I’m participating in Bookending Spring this year, hosted by Sam and Clo, and you can find the challenge info here!

I’m on time today!!!

Check out Lauren’s post as the host here!

Prompt

Discuss how you bring life to your (book) photos for blog posts or instagram! You can talk about your focus on composition, how you edit, or stay inspired, etc.

Hiiii!! I am so excited for this prompt and I have been WAITING to post it because I love it so much. One of the things I started last July was a bookstagram to go along with my blog. I expected it to be just a fun little diversion, but by December I was really into it, and it became a focal point of my day. As I got more into it, I started to enjoy seeing other people’s themes. Mine still isn’t perfect, but I’m starting to get it, and find something that works for me. I think the hardest part is sticking with something. I like change, so changing things up makes me happy.

In December I got a whole bunch of pinecones, and thus started my pinecone obsession. In almost every photo I use a pinecone. Usually my shelfies don’t have one in it, or one off photos, but most do. I really enjoy using them.

One of the hardest things (and something I am still learning) is composition and angles. I am trying to put more variety in, and learn what works. Sometimes I like something for a few days, and then after that I hate it. I still don’t know how it all works. The other thing that I learned is filters have to look good on EVERYTHING not just one or two photos.

I edit mostly in adobe lightroom, but I also use google photos and photoshop at times if there are touchups I need to do. All my pictures of my kindle are edited with the book cover being pasted on and manipulated.

I take quite a few photos all at one time. Of different books but also of the same book and setup at different angles, and then from those I pick the ones I liked the best.

I’ve changed my theme look several times, the last one had a purple tone to it, but I missed seeing all the beautiful book covers and their true colors.

My new theme is one of brightness. I’ve upped the whites in it, and the brightness, but removed the purple tone. I am liking it a lot better because I feel the images are much more cohesive together.

I often lose inspiration, so I often go days without doing any of them. I also queue up ahead of time, so my captions sound funny at times. Now I’m only queuing a week at a time, and of course, sometimes I’ll randomly post something because it inspired me in that moment. Of course, this always happens at night when it is dark and the quality is much worse.

So that’s how I bookstagram!! I’ve recently reached 1k followers, so I am no expert on this, however, I do feel like I have learned A LOT through trial and error.

Almost all the photos on my blog are pulled from my instagram.

Do you instagram?

Banner is from CW @ The Quiet Pond.

#StartOnYourShelfathon is run by CW at The Quiet Pond, and the goal is to read as many unread books on your bookshelf between December 13, 2019 and December 31, 2020! Sounds exciting right? RIGHT? Do you want to join in?

If so, check out this post and this post for more information!

Hi, yes, I shall be joining in on the fun that is #startonyourshelfathon! I am so excited for this!

So I figure I’m going to make myself WORK for this. But I also need to be cautious as I am starting grad school in January. Therefore, I need to be reasonable (for once).

Goal #1: Read at least two unread books on my shelf a month. Because I know myself. I am going to get books from the library. I am going to buy old favorites and reread them. I also probably only have like six or seven right this minute, but I guarantee I’ll add more to my shelf and wait forever to read them.

Goal #2: Read every book that I buy — that I’ve not yet read the month I buy it. YES. This means if I buy a book I have not read I must read it that same month! (or the month it arrives). I refuse to end up with fifty books I have not read on my shelf again.

Goal #3: Read all the unread books! Yep. Just read all the books! (I know I don’t have nearly the amount other people do, but I always buy books and leave them on the shelf. So…yep.)

ONWARD TO THE BOOKS.

There is no particular order I’m planning on reading them in — except the arcs. Arcs before they’re due are priority which in this case are:

  1. Chosen (Jan)
  2. What I Like About Me (Feb)
  3. Running (May)
  4. The Silvered Serpents (Unknown)

I’m so excited to take part in this! I know I don’t have a lot of books on my list right now, but I have a feeling it’ll grow if I buy any more books.

Continue reading “Welcome to My #startonyourshelfathon post!”

Today’s prompt was from Danielle @ PoetryBooksYA

I love watching The Polar Express movie during Christmas time. The main character boy rediscovers his love for Santa Claus and the holiday after a wild journey far from home in one night. Describe a book or experience you’ve had this year that made you rediscover your love for the genre after reading it. 

It’s funny, because I was just thinking about this the other day. Partially because at my library we’re doing the Polar Express movie. But this season always brings back fond memories of my mother reading the Polar Express EVERY Christmas holiday (and eve) to my sister and I for the longest time. I just have such good memories of it – of the times spent together, of the warmth and happiness. There is little more that I love then reliving those memories.

I’ve had a burnout with fantasy recently, I love it, don’t get me wrong, but there is also something nice about contemporary books. And more recently, romantic contemporary. For a long time I struggled with that genre. I had issues with it, but this month actually, I found two books that rewrote all that for me. Only Mostly Devastated and It Sounded Better In My Head made such an impact on me. I fell in love with those books and the relationships and the feelings. They were feel good books, and they got happy endings. I forgot how much I love happy endings. And they both happened to be arcs. I enjoyed them so much that I would love to own a copy of each once they’re published. But they made me realize I do love romantic books, that I enjoy contemporaries. And the good news? It means I can take a break from reading so much fantasy.

Overall, I’m so happy that I’m giving this genre another chance, that I do love it. I thought Red, White and Royal Blue was an anomaly, but I am so pleased it was not.

What about you? Are there any genres you’ve reconnected with?

Bookending Winter is run by Clo @ Cuppa Clo and Sam @ Fictionally Sam. More information can be found here .

Today’s prompt was from Laurie @ Laurie’s Bookshelf, and was this:

December is here and that means it’s time to look back on the past year. How was your 2019 regarding books? Did you haul too many books? Did you have a great reading year? Too many (E)ARCs left? And did you pass your reading challenge? Furthermore, it’s time to look forward. What goals would you like to reach in the last month of 2019? Certain books you want to read before 2020 is upon us? Do you have reading goals for 2020? So, let’s reflect on your bookish 2019!

This Past Year

Okay, so I didn’t get into book blogging/bookstagram until July-ish. And I didn’t start getting books until then either. So most of this is relatively new for me. But I was still reading before then. I also just started doing E-Arcs, and have had so much fun and some success with them. I just got approved for 2 more, and one I am desperate to read (but need to wait until I finish the others first.)

I had a reading goal of 300. I have already met and surpassed that as I am loitering at about 490 books at the moment. I’ll clear 500 by the end of the year for sure. I feel a little bit bad about it, because people tell me it is impossible to read that much in a year, but I can. It’s just a matter of me remembering to record it.

I hauled…a lot of books. I think I’m clearing something about 85 books right now that I own. I only buy books I really like or love, so it helps my book buying. I also started OwlCrate and that is addictive!

In both those senses I had a great reading year. I’m happy overall with it! I mean, I would ideally love to make this my job, but that isn’t happening, (also I like my job) and so I shall keep doing it for fun!

The Future

There are a few books I would like to finish this month; but not too many. One is an e-arc, and the rest are physical arcs I got at YALLFEST. I also have some library books I’d like to finish. I’m going to try and avoid putting anything else on hold in December to finish up what I have in ebook, earc and physical book world.

Next years reading goal is going to be 300 again. I wonder if I can read less? (I don’t think so) But it seems like a good number, high for me, but not too high in case I take a break. We’re going to go with it!

I need to create a book budget, and I don’t know what to do. Do I count OC in? Do I not? I’ve got a lot to think about in regards to that.

This post is a little short, but hey, I’m writing it in the evening after a long and busy day at work!

BookEnding Winter is run by Clo @ Cuppa Clo and Sam @ Fictionally Sam. More information can be found here .

I’m very excited for August, I’ll be getting my first owlcrate box and there are a whole bunch of books I’m excited to read.

This is the current list of books I am definitely planning on reading at the moment. I will probably add more as I find out what books I can afford to buy.

  1. Sorcery of Thorns
  2. Willa of the Wood
  3. Sea Witch
  4. A Court of Frost & Starlight
  5. Demonglass
  6. Spell Bound
  7. Wicked Saints (reread)
  8. The Elite
  9. Siege and Storm

One of the most exciting things is going through your TBR shelf and just gazing at all the potential books — I know I am extraordinarily guilty of this.

For example right now I’ve got two books checked out on hoopla, one on RB Digital, ten on Libby and three physical books. Is this normal? I don’t know, all I know is that having this many books to pick through makes my life feel full.

A lot of the time I can read a book in a sitting, but sometimes I can’t. (Diana Gabaldon’s books are a good example of this, they’re much longer and far more complicated and they take me longer to read.) And sometimes I fall out of interest in reading the book right at this moment.

Therefore, I often have multiple books on hand to read at any given time depending on my mood. While some of the time these are all books in a series (Sorry, I am the one who checks out a whole series at a time if at all possible, then just reads it.) not all of them are.

Here are a few I’m reading right now:

  • The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson
  • The Wife by Alafair Burke
  • Anna of Kleve by Alison Weir

All three of which I’ve been excitedly waiting for!