Armchair BEA Day 1 – Intro & Best Practices in the Online Book Community


Hi there peeps! I totally forgot to set up my first post earlier for Armchair Book Expo! If you don’t know what this is, I participated in 2015 and last year and had a lot of fun, but basically it’s for those of us who are unable to attend the convention Book Expo America, but who still want to participate in talking about all things books with the community.

First up, the introductions!

  1. I am . . . Rayna!
  2. Currently . . . Answering these prompts and writing this post late! 😀
  3. I love . . . anime and manga, drawing, my husband, Christ, my friends, Kakakshi Hatake, 707, learning, and other things. Oh, and of course, books.
  4. My favorite . . . book? Uh, well, that’s very hard to choose, so I’ll say my favorite genre is fantasy and sci-fi! Okay, that’s two answers, but still…
  5. My least favorite . . . April Morning. So boring. I’m not into classics as much as I want to be.
  6. My current read . . . A Court of Wings and Ruin (and a huge list of manga that just keeps growing…)
  7. My summer plans . . . My husband and I are going to Disney World the last week of August! 😀 Otherwise, just working, hanging with friends, my birthday. That’s it.
  8. My buddy . . . my hubby!
  9. My blog/channel/social media . . . Well, if you’re reading this you’re on my blog, so…. But here’s my Instagram, Twitter, tumblr, and YouTube channel.
  10. The best . . . thing ever is being happy doing what you’re passionate about.

Alright, now that you know me a little better, let’s move onto the SERIOUS TOPIC.

Best Practices in the Online Book Community

So when I think of this topic, I think about many things. The prompt ranges from time management to social media exposure to ethical obligations and beyond. I think what I want to focus on is posting the content that you want to read.

When it comes to the online book community, there are many factors that go into being a book blogger: consistency, reading books (duh), reviewing, replying to comments, etc. And I think through a lot of that we can get lost and forget why we started to blog and why we wanted to talk about the books that we love.

Writing about the topics that you’re passionate about when it comes to discussions rather than joining the hype train (though there’s nothing wrong with that) can make the difference between a discussion that has a lot of potential and a lot of back and forth constructive commentary, to discussion that falls flat and doesn’t get any feedback on. It’s important to remember to state your own opinions without getting too full of yourself or of hurting others in the process.

It’s a delicate balance, but when you write about the things that you actually want to talk about, whether it be book tags or hauls or reviews or whatever, by you talking about it because you actually want to talk about it will not only have an effect on the way you write your post, but on your readership as well.

Your readers will understand you more and get to know you more, and they’ll also know that you’re being a lot more genuine in your posts than just by going along with the mold.

Talk about the things you want and don’t be afraid to do so. It’s your blog, your space, and you’re allowed to talk about whatever is really on your mind and heart. (Of course, if you have other obligations that you promised to do, you better make sure you do those, too.)

Let’s Chat! ^w^

Are you participating in Armchair BEA? What are some of the best book community practices you’ve picked up over time? Tell me all the things!

Am I A Reader?


Recently there was a lot of drama going around the book community, mostly on the Booktube community, where a content creator made a video belittling Booktubers because they “wear makeup” and that they go to events like Book Expo America (BEA) and Bookcon, and that they don’t read certain kinds of books or book titles, or that all of them only go to get the same eight books. I’ve seen a lot of rebuttle going around, as well as some positive vibe hashtags floating around Twitter, but I watched a video by JBookLover who touched on this topic of am I a reader?

So, let’s start with the basics of what makes a reader:

  • You read books.

That’s it. Quite simply put in the very basic scope of things, this is what makes you a reader. You read books. Many of us in the book community are extremely passionate about books and, yes, it can and often does become more than just a hobby for some of us.

Some people get it in their minds that you have to read a certain amount of books to be declared a reader, or that you have to have read all of the great classics, or that you have to own a certain number of books, or only read a certain genre, or any number of things.

But really, you don’t. You can do whatever you want when it comes to being a reader.

You only like to read mystery books because you love the thrill and trying to figure out who did what on your own? Awesome!

You like to organize your shelves by color and even double stack because, let’s be honest, you don’t have shelf space and you need to fit them somehow? Do it!

You prefer to read eBooks and listen to audiobooks over reading physical books because of the ease of space and the convenience of carrying around a device that can hold thousands of books? Super!

You enjoy going to book signings, book events, wearing makeup (or not), doing Booktube, Bookstagram, Booklr, tweet about books, AND you have a book blog? Great!

All of these things do make you a reader, but also so, so, SO many other things make you a reader. It doesn’t matter if you’re male, female, or however you identify yourself. It doesn’t matter if you like wearing makeup or not or whether or not you read a lot or a little.

The fact that you read is enough to call yourself a reader.

I know that sometimes you may feel pressured to read certain books because everyone seems to be reading the same books, or to read a certain number of books to keep up with everything being published that you’re interested in, or that you need to have already read and liked every classic ever, but really?

What you read is enough.

So am I a reader? Hell yeah I am. I’ve always loved to read. I love Young Adult, adult, fantasy, sci-fi, contemporary, first person perspective and third person perspective, and more, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I meant to discuss this earlier this week, but I’ve been crazy busy, so I apologize that this post is so late and that I’ve barely posted all week. But I thought that this topic was important to discuss, so here we are!

Let’s Chat! ≧◡≦

What do you think about this topic? Did you ever assume that you needed to read certain books or have certain requirements in order to call yourself a reader? Have you ever been to BEA or BookCon or any kind of book event? How were they?

Armchair BEA 2016 Wrap Up & Giveaway Winner

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Made by Amber

Well friends, Armchair BEA has come to a close along with Book Expo America and BookCon. So sad, but it was just as fun as last year. I had a good time at the Twitter parties, discussing bookish topics, and overall seeing a small chunk of the community come together for something like this.

I definitely had fun talking about the fictional worlds I’d want to survive in and the ones I’d want to live in. Reality kind of sucks sometimes, so it’s always fun to imagine living in a different world – though I’m sure that, too, would suck after a while if there was a lot of chaos going on there. But I’d cope somehow!

I also enjoy talking about the importance of diversity in books and how there’s just not enough of it out there. Yes, some strides are being made – which is always a plus – but it’s not enough and I think the publishing industry needs to grow and expand and understand that we, as readers, as people, need it.

And then talking about other forms of reading, such as manga! I think that it’s a fun medium to read from and that it really can capture the emotions and the heart of a story.

And now the giveaway winner!

Thank you to everyone who participated! I’ll be sure to have another giveaway in a couple of months, but for now, here is the winner:

Congratulations to…


I will send you an email regarding your win and choice of book from The Book Depository.

Let’s Chat! ≧◡≦

Did you participate in Armchair BEA? What were your favorite parts? Did you attend BEA or BookCon? Tell me all the things!

Armchair BEA Day 4: Surviving Fictional Worlds & Giveaway

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Made by Amber

Today’s talk is all about surviving fictional worlds: ones we love, hate, and everything in between. Fictional worlds can be dangerous, but that’s not going to stop us from dreaming of living there with the other characters we love, right? So today’s chat is all about that. And I’m pretty excited because OH MAN. THE FEELS.


Some of the questions we were asked to think about were: Which fictional worlds would you want to live in? Which worlds do you never want to dive into? Which worlds are you content to stay behind the glass, so to speak, rather than wishing to dive through the page? And once you get there, what would you do?

Let’s start with the easy one: which fictional worlds would you want to live in?

My blanket answer: any that Sarah J. Maas writes.

I KNOW. But guys, the worlds she writes are large and expansive and beautiful, even if they are dangerous. I’d particularly want to stay in Prythian in the Night Court from A Court of Mist and Fury for several reasons…

Other worlds I’d want to live in:

  • Truthwitch‘s world & I’d want to be a threadwitch. Even if I can’t see my own connections to people, I think I’d like seeing others connections.
  • Eretz from Daughter of Smoke & Bone because WOW. Chimera and angels and all sorts of interesting things to see! I just hope I wouldn’t, you know, get killed.
  • Kingdoms of the Remnant from The Kiss of Deception. Particularly Venda because that part of the world just seems so mysterious and wild. Plus, my bae, Kaden, lives there.
  • And, you know, Hogwarts. Because duh.

Those are just a few of the worlds I’d want to visit, even if crap goes down there often.

Which fictional worlds do you never want to dive into?

I’d honestly say any dystopian world because there’s a very real chance that our world could turn into something similar one day and I’m just not ready for that.

Which worlds are you content to stay behind the glass, so to speak, rather than wishing to dive through the page?

Hmm… I think maybe the Shadowhunter world because although I do enjoy the characters and everything, I don’t know that I’d want a showdown like what happens in the books. That just seems a little too much for me. (And yet I’m willing be in worlds with CHIMERA. Like, what even is my brain?)

And once you get there, what would you do?

Probably find one of the characters I’d know and try to become friends with them. It might end horribly, but at least I can try!


Oh man guys, when was the last time I did one of these? Feels like forever ago, but we had the option of hosting a giveaway on our own blogs and so, because I love you all, I’m going to do just that!

So what you’re entering for is a purchase from The Book Depository for a book up to $15USD. If it ships to your country, then you are eligible to win. Meaning, yes, this is international!

The giveaway will be running from today, May 14th, until May 17th at 12AM EST!

Click Here for the Rafflecopter Giveaway! Closed!

WordPress doesn’t let me have the actual widget in posts, unfortunately, so just click the link and be sure to follow the rules!

Let’s Chat! ≧◡≦

What kinds of worlds would you most want to avoid? What about ones you’d want to stay in? Would you want to switch lives with a character or live your own life? Let’s talk about all the things!

Armchair BEA 2016 Day 3: Beyond the Books & Blog

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Made by Amber

Welcome to day 3 of Armchair BEA! If you don’t know what Armchair BEA is, it’s a way for those of us who weren’t able to make it to Book Expo America (BEA) to meet with a lot of other fellow book lovers and talk about a lot of bookish related things!

Today’s topics are all about looking beyond the traditional format of the media we consume and create. So think about novels: those are pretty traditional. But what about manga, comic books, webcomics, etc? And when it comes to looking beyond the blog, do you participate in book clubs, take classes, meticulously maintain your Goodreads profile? So these are kind of fun topics to think about and talk about, so here’s what I’ve got:

Some of my favorite alternative forms of novels are manga. I first got into manga back when I was about 11 or 12 years old, my first manga being Tokyo Mew Mew. I loved it and how fast I could read it, plus the art was very lovely. For a while now, manga hasn’t had as much of an impact on my life as it once did, but I do go back on occasion and read some. I love seeing the stories unfold visually and how everything is so detailed.

Some of my favorite manga:

I’m very much into the shoujo type of mangas that are targeted toward girls because of the romance. I love romance so reading about it and seeing visuals of it? Oh yes, I’m in love. Plus, manga really influenced my drawing style. I’m not super awesome at it like some people, but I can get by with my chibis.

Here’s some of my chibis, which you can find more of on my deviantART page:



Honestly, that’s the biggest one that comes to mind. Manga is just one of those things that I think I’ll always cherish, even if I don’t read it all that often anymore.

As for looking beyond the blog and ways I talk about books outside of this blog is my Booktube channel and my Instagram. I find that these are very awesome ways to talk about books because you can engage visually and orally, or you can take a cool photo and ask questions and find likeminded people that way. I honestly love Bookstagram because it’s so cool to see so many talented people taking pictures of books! And then Booktube is just awesome because it’s an entire community of book lovers creating content on YouTube and it’s just… My heart is filled with happiness.

Other than that, I don’t really talk about books outside of my blog and Twitter and social media. I don’t really have the outlets to talk to people about them. I think it’s so awesome to have book communities online as they bring so many people together.

Let’s Chat! ≧◡≦

What are some different ways you read books, or different types of books? Are you into comics or audiobooks or graphic novels? And as far as talking about books outside of blogging, do you do it anywhere? Bookstagram, Booktube, book clubs, etc? Let me know!