I’m having a hard time believing it’s already August. There’s less than a month until I’m back at work!! I saw an image on Instagram this morning by @letterfolk with a quote that said:
“How is it already August…
Tomorrow is basically September.
It’s already 2019.
Happy New Year.”
That pretty much sums up how I’m feeling. Time flies! I had a fantastic reading month in July, and I’m hoping to do the same this month, before work gets going again and I start my Master’s.
So, without further ado, here’s my August TBR.
A Court of Mist and Fury – Sarah J. Maas How They Met – David Levithan A Man Called Ove – Fredrik Backman The Sky is Everywhere – Jandy Nelson The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo – Amy Schumer Fierce Kingdom – Gin Phillips The Boat People – Sharon Bala Precious Cargo – Craig Davidson Tarzan of the Apes – Edgar Rice Burroughs A Thousand Splendid Suns – Khaled Hosseini Hollow City – Ransom Riggs (I accidentally put Library of Souls, book 3, in the photo, but I haven’t read book 2 yet) Lion – Saroo Brierley P.S. I Still Love You – Jenny Han The Fledgling – Jane Langton (The Hall Family Chronicles #4) The Fragile Flag – Jane Langton (The Hall Family Chronicles #5) The Time Bike – Jane Langton (The Hall Family Chronicles #6) A Dance with Dragons – George R. R. Martin
How I chose
I decided to go for a huge stack so that I could mood read from it this month. Mood reading worked really well for me last month, even though I didn’t officially choose a TBR. I also wanted to diversify my list a bit more and read some Canadian Literature (CanLit).
Where I’m at, and what I’m looking forward to!
I started reading The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo on the last day of July, and I’m almost done. Andrew and I are heading to Seattle to see the Jays-Mariners series today, so I don’t know how much reading I’ll get done, but we’ll see!
I think I’m most excited to read the CanLit (The Boat People, Precious Cargo) and the diverse reads (A Thousand Splendid Suns, Lion) on this list.
My classic choice for the month
Since March, I’ve attempted to read one classic per month. This month I’ve chosen Tarzan of the Apes! Should be fun!
Even though it’s a purposely big TBR for mood reading…
I still think I have a pretty good chance of finishing these because I’m still off work for summer!
Time to finish my packing and choose my weekend book list!
This past weekend, I participated in the 24in48 Readathon. I posted about what the readathon is and how I was heading into it on Friday, before it started. If you’re interested in more details about the readathon, you can check out that post.
Here’s a little reminder of my TBR stack for the weekend.
I never intended to read all of them, because that would have been impossible, but I wanted to have a lot to choose from so I could mood read as I went.
So, how did it go?!
This is a wrap-up post, so of course it’s all about how the weekend went. Obviously, the overarching goal of the readathon is to read 24 out of 48 hours. Spoiler alert, I didn’t read for that long. But it was still an awesome weekend! So let’s get into it.
Duration and Quantity
In total from Friday at 9pm to Sunday at 9pm, I read for 17 hours and 27 minutes! During that time, I read 3.5 books. Here’s my stack, basking in this morning’s sun:
I was pretty happy with how long I managed to spend reading. I did the 24in48 Readathon for the first time in January, and I read for 13 hours. So I bested that time by 4.5 hours this go around!
A breakdown of the order of operations
I started the 24in48 weekend off by finishing the last 3/4 of Austen’s Northanger Abbey. I was only intending to read a chapter at a time, as I tend to do with classics, but I really got into it about halfway through and just kept going. I loved it, and there will be a review up soon!
Then I found myself inspired by a newfound Bookstagram friend and fellow ‘thonner, Kasturi (@bruadarachreads) to start Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, which serendipitously also happened to be in his TBR stack. I finished that one on Saturday night and wanted something a bit lighter. So, I started with the children’s series and began The Diamond in the Window.
After finishing the children’s book on Sunday morning, I found myself really wanting to finish the Rebel of the Sands series, so I grabbed Hero at the Fall from my stack. I ended the ‘thon at 9pm Sunday having read almost exactly half of it.
Things that weren’t so great
I’ll start with these, so I can end the post on a more positive note.
First, I felt super sick on Sunday, so that was probably the low point of the readathon for me. It was also really hot in the apartment, so I was pretty uncomfortable all around. I was literally sitting on my chair on top of a towel, soaking through my clothes and feeling crappy. It made it hard to focus on reading, and I ended up watching a lot of rugby instead.
Also, I didn’t meet the 24-hour target. I hadn’t really been expecting to anyway, but I’m a super competitive person. I also didn’t win any door prizes, sad face. Again, not unexpected.
Finally, the 7s Rugby World Cup was a good and a bad thing. Going into this weekend, I was incredibly excited to have the weekend absolutely full of two of my most favourite things: reading and rugby. But looking back, I think I would have preferred having the two on separate weekends. I stopped reading completely to watch each of Canada’s games, which was fine and in the plan.
However, I had all the other games on in the background, and it meant that I wasn’t entirely focused on either rugby or reading. I think I would have finished more books if I hadn’t been watching rugby in the background, because I would have read faster. Oh well, it is what it is! I have no control over scheduling for either of these events, obviously. And I still really enjoyed both watching hours and hours of amazing rugby and reading for hours and hours. Which brings me to the great stuff!
Things that were awesome
First, I read 3.5 books in a weekend! In the summer, I generally try to read a book a day (unless I’ve got events or things going on) because I have so much free time. So to read almost double that was a great accomplishment for me.
I also got to make connections with a couple of awesome people through the readathon, Kaitlin (@bookedandready) and Kasturi (who I mentioned above). I have been virtual friends with Kaitlin through Bookstagram for a while now, and I discovered that she was also doing the readathon. Kasturi found me somehow on Bookstagram shortly before the ‘thon, and we decided to share in the experience together as well, with Kaitlin! It was totally organic and fantastic. We supported each other throughout the weekend, tagging each other in posts and stories, and generally motivating each other to keep going.
Last, I had a serendipitous reading moment. I posted about it on Bookstagram already, but it needs to be shared here too! On Saturday night, I finished Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, and it was past my bedtime, but I really wanted to start the first few pages of a new book anyway. As I outlined above, I started The Diamond in the Window. As it turns out, both authors chose a Ralph Waldo Emerson poem for their epigraphs.
Also, Emerson features heavily in both books! How cool is that? I love book magic like this.
So that’s a wrap on 24in48 for 2018!
The next 24in48 Readathon is scheduled for January 26-27, 2019. I can’t wait!
The 24in48 Readathon is a competition/challenge that occurs twice a year. It started in 2015, but I heard about it for the first time back in January, which is when I participated for the first time.
How does 24in28 work?
The basic premise is a challenge to read for a full 24 hours out of a 48-hour period. Officially, the readathon starts at 12:00 AM on Saturday, and ends at 11:59 pm on Sunday, EST. For me, that means official time starts at 9:00 PM on Friday, and ends at 8:59 PM on Sunday, as I’m on PST.
You can track your reading however you want, usually with a timer on your phone or another type of timing device. There’s no way for the hosts of the readathon to really check if you actually read the whole 24 hours, but us bibliophiles tend to be pretty honest characters, in my humble, rose-coloured glasses opinion.
That’s a question many people have asked me, including my husband and friends.
My main answer is because it’s fun! I love an excuse to read all weekend long without feeling guilty for not doing anything else. Although I will be doing other things – I’ve got plans to meet a friend who’s in Vancouver for a visit with her baby, and the hubs and I have a standing weekend pitch & putt date. It’s good to take breaks and move your body!
The reason you need to time yourself (other than the excitement of a challenge, of course) is that if you manage to read for a full 24 hours, you’re eligible for prizes! Us bibliophiles also really love giveaways, including books, bookish merch, and credits to book stores. They also do photo challenges using the hashtag #24in48, which is super fun and helps you to stay engaged with the readathon all weekend long.
Another thing that I find helps me stay engaged with the readathon is to set a TBR. I choose a huge one, just like I do for my monthly TBRS. This helps me stay motivated, and it also gives me a lot of options to mood read from in the event that I get bored or that I am not enjoying a particular book. I do not expect to finish all these books.
So, without further ado, here’s my July 2018 24in24 Readathon TBR!
A photo, first:
Here’s the list:
Northanger Abbey – Jane Austen
The Hall Family Chronicles, Books 1-6 (entire series) – Jane Langton
The Diamond in the Window
The Swing in the Summerhouse
The Astonishing Stereoscope
The Fragile Flag
The Time Bike
Hero at the Fall – Alwyn Hamilton
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children – Ransom Riggs
P.S. I Still Love You – Jenny Han
A Court of Mist and Fury – Stephanie J. Maas
A Dance With Dragons – George R. R. Martin
Last, I’m going to give you a few explanations as to the choices I made in building this stack, as I chose it with a lot of intention and purpose.
My Classics Challenge
This was inspired by Whitney of The Unread Shelf Project 2018. She’s been the inspiration for a lot of my reading goals this year, and you’ll see another aspect of that later in this post.
Whitney suggested as a challenge during one month this year (March I think?) to choose a book that’s been on your unread shelf for a really long time with the target of finishing it by the end of the month, and to give it away if you don’t. So, I’ve been trying do this with my classics, because historically I struggle to read them. My goal is to read one per month, and if I don’t finish, I have to give it away. I set a page per day target to help keep me on track. This month’s classic is Northanger Abbey, which I’m already about 1/3 of the way through. I decided to add it to my TBR for the readathon to motivate me to finish it.
The Unread Shelf Project July Challenge: Finish That Series
Something that has helped me determine my TBR for July, and for the 24in28 readathon, is Whitney’s challenge for July, “Finish That Series.” I have a lot of unfinished series. I read 5 books that were part of series on my vacation to Calgary, and now I’ve added a bunch more to this TBR.
I read Traitor to the Throne (review upcoming) in Calgary, and this weekend I hope to finish the trilogy with Hero at the Fall. I’ve been majorly putting off finishing Game of Thrones, so that’s on there too. I read A Court of Thorns and Roses earlier this year and didn’t think it was that amazing, but I’ve heard the series gets way better as you go, so I picked A Court of Mist and Fury too.
I read To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before last summer (incidentally, on my vacation to Calgary) and bought the sequel quite soon after but never got around to it. Now is the time! A bit of fluff as a spacer between some of my heavier choices.
I chose Miss Peregrine’s because I own the series but haven’t started it. Similarly, I chose The Hall Family Chronicles because I read at least the first two books when I was 13 or 14, and then never finished the series, and that cannot stand!
That’s it for now!
Let me know if you’re participating in the readathon in the comments. Make sure you sign up at the website I linked above to make sure you’re eligible for prizes! I’d love to hear what you’re planning to read!
I missed my March reading target, even though I was on vacation from work for two weeks.
No March Wrap-Up yet, on Bookstagram, or here.
I haven’t even chosen an April TBR, and it’s the 17th. Of April.
The only 2 books I’ve finished so far this month I started in March. I’ve read Furiously Happy, and The Wide Window.
I’ve also only posted 4 times on Bookstagram this month, and I normally post once daily.
What’s going on?
It’s here, the dreaded slump everyone on Bookstagram lives in fear of and talks about constantly.
A slump is different for everyone, but generally it means we’re reading and posting on Bookstagram far less often than usual. Generally, this makes the person experiencing the slump feel bad.
Unpopular Opinion: It’s fine.
Here’s an opinion that some people might not agree with: WE DO NOT NEED TO APOLOGIZE FOR SLUMPS. I see so many people posting in their stories about how they’re sorry they’re not posting as often as usual or how they’re sorry they haven’t posted in a while…
I literally don’t care. At all. In fact, you’re probably doing me a favor by not posting as often, because it’s less that I feel obligated to look at (that’s probably a story for an entirely other post).
But seriously. Don’t apologize for doing you. I certainly won’t be. This is definitely not an apology post. It’s an exploration of whim and of understanding what makes me tick and who I am as a person, reader, and Bookstagrammer. I wish I were reading more now because I love to read, not because I feel bad for not “providing a service to my followers.”
I still don’t feel that great about it.
But that’s because I have my own sets of expectations about how much I read and how much I engage with the Bookstagram world, and I’m not meeting them now.
My reading target for 2018 is 110 books. Thankfully, through participating in a few readathons in January and February, I was able to get ahead. I’m now at 47 books for the year, which means I’m almost halfway to my target while we’re only about a quarter and a bit through the year.
But if my slump were to continue for another couple of months, I’d start to worry. I need to work on my expectations of myself, I know, but at least I have some leeway at the moment.
Suspicions About What Started the Slump
As the title of this post suggests, I’ve got a lot of ideas about potential causes of this slump.
The first is SAD, Seasonal Affective Disorder. I wrote a post about this over on my mental health blog. I get really down in the Winter and am less productive in general. Also, I sleep more, which cuts down on my reading time. We’ve had an even rainier and greyer Winter here in Vancouver than usual, and it’s not been good for my motivation and reading habits.
The second reason is my vacation to Cuba. It was great for my reading, because we spent most of our days on the beach. However, when I got back I was a bit sick and super exhausted. I tend to get what I call “vacation hangovers” when I have to go back to my routines after being away, especially on trips that are really relaxing. My vacation hangover made me literally want to do nothing but sit on my armchair staring at my phone games.
I’m reading a book I’m not really enjoying, The Three-Body Problem.
It was the #thebreakfastbookclub pick for March, and I still haven’t finished it. I find that reading a book I’m not that into pretty much always puts me into a slump. However, I have serious reading FOMO and I’ve almost never DNFed a book in my life, so I have to keep going. Thankfully, I should finish it in the next couple of days, and then I’m going to pick my next book really carefully.
This is also kind of to do with Cuba. It was also great for my Instagram addiction, because there was very little wi-fi and what we could get cost money and was incredibly slow. So it was nice to not have to worry about posting or interacting on Bookstagram, but when I got back I felt like I didn’t feel like doing it anymore.
How I’m Dealing With It
I find the best way to deal with a slump is to just ride it out. If I’m trying to force myself to read I’m not going to enjoy it. Likewise, if I’m uninspired about posting on Bookstagram, my posts aren’t going to be as successful as I want them to be.
When I notice that I’m not really enjoying a book, I do my best to choose my next read carefully, so that I know it’s something I’ll really love. I’ll choose a book by an author I already like, or one that’s super hyped and that I’m really excited to read.
I also find that making to-do lists and journaling helps me get my motivation back.
Finally, I think sometimes it’s just important to do what your body is asking for. On top of having a vacation hangover, I’m also during the heaviest training weeks for my half marathon. This is physically exhausting (and rewarding). It’s in less than three weeks! So if my body wants to sleep more and read less, that’s what I’m letting it do. For now, anyway!
Hope to see you (virtually at least) soon!
Let me know how you deal with slumps in the comments!
It’s the third month of the @theunreadshelf Project 2018, and my reading month has started out… slowly. Especially considering that I read 13 books in February and 23 books in January. So far in March I’ve finished two books. Two. I’m not kidding. It’s the 12th.
This is partly why I’ve decided to still post my March TBR even though we’re already a third of the way through the month. I’m hoping it will give me some motivation to get out of my reading slump.
However, there is some good reason for my drastic slowdown:
You get the gist.
Also, I’ve committed to a couple of different reading challenges this month which I think are actually slowing me down and not keeping me motivated. The first is part of the Unread Shelf Project 2018 – Whitney, the creator, sets a challenge each month. This month, she challenged project participants to read a book that’s been on their unread shelf for a really long time, and if you don’t finish it by March 31st, you have to give it away.
I chose Robinson Crusoe for the March challenge.
I got it from my Mom as part of my 18th birthday gift of tons of books she loved alongside a bunch of classics. I’ve meant to read it for ages, so I figured no was as good a time as ever. However, it’s taking me a really long time to get into it, and I’m now about 50 pages in, so I’m fifty pages behind (my edition is ~300 pages and March is 31 days long).
I also decided to take part in my first readalong.
@theperksofbeingnoura is doing a March readalong for City of Bones, the first book in Cassandra Clare’s “The Mortal Instruments” series. I have meant to try this series for a while now, and I serendipitously picked it up at a used book store early in March and then saw the announcement about the readalong. It was perfect! The pace of the readathon is about 1 chapter per day, and as it’s YA, I can easily keep up with that.
However, between reading City of Bones and trying to keep up with Robinson Crusoe, I haven’t been reading anything else, except briefly reading The Bad Beginning, which didn’t take very long as it’s children’s lit. I find that I read a lot slower if I have to divide my attention between more than one book at once. Anyone else feel like that?
Hopefully, now that report cards are complete (good riddance!), I think I can get back on track. Plus, I’m going to Cuba with my mom for the last week of March and that’s pretty much going to be sand, sun, ocean, and reading!
So, without further ado, here’s my March TBR.
Where I’m at, and what I’m looking forward to!
The one book I’ve finished so far this month is The Sisters Brothers. It was the Breakfast Book Club pick for February, and we met on the first weekend of this month to talk about it. I really loved it!
I think I’m most excited to read Furiously Happy and The Female of the Species this month. Also, my most anticipated 2018 release, Obsidio, comes out this month. It’s the last installment in the Illuminae trilogy. Oh, and by this month, I mean the 13th, TOMORROW! It’s so close I can taste it!
I highly doubt I’ll finish all these books, but…
I’ve really been enjoying setting huge TBRs and picking from them based on my mood. We’ll see how it goes moving forward!
Time to get cracking on some more reading and blogging!
As it’s already January 6, I’ve finished three of these! I read Harry Potter: A History of Magic first, Caraval second, and Rebel of the Sands third. Reviews upcoming for all of them! Out of the three, I enjoyed Rebel of the Sands the most! I think my next read will be #GIRLBOSS! I’m feeling some non-fiction. I think my most highly anticipated reads of this month are The Hate U Give and Station Eleven, which both come highly recommended from friends and Bookstagram alike.
It’s highly possible that you think there’s no way I’ll finish all of these…
You might be right, but I’ve already read three and I read 15 books in December! I’d bet on myself for this one.
Now that I’ve shared this with you, I’m off to keep working on all the reviews I need to post thanks to my warp-speed holiday break reading spree!