example, I wrote a post about why bloggers care about their statistics, and in that post, I listed a bunch of reasons why bloggers would potentially care about their stats, and then expounded on them one by one. (Yes, I’m self-promoting. Shhhhhh.)

But even though I said that you don’t necessarily have to be incredibly passionate about the topic you’re discussing, you should at least have an opinion on it and state it in your blog post. After you’re done listing pros and cons, or listing a bunch of points related to the topic, it’s best to end with you own opinion on the matter. Try to bring a piece of yourself into each of your posts. It’s what makes people have fun reading your blog and engaging with your content.

If you’re stuck on topics to write about, Xandra @ Starry Sky Books wrote a list of discussion topics she’d like to read from you–free discussion prompts for everybody!

I also recommend that you write an advice post at least once in your blogging career. Advice posts and discussions usually have very clickable titles, and people are more inclined to comment on them.

Xandra @ Starry Sky Books recently wrote an advice post that I adore on four things about blogging that seem scary, but actually aren’t. May @ Forever and Everly is also the best at writing advice posts. I already shared her guide to making your blog look pretty above, but other advice posts I love from her are her posts on how to get people to comment on your blog and things you shouldn’t feel guilty about as a blogger.

If you’re stuck on what exactly to give advice on, just write about something that you’ve gained wisdom on as a blogger and/or reader. Off the top of my head, some advice post prompts are–how to leave comments on people’s blogs, how to find audiobooks, and how to post more consistently. (Feel free to use any of these!)

Ultimately, I probably won’t follow a blog if the blogger doesn’t post advice posts and/or discussions–or if I do, that blog won’t become my favorite. These types of posts are incredibly fun to read, and they are more likely to get traffic. That being said, reviews, tags, TBRs, lists, and, of course, the god tier of generic posts, wrap-ups, are important too. Any blog that has the right balance of all of these posts will probably become a favorite of mine.

Post consistently

I don’t know about you, but I probably won’t follow someone with a sporadic posting schedule. I mean, what’s the point?

Usually, the more frequently you post, the more growth and traffic you’ll get, but it’s different for everyone. My advice would simply be to post at least once a week.

Cultivate your blogging voice

A blogging voice is, in short, how you write your posts, but for me, it is what differentiates you from other blogs. Writing-wise, one of my favorites is Rain @ bookdragonism. Her voice is incredibly distinct, and reading her posts always makes me want to unleash my inner dragon.

The best way to find your writing voice is to just be yourself. Generic advice, I know, but your voice will refine as you post more and more.

But, as I mentioned above, your blogging voice doesn’t just encompass how you write a post, but also how you format it. Do you include gifs? Do you make your font different sizes? I recommend doing these things because they make your posts a little more fun. This is the first post of mine where I’ve employed these two things, and it won’t be the last!!

Because I don’t think I did a good enough job of defining a blogging voice, Marie @ Drizzle and Hurricane Books wrote an incredibly helpful discussion on what a blogging voice is and how to find it. More recently, she wrote this wonderful post on how to give your blog posts that extra spark. Giving your blog posts that extra spark perfectly sums up what a blogging voice is for.

Comment on other blogs (blog hop)

Yes, I just wrote a semi-rant about blog hopping, but as I said in that post, I’m not saying that you shouldn’t blog hop. Blog hopping is such a great way to build an audience and make friends.

In my half a year in the blogosphere, I’ve noticed that most book bloggers’ followers are book bloggers themselves. It’s a small community, so it’s important to find each other. But you shouldn’t wait for other bloggers to find you. Comment on other blogs and see which ones notice your existence.

I’d recommend following and commenting on big book blogs first. They probably won’t follow back immediately, and it’ll take a while for them to get to your comments because they have a large audience, but following them will give you an idea of what it is that makes people follow blogs.

A lot of people also lurk in their comment sections, so people will probably wonder why they keep seeing your name and avatar everywhere, and then proceed to check you out. Also, it’s better to follow the people who you always see in comment sections. You already know that these blogs are big on blog hopping, so comment on their blogs and see if they’ll comment on yours too.

Now, this is a touchy subject because I don’t want to reinforce the idea that blog hopping is something that’s purely for stats. My stand on the topic is that you should blog hop to build an audience and make friends, but when it gets to the point that you only support people if they support you, it’s time to rethink things.

Also, while commenting, please show that you actually read the post. The easiest way to do this is to make your comment more than two or three sentences long, and to share your thoughts on what the blogger talked about. It’s pretty easy to tell when someone’s comment isn’t genuine. If someone comments on my blog only saying, “Great post!!,” or “These books are on my TBR,” I probably won’t comment back. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

That’s it! All of the things that make me follow a blog, and things that have worked for me personally! I’m not trying to say that I employ all of these things–I definitely don’t. I’m trying to be better about it though!

Thank you so much for making my six months in the blogosphere worthwhile. I’ve had the best time, and I’m excited for more years to come!!

img_1711

Like this Book Blog? Watch this Booktuber!

I mention this all the time, but my introduction to the book community was through booktube. (If you’re unaware, booktube is where people make videos about books on Youtube!) I started watching it years ago, but I just recently discovered that there was such a thing as book blogging. As soon as I found out about it though, I immediately knew that I had to join, and so, here I am.

But then I started thinking about which book bloggers are similar to which booktubers. I’ve been both watching booktube and reading book blogs for a considerable amount of time, so today I want to recommend a few booktubers that you should watch based on what book blogs you like. There are people out there who only read book blogs and don’t watch booktube, and there are people who are the opposite. I hope this post encourages you to consume both forms of media, because they both of different things to offer!

Disclaimer: I think I’m only subscribed to about twenty booktubers, and a number are inactive. I also only follow about 40 WordPress blogs and less than 110 people on Twitter. I’ve always been picky about the people I choose to follow since I only want people who “bring me joy” to show up on my feed. That means that I wasn’t able to come up with as many booktubers to pair with book bloggers as I would’ve liked. I wasn’t able to give many of my faves a counterpart, and I’m really sad about that. But I may do a part two of this post if I find more booktubers to subscribe to!

If you like to read The Quiet Pond, watch Books and Lala!

Starting off with two fan favorites! Both CW and Lala bring such unique content to the table.

  • CW’s blog is a work of genius and art (literally because she draws art for each of her posts). I suck at explaining things so I’ll just direct quote from her blog’s About page: “The Quiet Pond (‘The Pond’) is a fantasy-themed book blog with a simple narrative, in which you are the main character. The Quiet Pond is an ongoing story about your frequent visits to the Pond and the magical pond creatures who live there.”
  • Like CW, Lala constantly provides original content, and most of her videos take so much time to put together. Her videos are so creative, like when she let Instagram control her weekend or read the same amount of pages each day for a month.
  • Both CW and Lala are also amazing resources if you’re looking for book recommendations!

If you like to read Sprinkles of Dreams, watch Books with Chloe!

  • Both Lily and Chloe have such admirable personalities. I associate Lily with the ☁ emoji, and Chloe with the ✨ emoji.
  • Both of their aesthetics are on point, and they both sprinkle (pun intended) in mangas into the books they read!

If you like to read Paper Blots, watch Paperback Dreams!

You should watch Kat if you like Ju’s blog because they both have paper in their channel names.

  • Wait, I’m just kidding–don’t leave yet! These two are similar because they are both absolutely hilarious! Their brand of comedy runs in the same vein, and if you want to laugh, just read Ju’s blog and watch Kat’s channel!

If you like to read The Bookish Actress, watch Jordan Harvey!

Elise and Jordan are so smart. What the heck.

  • Both create essay-like content and provide in-depth analyses of the things they consume.
  • Elise and Jordan also incorporate TV shows and other media besides books into their content!

If you like to read Novels & Waffles, watch Common Spence!

I LOVE BOTH OF THESE PEOPLE SO MUCH. They are both really underrated, so please go follow them immediately!

  • Their enthusiasm and energy are un-matched.
  • They both have incredible design skills. One look at Kat’s blog and one click on one of Spencer’s videos will show you this. Spencer is a graphic designer for a living, and Kat runs a graphic design shop!

If you like to read Sun and Chai, watch My Name is Marines!

Two people who are incredibly eloquent!

  • Their discussions are amazing, and when they choose to talk about a book or topic, they dissect it in such a deep and wonderfully executed way.
  • Both are advocates for diversity, especially people of color, in fiction!

If you like to read Sapphic Library, watch Chandler Ainsley!

I’m recommending these two, not based on the correlation of their personalities, but because they read similar things.

  • Both are queens of romance, and almost exclusively read romance books.
  • Mahana’s blog is perfect for f/f romance recommendations, and Chandler’s is perfect for m/m!

If you like to read Bookdragonism, watch Aphrodite Reads!

  • Both Rain and Heathur have an immense love for Rick Riordan and the Percy Jackson series.
  • I find that their reading tastes are different, but when they love a book, they’ll endlessly scream about it until you add the book to your TBR. I guess it just runs in Percy Jackson fans.

As we get to the end of this post, I would like to shout out three amazing book bloggers who somehow do booktube as well? How?? These people are Melanie, Fadwa and Kate! Click on their names to subscribe to their channels!

I know none of you probably noticed, and now I’m just making you notice, but I can’t get over it. PLEASE IGNORE THE FACT THAT I PUT COMMAS AFTER “IF YOU LIKED.” I can’t edit the graphics anymore, and I don’t want to remake eight graphics, so my grammar mistake will be immortalized forever rip.

Before you leave, just know that I won’t be replying to comments on this post or on any post this week because I have important exams coming up! I’ll get to them after this hell week is over though!

Are We Really Friends—or Do You Just Want Me to Comment on Your Blog? || a Discussion

I don’t know if you’re aware of this piece of blogging advice, but it can be summed up in one word—interact. Comment on other bloggers’ blogs, and in turn they will check out your blog and comment on it too. It’s an almost surefire way to grow your blog’s following. In addition to that, you’ll gain blogging friends more easily.

I’ve been interacting, or blog hopping, as we call it, since I first started blogging. I attribute most of my blog’s growth during the nearly six months I’ve had it to blog hopping. But I went through a phase a while ago wherein I stopped commeting on the blogs that didn’t interest me anymore even though we were leaving each other nice comments. And guess what? They didn’t comment on my blog anymore, and I haven’t heard from them since.

I also noticed this trend of people commenting on my blog and others’ blogs with detached one word sentences that simply seem to call out, “Hey! Check out my blog.” And that got me thinking about why we even comment on other people’s blogs.

A question formed in my mind that I couldn’t ignore—Are we blog hopping purely for our stats, and not because we’re genuinely interested in the content we’re consuming?

Think about it—you start commenting on someone’s blog, or someone starts commenting on yours. Either way, you both end up following each other. For every comment you leave on their blog, they’ll leave a comment on yours. I can think of dozens of blogs who specialize in this. I’ve even started doing this.

So what happens when you stop commenting? What if you suddenly get busy? Will they stop commenting–just like that? Even though you left each other such nice comments before you stopped blog hopping, will the other person stop commenting on your blog just because they won’t be getting something in return anymore?

Frankly, the thought disturbs me. Why are we leaving nice comments on other people’s blogs just so that they’ll check out our blogs in return? If so, which friendships are real and which are contingent on blog hopping?

Let me be clear that I’m not trying to bash anyone in this post. I have fed into this mindset myself. I’ve stopped commenting on people’s blogs just because they stopped commenting on mine. I have blog hopped solely because I want other people to check out my blog and not because I genuinely love their content. I’m not trying to call out anyone who has done this because I’m guilty of it too, and the reasons for doing it are perfectly understandable.

I’m also not saying that you shouldn’t blog hop. It’s a great way to grow your blog and ensure that the posts you’ve worked hard on are actually read by someone. I’m just not a fan of the symbiotic relationships that blog hopping creates. In my humble opinion, it’s perfectly okay to blog hop for views and stats—I know I do it. But this shouldn’t be the only reason we comment on other blogs.

I still comment on blogs who don’t follow me or interact with any of my posts. And even if I won’t get a comment back, I still comment on their blogs because I like their content. That’s the level I want to reach. I want to be able to not blog hop, and still have people commenting on my blog at the end of the day because they genuinely enjoy my content.

I only follow and continually comment on about 40 blogs now, and I know that this is surely gonna kill my stats—but you know what? It’s for the best, because all of the posts on my reader, in the words of Marie Kondo, “bring [me] joy.”

Also, shout out to my blogging friends. You know who you are. I think it wouldn’t be wrong of me to believe that if either of us stopped commenting on the other’s blog for whatever reason, we would still be friends.

This amazing post by Ilsa @ A Whisper of Ink, entitled Do You Genuinely Loving the Content You’re Creating and Consuming? partly inspired me to write this post. I wrote my own discussion on the topic because I wanted to share my own perspective, and because I feel like this discussion has to be brought back.

Please tell me your thoughts down below! Is there anything you disagree or agree with? What is your perspective on blog hopping? Sadly, I can’t reply to you yet because it’s exam season for me right now, but I’ll be back in no time!

Triple Sunshine Blogger Award, Triple Trouble?? || Answering 33 Questions!

I’ve been nominated for the Sunshine Blogger Award three times, and since I haven’t gotten to it yet, I’ll just combine all of them in one post! Yay!

Also, I’ll be off WordPress and social media for the week! I have important exams that I’d rather not fail, so I won’t be replying to comments or blog hopping. Thank you so much for understanding! Onto the blog award!

The Rules:

  1. Thank the person who nominated you and provide a link back to their blogging site.
  2. Answer the questions.
  3. Nominate 11 other bloggers and ask them 11 new questions.
  4. Notify the nominees about it by commenting on one of their blog posts.
  5. List the rules and display the sunshine blogger award logo on your site or on your post.

Sunshine Blogger Award #1: Nominated by Surina @ The Bloggisters!

What is your all-time favorite book?

Wow, asking me this question is evil. But the two books that immediately come to mind are Kings Rising by C.S. Pacat and Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo. The former appeals to me on an emotional front because I would die for the characters, and the latter appeals to me on a story-writing front, because it’s genius. I don’t think I’ve read a book yet that appeals to me on both fronts, but when I find that book, it’ll be my answer to this question.

What is your most anticipated book of this year?

I did a whole post on this, but I’ll just be basic and say Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo. Do I even need to explain? I know you’re anticipating it too for probably the same reasons that I am.

What books have made you cry?

Ehmm.. none. Yeah, I’m the one person who’s never cried while reading a book, and I have no idea why.

What book do you feel needs more love?

It’s been a long time since I’ve promoted this book, so thank you for the opportunity. EVERYONE READ WANDERLOVE BY KIRSTEN HUBBARD! It’s a travel book that takes place in South America, and the main character is recovering from a toxic relationship. The book is both well-written and enjoyable so I don’t know why it’s so underrated???

Can you tell that I’m shamelessly trying to find more books to add to my TBR?  I’ll stop, promise.

No, I couldn’t, but I guess you are. But now you have to read Wanderlove, Surina!!

What are some of your favorite quotes?

One of my recent faves is when Beatrice describes Henry’s grief in Red, White & Royal Blue. This quote is long, but it’s a work of art.

So, imagine we’re all born with a set of feelings. Some are broader or deeper than others, but for everyone, there’s that ground floor, a bottom crust of the pie. That’s the maximum depth of feeling you’ve ever experienced. And then, the worst thing happens to you. The very worst thing that could have happened. The thing you had nightmares about as a child, and you thought, it’s all right because that thing will happen to me when I’m older and wiser, and I’ll have felt so many feelings by then that this one worst feeling, the worst possible feeling, won’t seem so terrible.

But it happens to you when you’re young. It happens when your brain isn’t even fully done cooking—when you’ve barely experienced anything, really. The worst thing is one of the first big things that ever happens to you in your life. It happens to you, and it goes all the way down to the bottom of what you know how to feel, and it rips it open and carves out this chasm down below to make room. And because you were so young, and because it was one of the first big things to happen in your life, you’ll always carry it inside you. Every time something terrible happens to you from then on, it doesn’t just stop at the bottom —it goes all the way down.

And since Surina didn’t specify whether the quote has to come from a book, I also love the quote I shared in my discussion on blog stats: “Don’t compare your behind the scenes to someone else’s highlight reel.”

What else, besides reading, do you like to do in your free time?

Blogging!! Okay, but did you seriously expect me to be interesting enough that I have hobbies more prominent than reading books and blogging about them? I play table tennis though! My school has a team and we practice two or three times a week. This year, I’m finding the sport a lot more fun!

What is your earliest book-related memory?

Probably my mom introducing the Berentain Bears books to me. She read them to me as a child, but I can’t remember the specific ones that she did. All I know is that she told me they would be really educational, and they were!

What is the most mind-numbing thing you have ever done?

Attend school.

What is the most positive thing you can think of?

I RECENTLY HIT 300 WORDPRESS FOLLOWERS. THANK YOU SO MUCH

Have you had a good day so far?

School got suspended today due to the rain, and as I’m typing this, the rain is falling, and I’m really cozy inside my house. But I’m supposed to be reviewing for the important exams I just mentioned, and I’m not, so…

Sunshine Blogger Award #2: Nominated by Arin @ Tomes of Our Lives!

Do you keep up with favorite quotes when you read?

No, I’m too lazy to write them down, and I immediately delete the ebooks on my phone after I finish them because I fear I’ll lose space, and I just don’t like to have a lot of things, including virtual books. Most of the quotes I put on my reviews are from Goodreads, and fun fact: I don’t take notes while I read because I’m too lazy, so when I review books, I just go off of memory. Probably not the best choice, but yeah.

As a sort of follow up, do you have a favorite quote from any book?

The quote I shared above!

Do you have any autobuy authors? If so, who?

I base the books I put on my TBR on reviews and recommendations. Even if I enjoyed a book by an author, I probably won’t read from their backlist if the reviews aren’t enticing me or the premise doesn’t interest me. That being said, there are some authors who I’ve grown to completely trust, and I’ll probably read all of the books they put out. They are the authors of the two books I mentioned in the all-time favorite book question–Leigh Bardugo and C.S. Pacat. C.S. Pacat is also coming out with a YA fantasy, and I’m so hyped!!

Do you preorder books?

Nope. There’s no point because it takes me a while to get to new releases no matter how excited I am for them. I just want to read/am reading too many books!

Do you listen to music when you read? If so, what type of music?

No, I just can’t. I’ll easily get distracted by the lyrics and find myself incapable of reading the words.

How many books do you typically read at one time?

I always have more than one book on my Goodreads currently reading shelf, usually two, but I’m actually lying because when I put multiple books on my Goodreads currently reading shelf, I’m probably putting all of my focus into reading one of them, and I’ve only read I little from the other one. I just naturally focus on one book, and I find it jarring to regularly switch between two books. However, if it’s an audiobook with an ebook/physical book, I don’t find it as jarring because I’m listening to one book and physicially reading another!

What are your favorite type of blog posts to write?

I find every post rewarding to write, or else I wouldn’t write them! This is a tough choice, but I’ll have to go with wrap-ups because I love talking about my life in them. It’s also a great way to briefly review all the books I read in the month and showcase other bloggers’ posts!

If you have access to a library, do you use it often?

*cries in international reader* I do not have access to a library. No libraries in the Philippines are near me, and even if they were, they probably wouldn’t have the books on my TBR. If I did have access to a library with the books I want to read though, I’d completely drop buying books in favor of borrowing them.

Do you have a reading routine or a certain time or place you get most of your reading done?

No, but since school has started, I have to make time for reading now. I ensure that I read one book a week by finishing a book on a Friday, or any time in the weekends.

Do you have any tips or tricks concerning balancing blogging/reading with other life stuff like school and work?

A lot of people commented on my wrap-up telling me that I’m doing amazing at balancing blogging, reading and school. I never noticed it before, but thank you for thinking that! I don’t think I am actually. My grades aren’t where I want them to be. Plus, my Asian tiger mom is always nagging me to dedicate less time to blogging, and instead focus on school.

Anyways, I just employ what I do above. I read in the weekends, and I schedule all posts for the week on the weekends. I blog hop on weekdays if I have the time, but I mostly do it on the weekend as well. Basically, the weekend is the only time when I have the opportunity to read and blog, so I make the most of it.

Do you reread books?

I’m really bad at rereading because I have so many books I want to read that I sort of view rereading a book I’ve already read as a waste of time. Additionally, I just… get bored when I reread? Because I already know what’s gonna happen, plus I notice the flaws more, which is what happened when I reread Carry On. I know that this is such a controversial take, and trust me, if I could love rereading as much as other readers do, I would. *runs away from the tomatoes*

Sunshine Blogger Award #3: Nominated by Saoudia @ recs from ur friend!

what’s your all time favorite book?

I answered this above!

if you were to live in any fictional world, which one would you choose?

My answer will always be the world in Howl’s Moving Castle! I explained why in my Q&A!

if you were to change the ending of any book, which book would you pick and what would you change?

Uhmmm, there’s probably a lot, but nothing is coming to mind right now. I really disliked the entire last book of The Winners Trilogy, so there’s that.

what’s your last 1 star book?

I think I’ve only ever given one book 1 star, and it’s The Savior’s Champion by Jenna Moreci. Long story short, the pacing was off and the characters were all one-dimensional. I also wasn’t a fan of the fact that out of the three mlm characters in the book, one died, and the other is the villain. The fact that the villain has sex with guys is also used as a plot device to make him seem more villainous.

fan cast the main characters in a book you really liked.

I don’t know enough celebrities for this. I don’t keep up with them, and I can only name about three.

I’ve been thinking long and hard for an answer, and nothing is coming to mind. Sorry!!

what’s you most favorite trope?

A basic person would say enemies-to-lovers, and I do like enemies-to-lovers, but the main reason I like it is because romances that follow this trope are usually slow-burn and angsty. AND I WOULD DIE FOR SLOW-BURN ROMANCES WITH A GENEROUS SPRINKLING OF ANGST. That is in fact my real favorite trope. When I’m reading a series, I actually prefer when a couple doesn’t get together in the first book, because that just makes the pay-off so much more worth it.

who’s an author you’d really like to meet?

I’ll go with Leigh Bardugo, because I think she’s already dealt with so many flustered fans that she won’t find my awkwardness weird at all. She’s also such a cool person, and I would love to get a picture with her!

are you more harry potter or percy jackson?

Oh, such a good question! Probably Harry Potter. I’m not funny enough or heroic enough to be Percy. Plus, I’m also a complete dumb-ass like Harry. I mean, both of them are, but my breed of dumb-ass is more similar to Harry’s.

paperbacks or hardbacks?

This is a really hard question. I firmly believe that both have their merits. Paperbacks are cheaper and more comfortable to read. However, hardbacks look amazing on a shelf and sometimes they have bonus designs on the real cover or on the dust jacket. Their spines also don’t crack.

I think I’d have to go with hardbacks for this because I’m vain, what can I say? Either way, I mostly read through ebooks, so my (non-existent) wallet isn’t gonna be crying about all the hardbacks I’m buying any time soon.

you can only keep three books for the rest of your life, what are you picking?

I just won’t waste time overthinking and choose the most beautiful books I own because we love vanity. I’m also fine with getting rid of books I’ve already read because my memory of them triumphs owning them for me!

First, my hardcover copy of Love from A to Z by S.K. Ali, because it’s one of the only beautiful covers that have real people are on it. I hate real people on covers. Those real people also happen to be people of color. Plus, one is wearing a hijab, so this book isn’t going.

Second, the hardcover copy of Descendant of the Crane by Joan He that I have been currently reading for about a month now. I got the gorgeous hardback for only 10% off which means that I still paid a heck of a lot of money for it, and I’m not about the waste that money, aka my parents’ money, because I don’t even have an allowance.

Lastly, the hardcover of We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal that I’ve read a few pages of and I’m buddy reading with Taasia. You thought the cover was beautiful when you saw it on the internet? Well, think again because seeing it in person is a whole other experience. I also don’t think the book is available yet anywhere in the Philippines, so that makes it extra special.

I’m not gonna nominate 11 people because I think most people have already done this or been nominated for it. That being said, I recently discovered two new book bloggers whose posts I’ve been loving. They are Audrey @ make your (book)mark and Emme @ A Literary Latte (She just recently restarted her book blog)!

Here are my questions:

  1. How do you choose the books on your TBR?
  2. Your most disliked book of all time?
  3. Why do you read?
  4. Why did you start your book blog?
  5. Favorite non-romantic trope/s?
  6. Do you watch booktube? If so, fave booktubers?
  7. Fave books so far this year?
  8. How did you come up with the title of your book blog?
  9. Do you read adult books and middle grade books besides YA?
  10. How long does it usually take you to write a post?
  11. What are some books that need more appreciation?