Tag «reading rules»

Meme-ful Musings: The “Just One More Chapter” Excuse

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Meme-ful Musings: Once a month I’ll post a book-related meme that I think brings up an interesting discussion about books. Feel free to join in by making a comment below or linking back!


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(Meme from: http://www.memeaddicts.com/stupid/reading-books-memes/)

Put your hand up if you’ve ever done that before…

We all have our reading quirks and one of my most compelling is to always stop reading at the end of a chapter (or if it’s one of those books with really long chapters, a page break). I don’t like stopping mid-scene because you lose the feel for it as soon as you step away and then you have to reread to get the vibe back. I like stopping at the end of chapters of page breaks because the scene has wrapped up and a new scene is just about to unfold.

Which is a great plan except for those damn “cliffhanger” chapter ending. You know the ones where a big plot-bomb has been dropped and you can’t even process this fantastic turn of events, meaning you must continue on with the next chapter immediately…

But that repeats itself at the end of this new chapter and so on. And before you know it, you have finished the book!

This is how people end up staying up all night reading a book (something I talked about last July) or missing the bus, etc. since time escapes you as you read (so long as it’s a good book).

I personally love books like this! Anytime I actually groan aloud that I can’t finish a chapter, the book automatically goes up a star rating for me. Sure, I get a little angry at myself for being late but a good book is worth it to me–to a certain degree.

Which brings me to the second part of that meme “I’ll see you when I see you”.

I’ll be the first to admit I am a reading addict but I do possess the power to put down my book and join the “real world”. Fictional worlds are great but it is important to remember that there is a real world out there and you should enjoy it!

Let me put it this way: while a friend who is a fellow reading addict will understand your need to finish a book, not everyone will. How would you feel if someone made plans with you but they had to cancel because a TV show they were addicted to was on? You would probably be a little understanding but at the same time you would probably be angry. You might even ask yourself/them “why do you have to watch it now when you can stream it later?”. The same can be said about a book: you can leave and return to the exact same moment in a book no matter when and where you put it down, but you cannot do that with your real life or people!

Reading is great (so is blogging about it!) but remember that there is a world away from your books! It is a world that is definitely enriched by reading but a world that doesn’t require you to be reading all the time in order for it to function!

So every once and a while, why not just simply read “a few pages” and actually mean it?

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SERIESous Tips: Avoiding the “Chore” of Reading

tipsCHORE

I would categorize myself as a “mood reader”. While what I actually read varies, the cycle I follow is pretty much YA non-contemporary, NA contemporary then back to YA. Sometimes I throw in an Adult Contemporary along the way and if I feel brave enough, I might risk a YA contemporary but I’m a creature of habit.

Still, last year I went through more reading slumps that I ever had before.

While it wasn’t one of those slumps that turned me off of reading completely, it was one of those slumps where I just wanted a book to take me away; to get me so absorbed in its story and characters I would drop everything and read it all day long. Eventually I would find it, but it took longer than I thought and I hated the infrequency in which it would happen.

movies man question frustration taio cruz

So last year, I took a good hard look at my reading practices. I came to the conclusion that I was requesting too many books. Whether these books were from the library or through review programs, I was asking for too many.

It was draining.

Instead of being excited to finally get that book in my hands, I felt obligated to read it and finish it before I had to return it or publish a post. And because I am of the mentality that you should “seize every opportunity”, I had a huge list of books I had to get through on a regular basis. So while the books I had were ones I wanted to read at some point, I felt like I was forcing that “point” to be now.

I wanted to change that.

First, I started by telling myself that it was OK that I didn’t read every book that I could get my hands on. Books will always be there and just because I don’t read it now, doesn’t mean I can’t read it later.

I think that is the most important lesson a book blogger and book addict can learn.

It’s OK to say “no” to requests if you aren’t interested or don’t have the time. It’s OK to not grab that book from the library even though it is staring you in the face and you think it is a sign that you have to read it because why-else-would-it-be-there-right-now-in-this-moment…

Hey, I said it’s OK–not that it was easy!

Next, I did a series of posts called “Tackling The TBR” where I came up with specific goals I wanted to accomplish every two months. Overall, I thought it went really well. I was at the place I wanted to be heading into January this year. I had limited the number of books out from the library, controlled the need to hit the “request” button on Netgalley and shifted my focus to reading more books I had purchased instead of the ones I borrow or get for reviews.

And I needed a new way of keeping track of what I was reading in order to do that.

When I was creating my tracking sheet, I had to have a way to keep track of TBR items for Rock My TBR, my 365 Days of YA Challenge, the Netgalley requests I received and what books I was going to put on hold at the library (as per my 2016 resolutions). I played around with Excel cells until I got what I currently use.

Now, this is how I keep track of what I plan to read on a monthly basis:

readinglist

By having a limited number of books that I can take out from the library or request, I find that I have more time to read those TBRs I’ve been putting off PLUS I have the freedom to be a “mood reader” and grab what I want to read, when I want to read it and not simply because it is expiring soon.

But by no means is this a perfect plan or system!

January this year went really well but February hit and I seemed to go a little off course. Part of the problem was I signed up to be a Blog Tour Host which meant more deadlines and books to read. School also became a lot busier than I anticipated so my reading time diminished. As a result, my challenges for this year took a bit of a nose dive.

Luckily, the challenges I set or signed up for are pretty flexible and so I planned to have some lull months. Honestly, my summer semester was/is so much lighter (I only have class 3 days a week) that it was easy to make up a lot of my reading.

In Short: What do to if Reading Becomes a Chore?

  • Look at your reading patterns:
    • Are you reading too many ARCs or Library Books?
      • Maybe tone-down the number of requests.
    • Are you only reading a particular genre?
      • Try changing it up!
  • Learn to say “No” or “Not Right Now”
    • Reduce the number of Review Copies or deadlines you request
  • Plan out those reads with a deadline in advance
    • Be sure to include some books you really want to read in that list to keep you satisfied
  • Read multiple books at once or read a set amount of pages/chapters a day
    • If you have a book you can’t get through, set mini-goals for each day

 

Share Your Thoughts!

How do you beat the “chore” or reading? Do you wing what books you read or are you a planner? How have you tried to avoid reading slumps?

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Tag it Thursdays: Reader Problems

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Tag it Thursdays: I occasionally get tagged by fellow bloggers to complete various tags. Once a month I will post my response. Please, feel free to tag yourself if any of these tags interest you!

This month’s tag:

The Reader Problems Tag

I was tagged by Summer @XingSings wayyyy back in July to do  this fun tag. We actually share a lot of the same problems it seems 😛 Thank as always Summer!

1. You have 20,000 books on your TBR. How in the world do you decide what to read next?
Who doesn’t have that many books on their TBR? What I read next is almost entirely based on what books come in from on hold at the library–a problem I identified back in late May of this year and decided to do something about with my Tackling the TBR personal goal. I do have a beautiful TBR jar for all my purchased books when I manage to get a chance to pick something out (it’s colour coded and it is glorious) and thanks to my TBR challenge, I’ve been able to do that a lot more! Prior to my TBR jar I used to use a random number generator to pick from a list of 5-10 books I was in the mood to read.

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2. You’re halfway through a book and you’re just not loving it. Do you quit or are you committed?
I actually have a 50 Page Rule when it comes to books: if I’m not loving a book and by the end of the first 50 pages, if I don’t care what happens next, I drop it! Most of the time these are books that cause my mind to wander while reading or even worse, cause me to NOT want to read! GASP! After reading and blogging for two years, I think I have a good handle on what I like and don’t so I rarely have to do this. More often than not, I will keep reading it. Sometimes I will book that book up at a later date if I think it was just my personal mood preventing me from liking it or the pressure to finish it before I return it to the library was stressing me out too much.

3. The end of the year is coming and you’re so close, but so far away on your Goodreads reading challenge. Do you try to catch up and how?
I’ve never had this problem. I’m constantly underestimating how many books I can read in a year. Take for example this year, I had completed my Goodreads goal by August!

But, if I did have this problem, I would read lots of novellas, join a few readathons and set aside some weekend days just for reading!

4. The covers of a series you love do. not. match. How do you cope?
Haha you know, this was never a problem until I started blogging and read about other people freaking out over this. I’m not really picky about hardcovers mixing with paperbacks (the frugal reader in me doesn’t mind so long as the artwork is the same). BUT, I recently bought two books I already owned to make them match the other books I have in the series. They were only a couple of dollars, I think I spent more to ship them! I only plan to do this if the price is right.

5. Everyone and their mother loves a book you really don’t like. Who do you bond with over shared feelings?
This happens a lot actually, as does the reverse. Part of the reason I started blogging was to have this outlet to share my feelings about books. No one I know really reads books like I do (though my best friend from university is pretty close!). For example, I was a huge Throne of Glass fan but totally thought it was an underdog when it was first published (maybe it was? I dunno because I wasn’t following blogs online when it first came out); so imagine my surprise when everyone starts to rave about it once I do start to blog! I’ve tried some groups on Goodreads but people don’t really discuss it

6. You’re reading a book and you are about to start crying in public. How do you deal?
I totally struggled with this at work the other day! I’m pretty good about holding back my emotions in public because I am very aware of where I am. But if I was alone in my room at home, full out sobs. #noshame

7. A sequel of a book you loved just came out, but you’ve forgotten a lot from the prior novel. Will you re-read the book? Skip the sequel? Try to find a synopsis on Goodreads?
Time for a shameless self plug! I actually have recaps for a lot of book on my blog for this very purpose! Because I read so many series and don’t have the time–nor the desire for some series–to reread all the books, I created a word document for myself that summarizes the key points of the book–especially the ending! I do this for all the sequels and I’ve even started to do it for romance novels that have sequel books with different leads just to keep my memory fresh.

But a helpful hint is that some series have great fan-run Wikia pages and even Wikipedia has detailed summaries for very popular novels!

8. You do not want anyone. ANYONE. borrowing your books. How do you politely tell people nope when they ask?
I actually don’t mind people boring my books. I don’t have a lot of physical books anymore so I suppose I am possessive of them (they are books I consider to be my favourites that I want to pass on to my kids one day). But I am also a firm believer in sharing the joy of reading with anyone who wants to read something and if borrowing my book will let them read, I’m all for it.

I just make sure to tell them to return it in the same condition when they are done AND TO BE SURE THEY RETURN IT!

9. You’ve picked up and put down 5 books in the last month. How do you get over your reading slump?
I had this problem at the start of July and it sucked! Nothing was wowing me and I hadn’t had a 5 star read in WEEKS! I got over that one by reading a sequel to a series by one of my favourite authors (FYI it was Empire of Night in the Age of Legends Trilogy by Kelley Armstrong and it was AMAZING!). It depends what type of slump I am in. Most of the time reading something I’ve been dying to read will work; other times, reading a favourite authors work will do the trick. Most of the time though, I good romance (usually New Adult) will make me happy again (unless I am in a slump from reading too many romance novels than a good dystiopian or high fantasy will work).

Can you tell that I am a mood reader yet?

10. There are so many new books coming out that you’re dying to read! How many do you actually buy?
I don’t by very many “new books”, I put them at hold on the library. I don’t reread a lot of books so I don’t see the purpose of buying them. Most of the time, if I really enjoy a book and think I will reread it once I have read it from the library, I will buy it later. I do buy lots of Kobo eBooks but mostly when there is a contest promotion so I get coupon codes. Again, I am a cheap person. So unless a book is under $3 when it comes out, I won’t buy it immediately. I’ll wait until I get a coupon or a sale or it drops in price.

11. After you’ve bought the new books you can’t wait to get to, how long do they sit on your shelf before you get to them?
I have books that have been on my shelf since 2009 if not a little sooner. I had been hoping to read them when I was home at my parents for the summer before I left for school but (as I write this, it is the first week of August) but that doesn’t look like it is going to happen. BUT, does it count if someone else has read them? I think my mom has read most of them 😉

Thanks again Summer!

Do we share any of the same problems? Tag yourself or comment below!

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Meme-ful Musings: Spoiler Alert

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(Meme from: memecrunch.com)

When I first decided to create my blog, one of the first things I promised myself to do was write reviews with no spoilers. Up until this point, I was really only using GoodReads to find books–which is not an awful place to start by any means–BUT, people on that site love to post super long reviews filled with GIFS, pictures and the worst thing of all: SPOILERS.

Man, nothing ruins a book (or a TV or a movie) more than reading a spoiler! I HATE knowing what is going to happen next in a book–it just ruins the whole experience for me. I like to be surprised, I like to see something come out of left field and hit me in the face. It doesn’t get much better than that for me.

What is the point in me reading the book after you have told me the best part of the story?

None…at least to me.  

But I know that some of you include spoilers in your posts or that you enjoy reading reviews with spoilers. For those of you who do write spoilers, I thank you for being kind enough to warn potential readers that your posts do have spoilers! As a spoiler hater, I like knowing what lies ahead in a post–ironic, eh?

I will admit that I see the appeal of including spoilers in your reviews. Sometimes it just makes things so much easier to explain why you like/dislike a certain part of a book by including the direct evidence. On occasion I will include a mini-spoiler-rant in my reviews just to let off some steam but I am sure to put it in hidden text so that if someone doesn’t want to read it, they don’t have to.

But sometimes the temptation is too great! As much as I don’t enjoy knowing a spoiler, the fact that something is hidden and unknown is kryptonite to the knowledge-driven personality I have. Most of the time I refrain, unless I know that I will not be reading the book. I usually use the spoilers to justify why I decided not to read it–though sometimes that backfires and makes me wish I did read the book.

Regardless, I really, really dislike spoilers. They don’t do anything for me other than ruin what would have been a great plot twist and so I try to avoid them at all costs.

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So I guess my question is: what are your thoughts on spoilers? Why do you include or not include them in your blog posts?

Let me know by leaving a comment below!

Tag It Thursdays: The Reading Habits Tag

tagitthurs
Tag it Thursdays: I occasionally get tagged by fellow bloggers to complete various tags. Once a month I will post my response. Please, feel free to tag yourself if any of these tags interest you!

This month’s tag:

The Reading Habits Tag

I was tagged ages ago by super-wonderful Summer @ Xingsings to do this tag that was originally created by TheBookJazz. Everyone has their own reading habits so I thought it would be fun to share mine with you! Feel free to tag yourself!

1. Do you have a certain place at home for reading?

I mostly read in my bed (I prefer to lay down when I read so the bed is the perfect place). But in the summer, I LOVE reading on my back deck!

2. Bookmark or random piece of paper?

I select my bookmarks randomly when I read physical books. Most of them are random pieces of paper I have decorated and not bookmarks you would buy in the store. Sometimes, I use the library receipt or a post-it if I’m travelling or forgot to grab a bookmark. But I mostly eRead so I don’t have that problem too often.

3. Can you just stop reading or do you have to stop after a chapter/a certain amount of pages?

The end of chapter! I hate stopping in the middle of one and I only do so when I have to (like I have to rejoin the real world because work/friend/family/I’m-going-to-be-late demands it). Page breaks (you know, scene changes) are also times when I stop if the book’s chapters are especially long (or there are no chapters). Even when I make myself read a certain # of pages in a sitting (I often do this with super long books or books I am having a hard time getting through), I count out the number of pages and then mark my stopping place at the closest chapter to that page location.

4. Do you eat or drink while reading?

At work, I read on my lunch break so while I’m eating my book is in front of me. If I’m outside, I have water with me while I read (it gets hot!). But otherwise, not really.

5. Multitasking: Music or TV while reading?

I’m easily distracted when it comes to noise so most of the time I read in silence. But if I am on public transportation, I play music to help me concentrate on reading and not the conversations around me. I don’t really like reading in front of the TV because I think it is a waste of electricity (I’m so absorbed in the book I even forget the TV). BUT, I definitely blog/read blogs while watching TV.

6. One book at a time or several at once?

I’m a one book at a time type of person. I read books so fast and I alternate genres regularly that I don’t see the point of reading two simultaneously. However, if I have multiple books due at the library OR the book I am reading is really long and/or boring, OR is an anthology, I will start a second book. In the case of reading a second book because another is boring, this new book acts as a reward for reading a few pages of said boring book. I find it keeps me motivated to read. As for anthologies, I like taking them one story at a time.

7. Reading at home or everywhere?

This question is a joke right? Obviously EVERYWHERE and that’s how I roll.

8. Reading out loud or silently in your head?

Um, I read some…ok, a LOT of books with steamy love scenes so I don’t read them out loud. I do read out loud though when I am studying for school; I find it helps me retain information better.

9. Do you read ahead or even skip pages?

I’m definitely guilty of having eyes that jump to words when I change the page. It’s especially bad with hard copy books because you have TWO WHOLE PAGES before you that are tempting you to gaze upon them. I still do it with eBooks but not as much because you go one page at a time.

I wouldn’t say I “skip” pages but I do “skim” pages when I’m loosing interest in a book. And I only read ahead sometimes if I’m debating about enacting my 50-page rule to DNF a book.

10. Breaking the spine or keeping it like new?

I assume this question isn’t asking if I accidentally break the spine because that’s what happens to me. I HATE breaking the spine, I cringe when I realize I do it. And then I begin to comfort myself by saying it is a sign of a well-loved book…that doesn’t always work.

11. Do you write in your books?

For school I do–especially in English class! I also post-it note the sh*t out of my books when I’m writing essays so that they are twice the regular size. Otherwise, nope.

Thank you for the tag Summer!

I’m going to tag whoever decides to read this!

Or if you have already done it, please leave a link below!

Site Update: Launch of the FINAL Series Recap Page!

After nearly a year of promising to update my blog’s Series Recap section, I have finally managed to add the last set of recaps! Now Series from S-Z can be read! And just in time too as some books featured there have just had new releases in the last two weeks!

Now that school is out for the summer, I have started to tackle my long list of plans for this blog in my free time! Look for more series recaps and series updates over the next two months!

I also wanted to share an interesting article I read a few days ago about Reading Rules and how they reflect your personality. I have to agree with a few of these rules (I ALWAYS stop at the end of a chapter–if I decide to stop reading :P) so I am interested in what your reading rules are?

Link: What Your Reading Rules Reveal About Your Personality

Leave your comments below!

I wish you all SERIESously happy reading!