Category: Discussions

Why I Love Goodreads

Posted March 23, 2017 / Discussions, Features / 18 Comments
Why I Love Goodreads

Like the vast majority of bloggers I know, I LOVE Goodreads. I don’t think I’ve really ever sat here and explained why though. A while back Kate posted a list about this and I was inspired… then kept a post sitting in my drafts for months. I wanted to revisit it today because I wrote a few Goodreads-related posts back in January that people seemed to like, about how I get ahead on my goal for the year and why I reduce that goal each year. Reasons I’m Addicted to Goodreads 100% bookish things all the time This is definitely the biggest factor for me. I love other social networks for various reasons, but I can get bogged down and distracted very easily. I need to find a better way to balance staying up-to-date on current events and maintaining self-care. In any case, when I need to avoid other social network sites (like Twitter and Facebook when I team I absolutely despise wins the Super Bowl and countless fake fans in my region take to the internet to celebrate), I know I can stay in a happy bookish bubble on Goodreads. I still feel connected to my bloggers and reader-friends, but I won’t see things that will annoy me when I choose to avoid them. Adding books to my TBR and other shelves Keeping track of books is the sole purpose of Goodreads, really, aside from connecting with other book lovers. I aggressively use their shelving system to track books I want […]

Standalone or Series?

Posted March 13, 2017 / Discussions, Features / 17 Comments
Standalone or Series?

I don’t think I’ve ever really had this classic discussion on my blog before. Maybe I’ve referenced it somewhere else, but nothing dedicated. So here we go – do you (or I) prefer reading books in a series or standalone books? I’m going to include companion novels in the “series” category here, FYI. My Numbers I was curious to see how my reading has broken down over the past few years, between series and standalones. I only started tracking my reading extensively in 2015, so I do have some series/standalone-related stats from both 2015 and 2016. Before that… I think I’d have to say I read mostly series? This is mostly because I was obsessed with super-long series about rich people or teens solving murder mysteries. Think: Gossip Girl, Private, Pretty Little Liars, The A-List… All of those had SO many books, so I can only imagine what the breakdown was back then. I don’t even know which standalones I liked at that point in my life. Apparently my numbers are almost even. I read approximately 50% series and 50% standalones, give or take a percentage or two. I read more series than standalones in 2016 but read more standalones than series in 2015. I’m not sure if this has to do with my genre breakdown? But I feel like I read more duologies – which are counted as a series here – in 2016. I know that 2015 was also even more contemporary-oriented than 2016 was, so many of those […]

DNFs and Reading Challenges

Posted February 23, 2017 / Discussions, Features / 26 Comments
DNFs and Reading Challenges

I liked Shannon’s post a while ago about giving books a fair chance. Sometimes, despite all the warnings, we read books we know we probably won’t like. We want to read them because just MAYBE we will like them. We read and read and read, and (some of us) refuse to DNF. I’m usually one of these people. I always push myself to just finish the thing, especially when I’ve read nearly half of it. The biggest thing with DNFing books usually – for avid Goodreads users – has to do with the challenge. Do I include it in my numbers for the year because I read some of it, or does it not count because I didn’t finish the book? How do you decide? Books I’ve DNFed in my Life The list of books I’ve marked “DNF” is so small, I can include literally all of them here. There are probably a few more from my childhood but I don’t remember at this point. These all happened between college and now. All of these books except two of them were DNFed before the 50% mark. The other two were after.            How many of these will I come back to someday? I would think less than half. Some of them were probably mood-related while others… there’s no coming back to. I usually have a decent idea of what I want from a book. If a bad book can hold my interest, I’ll keep reading. The minute I start losing focus […]

You Haven’t Let Me Down Yet

Posted February 17, 2017 / Discussions, Features / 16 Comments
You Haven’t Let Me Down Yet

There have been a few TTT topics about debut authors and their sophomore novels (like one’s we’re excited about, can’t wait for, etc.). I was thinking about revisiting some of those posts and reflecting on the authors who haven’t let me down yet, based on their debut and sophomore novels. There’s nothing worse than reading a near-perfect debut and then being disappointed by the author’s second novel. Luckily, there are quite a few authors who absolutely did NOT let me down with their sophomore novel! FYI, some authors here have published adult and/or middle grade books before these YA books, so I’m including them here as debut YA authors (or in one situation, debut adult contemporary authors). First & Then   |   This Adventure Ends  I’m a HUGE fan of these covers obviously, but the books inside? Near perfect. I adored FIRST & THEN because of how cute and addictive it was. The football obviously helped too 😉 THIS ADVENTURE ENDS was pretty amazing because of the friend feels and cute slow-burn romance. The only problem with both of these books is that the romance and kissing came waaaaay too late in the book. We’ll see what her next book does! The One That Got Away   |   Results May Vary Oh, Bethany Chase. You are way too good. I don’t deserve you. Both of her books have been complete hits for me. There was a liiiittle something missing from THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY, but RESULTS MAY VARY was amazing. Easily a favorite of 2016. […]

Getting Older and Pickier with my Reading Choices

Posted February 10, 2017 / Discussions, Features / 12 Comments
Getting Older and Pickier with my Reading Choices

Since I started reading, I’ve always reached for the same books. I like young adult contemporary with some fantasy books mixed in – maybe a few paranormal/etc. ones if the mood strikes. I also read a lot of adult contemporary (“chick lit” – ugh) because, back when I started reading YA, there weren’t nearly as many options as there are now. I was reading Sophie Kinsella when I was 14 years old. You can pretty much tell that my reading habits and preferences haven’t really changed; I’m still reading young adult books with some adult books mixed in. However, I can say that a few more specific preferences have changed over time. I wrote a draft a long time ago wondering if I was older and wiser, or if I’ve just read too many YA books. I found that I can easily pick up on certain twists. Is it because I’m getting too old for YA? Is YA getting more predictable? Is is only more “predictable” because I’ve read so many of them at this point? This post isn’t about plot twists and predictability necessarily (I sort of already talked about that) – it’s about how I’ve adjusted my reading based on my age and reading experience. I’m fine-tuning what I want to read and figuring out my reading life as a 25 year old person who still enjoys young adult literature. I don’t want to overstep and judge certain books harshly because I’m older than the characters; I always try to […]

Even MORE Upcoming Books I’m Super Excited For

Posted February 3, 2017 / Discussions, Features / 18 Comments
Even MORE Upcoming Books I’m Super Excited For

I hope you’re ready for even MORE (x2 basically) unreleased books I’m super excited about! Back in March, I talked about some other new and upcoming books I was excited for and then I also shared books that aren’t releasing for a loooong time but I wanted them immediately. I also did another installment in November. I’ve been trying to highlight newer and upcoming releases (both in the far future and the near future) lately because I have a lot of fun putting bookish lists together and never doing anything with them. I always love adding new books to my TBR and creeping on other people’s posts like this! Without further ado, here are some more upcoming releases (2017 books that now have cover art) that I need.    180 Seconds by Jessica Park • April 2017 This book involves a social experiment where you have to spend 180 seconds with someone. Naturally, the MC and the guy hit it off and you wonder what will happen next. I’ve read articles about dating and how if you maintain eye contact for a certain amount of time then ask specific questions, it helps you fall in love? I think that premise is what intrigues me about this book! Margot & Me by Juno Dawson • January 2017 The premise of moving to her grandmother’s (Margot) house for a few months and having to deal with a new school is usually appealing enough for me. However, the MC then finds her grandmother’s diary from the 1940s and uncovers a […]

How I Get Ahead on My Goodreads Goal Each Year

Posted January 27, 2017 / Discussions, Features / 20 Comments
How I Get Ahead on My Goodreads Goal Each Year

I talked last Friday about why I reduce my Goodreads challenge each year, but now I want to talk about how I always make sure I reach my Goodreads goal. I’ve never really struggled to make it happen each year and I thought people might appreciate learning how I do it. Some of these tips are similar to those in my post about breaking reading slumps during slow-reading months, so feel free to check that post out too! Go H-A-M in January I love to start my year with a bunch of reading, to be honest. Getting as ahead as possible as early as possible makes me feel SO GOOD. You can follow the rest of these tips (or the ones in the aforementioned post) to try to get ahead, but that’s my biggest thing. I read a lot of shorter, quick books in January so I start off on the right foot. You know you’re going to be scrambling in December to read a bunch of novellas and graphic novels to finish, so why wait? Eliminate the pressure by reading all those tiny books in January. I always find my reading re-invigorated at the beginning of the year once I sign up for challenges, so it helps to use that extra motivation when you have it. Do you know how good it feels to see “X books ahead” in the second week of January?! SO GOOD, okay? I’m currently 4 books ahead on my challenge and I love it. Audiobooks forever I […]

The Impact of Physical

Posted January 25, 2017 / Discussions, Features / 10 Comments
The Impact of Physical

This post is one of three in the Impact of Book Format series I’m starting on the blog. You’ll see how I feel about ebooks, physical books, and audiobooks over the course of three Wednesdays. I’m a huge fan of physical books. I know VERY few avid readers who don’t love smelling a book and opening those pages up. There’s no better feeling. I totally love my Kindle and my audiobooks, but I feel like nothing compares to the real thing. Regardless of how technology and the publishing industry evolve, I sincerely hope and believe that physical books will be around for a looong time. Cultivating a library of favorites The biggest bookworm dream of mine (and countless other people) is to have a full library room. I’ve discussed my dream library in the past. I want it to have a full bed, so many colors, Christmas lights all over the place, shelves on every wall, and book-related art and knicknacks. It’ll be a haven and I need it in my life… someday. Chris and I still aren’t planning on settling down any time soon, so for now my library dreams are far in the future. I want to have a house someday with a full room just for books and bookish things. I want it FULL of books that I love (or at least like enough to own and take pictures of). A library with all of those things will be an amazing place to relax and read. I […]

Why I’ve Reduced My Goodreads Goal Each Year

Posted January 20, 2017 / Discussions, Features / 19 Comments
Why I’ve Reduced My Goodreads Goal Each Year

I’ve spoken a lot about my ~resolutions~ to read less books, so I can give myself more time for other hobbies. This was something I resolved to do for 2016 and again in 2017. Book blogging has done a wonderful job of introducing me to countless friends, new authors, and books I never would have thought to pick up. It’s also wildly increased my reading numbers. This is really great and makes me feel super accomplished! I love reading. But lately, I’ve hated the pressure to read. I was often 13 books ahead on my reading challenge this year. This was mostly because I binge-listened to a series with thirteen short books. But still! I was ahead! Then, I hit my slow reading month in October and ended up catching up to be just “on track” by the end of December. I found myself on December 15th needing to finish 6 more books in order to complete my challenge. What happened?! Instead of saying “oh well” and just reading as much as I genuinely wanted to read, I pushed myself to finish it off. It ended up working out well because I squeezed in more holiday reads than expected. Because of the unnecessary pressure to read, I’ve actually ended up reducing my Goodreads challenge each year. I see most of my friends reading more and setting a higher goal each year since I started blogging, but mine has gone down. You can see from the picture that I blew my 2014 challenge […]

The Impact of Digital

Posted January 18, 2017 / Discussions, Features / 19 Comments
The Impact of Digital

This post is one of three in the Impact of Book Format series I’m starting on the blog. You’ll see how I feel about ebooks, physical books, and audiobooks over the course of three Wednesdays. Getting a Kindle was one of the BEST things for me, back before college started. I was so excited for it. I got one of the early ones that had 3G on it, because I knew I’d need it when I visited my grandparents in Maine (who didn’t have wifi at the time). I used to vacation there twice each summer and a few other times each year, and I was always concerned with running out of books. This Kindle was my savior, to immediately order new ones if needed. I primarily use it now for egalleys and a few ebooks, but not as much as I used to. Today’s topic is the impact of reading digital/Kindle books, compared to other means of reading. It makes me read faster I really don’t know what it is about reading on a Kindle, but I finish books so much faster! Am I the only one who experiences this?! I don’t know. I just sit there and click-click-click onto the next page so much faster. Maybe the act of turning physical pages slows you down? I honestly am not sure what else to say about this because I can’t think of a legitimate reason for why this is true. I just notice that reading books on my Kindle […]