How I decide on my next read.

I feel like I’m pretty structured when it comes to the books I choose to read each month, but when I look at the books I’ve been reading lately it’s clear that there are a lot of factors that go into making those choices. I tend to choose books based on book clubs, my mood, and if anything on BookTube or podcasts has piqued my interest.

I’m a member of two in-person book clubs and two online clubs through Goodreads. This could easily become overwhelming, so I make it a point to only make an effort with the books I’m sincerely interested in reading. In fact, the online book clubs are more of supplemental reading. I try to squeeze them in when I can.

My mood tends to change depending on the weather, the season, or just things that are going on in my life at the moment. For example, October is the one month where I read horror/thrillers or books about witches. Also, last week I attended a health education conference, so the book I took along was The Health Gap: The Challenge of an Unequal World by Michael Marmot.

Though I try to keep a running list of the books I intend to read each month, nothing is set in stone (unless I am leading the book club that month). I update the list often, but it’s more of a way for me to prioritize the books I’d like to get to first. Come to think of it, it’s just a 2016 TBR list broken down by month.

How do y’all chose what books to read next? Let me know in the comments below!

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On rereading.

I used to reread books more often. I used to reread the Harry Potter books every summer in anticipation of each new book in the series. I used to also reread random books whenever I wanted to refresh my memory of the story. For example, I recall rereading A Solitary Blue and A Separate Peace. The only book I’ve reread in the past five years is Night and that was for one of my book clubs.

This past year I’ve been so busy binging on books and authors that are new to me that I hadn’t had the urge to reread anything. However, I recently realized that I fancy rereading Americanah. I also plan to reread Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone in Spanish (Harry Potter y la piedra filosofal), does that count?

I am totally OK with not choosing to reread books like I used to, I just have different reading priorities at the moment. I imagine that I will want to reread some of the amazing books I’ve had the chance to read recently. But that’ll be a little farther down the road.

How do y’all feel about rereading books? Are there any books you reread based on seasons, moods, or tradition? Let me know in the comments below!

Rainy day reads.

Today was a lovely Sunday full of cool weather and light rain. I’m sad winter is over so quickly, but I couldn’t help but enjoy the cool breeze on my skin. This got me thinking about my go-to books for gloomy or rainy days. For me, gloomy weather puts me in a really good mood, so the books I choose for these days tend to be comforting and put a smile on my face.

  1. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling – this is my favorite of the series simply because of the happiness Harry Potter feels in finding out he has a guardian and someone who could possibly care for him other than the Dursleys.
  2. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green – this book simply gives me “the feels” and I love it.
  3. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle – this book has been one of my favorites since I was a kid. It’s a great story and I love Meg and Charles Wallace.
  4. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott – again, another favorite.

Do y’all have any rainy day reads? Or does any particular kind of weather get you in the mood for a certain kind of book? Let me know in the comments below!

Making progress.

As you may remember, a couple of my goals for 2016 were to purchase less books and to read more of the books I already own. These are the specifics: 1) 50% of the books I read this year should be owned by me; 2) I am allowed to buy 1 book for every 5 books I read (not including my Book Riot Quarterly Box subscription).

413V2DNNmlL._SX327_BO1,204,203,200_I’ve read 5 books so far this year, and I owned 3 of them. I went to Half Price Books yesterday with the intention of purchasing a book and of selling 5 books that I decided I didn’t want anymore. I was able to put that money toward my book purchase so it was extra sweet. The book in question is Health Gap: The Challenge of an Unequal World by Michael Marmot. I’m a sucker for these kinds of books that explore the social determinants of health and how they contribute to health disparities. I’m thinking I might read this one while I’m at a health education conference in March/April.

I know it’s only the first month, but I’m pleased with my progress so far. Are any of you working on buying less books or reading more of the books you own? How are you doing so far? Let me know in the comments below!

Ten Books I’ve Recently Added to My TBR

TTT Logo

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week they post a new Top Ten list and everyone is welcome to join. This week’s theme is “Ten Books I’ve Recently Added to my TBR”. I’m constantly adding books to my TBR because of recommendations through podcasts, YouTube, and blogs. I tend to put a lot of consideration into the books that I want to read, but somehow that doesn’t slow down the pile-up. Here are my most recent additions to my to-read list on Goodreads:

  1. Asking For It by Louise O’Neill
  2. The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
  3. A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara
  4. Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
  5. A House of My Own by Sandra Cisneros
  6. My Life on the Road by Gloria Steinem
  7. Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void by Mary Roach
  8. The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury
  9. The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh
  10. The Witches: Salem, 1692 by Stacy Schiff

On reading anxiety.

While I was in graduate school I added many books to my to-read list on Goodreads. Once I graduated last May, I began to tackle that list. I managed to read 24 books from my TBR last year, but my list on Goodreads is up to 150 books as of today. Before last year, I used to read between 11-14 books each year. Last year I managed to read 31. I’m hoping to keep that up and read at least 25 this year. Even then, I get anxious just thinking about all the books I’d love to get to, but don’t have the time.

This year I’m making an effort to read more books that are physically on my shelves. That’s because I’ve only read a small percentage of the books I own. I bought a lot of books in the last few years, but more than half of the books I read in 2015 were checked out from the public library.

Basically, I just feel anxious because I know that even if I keep up my reading level, I add new books to my TBR too often to ever truly bring it down. And I usually add books to my TBR because of the recommendations from people I follow via blogs, YouTube, or Book Riot (along with my level of interest in the book). Do y’all ever feel anxious about your TBR or certain books you’d like to get to in the near future? What do you tell yourself when you feel this way? Let me know in the comments below!

Bookish gift list.

It’s that time of year when we’re all scrambling to find great gifts for our loved ones. I was recently inspired by Brown Books & Green Tea and Reader Rayna‘s posts on the topic of gifts for book-lovers and bookish gifts, so I decided to come up with a list of my own. These are simply items that caught my eye and I think could make great gifts for that literary fiend in your life (or for yourself!).

Candles

Candles are perfect for the holidays, and these literary candles take that perfection to another level. These are soy candles from an Etsy shop called Frostbeard Studio. I’ve purchased candles from this shop in the past and loved them. Just to give you an idea of the kinds of candles they have, the Christmas in the Great Hall description states that the scents include: mistletoe, gingerbread, cinnamon, and peppermint. The Bookstore candle includes: driftwood, mahogony, coffee, and a hint of leather. They also have wax tarts if you prefer to use an electric tart or tealight warmer. Other scents in the shop include Gatsby’s Mansion, Trashy Romance Novel, and Oxford Library.

Mugs

Book-lovers tend to be tea and/or coffee drinkers, so why not get them a unique mug? The first one is a cheeky mug from Society6. I love this mug and believe they have the same design on a clock. The second one is from Urban Outfitters and reflects the wanderlust in most of us who like to read books to travel to different worlds. Last but not least, the third mug is from Lenny Mud on Etsy. It even has “Praise for Tea & Books” quotes and blurbs listed on the other side of the mug.

Bookmarks

A book fiend can never have too many bookmarks! Especially if they have multiple books going at once. Help a friend or loved one out by giving them a cute bookmark to reach for instead of any old receipt or scrap of paper lying around. These great bookmarks are from Craftedvan on Etsy. They have all sorts of bookmarks inspired by different animals, seasons, and food and drinks.

Tea

How awesome are these teas from Literary Tea Co. on Etsy?! The shop has a selection of 24 tea blends inspired by different authors. Pictured above are Lousia May Alcott (Organic Earl Grey, Strawberries, & Apple), Ernest Hemingway (Organic Gunpowder Green tea, Lemon Peel, & Rose), and Sylvia Plath (Organic Black Tea, Crushed Hibiscus, & Lavendar). I’m going to have to try some of these out myself.

Totes

What better gift for a book-lover than some cool totes to hold their many books? Book Riot has a great collection of literary totes. Apart from the examples above, they also have Goodnight MoonMoby DickAlice in Wonderland, and Nancy Drew totes.

Prints

Posters and postcards are a great way to showcase ones love of reading. The first is a poster from the DFTBA store. This poster is perfect for a book-lover who happens to be a Nerdfighter as well. The second print is from an Etsy shop called The Love Shop. Lastly, the postcards are from Megan Lee Studio on Etsy. The store also has a lovely assortment of bookish prints and prints with quotes.

Bookends

I’m ending the post with bookends! These bookends are from Knob Creek Metal Arts on Etsy. Definitely check them out if only to peruse the creativity of the shop owners. They have some pretty funny bookends and some that are customizable.

I hope this list helps you pick a gift for the bookworm in your life. Or, I hope you had fun adding a few things to your wishlist. What’s your favorite item on the list? Let me know in the comments below!