Bookblogtober Day 14: Treats to Read With

Those of us who have marathon reading sessions know that you have to be prepared. Plenty of snacks and hydration within reach are required. Everyone has their preferences regarding what those are and certain rules that they may apply (such as nothing greasy so that you don’t mess up pages).

I will typically make myself a plate with an assortment of things such as some kind of fruit (apples, grapes, strawberries), cheese, crackers and more. Variety of items means that I’m not going to be searching for more snacks in the middle of my reading. I also make sure that I have water and some other kind of beverage available that contains caffeine such as Diet Coke, a chai latte or coffee.

For me the main point of getting set up with snacks and drinks is to ensure that I have everything I need for a long reading session. If you are deep into a book you are not going to want to stop and go foraging. Not everyone is going to have the same habits, but that’s what works for me.

Happy reading!

Bookblogtober Day 13: Bookish Pumpkin Carving

I’m not hugely experienced when it comes to pumpkin carving. Besides doing the standard face on a pumpkin a few times as a kid, it just wasn’t something we did. While I’m not that skilled at it, I do love seeing the designs that people create.

I definitely believe that so many things from books, especially those in the fantasy or horror genre would make great designs on pumpkins. The Hogwarts House Crests would be amazing, as would logos from a number of different franchises.

Also, when displaying your pumpkin I think it would be interesting to have a bookish design pumpkin sitting on stop of a stack of books. If the design was spooky and it was set on top of a stack of old hardbacks, then draped with fake spiderwebs? I think that would be awesome on a spooky front porch.

Since I don’t have a ton of experience with pumpkin carving myself, I found a few links from Buzzfeed, Bookbub and Bookish that have some stellar ideas and examples.

Enjoy!

Bookblogtober Day 12: Fall Aesthetic

As discussed in previous posts, I’m not a huge person for seasonal decorations but there are certain things that I am a sucker for and will surround myself with.

Baking/Fall/Christmas scents – I love anything that smells of fall/winter, especially maple scents, anything reminiscent of baking and those wonderful scents that mix the smell of campfire with other scents. For some reason those especially scream fall to me.

All the multicolored leaves! – I know it’s cliche to immediately reach for multicolored leaves, but it’s one of my favorite things. I grew up on a road that was one of those picturesque drives once fall came. So not only is it aesthetically pleasing, it feels like home.

Jewel Tones – I love the rich burgundies, deep teals and dark emerald greens that come out this time of year. Something about those decadent and vibrant colors just sing fall to me.

Coats and Scarves – Ok, so this isn’t aesthetic, but I love being able to pull out all my coats, boots and scarves. I love the warm and cozy feeling of bundling up when it’s just a little chilly. I know that if I’ve started pulling them out when fall has truly arrived.

What’s your fall aesthetic? Happy fall!

#Bookblogtober Day 11: Top 10 – Fall is the Best for Reading

The last quarter of the year is for sure my favorite reading season. There’s something about the combination of weather, attitude and feelings that just lend to reading. Here’s my top ten things I like about reading in fall.

  1. While I don’t love being cold, the lower temperatures do make you want to curl up and hunker down.
  2. Bring out all the blankets and pillows! I am a bit of a hoarder when it comes to blankets and pillows, but this time of year I can utilize them for my reading.
  3. Reading while drinking hot or warm drinks is so comforting and relaxing, but not in a way that will put you to sleep. Break out the coffee and tea (ok, to be fair I drink coffee year round, but still).
  4. At the beginning of fall you have that interesting mix of weather, meaning you could read inside or outside depending on what the day is like.
  5. Stormy nights, though not enjoyable in a lot of ways, make me want to break out the candles, turn out the lights and read.
  6. Did I just mention candles? Why yes I did! I love pulling out my fall and Christmas scent candles this time of year and adding those smells to enhance my reading experience.
  7. Fall is perfect atmosphere for reading so many different genres! Gothic/Horror? Check. Cozy and fun? Check. Sci-fi, Romance, Fantasy? Check check check!
  8. Changing weather also means more time that you won’t be drawn out for various activities (ok ok, speaking as an introvert) and you’ll probably have more time to read.
  9. The transition of aesthetics between summer and fall is comforting, watching the leaves change and the progression of that transition just changes the pace of people, it’s like taking a deep breath.
  10. The ultimate combination of all these things, curling up in a comfy chair or couch with a soft pillow and warm blanket, warm beverage and a candle burning is just a soothing and relaxing scenario that is conducive to reading.

Let’s face it, any time of year is great for reading, but there is something about autumn. Maybe it’s the fact that we have passed that halfway point of the year, days are getting shorter and it’s getting colder, but the thought of being alone with books and just reading everything becomes more and more appealing.

Happy reading!

#Bookblogtober Day 10: Tips to Get Out of a Reading Slump

We’ve all been there, we have so many books we want to read but just can’t get into anything we pick up. At first you just think it’s the current book you are reading, so you try something else but then comes the realization that you are in a reading slump comes. September was one of those months for me. I was loving pretty much everything I was reading, but I had to push myself to get through them. So what can you do to break that cycle and ramp back up your reading? It varies depending on the person, but these are some of the things that work for me.

Re-read a favorite book – This is one of the sure fire ways I have to get myself out of a reading slump. I’ll download the audiobook of a favorite, or pick up my print copy to read. Sometimes this jolt of the familiar is just the jolt and reset I need.

Switch up your formats – I tend to listen to a lot of audiobooks because I am able to listen to them at work, but sometimes it ends up being too much and puts me in a reading slump. When I notice that happening I’ll switch back to print format and put audiobooks on hold for a little bit. Too much of a good thing can easily send you into a slump, so it’s ok to ease up if you feel like you’ve had too much of a certain format.

Set aside time to read – Create a block of time where you disconnect from everything else and just read. I will usually set my laptop up with some ambient sound, hide my phone from myself and make sure my boyfriend knows it’s reading time. Sometimes simply eliminating some of the outside distractions and giving yourself a solid block of time to read can help.

It’s okay to give yourself a break – Let’s face it, sometimes the only way to get yourself out of a reading slump is to simply give yourself a break from reading. I’m not saying take a month off (though if you need to don’t feel back about doing so) but sometimes what your mind needs is an actual break. I’ve been going through this a little lately with my audiobook reading, so I downloaded a bunch of podcast episodes and that’s what I’ve been listening to. I wasn’t enjoying the audiobooks I had, so I knew the quality of my reading was suffering. Sometimes it’s just what you have to do.

Hopefully some of these techniques will help some of you when you deal with a reading slump, they certainly help me!

Happy reading!

#Bookblogtober Day 9: Blogging Essentials

As of late I have been trying to be better about consistently posting on my blog and blogtober has been great to kick me into doing that, but sometimes with a day job and other obligations it can be hard. Shout out to Jenniely for creating these prompts.

When I’m reviewing books, I usually try to jot down some notes since I know that by the time I finish a book there may be some things that are not as clear.

If I know I’m going to be linking to a bunch of items in my post, or I need twitter handles for my twitter post, I will open up notepad and compile all of the things I need before I start the post. Having to look for links in the middle of a post can interrupt my train of thought, so I like to gather all of that ahead of time.

One thing that I am going to try, so I don’t know if it’s going to be an essential or not, but I’m going to create a bullet journal just for my blog. I already have one for my reading with all of my stats and keeping records of my ratings and the comparison of how many books I read vs. how many I bring in. I think starting one just for my blog will help with scheduling posts and keeping track of books and posts that I have a deadline for. We shall see!

Other than that I just like to have all my resources at my fingertips so that when I sit down to write up a post I don’t have to go scrambling for information. The more smoothly I’m able to write, the more posts I’m able to work on and get scheduled. I’m hoping that further organization will help refine my posts as well as help the blog grow!

Happy reading!

#Bookblogtober Day 8: Creepy Reads

Something about fall and October makes a lot of people, myself included, want to read creepy books. Colder nights, warmer beverages and cozier clothes just lends to curling up with a creepy or scarier story. I have some favorites for sure, but I eagerly want to read even more and find new favorites. Hopefully you’ll find a new favorite in some of the ones I like.

City of Ghosts – In City of Ghosts we follow Cassidy Blake, a girl who has almost died and can now see ghosts. Along with her best friend Jacob and her ghost investigator parents, they go on an adventure in the haunted city of Edinburgh. She learns more about what has happened to her while also navigating the emotions and feelings that come with being a young teen. I’ve recently finished the sequel Tunnel of Bones as well, which is set in Paris, and loved it as well.

We Have Always Lived in the Castle – I am an avid fan of Shirley Jackson. My AP English teacher introduced me to her when I was in high school and I have been hooked ever since. A great place to start with her work is her short stories, but We Have Always Lived in the Castle is one of her better known novels. It follows two sisters who are trying to live their lives while also dealing with the consequences/ramifications of past events. It’s better to go into her work not knowing much as it is very psychological.

The Dead House – A lot of people have heard of Dawn Kurtagich’s newest book, Teeth in the Mist (we I am eager to read) but her previous book was really good as well. Told mostly in interviews and transcripts, it tells the story of a few key characters and the mystery of the events at a school. This is another book that it is best to go in knowing very little. It is sure to leave you guessing and definitely has a number of moments that are confusing yet creepy.

Slasher Girls and Monster Boys – I have a couple anthologies that I’m hoping to read this month, but one that I absolutely love for its creepy factor is this one. It is definitely in my top three of anthologies and there are some stories that still give me a shiver when I think about them. So many of the stories went all out even though it was a YA anthology. If you’re feeling like reading short stories that could creep you out, for sure think about picking this one up!

Let me know if you decide to pick any of these up and give them a read, hope you enjoy them as much as I did!

Happy reading!

#Bookblogtober Day 7: Bookshelf Decorations

I have seen some lovely images of fully decked out bookshelves which are fully decorated for the season, especially some booktuber’s shelves, but I don’t typically decorate my shelves. I don’t do a whole lot of holiday decorations anyways, mostly because I don’t like switching out a ton of things, but that doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate when people do.

The addition of a couple pumpkins or fall decor items can add splashes of color to shelves, I’ve seen some people go full out with Halloween decorations instead of just fall and even those look great. I tend to be a little more simplistic, which leaves more room for books on my shelves because space is at a premium in my house. Still, I do have a few things that live on my shelves this time of year.

I just brought my succulents inside as the temperatures are starting to lower, so they have taken up residence on my bookshelves. I also have a few of my larger candles displayed, waiting for the time that I decide to burn them. As to other decorations, I have a few Funko pops (such as Velma from Scooby Doo hanging out with my Nancy Drew books) but otherwise keep most of the space for my books themselves.

How do you decorate your shelves? Do you go all out for the holidays, or keep the same decorations year round?

Happy reading!

#Bookblogtober Day 6: Autumn Drinks

I know that a lot of people out there have been dying for this time of year to arrive, I have been hearing many a shout of “PUMPKIN SPICE TIME!” all around me. I have a confession to make. I hate pumpkin spice anything. I know I know, how dare I, but that just means more for all of you out there who love it.

Thanks again to Jenniely for creating #bookblogtober, so now let’s get into what my personal favorites are when it comes to drinks I enjoy in the autumn while reading.

Caffeine! My caffeine intake is pretty high, so it’s rare that you see me without some form of it being available to me. One of my old standbys is Diet Coke, so I will typically have some available to me in my house. Another option that I have really been enjoying is flavored sparkling water with some caffeine in it.

Most nights, especially as the temperatures start to fall, you will see me with a cup of coffee. I typically prefer a medium roast coffee and add sugar free Irish cream flavored creamer and some whipped cream, cause you know, gotta be fancy. I also have a weakness for iced chai tea lattes, though I add sugar free vanilla syrup and half and half to lower the carb count.

Now, I am mentioning a lot of caffeinated beverages here so I should add that I will usually always have some water handy. If I have a bottle of soda, then I also have a bottle of water. We all know we can lose track of time when reading, so staying hydrated is very important.

What are your favorite beverages to drink this time of year?

Happy reading!

#Bookblogtober Day 5: Best Reading Clothes

Oh boy, this one is a hard topic because obviously it’s going to be different for everyone. Obviously you want to make sure that you are comfortable, but it’s also going to depend on the time of year and your environment. If you love to read by the pool, you aren’t going to do that in flannel pajamas.

I do most of my reading inside, so as long as I’m wearing comfy pants and a shirt, I’m happy. Some of my essentials are either being under a blanket or having super fuzzy socks on. I also always have to have my hair out of my face, which usually means pinned up or a ponytail.

If I’m reading while traveling I have either a large stuffed animal or pillow usually hugged against me or acting as a headrest. In all things reading, especially for an extended period of time, comfort is key. I have a number of lounge pants and super soft t-shirts that suit this purpose.

What do you prefer to read in? Does the outfit matter to you, or is where you are more important?

Happy reading!