2019 Reading Goals: A Recap

Wow. 2019 has been a YEAR, hasn’t it? Our family moved not once but TWICE to a different state (Utah to California and back to Utah) and are now settling into our new home in Utah Valley. Luckily, I think we’re done moving for a while. But let’s get to the point of this post, shall we?

2019 Reading Goals

Here’s a link to my original post for those interested, but here were my reading goals for 2019:

I’m happy to report that I pretty much accomplished all of these! I didn’t read quite as many Neil Gaiman books as I’d hoped (besides Stardust, I only ended up reading Coraline and some of his picture books with my son). But all the rest I DEFINITELY accomplished! I’d been meaning to reread Harry Potter for a while and am so glad that I finally did it. My husband and I ended up rewatching all of the movies too as I finished reading the books! It ended up being a really fun thing. I absolutely ADORED The Book Thief and V.E. Schwab’s books. Jane Eyre…not so much for me, but I’m glad I read it.

How did you do with your 2019 reading goals? I’ll be posting my 2020 reading goals soon, so stay tuned!

Weeding my TBR | sharing tips and my own progress

I don’t know about you guys, but when I first started blogging, I threw everything on my TBR! Okay, not everything, but basically any book that got any amount of hype. Here I am, almost five years later and my TBR has grown immensely. There are so many books on there that I have no recollection hearing about. And every time before now that I’ve tried to weed my TBR, I’ve become overwhelmed. Goodreads doesn’t have a very good weeding feature that I’ve found–every time you remove a book from your “Want to Read” shelf the whole page reloads and then you have to rescroll to where you were…it’s a process. So every other weeding attempt has found me giving up after deleting like 10 books, max. But I think I’ve finally found a way to clean up my TBR!

Weeding my TBR

Sort your TBR first

One of the biggest difficulties with my previous weeding attempts is that it’s hard for me to remember what I’ve already taken a look at and decided to keep. When I was still working at the library, we would divide big group weeding projects (thousands of books) up into sections that made it a lot more manageable, so I did something similar here. I alphabetized the titles in my TBR list and just took it one letter at a time–I didn’t have to do everything all at once. There are a ton of different ways you could sort it–author, publication year, page count, whatever! Just pick a way that works for you and stick with it throughout the whole project.

Figure out your weeding standards

Another thing I learned from library weeding–you don’t have to look at every book. If there was something that was in good condition and was circulating well, then we just left it on the shelf. Similarly, if there’s a book on your shelf that you already KNOW you want to read, then just go ahead and leave it.

But for the books you do want to look at, you’ll have to decide what determines if it will stay on your list. Here’s the process I go through:

  1. I reread the synopsis–does it grab me? This is the most important step for me because if it doesn’t sound interesting to me anymore, then I’m probably going to remove it.
  2. I consider the overall star rating. Anything under 3.75 may act as a little warning flag for me.
  3. Last, I consider my Goodreads friends ratings. Most of my Goodreads friends are other bloggers that I interact with and I trust their ratings more than the overall Goodreads rating. If the Goodreads rating is low, but my friends are giving it 4 or 5 stars, I’m more likely to keep it.

You can obviously use whatever standards you want, this is just how I’ve been doing it.

Remember the sunk cost fallacy

Sunk Cost Fallacy is something that we talked about in my Econ classes A TON. Humans act in this really irrational way where we’ll do something even if we’re not enjoying it because we feel like we have to for whatever reason. For example, people will overeat to a point where they’re super uncomfortable at a buffet because they feel like they need to “get their money’s worth”. In my case, I’ll keep a book on my Kindle even if I’m not interested in it anymore because I paid for it. This has been a huge sticking point for me, but finally I think I’ve gotten past it. Don’t let the fact that you bought a book make you keep it on your TBR if you’ve lost all interest in reading it!

How well did it work?

This is the first year that I’ve been trying to keep track of my TBR growth. At the beginning of the year, my TBR was at 383 books. By the beginning of August, I was at 469 books which is an 86 book increase. That’s not even taking into account books that I’ve read from my TBR, so with that in mind I’ve probably added over 100 books to my TBR so far this year.

I started this project towards the end of August, so I’ll use 469 books as my TBR starting point. It’s taken some time to get through it all and even though I’ve been adding books in the meantime as well, I’ve gotten it down to…..drumroll….306 books! That’s a difference of 106! It’s crazy to me that I had so many books chilling on my TBR that I wasn’t interested in reading anymore. It’s almost like I’m starting over fresh! I can now move forward with my lighter, more concise list. It feels like I can actually go to my TBR to pick my next read now instead of feeling crazy overwhelmed by it! I know that I’m actually interested in every book on my list. I was reminded of so many books that I feel EXCITED about and I’m going to try to actually use my TBR in the future instead of just adding books to it.

TTT | So this is how my TBR gets so long…

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

Top Ten Tuesday Blog

Things That Make Me Pick Up a Book

If you want to know what makes me add a book to my TBR, it’s usually at least one (perhaps even a combination) of the following things.

Pretty Cover

Yes, of COURSE I judge books by their covers. Of COURSE.

One of my auto-read authors

Sarah Dessen, Jennifer E Smith, Morgan Matson, Malcolm Gladwell, Victoria Schwab. Welcome.

Interesting premise

This might sound like a no-brainer, but once the pretty cover catches my eye, if it doesn’t sound interesting then I’m going to put it back down.

Recommended by someone I trust/good reviews

If people I trust are raving about a book, I’m a lot more likely to move it up my TBR. Same if it has a rating higher than 4 stars on Goodreads.

I have to/assigned reading

Either it’s the book for one of my book clubs, or I have to read something in that genre for work.

Next in a series

I’m a lot better at quitting mid-series than I used to be. That being said, I’m also always hopeful that the next book in the series will be better–especially if I really enjoyed one of the first ones.

It’s a classic

This is a little different from assigned reading because no one is expecting me to read it. Lately, I’ve felt like I’ve been wanting to read more classics in order to feel more well-rounded in my reading life.

Just happens to catch my eye

Working at a library is simultaneously the best and worst thing for my reading life. I’m tempted by so many books every day!

That’s all I could come up with for this Tuesday!

What do you think of my list? Link your TTT in the comments!

April TBR

March was an AMAZING reading month for me and I’m not expecting to have the same thing happen this month. There are, however, a few things that I NEED to read this month, so I’ll be prioritizing those things.

monthly tbr

Honestly, I doubt that I’ll get to all of these, but I’m going to try!

What books are you planning on reading this month? Link your April TBRs in the comments!

March Wrap-up & TBR Update

YOU GUYS. I had such a good reading month! I’m blown away by how much I was able to read. Not only did I complete my entire TBR (which never happens) but I read other books in addition! Now, a lot of these were graphic novels which read much quicker, but even with all of those, this has still been my biggest reading month for a while!

monthly tbr

Also read/reading:

*I didn’t review each of the Lumberjanes volumes individually, instead, I wrote this Lumberjanes overview.

Books finished this month: 20 (11 graphic novels)
Books currently reading: 3

Overall TBR:

TBR at the beginning of the year = 383
TBR at the beginning of March = 444
Books added to TBR = 23
Books read/deleted from TBR = 18
Total on TBR now = 449

How did your reading go this month?

Bemused vs Amused: Do you know the difference?

discussion posts

This is such a huge pet peeve of mine. Authors use the word “bemused” when they really mean “amused” all. the. TIME. Let’s review definitions, shall we?

amused definition

bemused definition

 

 

 

 

I read a book recently where the author used the word bemused TWICE. Now, I’ll say giving the author the benefit of the doubt, bemused could hypothetically have fit the situation. However, in the context of the story, amused would have made much more sense. And here I am, as a reader, wondering how nobody knows the difference between these two words! Not the author, not the editor, not anyone else who read this book before it got published.

But to be completely transparent with you, when I looked up bemused on Dictionary.com, this is something else that popped up:

The verb bemuse (usually as the adjective bemused)is similar in sound to amuse, and has in fact taken on the meaning “to cause to be mildly amused.” Many usage experts and traditionalists consider this a misuse of bemuse, pointing out that its proper meaning is “to bewilder or confuse.” However, the history and use of bemuse has shown that is meaning is often ambiguous. It’s often the case that one’s feelings are a combination of bewilderment and amusement: Their customs bemuse most Americans. Even when it clearly means “to bewilder or confuse,” bemuse usually retains a lighthearted tone: one would not typically say: I was bemused by his motive for the murder.

So apparently, because everyone keeps using this word wrong, it’s starting to mean what everyone has been using it to mean. Isn’t that weird? It’s just so…frustrating to me, because it’s wrong! Just because people keep getting a math answer wrong doesn’t change what the answer actually is, right?

I was telling my husband about this strange phenomenon and he told me that the same thing happens with travesty vs tragedy. A lot of people use the word travesty to mean an even bigger tragedy, when in reality it means: “a false, absurd, or distorted representation of something.”

Anyway, there’s my rant for the day. Are there any words that you’ve noticed authors (or other people) consistently get wrong? Why do you think editors don’t catch that kind of thing?

7 best YA couples of all time (this is completely subjective)

My little brother’s getting married today! Obviously, I’m not writing this on his wedding day, though. Like a good blogger, I have pre-scheduled content for this weekend including yesterday’s review of Bloodwitch. But I’m getting away from myself. In honor of my baby brother’s wedding day, I wanted to post my top 7 (he was born on the 7th) YA couples of all time! (In my opinion). Happy wedding day, B! (He doesn’t read this blog, but whatever).

Best YA Couples

1) Amy and Roger from Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson

This is such an ultimate road trip book and I love it! Roger is super respectful of Amy the entire trip and when they finally get together it’s so satisfying. I love all the different playlists throughout and it’s so fun to watch them get to know each other and fall in love.

eBook | Hardcover | Paperback

2) August and Kate from the Monsters of Verity duology by Victoria Schwab

These two never really get together, but I still love them as a couple. I feel like they’re really well-suited for each other–I have a hard time imagining anyone else being able to understand either of them. They just seem really perfect.

eBook | Hardcover | Paperback

3) Blue and Gansey from The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater

Blue and Gansey spend so much time in this series not actually together and while it can be frustrating at times, it also makes their inevitable relationship that much more satisfying. We know they’re fated to be with each other right from the beginning and I loved watching their relationship grow over the four books.

eBook | Hardcover | Paperback

4) Dario and Khalila from The Great Library series by Rachel Caine

These two! What a pair! Dario is so ridiculous, but he shows an unexpected tender side whenever Khalila is involved. And Khalila, for her part, doesn’t put up with any of Dario’s crap. She loves him, but she’s not going to let him get away with ANYTHING.

eBook | Paperback

5) Eril-Fane and Azareen from the Strange the Dreamer duology by Laini Taylor

I almost chose Lazlo and Sarai from this book, but then I remembered Eril-Fane and Azareen. While Lazlo and Sarai have a sweet new love, Eril-Fane and Azareen have a deep and tragic love. Reading about their relationship throughout the two books is so heartbreaking. I don’t want to give any spoilers, but I love the way this mature relationship is portrayed in these books.

eBook | Hardcover | Paperback

6) Cress and Thorne from The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer

One of my OTPs. These guys are definitely perfect for each other. They compliment each other so nicely and I love how tender Thorne is with Cress. She needs someone who will be gentle with her, but also acknowledge all the ways in which she is strong–Thorne is able to do that perfectly.

eBook | Hardcover | Paperback

7) Remy and Dexter from This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen

You knew there was going to be a Sarah Dessen couple on here, right?!? I wanted to pick Macy and Wes so bad, but in the end I had to go with Remy and Dexter. They are the ultimate example of opposites attracting. I love the way Dexter brings out the less serious side of Remy while Remy does a good job of being an anchor to the relationship.

eBook | Hardcover | Paperback

Any of your guys’ favorite couples make it on my list? Anyone you think I missed?