#Back2BasicsBlogging Chat & My 2016 Resolutions

2016 (1)

HAPPY NEW YEAR, EVERYONE!

It’s officially January 1st, 2016. I hope you all had a happy and safe New Year’s Eve, and are ready to start the new year off right! I know I am! 2016 will be a year of lots of new things for me: I’ll be heading off to college in the fall, living away from home for the first time, and all of the new that comes with that.

As always, the new year is the time we decide to make some changes to ourselves, and our lives. For my life resolution, in case you were wondering, is to help my mom more. She’s got a lot on her plate, and I felt like in 2015 I wasn’t doing the best to help her out. She compensated for me for the things I neglected to do all the time, and now, I want to give her the chance to have a break. Especially since this is the last chunk of time that I’ll be living with her. Okay, I can’t think that far ahead yet. I’m scaring myself.

But of course, I also have some blogging and reading resolutions that I want to hold myself to this year. On Christmas Eve, Jenna @ Bookiemoji started a Twitter chat with the hashtag #Back2BasicsBlogging. I encourage you, if you’re a blogger, to click that link if you were unaware of it before now. The chat was amazing, and it was helpful for me to recognize the things about my blog and reading that I want to change this year:

  • not worry about having a posting schedule
  • incorporate posts about my life, and in turn…
  • …let my personality shine through more
  • showcase some of my artwork
  • have more thoughtful discussions
  • recognize that I may have an audience that’s not just bloggers (more on that later)
  • don’t focus on the ARCs, and lastly…
  • …make this blog more uniquely ME!

And as for my reading:

  • read those backlist books I paid good money for!
  • request fewer books
  • don’t sign up for reading challenges or read-a-thons — they never, ever, work for me
  • except for the Goodreads Reading Challenge [I plan to read 60 books this year]

There’s quite a bit for me to do this year, but I think they’re easy changes. As my life got more chaotic this year, I saw myself starting to do them already. These changes seem like they’ll make blogging feel like less of a chore, more of a hobby, like it should be! I’m all for less stress. Plus, as I mentioned, I’ll be heading to college, and who know how much time I’ll have for reading. So, I think the addition of other things (like life and posts, and more bookish discussions) will allow me to keep blogging through it all! We’ll see how the whole blogging at college thing works out later, though…

I mentioned that I want to acknowledge that I may have a readership that includes people other than just bloggers. I never really thought about that before the #Back2BasicsBlogging chat. But now that I have, I decided that this would be a great chance to ask you readers to take my blog survey. It shouldn’t take you too long, and I’m hoping this will help me get a better idea of who reads my blog, and what you love to read about from me.

If you took the time to fill that out, THANKS A TON! YOU’RE THE BEST! That’s all for me today! I hope you all have a great New Year’s Day, and a great year ahead!

xo

How do you bloggers read so much?

READ SO MUCH

I’ve actually been in awe of this for quite some time, but just now did it hit me that I should ask you guys how you’re all doing it. LET ME IN ON YOUR SECRET!

I was reading through all of these weekly wrap up posts (as a book blogger does on the weekend…), and I noticed a trend: You other bloggers read a lot. (Well, duh, Emily, they read a lot. They’re book bloggers…) Right, but I’m a book blogger too, and I know from more personal posts from you guys that you either are high school or college students, or have jobs or kids, or much more important things to do than to read books. BUT YOU MANAGE TO READ LIKE 3 BOOKS A WEEK! I can read 1 to 2 a week (just on the weekends, I don’t really read much during the week because of that thing called school), and that’s depending on my homework and studying situation. Like this weeked, I read about 100 pages of a book I’ve been trying to read for two weeks, and not because the book is bad, I just have no time (or so I think…I’m guessing you all have less time that I do, so that leads me to believe you all have a secret you’re not sharing…*gives you a sideways glance*).

I guess what I’m asking is: how do all of you book bloggers out there with busy lives make time to read throughout the week, and at the magnitude that you do?

With attending a pre-college program this summer for six weeks, senior year next year, and then college the fall after that, I’m getting nervous that I won’t have as much time to read anymore. Just this year I’ve decreased the amount of books that I’ll be able to read from last year, and the year before that. My point is that I want to continue blogging and being able to read throughout my higher educations, but I’m not quite sure how to make it all work…

So what do you guys think? How do you read so much during the busy week?

xo

Reviewing with Heart

reviewing

A couple of days ago I read Lauren’s post in which she discusses reading, rating, and reviewing, and how following either her head or her heart can alter the “bookish process” as she calls it. After reading that post I began to think about how I’m a lot like Lauren, in that when I read, rate, and review, and form opinions, I tend to follow my brain for some jobs, and my heart for others. So I decided to write a post similar to her’s, discussing my thought process when it comes to reading and reviewing.

Reading

I read fully with my heart. I read for enjoyment. Becoming a book blogger and reviewing books hasn’t changed that for me at all. It’s actually pretty rare where I’ll read a book and not enjoy it at least a little bit. That’s because when I read I’m totally into it, and I’m having fun, because much like blogging, reading is a hobby. I don’t over-analyze or criticize the writing while I read, because for me, that would ruin the story. Even if it’s the worst story in the world, I could probably pinpoint a part that I enjoyed. Of course there are things that will stand out as negative sometimes, but I try not to focus on that and let it take away from the parts I’m enjoying. That’s just how I am. I love a story. And most of all, I love reading them.

If you’ve noticed, I don’t DNF many books, and the majority of the books I read are rated 3 or above. Now I like to think that’s because I’m getting good at choosing what I’ll like, and what will be a good read, but it’s also because as I said before, I can pretty much find something to like. Now you’re probably thinking, well, does this mean her reviews aren’t reliable?

Reviewing

Reviewing is where I get to be the composed and intelligent blogger and the crazy fangirl at the same time. I review with my head and my heart, but depending on the book one will most likely dominate the other. For some books, I don’t really decide on a rating until after I’ve written my review. While I write about a book, I can kind of gauge the quality of the book and the enjoyment I felt from reading it based upon how many fangirly paragraphs I write, and how many nit-picky ones I write. So if you’ve been reading this blog a while, you’ve probably noticed how my reviews don’t have a particular style to them. Sometimes I’ll be serious, sometimes I’ll go on crazy rants of rage or excitement. It just depends on me, and the book.

Rating

Ratings are where I solely use my brain. This is for a couple of reasons. The first being that someone may visit the blog, skim the review, and miss out on a point that I made. I want the rating to accurately convey how I feel that the majority of readers would think of the book (which I would assume to be more along the lines of a serious and more analytical view). Also, ratings are more universal. There’s Goodreads ratings, other bloggers ratings, etc. Each mean different things specifically, but the accepted star rating system is 1 to 5, 1 being bad, 5 being amazing based on the quality of the book. For example, I’ve written fangirly reviews for books that I’ve only given a 3 star rating because while the story was there, the writing wasn’t.

So how do you read, rate, and review? Who wins out: your head or your heart?

xo