Category «Features»

Service Review: Audiobooks.com

Audiobooks.com Subscription Service

**This is in no way affiliated with Audiobooks.com! It is simply my take on using the service!**

This is my third service review on an audiobook subscription service so I think I’ve gotten the hand of writing these things. (I hope!) And in the time since I wrote my first audiobook service review on Audible, audiobooks have become a daily part of my reading life and habits so I know what I want and need from a service.

The vast majority of my audiobooks come from my local library but sometimes, they just don’t have all the audiobooks I’m looking for. So I’ve started to turn to other services to see what is out there and if they would be worth my money when I might need to make the switch to a pay-for-use service.

>>Service Review: Kobo Audiobook Subscription

As I always do with these reviews, I’m going to go over the basics of the Audiobooks.com service and give my take on it independently. At the end, I will do a comparison to my Audible and Kobo Audiobook experience just to give some context.

How Does it Work?

Like other audiobook subscription services, Audiobooks.com has both a single transaction audiobook purchase option AND has its own monthly subscription service. In this review, I’m focusing on the monthly subscription service.

For $14.95 a month (USD), you purchase a single credit to redeem for the audiobook of your choice. The credit can be applied to any audiobook in their library and of any price range. If you want your next credit a little early, you can purchase an instant credit through their app to read immediately. They also have 2 or 3 credit per month packages but they aren’t really upfront about those until you do the free trial.

It is an international service, however, not all books may be available for purchase in your region due to copy and publishing rights. But you can browse their selection without logging in to get a feel for the titles they have.

My Experience:

–Signing-Up–

I tried really hard to find a promotion to see if I could get an additional book during the trial but no luck. I know that they float around so keep an eye out!

One of the more notable options for signing up is that you can use PayPal to provide your credit card info which is super great.

–Listening Experience–

I would describe my listening experience as the perfect hybrid between the Audible app and the Kobo App for audiobooks. Like Audible, you can change the speed, set a sleep timer and create bookmarks with notes. But it has the sleek and simple look of the Kobo app where you aren’t overwhelmed by all the nifty features of Audible. You can also listen to the book over the internet or download the book to listen offline.

One thing I noticed is that the app has a quick play/pause and forward/rewind 30s toolbar that runs in the background so you can easily control your book without unlocking your phone or while using other apps. However, I did find that at times that the app would “crash” my phone. I wouldn’t be able to unlock it or access the play/pause buttons when I tried to do so–instead I would get a blank screen despite my attempts to access the controls. So that was a little annoying but I found a way to get around it by using the hotkeys to bring up my camera and then accessing my home screen.

–Book Selection–

I live in Canada so I have access to nearly all the same books as a reader from the USA. So I found the selection to be really good. Genres are broken down into a straightforward, easy to understand manner and they also have various lists you can browse to find your next title. They also have some deals (like 3 books for 1 credit from a select list) and the option of using a promotional code when purchasing new books which is always great. You can usually find a few promo codes floating around the web.

What I really loved though is that they have free audiobooks of classics–something I haven’t come across with the other subscription services I’ve used. So I grabbed a few of those to read at a later date.

How does it Compare to Audible and/or Kobo?

I’m going to break it down a little by some of the notable Audible and Kobo features:

  • Audible: 30% Discount on Individual Buys for Subscription Members
    • Kobo has other options to get deals like promotions and promo codes
    • Audiobooks.com doesn’t have this perk but has promo codes and promotions
  • Audible: can listen to books on your computer, phone or tablet
    • Kobo only lets you listen on your phone or tablet.
    • Audiobooks.com lets you listen on your computer, phone or tablet
  • Audible: has exclusive audio titles only available through their company
    • Kobo lacks exclusives
    • Audibooks.com also lacks exclusives
  • Audible: has multiple credits per month plan OR annual insta-credits plans
    • Kobo: has multiple credits per month plan OR annual insta-credits plans
    • Audiobooks.com: has multiple credits per month OR single insta-credits

So, Am I Keeping It?

No, I’m not. Well, I’m keeping the app to keep the free classics I picked up to read at a later date (and some titles I won through a giveaway) but I won’t be subscribing to the service. Because it is in USD (despite it being a Canadian company), it’s quite pricey for me when compared to the other services that allow me to pay in Canadian dollars without conversion fees, etc. For me personally, as an active Kobo eReader user and a member of their Super Points Program, I’m much more likely to choose that service over this one given its perks.

I think this is a good alternative for listeners who want a service similar to Audible but don’t want to necessarily use Audible.

Do you use Audiobooks.com? Do you have a favourite Audiobook Service? Any tips or feedback on the service?

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Monthly Inventory: September 2018

September 2018

September got off to a very rough start. I nearly DNF’d more books in the first 2 weeks than I did in all of August. So understandably, I felt myself getting into a bit of a reading slump by mid-month. Not fun. Was my crazy work schedule to blame? Was it my plan to only read sequels for the month of September? I’m not sure but it has been a long time since I’ve gone through what I consider to be a major reading slump so it was an unwelcome feeling.

>> SERIESous Discussion: 5 Reasons Why Novellas Stop Reading Slumps

But my mid-month, I seemed to be back on track. Like last September, I decided to make this past month all about reading sequels. Overall, with the exception of a few audiobooks and a reading challenge title, I did a pretty good job. Out of the 15 books I started and finished within this month, 10 were sequels. That’s means 67% of the titles I read this month were sequels! And while I didn’t read near as many books as I wanted to (or any of the ones I had actually listed to read), I’m still really happy that I was able to finish some pending series reviews and make a dent in my 52 Sequels Challenge.

In other news, I discovered that my new default audiobook speed is now 1.5X! When I first started listening to audiobooks, I kept the speed at 1X but I found that some narrators were talking too slowly so I sped it up to 1.25X in the last few months. But lately,even that’s too slow too! It’s crazy to me because even last year that would have been wayyy to fast to listen to. It’s been a great change though because (obviously) the books don’t take as long as to finish so I’m able to get through more in a month. Which I think is improving my overall enjoyment of the novels because they don’t seem as dragged out as they would otherwise.

 

thoughts

Total for September 2018: 13 Books Read + 2 Novellas Read

DNF’d: 5 Books

Last September: 10 Books Read + 0 Novellas Read + 0 DNFs

Standout Read (★★★★★)


I had an absolute blast listening to the audiobook! This was such a charming contemporary story and exactly what I wanted–and needed–it to be!

Biggest Let Down (DNF)


This book had all the right checks for me–Canadian Author, Fantasy, Competition–but it fell terribly flat. I don’t think it helped that I had a mediocre reading month either. This book just couldn’t hold my attention with its stiff writing and insta-love romance.

 

kobostats

Every quarter I take a look at my Kobo stats to see how I’m doing. My Kobo is my main reading device, used for personal and library books. My Kindle is used for ARCs but it lacks the statistic features of my Kobo.

As of:

October 2, 2018

October 9, 2017

Total % of Library Complete

25%

10%

Total # of Books Finished

288

120

Total # of Reading Hours

2551

2445

 

posted reviews

Most Viewed Post

Tips: List of Blog Tour & Review Groups

Most Viewed Review

Standalone Review: Rush

View this year’s archives for more posts and reviews!

 

thoughts

Previously posted series reviews that got updates:

thoughts

You can always get the full details on all my challenges on my dedicated page but here is a quick update:

5 Year 5 Book Challenge: DNF’d 1 Selection & 2 Sequels | 16 of 25 Titles Read – Behind!
Goodreads Challenge: 15 books added | 185/190 Books – Ahead!
52 Sequel Challenge: 7 titles added | 39/52 Sequels – Behind!
Tackling the TBR Challenge: 2 books added | 24/36 Books – Behind!

View my Challenge Progress Here!

In February 2017, I created a challenge for myself to bring my Want to Read Goodreads Shelf to 500 books. By the end of December 2017, I had brought the shelf down from 1205 to 511 books! The ultimate goal for 2018 is to get that number lower than 500 and also bring down my “sequel” shelf as well. I’ve decided that every quarter I will check my stats to see how I’m doing when it comes to cleaning up my TBR

Currently

December 31, 2017

Want to Read (New)

490

511

To Read (Sequels)

302

301

I feel really good about my numbers as they stand. I’ve been consistently under 500 for my “new” TBR items for the last few months so I’m optimistic I can meet my goal of less than 500 by the end of the year. It would be nice to see my “sequel” reads decrease a little more by the end of the year. I think some of those numbers are inflated (I haven’t been the most proactive in removing sequels from series I’ve decided to pass on from that list) but in some ways, it’s expected that when I read books from my “new” shelf, the sequels will be added to my “sequels” shelf.

 

Created by Lia @ Lost in a Story

I’ve seen this meme floating around and thought it was a great idea to help me tackle my TBR list and reach that less than 500 goal. The idea is to go through 5-10 books on your Goodreads TBR list chronologically and decide if they should stay or go. I usually do a big Goodreads Purge twice a year but I like the idea of doing a little bit at a time and have decided to do this on a monthly basis.

This month (7 new to me series + 3 previously started series):

See Me (See Me, #1)
Pass

Nearly Broken (Nearly, #1)
Keep

Weekends Required (Danvers, #1)
Pass

Beautiful Chances (Beautiful, #1)
Pass

Breaking Nova (Nova, #1)
Pass

Beneath Your Beautiful (Beautiful, #1)
Pass

Fall into Forever
Keep

Star Struck (Lights, Camera, #2)
Keep

The Heart of Betrayal (The Remnant Chronicles, #2)
Keep

Playing with Her Heart (Caught Up in Love #5)
Keep

Pass: 5 | Keep: 5

Grand Totals YTD — Pass: 31 | Keep: 39

Did I give up on any too soon? Let me know in the comments below!

 

While this is a monthly meme hosted by Avalinah’s Books, I usually only update every quarter. However, since I participated in ARC August, I decided to do an update last month to see if the challenge had an impact on my ARC review status and I wanted to continue with my quarterly tradition by doing one for the month of September.

My Progress for January to September, 2018:

ARCs Read: 71  |   ARCs Overdue: 2+2*  |  Upcoming: 3

(August’s State: ARCs Read: 66  |   ARCs Overdue: 1*  |  Upcoming: 4+1(u))

*Titles given to me as a member of an author’s street team to read ASAP.

Going Forward:

ARC August helped A LOT in getting my ARC list under control. This is definitely a much more manageable TBR list. So far, I’m right on track when it comes to sticking to my 2018 Reading Plan of limiting my ARCs on a monthly basis to 3. I’ve really gotten better at not signing myself up for every blog tour that peaks my interest and I haven’t been browsing Netgalley for titles either. I have a silly work schedule for October and a vacation planned where I won’t be reading much so that really helped me stick to my limits.

 

discussions

You can still join in on these discussions:

 

Here are some of my favourite posts that I’ve come across the past month:


What were your biggest reading or personal accomplishments of the past month?
Leave a comment below!

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Blog Tour: Strong (Stage Dive #4.5) by Kylie Scott

Synopsis for Strong (from Goodreads):

When the girl of your dreams is kind of a nightmare.

As head of security to Stage Dive, one of the biggest rock bands in the world, Sam Knowles has plenty of experience dealing with trouble. But spoilt brat Martha Nicholson just might be the worst thing he’s ever encountered. The beautiful troublemaker claims to have reformed, but Sam knows better than to think with what’s in his pants. Unfortunately, it’s not so easy to make his heart fall into line.

Martha’s had her sights on the seriously built bodyguard for years. Quiet and conservative, he’s not even remotely her type. So why the hell can’t she get him out of her mind? There’s more to her than the Louboutin wearing party-girl of previous years, however. Maybe it’s time to let him in on that fact and deal with this thing between them.

**Every 1001 Dark Nights novella is a standalone story. For new readers, it’s an introduction to an author’s world. And for fans, it’s a bonus book in the author’s series. We hope you’ll enjoy each one as much as we do.**

Other books in the series:

breakdown

Series: Stage Dive

There is a spin-off series called Dive Bar

Author: Kylie Scott
# of Books: 4 (Lick, Play, Lead, Deep)

There is a novella, #4.5 Strong

Book Order: Connected
Complete?: Yes
Genre: Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Rockstar, Music
Heat Rating: Hot
Point of View: First Person, Single
Publication Dates: October 2013 – March 2015
Source & Format: InkSlinger PR–eARC

Add: Goodreads | Buy: Amazon

thoughts

Why I Picked it Up / My Expectations:

When I finished the last book in the Stage Dive Series (Deep), I needed to know immediately if Martha was getting her own book. So I was really excited when I saw that something was in the works for Martha and Sam! I had so many questions and I couldn’t wait to see if they would fall in love.

The Plot:

I found that the first half of this book was dedicated to getting to know Martha, which was a good thing. If you have any experience at all with the Stage Dive Series, you probably have a less than favourable impression of Martha. But that’s why I love stories like these because you get to see that character in another–hopefully more positive–light. And that’s what this story succeeded in doing. My thoughts on Martha definitely evolved by the end of this novella.

The latter half of the novel is more about Martha and Sam navigating their budding relationship and I found was where the story really grabbed my attention. They have an interesting relationship and I enjoyed the banter between them.

Of course, I always want more out of a novella but I’m more than satisfied with how Martha’s story is delivered in this instalment.

The Characters:

Like I said above Martha was a character I didn’t necessarily like but she won me over by the end. She had some great character development and it was nice seeing her grow as a person and leave that nasty persona she had behind.

The Romance:

I would have liked to have seen these two interact a little more at the start (they seemed to jump into their relationship) but given the length of the story I understand. I really do like these two as a pair–they balance each other out and even if it wasn’t said outright, I got why they were drawn to each other.

Can it be read as a Standalone?

For sure! While I think you might get more out of Martha and Sam’s relationship by getting some of the context Deep (Stage Dive #4) provides, this novella would serve as a great introduction to the Stage Dive world and will leave you more than curious about the other characters.

Rating for Strong: 3/5

overall
I love it when a character surprises you and that’s exactly what this novella did for me!

Read if You Like: quick romances, rockstars
Avoid if You: dislike contemporary romances

similarreads

 


Kylie Scott

Kylie is a New York Times and USA Today best-selling author. She was voted Australian Romance Writer of the year, 2013 & 2014, by the Australian Romance Writer’s Association and her books have been translated into eleven different languages. She is a long time fan of romance, rock music, and B-grade horror films. Based in Queensland, Australia with her two children and husband, she reads, writes and never dithers around on the internet. You can learn more about Kylie from http://www.kylie-scott.com/

Author Links: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Website | Goodreads

 

Add: Goodreads | Buy: Amazon

Book Tour Organised by:

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SERIESous Tips: Cross Posting Reviews

To Cross Post or Not to Cross Post, isn’t that the question?

 

In my early days, I used Goodreads a lot to discover new blogs to follow. That’s how I found out that book blogging was a thing actually. So I always made an effort to at least mention my blog somewhere in my review and give a link back just to get the word out once I started blogging.

But actually cross posting? Like many blogging/reviewing things, it was something I never really thought about until I started doing review copies on a regular basis. It was always “encouraged” that you posted your review on book buying sites and Goodreads in addition to your blog post to help get the word out. Makes sense right? That’s why I started to be more proactive and conscientious about it.

Does cross posting work?

I think from a publisher/author point of view it does. When buying books I think people like to see ratings and reviews before making the decision. More reviews means more people who have read and likely enjoyed the title, thereby increasing the chances that the purchaser will actually buy it. I know I glance at the reviews before deciding a book is worth the investment of my money to see if it will be enjoyable.

As a blogger, I’ll be honest and say that very (and I mean very) few of the “referrals” to my site are from Goodreads. I get more hits from search engines and blog tour participation links than anything else in the grand scheme of things. In other words: it doesn’t increase the traffic to my blog.

That being said, I still make an effort to cross post my reviews on a regular basis because I believe that the exposure (for both the book and my blog) is important. I mean those few hits linking readers to my site still got people to my site!

What Do my Cross Posted Reviews Look Like?

I think this is the biggest thing people struggle with. Do you post your full blog post? Do you just show off the highlights? Do you simply leave a link to your blog?

Given the format of my reviews (series reviews meaning multiple books generalized within separate headings), I’ve never** posted my full blog post on third party sites. It just doesn’t look nice and it doesn’t always work as an individual review. So I usually leave condensed reviews on Goodreads. Usually these reviews are just a few sentences describing my initial thoughts after reading the novel and marking the book as “finished” on Goodreads.

The other reason I do condensed reviews is because of something I read in a Goodreads 101 blog post by Brittany @ Book Bumblings. In that guide, she emphasized the idea of “repurposing” your reviews on Goodreads in an attempt to drive readers to your blog. The idea is that the shorter post will catch the attention of Goodreads users and it leaves people wanting more so they will hopefully visit your blog. Again, I don’t think this has really worked for me (if you look at my referral numbers), but I like to hope my shorter reviews and links appeal to people enough to visit my blog for more or at to least see what else I’ve reviewed.

>> I don’t know about you but I love having the reviews of my friends on Goodreads when I look up a book title. I often look at those reviews to see if it’s a book I’ll like or to see how others felt about it once I finish reading. That’s why I make an effort to post on Goodreads no matter what because I find those reviews (no matter their length) to be extremely helpful!

**The only exception to this condensed rule is for review copies. Because I’ve been asked to write a review, I try to make it as full as possible for Goodreads and book retail sites. If the book I’m reading is a sequel for a review on my site, I often post a condensed version on my own blog instead in the hopes of reducing spoilers but use the full review everywhere else.

>> Tips: How I Use Trello to Keep Track of Cross Posting Reviews

When do I Cross Post?

For a little while, I tried my hardest to cross post all my previously published blog reviews on sites. But after seeing it didn’t have a huge impact on my stats and discovering how much time it took up, I stopped with my backlisted reviews.

Now, as soon as I publish a review on my blog, I cross post it on all the sites so I don’t have to dedicate hours of time to a cross posting blitz in the future! If it’s a review copy, I cross post to all the sites on release day or the due date.

Where do I Cross Post?

When it comes to cross posting, my methods for posting my review vary depending on the site. So I thought it would be easier to break it down by website and explain what I do and why.

The only one I didn’t explain was Netgalley since that is just you submitting your review (which is the same as my Goodreads one minus the HTML portions) and the links to your cross posted reviews.

Goodreads

What I Cross Post: All reviews regardless of source
How I Cross-Post: Full reviews for ARCs and Owned reads; mini reviews for others & sequels; links to blog

Posting on Goodreads is a little complicated for me given the nature of my blog. You see, because my blog posts are usually one review for an entire series, I don’t often have individual reviews for each book in that series.

One way I’ve attempted to solve that problem is by writing a mini review of my thoughts after finishing every book I read. That way, I’ve got a few lines I can use as a base for sequel reviews and add my links to read the series review on my blog. For inaugural novels, I pick and choose lines from my series review and put them together for a little fuller review (without spoilers of course).

The only exception is when I review ARCs. I always write full reviews because that’s what I got the book for!

When do I Cross Post: As I submit my ARC review on Netgalley; when blog post goes live

I always follow the publishers/providers guideline for posting reviews. If they don’t want that review going live until two weeks before publication, I follow that. Otherwise, it’s as soon as my blog post goes live (or within 48 hours of it).

Riffle Reads & LibraryThing

What I Cross Post: All reviews regardless of source
How I Cross-Post: copy and paste the review’s HTML code from Goodreads review directly to site
When do I Cross Post: As I submit my ARC review on Netgalley; when Goodreads review is live

Riffle Reads is a site very much like Goodreads though it has a smaller user base and community. It doesn’t have a ton of bloggers on there yet so I make an effort to leave reviews for anything that I can so people can learn more. Thankfully, it follows the same coding scheme (for the most part; it doesn’t do images) as Goodreads so I simply copy and paste my Goodreads review when it goes live.

I do the same thing for the site LibraryThing. I just joined that this year but it’s a site similar to Goodreads and Riffle Reads. They have an Early Reviewers program that does look at your review postings so I make an effort to put my reviews there as well. I was also able to import all my Goodreads reviews when I joined the site so that helped immensely.

Amazon.com (Amazon.ca)

What I Cross Post: ARCs & Owned Kindle Titles

Amazon is a bit of a stickler for reviews. They have a pretty rigid review policy so I try to be conscientious of that when I post reviews. I know from some of the review groups I belong to that they will take down your reviews if they don’t comply with terms. So, I make it a point to only add reviews for titles I’ve received for review purposes as well as titles I’ve purchased for my Kindle in order to keep the reviews “legitimate” in Amazon’s eyes.

How I Cross-Post: copy and paste Goodreads review with unique disclaimer

Basically, I remove all the HTML from my Goodreads review (you can’t have links to your blog in an Amazon review which is what my HTML portions are) and post the text. I then add a disclaimer that multiple authors/publishers have told me to use at the bottom of my review. In case you’re curious, here is the disclaimer I use:

**I received an ARC/review copy of this book and this is my voluntary review.**

When do I Cross Post: As I submit my ARC review on Netgalley or when book is published or blog post is live

If I finish my review before the book is published I have to wait to add my Amazon review. Once the book is live, I make sure I go back and post my review. I also add my Amazon link to my Netgalley review (even if I’ve already submitted it) to show that I have actually cross-posted for the publisher as I mentioned I would in my notes upon my submission. Otherwise, I wait until my blog post is live and cross post to Amazon when I post to the other third party sites.

Kobo Books

I rarely cross post on Kobo anymore. Only if it’s a review copy and it has been requested that I do so by the provider do I make the effort. I own a lot of Kobo books so I always rate them when I’m finished but it isn’t linked with my blog so I never write full reviews for them. I find Kobo doesn’t have the easiest reviewing system for someone like me who is posting a lot and so I don’t do it.

Audible

What I Cross Post: All audiobooks provided via Audible
How I Cross-Post: copy and paste Amazon review with unique disclaimer
When do I Cross Post: when my Amazon Review is live

Audible has a great way of providing copies for review purposes. So when I review most audiobooks, I get them via Audible with a special gift code to add the book to my library for free. That way I’m able to review the copy as if I owned it. Audible also has a prompted review option (with headings you answer to) but I always do the freestyle review box and paste my Amazon review.

Twitter

What I Cross Post: All reviews regardless of source; blog posts
How I Cross-Post: built in tweet option on WordPress; tweet archived-post plug-in
When do I Cross Post: new posts are published; updated series reviews; daily archive throwbacks

This isn’t something I consciously do thanks to plugins that make the whole thing automatic. That being said, you can definitely use platforms like Tweetdeck to schedule tweets for promotional purposes if you don’t have a WordPress.org blog.

Barnes & Noble, iTunes, Google Play and Other Retailers

We don’t have Barnes & Noble in Canada (we have Indigo-Chapters) so I don’t see the point in my posting there as a Canadian. As for the other retailers, I don’t use their sites so it’s not of any benefit to me unless I’ve been asked to by a publisher/ARC provider.


Do you have any tips for cross-posting reviews?

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SERIESous Tips: A List of Blog Tour & Review Opportunity Groups

Back in February I created a discussion post where I talked about the lessons I learned in the past 2 years of being a blog tour host. In it, I listed some of the tour organizers I’ve used in the past. But those are only a fraction of the groups out there and that didn’t even include groups that only provide review copies.

So I decided that I should create a comprehensive list of companies to help my fellow bloggers out. These are just some of the few I’ve stumbled upon over the years (and in most cases, I literally just stumbled on them by blog hopping or Googling). I’ve sorted them into Publishing House Catalogs, Review Opportunity Groups and Blog Tour Companies just to make it a little easier. I’ve also included some comments about my personal experiences with these companies.

**NOTE: There are no affiliate links on this page and these are in no way endorsed by the respective groups. My comments are based on my personal experiences and research. All the images link to the group’s homepage for you to bookmark or learn more about. Also, all of these distribute ARCs digitally. Some of these groups do provide physical ARCs but not all do. I didn’t include any programs/groups that focus exclusively on physical ARCs.

Publishing House Catalogs:

These are independent sites that publishing houses use to distribute eARCs to readers.

Image result for netgalley logo First To Read

Edelweiss

I have never tried Edelweiss (it seems really complicated!). I’ve had the best intentions to check it out but never seem to find the time.

Genres: All
Formats: ?
International Availability?: ?
Limited Copies Available?: Majority but some instantly available
Blog Required? ?
Deadline: ?
(If you have these details, leave a comment below and I will update this!)

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Netgalley

I use NetGalley though I try to limit the number of titles I get on there for my own sanity. It really is a great source for digital eARCs and the interface is very easy to navigate. The keys to Netgalley success (ie not getting declined for requests) is to check Publisher Criteria (a lot need the reviewer to have X number of followers or limit international availability) before requesting and to update your Profile on a regular basis. Also, keeping your review ratio high by completing your reviews is a HUGE aspect. Even if you didn’t finish or like the book, submit your review!

Genres: All
Formats: digital eBooks (mobi, ePub, PDF)
International Availability?: Yes though there are clearly label restrictions
Limited Copies Available?: Majority but some instantly available
Blog Required? Not Required
Deadline: Publishing Date or Archive Date set by publisher

>> Examples: titles I’ve read via Netgalley.

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>> Check out this super helpful How-To: NetGalley and Edelweiss for Newbies post from The Book Bratz to learn how you can get started with these two sites.

First to Read

I don’t have anything to say about First to Read because it is only open to residents of the United States (and I live in Canada). But it’s an ARC system for Penguin Random House. It looks like they add books at least once a month and members are emailed when new titles are available.

Genres: All
Formats: digital eBooks (mobi, ePub, PDF)
International Availability?: United States Only
Limited Copies Available?: Yes (first come first serve / draw)
Blog Required? No
Deadline: ?

[collapse]

 

***Don’t forget that you can often sign up for email review notifications for your favourite publishers and/or authors as well! Check out their website (or even Twitter) to see if they have a review newsletter you can join. They often include sign-ups for ARC and Street Team recruitment a couple times a year.***

Review Opportunity Groups:

These are groups that offer ARCs/review copies of titles for the express purpose of having reviews on book-based sites. Usually it’s authors or smaller publishing houses that provide the copies with the intention of having the reviews posted by a certain date.

    Booksprout  

Review 4 Me ~

 Audiobook Jukebox

New Adult Book Club

The New Adult Book Club is a group on Goodreads that focuses on the New Adult (NA) Genre as a whole (contemporary, fantasy, etc). They have this great Read It and Review It (RiRi) program for its members. Each week, they have a limited number of copies for 2-3 NA titles and give you a deadline of 3 weeks to post the review on Goodreads (& sometimes Amazon). They also do monthly RiRi titles as well where you have until the end of the month to read the featured title (and, usually, be entered for a giveaway).

Genres: New Adult (all subgenres)
Formats: digital eBooks (mobi, ePub, PDF) (some are sent directly to Kindle only)
International Availability?: Yes
Limited Copies Available?: Yes (some exceptions)
Blog Required? No – Goodreads Account (Occasionally Amazon)
Deadline: 3 Weeks

>> Examples: titles I’ve read via the RiRi Program

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Hidden Gem Books

Hidden Gems Books is a great site I only just discovered in the last year. They have ARCs for nearly every genre (romance, cookbooks, horror, etc) and you can pick and choose what genres you get notified about via email. Again, they have a limited number of copies and you have to sign up within 48 hours of the notification to be considered. They also have this great dashboard feature that helps you keep track of all the titles from them you have on the go and what are still available for request.

Genres: All
Formats: digital eBooks (mobi, ePub, PDF)
International Availability?: No
Limited Copies Available?: Yes
Blog Required? No – Amazon Account Only
Deadline: 7 – 14 Days (clearly specified when signing up)

>> Examples: titles I’ve read via Hidden Gems

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LibraryThing

LibraryThing is a site I’ve only just discovered this year. They have an Early Reviewers program with select publishers for its members (which is free to join). Every month they release a batch of books (with limited quantities) for review. Your odds as getting the title you’ve requested is a mixture of chance, availability, number of reviews on LibraryThing (which you can boost by importing your Goodreads ones) and other factors. They have a variety of genres available and a variety of format options (audiobooks, eBooks or paper books). Availability varies by country but it is clearly indicated in the title information and they have great sorting options so you can see only titles for your location. Reviews are expected to be posted within 90 days pending the arrival of the book. They have a great FAQ section to help you understand everything as well.

Genres: All
Formats: digital eBooks (mobi, ePub, PDF), physical, audiobooks
International Availability?: Yes though there are clearly label restrictions
Limited Copies Available?: Yes
Blog Required? No – LibraryThings Account
Deadline: 90 Days after receipt of copy

>> Examples: titles I’ve read via LibraryThing Early Reviewers

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Audiobook Boom

Audiobook Boom is a review program for audiobooks (they also send out audiobook deals as well). Once a week (on Tuesdays), you receive an email about new audiobooks available for review from the genres you have pre-selected. In their emails, they tell you about content warnings (like violence, sex and language), length of the title and even provide you a link to listen to a sample. You then have 30 days to post a review on Audible, Amazon and/or GoodReads.

Genres: All
Formats: audiobooks (usually Audible versions)
International Availability?: Not specified
Limited Copies Available?: Yes
Blog Required? No – Audible and/or Goodreads Account
Deadline: 30 Days

>> Examples: titles I’ve read via Audiobook Boom

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Booksprout

Booksprout has two main features that will appeal to readers. One is an app for your phone to follow your favourite authors and be notified of new release and/or book sales. Their website however has an ARC catalogue that you can browse (no email alerts for new additions so you have to check regularly yourself). You can’t sort by genres so you will find yourself scrolling through page after page. BUT, if you do end up requesting multiple copies at a time, they have great sorting features for books you’ve “promised” to review, ones that are due soon, DNF’d and completed reviews. Before you request the book for review, they give you the details of when and where to post the review (some authors only want it on Booksprout, others want it on Amazon as well) as well as note from the author about their book (or what type of reviews they are looking for like beta reviews).

Genres: All
Formats: digital eBooks (mobi, ePub or PDF)
International Availability?: Yes
Limited Copies Available?: Unsure
Blog Required? No – Booksprout and Amazon or others specified
Deadline: Usually two weeks or whatever is specified

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Book Review Buzz

Book Review Buzz has books of all genres available for request. Some of their titles are listed on Netgalley while others are just files sent to you. I’ve never used the site but I subscribe to their weekly newsletter (which also includes a list of eBooks on sale as well so read carefully!). I couldn’t find any information about the timeframe for your review but they want you to review on Amazon and Goodreads for the most part.

Genres: All
Formats: digital eBooks (mobi, ePub, PDF) (some via NetGalley)
International Availability?: Yes
Limited Copies Available?: Unsure
Blog Required? No – Amazon or Goodreads
Deadline: Unsure

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Review 4 Me

Review 4 Me is a review request website where authors post their books for review. The copies provided are in eBook format and in a variety of genres. I don’t know how long you have to review the titles but they do have a mailing list you can subscribe to when copies become available.

Genres: All
Formats: digital eBooks (mobi, ePub, PDF)
International Availability?: Yes
Limited Copies Available?: Unsure
Blog Required? No
Deadline: Unsure

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Solid Gold Reviewer Program

Solid Gold Reviewer Program is an audiobook review program hosted at Audiobook Jukebox. They have a catalog of a variety of audiobook genres (minus erotica) that you can request titles from. They will then contact the publisher/author on your behalf. There are some international restrictions but they are clearly listed as such in the postings. Reviews need to be posted within 3 months of receiving the title and there are a few other basic guidelines to follow. They don’t have an email subscription list so you will need to check this on a regular basis and they don’t follow up with you if your request has been denied.

Genres: All (except erotica)
Formats: audiobooks
International Availability?: Yes though there are clearly label restrictions
Limited Copies Available?: Yes
Blog Required? No – GoodReads or LibraryThing otherwise
Deadline: Publishing Date or Archive Date set by publisher

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Blog Tour Groups:

These are groups/companies that organize blog tours for publishers and/or authors. In addition to organizing blog tours, they also host promotional opportunities (like Blitz and Cover Reveals) and some also provide review opportunities year round.

Companies I Have Experience With:

YA Bounk Tour Button ButtonXBT  

I’ve had great experiences with all these companies in the past. Some of these groups have their own little niches. For example, YA Bound Book Tours and Chapter by Chapter mostly do Young Adult titles; Audiobookworm does audiobook tours/review opportunities. A few of these provide copies via Netgalley which can count towards your feedback ratio.

>> Examples: past blog tours I’ve hosted

Note: Some of these groups look at your blog statics (like Rock Star Book Tours) to determine who can be a host for a particular title. Signing up for a tour doesn’t mean you will automatically be accepted so just be aware of the requirements for each company (they usually ask any time you sign up for a tour or when you first subscribe to their email alerts).

Other Companies:

Jean BookNerd Pump Up Your Book Tour HostBuoni Amici Press, LLC  Goddess Fish Promotions Related image Image result for bewitching book tours 

I didn’t even know some of these companies existed until I did a Google search for blog tours while compiling this post. A lot of them have some great opportunities so be sure to check them out! I know I’ve signed up for a few 😉


Why Request a Review Copy or Join a Blog Tour?

For me, the most rewarding aspect of joining blog tours and review opportunities has been discovering new authors and titles that I might not have otherwise seen. There are so many books out there and sometimes it can be hard to find them. And now with the growing popularity of self-publishing, there are a lot of amazing titles just waiting to be discovered. I’ve also been very fortunate to have some great networking opportunities with publishers and authors arise from doing blog tours as well. All and all, I see blog tours as a win-win for everyone involved and I plan on continuing to do them in the future.

>> Always remember to disclose the fact that you received a copy in exchange for an honest review! For more information, check out this great post about FTC compliance by Briana @ Pages Unbound

Did I miss any groups or companies? Leave me a comment below and I will add them to the lists!

PS: If you can fill in any of the blanks on the review opportunity groups, please leave a comment and I will fill the information in for others to see!

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SERIESous Discussion: How I Became a Two-Timing Book Reader


SERIESous Discussions: Every once and awhile I will post my random ramblings about a bookish or blogging topic. Feel free to join in by making a comment below or linking back!


Five years ago, if you asked me how many books I was currently reading, I would have said one.
If you asked me today, I’d say at least two, if not three.

Over time, many of our habits evolve and my reading habits are no exception.

I was a pretty serial monogamist when it came to reading a few years ago. Meaning: I’d only read one book at a time. Why? Well, I liked the idea of getting through books quickly and efficiently. It seemed more productive for me to keep my attention on one book at a time so that’s what I did.

There were really only 2 reasons why I would start a second book while reading another.

One: I needed to read it for school.

Two: my current read was very long (or not completely holding my attention) and I needed to split up my reading time. I found that by reading only bits at a time, as I read something else, helped to keep me interested and subsequently finish the long/not-fully-invested-in book. DNFing a book was something I rarely did then; I toughed out nearly all the books I read (with some disastrous consequences).

Fast forward to now and you will see my reading habits have changed quite a bit.

Now, I have at least 2 books on the go at all times. Sometimes, I even have a third! Gah! The old me wouldn’t recognize the reader I’ve now become! It’s amazing how something you do everyday can change over the years without you really noticing the shift immediately.

Why the change?

I think there are a number of reasons why I’ve become a bit of a two-timer when it comes to reading.

ONE: I listen to audiobooks on a regular basis.

Now that I commute to work multiple times a week by driving, I need something to keep me entertained in my car. I went with audiobooks instead of the radio or my iPod and I am so glad that I did! Listening to audiobooks as I drive allows me to feel productive while simultaneously making the trip feel faster.

>> Learn how audiobooks have changed my monthly reading habits!

>> SERIESous Tips: 5 Ways to Get into Audiobooks

So now, I always have a physical book on the go as well as an audiobook that I usually reserve for car rides (or dog walks) only.

TWO: I’m a Mood Reader

I’ve always had a bit of a pattern when it comes to reading. Say I just finished a YA fantasy novel, I usually pick up a New Adult romance right after. And after that, I pick up another non-contemporary novel and alternate back and forth. Other times, I read multiple books in that genre because I’m just in a genre-binge phase.

But sometimes, it depends on the type of novel I’ve just finished. For example, if I just finished a dark romance, I usually read 2 “lighter” romances right after to bring me back to a more happier place. Sometimes I’ll even start that lighter book while I read the darker one just to balance out my mood and give me something else to think about. That’s how I often find myself with multiple physical books on the go.

THREE: ARC / Request Responsibilities

For the most part, I usually only stick to one physical book at a time plus my audiobook. I find now that I take on more ARCs and participate in more blog tours, I’ve integrated my various deadlines into the order of books to read.

When I read an ARC, I usually try to only read the ARC and not pick up something else. I want to give the ARC my full attention because I’m being asked to write a fair review of it. But sometimes, I get last minute requests or the street teams I’m on have a sudden, surprise release and I try my best to get my review done in a timely manner to help the author out. So that might mean I start that ARC while finishing another novel in order to meet my deadlines.

FOUR: I Have More Time to Read in a Day

Because I my job involves shift work, I often have couple days off in a row after completing a stretch. While I love nothing more than to stay in bed all day and read, I sometimes find I don’t have the attention span to read only one book in a day. I liken it to watching TV. I love a good binge-watch as much as the next person, but sometimes, you’ve got to mix it up a bit and watch something else or do something else in between episodes.

>> SERIESous Discussion: My Reading Habits by Month

This idea goes hand in hand with the mood reader in me. I enjoy reading a couple chapters of one book and then switching to another within the hour and repeating the process throughout the day. Sure, it’s probably more productive to only read one book at a time but I find the changes keep my mind and attention fresh for each book.

FIVE: It’s Part of my “To DNF or Not to DNF” Strategy

I mentioned before that in the past, I used to break up “Book A” into smaller chunks at a time while reading “Book B” so that I could eventually finish “Book A”. Three years ago I rarely DNF’d books and pushed myself to finish them regardless of my enjoyment. As a result, I went through a lot of reading slumps and that wasn’t cool with me.

I worked really hard on becoming comfortable with DNFing books in 2017; on putting down books that just weren’t capturing my attention or weren’t enjoyable to me. And in turn, I had a great reading year in 2017 with only a few minor slumps every couple of months that I quickly got over.

>> SERIESous Discussion: DNFing ARCs

One strategy I employed for books I was on the fence about DNFing was starting another novel I wanted to read. I found that by stepping away from the book in question, I was able to determine if I was truly invested in finding out how it all ends and if I wanted to keep reading. If I wasn’t, I stopped and marked it as DNF’d. And because I had already started another book that I was enjoying, I didn’t go into that slump of “what do I read now?” and dwelling too long in the disappointment that can surface when DNFing a book you were excited to read.


I know that reading multiple books at a time isn’t a ground-breaking thing. Lots of people have been doing it for years. But for me, it’s a method I’ve really only embraced in the last year or so as a regular habit of my everyday reading and I wanted to investigate why. I can’t wait to see what my habits are in 5 years from now!

How many books do you read at one time and what is your reasoning?

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Monthly Inventory: August 2018

August 2018

What a jammed packed month this turned out to be! Between readathons and vacations, I had a lot on the go. So August was never a dull month (and if it was, I just DNF’d the book I was reading :P)

August was all about my personal TBR list (ie books I own) with the Make Me Read It Readathon and cleaning up some long overdue ARCs for the various Street Teams I’m a part of via ARC August. Overall, I had a great time with both challenges and accomplished what I wanted to do. (You can read my final recaps on each further down).

Otherwise, August was a little bit out of the norm for me. A lot of the books I’ve had my eye on purchasing went on sale (YAY!) so I bought more books in a one week span than I have all year, but the deals were too good to pass up. I had also imposed a “no borrowing from the library” ban on myself for the summer and I stuck with it (surprisingly). The only time I broke that was to get some specific books for my challenges.

Like I did last September, I will be exclusively reading series sequels for the month of September. I’ll list some of the books I plan to read below but the idea is only read books for series I’ve already started. This year, I’m alternating between series I’ve read over the years and series I just started this year.

thoughts

Total for August 2018: 19 Books Read + 0 Novellas Read

DNF’d: 4 Books

Last August: 17 Books Read + 4 Novellas Read + 2 DNFs

Standout Read (★★★★★)


This book just blew me away! I loved every minute of it! It was like the perfect hybrid of some of my favourite Science Fiction/Dystopian novels.

Biggest Let Down (DNF)


I’ve had this ARC forever and the personal hype was high but I just couldn’t get into this story at all.


posted reviews

Most Viewed Post

Monthly Inventory: July 2018

Most Viewed Review

Blog Tour: The Right Fit

View this year’s archives for more posts and reviews!

 

thoughts

Previously posted series reviews that got updates:

 

thoughts

You can always get the full details on all my challenges on my dedicated page but here is a quick update:

5 Year 5 Book Challenge: The Cage & The Diabolic | 14 of 25 Titles Read – Slightly Behind
Goodreads Challenge: 19 books added | 169/190 Books – Ahead
52 Sequel Challenge: 4 Sequels | 29/52 Sequels – Slightly Behind
Tackling the TBR Challenge: 3 books added | 19/36 Books – Slightly Behind

View my Challenge Progress Here!

Created by Lia @ Lost in a Story

I’ve seen this meme floating around and thought it was a great idea to help me tackle my TBR list and reach that less than 500 goal. The idea is to go through 5-10 books on your Goodreads TBR list chronologically and decide if they should stay or go. I usually do a big Goodreads Purge twice a year but I like the idea of doing a little bit at a time and have decided to do this on a monthly basis.

This month (7 new to me series + 3 previously started series):

Escaping Me (Escaping, #1)
Pass

Let Love In (Love, #1)
Pass

Forever Innocent (The Forever Series, #1)
Keep

Reckless Longing (Reckless, #1)
Keep

Vain (The Seven Deadly, #1)
Keep

The Art of Catching a Greek Billionaire (Greek Billionaire, #1)
Pass

Just One Song (Just One Song, #1)
Keep

The Right Moves (The Game, #3)
Pass

Losing My Balance by Helena Newbury
Keep

Killer Frost (Mythos Academy, #6)
Keep

Pass: 4 | Keep: 6

Did I give up on any too soon? Let me know in the comments below!

 

My goal was to read 3 of the most voted for books during the readathon (and read the rest by the end of the year). Unlike last year, I managed to read all three books in the timeframe and complete my goal! I even attempted to read a 4th book from the list after the readathon but ended up DNFing it 🙁 But still, I’m really happy I managed to get meet my goal (and contribute to my other reading challenges in the process) and plan to get to the rest in October.

  

My goal for this challenge was to read a total of 6 ARCs and I ended up reading a total of 7 and DNF’d 2.

The Emperor's Daughters Pretend I'm Yours War and Love You Promised Me Forever (Forever Yours, #1) Heart of a Liar (Unforgivable #2) Heart of a Prick (Unforgivable #3)

 

While this is a monthly meme hosted by Avalinah’s Books, I usually only update every quarter. However, since I participated in ARC August, I decided to do an update to see if the challenge had an impact on my ARC review status.

My Progress for January to August, 2018:

ARCs Read: 66  |   ARCs Overdue: 1*  |  Upcoming: 4+1(u)

(June’s State: ARCs Read: 54  |   ARCs Overdue: 2+6*  |  Upcoming: 7)

*One title was given to me as a member of an author’s street team to read ASAP.

(u) Unreceived ARC

Going Forward:

I’m really happy with the progress I made this month with my ARCs! It was great to get some of my backlogged titles out of the dust and read. I’ve done my best to stick to my limit of no more than 3 ARCs a month and have limited my review requests on my blog to only author’s I have reviewed in the past. Hopefully, I can maintain that for the rest of the year so I can concentrate on getting my reading challenges met for the year!

 

discussions

You can still join in on these discussions:

Here are some of my favourite posts that I’ve come across the past month:

 

September is all about the sequels! This upcoming month, I’ve decided to alternate between series I started before 2018 and series I’ve started in 2018 as well as alternating genre types (contemporary then non-contemporary). Of course, I’ve integrated some of the my other reading challenges with my picks. Here are some of the books I have ready to go for September:

East (History Interrupted #2) Beautiful Redemption (The Maddox Brothers, #2) Twice Burned (Love is Messy Duet, #2) Angel Fever (Angel, #3) Maid of Deception (Maids of Honor, #2) By Referral Only (Whitman University, #2)

What were your biggest reading or personal accomplishments of the past month?
Leave a comment below!

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SERIESous Spoilers: Warcross

seriesousspoilers
SERIESous Spoilers: A feature where we discuss what happened in our favourite (or maybe not so favourite) books. Did you like the plot changes? The romance? What surprised you? What angered you? And what do you think will happen next?

I’ve changed my layout a bit for this occasional feature. Please click on the plus sign to view each spoiler discussion!

This SERIESous Spoilers Pick:

Warcross by Marie Lu | SERIES

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Zero`s Identity

As soon as we found out that Hideo had a brother, I knew he would be Zero. I thought that was a super obvious twist so I wasn’t surprised in the slightest. In some ways that disappointed me because I always associate Marie Lu with great twists and I really hoped that she wouldn’t use such a overt choice. But what did surprise me was the motivation, and I’ll talk about that in the section below.

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The Real Motivation

OK, I’ll be the first to admit that I didn’t see that Hideo twist coming at all. I’ll talk more about Hideo below. That was a GREAT wrench in the plans though. I mean, I should have clued in because the file name was “freeze H T” so hellllooo! Obviously Hideo had something epic in mind that Zero was trying to stop.

However, was I the only one who got Kingsmen vibes from that whole thing? The lenses being handed out for free and then being used to control people is EXACTLY what the plot for the first Kingsmen movie is! They use free wifi cards though but the principle distribution is the same. Give people something that they think they can’t live without and that connects right to the person. Hopefully, we won’t get any colourful head blast offs in Wildcard

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Hideo

I can’t be the only one torn over this turn in his character am I? I was totally shipping Emika and Hideo…still am truthfully but perhaps that is the hopeless romantic in me.

But, is Hideo really a bad dude with good intentions or just a straight up bad guy? It’s really hard to tell and I’m still on the fence personally. I’m waiting to see how his character will develop in Wildcard before I make a final verdict. It’s definitely an interesting spin and one that really impressed me (especially when I already knew who Zero was).

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What are your thoughts? Agree or disagree? What are you looking forward to the most in the next book, Wildcard?

Please leave a comment below!

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SERIESous Discussion: Book Formats by Month


SERIESous Discussions: Every once and awhile I will post my random ramblings about a bookish or blogging topic. Feel free to join in by making a comment below or linking back!


Last month, I wrote a discussion post looking at how many books I read in a month and compared my 2016 and 2017 reading years. Doing that post and my “Where Do My Books Come From” post in December 2017 had me curious about the book formats I read on a monthly basis.

As you can conclude from my Where Do My Books Come From? post, I get my books from a variety of places. Nearly 60% of the books I read in a year come from the library & review copies whereas only 30% are from my personal owned collection. Of course, that’s something I’ve worked on changing this year as per my 2018 Reading Plan and we will see if I succeeded in December (but so far so good!).

But are those books I’m getting from library physical books or eCopies? How do the audiobooks I listen to impact my monthly stats? Do I read owned books for my Kobo or Kindle? How many review copies am I actually reading in a month? Those were the questions I asked myself while composing my Monthly Reading Habits post and now I am going to answer them.

In General:

eARCs (Authors/Tours/Netgalley) | Kindle (Owned) | Kobo (Owned) | Physical (Library) | Audio (Library) | eLibrary (Library)

I’ll be the first to admit that that graph is a lot to look at. I break things down further on and give a little more context but I wanted to provide the overview. Broadly speaking, in 2017 I averaged 20 books a month and I read those 20 books in a variety of different formats.

Digitally Owned & Digital Review Copies:

eARCs (Authors/Tours/Netgalley) | Kindle (Owned) | Kobo (Owned)

I had very mixed feelings when I saw this particular graph breakdown. On the positive side, I was happy to see that I read at least one book from my personal collection a month for 2017; but considering I averaged 20 books a month, it would be nice if that number was higher.

The other thing that really shook me up was the number of ARCs/review copies (from here out I will refer to all as ARCs) I read in a month. In 2017, according to my Reading Plan for 2017, I had a guideline of 3 ARCs per month. As you can see, I really only stuck to that plan for 3 months of the year. March and December were particularly bad–I nearly tripled the expected number.

Why so many ARCs despite the self-imposed rule? I’m one of those people who doesn’t like to miss an opportunity. A lot of the ARCs I read are sequels for already started series or are by authors who I like to support in any way I can. So while I may have already planned on the 3 books I’d read for X month, a last minute release or tour/opportunity can cause me to read more than I anticipated. It was something I noticed near the end of 2017 and one thing I really tried to keep in mind when creating my 2018 Reading Plan so that I wasn’t dedicating all my time to ARCs this year. The year started rough but I did my best to right the course and have gotten a lot better at saying “no”.

Borrowed From the Library:

Physical (Library) | Audio (Library) | eLibrary (Library)

I always thought that 80% of my books came from the library but my post investigating my books sources busted that myth. I actually get about 36% of the books I read in a year from the library.

It would be interesting to see what this graph would look like 3 years ago when I tended to have 30 books on hold at the library at one time. (Yeah, you see why I needed a change!) Back then I was reading a lot of eBooks from my local library. Now that I read more ARCs and try to read more of the books I already own, the number of books I get from my library’s eCatalogue stays pretty consistent month to month.

Why the sudden stop in physical novels? It’s mostly a convenience thing. My local library is pretty small but shares its collection with other ones in the area. Normally that means we have one copy and it usually is at another location so it’ll have to be brought in. If it’s a very popular book, I’ll be waiting a while. I find my eBook selection is much bigger, has more copies of the more popular books and has a shorter loan period so books turnaround much faster. Of course, there are no late fees with eBooks and I can get them any time without leaving my house which is handy for someone who works shift work.

My consistency with audiobooks is AMAZING! I’ll be honest, the main reason I did this post was to see if reading audio books impacts my monthly reading stats and clearly the answer is YES! As per my previous discussion post, I know that I read less books in 2017 compared to 2016 (21 books less specifically), averaging 20 books to the previous 22 books a month. But what if I eliminated audiobooks from my monthly totals?

2017JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecTotal
Difference:00444455344643
w/ Audiobooks231719192226242110161824239
w/o Audiobooks23171515182219167121418196

So clearly, listening to audiobooks was a great habit to pick up in 2017 if the numbers are anything to go by. Most of my listening is done during my drive to work (which is 2 hours roundtrip) but I do listen to audiobooks when walking my dog as well. Nevertheless, if I’m working a lot, I (obviously) get through more. It also depends on the length of the book as well and if I’ve adjusted the speed or not. Regardless, they have a positive impact on my reading stats each month and my drive wouldn’t be the same without them!

>>SERIESous Tips: 5 Ways to Get Into Audiobooks!

Moving Forward:

I learned a lot from doing this post. Mainly that audiobooks have become a key format for my monthly reading habits. It also reaffirmed the fact that I have to get better at saying no to ARCs and sticking to my reading plan (something I’ve been working on exclusively for the last 3 months). I also want to make reading books I have purchased a higher priority. While I’ve been good about not buying as many books as I used to, I still have quite a collection to tackle.

What book formats do you read in a month?

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Monthly Inventory: July 2018

July 2018

Where did July go?! This month flew by in every way! Whether it was reading, life or work, I feel like the days just melted away in the summer heat.

I had a great July when it came to reading. For the first time in a long time, I actually felt in control of my reading. I wasn’t pressuring myself to read books by a certain deadline; I wasn’t overwhelmed with books out from the library and I could read whatever I wanted when I wanted. That’s the type of summer reading I like and want on my lazy days off and it’s something I’ve been striving for since I created my blog 5 years ago.

Some of my highlights from the month:

    • I decided not to put any books on hold at the library for July and August
    • I did a mini Goodreads purge of books I don’t have copies nor do I want to buy
      • I managed to remove 15 books from my TBR!
    • I have officially received and reviewed 100 books on Netgalley!
    • I started to schedule posts into 2019!

August is going to be a packed month for reading as well as life. I have some vacation time off but I’ve packed those days with events and the like. As for reading, I’m joining in on the annual Make Me Read It Readathon (a personal fave event) and participating in my second ARC August. So it’s going to be a busy one!

 

thoughts

Total for July 2018: 21 Books Read + 1 Novellas Read

DNF’d: 2 Books

Last July : 20 Books Read + 4 Novellas Read + 3 DNFs

Standout Read (★★★★★)


I’m just so in love with this series!

Biggest Let Down (★★)


My gut told me to DNF this one in the first quarter but I stuck it out. It was just OK as I really struggled with it and ended up disappointed.

 

posted reviews

Most Viewed Post

Make Me Read It: Vote

Most Viewed Review

Series Review: Royally by Emma Chase

View this year’s archives for more posts and reviews!

 

thoughts

Previously posted series reviews that got updates:

   

thoughts

You can always get the full details on all my challenges on my dedicated page but here is a quick update:

5 Year 5 Book Challenge: Added 2, DNF’d 1 | 9 of 25 Titles Read – On Track!
Goodreads Challenge: 23 books added | 150/190 Books – Ahead!
52 Sequel Challenge: 5 Books Added | 29/52 Sequels – On Track!
Tackling the TBR Challenge: 7 books added | 19/36 Books – Slightly Behind!

View my Challenge Progress Here!

 

Make Me Read It: August 2018

It’s back! Hosted once again by hosted by Val @ The Innocent Smiley and Ely @ Tea and Titles. There’s still time to vote for what books I should read for the upcoming readathon! My goal is to read 3 of the 10 books you vote for during the readathon (and then the rest by the end of the year).

Vote here!

ARC August

I had a lot of fun participating in this for the first time last year and thought it was a great way to get through some of those ARCs I have still sitting on the back burner. This classic summer event hosted by Read. Sleep. Repeat!

Most of these are titles I’ve received through Street Teams with the idea that “you get to them when you get to them” but I’ve really been slacking (as you could see in my last State of the ARC post last month). So the plan for this August is to get to most of these titles by the end of the month! I want to read the 3 that are due for August and at least 3 more from my ASAP pile. Here’s some of the reads I have on the go:

From Here to You (Crash and... Blood Will Out Heart of a Thief (Unforgivable #1) The Emperor's Daughters Captive of a Commoner The Right Fit

 

Created by Lia @ Lost in a Story

The idea is to go through 5-10 books on your Goodreads TBR list chronologically and decide if they should stay or go. I do this on a monthly basis by going through 7 “new to me” books and 3 “sequel” novels and deciding what is a keeper and what is a pass.

This month:

Leo
Keep

Put Me Back Together
Keep

Picture Perfect (Picturing Perfect, #1)
Pass

The Thrill of It (No Regrets, #1)
Keep

Pawn (The Blackcoat Rebellion, #1)
Pass

Forever & Always (The Ever Trilogy, #1)
Pass

Maybe This Time (Maybe, #1)
Pass

Across a Star-Swept Sea (For Darkness Shows the Stars, #2)
Keep

Crossed Lines (Blurred Lines, #3)
Keep

Truth or Dare (His Wicked Games, #2; The Cunningham Family, #2)
Keep

Pass: 4 | Keep: 6

Did I give up on any too soon? Let me know in the comments below!

 

discussions

You can still join in on these discussions:

 

Here are some of my favourite posts that I’ve come across the past month:

 

Each month I have a list of 11 books I’ve selected to read for that particular month. These books include review copies and reading challenge picks. Here are some of the books I have ready to go for August:

The Diabolic (The Diabolic, #1) The Secret of Ella and Micha (The Secret, #1) Immortal Reign (Falling Kin...

What were your biggest reading or personal accomplishments of the past month?
Leave a comment below!

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