Thoughts on Thursday: Reading Rituals

Reading Rituals

What are your reading rituals? Do you have a reading nook? What snacks or drinks must you have handy? Share pictures and recipes!

I am most comfortable reading in bed. Honestly, I do everything in my bedroom. It is my nook, my happy place. I only spend time in my living room if I have guests over, and even then most of the time we stay in my bedroom, too. (Typically it is my mother and brother and friend down the street.)

Yes, I eat in bed. I blog in bed. I watch TV in bed. I keep my TV on at night. I curl up with all my pillows just right, lay back, and read until my eyes hurt or I have to get ready and go somewhere. I usually have the TV on for background noise, something on Netflix I’ve seen before.

Just like when I write, when I read I get in a trance. I can ignore most of the bodily functions for quite a while. I’ll wait until I have to race to the bathroom because I am so engrossed. I typically ignore the fact that I’m hungry. Sometimes it goes away, and sometimes I slink off to the kitchen to find whatever requires the least amount of time.

What are your reading rituals?

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Thoughts on Thursday: Why I Read What I Read

Why I Read What I Read

Why do you read the books you read? Explore why you gravitate towards certain genres and/or authors. How do you pick the next book you will read?

In general, I think I enjoy a wide variety of genres. There are a few I look at with sideeye, and a few I won’t even look at. I tend to gravitate to historical and romance the most. Those are the two foundations of my childhood, thanks to Little House on the Prairie and Harlequin Romance. I am also always up for a good middle grades read or murder mystery. I have shied away from YA in general due to the copious amount of tropes and love triangles. I also enjoy writing styles, so I will pick up books by authors with similar styles (such as Kristin Hannah and Elin Hilderbrand). In the last couple of years I have tried to broaden my horizons and I think I did a pretty good job.

Now that I think about it, the majority of my reading palatte comes from my relationship with my grandmother (except the romance). She was my confidant as a child. I spent more time with her than any other person. We watched the Little House on the Prairie series starring Michael Landon (my first book boyfriend). We watched a lot of comedy shows (All in the Family, Three’s Company, Family Matters, The Facts of Life), and all of the mystery shows we could (Murder She Wrote, Matlock, In the Heat of the Night, Magnum P.I., Diagnosis Murder).

I am proud of myself that I have been trying to get better about listening to audiobooks. I know most people listen while they commute, but I enjoy singing when I drive. I kind of have to in order to stay calm with the ignoramuses on the road these days. I listen when I’m working on the blog, cooking, or cleaning. While I don’t finish that many (I think this year I’ve finished three), I learned I can change the speed and won’t have to spend as long listening. These are typically books that have been out for a while and count for this challenge! I started downloading SYNC books three summers ago, so I have plenty to choose from!

Since I started my blog, I didn’t really “pick” my next book. They were always scheduled because I thought I couldn’t say “no” to an author (and also didn’t know I should shut down review requests). I still have a handful of books from repeat authors to read, but I am now at the point where I can actually pick my next read. I really do think I pick my next read based on cover love. If it’s pretty or interesting, I’ll start it. I don’t really have any type of system. I’m not really a mood reader like some people, either.

 

How do you pick out what you read? Are there certain genres you gravitate toward?

Thoughts on Thursday: Mid-Year Check-In

Mid-Year Check-In

I have fallen behind in a lot of things on the blog, particularly discussion posts. One month late isn’t too terrible, is it?

Currently I stand at 15 books for the Shelf Love Challenge. Up until now, I have been doing a lot of review tours with books that came out this year. I slowly weaned myself off of review tours like I had been doing. I did sign up for a few in August-October for series I want to finish reading, but I am being much more selective in tours. And I am grateful one of the tour companies I was very stingy with opted to shut down their operations. The reviewers were doing most of the legwork, so it was really frustrating and why I only signed up with them once in a blue moon.

Now I can read almost anything! Which means I really need to read my NetGalley backlog… :/

 

How have your challenges been going? 

Thoughts on Thursday: Lack of Creativity

2016-Discussion-Challenge

Lack of Creativity

I haven’t posted a discussion post in over a month. I have a draft saved with prompt examples that I have used in the past, but I can’t be bothered to look at it.

I haven’t felt like I’ve been very creative on the blog in months, and I think everything is catching up with me and imploding. I don’t want to think of new ideas, new content. I don’t even want to write reviews. I have been lacking in the creativity department for a long while.

I feel like I got a little bit of that back with Parajunkee’s Summertime challenge. I loved this post and this one. Once I got started it wasn’t very hard, but I’m dragging my feet about everything blog right now. The only thing I am able to do is keep up with my weekly features, and that’s just barely.

Am I in a blogging slump? Is this what it feels like? Or am I just not motivated? Is

I have seen two different features around that are less book-focused and I think I might join one of them. I’m hoping that will help.

 

What do you do to get inspired?

How do you handle blogging slumps?

Thoughts on Thursday: Those Suuuuummmer Reeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaads

2016-Discussion-Challenge

Those Suuuuummmer Reeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaads


Now do you get the title? 🙂

Do your reading habits change in the summer? Do you find yourself reading more whimsical books, knowing that summer will eventually come to an end and real life will resume?

Summer is soon upon us. Unless you live in Texas. It’s already summer the first of May.

Once summer is officially here and I am no longer a slave to the public education system is when I notice the change in my summer reading habits. I don’t necessarily read summery genres, but I do read more.

A LOT more.

Last summer (May 1 – August 31) I read 28 books. That’s an average of of 7 books per month. A couple of them were lengthy. I also taught summer school all through May and half of June, as well as attending multiple 3 and 4 day PDs, so it was not a true reflection of my summer reading, but 2014 was!

The previous summer (2014) I read 39 books in that same time frame. That’s almost ten books each month, nearly double what I read on average for a good month.

Since my summers truly operate exactly like a summer (unless I have work obligations, re: summer school, required PD), I enjoy spending that time catching up with old and new friends in books.

I have no problem reading all day long. Sometimes I even forget to eat, and I put off doing other things just to simply read. It is an indulgence and a pleasure that I don’t typically get to enjoy at such extended lengths. I usually have to read my books in short bursts whenever I have free moments. To sit down and read an entire book in one sitting is marvelous.

It is now that prime summer time, and I’m going to enjoy my books all the way til the start of the new school year. 🙂

Do you notice your summer reading habits change?

How does your reading change for summer?

Thoughts on Thursday: Literary Vacation

Literary Vacation 

Many of the historical books I’ve read are set in Europe, particularly England. A large part of my focus of my English minor (and English teaching degree) was focused on British literature (and American). I discovered some books that will stick with me for the rest of my life, such as Remains of the Day, which I still own all these years later. The Secret Garden is perhaps the first book I truly remember peaking my interest and realizing how different the British lifestyle is – or just the European lifestyle in general.

I’d also like to visit Venice. I’ve read several books set in this beautiful city, as well as a few historical period movies.

How awesome would it be to just take a book vacation, visiting all those spots from great books along the way?

 

Where would you travel for a literary vacation?

Thoughts on Thursday: The Battle of Series vs. Standalones

2016-Discussion-Challenge

 

Series or Standalones? 

 

One of the age-old questions.

OK, not really, but it is a serious blogging question. Some people get all bent out of shape over silly things like people’s reading preferences, but I feel there is a serious camp for series in the blogging world.

Almost all of those books that are on everyone’s Waiting on Wednesday posts and grace the upcoming TBRs and those much anticipated next-year’s-releases are series books, or books by authors who have previously written a much beloved (or hyped) series.

I feel like standalones are lessening. In the last year, a good 75% or more of the books I read were part of a series, whether I realized they were or not. Many I thought were standalones recently released at the time I read them, and they have now turned into series.

Are all the good men gone? Are standalones a thing of the past? Why? Why is it I feel this way?

Is it easier for publishers to push books in a series? Is this the “easy way out” for authors to continue sales and an income? Is it harder to write a standalone, build an entire world and setting, develop such rounded characters, and then walk away from everything at the end and start completely anew?

Do we even like standalones anymore? I want to say for me the answer is yes, but in the past I’ve made it known that I am kind of anti-series.

Let’s be real, though. Look at my Goodreads shelves for last year. Hardly any of them were standalones (except for the children’s books). Do I even like standalones anymore?

I don’t even know. Legitimately, I don’t know.

 

How do you feel about series and standalones?

Do you find yourself exclusively reading only one or the other?