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Book to movie adaptations

Don’t you just hate it when you wait forever for something and it ends up being nothing like you expected?

Book to movie adaptations have a nasty habit of doing just that. Fallen was the first for me this year, Before I Fall the second. Neither of them were what I thought they could be. Neither were as good as the books. Both left me feeling as though something was missing.

Now, I am not saying that the movies were terrible. They truly weren’t. As stand alone movies they were really good. But as an adaptation they were missing that little… something.

Before I Fall is one of my top ten books of the last few years. It is one of the very few that I had to put down to take a breath and it is one of even fewer that had me sobbing real tears. That is some power as I am not an easily tearful person when it comes to books. I am, however, easily brought to tears by the big screen so I expected my heartstrings to take a beating. I didn’t get even that.

You see, for me at least, the movie seemed very rushed. I didn’t find that I cared enough about the characters in real time to give a care for them when they died. The mean girls were just mean, the bullied just… dull. It was missing the backstory and the time that was given in the book to completely engross the reader. For some reason it didn’t translate into a ninety minute movie.

This is becoming a regular issue with adaptations. Maybe it’s time for popular books to be left on paper and for the big screen to get it’s own stories? What do you think?

Why Blog?

I will read anything, anytime and anywhere. It’s the best known fact about me in my offline life. It doesn’t matter if it’s a bestselling YA book, a magazine about radio communication or the back of a shampoo bottle whilst sitting on the toilet; I adore words.

There is something amazing about the way words make us feel. How an author can use them to transport us into a different world altogether. As Charlie Brooker recently said “Apparently, you just have to glance at some sort of ink code printed on paper and images and sounds magically appear in your head, enacting the story. Sounds far-fetched to me, but we’ll see.”

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Of course, back before the internet being a ‘reader’ wasn’t the best career choice. There were careers that involved reading, but not many and not easily accessible. I found myself studying more sensible courses and kept my reading in a box marked ‘hobby’. A solo hobby too, since none of my friends were really ‘into’ books.

It wasn’t until a few years ago after realising that my love of reading was also a love of writing, that I discovered book blogging. A dream came true that day. Not a dream of becoming a millionaire from words, but a dream of being able to expand that hobby into something a little more. I started my blog because I wanted to join the community, find like-minded friends and share my love for words.

I wanted to make it career even if it was unpaid.

So I kept my day job to pay the bills and set about making my blog a reality. Unfortunately study got in the way and I recently finished a degree in English Literature. The study I should have been doing all along even if it did lead to a lengthy hiatus whilst I learned.

Of course, I did have my reservations. The one reason I didn’t want to book blog?

I thought I would be terrible at it.

I am so glad I didn’t let that hold me back.

If you have nothing nice to say

 

“If you have nothing nice to say, say nothing at all.” That old gem has been drilled into us from the day that we could talk. But how true is it for book reviewers?

In my opinion it isn’t true at all!

You see, as a reviewer I think I have a duty of care to my readers. I want the to know which books I recommend, but I also want them to know which books they should not touch with a ratty bookmark. If I hated a book then surely I have the right, and the duty to say why?!

It could be as simple as I didn’t enjoy the story, or I disliked the protagonist. Things that might not put another reader off reading it, yet give them the chance to make an educated decision about their reading time. Honesty, no matter how brutal, could help a reader choose between two books. We all know how that can be a time suck.

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On the other hand, as a writer I have also been at the blunt end of some thorny critiques. In fact, as a part of my creative writing degree modules we had to both give and receive critiques. It was harsh, it stung…

…and it improved my writing.

You see, people who only ever hear the positive views of their work will never have reason to improve. Those who hear nothing will likely assume that no news is good news. But those who are given the critiques as a tool that they can learn from? They have an idea of what they need to work on in the future.

I am not saying that we should be nasty about everything we didn’t like about a book. But there is room for constructive criticism in a review for the benefit of both the readers and the writers.

What do you think? Should we only post nice reviews?

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e-Book vs Real Book

It’s hot topic time!

This one has been a hot-topic for years and it is showing no signs of dying. E-book vs Book has been argued since the first ever e-Readers appeared. Some people prefer the feel and smell of the book, whilst others enjoy the convenience of an e-Reader.

Personally I stand with one foot in each.

I absolutely adore real books. New book smell needs to be bottled and given away in those cute little perfume samples. It needs to be turned into air freshener and candles. The feel of a brand new, unread, uncreased book filled with possibilities is exciting. I love to feel the weight of it on my hand and the dust on the edges of the cut pages. That is something that you don’t get with an e-Book.

Of course, not being heavy is the biggest benefit of an e-book. They weigh nothing more than the reader that they are stored on. They take up less space in a bag or suitcase and yet can hold hundreds of stories. My reader is my Nexus 7 tablet which fits in most of my bags easily, with space for anything else that I wish to carry. Most novels don’t fit in those bags at all.

My tablet is an issue though. I cannot read for any length of time on it without developing a headache. This isn’t the same for those with e-Ink readers. I have used a Kindle in the past and find it just as comfortable as a paper book. Unfortunately, I cannot afford a Kindle so I am stuck with the tablet which is needed for other purposes. Books do not give me headaches unless I read for hours on end. Even then it is usually caused by the light in the room rather than the book itself.

This doesn’t mean that books are comfortable to read. I am sure that all of you have had dead arms, or dropped the book whilst trying to find a good reading position. I have, many times. With my tablet I can rest it on it’s stand and swipe the pages with one hand no matter how I am sitting.

That is, until the battery runs out.  Not an issue with paper books, but a common one with my tablet. Always at the exact point that the book is getting interesting too.

Which do you prefer? Does any one issue sway your choice?

 

Books on a Budget

Let’s Talk is a new semi-regular discussion post. This is where you can suggest a topic in the comments. I will select one that might be interesting to the book community and I’ll create a post. Then you can get in the comments and join in the discussion! 

This week – Let’s Talk… BOOKS ON A BUDGET.

I am quite open about my income. I don’t mind people knowing that I was a child within a low income family, nor do I mind being open about the fact that I had a lot of money issues as a young adult. Finances have always been tight for me and books have never been a priority within the budget, even if they are a priority to me.

I have been reading for most of my life. I wouldn’t say it was an escape because I had a very happy childhood, but I did love to spend time in different worlds. I adore stories and the characters within them. I am an introvert, and books are my happy place.

Of course, having little spare money meant that I had to find cheaper ways to find books.

  • Libraries.
    • Pros: The library has a good selection and it’s FREE. I can always order a book through them if it is not on the shelf. I can return books that I don’t like very much. 
    • Cons: I have to return the books that I do like and that hurts. It takes months for brand new releases to become available and even then they are likely to be on a waiting list. If they are I can only take them for a limited time. 
  • Charity Shops. 
    • Pros: Usually they have amazing sales on like 3 books for £1. I can return books that I don’t like and don’t forget helping charities is amazing. 
    • Cons: There isn’t usually a lot of choice and honestly, most of the books are awful or in really bad condition.
  • Sales.
    • Pros: Cheap, brand new books and amazing deals. 
    • Cons: When I was younger they were very rare. As an adult, and with the rise of the internet, they still sometimes only happened when I didn’t have any spare cash. 
  • E-books.
    • Pros: Lots of free and cheap options. Lots of sales and deals. 
    • Cons: As a child these did not exist. As an adult I don’t have a kindle so I have to use my tablet, which hurts my eyes. Also navigating the free or cheap options is hard because so much of it is really bad.
None of these options gave me any access to the newest “must read” books. But they still gave me books and I am always grateful for that. 
Now cash is less tight and my OH encourages me to buy books when and if I want them. But after almost thirty years of buying books on a tight budget it is hard to break the habit. 
What do you do when you can’t really afford new books?