The stress of staring at the blank page for about three hours before even starting to type an introduction is real. I don’t know how to do them. Someone send help.
If you’re a fellow bookworm, it’s rather safe to assume you’ve faced at least one for these issues:
- stumbling on a trigger in a book and being upset at the lack of beforehand warning;
- getting a book from a series and not remembering key characters and events from the previous books;
- worse even: not knowing by which book to start reading the series;
- not knowing what to read next;
- facing a painful book hangover.
Has one of these ever been your case? If your answer is no, I’m afraid I have to break a bad news to you: there are high probabilities one of these will happen to you at some time. If your answer is yes: don’t worry, bookfriend, you’re not alone.
I’ve had periods of peak irritation because each of these issues, and since I’m not one to wait and let problems get themselves solved, I’ve gathered these 9+ links to improve my reading experience. I hope they’ll help you too.
1- Be Aware of Triggers Before You Start Reading
2- Find Out the Order of Books in a (Long) Series
3- Read Recaps of Previous Books in a Series
4- Get Recommendations Based on Your Favorite Reads
5- Find Stories to Surpass Book Hangover
Disclaimer: I am not endorsed or supported in any way by these websites. I want to share the info because reading is my life and yours as well.
1- Does the Dog Die (Be Aware of Triggers Before You Start Reading):
If you often stumble upon triggers that ruin your reading peace and possibly your day/night/week, then you need Does the Dog Die.
DtDD keeps record of all possible traumatic events/concepts in books, movies, series, and other types of media. Easy to use as both an app and a website, it is a life and time-savior when it comes to trigger shunning (even for very specific ones such as horse dying, hospital mentions, or dog fighting).
Other readers who have already read the book you are researching have even taken note of stuff related to the triggers if it doesn’t directly make an appearance in the book, so you can really know what you’re launching yourself into when you start reading.
DtDD has many cool features (that I won’t explain on here, we don’t want this post to get any longer, do we?) to make sure your next read will be as safe as possible. Here is one: you can browse content by trigger and by trigger-shunning. Depending on the option you choose, every single piece of content that contains the trigger you selected will exclusively appear or be banned from the search result list.
Plus, you can even cooperate by adding new books/movies/tv shows/etc., correcting the trigger value (see the little numbers in the YES and NO boxes? it’s the number of users who’ve confirmed the answer), adding comments to detail the triggers, or requesting new triggers to be flagged!
I discovered this site thanks to Margaret’s hilarious (and painfully honest)
rant post on improvements that Goodreads should consider.
3- Book Series in Order (Pretty Self-Explanatory):
We provide the book series in order by author, and then in order of the character or series. Where applicable, we provide you with both the publication order of the books written, as well as the chronological order of the books.Book Series in Order – Home Page
It’s often useless to look for the order of books in a series when it’s a trilogy or quartet. But when it comes to series like The Hercule Poirot Mysteries by Agatha Christie or the Shatter Me series by Tahereh Mafi, it’s easier to get confused by the amount of books.
Some time ago, I decided to start reading The Hercule Poirot Mysteries, thinking that I could pick any of the books and just roll with it. Ha. You can get spoiled if you read them in the wrong order, and the worse is that the reading order sometimes doesn’t even depend on the chronological order of publication. Yeah.
That’s why BSiO metaphorically saved my neck (honestly, one of my biggest literary pet peeves is spoilers).
You might be thinking that Goodreads also gives you the series order, but, believe me, BSiO is a much quicker way to get the result given their categorization system and the fact that sorting out books’ order is their main purpose.
Plus, they’re constantly adding new series, authors, and characters and they’re open to suggestions.
Alternative: Order of Books
2- Book Series Recaps (Summaries of Previous Books in Series):
“Well, you know when the next book in a series is about to come out and you can’t remember all the main details of the previous books? That’s what we are here for! Catch up on the parts that slipped your mind so you will be ready for the next one.”Book Series Recap – About Widget
This one is for you if you hate to forget about key characters and events in previous books of a series and yet don’t have enough time to reread them.
The recaps on Book Series Recaps don’t leave out any important details. Some might be short (their first ones usually are) while others are more expanded, but they all fulfill their purpose. It’s the Sparknotes of YA series.
BSR also features reviews and a “Clean YA books for teens and tweens” section.
The site is managed by two moms who have a lot on their plate and use their free time to help fellow readers, so it mostly covers popular series. However, they constantly look for contributors to help with providing more recaps, ensuring that BSR keeps being useful to as many readers as possible.
– some less-known series
– list structure (mainly plot recap)
– over 300 recaps
4- What Should I Read Next (Get Book Recommendations Based on Your Favorite Reads):
WSIRN produces recommendations based purely on collective taste: when books are entered into the same favorites list, they become associated with each other. The more often particular items appear on different lists, the stronger that association becomes. Purely and simply, WSIRN represents mass opinion about books. For the technically minded, this is a collaborative filtering system, using our own bespoke algorithm called ‘Incidence Bias Weighting’ and partly using association rules.What Should I Read Next – FAQ
Some books make you feel things you’ve never felt before and probably will never again in the exact same way. Is it the mood, the theme, the trope, the characters, the author’s style? It’s hard to say. Sometimes, it’s just magic. Magic that you’re desperate to find again.
What bookworm doesn’t want to find books that are similar to their favorite ones? I probably am not the only one who will like What Should I Read Next.
I don’t think I could explain WSIRN‘s system better than they do themselves in their FAQ page, so you might want to check it out.
Of course, we ought to take this one with a grain of salt. Algorithmic (or whatever technological term best describes their process) results are never really going to be accurate. The results that come up for a search on The Count of Montecristo, for example, look a bit fishy. Plus, it depends on what similarities you’re looking for: the type of main character? The trope? The mood? The writing style?
But it’s still a way to get an idea for a next read.
1: Which Book (you need to allow it to run Adobe Flash)
– mostly adult books
– highly customizable search options
– choose by combination of moods and styles (how happy? how conventional? how original?)
– choose by combination of character/plot/setting type
– themed lists (Short & Sweet, Pure Entertainment, etc.)
2: Reads Rainbow
– exclusively LGBTQIA+ recs
– categorization by tropes/genre/etc.
4- AO3 (Fanfiction to Tame Book Hangover):
The Archive of Our Own (AO3) is a noncommercial and nonprofit central hosting site for transformative fanworks such as fanfiction […] The AO3 is built on open-source archiving software designed and built by and for fans.AO3 – FAQ
Let me introduce you to a wicked world…
How to explain exactly how AO3 works? I’m a bit wary of putting it in here, mostly because it is a lot of craziness. I mean, what else could you expect from a space run by fans? And I’m talking about dedicated fans, the kind who know so much about a book that they write in the holes left by the story. I’m talking about fanfiction writers.
It’s always a little hard to explain what fanfiction is, but I guess I’ve never tried it this way: if you’ve read Fangirl, by Rainbow Rowell, then you already know. If you haven’t: do you know fanart? Well, fanfiction is the same, but with writing instead of art.
Fans who’ve loved the story and have ideas about alternative endings/pairings/plots, want to further develop some characters, or even want to cross and blend different fandoms write up their own pieces. They make the story and characters live on, in some sense.
AO3 majorly displays works from big fandoms (think Doctor Who, Harry Potter, anime fandoms, etc.) but it also has some works set in smaller fandoms (like The Night Circus or Six of Crows).
Important warning here: since anyone can post things on AO3, you should be aware that:
– things get crazy. or gross. or both.
– not every piece of writing you’ll find will be good or even remotely close to good
– you have to learn some fandom slang (AU, crossover, fluff, etc.)
– things get crazy, pal
– you might find good stuff which unfortunately wounds up to be unfinished or unedited
– you might not find anything at all
– have I already mentioned things getting crazy?
You’ll cruise the AO3 sea at your own risk. Maybe get swallowed by it. But sometimes it’s worth it. It helped me get over my obsessive HP phase and introduced me to other fandoms.
– more complex pieces than AO3
– easier to sort out the categorization
– you need to create a free account to browse
– not fanfic-exclusive, so you have to search for “[yourfandom] fanfiction” or “[yourfandomabbreviation] fic” in the search bar
– messier than the other two websites
I hope this post turns out to be useful to as many fellow bookworms as possible. No, seriously, I’ve put some unhealthy amount of time into it and ignored tasks that I better take care of right now, so it’d be cool if it was for something
ignore me, I’m pathetic.
How do you usually face the issues mentioned in this post? Did you know these websites/links? Do you have alternative recommendations?
Let me know in the comments!