Bookblogtober Day 18: Autumn Bookstagram Props

I won’t lie, most of my Bookstagram posts are pretty simple, book stacks, flat lays or books with my cat. Typically I don’t go super elaborate but sometimes I do like to use some props. When I was trying to think what I would use for something more autumn themed I came up with a few things I’ve seen used here and there that would fit my aesthetics.

Foliage – I’ve seen lots of shots in front of foliage or using autumn leaves. You don’t even have to get real leaves, you could get some silk flowers and leaves and use them year round!

Candles – Lighting a candle and turning down the lights will give your pictures that spooky look that fit this season. They give a wonderful warm glow that I think looks great in Instagram pictures, without the use of a filter.

Soft fabrics in warm colors: I think a lot of people lean towards cool colors such as whites, but warm colors such as rich jewel tones are the types of colors I reach for in the fall.

Other than that, you can get ideas by going to your local craft stores and seeing what they have available decor wise. Office supply stores my have poster board or other items that could serve as a good background. The possibilities are endless.

Happy reading!

Bookblogtober Day 17: Favorite Horror Films

I used to be such a lover of horror films, but somewhere along the lines horror became gore, and well, that wasn’t my thing. My imagination can do far more than fake limbs, blood and CGI can do. That being said some of my favorites may not be considered traditional horror.

Jaws – Ok, if you like monster movies at all, then Jaws should be at the top of your list. Is it strictly horror? No, but it’s the quintessential sea monster movie. It was something that anytime it was on my dad and I would stop what we were doing and watch it, much to the chagrin of other family members.

The Lost Boys – Oh, be still my heart, punk vampires in the 80s. Need I say more than a young Kiefer Sutherland being a bad boy vampire? Plus, you have to love the references to Peter Pan in the concept of this one. One last vote in this movie’s favor? THE SOUNDTRACK. If you do nothing else, then at least listen to the soundtrack, it is amazing.

Rose Red – I love this miniseries based on Stephen King’s take on the Winchester Mystery House. It’s not everyone’s style and does end up being really long since it was a miniseries, but it is so good. It’s one of those things I can easily put on for noise and enjoy.

Ghostbusters – Ok, ok I know Ghostbusters isn’t horror, it’s comedy at it’s root, but I always want to watch it this time of year. Something about the mythos that was created by that first movie just always draws me in. Plus, who can resist a stories high marshmallow man?

So what are some of your favorite movies to watch this time of year? Do you disagree with me on horror?

Happy reading!

Bookblogtober Day 16: Favorite Ghost Stories

Anyone who knows me knows that I love a good ghost story. When a place is supposedly haunted, I love to hear the history and story of it. I’ve always loved stories that were more creepy in nature and ghosts have been one of my favorite aspects of that genre.

Anytime someone is going on a trip and asks me if I would like anything, I often ask for them to look for books of ghost stories from the areas they are visiting. I have a good stack of ones that I’ve made my way through so I’m going to talk about some of my favorites.

Houses of Horror by Hans Holzer – Holzer is well known in the paranormal community as one of the original ghost hunters. He often visited locations with mediums and then researched anything that came through. He’s written a number of titles detailing his wide array of cases. I’ve only read two of them so far, but Houses of Horror is a good place to start. His writing can be a little dense, but the cases are intriguing and the history matching up with his mediums (or not matching) is always interesting.

Haunted Houses of California by Antoinette May – I picked this one up on a trip to the Winchester House in California. It includes a ton of information on different locations and the legends or stories associated with them. Sometimes those that are specific to certain areas are great because you get a concentrated section of stories. Tourist areas or gift shops are often a great place to find books of ghost stories, so keep a look out when traveling!

Ghost Stories of Oregon by Susan Smitten – This one isn’t so much this specific book as this is part of a much larger series of books published by Ghost House Books (the Oregon one is number 20). Whenever I see more of this series I pick them up. Again, they contain short stories that talk about the history of the location as well as the details of what people have reported happening there. Not all of them are state or location centered either, they have some such as Haunted Theaters or Haunted Highways that are more broad in area.

If you are into reading real ghost stories, you should definitely check some of these out, they were all really informative reads.

Happy reading!

Bookblogtober Day 15: Favorite Autumn Book Covers

Anytime I think about autumn or fall themed book covers I don’t necessarily turn towards leaves. I tend to lean towards things that are spooky and more horror themed. Some of my favorites are actually middle grade books that have come out pretty recently, but let’s be honest – book designers have been doing a stellar job on covers as of late.

There are also some young adult covers recently that have no only intrigued me but also creeped me out just a little bit. Call me crazy, but that makes me want to read them even more. I’m not usually the biggest fan of the typical girl on the cover books, but these take that to the next level.

There are so many other covers I could show, but then my post would be nothing but graphics. Needless to say, if a book has a creepy cover with amazing detail, I will most likely be drawn to it and be more likely to at least look into it. So many of these tell a story with just their covers, which is one of those things that pull you in.

What are your favorite things to see on covers? What will make you pick up a book you’ve never heard of just by the cover alone?

Happy reading!

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.


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!