Beyond the traditional form of the novel, what are your favorite alternative forms (graphic novels, audiobooks, webcomics, etc)? Do you have any favorite works within these alternate forms? How do you think the changing format affects the reading experience?
So, a couple weekends ago I was feeling super stressed out for no reason whatsoever, to the point that even reading wasn’t working for me. In an attempt to distract myself, I hopped on the Google Play store and fell into the rabbit hole that is Otome.
What are Otome games? They’re a Japanese form of visual novel, kind of like a cross between a comic book and a choose-your-own adventure story. Otome specifically are told from a female character’s perspective, and you’re trying to romance at least one guy. There are multiple different endings, and the choices you make determine whether you get a good ending, or are destined for heartbreak. They are super cheesy, and weirdly addicting.
I’ve been hooked on one called “Shall We Date: Guilty Alice.” The basic idea is that your character walks into a store in our world and finds a jewelry box with a crystal heart inside. It belongs to the Queen of Hearts in Wonderland, and you find yourself on trial there for stealing it. The Queen of Hearts gives you a finite period of time to make a new heart, which of course you have to do by falling in love with someone in Wonderland. I’ve already played two different story arcs for this game–one where you fall in love with the Joker, who looks like a bad boy but is really a big softie who is misunderstood, and another where you fall in love with the Cheshire Cat, a dark prince in disguise who is trying to redeem the Queen of Hearts. It’s definitely cheesy, but also a neat form of storytelling, and one that I plan on exploring more in the future!
Our secondary topic, beyond the blog could focus on the ways you engage in talking about books outside of your blog. Do you participate in book clubs, take classes, meticulously maintain your goodreads profile? Let the world know!
#Bookstagram – This is actually something I’ve been wanting to discuss for a while, but haven’t made a separate post for. When did Bookstagram become a thing? I’ve had an Instagram pretty much since I got my first smartphone a couple years ago, but haven’t really used it for much of anything other than pictures of food (don’t judge!) until recently. Now I’m a Bookstagram addict, and want to learn how to engage with that community more. It adds a nice layer into my reviewing routine, and seems like a great way to feature books before I’ve gotten a chance to read them. That also makes me feel less guilty about accepting review copies and not getting to them immediately. Do any of you Bookstagram, and if so, do you have advice for someone just getting started?
Twitter – I love Twitter, and have a lot of bookish discussions there. It’s one of the places where I’ll engage directly with authors, instead of just with other readers. Sometimes I worry that I’ll come off as a rabid fangirl, but that can’t be helped. My Twitter account is also one of my more focused social media accounts, as I created it specifically for my blog-self (I also use two other Twitter accounts that are work-related, one of which is our organization’s Twitter, and the other which is work-me, so that I can Tweet opinions and be part of discussions at conferences). When I use Instagram/Facebook/etc., I feel like my blogging and personal worlds collide a lot more. How do you all manage this with social media? Do you do multiple accounts, or everything in one?
Goodreads – I do have a Goodreads profile, and I cross-post all of my reviews there, but I use it more for myself rather than to engage with others. It helps me keep track of what I’m reading, since I usually am reading something like five books at any given time. It can also be a good indicator of when it’s time to DNF something–if it’s been sitting on my “Currently Reading” shelf for 5 months and I’m only 17% of the way through, chances are it isn’t for me. I also really love the reading challenge.
Book Club – When one of my close friends and I go to the bar, we tend to get brilliant ideas. After taking tequila shots one night, we decided to start a book club. We meet every couple months for brunch and book discussion. The next book on our list is “The Fifth Season” by N.K. Jemisin, and I’m so excited to read and discuss it!