Discussion: Unhauling Books

With ever growing TBRs and book collections comes ever decreasing shelf space.

Especially when book bloggers move houses or go off to college.
Shelf space is a hot commodity not to be trifled with.

One ever common way to deal with this is the book unhaul.

Bloggers either donate books or host giveaways for books they no longer want on their shelves.


Different bloggers have different criteria for unhauls.

Some do it periodically to rid themselves of books below a certain star rating or that they distinctly disliked.

Some giveaway arcs they’ve finished.

Some get rid of old / beat up / or multiple copies of the same books. Sometimes it’s just a book they don’t intend to reread.

This is a good thing – or spreads the book Iove and stops your shelf from killing you in your sleep.


But I think I’m incapable of it.

Over the years I’ve turned in a handful of books to second hand stores, give.
A few to my sister or cousins.
But I am overwhelmingly a hoarder.

I always have been.
I probably always will.

I should probably embrace the unhauling.
Someday.
Someday.
Maybe.

Or next year when I’m packing up for college and start feeling the urge to set things on fire so I don’t have to deal with them.


What do you think?

Do you unhaul books?

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Discussion: Struggles Of A Book Blogger

Being a book blogger is weird, because it’s a hobby, at least for most it isn’t a job, and it’s fun.

But it’s also stressful like a real job – and requires a hell of a lot of effort, especially if your on your own.

Here, I’m discussing the 7 major things that can cause book bloggers stress.


Procrastination

Time management is a big thing. For most book bloggers, blogging isn’t a job it’s a hobby, which means carving out time to do it – and fun as it is, that’s not always possible. And even when it is, it can be hard to push your self to read or write when your brain is fried from real life.

Which leads to procrastination. Which is how you get the “accidental five month hiatuses” that my blog is no known for.

I deal with this by scheduling posts. Like last summer for while I was at camp, and like I have now for AP season – so I don’t have to worry about consolidating my melted brain so form a sensical string of words.

What do you do?


Stress Over Posting

Even when we do post, it brings a different kind of anxiety. Are people going to like it or hate it? Is it too over done? Is this original content stupid? Did I unleash too much of my weirdness at once? Did j say something dumb a future admissions officer will see and reject me for? (This last fear is one instilled in me by a very college oriented high school – like I needed more reasons to stress out).

These are legitimate concerns, and ones not easy to quell. This is the main reason generally behind my several month hiatuses to be honest.


Ever Growing TBR

This one is unique to book bloggers.

The ever Growing TBR.

TBR stands for To Be Read – a list of books a book blogger intends to read, and be a physical stack of book towering in ones room, can be a list online or wishlist of books to buy, can be a stack of arcs, or a massive ebook library – but the result is the same.

Sooner or later the TBR of s book blogger outgrows the reading speed – and threatens to crush them. Often this impending crushing can increase the prevalence of a reading slump and we get indecisive over what to read next and then just don’t. A vicious cycle.

Generally deadlines can get you reading again, but deadlines for reviews can bring their own kind of stress.

I myself have too many books in my TBR – a review TBR of about 50 and a physical TBR of too many to deal with.


Pressure For Content / The Look

The look of the blog matters.

Trying our best to improve the look of the blog, from graphics to the layout to the design to the domain is a big thing for us book bloggers. But when you don’t have the resources to get help and don’t have the skill to make good things yourself – it makes you feel a little behind the curve sometimes.

The pressure for the right look also applies to the content.

People like tags and memes. They are the life of book blogs. But too many and your blog is labeled unoriginal and boring.

Book reviews are a major thing. But so many discussions are being done on, really, other book bloggers don’t read book reviews – you might not even need them. But without them are you even really a book blog? But you can’t exactly churn out so many reviews since it takes time to actually read books- so what do you do?

The answer: Original content.

The elusive gold of book blogging.
It’s hard to come up with original posts consistently. And to be honest, most of us either take inspiration from or flat out copy each other (with credit unless your a terrible person). We do similar discussions and lists etc. But the continuing strive for better original content can keep you awake at night, thinking of ideas and second guessing yourself.

It’s hard to sustain.

So cut bloggers a break when there’s a lull in content okay? Okay.


Reviews / Discussions

Back to book reviews.
Every book blogger pretty much does reviews. In different styles with different frequency, but it is a staple of book blogging. (Though I read a great discussion at The Tattooed Book Geek that argues otherwise).

Reviews tend to take a long time though, so their less frequent – even if your reading pretty quickly.

Discussions are another thing – when everything seems to had been said but you still can to join in, what do you say? And how do you say t without sounding preachy or cheesy?


Role In The Industry

Sometimes other people read your stuff, and take your opinions seriously. Sometimes, I don’t feel qualified to be giving my opinion. I’m a kid! I’m 17! I have no authority! Except the fact that I’m a book blogger gives me a small amount of authority in a limited capacity – and it is occasionally terrifying.

I face this fear when I get review requests. People email me like I’m a professional. ADULTS email me asking me for my help/knowledge/influence and it’s weird. It feels like you can’t say no because, your just a kid and this is an adult. It’s a weird position, and not a universal struggle I’ll admit, just one I think about a lot.


Comparing Stats

Ah yes the stats. The thing everyone says not to worry about and yet everyone does.

But it’s hard not to.

When another blogger gets more comments or more likes then you.

When someone who’s been blogging for less time surpasses your follower count.

It’s hard to to try and measure up success. It hard not to get jealous. And want to be better than others. It’s human nature.

But sometimes being so concerned with stats can suck some joy out of blogging – that that sucks. But it’s honest.


This has been some of the struggles I’ve experienced being a book blogger – its fun, I love it, but people need to understand that it isn’t easy or quick before they start their own blogs or start getting snippy with bloggers for not posting more often. We’re only human.

Do you experience any of these?

Did I miss something glaringly obvious?

Let me know!

What Cats Do Book Tag

I was tagged by the absolutely perfect human being behind Icebreaker694 – seriously, she tags me in things all the time and doesn’t kill me when I’m a year late.

I was also tagged by a more recent blog find – Sophie @ Blame Chocolate – who is as amazingly sweet as the chocolate she’s obsessed with. Check out her amazing blog!

Her blog is also amazing so, go check her out!

While me catching up on being chronically behind is nothing new, I was avoiding this tag in particular for a while for a reason I haven’t mentioned before on this blog.

In October, my cat Angel died – on my birthday no less. I’m not going to go into it, but, it is why I’ve been avoiding this.

We still have another cat Jackie who likes to sit on my homework though. He’s my sister’s cat.

Let’s stop thinking about sad things okay!


Rules


PURR- AS CATS DO THIS WHEN THEY’RE HAPPY OR RELAXED, WHAT IS THE BOOK THAT MAKES YOU HAPPIEST OR RELAXED?

Harry Potter with pretty pictures!


SLEEP- WHAT IS A BOOK THAT PUT YOU TO SLEEP OR WAS JUST BORING?

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A rare DNF for me.


TWITCH WHILE DREAMING- HAVE YOU EVER DREAMT OF A BOOK YOU READ?

ALL THE TIME ITS RIDICULOUS.


SEEMS TO PLAY NICE…UNTIL THE CLAWS ARE OUT- WHICH BOOK HAD THE BIGGEST PLOT TWIST(S)?

(Well, Redshirts isn’t really a plot twist but its trippy so…)


CUDDLES- WHICH BOOK CHARACTER WOULD YOU GIVE A HUG TO?

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Nate really needed to be hugged more throughout this book.


CATNIP- WHAT’S A BOOK THAT MADE YOU HAVE WARM AND FUZZY FEELS?


CAT BREEDS- WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE BOOKS?

(Not comphrehensive)


GETTING THE CAT- HOW DID YOU FIND YOUR FAVORITE BOOK(S).

Goodreads and Booktube mostly!


THE VET’S OFFICE- YOUR LEAST FAVORITE  BOOK:

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BEING IN PLACES THEY SHOULDN’T- LEAST FAVORITE CLICHÉ:

EVERY YA PARENT BEING DEAD OR MYSTERIOUSLY ABSENT. ESPECIALLY IN CONTEMPORARIES.


FINAL QUESTION: THE GOOD OLD CARDBOARD BOX- MOST UNDERRATED BOOK SERIES. 

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Its a duology. Its one of my favorite books of all time. No one has read it.


Tag

Raquel @ Rakiodd Books

The Orangutan Librarian

Liz @ Cover To Cover

McKenzie @ Bookish Things and Tea

Megan @ Bookslayer Reads

Catia @ The Girl Who Read Too Much

Danielle @ Books, Vertigo and Tea

Ryann The Reader

Reg @ She Latitude

The Miranda Sings Award

I was tagged by the ever-amazing The Orangutan Librarian, seriously, check them out!

This is about…six months late whoops! Sorry, but as you’ll soon be able to tell, I’m getting caught up and back in the swing of things!

miranda-sings-award


Rules:

(1) Announce your win with a post, and link the blogger who nominated you.
(2) Include the featured image on your blog post.
(3) Nominate 10 bloggers (or as many as you can think of) and link your awardees in the post.
(4) List seven (7) things you love about yourself. (This can be about your appearance, your personality, your achievements, etc.)
(5) Don’t use negative connotation (i.e. Don’t say things like – “I’m prettier than an average person.” or “People have told me I’m smart.” You are pretty. You are smart.)


1 – I get very good grades in school.

2 – I’m double-jointed, and it is immensely fun to freak people out by twisting my arm backwards.

3 – I am quite pleased with how well this blog is doing.

4 – I can read about 100 pages an hour if I’m focused.

5 – I think I’ll make a very good pediatric neurologist; I’m good with kids.

6 – I’m a good tutor when I help people with AP biology.

7 – I have pretty eyes (hazel/green/gold that change in the light).

(Why was that so hard…)


I Tag:

Danielle @ Books, Vertigo and Tea

McKenzie @ Bookish Things and Tea

Jill @ Rant and Rave About Book

Niraja @ Fantastic Books and Where to Find Them

Stephanie @ Adventures of a Bibliophile

B @ Icebreaker694

Jocelyn @ 52 Letters In The Alphabet

Raquel @ Rakiodd Books

Ryann The Reader

Reg @ She Latitude

 

 

 

The Mystery Blogger Award

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I was nominated by the wonderful Ann The Book Master – thank you so much!!!

Sorry this took my like, 5 months, to get to… But, you know, school is a thing.


“Mystery Blogger Award” is an award for amazing bloggers with ingenious posts. Their blog not only captivates; it inspires and motivates. They are one of the best out there, and they deserve every recognition they get. This award is also for bloggers who find fun and inspiration in blogging; and they do it with so much love and passion.

– Okoto Enigma


The Rules:

  1. Put the award logo/image on your blog.
  2. List the rules.
  3. Thank whoever nominated you and provide a link to their blog!
  4. Mention the creator of the award and provide a link to their blog as well.
  5. Tell your readers 3 things about yourself.
  6. You have to nominate 10-20 people.
  7. Notify each of your nominees by commenting on their blog.
  8. Ask your nominees any 5 questions of your choice; with one weird or funny question (specify).
  9. Share your link to your best post(s).

3 Facts About Me:

1 – I am left-handed, I’m not sure if I ever mentioned that…

2 – I have a website about Down’s Syndrome  – and I’m crazy excited to keep working on it. If any one has any experience with the disorder, I’d love to interview you or get a guest post about your experience for it!

3 – I’m currently re-watching Buffy The Vampire Slayer because of the 20 year anniversary.


Questions Given to Me:

  • Weird – What is the closest thing to you on your left?
  • What is your proudest moment in your life?
  • Funny – What would do if you were to grow a tail?
  • In high school, what was your biggest fear?
  • What is your favorite movie of all time?

1 – Weird – What is the closest thing to you on your left?

My coffee is the closest thing on my left, in a Flanigan’s cup no less.

2 – What is your proudest moment in your life?

Um… Getting a citizenship award from the district last month? Getting an arc sent to me in the mail by a publisher? Something like that? Not really sure.

3 – Funny – What would do if you were to grow a tail?

Be confused AS HELL. And probably assume I was about to become the protagonist of an anime/superhero comic.

4 – In high school, what was your biggest fear?

I AM in high school. Right now, all my fears revolve around college.

5 – What is your favorite movie of all time?

You can’t ask me these sorts of questions, I don’t have a favorite I have dozens.

Jack of the Red Hearts is a vastly underrated movie though, and I adore it.


My Best Posts:


My Questions:

  1. Weird – What color is your room and why?
  2. Funny – Would you rather drink polyjuice mixed with cat fur or be cursed to talk in limericks only?
  3. What is the last book you hated?
  4. Current favorite tv show?
  5. Favorite guilty pleasure read?

I Nominate: 

B @ Icebreaker694

Jill @ Rant and Rave About Books

 

Stephanie @ Adventures of a Bibliophile

Calliope The Book Goddess

Jocelyn @ 52 Letters In The Alphabet

Shealea @ That Bookshelf Bitch

Raquel @ Rakiodd Books

The Orangutan Librarian

 

Q & A From Icebreaker694

I asked around for guest posts in February, and one idea I got from lovely blogger Icebreaker694 was to interview each other.

We asked each other 11 questions are are answering them Q&A style.

Here are the 11 she asked me with my answers, and you can check out her’s over at her blog!


What was the earliest book you’ve ever read (childhood books included)?

My dad read me The Princess Bride. If you meant read on my own…I loved the Biscuit the puppy books.

Did your view of reading books change as you got older?

I guess? I didn’t really love the idea of reading when I was 5/6, it felt like school. But I feel in love with reading young, at 7/8 when I read Harry Potter.

What was the earliest Young Adult book you’ve read?

Harry Potter, that counts as YA right? I read Twilight and A Series of Unfortunate Events around that time too, age 8/9.

Are there any books you don’t get tired of rereading?

You could really just look at the above answers. And include Rick Riordan.

When you write, what kind of genre do you tend to write about?

I write YA, since its my demographic, and my only serious idea right now is a Science-fiction book.

Have you ever done a reading challenge?

I do the Goodreads challenge every year!

If so, then what was it?

See above….

What is your favorite adult book you’ve read?

I loved My Sister’s Keeper and The Time Traveller’s Wife. This is Where I Leave You was also pretty good.

What kinds of posts do you enjoy writing the most?

I like discussions, and recommendation lists. I liked writing my study guide posts too. But I don;t write anything I don’t enjoy.

What is your favorite book cover?

This is not a question I am capable of answering.

But Illuminae and Gemina are SUPER GORGEOUS.

Do you have any future plans for your blog?

I want to make new graphics and schedule posts to post on a consistent basis, those are the main ones, though I’m open to any ideas!


 

That was a lot of fun!

If you guys like the Q&A posts, and want to ask me your own questions, feel free! I’d be glad to do another!

 

 

Guest Post: 5 Benefits of Writing for Mental Health by Talasi Guerra

5 Benefits of Writing for Mental Health

My name is Talasi Guerra and I am a mental health blogger. Let me clarify that—I am not a mental health professional. Rather, I am an average, every day person who is navigating the ins and outs of life with mental illness.

I have struggled with mental illness for most of my life. Obsessions started at a very young age, and by the time I was fourteen, I had developed an eating disorder. For the next number of years, I was tormented by depression, anxiety, and addictions, until finally, at age 21, I started to make some genuine progress towards recovery.

Since that time, nearly ten years ago, it has been an uphill battle. Fortunately, I have experienced many great successes along the way. Writing has been an essential part of my mental health recovery at every stage. And while I am so thankful for all of the professionals and treatment programs that have helped me over the years, I truly believe that writing has been the main catalyst for positive change in my life. So today I would like to share with you five reasons that I believe writing to be extremely beneficial for mental health.

  1. Writing encourages self-reflection.

Dealing with mental illness can be a very isolating and numbing experience. It can be hard to talk about, or even think about, the emotions that mental illness produces in your life. Writing through these struggles is such a healthy option because it causes you to reflect on what is really going on in your heart and mind at any given moment. Using writing as an outlet of self-reflection can help you pinpoint the root of your challenges so that you can later address them.

  1. Writing promotes rational thought.

If you struggle with mental illness, chances are you are plagued by a bevy of irrational thoughts on a daily basis. But the good news is that writing literally promotes rational thinking. While your irrational thoughts reside in your amygdala (the part of your brain that powers your “fight or flight” response in stressful situations), writing requires you to use a different part of your brain—the part that promotes calm, logical thinking! So you can think of writing as a weapon that actually combats your mental illness for you!

  1. Writing alleviates anxiety.

The result of using writing to promote rational thinking is simple: it alleviates anxiety! Because writing forces your thoughts into the logical portion of your brain, it allows you to see more clearly so that you can identify the source(s) of your anxiety. When you recognize your triggers, symptoms, and emotions, you can evaluate your experience by looking at the facts. Writing these things down this will help you to realize that you are not in life-threatening danger, as your amygdala would have you believe. It will allow you to breath a sigh of relief, reducing your anxiety!

  1. Writing generates revelation.

The easiest things to write about are the things in life that you have experienced personally. And as you write about your experience, it opens up the bigger picture that you were not able to see in the heat of the moment. Writing through your mental health journey allows for amazing moments of personal revelation that may never happen otherwise!

  1. Writing kindles a sense of accomplishment.

Mental illness causes you to constantly question your own value and worth. Chances are, if you are in the middle of a mental health battle, you probably deal with feelings of failure every single day. It’s important to include some activities in your life that can give you a sense of accomplishment. Writing is a great way to do so. To write anything—a journal entry, a poem, a blog post, a prayer, a memoir, etc.—is a great accomplishment. Completing it will remind you that you can achieve great things when you don’t give up.

Have you ever used writing to improve your mental health? Have you found it effective? If so, what would you add to this list?

 


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Talasi Guerra is a mental health blogger at braverthanbefore.com. She is also the Director of Children and Family Ministries and Graphic Designer at First Baptist Church in Lloydminster, Canada. She loves to travel, play strategy board games, and create! Follow Talasi on twitter @talasiguerra

March 2017 Wrap Up

 

Finished Books:

One Of Us Is Lying by Karen McManus – 5 Stars

New Americans by Geoffrey C. Scott Harrison – 4 Stars

Breaking Up Is Hard To Do…But You Could Have Done It Better – 3 Stars

I didn’t finish many books this month, life has been hectic. School and everything is hard now that the AP tests are only a month away, and I have ACT next week.

I’ve read 19/80 books for my Goodreads challenge, putting me at 24% and “right on track”. No need to panic…yet.

(Reviews for all of the above are written and scheduled.)


Started Reading:

The Inexplicable Logic Of My Life by Benjamin Alire Saenz

The Love Interest by Cale Dietrich

The Whole Thing Together by Ann Brashares

Queens Of Geek by Jen Wilde

These are the books I stared but didn’t get to finish. They’ll be finished for April.


Posts:

NetGalley Review: Waking In Time

Netgalley Review: Superman Science

Published Poetry Spotlight: The Love Song Of J. Alfred Prufrock by TS Elliot

Quote of the Week: #6

Poem: Sagan’s Apple Pie

NetGalley Review: Strong Is The New Pretty

General Study Tips and Tools

Throwback Thursday: V for Vendetta Final Five Page Essay

Quote Of The Week: #7

Study Guide: SAT / ACT / Subject Tests

The Who Am I Tag

St. Patrick’s Day Tag

Book Review: How To Live Safely In A Science Fictional Universe

Movie Review: Beauty and the Beast – Live Action

Study Guide: AP Calculus AB

The Cringeworthy Book Tag

Study Guide: AP English Language and Composition

Book Review: The Princess Saves Herself In This One

2016 Year In Review Tag

5 Fidget Toys I Want To Try

Study Guide: AP Chemistry

The Nintendo Book Tag

Songs I’m Listening To This Month #1

Discussion: Reviewing Long After You Read The Book

I published 23 posts this month…that seems a little ridiculous, but alright.

Including 6 reviews and 5 tags done from my seemingly-never-ending backlog of reviews and rags.

I say thats pretty solid.


Life:

I have an absolutely INSANE amount of posts, from reviews to guests posts etc. scheduled for April. I won’t be around much – between AP crunch time, my cousin’s birthday, the fact that I need to sleep…Well, you’ll get me back in midMay. Though I still try and have time to comment/respond etc.

I have mock exams every Saturday of April except the 8th when I am taking the ACT.

I am going to the Panic! concert April 15th. Woo!

I’ll try and keep up with wrap ups, I’ve never really done them before, I think they’re a good idea…

My plans for the blog, after all the school craziness, is so make new graphics, maybe improve the theme/layout, and get on a consistent schedule as well as catch up on all the review copy TBR reviews and my tags. But those are summer goals.

NetGalley Review: Waking In Time

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I received an e-arc of this book from netgalley and this is my honest review.

Release Date:

March 1st 2017

Date Read:

October 2016

Star Rating:

4.5 Stars

Official Summary:

Still mourning the loss of her beloved grandmother and shaken by her mysterious, dying request to “find the baby,” Abbi has just arrived at UW Madison for her freshman year. But on her second day, she wakes up to a different world: 1983. That is just the first stop on Abbi’s journey backward through time. Will is a charming college freshman from 1927 who travels forward through time. When Abbi and Will meet in the middle, love adds another complication to their lives. Communicating across time through a buried time capsule, they try to decode the mystery of their travel, find the lost baby, and plead with their champion, a kindly physics professor, to help them find each other again … even though the professor gets younger each time Abbi meets him. This page-turning story full of romance, twists, and delightful details about campus life then and now will stay with readers long after the book’s satisfying end.

My Review:

First things first, I loved this book! But, the synopsis does paint very different expectations, this book is more contemporary fluff than sic-fi. Which, in my current grieving/reading slump state was exactly what I needed.

The romance was super cute, all the characters, even minor ones, were compelling and I loved seeing the way histories intertwined as Abbi travelled through time. The foreshadowing was well done, without making any conclusions too blatantly obvious, just enough to make you feel like “yeah, oh course thats what it is!”.

The book is well paced, though the writing at times, particularly in the beginning, feels off. It is a fast, fun read though. I was satisfied with it. Though at some points it felt too short, I wanted more, as is often the case with contemporary.

Abby and Will’s relationship gave me Strong 11 and River Song vibes. I loved Professor Smith as well, and the way we see him, and other characters, grow, change, and regress as we see them in different times. I liked that there was a reason – solving the mystery, making sure the past happened as it should – for Abbi to be the one time traveling, no mystical Chosen One BS. I do wish we saw more than the physics and science, rather than Abbi brushing it off as too complicated, but thats the pre-med aspiring science nerd in me that watches too much Doctor Who and Star Trek.

I don’t want to say too much, the synopsis already spoils enough, but if you like cross-genre books, soft scifi, time travel romance, or any thing of the sort, I highly recommend this book!

Read If You Like:

  • The Love That Split The World
  • Because You’ll Never Meet Me
  • The Catastrophic History of Me and You

Guest Posts Wanted!

Okay, so here’s the deal.

In May (the first two weeks) I have 4 AP tests to take, 2 subject tests to take, and arguably an SAT to REtake.

So, May may kill me.

The entirety of April is AP CRUNCH TIME where I will be at school from 6:30 AM till 4:30 PM nearly every day.

So reading/reviewing/blogging isn’t going to be possible. And I don’t know if I could possibly schedule enough posts to cover all of April AND May without, you know, dying.

So, I was wondering is anyone would like to write a guest post for this blog?

You would get credit, you’re blog linked, you can cross-post on your own blog etc.

You can do reviews, discussions, anything you think will be good, I’ll probably agree with. Anything book/writing/reading/nerdy/fandom/blogging related is perfect!

If you’re interested, email me at: rivermoosevlogs@gmail.com

Send me a link to your blog, your idea for a guest post, and your preferred date of posting and I’ll let you know if I can work with it.

I’ve been wanting to do guest posting for a while, both writing for other blogs and having other bloggers write on mine. This seemed like a good time to start.

What do you think? Is this a good idea? Let me know!