GoodReads

I’m an avid reader. I’ve had, for the past three years made a resolution to attempt to read a book every week for a year. For three years I have failed. The main issue I originally was that frankly I could never keep track of which books I read when.

Reading is something that I am passionate about. I have a saying to anyone who hates reading. “You just haven’t found the right book yet.”

Everyone has that one book, that one book that allowed them to dive head first into a million and one adventures. Some were forgettable, most are not. My family are not avid book reader. I was always that kid that would rather stay inside and read rather than play.

Why?

Because like any avid reader, I rather have the adventure in my head. I’ll admit it. When I find a good book, I’ll binge it. The first one, was the Harry Potter and the Half-blood prince. I read it in 16 hours straight. With potty breaks of course. My parents thought I was insane to read that much. Even went as far as to say it wasn’t healthy. They’ve never understood my love for the Potter books.

It’s been years since it’s release, but I still binge the occasional book. I’ll admit, I’m not entirely sure how I ended up on Goodreads. I might have seen some friends use it or it might have been a Pinterest post. Regardless, it is by far one of my favourite Apps/Websites. For those of you who have never heard of this site, it is a giant forum all about books.

People have the ability to rate books out of 5 stars and even give them reviews. One cool feature, when linked to your Facebook account, will list all the books your friends are reading as well. When you finish a book, you can record it and then give a review. Say what was good, what was bad and what was just in the middle.

I’ve read great books and I’ve read some stinkers, however I do recognize that most authors work hard on their novels. I might not like the ultimate ending, and that fine. I’ve had series where I loved how it was going and then they did one thing and it left a bad taste in my mouth and frankly destroyed the series for me. For others, it might keep them and that’s fine. I’m not the be all end all critic. I’m not talking Harry Potter, of course. Still one of the greatest series. However, Goodreads does give me the opportunity to set others know how I felt about the book. If you like the series and are devastated that it’s over, or are waiting for the next book to be published, they’ll even give some suggestions on books you might be interested in reading. Some you might pick, some you won’t. However, it might give some ideas of where to head off to your next new adventure.

However, the fact remain, and this is something I really love about Goodreads, is that every year, (and in March, it’s not too late), you can submit a reading goal. I know one of the most used New Year resolutions, behind losing weight, is to find time to read more. This give you a mini goal and keeps honest about the books. It also gives you a percentage towards your goal. It’s a little nice to see the percentage grow every time you add another book.

It also allows you to change. If you’re like me, your first year you might get a bit ambitious. I know I was. My goal was a 100 books. I failed. Epically. I know surprising. So I tried to lower the following year to 70. I had friends who did it.

I have no freaking idea how. I failed again. Epically. I barely broke 20 books. For some of you, who are reading this, you might be impressed. I wasn’t. So last year I made it 52. The idea. One a week. I also failed. Now this time it wasn’t so bad. I discovered Audible.com.

I loved it. Yes, paperback books are still my favourite but this was not a bad alternative. In fact, I’ll be writing a post on Audible soon. However, I found that an audiobook, when read right, was perfect for my lifestyle. I could listen to it in the car, when I cleaning or even going for a run. (Yes, I made the weight-loss resolution as well. I’m down 10 lbs since December and I still have about 40+ to go.)

You can count them into you reading lists. I don’t agree that there is a difference if you read verse listen. I know people who like one more then other and I know people, who like me, are fine either. The major issue I had, was that I had no time to read. While I might want to read, there were a dozen other things I needed to do. This helped. It also worked great whenever I had a long drive to do. You SHOULDN’T read while driving, so this was a happy medium.

So, while my goal had been 52 books, I only read 30. While my account say 29. I finished a book and forgot to log it in before New Years, so I made this year 53, since I added it afterwards. I’m hoping this year goes well. I will say, my book a week worked well for about a month, now it’s slowed down. Life got busy. I’m hoping that with Spring break just around the corner, I’ll be able to make up for lost books. Then summer will be my next big binge. Gotta make use of the holidays.

If you have used Goodreads, let me know how you like in the comment section below. If you’ve never used this before and are interested to try, let me know what you think. If you’ve listed a reading challenge, let me know what’s your goal. I’d like to hear.

Audible.com

I love books. I love reading. I always have. My parents would despair since I’d rather sit inside reading then go out and play with others. Why? Simply because I liked books better than people.

Each story transport people to a new realm as they go through the ups and the downs that all the characters face as they attempt to make it to the end. Honestly, I think, if my parents had not put a limit on my book buying as a child I might have brought them to bankruptcy with the sheer amount of books I read.

That was honestly an area I struggled with as an adult. I would rather go to a bookstore and buy a book then to go to a club or bar. However, as I got more and more busy being a teacher things had to go. One of the first things I discovered when I started notice my a limited amount of free time was that there just wasn’t any for reading. I hated it. I had all these stories I wanted to enter. To learn. To figure out. However, I couldn’t. There just wasn’t enough time in the day.

I’ve spoken about this before with my Goodreads post. 24 hours in a day is just not enough to get everything I want to get done done. So, on a whim I decided to try audiobooks. I figure what could it hurt. Yes, my first love will be paper books. I’ve tried the e-books and while I like them, and they make vacationing all that more easier, I still struggled with finding time to sit down and read the book. So, using Amazon’s Audible.com. I decided to give it a try.

Now, I still love the paper versions, however for this point in my life, audibles have been my saving grace. It gives me the opportunity to “read” when I might not be able to normally. Long drive? Read a book. Cleaning the apartment? Read a book. Working out? You got it. Read a book. All this empty time I could now fill with the written word and I loved it!

I’ve been using since 2016. The first book I got was The Merchant Adventurer by Patrick McLean. I had read the e-book version of his other books. How to Succeed in Evil & it’s sequel Hostile Takeover and had enjoyed both of them. Yes, I was the weird person who was sitting at a restaurant with her kindle laughing out loud. Why? Because these books were hilarious. When I saw he had another book, why not give it a try. It has since become one of the few books I make an effort to re-read at least once a year. Yes, it’s that good.

I have since managed to read a number of different books, both fun and classical that I might not have had the opportunity to do for a while. For instance, I’ve just finished Catch-22 by Joseph Heller. I’ve read American Gods by Neil Gaiman and have discovered book series I’ve loved that don’t necessarily have a paper equivalent in this day and age such as the Drew Hayes’ Fred: Vampire Accountant Series. Yes, I did wrote Vampire Accountant. I’ve devoured all of his books and am eagerly waiting for the next one. Apparently, he writing it as we speak so, cross your fingers, it’ll be soon.

Audible.com is a subscription. It’s about $16.95/month. You get 1 free credit every month you subscribe. This usually equates to about 1 “free” book a month. Now if you’re savvy, you’ll save some of your credits for when they do their sales. Every other month or so, they do a 2 for 1 sale. Two books for 1 credit. I usually pick up quite a few books this way. Some are the classical, everyone has read this in high school but somehow I didn’t, book; some are books that seemed interesting or had a fun summary and I figure, why not?

Once you purchase your book, you can immediate download it onto your Audible APP. The book is there and waiting for you to listen.

One thing that always made me hesitant about audible books in the past was whether or not I’d like the reader. It’s alright if you don’t. Audible has a very good return policy on their books. You can easily exchange them if you find yourself regretting a purchase or disliking the reader. I’m a huge fan of Agatha Christie novels. However, I discovered, through using Audible, that I like listening to her stories but I’m picky over the readers. I have some that I like and I have that I don’t. That’s what makes this site amazing.

If you’ve tried Audible or if you have any questions regarding your experience using Audible, let me know in the comment section below. I’d love to hear from you!

10 Things About Me

In attempting to be more open about myself and in this blog, I’ve decided to come up with 10 Things you need to know about me.

One: I have a Cat

Merlin is the name of my Pet master. He runs the household and I do his bidding. Any of you who have ever owned a pet will know that this is true. Although, when you see this face, it’s hard not to bend to his will.

IMG_0048

Two: I love most things Japanese

About ten years ago, I studied abroad in Japan. Since them, I’ve developed a love of the Japanese culture.  From Traditional Japanese culture to Anime I like it all. I’ve been in the process of learning the language. It’s been slow going, but not impossible.

Three: Cooking is a Passion

I love cooking. I really do. The problem is that I’m single and when I cook, primarily bake, it makes more than I can eat. That is unless I want to grow wider. Which I don’t. So there might not be many recipes that get posted, but I will definitely put the few up there that I do enjoy.

Four: Reading is my life

A few years ago I stumbled upon Goodreads. If you haven’t heard about it, it’s basically a small community for people to showcase, or show off, what books they are reading. The one factor that I really like about it is the reading challenges they place into motion each year. They ask people to write down their literary goal for the year.

Mine is 53 books.

Another great aspect is that it allows you to review your books an rate them out of 5 stars.

Five: I love Movies

So I watch about 4-6 movies a week. Considering I have little time to do anything else. I used to go more often, however I am making a priority to try to watch more movies in theaters and I’ll try to review a few of them as I go.

Six: I’m a Teacher

I’m a teacher. I work at a high school. I will more likely than not post at least one or two posts about being a teacher.

Seven: I’m into Arts & Crafts

I’m a huge fan of Arts and Crafts. I will write about some of my projects and let you know how they all turn out. I have a Pinterest account where I get most, if not all, of my ideas. Some work out. Some don’t. I’ll be letting ya’ll know about them as I progress.

Eight: I’m a Tea Snob

I hate coffee! Sorry if that offends you, but I do. I love Tea though. I’m very peculiar about it. I prefer loose leaf to bag, but bag is better than nothing. I’ve been experimenting with different leaves to produce different flavors.

Also, those of you who drink your tea with the tea bag still in it, that has to be one of the grossest things I’ve ever heard. That’s just disgusting!

Nine: I’m in debt

Not going to lie here. I’m in debt. My goal is to shrink it all by the end of the year. I will be posting over some of the different ways I try to decrease my debt using a number of side hustles and what worked and what didn’t.

Ten: I’m a in declutter-mode

So like most of the world, I watched Tidying up with Marie Kondo. I had already been in a decluttering mode prior to this, however this really helped push me in getting rid of even more of my things that frankly I didn’t need nor want.

So I’ll share some of the things I’ve done and how I’ve gone about getting rid of a large number of things that I don’t use or even want anymore in my apartment.

 

So that’s a bit about me. I’ll be posting again soon! Please let me know a little bit more about yourselves.