Anonymous Bookaholics Tag

Found this through a Discover search on books!

What do you like about buying new books?

The real question is what not to like? New books, whether they be hardcover or paperback just give you that new book feeling. It’s like getting a new car. You stare at it for a while, look inside it, smell it, debate how long it will take you to finish it, those kinds of things. The other nice feeling I get is great joy because I am supporting an author that I love by buying their whole series. I’m very active on Twitter so I send pictures of new books or series to my authors, with giant “MAAAIL” captions and getting that response back that I’ve made them happy with my purchase is one of the best feelings in the world!

How often do you buy new books?

Honestly, I didn’t buy new books very often because I couldn’t afford it before but now I buy them whenever the need arises or a coupon appears because I am a member of at least two local bookstores and there’s no way I’m ignoring those 20% off coupons! Also, I used to have a Sony e-reader and a Nook Color so I would purchase eBooks through their respective online stores.

Bookstore or online book shopping – Which do you prefer?

Most definitely both. As I said before, I am a member of two local bookstores. When I go to them in person and they don’t have the books I check their online marketplace. I like a lot of indie authors though and its very rare to find their books in a bookstore unless you’re super lucky so for them it is always online — Amazon or eBay or Half Price Books marketplace. Another, general, place I frequent is libraries. I bought my first historical romance at my college library which was having a book sale fundraiser. It was A Kingdom of Dreams by Judith McNaught. I bought it for 50 cents! To this day it is one of my favorite books and besides leading me to read every book she’s ever written, it lead me down a path of discovery to other authors! Now I frequent library sales as often as I possibly can thanks to a handy website that lets me know when, where and times. You can find some real gems in a library; even gently used gems!

I have to say, the best online bookshop occurs in my mailbox everyday courtesy of Bookbub. If you like ebooks, Bookbub is the best tool in your arsenal to obtain discounted ebooks as well as great recommendations.

Do you have a favorite bookshop?

The bookshops I most frequent are Half Price Books and Books-a-Million. On occasion I’ll hit up Barnes & Noble if I’m in the area. Local bookstores are awesome as well such as Loganberry Books and The Bookshop on main. I don’t really have a favorite. If I’m craving books and I have a full, empty day, I’ll plan a route and shop all of them. My best friend and I have an excel sheet that we keep on hand so when I go out and shop for books, not only am I looking for books for me, I’m looking for books for her as well.

I solemnly swear I don’t have a problem….

Do you pre-order books?

Again, I didn’t use to because of funds or I would bribe someone else to do it for me. When I was younger, I would beg my mom to pre-order the Harry Potter books because I had to have them the day of release. She always did even if the books arrived on a day I wasn’t home and would text me and let me know my book was there. I would get SO excited! Now I pre-order books if I know the author is going to sign them or I absolutely cannot wait to read the book because I’ve already waited a year plus to continue from that GIANT cliffhanger in the previous installment.

Do you have a monthly book buying limit?

I didn’t even know that was a thing. My husband doesn’t care how many books I buy. He often jokes and says we can’t possibly fit anymore books but I always find a way which most of the time just means buying another bookshelf. That would be like me telling him he can only buy one video game a month. It’s just not going to happen!

Book buying bans – Are they something for you?

I really don’t even know what that means. I guess if I don’t have a monthly book buying limit, I don’t have a book buying ban. My Goodreads list is constantly growing. I always scour my TBR list for a new read and then end up picking something not even on the list. You can’t imagine how hard is NOT to click the recommended books! The covers are so pretty and when you hover over it and see that snippet and star rating how can you not click it?! And then the next one from there and the next one….

How big is your wishlist?

As I said earlier, my friend and I keep and excel sheet of books we wish to have that the other can see when we each go book shopping in our respective states. Currently I have 36 books on my list and she has quite a few more. Its constantly being updated with additions and subtractions.

Which three books from your wishlist do you wish to own?

Image result for city in embers

 

City in Embers by Stacey Marie Brown is the first book in the Collectors series. I wish to own all four books in this series. I used a Google Play credit to buy the first book and it was a nonstop read from beginning to end.

End Game by Lindsay Buroker is a space opera, sci-fi type of series. It is the final book in the Fallen Empire series. I have the previous 7 installments on trade paperback and I’m just waiting for this last one to be printed. I read the whole series in ebook format first then decided I needed it in print form as well. If you’re interested in this series the first book is called Star Nomad.

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas is a series full of just magic! Initially I had no interest in reading anything by this author because her Throne of Glass series just did not do it for me. A friend promised me that this series was different and assured me that I would love it. She turned out to be right and this series, so far, is fantastic. A Court of Wings and Ruin comes out May 2nd!

Since the blog is fairly new, I don’t have anyone to tag but feel free to like or comment with your bookaholics tag for all to see! 🙂

Dying With Dignity

…if there was ever such a thing.

This topic has been at the forefront of my mind over the past few weeks. My boyfriend and I have each learned of the declining health in our respective grandparents. Long gone are the nights with bed time stories, midnight snacks, and movie marathons. Dark are the days that lie ahead with devastating phone calls, worrying parents, and sleepless nights. I know that we are just a few of the millions who are experiencing a situation each and every day.

Growing up sickness and death was something that I was able to cope with because it wasn’t happening in my immediate family. My mom worked for many assisted living facilities and nursing homes. Up until a few weeks ago I was still visiting clients and attempting to bring some light and hope into their lives. Now that it’s happening to me I feel a little hopeless, sick, hurt, and confused myself.

Like many grandmas, mine is lovely, caring, forgiving, and selfless. While I don’t want her to hurt or be in pain any longer I want her in my life. Over the past few days I’ve gotten calls and texts from my mom telling me that she has fallen, has somehow forgotten how to walk, or that she can barely hold a conversation. Thankfully, my grandma has lived with my mom for years and they are two peas in a pod. (We’re three peas, really.) The severity of her declining health didn’t hit me until today.

…it got real today. Hospice became a part of our lives. The more I read about hospice care the more worried I become. I was told it’s because she needs “more help” and someone who can always be there when my parents and brothers are away. Every day on the phone my grandma sounds like an independent woman. Every night my mom tells me otherwise.

Am I supposed to be thankful that these people are caring and educated individuals? Should my mind be put at ease knowing that they are helping her deal with her pain and “manage” it better? Am I being selfish for wanting her to fight harder? Does she even have the will to continue on this path? I am blessed to have each day with her and I am grateful to the medical professionals who have helped her along the way…but dang. This sucks.

Hospice claims that they are “end of life care” professionals that help the patient and their family during the dying process. Having them as an aid during this time allows the patient to receive care in their homes, if they so choose. While many times, hospice is only called in once a patient is given a 6 month window of life, sometimes they do exceed this window and far surpass it. If this is the window I am given, I am committed to giving my gran the best “end of life care” that I possibly can in any way that I can. That also provides her the dignity to die in her own home surrounded by her loved ones.

From diapers to doll babies to dance recitals and driving she’s been there through it all for me. I intend to do the same for her.

Good Read or not Good Read: Frustrations of a Book Nerd

We all know the platform Goodreads. (At least I hope you do! Shame if you don’t!)

I have been stuck in a bit of a book rut. Usually when one book finishes, I have another book lined up. My latest read was Eleventh Grave in Moonlight by Darynda Jones. If you haven’t read the Charley Davidson series, I HIGHLY recommend that you do. I promise you’ll laugh, cry, sweat, curse and everything in between. Anyway, after coming down from my Darynda Jones high, I look to Goodreads for recommendations. We have our lists. Kind of like a Netflix queue of sorts. Shows your read books, currently-reading books and to-read books. Based off any books in your lists, you can gain recommendations based off the Goodreads algorithm that determines what you would like or dislike. Sometimes the recommendations are spot on. Sometimes they aren’t. The problem is when you have certain expectations. For example, I usually don’t look at a book if its rated 4 stars or less. My rule doesn’t apply to pilot books in a series. Why? I have no idea. Usually when you don’t like the pilot of a show you’re highly unlikely to continue watching right? For books it’s a little different especially when it comes to a series. You have to establish a feel for the writing style, get a good understanding of the world building and see how plot lines are handled. In that sense, you are giving the pilot of chance.

When exploring new authors, sometimes its good to look at the reviews and other times you probably shouldn’t. I personally skim through the reviews. Goodreads is great in that you can look at reviews without spoilers. If an individual leaves a review, they have to specify if there are spoilers in the review or not. Actually, if I’m not mistaken, I’m pretty sure there’s some kind of bot that will remove reviews if there are spoilers. I skim the star ratings to see what people say or if it was added to the DNF (did not finish) pile. The problem is how to decipher actual, GOOD, reviews from bandwagon reviews. If you want to know what I mean by “bandwagon” reviews, just look up Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James and you’ll see what I mean. I’ve explored many books this way but so far I’ve experienced one and dones. All of these were pilot books to 8+ book series’ and they weren’t bad, they just weren’t good…. I think my expectations are set too high because I’m constantly comparing new stories and writing styles to stories written by authors I love. How do you turn that instinct off? It’s not necessarily a bad thing (you like what you like) but it narrows your reading genre down significantly; makes you close-minded of sorts. That’s no fun.

As you can see from my picture, I have found something to read for now. I confess it’s just a pilot book for a different series from an author I already love but cross your fingers my next book will be something new! I have a 100 book 2017 Goodreads challenge and I intend to reach this goal!

 

First Things First

I have been staring at this page for a week.

Actually, make that two weeks; wondering what the first post topic should be. Why is this so difficult? There are many topics, ideas, thoughts floating around in my brain but the decision of picking one is taking literal days. The only thing that is at the forefront of my mind is taxes and Valentine’s Day.

Taxes. Love.

Everyone hates taxes. Talk about complicated. Between the million and one different forms, schedules, deductions, it truly is the most stressful time of the year. My advice? Just don’t adult. Who needs their own home? Is that freelance job really necessary? Can you squeeze by without it? Seriously though, the best way to combat taxes, besides changing your W-4, that I’ve found to be most successful, is saving. Now, we’ve all seen the challenge where if you save 1 dollar for each day of the year, for 365 days, yadda yadda you’ll have $2000 by the end of the year. It’s a great concept, don’t get me wrong. It gets the wheels in your brain turning, thinking about saving money and not touching those savings unless absolutely necessary. The hard part is math. How do you remember to add $1 for day one then $2 for day two, etc. I, personally, have a terrible memory especially when you have a job that is very demanding on your brain power. The best solution is to come up with a stagnant amount that you won’t even notice is gone every cycle. What does that mean? Ok, here’s what we do:

Step 1: Think about how much you spend on fast food and other related activities in a week.

Step 2: Ask yourself is this really necessary. Don’t be afraid to lie to yourself by saying yes.

Step 3: Take that number and cut it in half. This will be your starting point for saving.

Step 4: If you don’t have a savings account with your bank, start one. They’re usually free.

Step 5: Take that number from Step 3 and set up and automatic transfer from your checking account to your savings account for every paycheck you receive. Now, this could mean weekly or biweekly or even monthly. Either way, you decide. In my case, I did weekly even though I was paid biweekly.

Step 6: Watch your savings grow and DO NOT touch it unless ABSOLUTELY necessary. As in, emergency funds only!

Step 7: Smile! You did it! Now all you have to do is keep it up!

The first time my husband and I did this, we raised $3000 in a year. Trust me, if you set up automatic transfer, you won’t even miss it. So when tax season comes around and you end up in the owing taxes boat you can dip into your savings to pay that off, if necessary, while still growing your savings account.

Enough about taxes. Let’s talk about love!

Sadly, there’s less to say here than taxes because love is so easy! Valentine’s Day is tomorrow and whether or not you have a significant other I hope you love yourself.

What’s that saying from Parks and Recreation?

TREAT YO’ SELF! Get some dinner, eat that cake and have a great day!

 

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