Posts Categorized: Random Thoughts on Books and Blogging

Nov 20

Hello… It’s Me

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Hello!

It’s been awhile, but I’m in the mood to write a few posts so here we go.

Mostly I’ve been working. So much work. I love teaching, but hate the paperwork! I’ll sum up what teaching has been like with a few facebook posts:

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Also, my adorable niece turned one this week. It’s hard to believe that it’s already been one year!

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I’m not sure how much I’ll be posting, but it’s my blog, so I do what I want. ;)

Kimberly


Sep 22

The Reading Slump of All Reading Slumps

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Since school started I have been very busy doing all the school things. We have a lot going on this year, and not all of it’s pretty, but that’s a story for another day. Today I want to talk about what is quite possibly the worst reading slump I’ve ever had.

Since September began, I have finished two books. TWO. I started my book club book on September 7th, and I’m still less than half way finished. And the book is GOOD. (Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty). I just don’t feel like listening to it. I started This Shattered World on August 21 and am less than half way  through as well.

Those things are good indicators that I am in a reading slump, but the one that hit me the hardest (and made me realize how bad of a slump I am in) is this:

Despite not finishing the book club book I went to book club. I know that this means that I cannot complain when I get spoiled. To be fair to my book club girls they made an effort to try not to spoil me, but it’s really hard to talk about the book without mentioning certain things, and in the end I was spoiled. And you know what? I don’t even care.

That’s right, I don’t care that I was spoiled, even though I know that I will probably never finish the book (that’s how I usually roll when I find out a spoiler), and even though it would have been amazing to find out the victim and the killer through the book rather than be spoiled, I just don’t care.

I have never not cared about spoilers before. But here I sit, not caring.

This past weekend  watched Netflix rather than listen to my audiobook when I was working.

I can’t even find a contemporary romance I find interesting.

I’m not even interested in rereading one of my favorites.

I’m not excited about any new releases.

Or the books sitting in my NetGalley Queue.

Or any book at all.

I’m not sure what’s going on, but this is the worst reading slump I’ve ever had. I’m not sure if it’s the tiredness from work or what, but I’m not motivated to pick up a book at all, and I’m not sure how long this feeling will last. Hopefully, not too much longer!!

Kimberly


May 17

Oh the Places You’ll Go… Changes are Coming!

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RTB2Blogging has been hard lately. I just don’t seem to have much to say in the way of books. I’m not interested in writing reviews, Top Ten Tuesdays or feature posts… or anything really. I’m still reading, quite a bit actually, but I’m not keeping up with Feedly nor commenting on other people’s blogs. I wish I could say that it’s a time thing, but it’s not, I just don’t have the desire.

I’ve thought long and hard about what I want to do with this blog. I’ve considered stopping, but that made me a little sad as I love my little blog (which I know is weird to say when I’m having trouble with it). Rather than stop I’ve decided to make it more of an eclectic blog. I realize that that might not be what people are looking for, but that’s ok, this blog is for me anyway.

I have other things to talk about. As a high school teacher I have plenty of stories (cute and ridiculous) and ideas that I could share. I have things I want to share about my home improvement stuff. I’ve also been working on a very personal post that I’m not quite ready to share yet, but come hell or high water I will be sharing it in June!

I hope to be able to put together some things this summer that will be awesome. I know I will have the time, it’s the desire I’m worried about.

I’ve been blogging for over three years now and that is quite a bit of time, but things have changed, including me. I don’t have the desire to own all the books like I did before (I’ve culled a large amount of books). I’ve made serious use of my library’s ebook/eaudiobook collection (I always look there first before purchasing).

Another sign things are changing… I’m not even that upset that I couldn’t go to BEA this year. To be honest, I’m glad I’m not going. The other two times I went I read less than half of the books that I got. Cost to benefit ratio of attending BEA is very low for me.

I’m not even in to book signings that much. I had fun at the last one that I went to, but a good part of that was the company I kept more than the authors that were there.

I’ll still be reading (forever), there were still be books on this blog, I’m just not sure how much. There will be other things too. Not sure of how much either. Basically, I’m winging it!

I hope that everyone understands, and enjoys the new posts that will be coming your way!

Kimberly


Nov 19

Holiday Reading Plans

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Random Thoughts on Books and Blogging is my opportunity to discuss my bookish and blogging thoughts, whenever I feel like!

I absolutely LOVE reading books with a holiday theme. (I also love holiday movies and spend an inordinate amount of time watching the Lifetime Movie Network between Thanksgiving and Christmas.) This year I have three books lined up. If you have any other recommendations please let me know!

Undead Christmas Merry Christmas Merry Christmas Baby

Audible was offering I’m Dreaming of an Undead Christmas for free last year and for some reason I didn’t listen to it! My True Love Gave to Me is a bunch of short stories and Merry Christmas, Baby is a novella, all of which are perfect reading for this busy time of year!

Kimberly


Aug 14

Why Writing Isn’t For Me

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Random Thoughts on Books and Blogging is my opportunity to discuss my bookish and blogging thoughts, whenever I feel like!

I’ve been asked more than once what I write or if I’m planning on doing NaNoWriMo and other similar questions. I’ve been asked these questions by bloggers and non bloggers, readers and non readers. Some people are even surprised when I tell them that I don’t write (but you read, so you must like to write! You have a blog, that’s writing!). A lot of my blogger friends do write, and I think that’s totally awesome. Whether they are published or not, they are doing something amazing and I hope they continue doing it. I also have blogger friends that are like me, who just want to be readers, which is also awesome. Here is why I will never be a writer:

1. I don’t want to.

Obviously this is the biggest and most important reason why I’ll never be a writer. The thought of sitting down and doing all that writing – ugh! There are so many other things I would rather be doing like laundry or cleaning the bathroom or washing dishes.  Then beyond the writing there are all the other things, and you know what? I’m kind of  lazy and I know I wouldn’t want to do any of those other things.

2. I have nothing to say.

I am creatively handicapped.  I have no ideas for a story. Anything I would think of has already been done before, and much better than I ever could. The things that writers come up with are awesome, I just have no imagination for it. People talk about having a burning need to write or tell a story and I think that’s awesome, but that’s not me.

3. I don’t proofread. ever.

When I am done writing, I am done writing. I don’t proofread my blog posts (you may have noticed). I sometimes skim the post when it shows up in my reader, but mostly I don’t. I’ve never actually proofread a single paper or essay I’ve ever written. Ever. Back in the day when I first starting writing papers (4th grade? 5th grade?) my mom used to type them for me so she would do the proofreading. Once I learned how to type and started typing my own papers when I was finished I would print them and she would read them and correct them for me. I did this in middle school, high school, college and even in the class I took last semester. When I’m writing I will make adjustments as I go but that’s about it. I could totally be wrong about this, but as a writer I assume that you would have to read what you’ve written quite a bit, and I don’t really want to do that.

4. I wouldn’t know how to say it.

Sometimes it takes me a long time to write a review for a book because even though I have thoughts on the book, I just don’t know how to say them. I will stare at a blank post for a long while or I will compulsively check Facebook or Twitter or GoodReads just to waste time. I am not good with words (this post seriously took forever, and it’s not even that big).

Are you a writer and a reader, or only a reader? What are your reasons for writing or not writing?

 

Kimberly


Jul 18

Why I Returned to the Library

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Random Thoughts on Books and Blogging is my opportunity to discuss my bookish and blogging thoughts, whenever I feel like!

Back when I was little my mom took me to the library all the time. Then I started earning some money and buying my own books. Then I got a real job and then a license and the library just kind of went away, replaced with the shiny and new. I did get a new library card when I moved to Virginia, but still, I didn’t really use it.

After some pushing from Kate (Midnight Book Girl) a little over a year ago I gave in to audiobooks and I’ve never looked back. I love listening to them and at times throughout the school year it was the only book I was able to get to. I have an audible account, but I have a 40 minute commute and I work from home about 12 hours a week, both prime opportunities to listen to audiobooks, and it just wasn’t enough. A fellow book club member talked about download books from the library so I decided to check it out.

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Getting downloadable books from the library is the best thing ever!

  1. You don’t have to worry about returning them because they just *poof* when your due date comes around.
  2. I don’t have to actually go to the library and hope they have something good.
  3. I can get them at any time of day or night.

Download audiobooks from the library also gave me a genius idea. Obviously I have a large amount of TBR books on my shelves, and as the school year progressed I struggled find time to read which made the shelves seem even more overwhelming. So I decided to get the audiobook from the library so I could listen to the book without have to purchase another copy. This is a win-win!

My only complaint about getting downloadable audiobooks from the library is that you can’t change the speed (which is actually an Overdrive issue, not a library issue). I have a seriously hard time listening at 1x speed. It feels so slow! To solve this problem I download the book to my computer and upload to my phone using iTunes, then I can play at 2x speed! Then I just delete the book when I am finished.

I also learned that due to where I live/work I can join multiple libraries. This is awesome and it is my mission to join them all. I am able to belong to 4 different library systems!

If you use the library how do you use it? Do you pick up print books or focus on the digital copies or both?

Kimberly


May 14

Breaking Up Is Hard To Do…

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Random Thoughts on Books and Blogging is my opportunity to discuss my bookish and blogging thoughts, whenever I feel like!

Breaking Up is Hard To Do…

Actually, sometimes it’s not. I used to be one of those people that HAD to finish a series. I also used to be one of those people that had to read ALL the books by an author. But you know what? My time is precious so why waste time with series or authors that no longer appeal to me?

Here are some series that I have broken up with:

James Dashner The Maze RunnerMaze Runner Series by James Dashner

This series break up was probably the easiest I’ve ever made. I was left with more questions and no answers and quite frankly I just didn’t see the point in any of it.

 

 

MatchedMatched Series by Ally Condie

I read Matched and Crossed and honestly I can’t even remember why I decided to read Crossed when I didn’t really enjoy Matched. The only things I really remember about the series is that they books were slow moving and the main character’s name was Cassia. Zero interest in continuing.

 

 

Emmy Laybourne Monument 14Monument 14 Series by Emmy Laybourne

I had a lot of love for Monument 14 and I was pretty excited that it was a series and there would be more. However, Monument 14: Savage Drift, was pretty disappointing. I didn’t like the direction of the plot or how the characters changed and I just don’t feel like I need to read more, I’d rather just pretend the second book didn’t happen.

 

What series or authors have you broken up with?

Kimberly


Apr 17

My Favorite WordPress Plugins

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Random Thoughts on Books and Blogging is my opportunity to discuss my bookish and blogging thoughts, whenever I feel like!

One of my favorite blogger friends, Cindy from Cindy’s Love of Books just recently made the switch from Blogger to WordPress. We were chatting about the move and I was telling her how awesome WordPress is and how much I love plugins so I thought I would share my list of favorite plugins with my readers!

Akismet

Without Akismet I’m pretty sure I would die from spam overload. Akismet does a fantastic job, I’ve had a comment or two sneak in, but Akismet catches 99% of all the spam. Even though I am a small blog the number of spam comments Akismet catches is staggering.

UpdraftPlus

UpdraftPlus automatically backs up your blog, and that’s a must! I’ve used mine before and I can’t even begin to describe how grateful I was to have a back up! The nice thing about UpdraftPlus is that it backs up to Dropbox (or whatever platform you choose) every month/week/day that you choose automatically, so you never have to think about doing it!

Ultimate Book Blogger Plugin

The UBB is the only plugin I have that I paid money for, and it was worth every penny. Seriously it does all the things book bloggers need: it formats all my reviews the same and has automatically updating indexes, those two things alone make the price worth it, but it does lots of other things as well.

WordPress Editorial Calendar and Schedule Posts Calendar

I found the way to schedule posts in WordPress to be pretty unfriendly and these two helped me out a ton. The editorial calendar shows you your posts in a calendar style layout and you can easily move posts around as you want. The Posts Calendar adds a calendar to your schedule options on the posting page which is a huge deal for me as I usually think about my posts as the days of the week, not the date that they will be posted.

Simple Content Templates

Tired of constant formatting the same types of posts (TTT, WoW, StS etc)? This plugin is for you. You set it up one time and then you can just select the template you want when you are starting your new post!

CommentLuv

This one automatically links the commenters last blog post to their comment! This makes it super easy to reply back to your commenters, right on their own blog.

What are your favorite plugins?

Kimberly


Apr 05

Good Thing Spring Break is One Week Away!!!

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Random Thoughts on Books and Blogging is my opportunity to discuss my bookish and blogging thoughts, whenever I feel like!

Work has been so completely overwhelming the last few weeks and in addition to work (or probably because of all the work) I ended up getting a terrible sinus infection. Seriously guys, it was so bad that even emptying the dishwasher was exhausting! Good news is that I am feeling better! Bad news is that I am still working on being caught up on work. Even better news – Spring Break is just one week away!! I desperately need a break from work and my students (I love them, but they are driving me a bit crazy right now).

I went on GoodReads to poke around and see what’s up this morning and saw this and freaked out just a tiny bit… that’s a lot of books to be behind!

Screen Shot 2014-04-05 at 10.07.48 AMI knew when I started this year that I would probably fall behind in the beginning and the get ahead in the summer when I’m off but it was still a shock to see that I fell that far behind so quickly! I sadly haven’t finished a book (or hardly even read a book) in two weeks, not even my audio book. I’ve been working non stop (or sleeping while I was sick) and not really been able to fit in more than a page or two. Normally I listen to audio on the way to/from work but I’ve been feeling the 90’s lately so it’s been all music.

I also decided to rewatch Veronica Mars.

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Discovering that I could get Amazon Prime on my iPad is both a blessing and a curse. I like to watch TV while I work (which I know makes it less productive) and with this new discovery I have been on a complete Veronica Mars binge. I forgot how completely awesome this show is and if you haven’t seen it I encourage you to do so!

Now that Spring Break is only a week away and things are starting to calm down at work I’m excited to do ALL THE READING! I plan on finishing one book club book, reading the April book club book, finish Starters and picking one or three off my TBR shelf!

What books are you looking forward to reading this month!

Kimberly


Feb 15

To Reread or Not to Reread, That is the Question

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Random Thoughts on Books and Blogging is my opportunity to discuss my bookish and blogging thoughts, whenever I feel like!

Recently I went through my book shelves and culled quite a few books *pats self on back*. As I was doing so I was reminded of all the amazing books I have on my shelves and how there are so many that I would love to reread. Things I Can’t Forget, Everbound & Everneath, The Hunger Games Trilogy, Can You Keep a Secret, Unraveling & Unbreakable, Pivot Point… I could go on and on and on. And that doesn’t even count my ebooks!

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So many I want to reread!

There are so many books I want to read that I find it’s hard to make time to reread any of my favorites. Or rather I guess I should say that I don’t make time to reread my favorites. Every time I think about a book I want to reread I look at my TBR shelf and feel guilty because all those pretties are sitting there unread and just waiting for me to pick them. But then I look at my read bookshelf and I get sad because I am neglecting all those pretties.

As much as I want to reread some of my old favorites I know that I won’t be turning down new books anytime soon.

How about you? Do you reread or wish you could reread books?

Kimberly