The bookish community is a wonderful place and if you’re new here, welcome! However, we completely understand that while the community is new and exciting, it can also be mighty confusing. In a place where a jumble of letters is used to describe anything from a popular book series to a list of books you’re planning to read, a guide of what things mean can be the difference between eternal confusion and happy enlightenment!
Because of this we’ve decided to fill the gaping hole within the community as a whole, and pen a little dictionary-like guide for newcomers and seasoned vets of the community. We’ve put a lot of thought into these definitions and we really hope they help you all out!
You think you know this one. You’re wrong. Because I bet you’re thinking of this:
And while that may be true, it doesn’t have to be. Instead of something with pages it can be this, this, OR this.
E-books, audiobooks, and physical books are all referred to as books. So when you hear that a book narrator sounded awesome, don’t be surprised.
We like to think of Goodreads as a sort of Purgatory. This website is a necessary and mostly useful tool for posting/reading reviews and keeping track of what you’re reading. Unfortunately, it does have some shortcomings. Namely, its search algorithm. If you are trying to look up a book quickly, do not use Goodreads. Rather, you can put that book name into Google and even if you misspell it somehow, 9/10 times, the first link to come up will be the book on Goodreads!
Worker smart not harder.
Bookish photos for daaaaaaaaaaays! And after you see enough pictures of that really pretty book that everyone else seems to own, you might just find that you just ordered yourself a copy without even knowing what the book is about! Sure, once you finally read the synopsis you find out it’s a thriller, and you got scared reading The Babysitter’s Club but hey, at least you can now stare at this beautiful book
When referring to the bookish aspects of Twitter, it is a place for one of two things.
Drama and DRAMA.
Book twitter is a place filled with all sorts of drama, from authors exposing themselves as racist, to booktubers exposing themselves as racist. And then every once in a while people decide to attack book bloggers just to switch things up! Twitter is definitely the place to be!
(adjective) /yung ah-dult/
A genre that anyone from any age can read, featuring a character that is a teenager.
Now outside the book community you may encounter some levels of elitism in regards to YA books. People will say, ew you read YA? Those are all about dumb girls and teenage drama. Now while some of them are about dumb girls and teenage drama (and there is nothing wrong with that), there are also many other wonderful YA books our there that are about dumb boys and teenage drama as well! Oh yeah, and occasionally you get a character that isn’t dumb, or a plot without drama. If by occasionally you mean, most of the time.
Our best advice when wanting to recommend a YA book to an elitist is to not tell them it’s YA until they finish reading it! Let them see what the genre’s really about before they claim it’s “childish”.
(adjective) /nehw AH-dult/
A genre that anyone from any age can read, featuring a character that is typically in their twenties.
New Adult generally includes many aspects of YA except sex scenes do not cut to black.
(adjective) /mid-ul gray-ed/
A genre that anyone from any age can read, featuring a character that is in elementary or middle school.
Middle grade books tend to feature fantastic worldbuilding and beautiful plots, but unfortunately they tend to be slept upon in terms of hype and promotion.
Advance Reader’s Copy
(noun) /AHD-vanz ray-durs CAW-pee/
ARCs are highly coveted pieces of literature that you may see pictures of on Instagram and Twitter and sometimes even Facebook. You can get your hands on one of these by either contacting the publishers and offering up your first born child or by attending some sort of bookish convention and waiting on line for 2-4 weeks!
To Be Read
(noun or adjective) /tuh-oo bee ray-d/
This is a list of all the books a reader wants to read in their lifetime. It many times includes both books they physically own, but have not read, or books that they were recommended, or even books that haven’t been released yet. Basically, any kind of book, past, present, or future, can be found on a TBR. The catch however is that once a book is added to your TBR, it will never actually get read. It’s a well-known curse that occurs within the book community, and has yet to be broken by any.
Did Not Finish
(verb or adjective) /deed now-ut fehn-esh/
This is another acronym that holds a certain amount of stigma within the book community. A book gets marked as DNF when it was either so bad that you couldn’t finish it, or if you simply did not ~vibe~ with the plot and have decided there are better pursuits with which you can occupy your time.
Review to Come
(noun) /reeve-yoo tuh-oo kuhm/
Bloggers many times will put this on Goodreads immediately after they finish a book, but before their review is written. Now, you may think this means you’ll get a review within the next week. When that doesn’t happen you check again a few days later. Suddenly it’s 3 years later, and you’re still refreshing that same Goodreads review, waiting to hear a blogger’s thoughts on that book. You die refreshing that page. The review never appears.
YA Starter Pack of Acronyms
These are the list of books that you must have read in order to get your Certificate in All Things YA. To get the Bonus Pack, one must choose a series, or author to defend with their life. Many of these YA books are of the more basic variety (read: very white) as they are of what some consider the “origins” of YA. You will see readers all over Twitter yelling about these books at all times of day, and knowing these acronyms will help you on your journey of deciphering the confusing screams. No, it isn’t all keyboard smashing.
The Hunger Games
(noun) /th-uh hung-err gay-mus/
**despite the pronunciation guide there are unfortunately no gays in the hunger games**
You may recognize The Hunger Games from the fact that it had several high grossing blockbuster films. This series features a baker, an archer, and a corrupt government. This book is from the hey-day of YA love triangles so if you ever enter a discussion about The Hunger Games be prepared to field questions about “team Peeta” and “team Gale”.
Percy Jackson & the Olympians
(noun) /per-see joh-on-sun ahn-d th-ee oh-layhm-pee-uns/
Most commonly referred to as Percy Jackson, this series is a staple of the book community. This series features the half-mortal children of the Greek gods who are all trying to survive in a summer camp, while monsters try to kill them. Sounds great, doesn’t it? It’s even better when you read the books! However, if you do come across the movies, we urge you not to watch them. For your own good.
See also: Heroes of Olympus, Trials of Apollo, Red Pyramid, Magnus Chase, Rick Riordan…
Throne of Glass
(noun) /thro-own ov glah-ss/
Assassins duel it out to see who is the baddest of them all, but the fairest of them all is destined to win! Not much murdering occurs, but you will get detailed descriptions of how hot each and every character is!
See also: Sarah J Maas, SJ Maas, SJM
A Court of Thorns and Roses
(noun) /ah core-t ah-v thoh-rns ah-nd ROW-ses/
An Adult series that everyone pretends is YA for some reason that features hot faeries and sometimes a plot (but mostly it spends its time stressing how attractive all the characters are).
See also: Sarah J Maas, SJ Maas, SJM
Six of Crows
(noun) /see-ix uh-v kuh-row-z/
A fun heist book with magic and violence, Six of Crows is a must read! Unfortunately, many publishers, authors, and readers like comparing every single magical book with more than three main characters to Six of Crows. So this is your warning that when you see “Like Six of Crows” when reading a review or promo, those books are not like Six of Crows. They are their own unique stories and oftentimes comparing every single book to one very successful one does more harm than good.
See also: Shadow and Bone, Grishaverse, Leigh Bardugo
The Cruel Prince
(noun) /th-uh kah-roole puh-rin-tz/
Another fairy book, but this time make it conniving and with a tail. It’s a classic tail of a faerie Prince despising a human girl but wait are his increasingly negative actions towards her just a mask for the genuine affection he holds for her??
And there you have it! Those are the basics of the bookish community! Armed with these terms and knowledge of the most popular YA books out there, you’re fully prepared to take part in all sorts of bookish conversations!
Now as we said these are the basics so don’t come back asking for a refund when you come into a conversation not understanding what a Daevabad is or why people are suddenly talking about boats.