Category: Discussions

Head vs. Heart – Reading, Rating, and Reviewing

Posted May 21, 2015 / Discussions, Features / 28 Comments
Head vs. Heart – Reading, Rating, and Reviewing

I loved Shannon’s post – and quiz! – about this topic recently, and it sparked the same kind of discussion in me. Her quiz supported what I already knew about myself. (Book cover links bring you to my review.) Do you read, rate, and review books based more on your HEAD or on your HEART?  In Shannon’s post, she shared that she thought all bloggers are located on a head vs. heart spectrum when reviewing books. Most people lean one way or the other, but there are some that fall towards the middle of the road. Some people can stay unbiased in their reviews, while others either lean towards their emotions OR critical analysis. It got me thinking about how I usually try to fall in the middle, but gravitate more towards my heart over my head… BUT this can vary completely throughout the whole “I’m going to read this book, rate it, and post a review on my blog” process. Following your head or your heart can alter the three stages of the bookish process: reading, rating, and reviewing. Reading Being a book blogger is hard. We always talk about how it feels like the love of reading dwindles as you (a) start being influenced by other readers and books you may not have found before, (b) get more and more review copies, and (c) try to keep up with challenges, schedules, and pub dates. I try as hard as I can to read only books I genuinely have an […]

Best of the Best: April Madness

Posted April 25, 2015 / Discussions, Features / 7 Comments
Best of the Best: April Madness

Andi posted a fun challenge back in March where she did her own March Madness bracket using her five star reads. I was planning on taking part, but never got around to making a post for some reason. She recently shared a blank bracket and challenged everyone to join in! Here’s what I did to get the first round of 32 books: Pulled the list of 5 star and 4.5 star reads from my review index and from Goodreads (if I read them this year but haven’t posted the review yet) Eliminated the Harry Potter books and any other pre-blogging reads and rereads (like the Private and Pretty Little Liars series reviews I have posted) Took the remaining books and did some preliminary eliminations to get to the top 32, which was extremely difficult to do! Lots of good 4.5 star books had to go Used a random number generator to plan out which books would face off against each other The top 32 books and initial matchups, in case the pictures are too small, are:  Gone Girl vs. Just One Day | Split Second vs. A Midsummers’ Nightmare | One Past Midnight vs. All the Bright Places | Meant to Be vs. Shadow and Bone | Aspen vs. Emmy and Oliver | Before I Fall vs. The Husband’s Secret | All Our Yesterdays vs. 99 Days | Anna and the French Kiss vs. The Distance Between Us | Pivot Point vs. Second Chance Summer | Breathe, Annie, Breathe vs. Catching Jordan | Damsel Distressed vs. Ruin and Rising | Twenty Boy Summer […]

My Reading Life (and Other Hobbies Influenced by Parents)

Posted April 23, 2015 / Discussions / 14 Comments
My Reading Life (and Other Hobbies Influenced by Parents)

This discussion post was inspired by Kristen’s recent post about always being an enthusiastic reader and, the more I thought about it, Jamie’s older post about how reading wasn’t cool when she was younger. It got me thinking about my reading story a little more and how my parents have been pretty huge influences on that… as well as some other hobbies. You can see some of the best books from my childhood here! I’ve been a reader my whole life I feel like I’ve talked about my reading story a million times on here, starting with my About page. If you’re bored of that story then move along to the next section, my friend. I was fortunate enough to have parents and other family members who were big on reading. I spent my childhood days living with my books. I was an only child and spent most of my time reading instead of watching TV or doing other kid things. I’d go to the library with my mom or grandmother and Barnes & Noble with my dad, pick out tons of books, and try to savor every word until I could go again. I was pretty crazy about making sure my books lasted as long as possible because I refused to reread them (more on that later). When I think of my childhood, I really do picture reading everywhere – on my grandmother’s front lawn under a tree, in my living room at my old house, walking around inside the pool […]

Organization Part Two: My Traveler’s Notebook

Posted April 12, 2015 / Discussions, Features / 13 Comments
Organization Part Two: My Traveler’s Notebook

Inspired by my recent organizational acquisitions (and posts by Hannah), I wanted to share some information about how I keep myself organized – primarily for blogging and reading, but also a little about my personal organization, too. Part Two: What’s Inside My Traveler’s Notebook In the first part of this series, you saw what’s inside my book bag. Today I’ll give you a little tour of what’s inside my Foxy Fix traveler’s notebook! (The company was previously referred to as Foxy Dori, but she recently posted on Instagram that she’s hoping to keep her brand away from the original company name – Midori – and go by Foxy Fix.) Again, Hannah’s post is probably the best overview you can get, but I’ll try my best to include what’s in my notebook. I know they can kind of be confusing. Ordering a Foxy Dori After seeing Hannah’s post, I bought one within days. I wrote up what I purchased in my last post, but here’s a refresher in case you’d like to know: Colorful Foxy Dori in Dragon Fruit | Wide Size | Quadruple Binding | Black Strap | Stamp #13 (Heart) What does that mean? I ordered the “Colorful Foxy Dori” option, which is made of leather and available in different colors. I chose Dragon Fruit, which is a pretty pink (of course). I got the wide size because it can best hold May Designs notebooks, which is a popular insert option. The quadruple binding means that there are four elastic bands […]

Organization Part One: My Book Bag

Posted March 27, 2015 / Discussions, Features / 16 Comments
Organization Part One: My Book Bag

Inspired by my recent organizational acquisitions (and posts by Hannah), I wanted to share some information about how I keep myself organized – primarily for blogging and reading, but also a little about my personal organization, too. Part One: What’s Inside My Book Bag I carry around a tote bag full of bookish things. No, not everywhere I go… but pretty much. I bring it with me to work every day. I never know when I’ll have a free second to read or will need to write something down. It’d be awful to get struck with inspiration and not have my blog notebook on hand, right? Right. So, my organization series on the blog will kick off with me showing the basics of what’s inside my book bag and why I carry these items everywhere with me. The bag itself: I got my bag from The Strand bookstore in NYC. Chris and I went there back in October for his birthday and I knew that a tote bag was my #1 purchase there. I wish it wasn’t so crowded in the store that day, though, because I’ve come to realize I missed out on SO many other cute accessories. I love the pattern on this one with all of the books (and Chris likes the cats). I added a couple of bookish pins to it. One came from a previous swap partner and the other came from pre-ordering The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord! I do indeed […]

Random Bookish Thoughts: DNF

Posted March 19, 2015 / Discussions, Other Memes, Weekly Memes / 17 Comments
Random Bookish Thoughts: DNF

THE DNF. (For the newbies out there, a DNF is when you mark a book as “did not finish.” You stop reading the book, set it aside, and may or may not ever return to it.) I think I’ve mentioned in the past how difficult it is for me to DNF books, even when I’m not really enjoying them. I know there are LOTS of bloggers who are able to stop reading books whenever they can. I don’t know why; I just can’t bring myself to do it most of the time. I was talking with Lisa on Twitter recently and she brought up some great points. I decided to poll some fellow bloggers on the number one reason they decide to DNF a book and use them as inspiration for this post.   Why do I rarely DNF? When I talked with Lisa about this, the main reason I came up with was the fact that I first have plenty of time to read. Honestly, my boyfriend and I are not busy people by any means. We prefer to hang out at home. He’ll build Legos or play video games while I read. On top of that, I have some time in the morning to read before work. When Chris gets up and leaves for work at six, I usually can’t fall back asleep. This gives me almost two hours of reading time before I have to start getting ready for work. I also always have an audiobook going, so I […]

Random Bookish Thoughts: Book Ratings Pt. 2

Posted February 19, 2015 / Discussions, Other Memes, Weekly Memes / 7 Comments
Random Bookish Thoughts: Book Ratings Pt. 2

BOOK RATINGS (PART 2). I’ve talked once before on book ratings, when I talked about how I rate books, what it means to have a “valuable opinion” (according to some butthead on Twitter), and my generally high rating average on Goodreads. Now that I’ve gotten further into reading and reviewing books, I’ve been thinking about more topics on book ratings. There’s SO much that goes into rating a book once you finish. I’ve found myself coming up with these rating-related issues lately. Brittany posted a discussion about changing book ratings that helped me in thinking about this post. Sometimes you have no issue rating a book. You loved it. End of story! It gets between 4 and 5 stars. The harder ones to review are the MEH books. The ones that didn’t bother you too much either way. Do you penalize them because they didn’t wow you? Or do you say that because nothing outright offended you, you can stick to maybe 3 stars? It’s also fairly easy to rate books you hated. Obviously they’re not getting much more than something around 2 stars or less. Lately my ratings have changed SO MUCH. I posted on Twitter a while back that I changed my rating for Red Queen about five times after finishing it. I’ve come to find that there are four main instances where my rating may change between the time I finish the post, as I’m writing the review, and before the review is actually posted. (Part of the issue could be that […]

Random Bookish Thoughts: Blogging

Posted January 13, 2015 / Discussions, Other Memes / 27 Comments
Random Bookish Thoughts: Blogging

Thoughts on Book Blogging I am by no means an expert on the book blogging community. I only created my blog in July 2014 and I know that there are countless bloggers out there who have been in the community for many, many years. But, there have been many recent events that have added a bit of drama and controversy. I wanted to take a few minutes to reflect on the community in general and what I’ve learned from this community as a newbie. Most of this was based on Anna’s decision to leave the community and some of the amazing tweets she posted recently on her opinions and choice to leave blogging behind. I’ve been wanting to make a post with tips for newbie bloggers, from a newbie blogger, but this seemed like a good time to combine all of my thoughts and advice into one big ol’ discussion post. On ARC-Envy and Pressure There is no greater thing than free books, right? Of course. When I started up my blog I had NO idea that ARCs were possible. Book bloggers got free copies of books before they were released? I was in heaven! I knew this was the place for me. But, of course, there’s a catch. There are so many side effects from ARCs that you almost wonder if it’s worth it. I used to get very envious of other people’s ARCs because I wanted to feel needed and popular like that. ARC-envy is understandable for books […]

Random Bookish Thoughts: Confessions

Posted January 5, 2015 / Discussions, Other Memes / 24 Comments
Random Bookish Thoughts: Confessions

Bookish Confessions I’ve been keeping this draft going for quite a while because I’ve been thinking of all the different book-related “secrets” I keep. These can be things that aren’t realllly secrets because I’ve spoken about them before occasionally, but sharing them here can still qualify as a confession, right? Right. Other things I haven’t discussed with anyone before, so I’m definitely curious to hear your thoughts on them! So without further ado, here are six bookish or blog-related confessions I want to share. Everyone should start the New Year with a clean slate, amirite?   My reading history is spotty. This is pretty much the one thing I’ve discussed before, but I feel like I should clarify a little bit. I was a HUGE reader back in elementary school and middle school. I used to go to the library multiple times a week with my mom and get countless books. Over the summer when my sister and I were bored at my nana’s house, we would walk down to the library and read all day in the sun. It was glorious. My reading in high school definitely continued, but dropped off a bit. This became especially true when I got my license. I was never home, and when I was, I was watching TV or immediately going to bed. Most of my reading (okay, probably all of my reading) happened right before bed for an hour or two. I did a good job of keeping up with the book […]

Random Bookish Thoughts: Comparisons

Posted December 18, 2014 / Discussions, Other Memes, Weekly Memes / 18 Comments
Random Bookish Thoughts: Comparisons

BOOK AND AUTHOR COMPARISONS. I tweeted about this the other day and had a nice little conversation with Brittany and Ashlea about this topic. How many times have you read the synopsis or front cover of a book and seen something like: The Fault in Our Stars meets Eleanor & Park! The new Hunger Games! More than anything, publishers in 2014 are very quick to reference anything by John Green or Rainbow Rowell because they’re the most popular or well-known YA authors at this moment. Years ago, they would slap a Twilight comparison on anything because people loved that shit. I do understand why they do it. I’m more than happy to hear that more people are reading and more books are being sold. If publishers think a little name-dropping will do the trick, then that’s cool! What bothers me is when it’s not appropriate, doesn’t make sense, or is just done solely for the name-drop. Just because a book is about a similar topic to another book, doesn’t mean they’ll have the same feel. They won’t have the same writing style or flow to them. That’s what makes me pick up a book! If you tell me a book is similar to TFIOS, more than likely it’s because it’s about kids with cancer… not because it has a similar feel or writing style to John Green’s work. I like recommendations and author blurbs. If an author is blurbed on a book cover, I will likely take that into consideration. I’ve never seen an […]