Category: Discussions

Reading Lately /// Isolation

Posted March 26, 2020 / Discussions, Features / 1 Comment
Reading Lately /// Isolation

Like a lot of bookish people, I was excited to dive in to a LOT of good books during self-isolation, quarantine, lockdown – whatever you want to call it. I’ve found that my shitty reading habits have continued from February though and I haven’t finished nearly as many books as I normally would. I find myself browsing my phone, wallowing in the news/social media, playing Candy Crush, and watching Chris play Animal Crossing. It’s just so hard to focus for a few reasons, which I’ll get into below. But! I won’t just use this spur-of-the-moment blog post to whine. I’m going to make myself think of a few solutions too. Problems Unmotivated to read in the first place I’ve had a weird reading year so far. It could be general reading burnout from the past handful of years, reading and reading and doing nothing else. It could be King of Crows being the only thing I wanted to read in January and then the only thing I could think about when I finished reading in February. Either way, that book got me, y’all. I just don’t want to read. I’ve been unmotivated BEFORE all of this started and clearly that’s continuing. This situation is just not helping like I thought it might. Mind-numbing games/media > books I get sucked into the news throughout the day, but primarily first thing in the morning when I catch up on things I missed. I just hate it. I’m doing what I personally can by […]

Simplification

Posted March 12, 2020 / Discussions, Features / 1 Comment
Simplification

I’ve been thinking about this word a lot lately, both in my reading life and in my personal life. I spoke a bit about it in a recent Five on Fridays post but I’m really trying to find ways to SIMPLIFY. I know I said my word of the year would be SAVE, but I’m adding this one too. (I think I mentioned in that post that saving wasn’t just about money, but also about saving time and frustration. The same thing as simplifying if you ask me!) When it comes to reading, I sometimes enjoy being incredibly organized and scheduled out. But, as my tweets say above, that only helps me when I’m in the mood to read. When I WANT to read. If I’m behind or not in the mood to read, having TBRs and reading schedules absolutely does not motivate me to read. When I’m in a reading rut due to my schedules and TBRs, the only thing that can break me out of it is reading a book I REALLY want to read. When I finished KING OF CROWS, I knew it was going to linger and ruin some other books for me. On top of that, I didn’t finish a book *before* its pub date, so I ended up being quite behind on my monthly numbers by the time I finally finished it. I slogged through a couple of reads afterwards and really struggled to find the desire to read. I started going to the […]

Reading Out of my Comfort Zone

Posted February 7, 2020 / Discussions, Features / 10 Comments
Reading Out of my Comfort Zone

I’ve been struggling with this a lot lately: how do you balance reading books that you genuinely want to read and know you’ll enjoy, with also trying to read out of your comfort zone a bit more? I cannot figure out how to do both and be happy about it. For example, I joined Romanceopoly with the intention of reading some fun books. When I made my tentative TBR post / list of ideas, I came across quite a few squares with prompts that don’t interest me usually. I don’t read paranormal romance and have historically not loved it but there are so many squares within that genre. Fated mates? Ugh. Oldest paranormal romance on my TBR? Double ugh. I rolled my dice for February’s picks and groaned at both of them – I got the paranormal romance one (oldest on my TBR or recommendation from a friend) and the other roll was for a historical romance not set in London. I could very easily read a historical fiction book NOT set in London, but the romance element isn’t my cup of tea. BUT how do I know that? I’ve never read a Tessa Dare or Lisa Kleypas before. Maybe I’ll love it, but I’m stubborn. I’m finding myself unwilling to give up precious reading time to something I’m not sure about and it doesn’t feel great. I read about 10 books a month, give or take. That really doesn’t feel like a lot when you have hundreds of possible […]

Anatomy of a TBR Post (2020 Update/Plans)

Posted January 16, 2020 / Discussions, Features / 2 Comments
Anatomy of a TBR Post (2020 Update/Plans)

Here I am yet again with another post about TBRs (you’ve seen the original version of this last year and I’ve also discussed ARC habits and how I pick the books for my TBR)! As I started plotting out my reading challenges for 2020 at the end of last year (and my reading resolutions, including a focus on adding variety to my TBRs), I realized I should update this and PLAN for more variety. I always think about the books I missed out on reading, and how it can be really challenging to fit in everything I want to read in a given month. If I read 120 books a year, 10 books a month doesn’t feel like a lot in terms of balancing backlist, new releases, favorite authors, blog tours, book clubs, owned books, and review copies. How can I squeeze ALL of those in each month??? It seemed like a good time to remind myself what’s important and how I can curate monthly TBRs with a solid amount of variety that keep me interested and on track. So, a lot of this will be similar to last year’s Anatomy of a TBR Post that I made but will specifically include other challenges and balancing in the backlist / catching up on old review copies. As I said last time: I remember back in 2015 I followed Andi on an experiment of using TBR-related categories when picking books for the month. It worked so well for me because my mood […]

In Which I Get Ridiculous About Reading Goals and Scheduling (Readalong-Style)

Posted October 16, 2019 / Discussions, Features / 7 Comments
In Which I Get Ridiculous About Reading Goals and Scheduling (Readalong-Style)

Maybe it’s the large amount of readathons and – more importantly – readalongs I’ve been doing lately, but I’ve gotten into the habit of reaaaaally scheduling out my reading. I set small reading goals per day or week and plan my TBR (and other things) at a super detailed level when I really need some motivation. My reading mojo has been down the tubes since late July/early August and I just can’t get myself to care about reading sometimes. However, I simultaneously want to read all the things??? Like, ya girl can’t stop adding books to the “currently reading” shelf and thus never actually finishing anything. I spoke a while ago about the schedule I developed for how I try to balance all of the audiobook-listening, YouTube/TV-watching, and podcast-listening I want to do on a weekly basis, so this isn’t a foreign concept to me. Sometimes setting weird goals and schedules makes me MORE satisfied and interested in reading. Following along with a basic concept from readalongs, I decided to make some kind of reading schedule for myself in October. I’m currently participating in the Diviners Readalong and FaerieAThon, where the hosts plot out one week(ish) per month to read the next book in the series or author’s backlist. They further determine how many pages or chapters need to be read each day, so everyone is having fun reading along with each other. I love the idea of setting highly-specific reading goals on a daily basis to get books DONE within […]

Reorganizing My Goodreads Shelves

Posted October 11, 2019 / Discussions, Features / 10 Comments
Reorganizing My Goodreads Shelves

I watched and enjoyed Kristin’s video about how she organizes her Goodreads shelves, and then followed it up with Cristina’s post about how SHE reorganized her shelves (inspired by the aforementioned video). Both of these really inspired me to reorganize my shelves too because I’m always overwhelmed by my books and can never figure out how to actually find the books I want to read next. I could sort my to-read shelf by release date or date added, but it’s so hard to dive deep and remember that there are genuinely books on there I want to read and keep forgetting about. What I was working with I previously created a “consideration” shelf and did a bunch of moving around a few years ago. I’ve also done a decent job of adding books I’m genuinely considering but on the fence about. However, I knew I could make this shelf work even better for me. I already had a lot of other non-exclusive shelves that I love using, so I wasn’t planning on changing those. I thought it would make more sense to fix up my exclusive shelves. My “want to read” shelf was the biggest issue, with over 2,000 books on it. I had to figure out how that shelf could work for me. (This screenshot is from right after I purged a bunch from one of my shelves so the numbers are a little off.) You can see that I also have an “up next” shelf, which usually features […]

Book and Blog Traditions

Posted August 8, 2019 / Discussions, Features / 1 Comment
Book and Blog Traditions

There are quite a few traditions I participate in annually/seasonally on my blog. I always sign up for certain challenges, readalongs, and readathons, but I also have my own personal traditions that I’ve kept up for at least a couple of years. These could be reading habits or something else. Here are some of the bookish and blog-related things I do each year! Read Emma Mills’ latest book on New Years Day in one sitting This is a newer tradition but one I have really grown to love. I definitely plan on keeping it up as long as humanly possible! I have a tendency to breeze through and adore each of Emma Mills’ books so far. What better way to kick off the year than with a guaranteed good book, and one I can finish in one sitting? I love having my bookish year start off that way (ahead on my Goodreads goal!). I read FOOLISH YEARTS on New Years Day 2018 and FAMOUS IN A SMALL TOWN for 2019. I’m a little concerned that her next book, LUCKY CALLER, doesn’t appear to come out until January 14th, so I’ll have to get my hands on an ARC to keep my momentum going.     Create and curate seasonal bucket lists and TBRs I’ve talked about my love for seasonal TBRs (especially holiday ones in December and summery ones for June through August) on multiple occasions. I also have come to enjoy making personal bucket lists for some seasons as […]

Reviews Made Me Reconsider

Posted July 12, 2019 / Discussions, Features / 5 Comments
Reviews Made Me Reconsider

I’ve been thinking of writing this post for a while but was afraid it would come across as mean or bashing these particular books and authors. I know a lot of people don’t enjoy writing bad reviews for books (I love a good rant sometimes, but not all the time!), so I wasn’t sure how to approach this. AND THEN I said screw it, because it’s my blog and I do what I want. There are plenty of books out there that make their way onto my TBR and then the reviews start rolling in… and I change my mind about reading them. Of course, the reverse is also true: I wasn’t sure if I wanted to read a book and then some glowing reviews came in and I decided that I should try it out. Here’s a little list of some of those books and why they’re on or off my radar now, thanks to my favorite bloggers. Again, but Better by Riccio | I did actually start reading this one but didn’t jive with the writing style, to be honest. I stopped reading it because many, many others did not enjoy this one as much. I saw Chelsea discussing her thoughts on it, plus reviews from Madalyn (which wasn’t necessarily bad but just mixed!) and Amber (mostly about the writing and telling instead of showing) that didn’t make me want to prioritize finishing this book. The Wedding Date by Guillory | This is a weird one because I went on to […]

Three Book Clubs

Posted June 10, 2019 / Discussions, Features / 2 Comments
Three Book Clubs

Throughout all of my TBR posts, it’s plain to see that I’m currently in THREE different IRL book clubs. I don’t know how this happened, but it has. I thought it would be fun to just share what book clubs I’m in and how they differ from each other… because they are VERY different! I’ll also highlight the books we’ve read so far. One of my book clubs (the OG if you will) has been around for many years so I won’t get into ALL of those books, but I probably can’t resist… YA Fiction Book Club Only YA fiction, all genres within Books read so far: 40 | Meets monthly Back when I first started blogging, I decided that I wanted an IRL book club to enjoy books with and maybe make some new friends. I made a Meetup group for a YA Fiction Book Club and the rest is history! The turnout was great initially and eventually we moved the club away from Meetup. Two of the other ladies and I connected really well so we ended up forming a trio and kind of abandoning the official club once the club was gone from Meetup. (Long story.) The three of us have been meeting ever since and enjoying books over dinner every month. This one serves the purpose of giving me strictly YA books in my book club. Single/Standalone Reads We’ve read mostly standalones. Any series-starters you see below (there are a few) are books where we did […]

A Royal Change of Heart

Posted June 7, 2019 / Book Lists, Discussions, Features / 4 Comments
A Royal Change of Heart

As I said in my review for the first book in the Royals series, I am not a royal kind of gal. I’m uninterested in the real royal family over in England and haven’t gravitated toward media options about fake royals either. Not faulting anyone who is into it, but it’s just not me. I’ve noticed (I’m sure everyone has at this point) that writing books about royal families around the world has certainly grown in popularity, even just in the few years since I started blogging! The first one I can think of off the top of my head is, of course, The Royal We by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan. I got swept up in the hype of this one, despite my actual lack of interest in it, and own the book. 🤦🏼‍♀️ I obviously haven’t read it yet and truly don’t know if I ever will at this point, but I know many who adored the book. Since its publication, I’ve noticed a huge influx of royal-related books come out. For whatever reason, my generation (some people older and younger too, obviously) is so into this topic right now. I’m guessing it’s because we all thought Prince Harry and William were hot and grew up admiring these young royals. Now that they’re even older, got married, and have families of their own, we’re clamoring for more. I say “we” meaning my group of peers… but not really including me. H o w e v e r, there have […]