A look at my 2018 bookish resolutions – how well did I do?

2019 is almost upon us so I thought I’d do a typical end-of-the-year post. Back in January I wrote a post about my reading and blogging resolutions and now I wanted to take a look at my goals and see if I’ve kept my word or not.

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1. Start reading audiobooks ✔️

Did I do it? Yes!

How well did I do? ✔️✔️✔️✔️✔️/5

I not only started reading audiobooks early this year, it’s also become one of my favorite ways of reading books and I’ve become completely dependent on them to motivate myself to do my chores. I have a full post planned on audiobooks and what I’ve learned in the past year of listening to them so I hope that’s something you guys can look forward to.

2. Squeeze in some reading time whenever possible ✔️

Did I do it? Yes!

How well did I do? ✔️✔️✔️✔️/5

While sometimes I still waste time on twitter when I’m stuck on a tram or subway, I think I got much better at this, also thanks to the fact that I can sit most of the time instead of having to stand like I have to do when I’m on the bus in Italy.

3. Having more than one current read of different genres (but not too many) ✔️

Did I do it? Yes!

How well did I do? ✔️✔️✔️✔️.5/5

I’ve done much better at this than I thought possible for me. Sometimes I did have too many current reads going on but they were still all different genres and/or books for different occasions (like, books I can read while I’m on public transportation VS books I want to read when I’m home, anthologies VS novels….).

4. Manage my time better ❌

Did I do it? ……………..not really

How well did I do? ✔️.5/5

That…didn’t happen. This was more of a general goal than a purely bookish/blog goal and I’ve failed in all areas. The good (?) news is that I have started questioning whether all this (plus other stuff) comes from maybepossiblyperhaps being ADHD, something I want to work on figuring out in 2019.

5. Learn how to read faster

Did I do it? Not unless it’s audiobooks

How well did I do? ✔️✔️/5

The only thing I’ve learned how to do is listening to audiobooks at 1.5x to 2x speed, which makes it incredibly faster than I would on my own. I still can’t read faster than I do when I read myself, the only thing I feel like I’ve learned a bit is how to skim more effectively when a book or scene doesn’t interest me, but that’s not something I’m willing to do with books I’m loving. I’ve also learned to be okay with the fact that in order to enjoy a book I need to go to my own pace so that’s okay.

6. Write one discussion post every month 

Did I do it? nah

How well did I do? ✔️/5

I only did this in the early months of 2018. Life happened in more ways than one so I haven’t been able to keep up with this but I don’t feel bad about it.

7. Post mini reviews ✔️

Did I do it? yes!

How well did I do? ✔️✔️✔️✔️/5

I still don’t cross-post all the mini reviews I write on GR here, but that’s just because I’m lazy and forgetful. I love reading others’ mini reviews and I want to keep posting my own here even if they’re written in more of a tumblr style (btw, RIP tumblr). I just don’t want to pretend to be a type of blogger I’m not when it’s too easy to find my goodreads/twitter personality if you click a few links on my blog’s side bar.

8. Read my ARCs diligently and only request ARCs if I’m 100% interested in them 

Did I do it? uhh,,

How well did I do? ✔️✔️/5

Ahahahahahahahahaahahahahahaahahahahahahaahahahahahah

9. Read one German book a month 

Did I do it? big sigh

How well did I do? ✔️/5

I read one German book……………………….a year………………………………………………………..

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I don’t want to make anyone feel good or bad about themselves in this post, least of all myself. I just thought this was the only way I could look back at 2018 in a productive way instead of just thinking about all the good and bad stuff that’s happened.

Whether you’ve set goals for this past year and achieved them or not, I’m proud of you and I know you’ve done your best, and you’re allowed to feel everything you’re feeling about your goals. ❤️🧡💛💚💙💜

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2018 reading and blogging goals

Happy new year everyone!

Ideally I should have written this post in December, but I figure it’s also a good post to start the year with.

My resolutions aren’t anything big or extra challenging, but I do have some things that I wish to change and improve.

  • The biggest change that I wish to make is to start reading audiobooks. I’ve never felt the need to do so but now that I live alone I find myself hating doing chores. Wait, that’s normal? Okay, but I mean… I hate chores also because I feel like I could be doing something in the meantime. And yeah sometimes I listen to music but at some point I started thinking “what if I managed to read (listen to) something on my TBR while I’m cooking/ironing/idk.” I finally got an audible account and I’ve already started listening to my first audiobook (I got Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman). I’m also looking for more audiobook recs so if you have any definitely let me know!
  • The second goal is something I’ve already started doing in 2017 and it’s also about managing my reading time in a better way. I found that by installing the kindle app on my phone I got a lot of more reading time while I was outside (on the bus, train, wherever), and I want to continue doing this and get better at it. So: keep reading while I’m stuck somewhere with only my phone. The only problem is that I don’t want to do this with every book, because reading only a few pages at the time doesn’t work for, say, fantasy (at least for me), so this brings me to my next point:
  • Having more than one current read of different genres (but not too many). Until a few months ago I was an exclusive one-book-at-the-time reader. I still find that that’s the best way for me to enjoy the books that end up being among my favorites, especially if they’re fantasy. But when I started reading more contemporaries and when I started getting more ARCs I realized that sometimes in order to keep reading and not give in to the reading slump I had to start reading something else too, so this past year I’ve managed to read a few books at the time, and that’s what I want to keep doing. But I also don’t want to get overwhelmed with current reads, so my rule is that at any given time I can’t have more than one contemporary, one fantasy, one non-fiction and one graphic novel on my currently reading shelf, plus one audiobook because that’s a different format anyway.
  • This is not only book related, but I really need to manage my time better. I keep trying to do ten things at once and end up finishing none. I switch on my laptop to “write one blog post” and end up scrolling goodreads, tumblr, twitter, starting to write a review, google how to make edits, start reading a webcomic, chat with friends… Eventually it’s 1am and I haven’t accomplished one (1) single thing and I really want to stop doing that. If I want to be constantly active on my blog I also need to block out all distractions while I’m drafting a post.
  • Learn how to read faster. This is not exactly a priority but I get so annoyed at myself when I see that I seem to be reading 3x slower than a lot of people. I tried to blame it on English not being my first language, but honestly a lot of my friends whose first language also isn’t English read so much faster than me. I can’t really explain why but I seem to be reading at talking speed, so that means that it never takes me less than 6 hours to read a 300 something pages book. I know I can go faster, but that for me means skim reading, and it’s not something I want to do (if I’m doing it it means I’m hating the book). If anyone has advice on how to learn to read a bit faster while also savoring the book please let me know! I’m kind of desperate at this point.
  • Be better at blogging. I mean it in every way possible, from posting regularly to creating better content. Specifically though, the main thing I want to do is write one discussion post every month. Even if it’s not an actual discussion, I still want to write something that is completely mine and not just a copy of what everyone else does. My most popular posts are discussions after all, so that makes me hopeful that people actually like the things I have to say. The downside is that to be able to write those I need to have time, not only to write them but also to engage in the book community on wordpress, twitter and goodreads, and I don’t always have the time/energy to do so.
  • Post mini reviews. Seriously, if you know me from goodreads, you know I read a lot more than what I post here on the blog. If 2018 is going to be like 2017, I will read a lot of webcomics, short stories, whatever. Sometimes I will even read full length books that I simply can’t write a full review on because they’re too perfect and I can’t find more than a few words for them. I post all of those on my goodreads, but why not post them here too? I started blogging with the impression that all my reviews here had to be perfectly structured and long-ish and I’d keep my more rambly and generally less pretty reviews on goodreads only, but why limit myself that way? 2018 is going to be very busy for me so I need t make sure that I am able to use the content I am able to create, even if it’s a mini review. With that said, I also want to write better long reviews when I do write them, especially with my ARCs.
  • Speaking of which… I really need to read the eARCs I received in 2017. I have a few books that are the second part of a trilogy and the final book is coming out this year and I’m still here like….but I still have the ARC of book two. Oops.
  • Even with the changes to Netgalley, I was able to request a few more ARCs (and not just “wish” for them). I’m not sure how, but I was also approved for a couple of them, so the goal is to keep trying to request, but only things I’m 100% interested in.
  • I need to read books in German. Please kick my ass if I don’t. Ideally I want to read one a month, but…..we’ll see.

I’m sure I’m forgetting something but that’s all I can think of  right now! Let me know what your goals for 2018 are and tell me if you have audiobook recommendations (I’ll be eternally grateful) or tips on how to read faster!

A Guide To ARCs | #2 The Master Who-To-Contact List for Internationals ARC Requests

This is a great and useful post!

Lost In A Story

As the title suggests, I’ve created a list of all publishers that do send out ARCs to international reviewers! Of course, the publishers on this list also send out ARCs nationally so I won’t exclude those wonderful people, but mainly this list is for internationals. Since getting ARCs is often harder for internationals (see this post), and we don’t always know what our options are, I thought it would be a good idea to make a list of contact details for all publishers that send out ARCs to internationals (so that is everyone that does not live in the US. I have not specifically looked for publishers that send out in the UK, but I assume all national UK publishers do that.)

Anyway, there are a couple of things I want to say before we get into this. And it’s fairly important to read this through:

A…

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