Graphic Novels – YAY or NAY

For those of you who know me, you know that I have been struggling lately to get into graphic novels. I have tried different ones to see if I can find one that really grabs my attention and sucks me in. I’m finding it WAY more difficult than I thought I would! So, I’ve been texting all my book friends asking for suggestions on what I should read that will have me convinced that this graphic novel trend is worthy. So far I am not having much luck.

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy them but I always end up having questions. My husband laughs and tells me “that is how graphic novels work, you need to keep reading and it’ll give you the character and plot descriptions later in the story” – “BUT WHERE DID THAT GUY COME FROM AND WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE?” I yell, feeling frustrated.

I like that graphic novels are quick reads and the pictures do help take some of the long descriptive parts out. I like that they are easy for reluctant readers. I don’t like that they seem to start in the middle – no character development, no plot development in the beginning. Do some graphic novels read like a novel with a plot curve? Maybe I am just reading the wrong ones.

I want to know how you all feel. Is it okay to sit on the fence with graphic novels? Are there graphic novel suggestions that you think might change my mind? I want to like graphic novels, I really do. Please help me!

Welcoming Shannon!

Hey Everyone,

I just wanted to give you all another update. Unfortunately, Autumn has had a death in the family and will be taking some time away from the blog. Although we are going to miss her, we are sending her our love and well wishes. We will be more than happy to have her back when she is feeling up to it.

As for me, I have a beautiful 2 month old boy now. He is happy, healthy and finally sleeping enough to give me reading time! My brain is getting back to a solid form and I can’t wait to get back on track here. I have spent some time this morning updating my Goodreads page – the leafmarks update will happen shortly – so feel free to check it out if you want to see what I’ve been reading lately!

Now, to help me get the blog back on track I have invited along another friend of mine. Her name is Shannon. I am hoping to have Shannon up and ready to go in the next week so you should all keep your eyes open and ready for her reviews. She is a very enthusiastic reader and is also expecting her first baby so we should be able to have a lot of cool things coming for you.

Here is a quick intro for you all. I have known Shannon for a few years now when we met working at a local book store. Although our career paths have taken us to different opportunities we have remained friends and are always discussing/sharing our book recommendations. We tend to have similar tastes in books but look for different things when we are reading a book. I seem to be a lot more technical, looking for grammar and plot structure whereas Shannon reads with her heart. She fully devotes herself to every character in every novel she reads and for this I have always been a little jealous. She is a true book nerd sporting book quote tattoos and all, and I think you all will grow to love her the way I have. Please help me welcome Shannon to Buzz on Books by requesting some books you want to see her review! I warn you though, she has read a lot!!

Wishlist Wednesday | Book Events

Last week, Aurora and I accidentally discovered that was were going to be attending the same event – And when I mean accidentally, we both found out at 4:30am when she posted on Facebook that she was headed on an adventure, and I asked.

We hadn’t seen each other in at least 4 years, so it was very exciting to be able to spend at least a few moments together.

The event was an exciting opportunity to discover what new books are being released this spring and summer. Although we have a series of book previews already ready to be published on the blog, we quickly found more that grabbed out attention – And even some of those books managed to sneak their way to the top of our ‘To Be Read’ piles… Whoops!

But what I’m wondering, is how many other of our readers enjoy attending events like these, or even the wonderful ‘Book Cons’ that are also becoming super popular. I know that there’s a large book convention coming up in June at the Toronto Convention Centre (I believe), and while I’d love to go, I’ve already made plans that weekend.

Or do people prefer a book reading of a local author (or maybe even someone more famous) where they get the chance to hear that author lament about the writing process, the love of their characters, and the general excitement that they have for their craft.

What are your thoughts readers? Feel free to comment below, or shoot either us an email with your thoughts!

Free For All Friday | Books vs. eReading

Working in a bookstore, I tend to get asked a lot on if I’m Team Book or Team eReader. Its a tough question to answer, as I’d love to just answer Team Writing/Reading in general, but I do see the reason for it. Each side has valid reasons for why people switch from one to the other; remain faithful to their love of physical books; or who have transferred their entire collection to eReading devices.

For me, the answer is that I have both, and I actually favour Team eReader just slightly more. A lot of it comes down to pricing and space. Living where I currently do, I’m tight on space and my makeshift bookshelves, are overflowing as it is… And my collection continues to grow! Sometimes there are sales that are too good to pass up. Here’s my reasoning for each side:

Books
For series’ that I’ve been reading for years, if I’ve started collecting them in physical format, I have to continue in that trend. I find it too difficult to transition from one format to another when it comes to a series, so I’d rather keep physical collections physical, and electronic ones, electronic.
You truly cannot beat the smell of books. The scent of a book is so difficult to explain to people, but I find that it can draw you in much easier, and faster, if it’s something you can relate to via smell. Studies have even shown that we tie memories to scents, so if you’ve read a great series and smell a book, it could bring you back to where you were when you read it!
As enjoyable as it is to have your collection handy and available at your fingertips, sometimes nothing beats holding a book in your hands, and feeling the weight of the paper as you turn the pages. Similar to that of the scent of a book, its a feeling that cannot be replaced when you go electronic.
Pricing! You wouldn’t believe the amount of money I’ve saved (by switching my car insurance to Geico) purchasing some books in actual book format. I own all the Diana Gabaldon mass market paperbacks (the small, pocket sized ones), because there was a deal where I could get 2 for $15 (When they cost about $11.99 each regularly). Even pricing that in comparison to the Kobo version, I saved nearly $40. I couldn’t beat it.

eReaders
I have an iPad and a Kobo Aura eReader, so I luck out in that I’m able to read not only Kobo books, but Kindle and iBooks as well. When I pick up books that author’s have graciously sent me (in exchange for an honest review of their works), most times it comes in a Kindle format file – Which is not accessible on Kobo. Having these devices, or even these apps installed on your phone, tablet or computer, gives you easy access to millions of books, and you don’t have to travel into the cold to buy them!
Travel. I’ve been travelling frequently in the past 2 years, and while I’d love to take 6 or 7 physical books with me, its just not possible. With an eReader (or tablet), I suddenly have access to my entire collection at my fingertips. All I need to do is download them over wifi (or plug my device into my computer). Most devices even allow you easy purchase access directly from your device, which actually makes for a faster experience overall.
Pricing! Now, if you know where to look, and are willing to spend a few minutes finding the right deals, you can actually save money on purchasing eBooks. Kobo has daily deals on their website (where you can save up to 80% off one book each day – of their choosing), and they frequently run contests and promotions. While Kindle and iBooks don’t normally run contests for promotional coupons, they have a much larger selection of cheap (or even free) eBooks for you to choose from.
Pricing (part 2)! Depending on the book/author/publisher/etc you’re actually saving off the cover price in store. A new hardcover in store can run you anywhere from $25 to $40 if they’re not on promotion. eBooks, while occasionally priced the same (if maybe a little cheaper) will often save you anywhere from $5 to $15. It’s all about just taking time to shop for those deals.

I know a lot of people say that books are going the way of the dinosaur, and eventually there won’t be any. Personally I think that’s a very long way off. The retail market for books is still a very popular one, as there are still people who won’t go the route of using an eReader – Which is completely fine! There are people who will never purchase a physical book again, because eReaders and Tablets are so much more convenient for them. Which is completely fine as well. The writing industry is going to be around for hundreds of years to come, as long as we continue to purchase the books that authors write, and publishers put out.

What are your thoughts? Are you Team Book? Or Team eReader?