Personal Library Book Tag (ORIGINAL)

Recently I found myself thinking about my book collection and my personal objectives for my shelves in the future, so from there I had the sudden inspiration to create my first ever tag titled the Personal Library Book Tag!

The books we gather for our collection and bookshelves is something personal and reflective of our own bookish tastes, what stories we enjoy, or even books we aspire to read one day. So through this tag I wanted to explore what my own collection means to me as a reader.

All the questions and prompts are inspired by thoughts I’ve had about what’s on my own bookshelves that I’m sure many readers or bookish content creators can relate to! Overall I thought this would be an incredibly fun way to share more about the books I have and with that said, hope you enjoy today’s post!

  • RULES:
  • Link back to the original creator’s post 24hryabookblogPersonal Library Book Tag
  • Answer the questions / prompts
  • Tagging is not required, but you can if you want to 🥰
  • Feel free to use my graphic for your own post (with credit) if you’d like or create your own

1: How do you organize the books on your shelves?

My go-to is organizing by genre or category. My favorite shelf probably has to be the one with all my fantasy books. I like that its a big enough space where I can fit a lot onto a single shelf and though I never knew this about myself until my collection began to grow, I personally don’t mind fitting genres/sub-genres together in that space. My adult fantasy, sff, and YA fantasy all share space on the fantasy shelf and I like how it reflects the variety of books that I enjoy discovering.

2: Any particular aesthetic or niche genre of books you’d like to see more of on your shelves?

One that I’ve seen a lot more of recently is Dark Academia. While I do have a couple like If We Were Villains from M.L. Rio and Vicious by VE Schwab, I’d love to add more to this minute collection because this aesthetic is just so fascinating to me and I love how it inspires my creativity when I journal or even just the visuals on an intellectual level.

My copy of Vicious also has a lot of sentimental value to me because it was the first adult sff book I’d ever read and owned (I also clearly remember reading it while I was still in school, so the dark academia interests still stays with me I guess 😂✨?)

3: Pick a book on your shelf and share the personal story behind it!

Perfect Scoundrels by Ally Carter! I adore Ally’s books so much and it was her Heist Society Series (which PS is a part of) that turned me into the reader I am today and got me to not only love YA, but reading as a whole.

I vividly remember counting down the days until the third book of this series back came out back in 2013 and was so happy to have found it sitting on the shelves of B&N on release day…from which I then started the book in the evening to end up finishing it at 6 am. It was the first time I ever stayed up late to finish a book and probably the first novel I’d saved up money for to buy the day of release.

4: Name a book (or books) in your personal collection that people would be surprised to see that you own.

Cris Tales artbook and Felicity by Mary Oliver!

I haven’t talked about this nearly enough on the blog, but I’d been looking forward to a new video game called Cris Tales for a couple years now and since the game just released not too long ago, I got a copy of the artbook with my collector’s edition. I think people would be surprised to know that I do own this, just because I obviously tend to read more fiction and don’t often discuss lots about my love of art and artwork.

I’ve never been one to read much non-fiction or books with personal essays/poems, but I remember the simple, nature-themed covers of Mary Oliver’s books always drew me to want to add them on my goodreads. Since then I’ve bought one of her books called Felicity, which is a collection of poetry.

5: What’s a book that you own that’s still on your TBR?

So many, but are we really that surprised? One I can think of is King Of Scars by Leigh Bardugo! While the Grishaverse isn’t my all-time favorite fantasy world, I am interested to learn what happens to Nikolai and the other characters and see how Bardugo brings a close to the universe. And…just a lot of latinx-authored books and sff titles (i’m sorry but there’s just too many to name). I will say that I recently got a copy of Lobizona by Romina Garber and am so hyped to read it, just need to find the time!

6: Name a book (or books) you desperately want to add to your personal library:

Legenborn by Tracy Deonn

Iron Heart by Nina Varela

Anna-Marie McLemore’s other books that I don’t already own too

7: Any particular goals you have for your collection?

One of my biggest goals is to look through the books I already have and figure out if there’s any that can be unhauled. I don’t unhaul often, so I’m sure there’s some that’ve been collecting dust on my shelves and it’ll give me an opportunity to figure out what I want my personal bookshelves to have. One of my other goals is to also find a way of organizing or displaying them that I can be fully happy with. Every few weeks I find myself looking at my shelves seeing how they can be rearranged, but find it tough to actually do something about it. It’s a work in progress, but I’m hoping to work on that over the next year.

Hope this tag gave a little more insight into my collection and my shelves, I had a great time putting this post together!

Now, time to tag a few fellow book bloggers! I TAG:

-Cande from CandeReads -Sofii from Abookathought – Savanna from BoookedOnAFeeling -Joanna from TheGeekishBrunette – Marta from MonogamistReader -Lilly from Lairofbooks -Lila from Hardcoverhaven
-Joy from Ohsrslybooks -Jasmine from HowusefulItIs -Cherelle from Aboltoutofthebook -Lisa from Waytoofantasy – Elaine from Elaine Howlin – Amanda from BookishBrews – Erin from ReadingOnAStar – Cossette from Teatimelit

– Or if your looking for a new book tag, consider yourself tagged!

Recommending Books From Authors Of Color Inspired by Dark Academia

Dark Academia is an aesthetic I’m utterly fascinated by. I first discovered it through Tumblr, though in recent years it’s increased in popularity due to Instagram and more recently, TikTok. It’s an aesthetic that at its core promotes the pursuit of learning, literature (oftentimes classics), the arts, and feels almost timeless. Although its origins are unknown, it can be defined by this NYT article as a niche subculture where there’s a “heavy emphasis on reading, writing, learning — and a look best described as traditional-academic-with-a-gothic-edge” (New York Times, Bateman 2020).

After re-watching ‘Dead Poet’s Society’ atleast 3 times in the past month, my love for dark academia returned which quickly led me reading up on articles, watching videos, and getting lost in those tumblr aesthetics again. However, it’s also an aesthetic that has rightfully received criticism for traditionally ignoring POC or other marginalized communities. That’s why today I wanted to share a list of books written by authors of color that either are pitched as OR remind me of the Dark Academia aesthetic featuring YA, Manga, and SFF!

Young Adult

1. Nocturna by Maya Motayne (A Forgery Of Magic #1)

Summary: To Finn Voy, magic is two things: a knife to hold under the chin of anyone who crosses her…and a disguise she shrugs on as easily as others pull on cloaks.

As a talented faceshifter, it’s been years since Finn has seen her own face, and that’s exactly how she likes it. But when Finn gets caught by a powerful mobster, she’s forced into an impossible mission: steal a legendary treasure from Castallan’s royal palace or be stripped of her magic forever.

After the murder of his older brother, Prince Alfehr is first in line for the Castallan throne. But Alfie can’t help but feel that he will never live up to his brother’s legacy. Riddled with grief, Alfie is obsessed with finding a way to bring his brother back, even if it means dabbling in forbidden magic.

But when Finn and Alfie’s fates collide, they accidentally unlock a terrible, ancient power—which, if not contained, will devour the world. And with Castallan’s fate in their hands, Alfie and Finn must race to vanquish what they have unleashed, even if it means facing the deepest darkness in their pasts.

Why: Easily one of my favorite fantasy novels, what stuck with me about Nocturna was Motayne’s focus on culture, history and the Spanish language that weaves its way throughout the entirety of its story. They can be seen so vibrantly through it’s setting, the country of Castallan. These elements fit that academic idea that are a foundation of this aesthetic. [This YA Fantasy is also #ownvoices as its inspired by Maya’s Dominican heritage].

2. Ace Of Spades by Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé
Release Date:
June 1, 2021

Summary: Gossip Girl meets Get Out in this YA Contemporary Thriller about two students, Devon & Chiamaka, and their struggles against an anonymous bully.

When two Niveus Private Academy students, Devon Richards and Chiamaka Adebayo, are selected to be part of the elite school’s senior class prefects, it looks like their year is off to an amazing start. After all, not only does it look great on college applications, but it officially puts each of them in the running for valedictorian, too.

Shortly after the announcement is made, though, someone who goes by Aces begins using anonymous text messages to reveal secrets about the two of them that turn their lives upside down and threaten every aspect of their carefully planned futures.

As Aces shows no sign of stopping, what seemed like a sick prank quickly turns into a dangerous game, with all the cards stacked against them. Can Devon and Chiamaka stop Aces before things become incredibly deadly?

Why: Àbíké-Íyímídé has pitched the novel as featuring the DA aesthetic and is set at an elite private school.

3. How We Fall Apart by Katie Zhao (HWFA #1)
Release Date: August 3, 2021

Summary: In a YA thriller that is Crazy Rich Asians meets One of Us is Lying, students at an elite prep school are forced to confront their secrets when their ex-best friend turns up dead.

Nancy Luo is shocked when her former best friend, Jamie Ruan, top ranked junior at Sinclair Prep, goes missing, and then is found dead. Nancy is even more shocked when word starts to spread that she and her friends–Krystal, Akil, and Alexander–are the prime suspects, thanks to “The Proctor,” someone anonymously incriminating them via the school’s social media app.

They all used to be Jamie’s closest friends, and she knew each of their deepest, darkest secrets. Now, somehow The Proctor knows them, too. The four must uncover the true killer before The Proctor exposes more than they can bear and costs them more than they can afford, like Nancy’s full scholarship. Soon, Nancy suspects that her friends may be keeping secrets from her, too. 

Why: Similar to the novel mentioned above, Zhao has also pitched the novel as featuring this particular aesthetic as well.

Science Fiction Fantasy / Epic Fantasy

4. Realm Of Ash by Tasha Suri (The Books Of Ambha #2)

Summary: The Ambhan Empire is crumbling. A terrible war of succession hovers on the horizon. The only hope for peace lies in the mysterious realm of ash, where mortals can find what they seek in the echoes of their ancestors’ dreams. But to walk there requires a steep price.

Arwa is determined to make the journey. Widowed by a brutal massacre, she’s pledged service to the royal family and will see that pledge through to the end. She never expected to be joined by Zahir, the disgraced, illegitimate prince who has turned to forbidden magic in a desperate bid to save those he loves.

Together, they’ll walk the bloody path of their shared past. And it will call into question everything they’ve ever believed…including whether the Empire is worth saving at all.

Why: In this spin off to Suri’s Books Of Ambha it features a young grief-stricken woman with magic in her blood and a scholarly prince who work together to save a crumbling empire. Have I mentioned that Arwa alongside studious prince Zahir literally spend chapters reading, studying, analyzing poetry and discussing tea together?! That is such a Dark Academia mood!

Manga

5. Spy X Family Vol. 1 by Tatsuya Endo

Summary: Master spy Twilight is the best at what he does when it comes to going undercover on dangerous missions in the name of a better world. But when he receives the ultimate impossible assignment—get married and have a kid—he may finally be in over his head!

Not one to depend on others, Twilight has his work cut out for him procuring both a wife and a child for his mission to infiltrate an elite private school. What he doesn’t know is that the wife he’s chosen is an assassin and the child he’s adopted is a telepath!

Why: Dark Academia is also known for it’s focus on the mystery or thriller atmosphere and this manga perfectly captures that…with a twist! A spy, telepath, and assassin become a fake family and are attempting to infiltrate an elite private school for the master spy Twilight to complete his mission. There’s also the element of pursuing knowledge that becomes apparent as you are intertwined with the unique role of each member of the Forger family. But of course, many secrets are kept in this dark, thrilling, and entertaining series.

Hope you enjoyed my intro to my Dark Academia book recommendations, I’d love to hear your thoughts on these in the comments below! Planning on making more posts like this again soon, thanks for reading!

Is this an aesthetic you enjoy or any elements in particular you enjoy about DARK ACADEMIA? What are your thoughts on the books recommended in this list?