What's your hot takes about books, etc.?

Whether it’s about the industry, authors, readers, or books in general… what’s your hot takes on them?

(Taking said topic from TikTok and the NaNoWriMo forums lol).

Some of mine include:

  • Books with various heights, especially if they’re from the same author, suck. Why can’t they publish them at the same height and size?
  • The publishing industry really needs to stop being slow with these changing times. Everyone is so confused on what YA is because they continue to push books meant for adults into YA, and then everyone is like, “Isn’t YA 18-25?” Nah, bro. That’s new adult. But new adult doesn’t exist in traditional publishing. :upside_down_face:
  • Write-ins and writing retreats need to be more of a thing because man, I’d love to make friends who’d just go somewhere to write. :sob:
  • Book series needs to be numbered.
  • Bookstores need to start selling bookshelves and bookish decor.
  • Books need to come with playlists. Like, at the end of the book should be a page or so of all the songs the writer either wrote to or thinks would go well with the story. Bonus for adding in what scene they should match.
  1. People read e-books more out of cost than preference.
  2. The functional illiteracy rates are way underestimated.
  3. There are writers who are functionally illiterate.

I shall return later or tomorrow with my hot takes.
Later. :wink:


Omg hard agree. We need to stop calling it YA and start calling it teenfic again. There seem to be a lot of people who mistakenly think YA means these books are intended for adults who happen to be young, and that’s not it at all. (-᷅_-᷄๑)


I can see that being true. xD

Though I have seen e-books being a similar price to a physical copy. :sweat_smile: Then there’s also a lack of space discussion lol.

True. :rofl:

Exactly! Though the concept of YA in publishing isn’t new since it was invented in the 1960s! But teen fiction and YA are used interchangeably when it comes to bookstores and libraries, but has always been used as “young adult” in regards to publishing.


I blame VC Andrews. Lmao

  • Wholesome books and relations can still have sex in them. As long as the relationship is sincere and healthy, I don’t see how sex makes it less wholesome.

Exactly. Why can’t they just do Middle Grade, Teen, and [New] Adult as categories or something like that? Makes things a lot less confusing. YA confuses me too. Is YA young adults or teenagers above a certain age?


Unless it’s the company cutting costs. The publisher, I dunno but I get it. It is annoying when you wanna start a collection.

Yes, makes sense.

Bigger ones, maybe yes. Smaller ones? Not so much (re: book shelves). Decor? Sure.

Yes, if they are inspired. A QR code that brings you to the Spotify list on your phone would be really cool as well as notes.


Unfortunately I don’t think that most people like Orden Ogan as much as I do-because if they did, then you wouldn’t have to google them :stuck_out_tongue:

I like this suggestion but not everyone will be interested in the music.

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The “I Am Four” series has this but the numbers are entirely out of order.

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I can name a few


People overthink writing women so we get bizarre meat puppets with no genuine emotion

  • There should be a universal standard for minimum font sizes and line spacings. Footnotes and photo / image captions excluded.
  • Books above a certain page count must be printed in hardback, with stitch binding and gold or lavender page edges (dissuade dust and moths).
  • Diversified reading and writing exercises should be a requisite part of all military training (if its not already).
  • Any publisher or author who produces odd sized books (incompatible with a typical removals cardboard box) should be forced to pack and carry a library’s worth as punishment…A new weight-training exercise. We have farmer’s walk and now book collector’s walk
  • Airliners assigned to long distance (international) flights should have a separate passenger carry-on weight / size allowance for books.
  • Use of chipboard / particleboard in book cases should be a criminal offence…poor durability and waste of good timber…
  • There should be an open-access (but read-only) digital database of every published work, in all major languages, fortified against the worst possible weather (and NBC and Cyber weapons). The world has a seed vault, why not a literature vault.
  • Ironic as this sounds, censorship should be outlawed.

Honestly I don’t care about the semantics of “middle grade” “young adult” and “new adult”. Just call it children’s fiction. Teenagers are a made-up thing anyway.


LMAO! My god!

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Teenagers don’t want to be called children, though. And years upon years of marketing trends would have to be defied!

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My hot take is that people are cheap. They want good quality content but won’t pay for it. You know, if this book takes me 3 years to write it and get it into the shape where you can enjoy it, I’d like to be able to be paid for my work. Writing is my second job.

I hate it that the concept of becoming a full-time writer would mean that I’d have to give up getting paid, give up insurance, or being able to send my kid to a good college.
I look at experiences of writers out there and I’m absolutely devastated. Only a handful are able to actually make a living. Everyone else hassles for pennies and has to hold a second job to survive.

Something’s inherently wrong with our society that a “starving” artist is acceptable. Arts are important to the human race. Very important. Necessary. And yet asking to be paid to create art is too much.


Hot take?

I have an opinion that many people will agree on:
Paperbacks and hardbacks should have the same darn cover design.

Hot takes are usually really hot and spicy and burn-your-tongue that no one likes to hear (idk where I’m going with this). So, here’s mine.

Reviewers shouldn’t say a book is awesome if they haven’t read it. Especially books that are the talk of the table. They can say the book sounds super interesting and they are excited to read it. But saying it is awesome before reading…well, they have an audience. They are influencing their audience. They need to remember that.

Reviewers can be constructively negative. In fact, I doubt a review that only says good things about a book (even if it is 4 to 5 stars). I usually have positive and negative comments for books. When I don’t, I make a whole big deal about it because it is. There are so few books that have zero negative comments. Those are gems. Not all 5 stars are gems.

Not to say that reviewers should purposefully look for negative things to say about a book. But if they have something to say, they shouldn’t hold back.

Okay, I’ve heard some people wanting this. Hot take to your hot take? Personally, I don’t think books need to come with playlists.

Personally, I don’t like real-world things mingling with books because a book is an escape for me, so I wouldn’t want it on every book. I don’t even like seeing it on Wattpad. I don’t play the videos that people have in their chapter headers. Let me read in peace. The characters of the story might not even know the songs. I don’t understand. It’s not fun for me to know. Stay away from my book experience, Taylor Swift or whoever.

That being said, if it wasn’t fantasy, I can understand how that might be interesting (not for me though because I don’t know a lot of songs). Actually, side note, that’s probably it. I don’t know a lot of songs. I won’t recognize most of them. And would I look them up later? No. I’d promptly forget the existence of the playlist because I don’t want the real world in my fiction book.

Maybe a memoir would make more sense to me. Then I can actually learn more about the author on a personal level. That’s a thought :thinking:

Memoir or not, I can understand if it is a fiction book taking place in our time on our world that a theme song moment would be fun. Like a cute romcom or a book about war that reads like a documentary. That’s fine. I, personally, just don’t care and don’t want it. Too much work. Too much to think about. I just want to read, thanks.

I won’t even make one for my own book. Someone else can do that. My eventual fans can do that if they want to. Not me :stuck_out_tongue:

Sorry, I basically wrote a mini essay XD But I’d been having some thoughts about playlists when my favorite booktuber read a book with playlists in them and had some thoughts. They weren’t 100% into it.


There is… ish.

General Format - Purdue OWL® - Purdue University.


The problem is that this is paper format, which is ok with computers, but phones throw everything out on it’s rear.

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y’all… YA is age 13-18. hard rule, problem solved.

it exists because that age group faces it’s own set of issues (hormone changes, peer groups, forming self-identity, ect.). books in the YA category are supposed to cater to that. HOWEVER you will recognize that some of the problems faced by the YA age group are also faced by people outside that age group. For example, struggling with self-identity. Which is why it is perfectly reasonable for someone older than 18 to read, enjoy, and identify with YA books. That does not change the fact that YA is intended and marketed for 13-18.

children’s fiction is picture books and “my first” chapter books, btw. middle grade is a more advanced reading level, and YA as a category is explained above. They’re different categories for a reason, not just marketing and not just semantics. The last time we reduced books to just “children’s” and “adult” was the industrial revolution and it was not good for the children.


Totally agree!

YA and teen fiction are used interchangeably, specifically within bookstores and libraries. The publishing industry, however, refers teen fiction (13-18) as YA (young adult). Most books, on the other hand, are marketed and written for the older teen audience (16+) but should still follow the general guideline of what YA is.

That’s true. The only time when it gives a pass (in my eyes) is when the book went to a new publishing house. I’ve noticed some books from the same author (even within the same series) are published under different publishing houses. I’d get it if each publishing house had specific standards for their own books which would make sense if a book, say published under Harper Collins, would be a different size if the series was then published under Penguin Random House for the remainder of the contract. Two different companies, two different standards.

However, it doesn’t make it right though. A new publishing house can still keep the dimensions and sizes of everything. I don’t know. :sweat_smile:

Small and or independent bookstores would be a no on the bookshelf scale just because of how expensive they can be. They can do, however, decor products—simple things like bookends, stickers, tapestries, etc. If they have the budget for that, at least. Bigger bookstores like Half Priced Books and Barnes and Noble (the big-named ones) have no excuses. Especially Barnes and Noble. They out here selling children’s toys, movies, music, etc. when they can get rid of that stuff (because you can get that at Target or Walmart or nearly anywhere else) and replace it with bookshelves and decor!

No, but not everyone is interested in the same things. Some don’t like maps, some don’t like prologues, some don’t like glossaries, etc. It’s a page you can skip over, and it can be at the end specifically so the reader can dive right into the story. :woman_shrugging:

Absolutely hate it.


It wouldn’t really work this way, though because we already have children’s fiction which is a completely different side of literature.

The way it works is:

Children’s fiction is for ages 0-8. This is your toddler books, picture books, and easy reader books. Think of Disney princess books, Dr. Seuss, Pete the Cat, or even an ABC book.

Then the next step up is middle grade fiction, made for ages 8-12. This is chapter books you’d typically see or hear about within the last years of elementary school (in the US, it’d be like fourth and fifth grade) and then middle school (between sixth and seventh grade). Think of Goosebumps, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Bad Guys, Coraline, and Anne of Green Gables.

After this, you get into YA books, made for ages 12/13-18. Think of the Hunger Games, Percy Jackson, Twilight, the Hate U Give, etc. These books often follow teenagers or are about the teenage experience. And since YA generally covers a wide range of books for multiple audiences, the “rule” is that they’re only allowed to be PG-13 or under (in regards to content). So, you can have sex and violence but they’re watered down material or are fade-to-black (in regards to sex). Like in the Fault in Our Stars, there is a sex scene but it’s not described or anything. Minor details are given and then it’s just implied at that point.

And then you have adult fiction which is anything else that doesn’t fit into these three categories, made for adults 18+. This is erotica, gory novels, books with lots of bad language, or just books intended for older audiences simply because the character is much older or because the author wrote it for their age group. Think of Game of Thrones, IT, the Alex Cross series, and books by Colleen Hoover.

These are the general categories that most publishing houses, bookstores, and libraries know and follow. However, there are a few problems.

The first issue is the new adult category. New adult is the crossover age category between YA and adult, meant for readers 18-25. Adult fiction, by and large, are for adults over eighteen but the majority of adult fiction centers around older adults (passed 30s) and are typically aimed for those ages. Many younger readers don’t want to read about 45 year olds, but about people their own age (college aged students, for example). So when self-publishing began to boom, many began writing and publishing new adult books—books centered around 18-25 year olds (the common ground was like 19-23 from what I’ve read) and is aimed at 18-25 year olds. But this is where the problem lies: the traditional industry doesn’t count “new adult” as an actual category and therefore forces NA into YA because these NA stories wouldn’t sell well if marketed to the adult audience (which, again, are usually middle-aged people). Some traditionally published writers also tried to write NA books but were marketed to YA. Two major examples are A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas, along with her other series, Throne of Glass (though I’ve read that the books don’t become “new adult” until book five) and the High Mountain Court by A. K. Mulford. All of which are spicy. High Mountain Court had quite a few sex scenes, and though it wasn’t super detailed, it was definitely explicit. Sarah, however, said that she doesn’t consider ACOTAR as YA but “new adult.” A. K., on the other hand, self-published her books first and said they were new adult. Then they became traditionally published and the publishers put it under YA.

The second problem is that YA also has secret levels to it. Low YA are for 13-15 year olds, and they’re typically books that don’t have mature content in it, whether very little or none at all. Unwind and the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants are a good example of this. High YA is basically the majority of YA, ages sixteen and over. Hunger Games, Pretty Dead Queens, the Inheritance Games, etc. are good examples of this. When you step into the YA section, you can never tell which is which if you’ve never read it before. Though, personally, I have always encountered each book as if they were high YA because that’s what I typically reach for and write. So those NA books that leak into YA? They’re part of those high YA selections.

Technically, we’re all made up.

But teenagers are called “young adults,” though not as often anymore. This is because there once was a time when it was normal for teens, as young as thirteen or fourteen, to get hitched and have kids and work (for the boys, anyway). Your teenage years are also considered your adolescence, which is the transition of developing from child to adult. In other words: puberty.

Oof. So true. Coming from a cheap person, too. :rofl: But honestly, a lot of people just want things for free. And like, a part of me gets it because I’d love to get everything for free… but even I understand that people need money so they can pay rent and buy food. Otherwise, if you don’t, they’d starve and not be able to write at all.

It truly is scary. Especially when writing isn’t a stable career. Most people I’ve known or seen to make a good living off writing (full-time) don’t have kids to worry about, have someone to help them pay bills on time, and or have multiple incomes flowing that allows them to not have a normal job.

Two prime examples would be Kate Cavanaugh and Victoria Aveyard. Kate quit her corporate job to not only be a full-time writer but also a full-time YouTuber (AuthorTube). But she lived with her parents rent free and had multiple incomes flowing—YouTube, brand deals, Patreon, and freelance writing (she’s made comments that she freelances for companies/people and she already had clients from her corporate job, so she didn’t have to struggle finding people to work for). And with all of this, she was able to write full-time without having to even be published. She eventually moved into her own house with her boyfriend, so she also isn’t the only money maker. And as for Victoria, her books have made her big money, but she has a husband who also makes big money—he’s a pulmonologist (according to Insider). They also have no kids. And from her TikToks, they live very comfortably.

But this is like a very small percentage of writers who can make it their full-time job without much of a hassle, and as someone who wants to be an author as their main income is scary as it isn’t stable at all. :confused:

Hard agree. :rofl:

YES! And I love how some people will also call them out on it. Like, I saw this one TikTok video of someone promoting their book and then there was a commenter who said they hated it. The author commented, “How could you know when it isn’t even out yet?” :rofl:

SAME. I don’t do reviews much anymore but when I have, it’s always been a balance of both because I prefer honesty and no sugarcoating.

Well, perhaps need isn’t the right phrasing. But like, if an author listens to music or has a music playlist, I think they should add that to their book. :sweat_smile:

I can understand that. Especially if you have some high fantasy book and the author’s playlist includes Tay-Tay and Lizzo, like nah. That sounds silly. Though if there are songs they listened to that are instrumentals, I can get behind.

Exactly. :rofl: