In My Life
My camera’s wifi adapter broke this week, so that’s made me sad. I’ve become so dependent on it because it eliminates a lot of trial and error. It’s just so much quicker to accurately shift around items within my frame when I can simply glance at my iPhone screen. Now I have to keep moving to and fro between the frame and my camera’s screen or viewfinder to make sure my photos are composed the way I want them to be. I’m still deciding if I’m willing to fork over the money it costs to replace it.
I made a renewed attempt at a TBR (to be read) jar. You can see it in the photo above. Let me tell you, it was a feat stuffing all those folded sheets of paper into the jar. Jumbling them up is a futile exercise. Looks like I need to make a TBR box instead because I’ve only added the fiction titles I own. I still want to add the non-fiction titles and library ebooks I’ve bookmarked. They’re available 24/7, so totally made for TBR jars, unlike physical library books which would require me to actually make a trip to the library to borrow a title I pull from the jar. Not ideal TBR jar material.
Guest Post on Ethnicity at The Mile Long Bookshelf
What does this mean for me, not ever seeing myself reflected in books? That is the question I answered at The Mile Long Bookshelf. When Amber asked who would like to share about their personal experiences about mental illness, LGBTQ+, race, class, gender, etc, I knew I had to take her up on it. Being marginalised in literature is one thing. Being invisible means something else entirely. That is the reality for many who are of mixed ethnic descent.
My aim this year is to significantly reduce the TBR pile of books I already own. I tallied the books on my shelves, ebooks as well as (pre-orders) as of Dec 31, 2015. I arrived at a staggering 316. With that, this year I will only buy books I absolutely want to read on the spot, sequels to books I’ve already read or books that are an absolute steal. However, even when it comes to sales, I restrict myself to books already on my general TBR pile on Goodreads — no maybes for me.
That being sad, my orders of Double Helix by Nancy Werlin, Every Day by David Levithan and My Best Friend, Maybe by Caela Carter arrived for me to re-read. I also got The Fix by Natasha Sinel and Like it Never Happened by Emily Adrian because I want to read them soon, so I didn’t wait for paperbacks. Of course, I pre-ordered Passenger by Alexandra Bracken! It’s one of my most anticipated 2016-reads, so there was no way I was going to pass up on it. Lastly, I picked up The Moon and More by Sarah Dessen at a book sale that I randomly passed by. This was the only available copy, so I had to grab it very quickly and at 70% off, well, it was a really good deal!
On the Blog
You may have noticed the transition I’m making with the images I post on the blog. I’m adding text to the image headers, so these will be more shareable on social media. That’s something I wanna get better at this year, so I hope this experiment of mine will pay off. Plus, this does add a little more cohesion to the overall feel of my blog and I like that. This does mean though that I’ll be reformatting all my previous posts. I expect to take one to two months till I’m done.
This week I announced Bookstagram 101. I’ll be posting tutorials over the coming weeks to help newcomers to the bookish Instagram scene. At the same time, I hope to answer questions and address uncertainties that bookstagrammers might have. For example, how to deal with copyright, achieving consistency, etc. This series of posts will be separate from my photography tutorials which focus on the more technical aspects of photography.
I also reflected on re-reading books I loved before and am loving the thoughtful comments that others have been leaving behind. I’m also surprised that so many of them actually aren’t that much into re-reading books. This week’s Bookish Scene: Project 52 theme is Wanderlust. I had a lot of fun with this one because I love exploring new places, be it in real life or through books.
As usual, Hot off the Press went live, featuring the YA books that were released this week.
For drama geeks, you might wanna check out Cut the Lights by Karen Krossing. It definitely brought back memories of my own theatre days.
Around the Blogosphere
- 2016 Love-a-thon sign-ups are open! This year Alexa has three lovely co-hosts to make this a bigger smashing event. Anyone in the online book community (book tube, bookstagram, blogging, booker, Twitter, you name it!) is welcome to join.
- Abeer @ Turn to page 394 showcased subscription boxes. Their popularity has been on the rise, so if you’d like to know what you can expect if you subscribe, Abeer has you covered.
- Nuzaifa @ Word Contessa made a case for redefining strong women in YA fiction.
- Tonyalee @ Lilybloombooks isn’t bothered by love triangles.
- Peach @ Rebelle Reads believes in romance as the key to making a book great.
- Genevieve @ The Reading Shelf outlined the archetype of former wild child older sisters.
- Claudia @ Penmarkings questioned love interests that are way older than they look; i.e. characters who are hundreds of years old but get romantically involved with teenage girls. (This has bothered me many times over.)
- Cyra @ Rattle the Pages loves novellas and is curious about your thoughts.
- Silvara @ Fantasy of the Silver Dragon asked, do you purge your books?
- Nicole @ Bitches with Books expressed her disagreement with fiction in non-fiction.
- SJ Bouquet @ A Tree Grows in Bookland talked about the problem of judging a book by its average Goodreads rating.
- Cristina @ Investigating YA for Intelligent Readers is making an effort to read more narratives by Latino authors.
- Kaja @ Of Dragons and Hearts has high expectation but wants to try and judge books from the same authors separately rather than comparing if their newest books are better than older ones.
- Grace @ Rebel Mommy Book Blog used to read on her Kindle before transitioning to physical books. She talked about the differences from her perspective. Pretty interesting since most readers transition in the other direction.
- Lola @ Lola’s Reviews wondered if you visualize while reading.
- Krystal @ Books Are My Thing discussed when characters, books or movies become more than just that.
- Laura @ Boats Against the Current discussed reading speed.
- Cait @ Paper Fury maintained it’s perfectly acceptable to have an enormous TBR pile.
- Amber @ bookutacksamber lowered her Goodreads reading challenge goal and explained why.
- Bekka @ Pretty Deadly Books set one book for her Goodreads reading challenge goal.
- Pixie @ Great Imaginations is saying YAY! to reading challenges.
- Mishma & Jillian @ Chasing Faerytales identified pros and cons of joining an established blog based on their own experiences.
- Sophia @ Bookwyrming Thoughts reflected in her journey in blogging organization.
- Dana @ The Unprinted Protagonist decided to embark on a 25-day total blog clean-up.
- Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction shared what blogging has done to her bookshelves.
- Lucy @ Queen of Contemporary pointed out the disparity of book bloggers not receiving payment while other types of bloggers (fashion, lifestyle, etc) do get paid for doing essentially the same thing.
- SJ Bouquet @ A Tree Grows in Bookend listed 20 reasons to hate blogging.
- Aentee @ Read at Midnight considered the integrity of book blogging.
- Chiara @ Books for a Delicate Delicacy can’t quite shake the guilt over unsolicited review copies that she’ll probably never read.
- Xan @ Twirling Pages defended negative reviews.
- Nemo @ The Moonlight Library explained why there’s no room for “constructive criticism” in finished books. Once they’re published, they won’t be recalled to be improved and then re-published.
- Tracy @ Cornerfolds questioned if she should drop reviews of less popular books. In order to stay current, she feels like it makes more sense to review newer releases that generate more blog traffic in order to stay relevant in the book blogging world.
- Kaitlin @ Reading is My Treasure outlined tips for resisting ARCs.
- Alex @ Fiery Reads posed the question: Do you judge someone based on the Goodreads average rating?
- Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight weighed the pros and cons of numerical ratings.
Thank you for the mention! :)
I like the *idea* of TBR jars and they look very pretty but I’m a mood reader and I love deciding what I’ll read next. So I’d probably just pull out a title, discard it and start a different book. But good luck with yours!
I really like your Instagram account, I’ll be following the tutorials for sure, though my account is always a weird mix of half-hearted attempts at book photography, trees and food.
Kaja recently posted Gone to the Movies: Romancing the Stone
You’re most welcome, Kaja! ;) I’m quite a mood reader too. But I want to reach a point where books I buy don’t have to wait more than a month or two before I read them. Currently the average waiting time is 1.5 years. Kinda sad if I think of all the excitement that accompanied each acquisition. So yes the TBR jar is another measure to keep me on track xD
Who says you have to run a pure bookstagram account? If you like to mix everything you care about, then that’s your call! ;)
Angel @Angel Reads says
I am so excited for your bookstagram tutorials. I love reading post on how to imporve my photos. I cannot wait.
Thanks for a round up of what everyone is posting.
thanks for the post.
Angel @Angel Reads recently posted TV Series Review: Shadowhunters Ep1 *Spoiler free*
I’m glad you’re looking forward to all the bookstagram tutorials! :) For improving photos, I actually have a separate photography feature that focuses on learning & improving photography skills. You might wanna check those out too ;)
Cait @ Paper Fury says
I am soooo making sure I follow your blog via email after this (I know I follow by bloglovin’) so I don’t miss any of the photography tutorial posts. :P SQUEE I AM EXCITE. And good luck for your TBR jar! I’ve never gotten brave enough to do that…and I always thought I wasn’t a mood reader?!? But I think I really am. ;P
Ahh, so many posts to click on!! I’m definitely reading your post on The Mile Long bookshelf….*dashes off*
Cait @ Paper Fury recently posted How To (Nicely) Attack People With Friendship On The Internet
*hands cake to Cait* I’m honoured that you decided to subscribe via email!! :D I’m actually a huge mood reader but I want to gain more control over my TBR pile and whittle it down, especially since these were all books I was excited about when I acquire them.
Amber @ bookstacksamber says
I love posts like this. Thank you for including one of mine! I’m trying to be mindful to read my currently owned unread books this year too instead of adding tons more to my pile. I have triple digit unread books too and it’s getting out of control.
Yes! Time to get a grip on the ever-growing TBR pile! I want to get to a point where I get to read books I buy almost as soon as I acquire them. That’ll probably take another two or three years but better that than to let it spiral down to ten.
Amy M. says
I need to make myself a TBR jar. While I’m not planning on paring down my TBR entirely, I do want to lower my list of unread eARCs. I had one back in Washington, DC and never brought it with me in the move. I need to make a new one.
I loved your guest post on ethnicity. I do believe everyone deserves to be represented in literature and there truly needs to be more literature with minority groups and mixed-racial families. While, I don’t think I’m necessarily in the same boat as you. I’ve never checked the box “other” on forms, I’ve gotten the “what are you?” question many, many times. There are times when I tell them what ethnicity I am, and they actually say things like “oh, never mind. I’ll never remember that.” I always hated identifying myself as “Asian” or, when forced only to choose one, simply “Japanese.” Asian is too broad a term, and while I was brought up with mainly Japanese cultural influences, I’m also Chinese and Filipino. It’s definitely frustrating, and people can be so ignorant. I agree that not every book needs to have a character like me, but let’s broaden our horizons a bit. It’s time for more diverse books.
On a different note, I’m looking forward to your bookstagram posts. I don’t bookstagram much, but I think, I may want to get more active. We’ll see. Haha! :)
Amy M. recently posted Journal Chronicles (1): Introduction & My Everyday Carry
Joséphine Simone says
I culled a few hundred books from my Goodreads shelf before starting on my TBR jar. Haha. It would be insanity otherwise.
Yeah, I usually ask people if they want the simple or detailed version. Once They hear that that would entail four ethnicities, they go with simple, so while I’m technically multiracial, I was raised bi-racially. My sister has it even harder because we have the same nationality but she wasn’t born in the same country. People are just too used to country of birth = nationality = specific race(s), ignoring the multiplicity that some of us experience. Which languages do you speak then, besides English, if you do?
I’d love for you to be more active on IG, even if it doesn’t necessarily involve books :)
Alexa S. says
Thank you, thank you, thank you, my dear Josephine for letting everyone know about this year’s Love-a-Thon! (And for being the first one to sign up for it!) Can’t wait for everyone to see what we’ve got planned :D
Alexa S. recently posted Abbreviations #19: December Minis
Joséphine Simone says
Just about a month more to go! :D
That is an awful lot of unread books, Joséphine. I know there are people who have more (*cough*Ellie*cough*), but still, just thinking about that many stresses me out!
Are you actually planning to use your TBR jar (or box) to pick all of the books you read, or how are you planning to use it?
Joséphine Simone says
Lol. I know more than a handful of people who own hundreds more unread books. Too often have books I wanted to read gone out of print. That’s I started buying the books as soon as I could, especially when sequels were involved. Buying sequels also compounded because I want them to match. Waiting too long means having to buy mismatched sequels. I hate that.
The other thing is that I only get free shipping from Amazon when I place orders of US$125+, so I pre-ordered a fair bit over the past years and those books obviously piled up. Then there was that book sale last year that allowed up to pay per box, so that did quite a bit of damage too. Heh.
Besides, that count also involves non-fiction titles. A number of these I got just for the few chapters that I needed at that time. But now I want to read as many as possible cover-to-cover. That’s going to take time, what with subjects on political science, philosophy, etc xD
Well, I do line up my priority reads but I will use the TBR jar when I can’t decide what to read, if I want to be surprised or if I want to have a pick of something that would otherwise sit on my shelf another five years.
You have such a great library system, though! Or at least in comparison to countries with very limited English language books. :) (Not that I wouldn’t love to own that many books myself, of course. :P)
WOW, that is a lot for free shipping. Although I didn’t even know it was possible. You, Tory, Elaine, and any other bookworms in your area should coordinate book orders or something.
Are you doing a TBR battle with anyone or just setting goals for yourself? A little healthy competition always helps. :D
Singapore shouldn’t be compared to countries with limited language books ;) Our public education system is based on English. Haha.
Comparing Overdrive with Australian and American library systems, Singapore boasts one of the biggest catalogues. I used to have a membership with the Free Library of Philadelphia and their selection of ebooks via Overdrive was (and still is) only a fraction of the one under the National Library Board of Singapore. Hoho.
When you consider the US$50+ saved as a result of ordering US$125 worth of items, then that’s nothing to sneeze at in terms of savings. Hah. Plus, I add pre-orders too. Since Amazon only charges at the time of shipping it’s worth it. I mean, that book I pre-ordered for July won’t be charged to my card till then, so I’m good, y’know?
I’m participating in the Rock My TBR Challenge but set some personal guidelines too which I outlined on my Challenges 2016 page.
Haha, I know! I just meant that a lot of the people I know with massive TBRs live in countries where they don’t have library access to English books. Also, I don’t now enough about your library system to compare it to the one here. All I know is that yours are a lot shinier than ours and that you come across books that have been banned. :P (I guess we have those, too, just not where I’ve lived.)
That’s awesome! I use the FLP system as well, and I’m always surprised at how slowly it adds new books. The advantage to the elibrary systems I use, though, is that I can download ebooks in the Kindle format, which is great. I refuse to read on my phone or computer. How did you end up with a Philadelphia library membership?
So you get free shipping even if the books are delivered at different times?
Oh, now I see the edit button. Cool! :D
Thanks so much for including my post! :)
I’m really looking forward to your Bookstagram posts! I have had Instagram for a while, and have taken bookish photos for my blog, but I’d really like to improve, and it’s not the kind of thing I’ve seen tips for on many other blogs.
Laura recently posted How fast do you read?
Joséphine Simone says
Gladly! :) Yeah, I’ve only seen sporadic contributions from bloggers. Spurred by the increasing questions I’ve been receiving, I figured it’s time to take it on.