Category: Discussions

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 […]

A New Bookmark Lit?

A New Bookmark Lit?

My blog has gone through a lot of changes, appearance-wise, since I started back in 2014. My graphics were very… juvenile?… for a long time. I still have an addiction to using too many fonts in them, but I think I’ve cleaned things up a little bit 🙂 I’ve always focused this blog on books. I’ve done a few more personal posts within the last year or so, but the majority has been book-related: reviews, discussions, memes, wrap-ups… all about the books. I still plan on being bookish, obviously, so don’t worry. I talked about this a little bit in my “coming up for Bookmark Lit in 2017” post but hope to expand on it even more right now. I planned to… ✔️ Consolidate backlist reviews into round-up posts ✔️ Give ARC reviews solo treatment, for the most part ✖️ Post 4 times per week (sometimes more or less is okay) ✔️ Revamp memes and other features (add, delete, or continue) ✔️ More personal posts and ~lifestyle things~ I’ve done a decent job of these things but still feel burnt out when it comes to talking about book-related things all the time. I love reading and it’ll always be a huge priority for me – and the main focus of this blog – but I don’t have as many discussions as I’d like anymore. Instead of spending 90% of my posts on bookish things, you can expect to see more like 75%-80% starting soon. As you can tell, the vast majority of things will still be bookish. I toyed […]

3 Ways I Find Out About Upcoming Books

Posted August 28, 2017 / Discussions, Features / 18 Comments
3 Ways I Find Out About Upcoming Books

I love torturing everyone with my posts about books I’m excited for (when they haven’t even been released yet). Making my TBR huge means you get the same treatment, #sorrynotsorry. I’m curious though: where do you guys hear about upcoming releases? I wanted to talk about the most common places I personally learn about new and upcoming book releases or book deals, in hopes that you can show me where you get your info from. I always see people adding books on Goodreads (see point two) and wish I could pay better attention to find out earlier! 1. Cover Snark At the time of writing this post, Christina at A Reader of Fictions has posted over 240 installments of Cover Snark, which are truly my favorite posts to read on a regular basis. She highlights new cover reveals / releases for various books across multiple genres and age targets. I have added countless books to my TBR just because of this feature, especially when certain cover designs catch my eye! There’s a bonus feature of her commentary under each cover and fun Cover Battle polls at the bottom of the post. Without a doubt, this is my favorite way of finding new books to add to my TBR-unreleased Goodreads shelf! 2. Goodreads Statuses I’m pretty obsessed with Goodreads. I use it to track just about everything, from my TBR to books I’ve read to covers I like to books I own to books I want to own to my current reads… you get the […]