Book Blog Mission: Organizing Blog Content

My mom used to tell me that having an organized system in my day to day life is half the rent. Now, what she meant by this was: If I kept my shit in the right places instead of leaving everything all over the house I would 1) find my crap again  2) I wouldn´t call her and complain about how I´ve looked “aaaaall day” for a can opener or a pen.

 

 

Fast forward 16 years-  Mom was right all along. Being organized and having some sort of organized system in life truly is half the rent. I find shit again. Took me a while but hey- wise quotes don´t have time limits.

Right now, I´m working on an organizing system for book blogging. Sounds terrifying, doesn´t it? I´m that person who has no idea what books I want to review next, what book to read next, what mug to feature for an upcoming Monday post, etc. * Am I alone with this problem? ( I probably am * sniffle * ) My brain is constantly book blog – fried ( pfft, who am I kidding? My brain burnt to a crisp already ).

At first, I thought this would be an impossible task to accomplish but then I started and couldn´t be more satisfied with the results.

 

Orga books

 

A genius attempt to live a more book blogger friendly existence. Just use a few IKEA storage boxes. Okay, that´s not so genius and I´m probably not the first person to come up with this idea but like I said- things don´t have time limits.

What you´re seeing is not an ad for IKEA ( boxes and that square shelf´s name I forgot ) but my book blog content corner. The left box is for books ready to review / ready to feature and in the right box are book-related items. Mugs, bookmarks, etc- Stuff I picked up during the week that I believe is worthy of sharing on my blog.

And guess what? This system works. It not only organizes my workspace but also keeps me focused on what to do next for my blog.

Since this picture was taken I´ve added two more boxes: 1 for DNF´d books and another for book cover discussions.

Voila! I´m a happy organized book blogger.

 

 

It´s the little things in life that bring us joy. ❤ It´s a few IKEA containers that can give things a new meaning. Hail IKEA  ( note: this is still not an IKEA ad )


 

Are you an organized book blogger? If so, what´s your secret? If not, why not? Do you think I´m going overboard? Let me know in the comments below so we can have a chat. ❤ 


 

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. It´s much appreciated.

Until next time, my dear bookish Padawans.

XO´s

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Popular Romance Authors I Don´t Read Anymore

What once was is no longer…

 

Do you have an author you´re devoted to? That one special writer who touches your emotions with their words? I have one. Actually, I have a few go-to authors. Unfortunately, I also have a list of writers who I don´t reach out for anymore.

A huge shout out goes to Jess @Fiction No Chaser for inspiring me with her post Am I Growing Out Of YA? 

May it be due to the simple fact that I´ve grown out of an author´s style or because an author´s style has changed… I don´t consider myself a dedicated fan anymore.

But before I continue I´d like to leave a little informative note.

KR Product

 

Here is a list of popular authors who I don´t read anymore.

 


 

Colleen Hoover

 

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Hands down, I was THE fan. I gave the word dedication a new definition when it came to CoHo´s books. Since then the author has celebrated great success with her emotionally-charged books. I was able to follow the author as a faithful fan until 2018 when `All Your Perfects` ( check out my review here ) was published.

The Problem:  I think it´s safe to say that the author´s books and I  aren´t meant for each other anymore. For me, things started going downhill after I read `Confess `. I tried pushing myself to read every new release ( because- dedicated fan here and all ) but I wasn´t able to see the same beauty others saw. With every book, I became more disappointed. I started weighing my options: Should I read another CoHo book? Should I give another one a try? That´s when I pulled the breaks. I went from superfan to try to be a super fan then ended up being a supportive fan. Now I´ve called it quits and just admire the author´s older works.  It´s time for me to move on.

 

 

 

Tarryn Fischer

 

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Tarryn Fisher is known for pushing emotional limits with her books and I´ve adored the author for exactly that. The author´s a master of her craft.  `The Opportunist` was what captivated me back in 2013. A raw story that kind of haunted me for days. My last Tarryn Fisher read was `Atheists Who Kneel And Pray `.

The Problem:  I developed a dislike towards the writing style. Every book published between the books I´ve mentioned was more a miss than a hit for me. I felt a strong attitude in the writing I didn´t enjoy. The rawness was taken to new dimensions. I wouldn´t necessarily say I´ve grown out of Tarryn Fisher´s books but I´ve definitely moved on and don´t feel an urge to drop everything to read the latest release anymore.

 

 

 

J. Sterling

 

j sterling bannerJ. Sterling used to be an author I occasionally checked in on. I´ve read the majority of the author´s books. I remember having received an ARC of one of her books ( can´t recall for which book, though. It´s been sooo long ). I was an on and off reader for a few years until my interest in the author´s books stopped.

The Problem:  My tastes changed. J. Sterling is a wonderful author and her stories are lovely but for me, they aren´t exactly what I´m looking for anymore. Although- I will say that I haven´t written the author completely off. If someone recommends a J. Sterling novel to me and it sounds interesting, I will check it out.

 

 

 

Christina Lauren

 

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Ooooh, I was a fan of Christina Lauren. I´m actually still a fan even if I don´t reach out to the author´s books anymore. My first Christina Lauren book was `Beautiful Bastard`. Gosh, I remember when I first saw the cover and thought it was the next best thing since Mark Wahlberg in the Calvin Klein ad. The writing was refreshing and sharp. Exactly what I was looking for at the time.

The Problem: Too many books were released within a short period of time. Now, I´m normally not one to complain about these things because I´m usually the person who´ll bitch about not being able to read the next release right away. But with Christina Lauren´s books, I just wasn´t able to keep up- Not with reading other books from other authors in between. Before I knew it I had lost focus on the whole beautiful series and then ended up hissing my white flag.

 

 

 

Jodi Ellen Malpas

 

JEM bannerJodi Ellen Malpas was an author who could do me no wrong. Whatever that woman wrote- I inhaled it. First J.E.M. read: ` This Man  `. I´ve abused the `This Man Trilogy` and the `One Night` books to a point where the pages started giving away. If there ever was a go-to author then J. E. M. was it for me.

The Problem: My inner fangirl aged ( sounds so much better than admitting that I´ve aged ) I still love the books I have but I can´t muster up enough excitement for the authors’ other works.

 


 

Such big names in a little ol´ post. I´d like to add that I have nothing against any of the authors mentioned in this post. Remember- This is about their products, not about the people behind those products. All the mentioned authors are probably wonderful human beings with hearts of gold.

 


On a kind note: Colleen Hoover and Tarryn Fisher aren´t exclusively romance writers. Since they´ve written romance novels I´ve read I have included their names. Also: I did NOT read all the books in the featured images, only the majority and some I haven´t displayed.


 

Let´s chat: Who are your go-to authors? Do you have authors you don´t reach out for anymore? Feel free to drop some names in the comments below. ❤

 


 

Thank you for reading this post. I fully appreciate it.

I wish you all a wonderful day,

Many hugs,

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Switching Book Genres

Reading slumps- You can´t avoid them no matter how hard you try. And trust me- I´ve tried.

 

 

But you can prevent them from happening too often. I´ve gone through all the household tricks to overcome a reading funk but none have helped me as much as a genre swap.

 

The good old mixing genres trick.

 

I don´t know about you but I´m that person who will get annoyed really quick when reading too much of the same. Thoughts like  “Uugh, not this again.”  or the occasional  “For fuck’s sake” will slip out of my mouth, along with loud groans and even louder sighs when I get to the stage of having read too many romances.

 

It gets a little one-sided when I stick to one genre.

 

As much as I love my romances I do tend to find them boring as hell sometimes. Yes. I said it. You read that correctly. I get bored with romance. I can´t, for all that´s pink and fluffy, stand to read 10 from-friends-to-lovers / from-enemies-to-lovers romances back to back. The same would be impossible with thrillers or historical fiction.

I bet you´re thinking  “Why doesn´t she just read a different romance?“. Good question. Not easy to answer, though.

You see, as it is with any other genre, there are sub-genres. Romance is just an umbrella term that covers all bases. I don´t consider sub-genre changes to be helpful because no matter the sub-genre- A romance basically stays a romance.

YA college romances carry more or less the same theme as a second chance romance do. Erotica novels are literary pornographies but at the end of the day, they´re still romances. It´s all about the drama and fluff. There´s a common goal. The only drastic difference ( for me ) is the writing.

(NOTE: This is just my take on the subject. These are by no means facts.)

So, in order for me to keep myself from slipping into a reading slump and to maintain a healthy level of appreciation for books, I swap book genres.

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I like to compare reading with having meals. If you constantly eat the same dish night after night you´re bound to develop a certain reluctance towards the dish. As much as I love lasagne I couldn´t eat it every day. As with everything else in life: overindulgence can have a negative effect. I guess you could spice up your lasagne nights by changing ingredients but that won´t change the dish. A lasagne is still a lasagne. There´s no difference for me when it comes to reading.  A romance is still a romance no matter the sub-genre.

 

 

For me, it´s all about keeping a healthy balance when it comes to reading. Switch things up a bit by jumping from romance to fantasy or horror then back to romance. This not only prevents reading slumps from happening but also gives a reader the opportunity to get back to their favored genre with a clear head.

 

” I´ll have a roomie romance today and fairies dancing in a meadow next week.” 

 

This “technique” has helped me loads.

 

I know book bloggers who don´t have problems with sticking to what they prefer and what they love. They read and review for a specific genre that works for them without giving other genres another thought. These bloggers claim they love one genre and one genre only. I admire that. I think it´s great when readers stick to their guns.

 

Of course, I could just put a book down and call it a day when I´m in a mood. But where´s the fun in doing that? I figured out that it´s not always a matter of needing a break. A simple genre swap can be just as effective.


 

What do you do when you´re in a reading slump? How do you get back to reading when you´re in a funk? Tell me your secrets. I´d love to chat. ❤


 

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this post. I hope this was somewhat helpful and if not, at least enjoyable.
Sending out many bookish hugs,

Have a wonderful day.

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Mug Monday & Book Blogging Insight

HAPPY MUG MONDAY!

 

It´s the start of a new week, people!

The other day, as I was going through my kitchen cabinets to find a new mug to feature, it suddenly dawned on me that I had run out of ideas. Not mugs. I can´t complain about the number of mugs I have. I´m talking about ideas for a mug feature.

 

 

What a gruesome few minutes I lived through. Never again, I tell you. Luckily, there´s no right or wrong way to do a mug feature. Just because I don´t have an idea doesn´t mean I can´t come up with a new one.  A feature is a feature. And along with this feature, I thought of including a little snippet of my book blogging reality.

 

Mug me
Me, myself and my trusty mug.

 

I like to be transparent about book blogging. Every once in a while I´ll spill some book blogger Tea and have some fun but… As much as I like to reveal things for the greater good I do believe it would be better to step aside from discussion posts and reviews to share my book blogging reality with you.

There, in the picture above, is me. Me, a mug and my laptop.  Not so fancy, huh? I bet some of you thought a book blogger would look different or be in a more inviting setting. I heard a hundred pillows and a string of twinkling lights shining dimly in broad daylight helps to round up the image of a typical book blogger. I hate to disappoint you but… my book blogging reality looks a lot different and… pretty sober.

I blog at my dining room table and sit on a wooden IKEA chair. I´m 2 meters away from the comfortable pillow fort and 6 meters away from my bookshelves. My glasses are covered with fingerprints and my t-shirt… That belongs to the husbutt and it has one humongous hole under the arm. There´s not an ounce of glamour when it comes to my book blogging reality. 

My laptop- I know many book bloggers blog on their tablets and/or phones. That doesn´t work for me. 1) I don´t own a tablet  2) I blog at night and use a Sony Vaio. Honestly- It does what it has to do.

This might sound weird but I try to keep myself from hanging onto any electronic devices during the day ( the keyword is: try ). I don´t want to divide my attention between reality and my virtual existence so I reduce my blog time by only blogging at night.

As to how I blog- Weeell, let´s say I like to blog nice and slow. Listen, I´m not in a hurry. Despite popular belief, we all have all the time in the world. It all depends on one’s mindset and priorities.

 

 

So, that´s about it. My blogging reality. Not so special or spiffy but it suits my purpose. Ratty clothes at the dining room table and books. Go me.

Did we learn anything today? Of course! That´s it´s okay to be a lazy slob and book blog. * hides face *

I´ve also just discovered that husbutt´s shirt has a large hole under each arm. I guess lifting both arms is out of the question now. * sigh *

 

What is your book blogging reality? 

 

Thank you for reading this week´s Mug Monday post. I hope you enjoyed.

Lots of love,

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Terrible Book Conversations I´ve Had

 

In an ideal world, we´d be able to talk about books and our conversation partners would respond exactly the way we´d want them to respond.

Curious. focused. Interested. And above all – willing to engage in a pleasant exchange. Much as the way we behave when someone mentions books.

We don´t live in an ideal world, though. And we don´t always have the opportunity to have great book chats at parties, coffee meet-ups, dates, etc. Which is sad. What´s there not to love about book talk? There are so many book-related topics one can discuss. Cover art/design, story, editing, Kindle Unlimited, Kindles, genres… You can chat about what book topic you like. There are no limits.

I´ve had my fair share of book conversations over the years. Some were great. Some were questionable. But all in all, I´ve had a decent amount of memorable bookish téte-á-tétes. And as it is with everything else in life – The negative often stands out best.

I´m an extroverted book person. I love to hang out with the people who curse themselves my family and closest friends. I love people and I enjoy meeting new people.

What I don´t love is to have conversations about blogging or reading. Why? Because more often than not I have bookish discussions with non-readers, with self-proclaimed intellects, worldly people and… with my mother. I’m a very patient and open-minded person. But certain discussions can literally drive me bonkers.

Alas, here are a few much-hated book/blog conversations I´ve had in the past years.

 


#1 `You… blog?` – with an emphasis on `you`

You´d laugh at this if you knew how many times people have said that too me. Usually, people say this with a confused and/or amused look on their faces. As if the concept of me blogging is totally bogus. At first, I thought it was because I don´t necessarily look like a blogger. But then again – What does a book blogger look like? I have the proper attire ( comfortable clothes and a mug permanently attached to my hand ) and I certainly have the unrequired qualifications. Is it because of my wrinkles? It´s true that the years haven´t been too kind to me but still… Is it an age thing? Or is it just me in general?

 

 

I feel a little bummed when people approach me with this because it kind of makes me feel out of place.

” Yes, I´ve been blogging for years.”, is what I usually reply with and quickly switch the topic. It´s not that I´m ashamed of blogging and don´t want to talk about it. I most certainly am not ashamed of what I do in my spare time. I just don´t want to make the situation more awkward than it already is.

 

 

 

#2 `Romance novels?!` – spoken in a high pitched tone

Yes, I read romance novels. I blog about romance novels. The shame. THE SHAME. * insert dramatic voice *

Look, I´m fully aware that the romance genre isn´t that popular. Not everyone can stomach so much fluff. I don´t blame anyone who doesn´t like romances because I truly know how difficult they can be. Love is complicated sometimes and people would rather like to lose themselves in something with a little more excitement. I get it. But that doesn´t mean others can´t enjoy romances. The most popular ( and most hated for me ) things people say to me during discussions are:
” You don´t strike me as the type who reads romances.” Your people reading skills have failed you this time, huh?
” I never knew you were the romantic type.” Oh, just shut up already. I don´t need to be romantic if I want to read a romance novel.
“Are romance novels still a thing?” Who invited you to this party?!

Then there´s the audible reaction- Laughter. As if the genre´s a joke. Weeeell, it´s just as much of a joke as any other genre, I can assure you. Ask me how amusing I find the battleship that was in your last book.

This is something I don´t like.

 

 

 

#3 `I thought you only read romance novels`

 

 

No. I never said I only read romance novels. I may blog about romances and read lots of romance novels but my tastes go in all directions, honey. You just made your own assumptions. You may get over the shock now because this isn´t a shocking moment. It shouldn´t be.

I understand that small talk often doesn´t give opportunities to get to know someone better. If those people had listened carefully, though, they´d have known I read anything that sounds remotely interesting. Fantasy, horror, thrillers, YA, contemporary romances, biographies… My bookshelves aren´t decorated with one genre only.

This is a clear case of I-was-only-half-listening-and-picked-up-one-word-to-hang-onto. Which is fine. But it´s annoying when people lock you in a lane and call it a day. Romance reader = reads romances 24/7. This might fit someone else´s bill but not mine.

 

 

 

#4 The `Why` Questions

 

  • Why do you blog for free?
  • Why do you read so much?
  • Why not blog full time?
  • Why put up with everything?

 

Sometimes a book/blog conversation makes it to the next step. This means that your conversation partner was interested and wants to know more. They start throwing more questions your way. This is a tricky step because in most cases the conversations change from light to melancholic. Because the answers you give don´t make any sense to them.

I´m blogging for free because I just don´t make any money. This concept is alien for someone when they find out your hobby can be compared to a full-time job. If I´d give my hobby enough attention then yes… I would feel the need to want to get paid, too. But I don´t so…

I read so much because I love to read. Again, this is something someone who doesn´t blog or doesn´t like to inhale books won´t always understand. “I like to read, too, and you don´t see me reading 2 books a week.” I know, buddy. I know. Let´s meet for coffee so I can give you a complete rundown on why I read so much.

As to why I don´t blog full time: I love blogging but I don´t love it enough to make it my daytime job. Truth be told- I´d be a miserable schmuck if I had to do this during the day. Besides, I love my part-time day job. I also need something where I´m able to distance myself from the virtual world. As much as I love to sit here and chat with you all I do need human contact once in a while.

Why do I put up with everything? By this they mean going online, writing reviews, hanging out on social media, chatting with authors, bloggers and friends, dealing with positive and negative feedback, etc. I do this because- Why the hell not? Why do people do what they do? Beats me. But if it brings them any type of happiness then that shouldn´t be questioned.

I can tell by the looks on people’s faces when they think I’m wasting my time with my hobby.

I don´t mind the `Why` questions. It´s just that, for me, it feels like I´m justifying book blogging and reading, and that´s what I don´t like. No matter what I say they´ll never understand so I avoid the next step questionnaire at all costs.

 

 

 

#5 `That´s not a proper book.` – My mother said.

I love my mother to bits. We´re nothing alike but we get along wonderfully. I´m the super mellow version of the atomic bomb that is my mom. So, you can imagine how different our reading tastes are? They´re worlds apart, and even that´s too close.

Sometime during my teenage years, my reading tastes changed. I began picking up comics and short stories. I don´t remember what possessed me back then to show my mother my newest purchase but I did and that earned me one of the most horrifying discussions I´ve ever had, including a painful 1997 powerpoint presentation on the books she deems worthy of being called proper reads.

A traumatizing experience for me. I didn´t like the book she challenged me to read. To this day my mother tells me I don´t read proper books when she overhears a book convo between me and my brother. The last book that wasn´t proper according to mom? `Political Correctness Gone Mad ` by Stephen Fry, Jordon Peterson, Michael Eric Dyson, and Michelle Goldberg. Oh, but the Laura Ingalls Wilder books are?!

I know many people who think someone´s reading history isn´t what can be considered proper literature. I mean, okay. Fine. You do you and more power to you. But don´t tell me or anyone else what´s proper and what´s not.
I have the “That´s not a proper book” conversation at least twice a year with mom.

 

 

 

 

#6 `You read too much.´

One of the few moments that have me coughing, gasping and sputtering- When someone just pulls out the `You read too much` card. The nerve. As if it´s a terrible thing to read a lot. Well, for some people, I´m sure reading is horrible. But I like to read. Telling me I read too much is like telling me I blink too often. Huh? Say what? Please, repeat that. And they will. Even with so much confidence that it makes you question them:
“Yeah, you read too much. You need to get out more and live. See the world and stuff.”

 

 

Aah, now I get it.

It wouldn´t help to explain that by reading I am seeing a world- One an author has created. I am living when I read- I live the lives of many characters.

But these people mean reality. Okay, I can do reality, too. So I start telling them this:
“It´s all about time management. I can get out, live, see the world and STILL read a lot.”

* Sigh *

 

 

#7  `Book blogging isn´t a real hobby`

Okay, one could argue over that. Some people think book blogging is a hobby. Some think it´s work. I think it depends on the blogger and how they treat book blogging.  I don´t continue any discussions on this topic because it´s pointless.

So, book blogging isn´t a hobby. What can be considered a hobby? A hobby is an activity done regularly in one´s leisure time for pleasure. Book blogging doesn´t fall into that category? Do I need to take tennis lessons so I can say I have a hobby? Horse riding? How about collecting stamps?

When someone says book blogging isn´t a hobby I would like for nothing more than to have a strong drink.

 

 


 

Thankfully, not everybody I talk to says these things or reacts shocked or appalled. Sometimes I have wonderful book conversations with people who are genuinely interested in my hobby. Sometimes a book convo will end with:

“I think what you´re doing is really cool.”  Thank you.

I live for these moments. It´s not often when someone thinks I´m actually doing something useful ( aside from my “real” hobbies, of course ).

Here´s to many more terrible book conversations!

 


 

What about you? Have you had terrible book discussions at parties or with friends? What was your best / worst book talk? Let me know in the comments below. I´d love to chat. ❤


 

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. I hope you enjoyed.

 

Much bookish love,

 

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