September Wrap-Up | 2016

Well, I can safely say that I read more than last month…that is, more than zero books!

I know, what an achievement, right!?

I mean, not a whole lot of books were read, and I’m now quite far behind on my reading challenge, but I still have hope that I will catch up in the last three months of the year (only three months left of 2016!!!???).

So in the month of September, I read…

Continue reading “September Wrap-Up | 2016”

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Do You Wanna Join A Bookclub?

I wrote and sang that title to ‘Do you wanna build a snowman’, because apparently the snow has been messing with my head, and making me think my jokes are funny…

I wanted to talk about book clubs, and tell you some exciting news! I have always loved the idea of bookclubs. The thought of people gathering together with a shared interest, and a shared experience, able to discuss and talk about those interests and experiences, is so great. What I love even more, is internet bookclubs. Because not only can we meet with those close to us – but we can join with people from all around the world! The thought of readers from all over the world reading one book together, and having that in common with other book-lovers is something that seems really exciting to me. I have loved talking with so many people from so many different places both on my blog, and on my bookstagram, especially talking about books we have both read and loved!

So speaking of bookclubs…I have some rather exciting news. Recently me and some of my lovely bookstagram friends created our own bookclub – Bookaholic Alliance! We plan on choosing a new theme each month, and selecting a book for that theme, which we can all read together, and discuss at the end of the month.

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But we need your help too! February is going to be our first month, and we have selected the theme ROMANCE. We currently have a poll running where you can vote for which book you would like us to select for this theme.

If you are interested in becoming a member, please check out our group on goodreads, and vote in our poll. You can also follow us on our instagram page where we will be posting pictures of the books we are reading, and have further discussions as we all read along together.

I am so excited for our first month to start, and can’t wait to meet more of you through a shared love of books.

Hope to see you there!

Links:
Goodreads: Bookaholic Alliance
Instagram: Bookaholic Alliance

Goodreads Reading Challenge

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For the first time, I have decided to set a goodreads Reading Challenge this year.

I have talked about reading challenges before, but I generally don’t like them. They make reading a task for me, and they make me feel guilty if I don’t achieve my goal – feeling I have failed.

In 2015 I decided, instead, to write down each book I read and put it in a jar, to pull out at the end of the year. My reasoning was that it would create less pressure to keep reading because I wouldn’t know how much I had read, until I pulled out the pieces of paper at the end of the year. But I was still a little disappointed when I realised how few books I had actually read, when I did open up that jar. And let’s be honest, my self-restraint was seriously tested each time I looked at the jar, and I probably counted the contents at least once every month!

So I have decided that I actually do need a bit of a challenge this year – not to make reading into a challenge, and certainly not to make me feel bad if I don’t reach my goal, but to push me to actually keep reading. Because I enjoy reading! It is so easy to take a short break from reading, and let it turn into an entire month! There was a point last year that I almost forgot just how much I love to read. I had stopped reading in a busy time of the year, and the slump continued for multiple months. I certainly need a way to prevent that from happening again this year!

I’ve set my reading challenge at 50 books. A little less than I would normally read, but more than my 30-something books read last year. Even if I don’t reach 50, I am hoping it will still push me to keep reading regularly, and encourage me to keep spending my free time doing something I enjoy. I’m also hoping that it will help me find more great books, and not just settle with the most popular ones!

Have any of you set goodreads Reading Challenges for this year? How many books to you hope to read?

Oh, and if you want to be friends, please add me!

Too Many High Star Ratings?

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Recently, I made a Goodreads account (LINK HERE if you want to be my friend), and there was one thing that I particularly noticed when I started to rate the books I have read: A LOT of them were 4 or 5 star ratings. While rating these books, I felt as though I was doing something wrong. I started to scan through my shelves desperately for books I hated, so I could even out my ratings. I started to feel that maybe those books I had rated so high, couldn’t have all been so good. Surely, I couldn’t have enjoyed so many of the books I have read that much.

It was then that I realised that the reason I have so many highly rated books, is because I am a big pre-buyer researcher.

I very rarely buy a book on a whim. 99% of the time, I research the books I think sound interesting. I read the reviews on Goodreads, I look at fellow bloggers’ reviews, I watch reviews on Booktube. In other words, I very rarely go into a book blind. I make sure that I am going to enjoy a book before I pay money for it. I even like to read the negative reviews for a book, and decide whether the things that reviewer listed as problems, would be things that would bother me personally. A big example of this is the love triangle – something that many people hate in a book, but I actually often quite enjoy reading.

The fact that I don’t read all completely hyped-up books helps with this, I think. For instance, I haven’t read the Mortal Instruments, the Percy Jackson series, or Twilight – all hugely popular YA series. None of these books particularly appeal to me, and for that reason, I don’t feel any pressure to pick them up, even if that means one less series to talk to fellow book-lovers about.

This isn’t to say that I don’t read books I don’t enjoy. Despite my extensive researching, I can still end up not loving that book I thought sounded amazing. But it is less common, especially in the last couple of years – now that I don’t read books purely based on their popularity, and try to seek out lesser-known books too.

I don’t think this is a bad thing at all. I am actually pretty pleased that I manage to find and read so many books that I love. This year alone, I can think of at least ten books that I have given a five star rating so far, and many more that I have given 4 stars. And I am completely certain that there will be even more by the time the year is up.

Some of the books I have rated 5 stars this year are:
– The Hobbit – J.R.R. Tolkien
– A Court of Thorns and Roses – Sarah J. Maas
– The Winner’s Curse – Marie Rutkoski
– A Darker Shade of Magic – V.E. Schwab
– The Archived – Victoria Schwab
– Just One Day – Gayle Forman

How does anyone else find they rate books? Do you lean towards the higher ratings, or do you have a wide variety? And what 5 star books have you read so far this year? I’d love to know!