Category: Discussions

Behind the Screen: A Book Blogger Tag

Posted March 5, 2018 / Discussions, Features / 5 Comments
Behind the Screen: A Book Blogger Tag

I caught this making its away across the blogosphere and was tempted to join in, but then Madalyn made my life easier and tagged me! This was created originally by Amber @ Du Livre. When did you start blogging and what was your first review? I started blogging on July 16, 2014 and my first review was for We Were Liars. I did not enjoy the book, to say the least! My first non-review post happened on the same day (because I was a bit intense when I got started) and was for my Top 10 Summer Reads. I think that’s pretty indicative of my reading preferences! Who/what inspired you to start blogging? I remember reading Before I Fall back in July 2014 for the first time and having so many thoughts about it. I was scrolling through some of the reviews on Goodreads (before finishing the book, whoops) and noticed a lot of people had links that said “for more thoughts, go to X blog here!” and I was intrigued. I always wanted to blog (I had so many failed ones back in the day) and it truly had never occurred to me that reading/books would be a blogging topic. It wasn’t my first review because I started the blog when I was in the middle of reading it, but still – this book and some of the Goodreads reviewers inspired me! What is a blog-related goal you have? I’m really not sure because my blog has changed so much over […]

Operation COYER and eBooks I Keep Forgetting

Posted February 21, 2018 / Book Lists, Discussions, Features / 2 Comments
Operation COYER and eBooks I Keep Forgetting

I saw a few posts recently (Kristen and Jamie) about ebooks people forgot they owned. This happens to me ALL the time – I buy a book I’m excited to read (or even one I’m not as excited to read but hello Kindle sale) and then I completely forget about it until I’m scrolling through my Kindle, looking for my next read. I actually don’t do this super often because if I open up my Kindle, I have a book in mind. The other night before bed though, I did find myself flipping through and trying to see what I was in the mood for. I found so many gems that are just waiting to be read! I’m calling this Operation COYER based on the COYER (clean out your e-reads) Challenge. I’m not an official participant but I liked the wording, so I wanted to link over there. First, I’ll share a few books that I keep forgetting I have on my Kindle. Then, I’ll talk about how I plan to clean my ereader out and be a happier person. I hate that my Kindle is so damn slooooow. Top books I keep forgetting about            Me, You, and Tiramisu by Charlotte Butterfield | I loved another one of this author’s books and immediately downloaded this other book because it was cheaper. These characters were minimally introduced in CRAZY LITTLE THING CALLED LOVE and I love the whole bookstore idea. I wanted to read it soonafter but I’m bad […]

How My 2018 Bookish Planner is Impacting my Reading & Blogging Habits

Posted February 9, 2018 / Discussions, Features / 12 Comments
How My 2018 Bookish Planner is Impacting my Reading & Blogging Habits

I did a post about my new 2018 planners earlier this year because yet again, I’m trying something new for them. The bookish planner from Little Inklings has already wormed its way into my heart and impacted my reading, blogging, and book-related organizing this year. It’s only been a month, but I can already see how it’s helping streamline my blogging and reading habits.    Planner Breakdown I’m going to write about each section in “chronological” order, which means in the order the section appears in the planner from front to back (or beginning of the monthly section to end). I took pictures of my January pages for this example because it was all I had so far, obviously. TBR Planning Knowing what book to pick up next without having to find my blog post The first section for each month is where you track your TBR plans. I have a blog post feature for this each month so you guys can see what I’m reading, but this is really beneficial to me. I usually have to check my blog whenever I ask myself “wait, what book did I want to read next?” and it’s a pain. I don’t use my computer after work hours usually, so it’s A LOT easier to reference my TBR page of my planner, as it just sits open on my desk. I just fill this page out each month after I write my blog post and can easily find what book I’m looking to […]

Failures and Lessons of 2017

Posted January 19, 2018 / Discussions, Features / 4 Comments
Failures and Lessons of 2017

I’m not going to sit here and beat myself up over the reading-related failures of the previous year, so don’t worry about that. I just felt like it would be nice to look back over some of the goals and challenges I tried out that didn’t exactly work for me… as well as some of the lessons learned. I’m also going to talk about my reading, blogging, and personal resolutions for the year — how did I do? Reading, blogging, and personal resolutions: PASS: Read less…and give myself time to focus on other hobbies I definitely FEEL like I spent less time reading. I managed to easily meet my Goodreads goal (and could have gone over thanks to holiday novellas and a quick reading addiction that happened before Christmas). I love reading when I have spare moments, specifically before bed or during football games/WWE matches I can pay half-attention to. I’ve noticed that in general my entire night doesn’t consist of reading anymore. Chris and I are free to watch things together or go out and do something, and I don’t feel guilty about NOT reading. I debated quite a bit about what to set my Goodreads goal for in 2018. I liked the slight pressure of 150, since my reading did decline, but I felt like it was a solid number that I could fairly easily get. PASS: Reinvigorate The Nostalgia Project and reread more I’m going to count this one as a pass. Cristina and I managed to […]

Books Read by Month

Posted January 17, 2018 / Discussions, Features / 2 Comments
Books Read by Month

I take a look at my reading stats at the end of every year (and sometimes also in the middle of the year), but I don’t often pull them all together and compare year-over-year. I’ll probably do a very deep dive into this when I hit the five year mark (of tracking my info in the book spreadsheet), but I wanted to copy Cristina’s post first. 😉 She asked how her reading habits fluctuated by year, so I thought it would be fun to do the same. Do I read more in the summer because I’m laying on the beach, or more in the winter because I’m cozy inside? Does my busy birthday month impact my reading? Does a new reading year motivate me in January? I put them all on one chart to make it easier to compare, but it’s hard because my reading numbers in general have (purposefully) gone down each year. Here are some of the obvious things I see and some explanations for them… Noticeable Trends The three months I’ve read the most over the three year period above are July 2015, April 2016, and March 2017. I can’t honestly think about what my life was like in those months off the top of my head, but I was able to look back on those three Bookmark Lit Bulletins to find an explanation. It looks like July 2015 was a good month with high ratings too – I read a lot of shorter contemps, from what I […]

End of the Year Push

Posted November 29, 2017 / Discussions, Features / 4 Comments
End of the Year Push

In a normal year… I usually do a good job of staying on top of my Goodreads challenge throughout the year. I don’t fall behind on it or lower my goal; I’m able to stay a few books ahead or at the “you’re on track!” level. I read a few books to get ahead early (novellas) and maintained it throughout the first half of the year. This is primarily due to audiobooks being in regular rotation, where I’d finish anywhere from 1 to 3 audiobooks each month. That’s a big addition to my total on the year and a good way of always staying ahead, even when my physical reading pace slowed down. Last year I also binge-listened to the Series of Unfortunate Events, so I was like… 13 books ahead at all times lol. …but not this year. The second half of the year made for a big change in my reading habits. I don’t have time to listen to audiobooks anymore since I don’t have a commute. I do try to listen to one when we come home each month and I have a commute for a few days, but I haven’t been overly successful. My audio reading time would usually be the first hour or 1.5 hours of the day, plus again for a few minutes during lunch and then the commute home (15-20 minutes). All in all, I’d probably get an hour or hour and a half done each day. Now? I barely drive my car […]

Whose Books Am I Reading?

Posted November 13, 2017 / Discussions, Features / 12 Comments
Whose Books Am I Reading?

My girl Cristina and I were chatting the other day and I mentioned that I don’t often buy books anymore. She then wondered: where do I even get my books from? Aaaand of course, that made ME wonder the same thing. I know I do a lot of ebook and library reading, but I’ve read around 130 books this year. Surely I didn’t get them ALL from the library. I know this is something I usually briefly talk about in my end of year wrap-up, but I wanted to dive in deeper here. My book buying is at an all-time low. I struggle to even give people Christmas lists because there are SO few books I actually want to own these days. I’m happy that I’m getting pickier overall, but it does make me wonder what books I’m actually reading. Luckily, I keep track of this very carefully in my bookish spreadsheet. What books am I actually reading? Where do they come from? How much money am I even spending on books in general? [All data compiled on October 26th so it includes the first 10 months of the year, give or take a few I finish by the end of this month.] Books I’ve Acquired So first, how many books have I bought this year? How much have I spent? This handy little screenshot below can show you just that. Each column represents one of the months in the year. The total I’ve spent this year is $320.31 on 59 books. The […]

Mood Reading + My Issues with Predetermined TBRs

Posted November 3, 2017 / Discussions, Features / 2 Comments
Mood Reading + My Issues with Predetermined TBRs

I’ve previously talked about my mood reading and how that impacts my reading and TBR creating. Well, I’m back here again sort of discussing the same thing… with a few updates. I’ve recently started making monthly TBR posts on the blog to help guide my reading for each month and still continue to join reading challenges or readathons (because I love them) even though I don’t often have success with actually READING according to plan. The question I keep asking myself is: Why bother making TBRs if you never follow them? To put it simply, I love making TBR lists. I don’t care about whether I follow them because I genuinely enjoy the process of putting a TBR together. I like making books fit into certain categories and planning which ones I could switch out if the mood strikes. I love bingo boards and figuring out which books on my existing “read soon” list will end up fitting with a particular challenge/prompt. I like to join these challenges or participate in bingo cards because I often don’t have to go out of my way to find which books fit with which squares. I think I read pretty diversely across genres and age targets, for the most part, so there’s almost always something on my to-read list that could work in any given bingo square. If I participate in a challenge where I can make my existing “up-next books” fit with it, the challenge should be easy to complete. Also, I do generally use my TBR posts […]

Giving Authors Another Chance

Posted October 27, 2017 / Discussions, Features / 9 Comments
Giving Authors Another Chance

I saw a gorgeous cover and description for a new book the other day, then realized it was by an author that I previously did NOT enjoy. I debated for a few minutes: do I add it to my TBR and give them another chance? What was it about the first book that I didn’t like? Should I add it to my “consideration” shelf and see if the mood strikes? There are a lot of pieces to consider when I think about giving an author a second chance. The main points, for me, are the following: What did I dislike about the book? If it was the writing style – or something else that wouldn’t necessarily change from book to book – I probably won’t read more. If it was something more story or plot-specific, I may consider giving the author another chance. What did I like about the book? Conversely, did the book have any redeeming qualities that may make the author worth revisiting? Again, if I didn’t like the plot of the first book but really enjoyed the writing style or pace, I may give another book a shot. Does the newer book sound more like a ~me~ book than the first one? I sometimes try new books because other people liked them or they sounded like a fun step out of my comfort zone. This doesn’t always work for me. If the second book sounds like it’s actually up my alley, I’d give it a shot. I decided to examine […]

Bad Bookish Memory

Posted September 21, 2017 / Discussions, Features / 6 Comments
Bad Bookish Memory

I know what you may be thinking… how can there be any pros to having a bad bookish memory?! Well, for me, there are surprisingly quite a few. It’s definitely annoying to forget details about your favorite books, especially when you’re trying to be a Harry Potter showoff to your friends (been there 🙋🏼) It’s not a fun situation most of the time, but I’m going to try to be a little positive here. Because I know my memory is terrible, I have to write my reviews right away. This may sound like a con because I have to force myself to write reviews when I may not be in the mood, but it actually has way more benefits than drawbacks! I know that if I don’t write a review within the first 12 hours of finishing a book, so many of the details will shoot right out of my head. I always sit down to review the book soonafter finishing to I can ensure that my thoughts make it on paper pixels? Many of my blogger friends talk about hating reviews, not writing them early enough, and developing a backlog of read-not-reviewed books. This is just absolutely never an issue for me and I love it. Rereads are WAY better. I used to not bother rereading books because I figured I didn’t have time to read something that I already read. What’s the point when there are new books out there I can read instead?! Well, I definitely realized […]