Tag «monthly features»

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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Trope Thursday: Cheating [6]

Trope Thursdays: A monthly feature where I look at various reading tropes. Each month I will pick a trope and examine all aspects of it. I’ll discuss the classic features of the trope, what I love (or hate) about it and share some books that use the trope in their plots.


For me, this trope is almost always a “no-go”. I just don’t want to read about it when I escape to my “happy place” of reading because it depresses the hell out of me. Sure, it can add to the story in a way tat can be positive (I’ll talk about that below), but most of the time, it brings up unpleasant drama that I would rather not read…

July’s Trope: Cheating

Definition:

Cheating is the receiving of a reward for ability or finding an easy way out of an unpleasant situation by dishonest means.

~Wikipedia (“Cheating“)

Unfortunately, cheating cannot always simply be defined as having sex with someone outside of your relationship. Cheating comes in a variety of shapes and forms, but they are all equally devastating.

~DatingTips.Match.com (“Different Forms of Cheating in a Relationship“)

For the sake of this post, I’m classifying cheating as a situation in a book where a person in a committed relationship either has an emotional or physical relationship outside of that partnership. I’m not including books where the lead was cheated on in the past by a previous partner as that happened prior to the current story.

Simply put, physical cheating is the act of being sexually intimate with someone other than your spouse or significant other.

Emotional cheating may include physical intimacy but not necessarily so. Emotional cheating may begin as an innocent friendship. Eventually, an emotional cheater finds himself intimately confiding in the person, sharing thoughts, dreams and an emotional closeness that would normally be reserved for his mate.

~DatingTips.Match.com (“Different Forms of Cheating in a Relationship“)

Common Features:

  • Unfaithfulness
  • Love triangles
  • Possibility for Forbidden/Taboo Love
  • Torn between two friends/brothers/sisters
  • Unrequited love for a best friend
  • Character dating someone else when they meet

What I Love Like About The “Cheating” Trope:

I will admit that there is a certain suspense that can come about from a cheating situation–depending on the book. You start asking yourself, what will the fallout be when the truth is revealed? (See Avoiding Commitment). And if there is a love triangle involved, who will be with who in the end? (See Something Borrowed). If done well, it can add this anticipation and tension that can suck you in as a reader.

I think the biggest aspect of including unfaithfulness in a book is the potential to grow the characters. One of the first books I ever read with the cheating trope was Emily Griffin’s Love the One You’re With. Yes, I read it probably 20 years too early when I was 14 but the whole novel explored Ellen’s affair shortly after her first year of marriage with the guy she considers to be “the one that got away”. And while this book didn’t work for me in any way, the idea of using the affair to grow Ellen as a character is something I can appreciate as a reader. (Though it definitely does happen in that book). It tests the character’s spirit, morals and emotions which can really help to evolve them as a leading character.

What I Dislike About The “Cheating” Trope:

I’m not even a fan of reading sex scenes between characters who aren’t our two leads before they even meet. Icky. I’m one of those people who likes the “no cheating” disclaimer at the bottom of some of my contemporary romance synopses.

Perhaps this is the wrong view to have, but I view affairs as a mostly negative thing so I don’t want to read about them in my downtime. I don’t mind darker stories at all, I just find cheating to be a turn off.

I guess I don’t like how the characters can make decisions that aren’t logical to me. I get that emotions are high and so impulses can take control, but I often don’t like what those motivations turn the characters into. I just hate the dishonesty that comes about.

And more often than not, these situations involve a love triangle and I don’t enjoy books that have our cheater lamenting on and on about how torn they are between these two great people…

Books that Use the “Cheating” Trope Well:

I dunno if it helps that Darcy is such an unlikeable character that you can’t help but root for Dax to see why Rachel is the better option but this was a case where I didn’t mind the cheating. I think the other thing that helps is that Rachel has great personal growth from the affair. While  I would never condone cheating with your best friend’s fiance, Rachel does learn to become more assured in herself and fight for what she wants instead of being the doormat she has been her entire life.

>>Series Review: Darcy and Rachel

 

This is one of the only books I have ever read that has a “true love triangle” element to it (ie all three characters are in love with each other). The heart of this novel is Laney’s identity crisis and her relationships with both Armin and Blythe play crucial roles in that. The love triangle here provides an interesting dynamic to the story and one that keeps the reader on their toes as they watch Laney’s plan for revenge unfold.

>>Series Review: Avoiding

 

Others: No One Needs to Know

Books that Didn’t Use the “Cheating” Trope Well:

To be fair to this novel, it was originally published as a series of parts that was eventually combined into one novel so it does lack some of the depth you want. I was drawn in by the taboo nature of a girl falling in love with her mother’s boyfriend but I was never really sold on why these two would risk everything to be together.

>>Standalone Review: Illicit

 

This is a case of emotional cheating more than anything–which was interesting to read about for sure. However, I didn’t like how the situation made me dislike like Cami because her reasoning for stringing two guys along isn’t really explained. Sure, we get a good twist at the end that helps us understand her torn nature but I hated her reasoning throughout the novel about why she should stay in a long-distance relationship that clearly wasn’t working…

 

Others: The Vincent Boys


Do you enjoy books with the “cheating” Trope?

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Monthly Inventory: June 2018

June 2018

After a very busy May, June seemed like a break in a lot of ways. My main goal for the month was to catch up on ARCs and to read books I already had in my possession. And for the most part, I think I did that. I’m in much better shape now than I was at the start of June so I’m proud of myself. I would have liked to have spent more time on my blog as a whole but I did make the most of the spare moments I did have. The summer looks like it will be just as hectic at work but I’m starting to establish more of a routine so I’m optimistic I can make the most out of everything, including reading and blogging.

Since June is halfway through the year, I wanted to to focus on a mid-year review of all things. Like many people, I start the year with some lofty reading and blogging goals but I find by this point in the year, things just aren’t going the way I expected them to. I promised myself that I would re-evaluate my reading challenges and the like in June and tweak whatever wasn’t working going forward. So that’s what I plan to do in this Monthly Inventory post as well as my usual quarterly reviews that I do in this monthly feature.

Mid Year Freak Out Tag

I’ve seen this tag (and similar) floating around the blogosphere and thought it was a cute way to recap the year so far. This tag was originally created by Ely and Chami so thanks for that! I’ve altered some of the categories a little to fit my table presentation so hopefully everything is clear!

Best Book Read So Far

Royally Endowed (Royally, #3)

Best Sequel Read So Far

Long Way Home by Katie McGarry

New Release TBR

Iron Gold (Red Rising, #4)

Can’t Wait for Its Release

Queen of Air and Darkness (The Dark Artifices, #3)

Biggest Disappointment

A Whole New World (A Twisted Tale #1)

Biggest Surprise

The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

Fave New Author

Love in the Friend Zone by Molly E. Lee

New Fictional Crush

Hothead by Stella Rhys
Drew

New Fave Character

Falling Kingdoms (Falling Kingdoms, #1)
Magnus

Tear Jerker

Sweet Black Waves by Kristina Pérez

Made Me Happy

When It's Real

Fave Film Adaption

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda (Creekwood, #1)

Fave Review Written

Prettiest Book Purchased

A Thousand Pieces of You (Firebird, #1)

Need to Read by Year End

Restore Me (Shatter Me, #4)

 

thoughts

Total for June 2018: 14 Books Read + 0 Novellas Read

DNF’d: 3 Books

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

Standout Read (★★★★★)

Sweet Black Waves
It only took me two chapters to become completely enthralled by this Tristan and Isolde retelling. I felt every range of emotions while reading this and I am DYING for the sequel!

Biggest Let Down (DNF)

Gunslinger Girl
I’m not sure if this book was just marketed wrongly or if I interpreted everything about it wrong but this was a huge disappointment. Definitely not what I was expecting. I wanted a Western with a badass heroine and that was far from what this was. Instead, I got a dystopian novel set in the future with some allusions to the wild west and a heroine who was rather dull.

 

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:

June 30, 2018

June 30, 2017

Total % of Library Complete

23%

10%

Total # of Books Finished

2880

114

Total # of Reading Hours

2511

2309

 

posted reviews

Most Viewed Post

Trope Thursdays: Love Triangles

Most Viewed Review

Blog Tour: Knocked Up

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 for all my challenges on my dedicated page but here is a quick update:

5 Year 5 Book Challenge: 2 books read | 7 of 25 Titles Read – Slightly Behind
Goodreads Challenge: 14 books added | 132/190 Books – Ahead!
52 Sequel Challenge: 0 books added | 25/52 Sequels – On Track!
Tackling the TBR Challenge: 3 books added | 14/36 Books – Slightly Behind

View my Challenge Progress Here!

Mid Year Review:

I actually thought my stats would be much worse than they were since I have 2 good months of not really reading challenge titles. But I’ve pulled up my socks in the last 2 months and that has helped a bit. While I’m certainly behind on all my challenges, they are still within an obtainable grasp so I’m not going to modify them in any way. Most of the titles I have selected for July crossover for my various challenges so I think I will see an improvement in the near future.

 

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)

506

511

To Read (Sequels)

317

301

My Thoughts: I think it goes without saying that every time I lower the “new” shelf, the “sequel” shelf gets bigger. But I’m doing a good job of not adding too many books to my TBR each month. May was a tough month because I got a lot of great freebie reads from various newsletters. I also find that I’m not as picky as I once was with audiobooks–meaning I’m more willing to read a book in the audio version than the physical now that I listen to books on a regular basis and am very comfortable with them as a format.

 

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” titles; 3 “sequels”):

Undeclared (Woodlands, #1)
Keep

No One's Angel (Chadwell Hearts, #1)
Keep

Come Away with Me (With Me in Seattle, #1)
Pass

The Proposition (The Proposition, #1)
Pass

Toxic Secrets (Secrets, #1)
Pass

Break Me Slowly (Shattered, #1)
Pass

Executive Seduction
Pass

Be with Me (Wait for You, #2)
Keep

By Referral Only (Whitman University, #2)
Keep

Renegade (MILA 2.0, #2)
Pass

Pass: 4 | Keep: 6

Grand Totals since January — Pass: 18 | Keep: 22

Did I make any mistakes with my decisions? Let me know in the comments below!

While this is a monthly meme hosted by Avalinah’s Books, I however will only be updating every quarter.

Since May, I’ve been working really hard on limiting ARCs in order to make my reading more manageable.  Every month I give myself the allowance of requesting 3 ARCs as per my 2018 Reading Plan. So far, I’ve been following that rule when it comes to requesting titles for the summer. I’ve stopped browsing Netgalley on a regular basis; I keep review opportunities in my inbox for a few days before I make a decision; and I closed off direct requests through my blog until the fall.

My Progress for January to June, 2018:

ARCs Read: 54  |   ARCs Overdue: 2+6*  |  Upcoming: 7

(March’s State: ARCs Read: 31  |   ARCs Overdue: 4*  |  Upcoming: 12)

*Some of these books are from my Street Teams and they are “read ASAP” but I consider them to be overdue given the date I’ve received them.

Going Forward:

I’m in an OK position when it comes to ARCs. Of the ones upcoming, a lot aren’t due until August or September so I have some time. I do have a lot of street team reviews that I want to get read for July so hopefully I can squeeze them in. Only 2 ARCs are truly overdue so they are a big priority for July. So far, I’ve been doing a good job of sticking to 3 ARCs a month and not signing myself up for two many opportunities. I’ve really been working on my impulse control by letting opportunities sit for 24 hours and reevaluating if should sign up or not and it really seems to be helping!

discussions

You can still join in on these discussions:

 

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 July:

Contrite (Contrite, #1) At Any Price (Gaming the System, #1) Fixed Forever (Fixed #6) Watching You Set the Night on Fire (Cottonbloom, #6) Book Boyfriend

What were your biggest reading or personal accomplishments of the past month? Have you done a mid-year review of your reading and blogging process?

Leave a comment below!

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SERIESous Tips: Using Trello to Keep Track of Reviews

*I want to be clear that this post isn’t affiliated with Trello in any way, this is just my personal experience!*

I first talked about how I use Trello in 2016 during a Keeping Organized Tips Series I ran. At the time, I mostly highlighted how I use Trello to keep track of ARC Requests and only briefly mentioned my Review Board. That’s about to change here!

Back in university, a co-coordinator for an event I was running showed me Trello as a tool for keeping organized. The list-maker in me loved it and I used it a lot while organizing various things. But I never thought about using it for book blogging until I read a post by Brittany @ Book Bumblings about Trello. After that, everything just clicked and I created my own boards to keep track of things!

>> Check out Brittany’s guide here!

Trello is great for a number of reasons. First off, it’s free (there is a premium version you can buy with more features) and the options are endless for the free version. It is a very fluid web-based program. It’s super easy to move things around and has a ton of customizing features (which I’m going to highlight a little more below). It also has an app for your phone so you can use it on the go if you are so inclined.

Let me introduce my Review Board:

Every post that is created for my blog has a card on this board. I have 7 main lists I use to keep my reviews/posts organized depending on what stage they are at.

What are you looking at?

These are my lists I used to keep track of reviews and blog posts. I’ll break it down for you:

  1. To Do
    • This is my brainstorm list where I keep track of ideas for blog posts I might want to do in the future
  2. ARCs
    • This is where I create review cards for Request copies I have received
      • I’ll detail what’s on those cards below
  3. In Development
    • These are reviews/posts I am currently writing
  4. Started
    • These are reviews that are finished, they just need something else before they can be published
  5. Cross Post
    • This is where review cards go after I’ve finished writing my blog post
    • This is where I keep track of what other review sites I need to post my review to
  6. Pending Sequels
    • These are drafted series reviews that I’m holding off on posting until I’ve read all the available sequels
  7. Done
    • This is where all review and post cards go after I have completed all their requirements

As I’m sure you can predict, when I’m writing a post from my To Do list or from my ARCs list, they get put in the In Development column. After they are complete, they either get put in the Cross Post, Pending Sequels or Done columns depending on their posting requirements.

What’s On a Review Card?

An example of a review card for an ARC request

There are 4 features I use the most when it comes to creating my review cards.

  1. Labels (colour codes)
    • This is great for seeing things at a glance. I colour code all my reviews based on their source (ARC or Blog Tour), if they require a Recap, if I need to Cross Post or if I need to Update a previous review and/or stats. I also have a special colour for Promo posts like blitzes.
    • If a card gets a certain label, it usually has an accompanying checklist (see #3).
  2. Due Date
    • This is the date I plan to post on my blog, not necessarily the book’s publishing date.
    • This is super handy because you can sort lists by their due dates chronologically. I do this for posts that I have to cross post to external sites.
  3. Checklist — My FAVOURITE Feature!
    • We do a lot of repetitive things when it comes to blogging and sometimes it’s hard to remember them all.
      • See the section below for more details!
  4. Comment (not pictured)
    • I use this mostly for post cards for Tags or posts inspired by other blogs and I want to remember the source or ideas for the post

Why the Checklist Feature is the BEST!

Certain reviews require certain things. For example, when I write a series review, I need to make sure I’ve added a recap section (if applicable) to my Recap Page and put the series on my Series Sequel Spreadsheet. If it’s a review for Netgalley, I need to make sure I’ve added my review to the site as well as the links to my cross posted reviews. I even have a list for those cross posts! And the lists go on and on…

What I love about Trello is that you can create unique checklists for every card and you can see at a glance how many items you’ve completed from that list.

But the greatest thing is that you can copy checklists from other cards to your current card!

I have a card I’ve titled Master Checklist. On it, I’ve created all the checklists I use on a regular basis and when I create a new card, I import the lists from this card. If I need to make a change, I do it on this list so that a new cards going forward have this newly changed list.

Other Notable Features:

  • Assign Tasks by Team Member
    • This would be great if you have multiple blog contributors!
    • You can leave notes too for each other on the card and see what others have done.
  • Calendar
    • You can enable a calendar that will put your cards on those respective dates
      • I don’t use this feature as I use a Word Doc do keep track of my dates for everything (posts, library due dates, etc). Learn more here.
  • Tracks Activity
    • Any changes you make to a card (and when) are noted at the bottom

This way, I always know where I am when it comes to my reviews!

While I try to do a little bit of blogging each day, I don’t always get the chance to with my job. But Trello makes it easy for me to pick up where I left off and to see what I need to get done and when. It truly has become an essential tool to my blogging experience.

>> See how Carrie @ Reading is My Super Power was inspired by my other Trello post!

How to you keep track of the reviews/posts you have in the works?

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Trope Thursday: Love Triangles [5]

Trope Thursdays: A monthly feature where I look at various reading tropes. Each month I will pick a trope and examine all aspects of it. I’ll discuss the classic features of the trope, what I love (or hate) about it and share some books that use the trope in their plots.


It’s Back!

I wasn’t able to get a Trope Thursday post up for May so the feature took a brief hiatus. While most of my posts are scheduled far in advance, certain features posts (like this one) are usually written a few days before I plan to publish them.

For the month of May I planned to tackle the one trope I can’t stand with a passion. Seriously, if I could abolish one trope from the world of writing, it would be this one.

June’s Trope: Love Triangle

Definition:

love triangle (also called a romantic love triangle or a romance triangle or an eternal triangle) is usually a romantic relationship involving three people. While it can refer to two people independently romantically linked with a third, it usually implies that each of the three people has some kind of relationship to the other two. The relationships can be friendshipsromantic, or familial.

~Wikipedia (“Love Triangle“)

Common Features:

  • Possibility for Forbidden Love
  • Torn between two friends/brothers/sisters
  • Unrequited love for a best friend
  • Rivals
  • Possibility for unfaithfulness

Quick Note Moving Forward:

I’m going to mostly be using the pronoun “she” as the Person of Interest when I write my opinions and assume that her potential suitors are “he”. This is really just to keep it simple and clear what I am trying to convey. I’m not saying that men don’t find themselves torn between two girls or whatever combination you want to imagine, it’s really just a matter of keeping things clear and consistent to emphasize my points 🙂

What I Love About The “Love Triangle” Trope:

In this case, love is a strong word. I don’t particularly care for the love triangle (and I’ll get to why below) but I can admit that there are certain aspects of the love triangle trope that can contribute to the story in a positive way…and not simply for filler.

One of the reasons I think we see so many love triangles in fiction is for their ability to emphasis the “torn” nature of the person of interest. What I mean to say is that in most novels, the Object of Affection (OOA) must choose between two suitors much like the idea that she has to choose the path for life she must follow. Does she stick with the path she has always known or does she embrace the new “her” and the future it could bring?

Take Twilight for example. Bella is torn between Jacob (a werewolf) and Edward (a vampire)–and don’t forget for a little while Mike (a human). Each suitor represents a different path for Bella. With Mike, it’s the acceptance of the human world and the casting aside of the paranormal one. With Jacob, she can remain human, be in love with a close friend while still acknowledging the paranormal world. And with Edward, it’s accepting his immortality and the question of whether or not he is worth her mortality.

(Now Twilight isn’t the greatest love triangle example [it’s included on my worst list below], but it’s one most readers are familiar with without spoiling other series).

Now, not all love triangles follow this ideal. But I think at the heart of most of them, they represent a choice for the characters that is deeper than simply who they want to kiss at night and, if done correctly, they can contribute positively to the character development.

What I Dislike About The “Love Triangle” Trope:

Where do I start?!

One of my biggest peeves about the love triangle trope is when it is throw in simply for the sake of some “drama”. Not every romance needs to be challenged by a rival. There are other obstacles that couples can overcome that don’t involve a third person and that can still provide depth to the characters and their relationship.

My other dislike about love triangles is the back and forth nature of them. Suddenly the “ugly duckling” is seen by two amazing boys and she simply can’t choose between them. Thus ensues chapter after chapter of flip flopping between her feelings. I find this usually distracts from the large plot (especially in middle books of trilogies) and can make for a dull read.

But perhaps my biggest issue with love triangles is their unrealistic nature. I’m not saying that love triangles can’t exist in real life. The reason I liked the definition Wikipedia provides is that it emphasizes that those relationships between those three people don’t have to necessarily be romantic in nature. Rather, what I find unrealistic about most love triangles is that suddenly, two suitors are simultaneously in love with the OOA seemingly out of nowhere. Now I get that there are certain circumstances that can bring this on (like the end of the world for example). But the whole transformation of “ugly duckling” to “most loveable person ever” is one I readily dislike.

Books that Use the “Love Triangle” Trope Well:

This goes back to my first argument where love triangles can be used to emphasize the torn nature of a heroine. What I like about the love triangle in this series–besides the fact that it never overshadows the rest of the plot–is how much it contributes to Ember’s character development. Throughout the series Ember is struggling with her dragon nature (thus her draw to Cobalt) as well as her human nature (thus her draw to Garret) and her attempts to reconcile her feelings for each guy also reflects her growth as a person and dragon as she tries to save the world.

>>Series Review: Talon

 

This is one of the only books I have ever read that has a “true love triangle” element to it (ie all three characters are in love with each other). The heart of this novel is Laney’s identity crisis and her relationships with both Armin and Blythe play crucial roles in that. The love triangle here provides an interesting dynamic to the story and one that keeps the reader on their toes as they watch Laney’s plan for revenge unfold.

>>Standalone Review: Black Iris

 

Others:  No One Needs to Know | Suitors and Sabotage | Shatter Me

Books that Didn’t Use the “Love Triangle” Trope Well:

There is actually a love square in this book but that’s besides the point. My main peeve with this one comes from my intense dislike of our lead heroine, Harper and the inexplicable reason why she has two boys chasing her down with only two sentences spoken between them. (Oh, and her token male BFF who has always loved her). Harper flops like a fish with her feelings and it does nothing to develop her as a character.

>>Series Review: Taking Chances

 

This one had the potential to be good. I mean Calla is torn between duty and her heart when it comes to her suitors…but it’s her actions and reactions that sink that ship pretty quickly. Calla’s relationships become a sole focus for the story and for her. She becomes this self-obsessed heroine who flits back and forth between guys (ie making out with each of them) and subsequently feeling guilty for doing so but does nothing to solve the problem. Frustration to the extreme.

>>Series Review: Nightshade

 

Others:  The Vincent Boys | A Beautiful Dark | Twilight


Do you enjoy books with the “love triangle” Trope?

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Monthly Inventory: May 2018

May 2018

Throughout the month of May, I felt like I never read a book for longer than 20 minutes at a time. Books I should have finished in 2-3 days took me over a week (something unheard of for me); ARCs began to pile up (though I was good on my promise not to request more); and I scarcely visited my blog (thank goodness for scheduled posts!). My stats for the month don’t really reflect this though when you compare them to last year (16 books last May and 15 this May). But the fact of the matter is, if it wasn’t for my audiobook listening (contributing to 40% of the books completed), my stats for May 2018 would be pretty dismal.

On a more positive note, I did a great job finishing up some series I had on the go so I’m very happy with that! I’m also on track to finish most of my ARCs for the end of June which didn’t seem like a possibility 2 weeks ago. Moving forward, I’m definitely limiting myself for ARCs (work is only going to get crazier now the the summer is here) and that means truly sticking to 2018 Reading Plan limits of no more than 3 ARCs per month max. As for the library, I’ve stopped putting books on hold and will focus on getting the books that are readily available and meet my various reading goals for the year.

I don’t know what June will have in store but I know that I want to get back into the blogging and reading game. And since June is also the halfway point of the year, I also plan on re-evaluting my 2018 Reading Challenges and Goals to see if I am on track or if I need to adjust my numbers.

thoughts

Total for May 2018: 15 Books Read + 0 Novellas Read

DNF’d: 1 Books

Last May: 16 Books Read + 6 Novellas Read + 3 DNFs

Standout Read (★★★★★)


I’m really kicking myself for not starting this series earlier because I love it! (Well, I don’t have to wait for the sequels as it is now finished so maybe there was a method to my avoidance). This was my favourite in the series so far and I can’t wait to see what will happen in the last 3 books.

Biggest Let Down (DNF)


After waiting a crazy amount of time on the waitlist for this title, I was super disappointed to have to DNF this one pretty early into it. Despite my love of a good jackass hero, I felt zero chemistry between the two leads and the plot was just too far-fetched for me to enjoy.

 

posted reviews

Most Viewed Post

Monthly Inventory & 5 Year Anniversary Post

Most Viewed Review

Blog Tour: I Dare You

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: 0 titles added | 5 of 25 Titles Read — Behind
Goodreads Challenge: 15 books added | 115/190 Books — Ahead
52 Sequel Challenge: 7 titles added | 12/52 Sequels — On Track
Tackling the TBR Challenge: 0 book added | 11/36 Books — 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 novels + 3 continuing series):

Keep

Pass

Keep

Pass

Keep

Pass

Keep

Keep

Keep

Keep

Pass: 3 | Keep: 7

Should I reconsider any of my decisions? Let me know in the comments below!

discussions

You can still join in on these discussions:

 

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 June:

 Furyborn (Empirium, #1)  At Any Price (Gaming the System, #1) Him (Him #1) 

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

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Monthly Inventory: April 2018 + 5 Year Anniversary!

April 2018

When I first thought of starting a blog 5 years ago, I really didn’t think I would still be with it 5 years later. Hobbies for me usually come and go thanks to my attention span. But reading is something I’ve been passionate about since high school and it’s that passion that has driven my blogging over the years.

I’ve shared my story many times over the years but I feel like it’s ok to reminisce for your 5 years anniversary. I’ve come a long way from my early days of a free wordpress site. I’ve (somehow) kept this blog going through 2 post secondary degrees; the beginning of my career and as I navigate this tricky world of adulting. I’ve changed the format of my reviews, redid my site design and moved my blog to a self-hosted server as well.

I might not read as many books now as I did 5 years ago or work on my blog everyday like I used to, but I’ve come to accept that things change and sometimes you just have to go with the flow. And in honour of 5 years, I wanted to share 5 lessons I have learned about reading and blogging since I joined this community:

  1. Blog hop and comment on other’s blogs whenever you can
    • I really neglected to do this in my first year of blogging and it’s my biggest regret.
  2. You can’t read all the books and that’s ok
    • Grow your TBR but don’t be afraid to remove those that don’t interest you
  3. Followers and ARCs aren’t everything
    • Stats can be helpful but you need to be happy first and foremost
  4. It’s ok not to read or blog everyday
    • I’ve really come to grips with this over the last year
  5. Never be afraid to be honest about your thoughts/reviews
    • Don’t say what is expected but rather what you truly feel

Cheesy perhaps, but I think they are important things to keep in mind. Even a 5 year veteran like me can still get caught up in the envy and the like but you work on it a day at a time.

Thank you everyone!

Whether you are a new reader or a returning friend, thanks for 5 fantastic years! Who knows, maybe I’ll still be here in 5 more 😉

My Reading Month of April

I think I said it best when I tweeted out this:

April was a month I dedicated to getting things back on track. I was behind in ARCs and my reading challenges so my focus was really on reading those key books to contribute to my reading goals for 2018. For the most part, the first two weeks of April were extremely successful. The last two sucked thanks to life getting in the way but I was still in OK shape when all was said and done.

I think for me, May is about finding that healthy balance between reading, blogging and life and I can’t wait to see what it brings!

 

thoughts

Total for April 2018: 18 Books Read + 1 Novellas Read

DNF’d: 0 Books

Last April: 18 Books Read + 1 Novellas Read + 1 DNFs

Standout Read (★★★★★)

When It's Real
This book was everything I wanted it to be! I love the fake relationship trope and this one executes it perfectly! The audio version is also AMAZING! So amazing I’ve got it on my list to buy since I borrowed it from the library.

Biggest Let Down (★★)

Wrecked (Clayton Falls, #3)
I love a good “bad-boy-turned-good” romance but this one just fell flat. It felt rushed and not much was done with the characters either.

 

posted reviews

Most Viewed Post

Top Ten Tuesdays: Books I Loved But Will Never Reread

Most Viewed Review

Suitors and Sabotage

Blog Tour: Suitors and Sabotage

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: 3 titles added | 5 of 25 Titles Read — Behind
Goodreads Challenge: # books added | #/190 Books — Ahead
52 Sequel Challenge: 4 titles added | 11/52 Sequels — Behind
Tackling the TBR Challenge: 1 book added | /36 Books — On Track

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:

Sometimes Never (Sometimes Never, #1)
Keep

Sins & Needles (The Artists Trilogy, #1)
Keep

Keep

Fear of Falling (Fearless, #1)
Keep

Lark (Lark, #1)
Pass

One Perfect Night (Seattle Sullivans #1; The Sullivans #9.5)
Pass

The Art of Racing in the Rain
Keep

Flock (Stork, #3)
Keep

Belladonna (Secrets of the Eternal Rose, #2)
Pass

Highlander Taken (Clan Mackenzie, #2)
Keep

Pass: 3 | Keep: 7

Did I make any mistakes in letting some go or by keeping them? Let me know in the comments below!

discussions

You can still join in on these discussions:

 

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 May:

One More Time Furyborn (Empirium, #1) Challenge Accepted (Cleat C... At Any Price (Gaming the System, #1) Him (Him #1) Iron Gold (Red Rising Saga, #4)

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

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Trope Thursdays: New to Town [4]

Trope Thursdays: A monthly feature where I look at various reading tropes. Each month I will pick a trope and examine all aspects of it. I’ll discuss the classic features of the trope, what I love (or hate) about it and share some books that use the trope in their plots.


Welcome Back!

First, I’ll define what that trope is and then list some common features. Next, I’ll pick some examples of the trope in action and why it works (or doesn’t work) for that particular story. And then finally, I’ll open the floor to you to tell me your thoughts on the trope or recommend some reads to me.

April’s Trope: New to Town

Definition:

One of the lead characters has just moved to a new town where our second lead is currently residing.

Common Features:

  • Mysterious Strangers
    • Possibility for Forbidden Love
  • Insta-Love
  • Angsty Teens
  • Secrets
  • New Family Unit
  • In Love with the Neighbour
  • In Love with the Roommate
  • Character “Soul Searching”

What I Love About The “New to Town” Trope:

I actually relate a lot to this trope as my family moved when I was a young kid to a completely new town. It’s an experience that truly defined who I am as a person and I learned a lot about myself from the whole ordeal as well.

Which is why I find it to be a fascinating trope to include in books. There’s a lot you can play with as it provides ample opportunity for character growth and self-discovery. But it also sets the stage for a sweet (or perhaps unknowingly forbidden?) romance to grow.

I think my favourite aspect is when it’s the entire family unit that has to move and the strain it can put on relationships. Not everyone is 100% on board with moving (I know I wasn’t) so it creates an interesting family dynamic.

What I Dislike About The “New to Town” Trope:

The somewhat sad memories it brings up for me?

No, in all seriousness, it’s hard to do this trope wrong. Most of the time it’s an introductory element that we slowly forget about as the story progresses. Obviously, sometimes the things I mentioned above aren’t capitalized upon but it just depends on the story and what it is trying to tell.

Books that Use the “New to Town” Trope Well:


HEAR ME OUT!

While the reader knows that Edward is a vampire, Bella doesn’t (and that’s just one of many things she doesn’t have a grasp on). Because Bella is new to town, Edward and the Cullens are these mysterious people to her. BUT, I enjoyed the anticipation of her finding out.

You can also throw in her relationship with her estranged dad too.

>>Series Review: Twilight

 

 

I picked this one because I think it really highlights the romance and family aspects of this trope. Strain has been placed on Layken’s family thanks to her dad’s sudden death and her mom’s decision to move them to a new town. It creates an interesting dynamic.

Add to that her new relationship with their neighbour and the consequences that follow and this is a great “New to Town” trope execution.

>>Series Review: Slammed

 

Others: Did I Mention I Love You?  | Wallbanger | No Pants Required

Books that Didn’t Use the “New to Town” Trope Well:

Honestly, I couldn’t think of anything! Usually books I dislike books with the trope for other reasons and not for the fact that they moved. But two of my lowest rated books with this trope are:

Anything by Minor by Kate Stewart (2 starts) & Just Breathe by Rachel Brookes (DNF’d)


Do you enjoy books with the “New to Town” Trope?

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Monthly Inventory: March 2018

March 2018

I’ve known March was going to be a weird reading month since late January this year and it definitely lived up to that expectation.

As I mentioned in my February Recap post, my “big city” library card from my school days expired mid-February. I did my best to read as many books as I could and quite a few carried over into the first two weeks of March. I read a lot of books over those 5 or so weeks. Sometimes averaging 2 books a day–which is crazy even for me! But I managed to get most of them in (even squeezing in some books I already own so I could read the sequels from the library) so it was a great success.

Me for most of February and March

However, that means everything else went by the wayside a bit. My challenge targets for the month of March (and February too to be honest) got neglected and I spent the last two weeks of March (and will be using the first week of April as well) catching up on ARCs I had committed myself too. Luckily, January proved to be more productive than I anticipated so I’m not too far behind on everything and thanks to my speed reading, I’m wayyyy ahead on my Goodreads Challenge.

So April is all about getting back on track! I’ve got some great sequels up next (including one I had to stop in February just as it was getting good) and some hotly anticipated titles I’ve been waiting to dive into. With a slightly more regular work schedule, I’m hoping I get get myself back into my everyday reading routine and checking off those “to-read” titles.

A Notable Change to my Reviews:

On all my reviews, I like to include a “Heat” rating so people know what type of sexual content they can expect in a book.

My Old Scale Looked Like This: (chaste) cold, cool, warm, really warm, hot, smokin’/steamy (very sexy)

I wanted to clean it up a bit because I was struggling a lot with the “cold” & “cool” as well as the “really warm” label. To me, cold and cool are the same thing (chaste kisses if any at all) and if a book has zero romance I just delete the field. I also found that “really warm” didn’t really suit the books I was labelling as such because they are descriptive.

So, going forward, I’ve merged my “cold” and “cool” tags into one (I’d already done that to the “smokin'” and “steamy” tags). I’ve also eliminated my “really warm” tag and have replaced it with “toasty” as I feel it better represents those novels that have your standard 3 sex scenes and not much else. I’m hoping that these more defined parameters will help me label books appropriately.

My New Scale: (chaste) Cool, Warm, Toasty, Hot, Smokin’ (very sexy)

Please note though that some upcoming posts will still have the terms “cold” and “really warm” in the post breakdown itself. I have so many posts scheduled (I’ve got things scheduled into December already!) that I just don’t have the time to go through them all and update them individually. But all the tags on my site have been appropriately adjusted.

thoughts

Total for March 2018: 27 Books Read + 3 Novellas Read

DNF’d: 1 Books

Last March:  16 Books Read + 3 Novellas Read + 5 DNFs

Standout Read (★★★★★)


Winter Renshaw has become a must read author for me and her latest just reaffirms that statement. In fact, this was the only 5 star review I gave this month!

Biggest Let Down (★★)


I should have listened to my gut when I felt like I should DNF this book. It’s never a good thing when you guess the “big twist” by the end of chapter one.

 

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:

March 29, 2018

March 31, 2017

Total % of Library Complete

23%

20%

Total # of Books Finished

284

542

Total # of Reading Hours

2511

2289

*Note: After an update midway through 2017, the statistics changed for my Kobo. It no longer counted library copies towards the Total # of Books Finished (though it still counts the hours). Hence, there is a decrease in my current numbers for that statistic!

 

posted reviews

Most Viewed Post

Trope Thursdays: My Family Member Hurt Yours

Most Viewed Review

Series Review: Sons of Broad

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: 0 books added & 1 DNF’d | 2 of 25 Titles Read
Goodreads Challenge: 30 books added | 83/190 Books
52 Sequel Challenge: Blood of a Thousand Stars & 1 DNF| 13/52 Sequels
Tackling the TBR Challenge: 2 books added | 10/36 Books

View my Challenge Progress Here!

2018 Take Control
Take Control Wrap-Up – March 2018

I had so much fun with this month-long challenge! It worked out really well that I lot of the titles I binge-read at the start of March were titles that met the challenge guidelines as well as my self imposed ones. (We were to read books that were published before March 1, 2018 but I also gave myself the stipulation that they had to be books I had on my TBR before that date as well.)

My goal was to read 15 books that met these requirements and I ended up surpassing that!

>> See everything that I read 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)

502

511

To Read (Sequels)

316

301

It’s nice to know that my “new” TBR shelf hasn’t grown. I know I’ve added a few titles to that category since the start of the year so I’m pleased that I seem to be reading more items than I’m adding. As for the “sequel” shelf, again, I’m assuming that it is increasing due to the fact that I’m starting new series (and want to read their sequels). My hope for April is to get a few more sequels (especially finale ones) in to reduce that 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):

If I Lie
Keep

The Testing (The Testing, #1)
Keep

Wicked Games (Games, #1)
Keep

The Impact of You
Pass

Catching Liam (Good Girls Don't, #1)
Pass

Flat-Out Love (Flat-Out Love, #1)
Pass

Beauty from Pain (Beauty, #1)
Keep

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest (Millennium, #3)
Keep

The Savage Blue (The Vicious Deep #2)
Keep

Every Never After (Never, #2)
Keep

Pass: 7 | Keep: 3

Grand Total since January: Pass: 14 | Keep: 16

Did I make any mistakes? Let me know in the comments below!

 

I saw this meme the other day and thought it would a great way to keep track of my ARCs and keep me more accountable. While this is a monthly meme hosted by Avalinah’s Books, I will only be updating every quarter.

Every month I give myself the allowance of requesting 3 ARCs as per my 2018 Reading Plan. Now, that doesn’t always happen (as you’ll see below). I’m a member of a few street teams and there are always surprise releases or opportunities so I end up reading more ARCs than I plan. Honestly, I mostly use that 3 ARC limit for requests on my blog so I can pace myself and give authors/publishers an approximation.

My Progress for January to March, 2018:

ARCs Read: 31  |   ARCs Overdue: 4*  |  Upcoming: 12

*Some of these books are from my Street Teams and they are “read ASAP” but I consider them to be overdue.

Going Forward:

I’m imposing an ARC hiatus for April and May. No more impulse clicks for this girl! I’m really overwhelmed with all the review copies I’ve signed myself up for this month. And while I love helping with the promotion of books, I feel like I’m not doing a very good job of saying “no” or reading those challenge books I’ve prioritized.

So for the months of April and May I’m not going to sign up for any future review copies or blog tours or take requests. I’m going to make a few exceptions for the Street Teams I’m a part of and the Publishers I work closely with, but otherwise, I want to focus on books I already own and utilizing my library more to read already released novels.

How am I going to accomplish this? Basically I’m going to be deleting all the review opportunity newsletters I subscribe to as they come into my inbox. I also will not be browsing the Netgalley catalogue for the next two months. Out of sight and out of mind is my philosophy for accomplishing this.

 

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 April:

Dark Triumph (His Fair Assassin, #2) Hot Mess (Love is Messy Duet, #1) When It's Real Suitors and Sabotage Cursed: The Hunter Inside (Cursed, #1) Gunslinger Girl

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

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