Life & Lyrics | Song Lyrics That Hit Hard

Hello again, dear friends! I hope you are well and if not, I hope brighter days head your way soon! Today we have a bit of a different post, as I’m straying away from the realm of books. Today I’ll be talking about…music!

My whole life has very much been defined by music. I grew up in a musical household (my dad was a professional musician and my mom was an amateur musician for most of her life), so I suppose it was kinda inevitable that I’d be a musician, the only question was “What type?” It became pretty obvious I’d be a singer as soon as I could string sounds together, though. My mom always fondly recounts how when I was a baby and we’d take the bus I’d always be babbling little musical fragments of “aaaah”s and she’d always jokingly tell the other passengers, “My daughter’s going to be an opera singer!” Turns out mother knows best, as much later in life I did indeed choose to train as an opera and jazz singer 😂

Anyhoo, this is all to say music means more than words can express to me, which is why today’s post is pretty special to me. Today I want to talk about some of my all-time favorite song lyrics, inspired by this post from my fellow blogger, Riddhi!

Never be so kind, you forget to be clever
Never be so clever, you forget to be kind

“marjorie” by taylor swift

To be honest, this entire song and its themes really struck at my heart and made me feel the ever-so-infamous Things™. Some background here: my father died when I was seven and my own grandmother died a year after that. This song speaks so beautifully about loss and what it’s like when when someone you love so deeply dies. It also beautifully conveys how you always carry the love and lessons of your loved ones who have passed on with you, regardless of their lack of physical presence your life. But that’s actually a sort-of tangent. I feel like these particular lyrics convey one of those beloved messages left behind in the wake of someone’s loss—and a gorgeous one that really speaks to me, personally, at that.

And I’m so sick of 17
Where’s my fucking teenage dream?
If someone tells me one more time
“Enjoy your youth, ” I’m gonna cry

“brutal” by olivia rodrigo

God, if these lyrics don’t capture that disappointing feeling of slowly growing up and realizing that life isn’t what you thought it would be, then I don’t know what does! There’s something to be said about the fact that the sentiment of these particular lyrics still ring true with me, despite the fact that age 27, I am way past 17 (and, just a heads up: I’m still wondering where my fucking teenage dream is). I feel like these lyrics—hell, this entire album—really strike at the heart of that uniquely teen and twenty-something urge to just scream and rage at life for how unfair it is. I love this because girls and women are so rarely (if ever) allowed to publicly express anger, even when that anger is justified, like being angry at the unique and inherent injustice we endure throughout our lives. In this way, Rodrigo’s anger at life not reflecting the dream she was sold is surprisingly refreshing!

To be wanted with truth
And make formidable love
See light in myself
That I see inside everyone else I know

“the deepest of sighs, the frankest of shadows” cover by gretta ray

Do you want to know a secret, friends? This is one of the only songs that makes me crank out the tears like a fountain. In particular, this is a song lyric that is so hard to talk about because it just so elegantly and concisely describes emotions I’ve felt so deeply for my entire life. My whole life I’ve felt this incredible lonliness and this song helped me to know that I’m not alone in that feeling, which in and of itself made me feel a little less alone.

I’ve got so much soul inside my bones

“Ultralife” by oh wonder

I feel like this lyric perfectly describes who I am as a human being! I’ve always been very vivacious and full of so much life. This lyric captures that feeling of just being bursting with soul and eagerness to experience all that life has to give. Whenever I hear this song, I remember who I am and why I should love myself, and that’s one of the best things a song can give, in my opinion.

And I like sometimes to wave it high
Up where everyone can see
I’m a lady
Got my mind made up
Got my mind made up
I know I spend magic reel it out
Try to hold a light to me
I’m a lady
Got my mind made up
Got my mind made up

“I’m A lady” by santigold

I loved this song when I was in my late teens/early twenties and I recently rediscovered it and remembered why I loved it so much. I feel like these lyrics are just such a beautiful, simple celebration of being a woman and, in the world of late spring/early summer of 2022 where the US’s Roe v. Wade ruling is likely to be reversed, I just needed this song right when it found me again!

You taught me the courage of stars before you left
How light carries on endlessly, even after death
With shortness of breath
You explained the infinite
And how rare and beautiful it is to even exist

“Saturn” by sleeping at lAst

Is there anyone who doesn’t cry when they hear this song??? Because I do, like, every time! These lyrics mean so much to me because they remind me how precious life is and how even after death the ones we love never really leave us. Whether it’s their memories, or the impression of light their images leave on the backs of our eyelids, they’re always there and nothing and no one can take that love from us.

Well, dear friends, that’s all I have for you today. I hope you enjoyed this post and/or maybe found a new song to go listen to! Definitely share your own favorite lyrics in the comments—I’d love to know which ones have struck a chord with you! Until next time…

spill the beans, friends

  • What are some of your favorite lyrics?
  • Do you have any song lyrics that feel like they define a particular period in your lifetime?

Thinking Out Loud | Hi, I Have No Internal Monologue & This Is How I Think

Hey, friends! A while back, the internet flew into a frenzy over whether or not you have an internal monologue. Apparently, the majority of people have an internal monologue and are simply amazed and astounded by those of us who just…don’t. And, yes, I said “those of us” because—surprise!—I am, in fact, someone who does not think via internal monologue.

It’s always been obvious to me that people think in different ways—how could we not, given how each human being sees and experiences the world in vastly different ways? So the fact that some people have an internal monologue and others of us don’t doesn’t exactly shock me. I do understand, though, how others could find not having an internal monologue confusing.

The main question people have been asking seems to be “How???” So I figured I’d give a bit of insight. Mind you, this is only my experience. As I mentioned above, I don’t think anyone (let alone everyone) thinks alike, even if we have general trends in how we think. So, with that being said, let’s get into the good stuff!


My thoughts tend to come to me via this nebulous “thought cloud” of internal sensations, external observations, and emotions. For me, thinking is a quick albeit very all-consuming process. It involves all of my senses, as well as my emotions. Everything connects and interacts to form a greater picture.

So, for instance, if you said to me, “Imagine a pie,” I would visualize the pie in vivid detail, taste the way a pie might taste, feel the sensation of the pie in my mouth, feel the momentary happiness that the taste of pie might bring. Now, this might seem like a lot of emotional and sensory information for a mind to take in, but for me, this thought would occur in nanoseconds (or less).

I recently learned that this ability to imagine things in life-like, full sensory detail is actually called hyperphantasia, and is, apparently, also not how everyone thinks or imagines things. In the words of a 2019 BBC Science Focus article, people with hyperphantasia are described as:

[Describing] pictures so vivid that they can find it hard to be sure whether an image was perceived or imagined.

For me, this is exactly it! And while it might sound amazing in some regards (imagine having the ability to imagine the fantasy worlds of literature coming to life in astonishing detail!), it can also be frustrating and distracting, if I let it go unchecked.

For example, I remember a little while back a friend and I were having a conversation where she was relaying an experience to me and mentioned in passing getting a paper cut on her finger. I remember wincing and grimacing in pain as she said this. My finger had stung and ached as she’d spoken and I’d imagined the paper cut. It subsided after a moment, but it still reminded me of an important point about how I think, imagine, and perceive reality: my mind is as powerful as actual, real life is when it comes to creating the things I experience, and I have a responsibility to myself and others to remember that not everything I perceive is actually reflective of the truth of life.

Now for most adults who’ve had a philosophy or a psychology course or even just gone to a therapy session or two, this realization might sound rather obvious, but I cannot stress how impactful experiencing such a lesson in such a physical way can be. It’s one thing to know in concept that our realities is mostly a construct of our minds and another thing to actually experience that fact first hand.

Apparently I’m not the only one to pick up on this fact, as scientists are reported to be studying people with hyperphantasia in an attempt to find out more about consciousness (which, call me biased, but I think sounds like amazingly cool research!).


Now that I think about it, the way that I think actually has a startlingly large impact on me. I’ve always been a fairly emotional person who’s very sensitive and empathetic. Although I’m extroverted, I do fall into the category of being a “Highly Sensitive Person” (a.k.a. an “HSP”) and I think that can largely be attributed to the fact that I think in the way that I do. It’s very easy for me to become fully immersed in my thoughts, emotions, memories, and imaginings in a very visceral way—and that can be both a good thing and a bad thing.

On the one hand, I think my way of thinking makes me incredibly intuitive and empathetic, which is great. But on the other hand, I think it can also exacerbate my depression and anxiety, as well as my ADHD. This is because, for me, mental “scenes” are as vivid and as emotional as if they are actually occurring in real life. Which also means they’re equally as emotionally, mentally, and physically overwhelming and draining.

The way that I think also allows me to understand, analyze, and manipulate systems very well and very quickly, as I’m good at understanding connections between things because of the all-encompassing way that I think. This definitely comes in handy in my fields of study (which are physics and anthropology) because such fields are all about global systemic analysis rather than linear understanding.

All in all, I’m glad for the way that I think, even when it’s draining. I think it allows me to do far more than it inhibits me from doing. And, that being said, I think it’s fascinating that we all think in different manners and with different methods! I personally would love to look into more research and findings on the patterns in how humans think! But maybe that’s just me being nerdy, lol. Regardless, reflecting on the topic does make you think about how unique we all are and yet we’re still connected by these amazing patterns of nature. It’s amazing! Anyhoo, dear friends, I should probably get back to my regularly scheduled reading, but thank you for stopping by to read this random deep dive of mine. Until next time, pals…


  • Ashleigh’s video about being a reader with aphantasia
  • Naemi’s post exploring the question of what you “see” when you’re reading


  • How do you think about and imagine things?
  • Do you have an internal monologue?
  • Do you have hyperphantasia?
  • Or maybe you have aphantasia (the lack of the ability to imagine things)?

TBR Inspection | 5 Books I’ve Picked Up & Re-Shelved

Hey, friends! How’s it going? Hopefully well and if not, hopefully brighter days head your way soon!

Today I want to talk about books I’ve started reading and set down for one reason or another, fully intending to return to them and finish them…and then never got back to (or at least haven’t gotten back to yet!). Oops? What can I say, I’m a monster, haha! Okay, okay, maybe not a “monster,” but definitely one heck of a distracted reader! But let’s not dilly-dally any further—let’s dive right in to my shameful TBR of re-shelved books!

Strange The Dreamer by Laini Taylor

I loved Taylor’s debut series, the Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy, so I was so beyond hyped when I heard she was releasing Strange The Dreamer. Unfortunately, I found Strange The Dreamer to be good, but also quite dense and slow, making it difficult for me to be motivated to continually pick it up at the time I initially attempted to read it. I made it about 32% through the book, though, and what I read I did genuinely enjoy despite my quibbles, so hopefully I’ll pick this tome up again and eventually finish it and the sequel.

A Court of Wings and Ruin, Kingdom of Ash, and House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J. Maas

Okay, technically this isn’t a single book but rather an entire category…I used to absolutely devour Maas’s books but I’ve “re-shelved” her past three books and set them down “to pick up again later” in the middle of the book! I don’t think I’m outgrowing her stories or her writing, because when I was reading the books in question, I was really immersed in the worlds and interested in the characters, relationships, and plotlines? It’s so weird. Regardless, I definitely want to find out how these books end—especially ACOWAR and Kingdom of Ash, as they’re both series conclusions—so there’s no doubt that I will eventually finish these behemoths!

Ghosts of the Shadow Market by Cassandra Clare

Alright, I’ma admit something I’m not particularly pleased to: I…think I’m outgrowing Cassandra Clare’s Shadowhunter Chronicles series? I’ve been reading her books since I was 13—that’s 13 years, friends!—and in recent years I’ve felt very “meh” about her books, largely because it feels like she keeps recycling characters. I haven’t even finished The Dark Artifices yet because the writing in Lady Midnight felt particularly juvenile and repetitive! My interest was slightly sparked by The Last Hours, though, so I figured I’d soldier through the Ghosts of the Shadow Market short story collection—which apparently you have to read before The Last Hours. Boy oh boy has that endeavor not gone to plan. I set Ghosts of the Shadow Market down because, well, quite frankly, I was so freaking bored! I know saying that is basically blasphemy in the bookish community but it’s true! But I really want to read The Last Hours and I have a stubborn streak, so sooner or later (for better or worse) I’m gonna have to slog through the rest of this one…

Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

I read Illuminae back in 2015 and absolutely LOVED it. In fact, I remember that Gemina was one of my most anticipated sequels back then. And yet, here I am, nearly six years later, having not read the sequel or the finale of the series??? I made it through about 5% of Gemina and…i dunno, y’all, it was…not my style? Which is crazy because I really enjoyed the first book in the series! And I don’t think I wouldn’t enjoy Illuminae if I read it today…Maybe I just still haven’t reached the ever elusive *perfect moment* to read Gemina? I suppose we’ll find out when I next try to read it…

Blood for Blood by Ryan Graudin

My FAVORITE book of 2015 was definitely Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin—which to this day I still swear is an underhyped gem! This is another series where I was so hyped for the sequel to book one and then just completely dropped the ball when it came to finishing it. I read about 50% through Blood for Blood and I was having an amazing time reading it but I think I set it down because I got distracted by a different book and I just haven’t picked it up again. *Sigh.* Are we sensing a pattern? Yes? Okay *shakes head*. But I promise you—I will be finishing this book! Okay?!?!…After I finish all the other books on this list…

So, friends, that was my shameful list of books I’ve started but not finished. Tell me I’m not alone in this pattern of reading? Pretty please?? Okay, maybe it’s just me, lol! But still—that just gives me more books to look forward to finishing, which is a plus in my book!

Well, dear friends, that’s it for today. I’d better get going on whittling down my TBR so if you’ll excuse me I’ma get back to it. Until next time, friends…


  • Do you have any unfinished books on your TBR that you’ve “re-shelved” for later?
  • When you “re-shelve” books, do you consider them “DNFed”?
  • Or maybe you’re a stubborn reader, who refuses to give up on a book or get distracted? (Tell me your secrets!)

Celebrating My Birthday By Sharing The Library Of My Life!

Hello, friends! Happy belated Thanksgiving to my friends in the US and to those who don’t celebrate I wish you a happy day! Aside from Thanksgiving this week is an exciting one for me as it also happens to be my 26th birthday today! I know we’re in the midst of a global pandemic and a tumultuous US election power transition, but I feel like that’s even more reason to take moments of happiness when we can, even if it means celebrating just with my mom (who I live with) and me!

Anyhoo, I wanted to do a tiny blog celebration by doing the “Library of My Life” post-thing that I’ve seen around, which was created by one of my favorite booktubers: Tiana Tea!

This “challenge” of sorts was created by Tiana to give a bookish “spin” to Teen Vogue‘s “Playlist of My Life” YouTube segment, in which Teen Vogue lets celebrities create a playlist of songs that they feel have been important to them throughout their life. For Tiana’s version, instead of making a playlist of songs that shaped you, you’re making a mini library of books that’ve shaped you throughout your life!

I thought this was a great idea, especially as something to do for a birthday post, so here I am, accepting the challenge! So, without any further ado, let’s dive right into the fun!

✵.* • : ★ .•


Divergent by Veronica Roth

If you’ve been around here a while, you might know bits and pieces of why this book is so important to me, but if you want the TL;DR version: Divergent was a MAJOR factor in helping get me through when I was first diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder/academic anxiety. Now for the longer version…Basically, Veronica Roth graduated from the first university I attended—Northwestern University—and wrote Divergent partially during her time there. During my time at Northwestern I became very ill and as a result developed severe depression and anxiety. Reading about Tris’s initiation into the Dauntless faction and how she learned to understand and face fear helped me to understand and face my own fear. In addition, certain parts of Divergent also feel…eerily close to Northwestern’s culture and my experience there. Pretty much, this book came to me at the perfect time, right when my heart and soul needed something like it to help me through one of the most difficult periods of my life. I’m doing much better now than I was then, and I know that Divergent is part of what I have to thank for that change.

Hiroshima by John Hersey

This book is a graphically explicit, journalistic account of the Hiroshima bombing and its aftereffects. It goes into excruciating detail about the history of the bombing, the medical and biological effects of the bombing, and the political ramifications of the bombing. I say this to say, right off the bat: this is not an easy book to read and if you plan on reading it, I definitely advise that you make sure you are in a good place. So, why is such a grim and tragic book significant to me? Because, as horrific as Hiroshima is, it was the first time I learned about the biological effects of nuclear physics and that created an obsession with nuclear and biological physics that I carried with me up to this very day to the point that I’m currently a physics major in college. I remember reading about the biological and medical effects of the bombing and being so fascinated by the fact that radiation caused plants to grow insanely fast, but also caused humans to be fatally ill with radiation sickness. I wanted—and still want—to know more about how radiation affects humans on an atomic level. Basically, reading Hiroshima left me with a lifetime of questions that I’m still seeking the answers to today and that’s how it’s earned its spot on this list!

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

This is on the list because it was one of the first three YA books I ever read! It’s particularly memorable as I first read this book 12 years ago, when I was 14 and to this day Cassie Clare is still publishing books in The Shadowhunter Chronicles! So I’ve been with this particular world for a looooong time! This is also one of the few books where I actually vividly remember the first time I ever laid eyes on it. Weirdly enough, there’s nothing particularly remarkable about the memory, so I don’t know why or how it’s stuck with me all these years, haha! I remember I was sitting in my eighth grade homeroom and I turned around to say something to the girl behind me, but noticed a book on her desk. I picked up the book and read the back cover synopsis and found it interesting enough that I asked the girl if I could read the first few pages. She (very graciously) said I could and I remember getting so engrossed that I read for the next five minutes straight until the teacher called us to attention. I remember rushing home to tell my mom all about how I just had to get my hands on The City of Bones, so that I could finish up the rest of it. And that Easter, as a present, my mom bought me the first two books in The Mortal Instruments—which I pretty much immediately devoured. I think what stands out to me about the series is that it was the first time post Twilight that I experienced just being so obsessed with a YA series! It was so much fun to read the books as they released and to theorize on where they were going and see if I was right. So, that’s why this book holds a special place in my memory!

Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans

This one is quite simple to explain: I absolutely ADORED Madeline as a kid! I, myself, was a sweet, yet sassy and rambunctious little girl bursting with energy, so I always identified with book characters like Madeline and Eloise (another one of my faves). I remember my mom reading me the Madeline books over and over again and just adoring hearing about Madeline’s adventures with Miss Clavel and the girls and Pepito and Genevieve the dog! Whenever I see a copy of Madeline, I’m always filled with such fond memories of the book and my childhood, so I just had to add it to this list!

Vanishing Girls by Lauren Oliver

Vanishing Girls is special to me because it’s actually the first book I ever reviewed, way back in 2015 when Hardcover Haven was just a little Tumblr blog known as The Bookkeeper’s Secrets! Can you believe it?! This is the book that would be the springboard from which I launched myself into the online book community! Funnily enough, Vanishing Girls isn’t even one of my favorite books—although I did enjoy it very much at the time. When I read it, though, I remember feeling a deep need to really dissect the novel, and thus, I wrote a review and my blog was born!

The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros

I will always remember The House on Mango Street as one of the first books that truly made me feel seen. While Latinx heritage and culture is a big part of this book and I’m not Latina (and so I didn’t relate in that way), The House on Mango Street also focuses a lot on what it’s like to live in poverty in the US and I felt so very seen with respect to that particular aspect of the book. I’ve lived in poverty since I was eight years old and I almost never see fiction books really delve into the experience of poverty. It wasn’t until reading The House on Mango Street that I fully realized how alienated that lack of representation had made me feel. It felt so wonderful to feel so authentically acknowledged and represented so in literature for the first time in my experience and that fact made The House on Mango Street an instant addition to this list.

The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman

Of all the books on this list, The Golden Compass is probably the one I hold closest to my heart. When I was nine, my mom and I were living in a homeless shelter, and we came across the audiobooks of The Golden Compass and its sequels in the shelter’s book donation drive. Every night, we’d snuggle together in our room and listen to a new chapter of the story. The story was so mesmerizing and allowed me a bit of a fantastical reprieve from the struggle of being homeless. In fact, that particular memory means so much to me and my mom that I recently gifted her the special edition of The Book of Dust: La Belle Sauvage so she and I could read along to the audiobook, which I purchased when it was first released! This book and series will always mean so much to me for letting me get lost in my imagination during a dark period of my life and I’ll always remember it fondly!

The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh

This book/series is on this list because it was the first YA book/series where I saw my Middle Eastern heritage represented. Prior to reading this book, most (if not all) of the YA books that I’d read starred a White protagonist and I had never come across a YA book—let alone a fantasy—that starred a Middle Eastern protagonist. Even though this book isn’t own voices, it’s very clear that Ahdieh is well acquainted with Middle Eastern culture and took care to try to get it right. Plus, it helps that Shahrazad has always been my favorite Middle Eastern fairy tale! I remember how excited and proud I was to finally see a protagonist who shared a part of my heritage and culture! It was lovely to see Middle Easterners represented so well and so kindly and for that plus the stellar storytelling The Wrath and the Dawn will always be a favorite of mine!

Salt in His Shoes by by Deloris Jordan and Roslyn Jordan

From the time I was born, my mom really tried to surround me with books and stories by and about BIPOC—especially Black POC—because she wanted me to see that girls like me had a place in stories. Salt in His Shoes was one of those books and was also one of my favorite books as a kid, largely because the message really became impressed upon my brain. It’s about Michael Jordan (who, as a kid, I thought was the greatest basketball player of ALL TIME) and how he loved basketball but was too short to be considered great at it as a kid. His mother put a pinch of salt in his shoes each night, telling him not to give up because the salt would work its magic and one day he’d be tall enough to play basketball with the greats. Michael practiced and practiced and his mom continued to put a pinch of salt in his shoes and slowly, Michael began to grow taller and to get better and better at basketball—just like his mom had promised he would! I remember loving the story because as a kid I loved playing basketball and was also small for my age. The story impressed upon me the importance of practice, patience, determination, and having faith in yourself. It’s definitely a book whose lessons I carry with me to this day, so, naturally, it had to be in the library of my life!

✵.* • : ★ .•

Okay, friends, that’s a wrap on this one! You know, it’s funny…I never really stopped to consider much the hand books have had in shaping who I am until I wrote this post. Turns out books have played an even larger role in making me who I am today than I’d previously thought. I hope you enjoyed this post and that maybe it got you thinking about what books have been important to you across your life! I think that’s my cue to get off stage and grab a slice of cake but until next time, I hope you have a lovely day!

✵.* • : ★ .•


  • Have books played a big role in making you who you are?
  • What books would you put in the “library of your life”?
  • What’s your favorite bookish memory?

Where To Start With Poetry + Recommendations

So. You’ve probably heard the news by now, but just in case you haven’t, lemme fill ya in: poetry is back.

Okay, okay, okay! So poetry was never actually gone, but what I mean is that recently (as in, in the past few years), poetry has made a resurgence as a form of popular literature. With the rise of so-called “Insta-poets” such as Rupi Kaur and Atticus, poetry has caught the public’s attention and returned to its place in the spotlight. Of course, modern poetry—in particular, the kind poets tend to share on social media sites like Instagram and Tumblr—has its critics, but nevertheless, no one can deny that poetry has risen once again (arguably in part thanks to social media).


Because poetry is such an ancient art form but hasn’t been massively popular with the general public for so long, I see a lot of people wanting to get into poetry but wondering where to begin. At Shakespeare? Hughes and the Harlem Renaissance?? Cummings, perhaps??? Maybe with Kaur???? Or do we need to head back to the epics of old????? Oh my, where to start truly is quite a dizzying quandary!

My advice? First off, if you can, start with what you know. Most secondary schools have some kind of poetry unit. So, chances are, you’ve read at least some poetry. And you either liked it or didn’t. Which means you have a bit of an advantage in that you know at least one style to either look further into or to stay away from. If you like a certain poet, research the years their poetry was published and then find a few of their contemporaries. Poetry, like other forms of literature, has progressed in stylistic eras in which certain styles of technique became massively popular (in poetry’s case, these eras and their various methods are called “schools” of poetry).

But if you really have no clue where to start? My advice would be to start from modern poetry (i.e. poetry circa the 2010s) and work your way back, as opposed to the reverse method. There’s a few key reasons why.

First off, modern poetry is accessible and, oftentimes, free. With the rise of the usage of social media sites as publication platforms, poetry can now be accessed anytime, anywhere, and by anyone, free of charge. While popular poems by notable poets of previous eras are generally available online for free, works of more obscure poets or of poets whose estates still hold the rights to the poets’ works may not be available online and/or for free.

Second off, modern poetry uses modern language (I know, what a shock!). This means that it’s accessible in that it’s generally recognizable and easy to read for those of all educational backgrounds, so long as you are able to read.

Third off, (and this may also seem obvious) modern poetry is oftentimes about a) the specific struggles of modern day life or b) “eternal themes of literature” (i.e. love, death, happiness, pain, philosophy, etc.) as they relate to modern life. Technology has greatly increased the speed of “social evolution” and literature remains a popular way to keep a “snapshot” of a very specific moment in time as that moment quickly fades and becomes history. Modern poetry captures this snapshot well, by definition covering the struggles of modern life, making it far more relatable to modern readers.

And fourth off, because modern poetry is so accessible via social media and because the poets are often still living, reading modern poetry can often be a more social and/or interactive experience. With modern poetry, you can get the experience of discussing poetry in a community which still involves the actual poet. Yes, you can definitely still have a meaningful poetry discussions about the works of long gone poets, but I think there’s something special about being able to actually speak with the artist whose work you’re admiring. This kind of access can allow you much more insight into the background of a poem and the mind of its author and that’s something magical!

So, now that we’ve covered where I think you might find it easiest to start with poetry—modern poetry—let’s take a look at some modern poets who I think are great options!

✵.* • : ★ .•



Instagram | Tumblr | Twitter


Website | Instagram | Tumblr | Twitter


Instagram | Twitter




Instagram | Twitter


Website | Instagram | Tumblr | Twitter


Website | Instagram | Tumblr | Twitter


Instagram | Twitter | Tumblr


Website | Instagram | Tumblr | Twitter | YouTube


Website | Instagram | Tumblr | Twitter


Website | Twitter


Instagram | Tumblr | YouTube

✵.* • : ★ .•


  • Ariel Bissett’s short documentary on modern poetry and social media
  • Amber’s annual series of poet interviews
  • Krysta’s recommendations for poets who might surprise you (even if you’r not a poetry fan)

✵.* • : ★ .•


  • Are you a poetry fan?
  • Do you have a favorite poem or poet?
  • If you’re not a fan of poetry, are you looking to become one?

Controversial Opinion Alert! There’s No Such Thing As A “Non-Critical” Review (So Let’s Stop Pretending There Is)!!!

Hey, mon petit chou! It’s Lila and today I’m bringing back the good ol’ Hardcover Haven discussion post! Yes, that’s right: today we’re getting down and dirty in the gritty pits of personal opinion and making a proper mess. And the topic on today’s menu is…*pulls slip of paper out of bucket and squints at it in an attempt to read my own handwriting*“Is there actually such a thing as a ‘non-critical’ book review?”

Now, I got to thinking about this topic because in the past two weeks, book Twitter (ah, that good o’l hellsite is the culprit yet again!) exploded when the popular,well known booktuber, Sam from Thoughts on Tomes, (whom I personally hold in high regard) tweeted about her distrust of people who rate everything/most of what they read five stars and how she thinks that only so-called “critical reviews” are helpful to readers.

And I thought to myself, “What a messy rabbit hole of a recycled argument to go down—sounds like a task for me!”

Now I have a lot of Thoughts™ on Sam’s thread a lot of which boil down to “I vehemently (yet respectfully) disagree with both of those statements,” but, interestingly enough, going down the path of which is more valuable—“critical” reviews or more “light” and “fluffy” reviews?—actually continually lead me back to the same basic opinion: that all reviews, by the inherent nature of being a review, technically are, in fact, “critical” reviews, and what differentiates a review as “useful” or “not useful” to you as an individual is just a matter of whether or not the reviewer supports their rating and/or overall thought/s with the type of “evidence” that you personally find valuable.

In other words: there is no such thing as a “non-critical” review.

Listen, if someone states an opinion on something as simply as saying “I like this because [x, y, and z]” or “I dislike this because [x, y, and z],” they’ve essentially given you a basic critical review, by definition of the statement. A critical review is simply a statement of opinion which you “support” with at least one form of quantitative (i.e., in a literary sense, “logical”) or qualitative (i.e., in a literary sense, “emotional”) evidence.

Now Susan may say “I like this color because it’s [ insert color name here], hex code #00000, CMYK yada yada, RGB blah blah blah…” and Stacey may say “I like this color because it makes me feel good.” but at the end of the day, both of them have, in fact, given what technically can be considered a “critical review,” the difference is that Susan gave a quantitatively based critical review and Stacey gave a qualitatively based one.

So which one has more value, then?

Ah, but that’s where you may get lost, friends, because the answer to that is that both reviews are equally critical and have equal value but it is up to the individual audience members who receive these two reviews to decide how much weight to put into each. Does it matter more to you that Susan told you this color is hex code #00000 or that Stacey told you the color makes her feel good? It’s up to you.

So then what is the argument we’re actually having in the literary community when people bring up “critical reviews”?

The truth is that we’re actually having the argument of what “matters” more: a qualitative review or a quantitative one or one which combines the two? Does it matter more when book reviewer Susan tells us, “This was a good book because of the author’s use of imagery, theme, characterization, wordplay, etc…” or when book reviewer Stacey tells us, “This book was good because it gave me all the good feelings.”? And the answer is, once again, that both reviews are equally as valid and important but how much weight we give either depends on our own individual decision making processes.

Look, allow me to make an analagy.

I’m a physics major, a “scientist-in-training,” as one might put it, and in the natural sciences (biology, chemistry, and physics), we put an equal amount of importance on quantitative data—a.k.a. numerical/mathematics based data—and qualitative data—a.k.a. data we can observe with our five senses. When a scientist says “Plant A is taller than Plant B” and another scientist says “Plant A grew 6 centimeters overnight, while Plant B grew 4 centimeters,” both statements are given equal weight. And I think most people can recognize that, while both statements utilize different methods of observation, both also, essentially, say the same thing. And I could ask you which statement of “Plant A grew more than Plant B” is more strongly supported by evidence and do you know what any scientist worth their weight in degrees would tell you? That both statements are supported by evidence of equal weight and importance.

So what am I getting at here?

I suppose, at the end of it all, I’m saying that quantitative (a.k.a., in the literary community, “critical”) reviews and qualitative reviews (a.k.a., in the literary community, “fluffy”/”light”/”uncritical”) reviews and reviews which combine the two forms are all equally important and valid! And, also—just because someone leaves a review that’s just a bunch of “Aaaaaaa!!! *shriek*shdyjrjybgfb dghrjtmujnbdgfv sf vbdgbh!!!! I LOVE THIS BOOK IT’S SOOOOOO CUTE AND MADE ME SO HAPPY!!!!!” doesn’t mean that review isn’t “critical,” it just means that the reviewer is using a different form of “evidence” (i.e. emotional evidence) to support their claim of “This book is great.”

All in all, regardless of our opinions of different types of reviews, I think we would all benefit from not treating one style of review as “better” or as more “intellectual” and from not being suspicious of people who give out a lot of four and five star ratings (although on that last part I gotta admit my bias: I give out mostly four and five star ratings and it’s just because, at age 25, I know my reading tastes really well and, because I view reading as a hobby first, I don’t see the point in subjecting myself to a book I’m going to dislike. But that’s a totally different tangent for another time…). The truth is that “better” and “intellectual” both happen to be incredibly subjective labels and we need to stop acting like our subjective viewpoints are definitive markers of things like “good,” “bad,” “intellectual,” and “unintelligent.” We all read for different things because we’ve lived different lives shaped by many different factors and nuances which have affected us in different ways. And you know what? That’s okay! But we need to stop acting like one opinion—or even a handful of opinions—shape a mold that we all should to fit into.

Anyhow, fellow bookworms, I think that’s enough from me for today, I’ve ranted for too long already haha! I hope that I’ve helped give you some good food for thought or at least given you a good read! I am going to go make myself a good ol’ cup of chai now and then go relax. Until next time, friends!

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  • What do you think? Is there such a thing as “non-critical” reviews?
  • Do you prefer reviews that present more quantitative (technical) based evidence or qualitative (emotional) based evidence?
  • Why do you think we periodically recycle this debate in the book community? Do you think we ever reach any productive conclusions?

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Disability Pride Month | What You Should Know About Book Blogging While Disabled

Hello, dear friends! As you may be aware, July is Disability Pride Month and, today, I’m going to be talking about a topic that is very close to my heart: what you should know about book blogging while disabled.

Now, I technically began book blogging before I was just formally diagnosed with one of my disabilities (POTS) but was very much struggling with it, as well as with the disabilities I’d already been diagnosed with (ADHD, depression, and anxiety). I’ve now been blogging for six years (wow!) and it has been a journey, y’all! But as I was thinking about what I wanted to post this July for Disability Pride Month, I started to reflect on my beginnings in this community and what I may have needed to hear to make it easier for me to join this community, particularly as a disabled individual.

I think, in a lot of ways, sometimes it feels like disabled folks are the “invisible” marginalized group in this community and that we don’t get much focus, not only in regards to #ownvoices representation in literature (which is still abysmal), but in regards to the bookish community itself being made accessible. I mean, when we think about platforms that tend to get the most visibility and opportunity, that’s booktube and bookstagram, which are, unfortunately, two platforms that are not the most disability accessible or disability friendly, unfortunately. I know for myself that I chose a blog as a platform in part because it seemed more accessible to me as someone who not only has ADHD, but who, at the time, was pretty confined to my bed.

So what am I getting at? Well, for those of you who are disabled and looking for a way to join this community, I’m hoping you’ll see this piece as an encouraging “nudge,” as evidence that you can be a member of this community—and a “successful” and “visible” one at that! And I very much hope you’ll decide to be.

For those of you who aren’t disabled, but who are interested in learning about the experiences of someone who’s a member of the vast and diverse disabled community, I’m hoping this piece will give you just that chance to learn a bit more.

At best, I hope maybe this post might help us make this community more accessible, disability friendly, and diverse!

So let’s not dilly dally any more—let’s jump right in!

One important thing I want to note before we really dig into this discussion is that disabilities come in all different kinds and impact people in many different ways, but regardless, each person is still valid in their experience of being disabled. Please also keep in mind that being disabled can encompass:

  • having a physical disability
  • having a chronic illness
  • having a learning disability
  • having a mental illness
  • being neurodiverse
  • having a visible disability
  • having an invisible disability
  • having one disability
  • having multiple disabilities
  • having a temporary and/or short term disability
  • having a permanent disability
  • being born with a disability
  • acquiring a disability

So with that out of the way, I want to give you guys some background on my own disabled experience, so you might better understand where I come from.

I’ve had Postural Orthostatic Tavhycardia Syndrome (a.k.a. POTS) my entire life, but was only diagnosed at age 20. I experience a wealth of symptoms, namely chronic fatigue and chronic pain. In addition, I was diagnosed with ADHD at age 7 (and re-diagnosed at age 18). I also deal with depression and generalized anxiety disorder. So, as you can probably imagine, my life has been impacted by my disabilities in a myriad of ways and, naturally, that includes my life as a book blogger.

I’d say the biggest things to impact my reading and blogging life are my chronic fatigue and my ADHD. It’s difficult for me to focus and to use so much energy when reading and writing blog posts. It can be a really exhausting process, but I love books and blogging so I don’t mind the toll it can take on my energy and my body. I’ve also learned ways to minimize the impact blogging can have when it comes to my disabilities and what I can’t change I’ve come to accept and embrace as part of the deal. So here’s what I’ve learned about blogging while disabled…

Burnout is inevitable and can happen a lot quicker and sooner than it does for able bodied/neurotypical bloggers. Burnout can be a hot topic among bloggers because it’s honestly inevitable for all of us. The difference is that for those of us who are disabled, burnout can happen a lot sooner. The hard truth of blogging that no one really talks about is that it requires a lot of time, effort, and energy. And if you love blogging, you’re happy to give those things. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t eventually take its toll. This goes especially for those of us who are disabled and may have to put in extra effort, energy, and/or time.

Hiatuses (yes, that’s plural) can be imperative. Again, hiatuses are important for any blogger, but they can be especially important for those of us who are disabled. Be it long or short, few or frequent, taking time to allow your body and/or mind to rest and recuperate is really important for disabled bloggers such as myself. Taking hiatuses has allowed me to blog more in the long run rather than burning out fast and never getting back to blogging, even if I want to.

You blog when you can but shouldn’t be anxious or ashamed when you can’t. I used to feel anxious and ashamed when other bloggers would talk about how one of their tips to success was consistency and/or a blogging schedule. For me, my disabilities make having a regular schedule and being super consistent really difficult. But I remember that doing my best is enough. At the end of the day, my blogging habits are about what makes me happy and what allows me to be comfortable, emotionally, mentally, and physically.

Knowing your limits and not being ashamed of them is essential. Sometimes you can’t do the same thing as other bloggers or do as much as other bloggers without causing yourself pain. So you don’t. And that’s perfectly okay. It’s important to know your limits as a disabled person so you don’t put yourself in difficult, painful, and/or dangerous situations. And you should never be ashamed of those limits, either—knowing them is what allows for happy and healthy growth!

You don’t owe anyone an explanation or your story. Every now and again when I can’t read a book as fast as others or can’t get a post up on time or need to take a sudden hiatus, I’m tempted to explain that I’m disabled and I need time to recharge or yada yada yada but then I remember it’s okay. First off, everyone deserves to take time for themselves and their health, be it physical, mental, and/or emotional. More than that, however, I try to remember that I don’t owe anyone my “disability story.” People who like me and/or enjoy my content will understand without feeling the need to be pushy about the “why” of what I’m doing.

You CAN do this! I’m a big proponent of the belief that I am not disabled, but differently abled and that I and other disabled individuals can do anything we set our minds and hearts to, we just may have to do it differently. I’m definitely not saying that you have to believe that if you’re disabled because we all understand ourselves differently. But, that being said, five years ago I set my mind and my heart to becoming a book blogger and I’m still here. I’m not gonna tell you it’s easy, but it is possible.

So that’s it for today, dear friends. For those of you who are disabled, I hope I was able to provide some encouragement, and for those of you who aren’t disabled, I hope that I may have provided a bit of enlightenment. Blogging is such a fun time which brings with it a wonderful and vibrant community, and it’s my wish that no one ever feels discouraged from joining in because of circumstance and/or identity.

Now, with all that being said, I think it’s time for me to grab a nice, cool iced tea and to sit back, rest, and recuperate! It’s been a long week, friends, and you know what sounds good right about now? A few moments to relax! I’m gonna sign off, friends, so until next time…

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  • How do you think we can make the bookish community more disability accessible and disability friendly?
  • Do you know of any other disabled book bloggers? Give them a shout out!
  • If you’re a disabled book blogger and feel comfortable sharing, what is an experience you’ve had as a disabled book blogger that you want people to know about?

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Hogwarts House Recommendations: Booktube Edition | Gryffindor

Hello, friends, and welcome back to my mini-series in which I recommend booktubers based on Hogwarts Houses. I’ve already recommended booktubers based on Ravenclaw, Slytherin, and Hufflepuff, and today I’m bringing you the final segment of this series in which I recommend booktubers based on Gryffindor!

According to Pottermore, Gryffindor values “courage, bravery, and determination.” Gryffindor is a house I associate not only with boldness and bravery, but also with honesty, self expression, energetic tendencies, and dedication to others. When I think of a Gryffindor, I envision someone who is unafraid to be completely themselves and to express that with boldness and honesty.

G R Y F F I N D O R   B O O K T U B E R S


If you enjoy sweet, bold, upbeat content then Emma of emmmabooks is your girl! Emma is full of energy and unafraid to voice her opinions, but she’s also incredibly kind. Oftentimes Emma has put her bold, energetic personality to use by raising up marginalized voices. In this way and in others, Emma really reminds me of a Gryffindor’s dedication to others around them. As the survivor of an eating disorder and a psychology graduate student, Emma often uses her platform to discuss mental health and to support books (especially #ownvoices books) surrounding mental health. If you are looking for a booktuber who embodies a lot of Gryffindor qualities, definitely check out Emma’s channel!


If you want to turn up the bold and the brash, check out Zoe’s channel, yerabooknerdzoe! Zoe’s channel overflows with sass, sarcasm, and swearing and never fails to be entertaining. Zoe seems so unafraid to be herself and voice her opinions and it’s honestly so refreshing! To me, Zoe just completely embodies the boldness that Gryffindor stands for and I think Gryffindors will definitely appreciate her and her content!

G-Swizzel Books

Grace from G-Swizzel Books reminds me so much of a Gryffindor that it’s insane! Energetic, honest, and opinionated, Grace’s Gryffindor-like attitude shines on the screen! Gace’s content is often upbeat and fun, but she’s also not afraid to take a moment and get real with her viewers. Grace shares her own truth through books with such boldness and zeal that I always leave with a feeling of appreciation for her and her honesty. Definitely take a look at her channel if you’re looking for an awesome, Gryffindor-ish booktuber!

Common Spence

Spencer of Common Spence strikes me as a booktuber Gryffindors would really love to watch because he just embodies the freedom of being completely who you are and owning. it. hunny! Flamboyant, loud, and proud, Spencer flaunts every facet of himself and it’s so awesome to see! He always brings such bold personality to his videos and you can always count on him to bring the sass! If you love the boldness of Gryffindor house, then Spencer just may be the booktuber for you!


There’s something about being bluntly honest that’s very brave to me and that’s a big reason why Jess from readbetweenthewine is on this list. Tbh, Jess is one of my favorite booktubers, in part because she embodies traits of all of the Hogwarts houses. She’s smart as a Ravenclaw, snarky as a Slytherin, diplomatic as a Hufflepuff, and blunt as a Gryffindor. Jess brings a really unique viewpoint to booktube as a US Army veteran and she brings a lot of knowledge and commentary from her former career. For instance, I loved one of her sci fi novel reviews in which she used her knowledge to talk about gun construction and mechanics (which was pretty cool, in my opinion)! Never one to shy away from bluntness, Jess is definitely a Gryffindor-esque booktuber to watch!

So that’s all I’ve got for you today, friends! I’ve had so much fun bringing this mini-series to you and I hope you enjoyed it and found a couple new booktubers to subscribe to!

T E L L   M E   A L L   A B O U T   I T

  • What’s your Hogwarts house? Who are some booktubers you think share it?
  • Do you agree with my recommendations?
  • Who are some booktubers you think belong in Gryffindor?


What Do You Consider Your “Official TBR”?

Hey there, friends! It’s me, Lila, back again and this time with a discussion post!

I’ve been wondering about TBRs a lot lately. In particular, I’ve been wondering about which books people include on their so-called “official TBR.”

The question floated into my mind a few weeks back when I stumbled upon the following video from Ariel Bissett in my YouTube subscriptions section:

When asking booktubers how many unread books they owned, Ariel received a wide spread of answered from three to seventy-five to two and three hundred unread books! The smallest answers were three, forty, and seventy-five and when Ariel remarked to the girl who had answered “three” that the girl had the smallest owned TBR, the girl abashedly told Ariel that she regularly utilized her library. This made me wonder…Outside of books that readers actually own, what do most readers consider their “official TBR”?

Now, my book collection is largely in the form of digital audiobooks which I own and thus have downloaded. So the number of unread (audio)books that I own is difficult to pin down exactly, but I’d estimate it’s around seventy, seventy-five-ish audiobooks. But I don’t just consider the unread books I own the only books I can put on my “official TBR.” And that’s where it gets tricky, friends.

See, I belong to four county/city libraries, all of which have digital audiobook collections. Those collections pool the digital collections of all of the libraries county-wide. In other words, they’re massive collections. And I have access to four of them. Having belonged to these libraries for years now, I’ve searched through the majority of their digital audio collections and bookmarked most all of the books I want to read—both backlog books and new releases. And I consider those books to be on my “official TBR.”

You may be wondering why. Well, here’s the thing: in these county’s physical libraries, you can take out a book at one town’s library and return it at another town’s library, so long as those libraries are in the same county. And these counties have a lot of libraries (for instance, the county I live in has at least six libraries, if not more). So each library has a kind of rotating collection and you can never be sure how long the books that are currently there will, ya know, actually be there. That being said, you can also request a book at one library that that library doesn’t own but another library owns and that other library will ship it over to the library you’re at (when it’s your turn in the wait list line), but that can take some time. The digital collections, however, are fixed, because they’re an online pool of digital resources and thus the resources there are available county-wide. So you only have to wait in the wait list line and not worry about the library not having your book and/or needing to have it shipped over.

Because of this system, I consider library books to be on my “official TBR,” because I know for sure that I will (eventually) get a chance to read any digital audiobooks the county library system owns.

But that makes me wonder—do most people consider library books to be on their “official TBR”? Or not? Also, on a tangentially related note, do people only consider owned books to be on their “official TBR”? Or do non-owned books that people want to read and are on their wishlist make it on their “official TBR” too?? Friends, now I’m dying to know—what books do you consider to be on your “official TBR”????

0 tell me all about it

  • Do you include library books on your “official TBR”?
  • How about wishlist books—do they go on your “official TBR” too?
  • Or do you only put owned books on your “official TBR”?
  • Basically, what books do you put on your “official TBR”???

Hogwarts House Recommendation: Booktube Edition | Hufflepuff

Hello, friends, and welcome to part three of my currently ongoing series in which I recommend booktubers based on a Hogwarts house! I’ve already talked about Ravenclaw and Slytherin, and today we’ll be taking a dive into the house of Hufflepuff!

I think Hufflepuff is one of the most interesting Hogwarts houses because it’s the only house that J.K. Rowling doesn’t give much definition and focus to and in doing such, she kind of has allowed a lot of flexibility for Harry Potter fans themselves to decide what qualities Hufflepuffs embody. According to Pottermore, Hufflepuff is the house of “hard work, patience, loyalty, and fair play.” In addition, I personally associate Hufflepuffs with kindness, gentleness, compassion, positivity, and a natural inclination towards healing, both physical and emotional. When I think of Hufflepuffs, I think of people who aren’t pushovers, but who stand up to others while still being mindful of their opponent’s humanity. The booktubers I’m about to recommend are individuals who I personally think embody the qualities of a typical Hufflepuff.

H U F F L E P U F F   B O O K T U B E R S


Of all of the booktubers I watch, I would argue that Heather of Bookables is definitely the most Hufflepuff-y. Heather is so sweet and genuine! It’s so clear that when giving what might be considered any kind of “controversial” opinion, Heather tries her best to be incredibly considerate of everyone’s feelings, including those of people who might disagree with her. Heather is always so positive and I know I can always count on her to give thoughtful opinions. If you’re looking for a great Hufflepuff booktuber to follow, definitely check out Heather’s channel!

Books with Chloe

If I’m not mistaken, Chloe of Books With Chloe identifies as a Ravenclaw, but I think she seems a bit like a Ravenclaw/Hufflepuff mix. Chloe is so soft spoken and seems so kind. She’s not afraid to voice negative opinions, but she seems to try to do so in a gentle and thoughtful way. Chloe also seems to make a lot of friends in the community who are from channels of all sizes, big and small. If you’re looking for a Hufflepuff/Ravenclaw booktuber to give you a dose of intelligent, yet thoughtful and kind opinion, then give Chloe’s channel a chance.

Super Space Chick

Super Space Chick‘s Kristin strikes me as the definition of a Hufflepuff fangirl. She’s always upbeat, positive, and excited. It’s clear she’s always thoughtful when giving her opinions, even if they’re negative ones. Kristin always has a refreshingly cheery outlook and definitely helps viewers look on the bright side. She’s is peppy and fun and I always leave her videos feeling excited to read! If you want a bright, fun, cheery booktube channel to watch, then Kristin’s channel is definitely one for you!

Alexa Loves Books

While this channel is called Alexa Loves Books, it actually consists of content made by two creators—Alexa and her husband, Macky. The two of them have to be the epitome of an adorkable Hufflepuff couple! Alexa and Macky love to fangirl/boy and geek out over books and it’s so cute. They’re both so soft-spoken and positive that I feel like I always end their videos feeling a bit cheerier. And—bonus!—they’re actually good friends with Kristin of Super Space Chick, so sometimes she joins them in vlogs and the Hufflepuff-ness is overwhelming (but in, like, a good way)! So definitely give Alexa Loves Books a chance if you’re looking to add some Hufflepuff-y bookish positivity in your life!

Chelsea Palmer

Chelsea of Chelsea Palmer is another booktuber who strikes me as a Hufflepuff fangirl. Her positivity and exuberance is so catchy and it’s hard not to leave her videos feeling pumped about reading! Chelsea is always so happy to share her love of literature with everyone watching her videos. She’s like a ray of Hufflepuff sunshine! So if you need that in your life, Chelsea’s channel is for you!

So that’s all I got today for Hufflepuff booktuber recommendations! These booktubers are ones who I really feel embody the exuberance, positivity, and kindness of Hufflepuff as a house. Thank you so much for joining me today and I hope y’all enjoyed!

T E L L   M E   A L L   A B O U T   I T

  • What’s your Hogwarts house? Who are some booktubers you think share it?
  • Do you agree with my recommendations?
  • Who are some booktubers you think belong in Hufflepuff?