Let’s Talk Bookish – Are big TBRS the Result of Abibliophobia?

Welcome to a new Friday here at Down The Rabbit Hole! On this week’s Let’s Talk Bookish, we once again are discussing a topic based on a community suggestion. If you’re unfamiliar with this segment, it’s actually hosted by Rukky and Dani on their respective blogs! I will link them below once again for those who are new:

Let’s Talk Bookish is a weekly meme, hosted by Rukky @ Eternity Books & Dani @ Literary Lion, where they discuss certain topics, share their opinions, and spread the love by visiting each others’ posts.

Prompt for February 19:

Abibliophobia is the fear of running out of reading material, and TBRs are lists of books you plan to read.

Do you have abibliophobia? Do you add books to your TBR to keep it big, or is it a place where you keep books that seem interesting? Do you have multiple TBRs? If you don’t have a TBR, how do you find your next read?

Honestly, this may be truly sacrilegious or blasphemous, but I don’t really have a TBR! I know, a blogger without an infinitely long TBR isn’t the norm. But I guess here’s my little secret: rather than abibliophobia, I think I rather fear a long list of TBR more! The completionist in me will immediately spring into action, trying to finish every single book on that list, to “accomplish” or “finish” it – totally defeating the purpose of having a list of books to enjoy reading just for the sake of it.

I suppose I am not too afraid of running out of reading material – is it even possible for me to finish reading all the books out there? Worst case scenario, I can always read books from a different language right? But I digress. I suppose on some level I am afraid of running out of material to read, but with how busy everyone’s lives are this day and age, I don’t think I genuinely have to worry about that.

I generally do keep a short TBR from time to time, if multiple friends happen to suggest books at the same time, or if different people want to do some buddy reads – then yes, I do sometimes have a TBR. Waiting to coordinate reading with different friends certainly places books on my backburner waiting to be read when called upon to. Other than this though, I also occasionally have a few books in mind here or there that I may want to pick up if I don’t find anything of greater interest in the meantime.

This makes me TBR serve either only of two purposes: a book that is awaiting a friend, or a shortlist of books I find interesting that I might pick up if something else doesn’t interest me more. Anyone else follow this kind of pattern? Let me know below if I’m not the only one!

I guess the last prompt is about how I find my next read. Honestly, my bookworm friends are a big source of new reading material for me. Each friend likes to read their own specific genre, so I get plenty of diverse suggestions from all of them! Once in-person browsing is allowed again, I also enjoy looking at books on shelves, seeing which ones appeal to me, judging books by their cover, as one does.

No abibliophobia here! Although sometimes I feel like I should work on having a legitimate TBR for the sake of organization. If I do make a good one, I will be sure to share it with all of you sometime!

And that’s all for this Friday’s discussion from me! Do you all have long TBRs or do you keep a short one like me? Is it a result of abibliophobia? Once again, feel free to comment and discuss below, and make sure you follow the original creators on their own blogs!


Let’s Talk Bookish – What Makes a Book Beautiful?

Happy Friday everyone! Once again this week we will be participating again in Let’s Talk Bookish, where we discuss a topic suggested by the lovely community. Let me once again reference their little blurb below, please follow them and feel free to leave your own suggestion and prompts for next month while you’re over there!

Let’s Talk Bookish is a weekly meme, hosted by Rukky @ Eternity Books & Dani @ Literary Lion, where they discuss certain topics, share their opinions, and spread the love by visiting each others’ posts.

Prompt for Feb 12:

It’s impossible not to sometimes judge books by the cover – what makes a book beautiful to you? Are there certain covers you’re drawn towards, and certain styles you stay away from? What are some of the most beautiful covers you’ve seen?

It’s definitely impossible not to sometimes judge books by the cover, but honestly I lean into it – why not? I don’t see what’s wrong with judging books by its cover, unless you’re choosing not to read one purely off how the cover looks – that would be strange. But isn’t it only natural to pick up a book that looks attractive? I have always wondered this. Let me know below if you don’t see the big deal of judging a book by it’s cover! I think the real message is more like: don’t only judge a book by it’s cover, right?

Ironically, even though I have been reading more books recently, I have been mostly reading off eReaders or on my phone. Ergo, I don’t really see book covers – at least not in real life. But moving onto the actual question, I do like a variety of book covers! Of course the beautifully illustrated artworks are nice, but also simple geometric or minimalistic designs also appeal to me. Here is an example of that:

I feel like this cover really fits that simplistic yet cool design with the whole mirrored effect (even if it’s not a true mirror image). When I first saw this, I was definitely intrigued and wondering, what might this book be about? And if you read our anticipated books of Feb 2021 post, you would know that I am indeed looking forward to this book! But this cover though, yes please.

Another one from our anticipated books for February, but I also enjoy this beautiful Norse mythology inspired design. these kinds of illustrations really speak to me, and make me want to pick it off the shelf! Any book that makes me want to pick it up classifies it as a beautiful book, for me.

As for styles I would stay away from… I really wouldn’t say there are any covers I would specifically not pick up. There are certain covers I just wouldn’t gravitate towards, such as:

Like I’m sorry, I enjoyed this book, and luckily I wasn’t reading a physical copy, but this kind of design cover with a non-descript background (seemingly meaningless) and just big block text is really not the kind of design that entices me. I still completely enjoyed this book (stay tuned for the review!) and would recommend it, but I can definitely say its cover wasn’t a selling point for me. I read its synopsis and decided to give it a try, and I have no regrets, so even if I don’t like its cover, it really didn’t affect my opinion of the book.

As much as I look at and judge covers, I pick many up, read the synopsis and put it back down, so it’s actually hard for me to remember beautiful covers that I’ve seen. Unsurprisingly, I actually like a lot of mystery/thriller novel covers. They’re usually a little bit suspenseful and creepy, and just gives me those you-know-it’s-a-thriller vibes.

Like c’mon, tell me that doesn’t scream thriller. I would say this kind of design definitely appeals to me. I like it when a book kind of gives you a glimpse of what you might find inside, and these kinds of covers just promise a great thriller (and usually do!). I find that it just really helps to set the whole mood of the book if the cover also matches the theme. It gives it more of the holistic feel. Of course it doesn’t have to match. But covers (and also titles!) have a huge impact on how the book is framed, as it’s literally the first thing you see and read. I definitely appreciate it when an cover is well thought out, and reflects what might be inside, or provides something to contemplate while reading the book.

Of course, a literal interpretation is also evocative. When I read a title and see that the cover is a literal representation of its title, that is definitely also extremely captivating, as doubling up on the meaning gives it that little extra bit of emphasis:

I just love it. It really gives it that extra oomph. Reminds me of those puzzles that use pictures to depict an idiom literally. So much fun. And if you haven’t seen our review for The Woman in the Window, go check it out. Spoiler alert: it’s rated 5 Drink Me Potions, and Andge and I both give our opinions on it! For me, this book definitely stood out on the shelf at the local bookstore, and fun fact, Andge helped buy this book for me. Just the cherry on top that it happens to have a great cover and be a great story as well.

And that’s a wrap from me for this week! Hopefully you enjoyed my insight into book covers. What are your opinions? Do book covers matter? A lot, or not at all? Feel free to discuss and comment below, and once again don’t forget to follow the original creators!


Let’s Talk Bookish – Cliches and Tropes

Happy Friday everyone! Down The Rabbit Hole will be participating in Let’s Talk Bookish this month, a place where we can discuss and share our opinions about certain topics suggested by the community. Below I have referenced their little blurb on LTB. Please follow them and feel free to submit your own prompts on their sites as well!

Let’s Talk Bookish is a weekly meme, hosted by Rukky @ Eternity Books & Dani @ Literary Lion, where they discuss certain topics, share their opinions, and spread the love by visiting each others’ posts.

Prompt for February 5:

Can cliches and tropes be done well? When is something a trope and when is it a cliche? when do you enjoy cliches or tropes, and when do you not? How much do cliches/tropes affect your opinion of a book?

#1: Can cliches and tropes be done well?

Absolutely. I feel like if it were completely impossible to do well, they would hardly exist anymore. Although that being said, cliches are probably the harder of the two to do well. To me, the difference between the two are pretty slight – I tend to think of them relatively interchangeably except that cliches often come with a more negative, “overused”, connotation. Now I know this is probably not the technical difference, but for all intents and purposes of this discussion, I will lump them to be more similar than they may be by definition.

For me, the best uses of cliches/tropes are often recognized when the author does something special with it. We’ve all read the typical coming of age story, or love at first sight romances, but I think even the most cliche of cliches can be manipulated to be appropriate, or used in a novel way that is refreshing. The “advantage” of playing along with a cliche or trope is that the audience will always have a particular expectation, and authors can use that to create a more stark contrast when they diverge, or really lead on the readers without much effort. Overall I believe that it’s a tool that is best used sparingly, as it can quickly go south if not done well.

#2: When is something a trope and when is it a cliche?

Like I was saying in the last response, for me, it’s relatively similar. However, if I were to break it down a bit further, I’d say a trope is often something more broad, similar to an archetype. I think an overused and cheesily done trope can also be classified as a cliche. Semantics anyway though, right? In my mind, when I hear these two words, I imagine a trope being a kind of storyline or a character that is often used to enhance a plotline, or add some familiarity. A cliche, on the other hand, is perhaps something similar, except completely expected, overused, and very cheesily executed. I would call something a total cliche if it created cringeworthy moments rather than the more endearing familiarity of a trope.

#3: When do you enjoy cliches or tropes, and when do you not?

To be more specific about when I enjoy them, I would say when authors reference a trope/cliche ironically or use it satirically within their piece, I often get a good laugh out of it. Another way is to almost follow the cliche but then have it fall short just at the end to also create that relief in tension of expectation. While these aren’t the only ways to use it, I get the most enjoyment out of them when I least expect them. On the other hand, my least favourite use of cliches/tropes (besides the obvious cliche being too cliche) is when authors spell out the cliche for you after they’ve been using it the entire time. Definitely a pet peeve of mine, like over-explaining a metaphor after using it… it just really dispels the moment, and not something I enjoy reading.

#4: How much do cliches/tropes affect your opinion of a book?

I think in general I am not going to change my opinion of book based on a cliche/trope that is used, unless it is completely egregious in its use. Even if it is a well-executed cliche or trope, that’s not usually the winning point for me to write home and tell others about. A great story is a great story whether or not it uses a trope or cliche, and so I am not sure how much value I would assign to its usage. I would certainly be impressed if the author executes a trope well, but that isn’t usually the main thing I look for in a novel. I usually judge novels based on the overall experience I had reading it and reflecting on it afterwards, and if it had a well done trope, great! Bonus points for sure, but I wouldn’t say it affects my opinion much.

And that’s it from me for today! What do you guys think? Agree or disagree? Feel free to discuss in the comments below, and once again make sure to follow the original creators!