Category: Discussions

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 […]

Random Bookish Thoughts: Book Tropes

Posted December 11, 2014 / Discussions, Other Memes, Weekly Memes / 8 Comments
Random Bookish Thoughts: Book Tropes

BOOK TROPES. I recently saw all of the BookBlogWriMo posts about common tropes that bloggers love to see in books. In case you’re not aware, a trope is basically a cliche or common theme – in our case, in YA books. I decided to do my own spin-off discussion of this topic, since I think it’s a worthy one of having! I had a Musing Mondays post on “typical YA” and what I mean when I reference that in a review… A lot of this post stems from that discussion. Here are some of my favorite and least favorite book tropes that I see in books, as well as some that I have mixed feelings on. Best friends who finally realize they love each other This is definitely one of my all-time favorites. There’s nothing better than the moment when they FINALLY realize they’re in love with their best friend. Of course, the reader knows the whole time and spends most of the book shouting for them to just kiss already…but you still love it when it finally happens. Any time there’s a childhood best friend in the picture, you can assume they’re going to be the love interest… and you’re totally fine with it. Everyone else who steps in the way, back off please. Favorite books: Damsel Distressed by Kesley Macke, Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins, and Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally Self-discovery or realization of powers Dude, this is the best. You know why? Because it gives everyone […]

Real Life Insta-Love: Me + Book Host

Posted November 25, 2014 / Discussions, Features / 11 Comments
Real Life Insta-Love: Me + Book Host

I DID IT! I am officially no longer a wordpress.com person. I brought my bookmarklit.net over to a new host and am LOVING every second of it. Before the excitement fades, I want to share with you a little bit about how this came about SO quickly and who my amazing host is. Let me just say, if you are thinking of self-hosting but have no idea how to even begin, please keep reading this post. Back story, aka when I was a big idiot I decided I wanted to self-host a while ago. I was sick of not being able to embed widgets like Rafflecopters, sick of manually putting in my book info, and wanted to post my archives to Twitter. After a lot of finagling, I bought my .net name from Name Cheap and tried to do the GoDaddy WordPress transfer. LONG story short, I somehow managed to screw everything up and ended up with the web address of bookmarklit.net, but still over at my WordPress.com account. Fast forward a month – I mentioned on Twitter that I really wanted to move to self-host but was confused and scared, thanks to my last attempt. Jamie immediately encouraged me to do it and talk to Ashley. I knew she was a guru on all things web, but didn’t really think to bother her for advice. Ashley jumped in right away and gave me some suggestions for blog posts on Nose Graze that could help, and also linked me over to […]

Random Bookish Thoughts: Book Ratings

Posted November 13, 2014 / Discussions, Other Memes, Weekly Memes / 29 Comments
Random Bookish Thoughts: Book Ratings

BOOK RATINGS. I saw a Twitter conversation a month or so ago about the ratings that bloggers and readers give to books. These ratings could be on Goodreads or on blogs. This person thought that if someone’s Goodreads ratings average was too high, they weren’t critical enough – and therefore their opinion was not valued in the community. They should not bother with book blogging or reviewing, because they were not actual critics of books. I didn’t even know how to formulate a logical tweet in response, so I let it be. And by let it be, I mean let it stew for months until I was able to come up with this post. But Taylor pretty much sums up my reaction: I think that’s bullshit. I should go without saying that all opinions can be valued as long as they are not particularly offensive, racist, sexist, etc. Who gets to determine if someone’s opinion is valuable or not?? Not some random guy on Twitter, that’s for sure. Let me back up a little bit and talk about ratings in general and my thoughts on them. How I rate books on my blog I use my little heart system here on the left to rate books. I DO use half-hearts (quite a bit, actually), as the bottom of the graphic shows. I don’t think it’s possible, for me at least, to give EVERY book I read a dead-set rating between 1 and 5 without any halves. The 5 heart rating is given to books that […]

Random Bookish Thoughts: Growing Pains

Posted October 21, 2014 / Discussions, Other Memes, Weekly Memes / 14 Comments
Random Bookish Thoughts: Growing Pains

GROWING PAINS. If you’ve been following my blog since the beginning, you’ve probably noticed a lot of changes. I’m trying to figure out what works best for me, my personality, my reviews, my followers, etc. I’ve changed around the format for a lot of posts/memes/reviews because my blog is still having growing pains. I only started this blog in July and so far the results have been pretty impressive, if I do say so myself. In four months, I’ve gotten 3,600+ paigeviews, 700+ comments, and 180+ followers between WordPress and Bloglovin (not to mention the ones on Twitter, Instagram, Goodreads, etc!). I’ve been trying hard to make my blog the best it can be for you guys, for myself, and, if I’m being honest, for publishers! I’m hoping to get more ARC approvals and book mail in the near future. I would be interested in hearing some of your thoughts on my formatting, and I’ll go into some of the changes/formats I’ve tried to initiate recently. Types of Reviews This has been the major area of frustration for me. I started this blog with just writing one long paragraph review, but started noticing other bloggers were splitting them into sections; I gravitated towards that because it made them a lot easier to read. I could even skim it if I really wanted to. So now, I’m trying to figure out the types of reviews I want to use, how to keep all of the fonts consistent, and make sure the posts are […]