StephReads2022, UnreadShelfProject

Bookish Goals for 2022

I had a great reading year last year, I didn’t reach all my goals, but I did hit quite a few of them. And I’m sure there’s a complicated word for how I feel in almost completing the goals that I hit, because while I’m super happy that I hit some of my toughest goals, I also am slightly sad that I didn’t hit all of them.

But I have about 7 that I would like to hit with my reading this year, whether that will happen or not, well who knows. A lot depends on my lovely mood reading because half the time I’m like “yes do all these things” and then the rest of the time I’m like “or I could just reread and that would be fine right?”

Goal 1: Read 300 books. I actually hit this number last year for the first time since I’ve been really tracking my reading and I’m hoping I can do it again this year. (actually if we are being honest, I want to go past that number, but 300 is an easier goal to manage)

Goal 2: Read 85K pages. I almost hit this one last year, but missed it by about 3K, which was so close but there’s always this year!

Goal 3: Get 150 books off of Steve. I should be able to accomplish this no problem as in 2021 I got 143 off of him. The main problem comes from just making sure that I don’t replenish them immediately with new shiny’s.

Goal 4: Get through 12 tomes (over 500 pages) this year. I love reading big books but I just haven’t reached for them as often as I wanted to last year. This year, this is a priority for me. (Plus I have a ton on Steve my TBR so I might as well start knocking those down)

Goal 5: Finish at least 3 series. I say this goal every single year. And every year I laugh when the end of the year comes and I haven’t hit any new series off of Steve, and that’s slightly frustrating because I have over 20 series that I would like to get done and dusted. This year I am trying a new thing where I wrote down 20 of the series and rolled a D20 to see what series I would focus on first. Hopefully this will help me get some of them down!

Goal 6: I have a list of 22 books I would like to read for 2022, and I want to read them, but they are also slightly “self-destructive” as in I told myself that if I don’t read them by the end of the year, I have to get rid of them. Whether that will happen or not, who really knows. Honestly, I doubt it but hey I can try.

Goal 7: Read at least 5 TBR vets. So books that have been on Steve for over 3 years. I’m not sure what ones those are going to be yet but I’m sure I’ll think of a few. (Now of course that I’m thinking of it, I’m pretty sure about half of those 22 books are ones that have been on Steve for a while)

So those are my goals for this year. I do think that I will be able to complete at least some of them, and honestly even if I get just a bit done on each one (specifically the series and reading the vets) I will be most pleased. I would love to complete all of them, but being realistic with myself and my lovely mood reading ways, I don’t know what’s going to happen, but I’m going to have fun doing it that’s for sure.

Do you set any goals? Or do you just kinda wing it each year?

Hope you get to have some reading time today, and remember, life is too short for mediocre books!

Stephanie

Standard
Short Stories

The window

It’s a small slice of life that you get to witness, walking back and forth to your job and then back to your small apartment every day except Sundays. Twice a day you pass a bay window. It has blue lace curtains along the edges and plants sitting on top of stacks of books and papers. Every morning when you walk down that street, you are never early enough to see who lives there as the blinds are raised by the time you cross over. And you never see who closes the blinds at night because they are open always until after you pass, even late at night when everyone should be asleep.

It gives you a feeling of small comfort, after all, you live in a small open-spaced apartment. You don’t have room for plants or books or anything really, you live with a couch that folds out to your bed, you have 6 uniforms that you wear to your job, and a fun hoodie you wear on Sundays. A computer that wheezes and groans when you turn it on and a small tv that you bought for $15 dollars at a garage sale.

But you are alone.

You came here because of a promise of a job and friends, but the job turned sour and the friends disappeared when you had to take whatever you could. You are making it, but it never felt like home and seeing this one random place makes you wonder if you could somehow make your place your own.

Day after day you cross the street, even when it adds an extra 7 minutes to your walking commute to the job you don’t like, just to see into that window. And one day, it’s a Tuesday, the most ignored day of the week, when you see that there is now a cat sunning itself in the window. And the sight of the white belly and paws makes you do something you never thought you would, you stop at the door.

You don’t know why you are doing this, but you know if you don’t get some sort of human interaction, you will somehow do something you will regret. So after straightening your clothes, and wishing you were wearing anything but your work uniform, you knock on the door.

It slowly opens and the person who opens it, smiles with genuine delight. “I have been wondering when you would stop by, I’ve been waiting for you” And you take a deep breath and step into the room, warm and fragrant with the scent of lemon and cinnamon and the cat comes and winds around your ankles. And you know that now you are home.

Standard
Short Stories

The Bicycle

It was just after the festival opened for the weekend that the fluffy flakes of snow were noticed. They were lazily drifting down as though Mother Nature forgot that for this town they didn’t get snow till at least Halloween. In fact, the years that they wouldn’t have snow for Halloween always caused the mothers anguish since they would have already made the costumes with wool and layers because of the temperatures.

But this was the first weekend of September. Much much too early for snow, but the children were delighted. They ran and whooped, dancing through the lines for the fried dough and ice cream, screaming with laughter and spinning like they were a part of the snow as well. The couples that got on the Ferris Wheels were the ones that had the magical snowy kisses, the cold of their lips meeting for the first time with gentle flakes of snow mixing in their breaths.

But it was too early for snow.

That was what the old woman known simply as Granny kept saying. No one paid her any mind, after all with all that the world had been through in the past couple of years, why not enjoy the snow, enjoy the magic for one night before the worries came crashing down and made them wonder why now.

The majority of people could only last a few hours in the cold, after all, it was September. Most weren’t dressed in layers, most only had flip-flops or shorts on and when they felt their toes tingle and realized that they couldn’t feel their nose, they started leaving for their houses. Hoping that this would just melt away.

But it was too early for snow.

The next day it came as a shock, the snow, instead of melting away had piled up, higher and higher. And still, it snowed.

After three days there was a run on the grocery store and Clair was able to get some flour and more yeast because all the prepackaged bread was completely gone. At least she knew how to make bread, she thought as she walked slowly home.

Walking over the bridge in the middle of the afternoon was a new experience. It didn’t hurt that she never usually walked, especially in the snow, but she needed to get out, needed to have some sort of fresh air for her brain and mood. The snow still falling muffled everything so she could only hear the slight squeaking of her boots in the snow already on the ground, the clink of her buckle. And that was when she noticed it.

Propped up in the middle of the bridge, against the pole that the tourists usually would climb to take selfies, showing the river rushing below, the city rising up on either side and the mountains in the background, it was a popular site. But she had never seen a bicycle there before. Obviously, she had seen bicycles but never covered with this much snow. It looked as though it had been there for months, but Clair knew that it was probably there from the festival. She wondered what local had left their bike, after all, that was usually how they would get around in the good weather, and while she was wondering that she heard a tiny rustle and a small mee sound.

Bending down she noticed that there were 2 glowing eyes almost hidden under the pile of snow under the bike, it looked too small to be a wolf though they had been known to come into the town when they were desperate. She crouched down and held out her hand, and slowly what looked like a mound of snow came towards her. Clair realized at that moment that her mom’s stories about what might come in the snow were all true as the snow mound crept towards her and put its chin on her hand.

The monsters were real, they just were much tinier than what she had been expecting.

Standard
Uncategorized

One girl’s bookish sabbatical

Good morning. Or evening.

Or new week or old week. Wherever you are.

I’ve been slightly MIA for the year, well at least on here. I’ve still been active over on my Instagram (dreams_in_blue if you want to come say hi) and also on my goodreads (goodreads.com/bookishlybeauty) but on here I’ve been slightly silent.

I realized why it was earlier this month. It was quite simply because I was bored.

Bored almost to death of this blog. Not because I dislike writing, no in fact I love writing. But what I was bored of was what I was doing on this blog.

The same 10 ish posts over and over again, and like no wonder I was bored stiff.

So I really thought about it, and decided what I’m going to do is restart this blog and make it more about short stories. Basically every couple of days I’m going to raid pinterest for an idea or see a writing prompt and write a short story between 500-1500 words. (I’ll use a random number generator to see what number I’m doing that day) And that will be it.

I don’t want my creative ideas to fall to the wayside just because they don’t happen to fit into my WIP (of which I’m almost done with my first draft- yay!) and so I figured why not? After all, I like seeing how people come up with ideas and maybe this will help me come up with better plot points. And really, if I have some sort of accountability, it might work better. (notice I said might not will…I do know myself quite well after all)

So to all that was, all that will be and all to come-

Happy reading-

Stephanie

Standard
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