Monday Morning Check-In: To Sell Out Or Not

Good Monday morning everyone!  Not a lot of reading going on in my life lately.  I’ve been working at the library for six days straight as my boss has gone on vacation.  On my days off I am using every spare moment to clean the house in prep for a guest later this week.  Now I know my friend doesn’t give a crap about the state of our house but it is her first visit and she is staying the night so we have initiated a friend-first-visit-overnight-stay level of cleaning.  Basically, we will pick up everything, finish up some projects, vacuum, dust, mow the lawn, sanitize the bathroom and do a ton of laundry.  No cleaning closets or organizing cupboards. If she comes to visit again I will probably leave the house as is.  Hey, it’s a home, not a museum but it is always nice to make good first impression.  The plus side is that I was able to wake up to a beautiful looking home that was free from clutter.

Managed to finish everything up just in time for another disappointing episode of Star Trek: Discovery.  I’m almost to the point of hate.  I am so upset over what they have done to this franchise that I love.  I did sign back up and paid $6 to watch the first part of the season but man, after last night’s show if it doesn’t get significantly better I might not sign back up in January to see how things end.  I don’t think this show will last beyond one season.  It is just awful.

Moving on to the topic of my blog title.  Over the weekend I received an email from WordPress on different ways to monetize my blog.  This is not something I ever considered doing before as this is a hobby but I read the letter and I’m actually considering signing up for an Amazon and Book Depository affiliation links.  I know it wouldn’t bring much money, most people who read these reviews have already read the books or are of different reading taste, very rarely do I hear of followers going out and buying the book I just reviewed.  But it could happen.  Also, let me state that I am not going to read and review something for direct compensation from an author or product.  I’m a mood reader and like the blog title, I tend to just Read What I Like.  If I decided to start posting affiliate links to the books that I review it would just be that a link to where you could buy the book I just reviewed in case you wanted a copy for yourself.  I’m torn.  It would be nice to make a little money, perhaps enough to pay for the domain name each year.  Or perhaps I could use the money to hold more giveaways.  Anyway, don’t be shocked if you start seeing links to Amazon and The Book Depository in my book reviews.  I’m very tempted to try this out, feel free to share your thoughts if you do or have done this or if you have strong feeling against book bloggers that do.

Speaking of giveaways.  Last week I started a giveaway for a $25 Amazon e-gift card.  All you need to do to enter is visit this blog post, 1,000 Followers Giveaway!, and comment on how you follow the blog.  There are not that many entries so the odds are pretty good for those still wanting to enter.  You have until Midnight Central Standard Time on Wednesday, October 11.  On the 12th I will post the lucky winner.

Have a great week everyone!  Happy Reading.

Advertisements

Top Ten Tuesday: First Year Five Stars

Top Ten Tuesday

Welcome to another contribution to the wildly popular Top Ten Tuesday hosted by The Broke and The Bookish.  This week they ask us to share lists on the following:

September 12: Throwback Freebie: Ten Books I Loved During The First Year I Started My Blog

Repetitively speaking my blog isn’t that old, I founded Read What I Like back in 2014, so there wasn’t a huge number of books to pull from and many are fresh in my mind.  I decided to go back and find the first 10 books that I gave five-star reviews for, only one per author.  It is interesting to see how my reading and writing has changed since my first year and I wonder if I continue to stand by my five-star ratings for the following books.  Let’s find out!

Ten books that earned five stars my first year of blogging.

Books will link to their original review instead of Goodreads for this post.

  1. Fury (The Cure, #1)  This was the first book I gave five stars to on my blog!  It was a great story but sadly I have not finished the trilogy.  I still have it on my Nook but simply too much time has passed and my reading taste changed too much for me to pick this world up again.  I continue to recommend it to others however.
  2.  Hard to believe it was only three short years ago that I discovered this series and now it only has two more books before it ends.  I’m going to miss this world so much as Ms. Jones has become one of my favorite authors.  If you have not read this series I highly recommend you jump all over that bandwagon.
  3. Illusion (Chronicles of Nick, #5) Happy to see that my favorite author made the list even if it is for her YA spin-off series.  The next installment of this series should be out soon.  Only like six or seven more to go…
  4. Animal Wise: The Thoughts and Emotions of Our Fellow Creatures  This is one of the first physical review books I received as well as one of the, if not thee first, non-fiction books I reviewed here.
  5. Mostly Magic One of my two regular indie authors that I enjoy.  This is a charming series and I encourage you to go check her work out.
  6. Wolver's Gold (The Wolvers, #5) And here we have the other indie author!  Ms. Rhoades has become a good friend through online social networks and reviewing her books.  I did miss out on her latest release, however, and plan to pick that one up to review as well.  After all the hours of enjoyment her books have brought me I thought it only fair that I actually buy a few of her books!  Also my reading life has been a bit chaotic the past year or so…
  7. Prototype (Archetype #2) This was another review book that I absolutely fell for and wished the author had written a few more books set in this world.  So much potential!
  8. The Martian Wow.  I can’t believe I read this book the first year I was blogging!  It seems like it was so long ago yet I continue to pimp this title regularly on the blog and with my library patrons.  Can’t wait to share my thoughts on his second book coming in November.
  9. The Book of Life Loved this trilogy so much. I’m delighted to see that it is being made into a tv series but a bit disappointing that it won’t be releasing in the United States.  Not the end of the world.  I am thrilled to learn though that the author plans to write more books set in this world, though.
  10. Hard Bitten (Chicagoland Vampires, #4)  Ah, the turning point for this series for me.  I was not a big fan until this book then everything turned and I was thrilled when Read What I Like became a blog stop for the final book in this series.  I am also looking forward to the spin-off series coming out soon.

Well there you have my first ten five-star reviews!  I don’t think I would change the rating on any of them.

Happy 3rd Anniversary!

file3141334714768

Just wanted to take a moment and say thank you to all my followers as I celebrate the third anniversary of my blog Read What I Like.  So thank you for the likes and comments and I’m still thrilled that you find my opinion about what I read entertaining.

Refection

It seems hard to believe both that I have only been blogging for three years, it feels like it should be longer, and at the same time that it has actually been three years because I feel like such a novice to all this.  The blog still feels small to me and that is by design.  I’m not looking for major page hits or tons of comments, I simply want a small little corner where I can share my love or loathing for the books I read.  A highly successful blog is a lot of work and I’m not interested in that.  For now, I simply want my blog to remain an authentic extension of my reading hobby.  This space started out for me and it shall remain that way; that is probably why it still surprises me that almost 1000 people have subscribed.

Looking Ahead

Don’t look for a lot of changes.  I have scaled back some of my ambition over the past year as life continues to get in the way of my reading.  I will continue to be selective in my review request books and focus on reading all those titles I put on my TBR list ages ago.  The blog is named Read What I Like for a reason and I want to get that passion for reading books I like again.  In the beginning of the blog, I got too wrapped up in memes, givaways, review deadlines, challenges, etc. While all of that was fun, it was also a lot of work and sucked some of the joy out of simply reading.  Blogs come and go and I want to have staying power, so that means cutting some of the stuff that kills my joy.  I hope you understand, I appreciate you all but the blog is going to stay small scale.  I’m about authenticity in my reviews and when I get too gimmicky I feel like the blog doesn’t represent who I am.

My name is Amy and  I am a reader.  I read books and review them honestly for you.  Thanks for being a part of my passion.

Happy Reading~

Monday Morning Check-In: Book Bloggers are Lepers of Publishing Industry

Monday Morning Check-In

Good Monday Morning everyone.  Kind of a dramatic title to this week’s post isn’t it.  It is meant to sum up how I am feeling this morning after reading Nose Graze’s blog post: It Would Seem BookExpo America is No Longer a Place for Book Bloggers and Publisher’s Weekly article: A New Direction for BookExpo America.  I’m not going to quote either article so feel free to go read them and draw your own conclusions.

First off I want to say that BEA is a trade event and the industry can do what ever they wish with their trade event.  I in turn can react to those action how ever I wish.  My initial reaction was shock followed quickly by disappointment.  I am so grateful that I went this year.  It looks as if it is going to truly be a once in a lifetime opportunity for myself and I’m glad I didn’t miss out.  Oh sure they are claiming that we are welcome to come to BookCon with the madness of a public event open to the masses.  They want to make BookCon like every other con out there, simply a money-making event.  Sorry not interested.  I liked the exclusivity of BEA, I enjoyed feeling like an important part of the book industry.  I guess we aren’t that important… BEA will still be exclusive, they aren’t forbidding all bloggers, just limiting them (for now).

I have the feeling they think that Book Bloggers only want to attend BEA to get free books.  First off not really.  Oh sure who doesn’t love a free ARC, but that isn’t why I attended.  I wanted to be a part of something. To meet fellow bloggers. To meet authors I admire.  To see what new directions the publishing world will be taking us.  To learn how to expand my brand. BEA isn’t cheap and bloggers are paying out-of-pocket for admittance, travel, lodging, food, and taking (unpaid) time off of work to attend.  We are not able to write any of this off in taxes (at least I’m not) or be reimbursed by an employer.  We save our pennies to attend this event and to essentially be uninvited kinda hurts a little.

I’m a book blogger because I love to read.  I started writing reviews purely for myself, to keep track of what books and authors I enjoyed and which ones didn’t work out so well for me.  When people started to tell me that they enjoyed my reviews and were trying books based upon my opinion I was thrilled because I also love connecting others with books they are going to love too.  I reviewed an entire year before starting this blog and had no clue that publishers or authors would give me books just so I would share my opinion about them.  I have to believe we add something to the publishing industry otherwise they wouldn’t have started giving reviewers books in the first place.  Maybe that isn’t the case anymore…  Maybe we have become nothing more than entitled mooches that feel we deserve free stuff.  I hope not, or at least I don’t feel that way.  Oh sure when I started out and discovered Net Galley I went on a requesting binge but I quickly learned to scale things back.  I would also like to state that my feedback percentage on Net Galley is 100%.  That means every book that I was given access to I gave them my opinion, even the DNF titles where I didn’t write full reviews (I explained why the title didn’t work for me and wished them best).

So where does this leave me moving forward as a book blogger.  I’m not sure.  I have already drastically reduced the number of review books I request or accept to ones where I already have an established history with the author.  Perhaps I need to go further, stop requesting titles altogether and simply read what I want to read.  It isn’t like I can’t get free books on my own, ever hear of a public library.  Sure it is fun to read a book before the general population gets a shot at it, but is it even worth it anymore?  If I’m going to be treated like a leper I’m not sure it is.  I have only attended one BEA but I did get the feeling in some areas that I was a pariah (looking at you ALA booth [ I am a librarian too but for a small town library that doesn’t have a budget to send me to a week-long book event]).    I will miss the opportunity to connect with others that blog about books and to met authors I adore.  I’m betting there are other opportunities out there (and I’m not talking about BookCon) I will simply have to seek them out.  Because it isn’t about free books, it’s not.  It’s about being a part of a community of people who love the same thing.

Monday Morning Check-In: Reading Freedom!

Monday Morning Check-In

Good Monday morning everyone!  This post is being written up on Saturday because I am really on the ball this week.  Or I had some free time and decided to fill it by being productive instead of wasting time on YouTube.  See I can be responsible.  Anyway, I’m coming off a busy week and my attitude has really taken a hit.  Just too much time around people and I am getting all sensitive.  Sensitive to noise, sensitive to being touched, sensitive to perceived insults or challenges to authority… Basically, I just need some time alone where I don’t have to do anything.  Tuesday is looking pretty good.

Anyway, I actually got more reading done this week than I thought I would.  I DNFed three of my review books as they just were not working for me which means I am ready to declare my reading independence!!! I have NO REVIEW  BOOKS! Not a single one.  No deadlines, no pressure, simple freedom to read whatever catches my fancy.   I’m not sure what to do with myself.  I have so many books that have piled up while I was working on reading books with a deadline that I’m not sure where to start.  I am thinking about taking the rest of the month off from review requests and just reading whatever the hell I want to!  It is so liberating.  Oh sure I am still checking Net Galley and Blogging for Books but nothing is catching my eye.  I’ve decided I’m not going to request a book just to have a review ARC for the blog.  If something I really want to read pops up or there is a title I was already going to read I will put in a request.  So often as bloggers we get obsessed with obtaining those ARCs that we push aside other books we have been wanting to read for them because there is a deadline attached.  How about every once in a while we just read something that interests us and who cares how old it is or that everyone else and their brother has already reviewed the book.  I haven’t.  Why shouldn’t my opinion be added to the mix?

So those are my reading plans for the rest of the month.  Trying to make a dent in the mountain of books on my to-read bookcase or Nook.  I’m thinking it will be a nice change of pace.  How about you?  Fellow bloggers do you ever get ARC fatigue?  Do you ever take a break from requesting books for review?  Or am I the only one….

Happy Reading ~Amy

Top Ten Tuesday: Book Blogging

Top Ten Tuesday

Welcome to another contribution to the wildly popular Top Ten Tuesday hosted by The Broke and The Bookish.  This week they ask us to share lists on the following:

 

June 28: FREEBIE WEEK — topic of your choice or go back and do one you missed!

This week’s topic is our choice, so a couple of weeks ago I had this brilliant idea to do a list about, what I’ve learned from book blogging.  Even made up a post with the title and the sentence below and then stopped.  Flash forward and now I have no clue what the clever little points I was going to share with you all so yeah…. Crap.  Well not having a better idea, I am going to go ahead with the original plan and see if I can pull something off the top of my head.  No problem right? Should be great. Sorry in advance….

Ten things I learned through Book Blogging.

  1. That publishers will give you free books: Now if you are fellow blogger then you too probably knew this,  but if you review books on a blog then you can sign up on websites like Net Galley, Edelweiss, and Blogging for Books to receive advance reading copies or ARCs of their soon to be published books.  I mainly use Net Galley and Blogging for Books as I have not had much luck with Edelweiss and one other program I can’t remember the name of anymore.  Most of the time you will get e-copies of the books you request that have an expiration date, but Blogging for Books sends you actual books albeit one at a time.  Still, the whole deal is really cool and an amazing way to discover new authors or titles you might be interested in, or a chance to score that highly coveted next release from your favorite author and read it before anyone else you know does.  The catch is that you need to give them feedback on the book you received and share what you thought, good or bad, with the rest of the world.  No problem there!
  2. That publishers and authors are going to offer you a ton of books you are not interested in: and you need to learn to say no.  You are already going to be getting more books than you can handle through your requests.  Still don’t just delete those book review requests, sometimes there will be books you actually want to read, so I always make a habit of reading the synopsis of books review requests that are sent to me.  I still turn down like 80% of them, because there is just not enough hours in the day to read everything and a lot of the time they are just not good fits for me.  I swear sometimes authors and publisher don’t even bother to take a look at other books I’ve read before sending me an email.  those I don’t feel bad about deleting.
  3. That you don’t have to finish everything you read: There is no law anywhere in the universe that states you need to finish every book you start.  It does not make you a failure or a quitter or even a bad person.  It makes you human and a reader that knows what works for them.  If you don’t like what you are read put it down and move on and don’t feel guilty for one second that you DNF.  Not every book is for every reader, but there is a book for every reader.
  4. That you are not going to like everything you read: I tend to give a lot of four and five-star reviews, not that there are not books I didn’t like, see number three as for the reason why they might not show up on my blog.  It is not you most of the time it is going to be the book, so don’t sweat it just find something else to read.
  5. That you can get burnt out on reading: This is something I didn’t think was even remotely possible, but it does happen.  You can get burned out on reading.  It happens when you have a stretch of books that are not working for you or too many review books to get through.  It happens, take a break go YouTube something or binge watch a program on Netflix, before you know it you will want to read again.  Another trick I tried was going back to my roots with reading,  picking up a book by an author I know I love or re-reading something by them can help make me excited about reading again.  Sometimes it is also just life gets in the way, if you are stressed about something like work or bills it can suck the fun out of just about anything.
  6. That blogging is work: Blogging takes planning, takes time, takes some skill?…. Anyway, it is not as simple as throwing up a page and posting crap, well it can be, but if you want those review requests approved you need to have a site that looks a little more professional.  You have become a brand and that takes some commitment and forethought and planning.  Congrats!  You started a new job that no one is ever going to pay you for (yes, I know some bloggers make money. Probably only a few and usually not enough to live on).  That is why I try to keep my blog professional but in the end, this is just a hobby for me and I do not even attempt to make money off of my reviews.
  7. That I have to write my review as soon as I finish a book: This is just me.  I have to write my review for the book I just finished before I can start the next book.  I can schedule them if they need to be posted at a later date, but I will usually write-up my review within minutes of finishing a book to capture how I felt about what I just read.  I also can not read two books at once unless one of them is non-fiction.
  8. That reading can be a chore:  Just like blogging, reading can feel like work as well.  Usually, this is because I am up against a release deadline or life has gotten in the way or I’m burnt out, but sometimes reading is just no fun.  I think this is just the unintentional consequence of starting a book blog and part of the reason I am going to keep this a non-paying hobby.
  9. That there is this yearly event called BEA: Bookexpo of America is a yearly conference for the entire publishing industry and a well-kept secret because hardly anyone I know of outside of blogging or publishing world knows what the heck it is.  Simply put boys and girls it is a book geek’s version of heaven found here on earth!
  10. That there is this whole other world out there filled with people just like you: You are not alone in your love of books and reading.  Blogging about books has opened up this whole other community and world to me that I never knew existed and I feel like I have found my place in the world where my geekdom is celebrated and I can be one of the cool kids instead of an outsider.  Book blogging has given me a community of people where I belong.  Thank you!

Well, there is my list for the freebie week.  Did you write your own Top Ten list this week? Share a link in the comments so everyone can go check it out!

 

Monday Morning Check-In: Late…

Monday Morning Check-In

I know, I know it is no longer morning, it is however still Monday.  So I wish you all a good Monday afternoon from my husband’s borrowed computer.  He works second shift so I only have access to it once he leaves for work and I also had a meeting earlier so right about now sounds like a good time for my weekly check-in post.  Not a lot going on,  yesterday was the spouse’s birthday!  Happy birthday, Selatin!  We had a fun day going to the local air show, where I foolishly thought I could read… That didn’t happen, even with ear plugs, it was way too loud.  I just am not one of those readers that can tune everything out and enjoy a book, hence the fact that we have no ticking clocks in this house.  Anyway, we still had a nice time, husband got to ride in a helicopter and a nice man let him sit behind the controls of his plane for a photo-op.  Ended up with a very tired and burnt husband once we got home.  Next month is my birthday and I need to think up something for us to do.  Hmm.  Will have to do some research on that once I can use my computer again.  Dell told me that I would have my new power cord by today, but the weekend must have delayed that and it will hopefully be here tomorrow, or the next day… It is on the way UPS did notify me about delivery, but they are often off by a day.  So we will see.  I actually can do much of what needs to be done online on my phone, except for blogging,  that I need a full-sized screen and keyboard.

As to my reading I have completely caught up on my review books!  Okay, that is a lie, I do have two but there is no rush on those.  I felt so cocky that I even checked out a library book I’ve been wanting to read! Tomorrow I have a review scheduled for you all and I might even be able to have another one by the end of the week.  I do have one other bookish thing I promised you all a giveaway.  I’m not sure when that is going to happen as I rather work on that on my own computer, not this borrowed one.  Also, the entry count has been really low and that makes me feel like it is not worth even holding one.  I might hold some instant giveaways over on the Facebook page, so be sure to follow there as I work out a new plan.  Well, that’s it for this week, I am going to work on the Top Ten Tuesday post next or not.  I might hold off on that until the afternoon as well.  Have a great week everyone!

Happy Blogiversary & Giveaway Winner!

file3141334714768

Greetings everyone!  Two years ago today Read What I Like went live.  It seems hard to believe it has been so long, it might feel longer simply because I have been reviewing books since 2012, please if we are friends on Goodreads Do NOT go and read any of those old reviews…  Thank goodness most of them were short is all I have to say.  I’ve enjoyed blogging plan to continue.  Like I’ve said before even if no one reads my reviews or bookish posts I am mainly doing this for myself.  I am of course delighted though that so many of you take the time to read what I have to say and find it entertaining.

For my third year of book blogging I promise to continue to post my honest opinions of what I read and will work to keep the posts coming a little more regularly this year.  I feel like my reading slump might be ending so hopefully that will help.  Read What I Like will be attending the Book Expo of America this year.  I look forward to sharing all kinds of fun posts and giveaways afterwards.  I am going to simplify a bit this year and focus mainly on the reading and less about the challenges.  I need to also work out a schedule to go around the blogs I follow and read/comment more and will focus on that instead.

Thank you all for the support these two years. Here is to another great year of reading!

 

Did you think I forgot something?!  I haven’t.

I would also like to congratulate Marty C. on winning the blogiversary giveaway!  I will be getting you coloring book and Turkish good luck charm out to you shortly.  Thank you to all who entered.

 

 

 

Bookish Thoughts: Arguments with myself.

file0001738690543

This short one-act play is brought to you by the makers of Procrastination and Denial: Stronger Together…

Bossy Amy: HEY!  Just what the hell do you think you are doing?!  Get off that computer.

Slacker Amy:  What?  I’m just checking  the Facebook, Ebay, Email, Net Galley, Blogging for Books and Yahoo News site before I settle down to read.

Bossy Amy: Bullshit, you’re going to end up on YouTube and waste three hours watching videos before attempting to read after you exhaust your eyes and have a massive headache.

Slacker Amy [in a soft sulky tone]: No I’m not…

Bossy Amy:  Yes you are.  How many pages are in your current read?

Slacker Amy: 975.

Bossy Amy: And what page are you on?

Slacker Amy: 209.

Bossy Amy:  Turn off the computer and hit the book middle-aged lady.  …[room starts spinning] Whoa,  What was that?

Slacker Amy: Hey this isn’t Facebook!

Bossy Amy: No I thought it was the shower.

Blogger Amy [typing furiously away]:  Sorry ladies I’m hijacking this story to share on the blog.

Bossy Amy:  Not you too!  You are supposed to be on my side didn’t this very morning you posted about setting aside more reading time.

Blogger Amy: Yes, but I also said promises were meant to be broken and to post three blogs a week and there is no way in hell we are finishing A Feast for Crows this week.

Bossy Amy:  Well we sure as hell won’t unless we get off the computer.

Slacker Amy: Just as soon as we check our sites.

Blogger Amy: and finish this post.

Bossy Amy:  That’s it I’m done, don’t come crying to me when we fall behind and they stop giving us free books we want to read.

Blogger Amy: …. Maybe as soon as we done with this.

Slacker Amy: Fine, but I want a big bowl of popcorn and a cookie.

Bossy Amy: Popcorn yes, cookie no.

Slacker Amy:  You are so mean.

Blogger Amy: She really is.

Bossy Amy: Please, if it wasn’t for me nothing would get done.

Slacker Amy & Blogger Amy: True…

 

Monday Morning Check-In: 366 Happiness Experiment

Check-In

 

Good Monday Morning everyone!  I have a little bit of news to share with you all, but first I just thought I would let you know I’m on a bit of a Facebook sabbatical.  Some drama last week made me realize I need to step away from the site and reevaluate my time spent there.  So if anyone needs to reach they can do so at my blog email.  Alright on to the news!

In early October I reviewed the Instant Happy Journal for the Blogging for Books program.  I was planning on starting the journal this January in an attempt to become a happier more optimistic person. I got to thinking and decided to work it into an online experiment and a whole new blog!  I present to you The 366 Happiness Experiment!  Essentially it is an online journal where I take the writing prompts and use them for blog posts.  Not exactly a novel idea I know, but I thought it might be interesting.  It is not going to be a terribly exciting site, just daily journal entries and possibly a monthly progress report to see if the journal is helping my attitude.  I have disabled comments for the site,  this is an attempt for me to work through some of my issues and quite frankly I am not interested in feedback, especially negative.  If you find it entertaining, inspiring, thoughtful or whatever then that’s great.  The site is up now, but blog posts will not be starting until January 1, 2016.

Happy reading.