Books, Reading, Steph Reads 2020, UnreadShelfProject

Well, hello 2020!

 

F6723443-3844-4F05-9215-8B6CDACDB56D

I’m a bit late, obviously.

My grand plan was to have all these posts up in January since you know, that’s when the year starts. However, life happened. And I was also trying to decide if I wanted to continue on with writing blog posts. It seems more and more each year that the blogging community is slowly disappearing, but I decided through out the month that even if it does disappear, I want to go out with it guns blazing!

So let’s talk about some of my 2020 goals!

1-Read 225 books- This is probably one of the most doable goals on this list and that is saying a lot. But since I’ve read over 200 books per year for the past 3 years, I’m pretty sure that I can do it. I did lower it a bit from what I was planning because I do want to get my novel finished this year, so this provides me with some time that I can do it. (And I know that some of you might be saying “Just make your goal one book then” but I can’t do that, I’m competitive with myself and if I set it too low, I won’t continue reading)

91DC1DB1-981C-43A2-B185-C691022CB042

2-Read 100 books off of Steve my TBR- Last year I decided to be more focused about reading what I already own, instead of relying so heavily with library books. And I found that it’s a great sort of accomplishment to look back over the year and realize just how many new favourites you found because you happened to read what you had purchased.

3-Read 12 Big Books (Over 500 pages)- Look, I know that I tried this one last year, but didn’t do as well as I should have. But I have rearranged Steve my TBR and have moved all the big chonky bois to one separate shelf so that they would be in my focus and I would be reminded to read them. Plus TomeTopple is coming up this month and that’s a great readathon to get some of the thicc baby’s down.

ECC7357E-E7CB-46CD-9C6D-D5A803860227

4-Read 80,000 pages- Yet another one I’m sure I can tackle this year. I was really close last year, and missed it by about 2k pages. So this year, especially with moving my big books up to my notice, I’m hoping I will be able to read more pages and actually get this one done.

5-Complete at least 3 series that are already finished- I don’t know what it is, but for some reason, even if I love a book and love the start of the series, I have a tendency to not want to finish the series, and instead just think that if I don’t finish them, everyone stays alive and it’s all happy. I know this is complete bosh but I’m still hopeful. (Some of the series I need to complete: Stalking Jack the Ripper, Charlotte Holmes, Great Library, Invisible Library, Rebel angels, Rebel mechanics, Time discord series, and the list goes on.)

C1E4DA68-2741-4BE3-AEF2-00FEF6740DBE

So that’s all my bookish goals at least. I do want to try to be on here more consistently, mainly because I do like writing blog posts and I like sharing my thoughts while I’m reading and whatever. I do think I’m going to try to do weekly wrap ups, I do those over on my instagram but I sometimes want to explain a bit more of why something got a certain rating or explain what was good or bad about a book, and over there it’s a bit limited.

What are some of your goals? And since we are already into February, are you doing well on them? Are you having a good start to the year? Come and chat with me below!

Have a great day and remember, life is too short for mediocre books!

~Stephanie

Standard
Books, StephReads2019, UnreadShelfProject

2019 wrap up!

Hello fellow booknerds!

I wanted to do a quick little wrap up of 2019, what goals I did or didn’t accomplish and all that jazz. So let’s get to it. I actually had to look back over what I had actually wanted to do for my goals, because I couldn’t remember them at all.

On the whole, I did a lot better then what I thought I did, but on other parts I could have done better, but I’m rather chuffed about what I managed to get done this year.

IMG_6525

1-Read 200 books– Y’all, I smashed this number out of the park! I managed to read 284 books in 2019, I have no clue how but it was such an awesome thing to end the year with one of my best reading numbers yet! Also, being real, about half-way through the year I really began to question if I would even make 200 because I was just not feeling about 80% of the books I was reading, so to realize how much I read, it was so great.

2-Read 75 books off of Steve my TBR– I again smashed this goal! I managed to read 107 books off of Steve, which I was super surprised at, because it didn’t feel like I had actually read that many off of him!

IMG_6530

3-Read 80,000 pages– I didn’t accomplish this one. I did do better then I thought I did, clocking in at 78,894 pages read this past year, but didn’t beat it. I do have to say part of that was I was focused on getting smaller books done, and kinda forgot about my big books goal, which leads me into

4-Read 12 big books (over 500 pages)– I did not do this one justice. I did manage to get through 6 big books (King of Scars, East of Eden, Anna Karenia, Foundryside, Little Women, Great Expectations, Fountains of Silence) *(And honestly Starless Sea was 498 so I’m kinda counting it as well, so technically 7 books that were big). I think I would have done better on this one if I had made myself more aware of all the big books that were on Steve. Instead I just happened to read what I was in the mood for, which sometimes worked out.

5- Read at least 12 C.S. Lewis books this year– I actually managed to read 16 of his works this year, which made me really happy. C.S. Lewis is one of my favourite authors but I hadn’t read many of his books that aren’t as well known, so I decided to read more of those. And I’m glad I did. It was a really nice touchpoint for the year.

IMG_6529

So overall, I’m not actually upset about missing a few of the goals. Simply because I read so much this year, I found new favourites and new authors that I love, and some that I wasn’t that thrilled about. But I read more than I ever have before and I’m pretty chuffed about that honestly.

How was your reading year? Did you accomplish your goals for this year? Did you fail a few or fudge a few? Let me know in the comments!

Happy reading and remember, life’s too short for reading mediocre books!

~Stephanie

Standard
31DaysofBlogmas, Books, StephReads2019

“Guilty Pleasures”

I used to label some of my reading “Guilty Pleasure” reading.

For me, I used that term when I was rereading a book when I had a mountain of books waiting for me that I still hadn’t read.

I used it when I was reading middlegrade or YA books instead of adult books, complete with “Oh I’m just reading this to pass the time, I don’t really like this, I know I’m an adult”

I also used this when Taylor Swift would come on my music station, or when I would want to watch a feel good movie, that admittedly the acting was not on point. Or when I would randomly buy myself another nail polish or red lipstick, eat a dessert when I hadn’t really worked out: whatever made me somewhat happy I would tell people it was my “guilty pleasure”.

IMG_1572 (1)

But a few years ago, I began to wonder why I did that. I began to look, really long and hard at my reading and my likes and dislikes and I began to ask myself why I thought that simple small things that made me happy warranted a “guilty pleasure” notice. Why didn’t I just embrace what I liked, regardless of what others thought?

That year was the first year I began to not apologize for what I read or listened to or bought. That year, every time I felt like I wasn’t a “real” reader because I read middlegrade or YA, I reminded myself I like YA (mostly) and I like middlegrade. I like wearing red lipstick and having fun nail colours and buying candles. I like eating dessert and I don’t like having to provide an explanation of why I do what I do.

C3199871-55C4-4ADA-8DED-72636131D3DB

Here’s the truth, what makes me happy, probably won’t make you as happy. Seriously, throw me in a bookstore with a coffee and you could leave me alone for about 8 hours and I would be the happiest person on the face of the planet. (Would also be extremely happy if you offered to buy all the books I was holding but that’s a whole different story) You could also throw me in front of a fireplace with cozy socks and coffee and a good book with some music playing in the background and again I would be happy. But for others that might not seem like the best day ever. I have friends who adore skiing and skating and running, and friends who love Austen and candles and coffee. All of us are different.

And how crazy is it that we try and judge what should or shouldn’t be a guilty pleasure based on our own personality? Like you do you boo, if you like the sexy time books, by all means, devour them. If you like candles, burn away. If you like the freaky scary movies that have me whimpering and hiding under my blanket, please feel free to watch (but maybe not when I’m with you ok?). Do what makes you happy.

Ultimately, a lot of people will try and tell you what you should be doing and what you should be reading or watching or buying. But if it doesn’t make you happy or make you smile, why should you do that? Do what you want.

In fact, that’s the only time that you should use the phrase “guilty pleasure” when you are denying the pleasure of someone for trying to make you feel guilty.

What’s one thing that you like that sometimes you feel guilty about? Tell me below!

Happy reading friends, and remember, life is too short to read mediocre books!

~Stephanie

Standard
31DaysofBlogmas, monthly wrap up, StephReads2019, UnreadShelfProject

November Wrap Up

So the past 2 days I was planning on doing some idea inspiration for this blog and for some posts that I want to write, but yesterday I pulled a double and ended up working nearly 15 solid hours so planning fell to the wayside so that I could get some sleep! 🙂 (side note: please be nice to all the customer service people you run across this holiday season, we are all still humans and we want to somehow enjoy the holiday’s as well)

I decided therefore to do a relatively quick and painless wrap up of what I had read last month. I was starting to drag myself a bit when I realized how little I read (comparability for me at least) but then I reminded myself I did NaNoWriMo and WON (for the first time in 6 years) and therefore I did amazing!

I read 19 books total in November, with a total of 4846 pages read this past month. I managed to read 9 off of Steve, 6 reread and 4 from the library! (also I got rid of 2 books this month as well!

0502A033-567E-4B1D-AE2D-D449CA1423AE

Breakdown: 

3 Agatha Christie

 

8 Adult Fiction

 

 

3 Classics

 

 

1 Middlegrade

IMG_5684

 

1 Graphic Novel

CBCF57A6-4996-4AD8-BC41-72CE6B535CA3

 

1 Christian NonFiction

IMG_5707

 

2 Adult NonFiction

 

This month I actually ranked my first 1 star book of the year. And read a very low 2 star as well. But I did get to read my most anticipated book of the year and I gave that 5 stars, so I guess it balances all out?

How was your month of reading? Did you participate in NaNo? If so how did you do? What is one book you were glad you read this month? Let me know below!

Happy reading fellow booknerds, and remember, life is too short for mediocre books!

~Stephanie

 

Standard
31DaysofBlogmas, Books, StephReads2019, UnreadShelfProject

Introduction to Steve (my TBR)

Hello fellow booknerds!

Welcome to Day 2 of Blogmas and where I decide to introduce you to Steve my very large and growly TBR.

91DC1DB1-981C-43A2-B185-C691022CB042

(This may not look like much but he is three rows deep here)

Back in 2017 I realized my TBR was becoming something of a mythic proportion, over 300 books and was not shrinking at all since I kept adding to it nearly daily. (This was also the year I started working full part-time for Barnes and Noble, coincidence? I think not. ) So I was basically buying every single book I heard of but wasn’t really reading much off of it. (That year the  majority of my books read were from the library, while I was still buying books for my TBR…no one ever said booknerds have logic that’s for sure)

One time I referred to him as a mountain, and that made sense honestly. But calling him a mountain still kinda intimidated me. And so I hit on calling him a name. So I started calling him Steve. Mainly because this scene from Over the Hedge. And once I started calling my TBR Steve, I found that I started working through the books on him a lot faster then when I was calling him the insurmountable mountain,  funny how that works.

EF9CE284-BEFB-4557-A458-DA10CD48D636

I don’t think I’ll ever have a small TBR that’s less than 20 books. Honestly I would love to say I could do that and read every single book on my TBR, but that’s not me. I like having a large TBR, I like knowing that if something should happen (i.e. the zombie apocalypse or a big snowstorm) I have enough books to last me through that.

I did have a plan about August to get Steve under 200 by the end of this year, but considering that I keep buying books and don’t read all of them, I kinda doubt that is going to happen, though I’m slightly hopeful. (Though I did just kinda buy about 24 books from bookoutlet/bookdepository so that goal might be out of my reach at the moment)

I am doing better about reading from Steve this year though. The last 2 years when I counted up the numbers, the TBR books were vastly behind the library books (we’re talking over 100 library books versus about 30-50 TBR books) and this year, even though we aren’t done yet with the year, both of those numbers are more equal, which is a good thing.

Do you like large TBR’s? Or does my number stress you out a bit? What’s a good number for your personal TBR?

Come chat with me in the comments!

Happy reading friends, and remember, life is too short for mediocre books!

~Stephanie

Standard
31DaysofBlogmas, StephReads2019, UnreadShelfProject

December possible reading plans

Hello fellow booknerds!

So I am going to be trying to do #Blogmas for this year, which honestly why not add some extra things onto my life during the last month of the year? (I definitely got this idea from Hailey over at Haileyinbookland so you should go check her videos  out because she’s amazing!)

This really isn’t a TBR list for December, though there are several books I want to get to, but I know myself. The moment I start putting them in a list of what I want to read, or what I’m planning on reading, is the moment I’m just going to ignore it and do what I want.

524A558E-EC06-4A97-A1DE-4380C11C6248

So I have a very simple plan for December, it consists of 3 things.

1-Read 31 books. For some reason I feel so accomplished when I can get 31 books knocked out in the month, and I’ve done it before so I know that it’s doable.

2-Finish one series. I have quite a few series that I need to finish, and instead of looking at all of them with fear and dread of how much I have to read, I’m going to look at it as a chance to fall more in love with a series, or the characters that I absolutely love.

3-Finish at least 3 of the half-started books that I have floating around my apartment. There are some that I started this year and just set down (not as a hard DNF just a maybe later) and there are some that have been on my “currently reading” shelf on goodreads for about 2 years and I just want to get them done.

Honestly, this doesn’t seem too hard, I know I could state exactly which books I need to read before 2020 starts but that’s just more shade that I don’t need to throw at myself. Because I’m all about that positivity lifestyle! (also I know that it would just be rehashing a lot of the same books on here because I’m nothing if not consistent about how I forget to read what I say I’m going to read)

F6723443-3844-4F05-9215-8B6CDACDB56D

Do you have any books you have to get to this month? Or any series you have to complete? Come let me know!

Happy reading and remember, life is too short to read mediocre books!

~Stephanie

 

 

Standard
Reading, StephReads2019, UnreadShelfProject

How I read 200+ books a year…and still have a slightly non-fictional life.

91DC1DB1-981C-43A2-B185-C691022CB042

 

I know this title sounds clickbaitish but it’s really not.

I read, a lot. Consistently over 200 books a year every year for the past 3 years.

I work a full time job (40 hours a week), have a part time job (20-30 hours a week), hang out with friends, spend time with my family, do weekend trips, write, go to the gym and read as many books as I can. And the funny thing is that I don’t even count myself as an avid reader. I mean, sure I love to read and can devour books like no other, but I know so many more people who read more than me and read faster, so I always feel weird when people compliment me on how much I read.

Which happens a lot more than it used to because I do a weekly wrap up on my instagram of all the books I read through out the week, and then of course the monthly wrap up, which is usually between 20-28 books per month.

There are times when I almost feel guilty about reading so much, especially when I have people comment on my photos and tell me that in one week I’ve read more than they have all month, and I hate to make anyone feel like they have to live up to me. I try every time someone tells me something like that to encourage them, to let them know that no one should set a standard for their reading except them. After all, at least we are reading!

EF9CE284-BEFB-4557-A458-DA10CD48D636

There was an article about a year or so ago that was written about how to be an avid reader, and I kid you not, all the tips they said to avoid so that you could read more, was stuff I did and still do. They had tips about not telling people your reading goals and not reading more than one book or never missing a day of reading or never DNF’ing books or even not using audio books because they were cheating. (Side note: I 100% count audiobooks as reading, alongside graphic novels, middlegrade, ya, manga, anime, romance, cookbooks etc. No matter what controversy floating about, if you are reading, that counts!)

Personally, I like telling people my goodreads goal. I like semi-stalking people on there too, and when I see one of my buddies on there has completed a goal or finished a book that has been on their “Currently reading” list for a while, I give a small cheer for them! I know what it’s like to not be into a book and then you keep going and get it done!

I read more than one book too. I’ve always done this. I really think that it stems from my parents coming in my room when I was a kid with my flashlight on and reading a book, and them taking both the flashlight and book away. I would wait till they would walk down the hall and then I would get my spare flashlight out and a different book and continue reading. (I swear growing up I think I went through more flashlights then a CSI unit) 

But to only read one book? I’ve tried it before, and it only lasted about 3 weeks. That was the length of time that it took me to finish a book that was only 150 pages, and it was the worst 3 weeks of my life. I need a bit of variety, a bit of mixing it up. And if I’m getting bored with something in one book I can just pick up another. 

Granted, this doesn’t work the best at times because as of this moment I have about 8 books that are all half-started but for the most part I like it, especially for readathons like #24in48 or Dewey’s readathon where you are trying to get through as many books as you can. That’s where this is great. (Also it’s such a great feeling to complete 3 books in a day and watch your little goodreads counter jump up, makes me happy)

As for not missing a day of reading, there are plenty of days when I just feel like watching some Great British Bake Off or I’ve worked a double and I literally do not have any time to sit down and read. And that’s honestly okay. You are allowed to not read every day if you don’t feel like it. You are allowed to read every day if you feel like it. It’s all up to you.

For my reading goal for the year, I always try and stretch myself. Pushing myself a bit farther then I did last year. And not only in numbers, but also in pages or in genres. This year I challenged myself to read at least 12 books of C.S. Lewis. It was a stretch for me because even though I love his writing, I have to be in the mood for it. So I told myself only to read one of his books per month, and I’ve beaten it. 

I try to make my reading goal a set goal, something I know that I can reach without stressing but also that challenges me a bit. Usually I look back over my previous years of the goodreads challenge, and then I add 5-10 books to whatever was my ending number from the last year. That way, I know it’s doable, but it also isn’t stressing me out too much. Then I take that number and divide it by 52 (since I do a weekly wrap up on instagram) and that’s my weekly goal.

For example, this year my reading goal was 200, at least that was the number I put on my goodreads challenge. But my stretch goal was 265 which was 18 more than what I did last year.  So you take 265 divided by 52 and that equals out to about 5 books per week that I need to read to get to my goal. (I know, maths in a book blog, I’m sorry). 

Besides my main book goal I also try and have some side goals, such as read one author’s writing or read 2 series or read 10 big books. That way I’m not just focused on numbers but also on what else I can be reading.

I also DNF books. I have spent a long time reading and I have learned what I like and don’t like. And personally if I don’t like something I cannot get invested into it, and I will just drop it. I usually give a book about 50-100 pages (depending on the length of the book) or till 5 chapters. If I don’t like it or it’s just not catching me, I’ll let it go. I know that there are some of my friends who cannot DNF, and you know what, that’s ok! We all have different reading tastes and ideas and what might work for one, might not work for another.

C3199871-55C4-4ADA-8DED-72636131D3DB

Just some quick reminders for you as a takeaway!

Don’t be afraid to read outside of your comfort zone. Always reading what you’ve always read, will become routine, and sometimes boring. I’m not saying don’t read what you like or are comfortable with, but rather, allow yourself to read one book per month (or longer) that might not be something you would reach for. (for example: graphic novel, adult, biographies etc) Try something new, you might find a new thing that you want to read more about.

Don’t compare yourself to anyone else. You are reading for you (unless it’s for a class and in which case you are reading for a grade and not for fun and I’m sorry) and reading what you want to read. If you don’t feel like the latest big named darling of the book world is your cup of tea (or coffee) you do not have to read it. And you don’t have to make excuses for not reading it either. There’s a book that is extremely popular and that everyone (and I do mean everyone) keeps telling me to read, but I have no interest in it. I don’t explain it to complete strangers but to people who know me pretty well, they know I have no desire to read it.  You are allowed to read whatever you want, not what popular opinion says you should read.

Don’t leave home without a book. Seriously. Even if it’s on your phone or computer or whatever, like make sure you have a book handy. I mean, sure you could play a game on your phone or scroll social media or you could pull out your book and read a few pages, which makes the day brighter.

And finally, don’t be afraid to challenge yourself to stretch a bit more this year. Maybe to read a book that you find daunting. Maybe to read outside your comfort zone, or to read an author’s backlisted title. Or maybe to push your reading goal up a bit. Whatever you choose remember you are brave and you got this! *Sending you good reading vibes through the internet*

E14FA654-0E5F-4FE6-BAE3-1D9108776539

I don’t know if this really was helpful or not. I know a lot of you were probably looking for more tips on how to read more, and I’m sorry I couldn’t be of use for that. I don’t know if I would be the best for tips about how to read more since I don’t actually follow most of the tips that people have anyway. Hope you enjoyed it even if it wasn’t helpful!

Have a great day and remember, life is too short for mediocre books!

~Stephanie

 

 

Standard