Beyond the Blurb | Why Goodreads Reading Challenge Doesn’t Work for Me

Morning, readers!

Ever since I started blogging full-time, I always pledged fifty books to my annual Goodreads Reading Challenge. For two years straight, I countlessly set my challenge high. Sure, reading fifty books a year isn’t a lot to some people who read more than a hundred. But since I signed up for Goodreads, I completed each annual challenge.

But last year, I realized something. I don’t want to pledge fifty books anymore. Instead, I want to pledge lower. Yes, you read that right. Even though I’m a full-time blogger and reader, I cannot set my challenge high. For my next discussion post, I want to talk about the reasons why I’ve decided to set my Goodreads challenge at thirty, not fifty.

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Beyond the Blurb | Tips and Tricks on Buying Book Boxes

I’ve talked about book box companies and subscriptions before. As I type out this post, I’m in a subscription ban since I’ve run out of room. But I’ve never discussed the dangers of dealing with certain book box companies.

More and more, I see customers either getting ripped off of a product or entirely losing a purchase. We don’t truly have a guide to help us out, now do we? Well, I hope to change that. So for my next discussion post, I’ll be giving you tips and tricks on buying book boxes and the ones you should either go for or look out for.

Please note that not everyone has had the same experience as you, and that goes for me. As a disclaimer, this discussion post is of my own opinion, which may not match yours. It’s not intended to offend, but to offer support.

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Beyond the Blurb | Why I’m on a Bookish Box Ban!

Morning, everyone!

For months, I have tried to ignore the growing bookish stuff I’ve collected. I thought I’d be proud of this collection. But instead, I feel like a bookish hoarder with nowhere else to go but to part with some items I know I shouldn’t have purchased.

But how did I get here? Frankly, I don’t know. I don’t understand how I went from wanting a few boxes or candles to collecting more items than I can handle. So I decided to organize what I’ve accumulated. And it wasn’t easy. Yes, some of the candles are on my new shelf. But I still have boxes leftover from Wick and Fable, Flick the Wick, Owlcrate, Shelflove Crate, Fae Crate, and even Lit Joy Crate. And I still feel as if I haven’t hit the entire collection.

So what do I do? Well, I’ve put myself on a book box ban. Yes, you’ve heard me. I’m on a ban. I’d rather spend my money on shelves and books than these boxes. But why am I on a ban though? Let’s break down the reasons why:

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Beyond the Blurb | Why I’m Not an Ebook Reader

Morning, bloggers,

You’d think that since I’m a blogger, then I’d love reading ebooks. You’ve assumed wrong. Me too. I honestly thought I’d enjoy more access to books. But I’m more of a physical reader. When I first started blogging though, I had a goal of reading more ebooks. I failed that, haven’t I? So why am I like this?

Well, that answer took a lot longer to come up with. So for my next discussion post, I want to discuss how I’m not a fan of ebooks and ereaders and why I’m okay with that.

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Beyond the Blurb | Why Reading Slumps Start and How to Fix Them

Morning, everyone!

This week, I needed a prompt hiatus from blogging. Lately, I have been doing great with my blog, but I haven’t been all that upfront about struggling with my mind. You see, my mental illnesses have gotten progressively worse. Why? Being a full-time caregiver and a part-time employee with zero help from family has caused me to burn out. I hate admitting that because I know that’s some kind of failure on my part. Or perhaps I’m wrong, and it’s no failure at all. I don’t know.

Then the dreaded reading slump hit. And I knew I was in trouble. I know many book bloggers have talked about this topic, but I wanted not only to give you advice but also to offer up reasons why you fall into a slump and how to avoid it.

So let’s talk about why reading slumps hit us readers and how we can kick them to the curb.

 

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Beyond the Blurb | Reading Diverse Books Is More Intimidating than I Thought They’d Be

Morning, everyone!

Years ago, I’d pick whatever book without the slight inclination of thinking about diversity. Now though, I question if it exists in books, if it’s appropriate, or if it’s harmful, which can occur. But I never thought that own voices and diverse books can be so intimidating for a reader like myself. But here I am questioning this topic.

So I thought I’d bring it up in my next discussion post. Over several years, diverse books have been gaining more acceptance. In 2015, an African-American girl launched the #1000BlackGirlBooks campaign, which gained widespread awareness. And We Need Diverse Books is always advocating for more books for minorities, like POC, characters with disabilities, and more. With my mental illnesses, I want to advocate for them.

And yes, I do have mental disabilities, so why am I intimidated by books that can spread more awareness for not only my minority or others’ as well? Frankly, I’m still learning about them, understanding them, and championing them. I’m a reader who needs to learn a lot more than what I see in life. And a part of me is afraid. So let me explain the reasons why I am:

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Beyond the Blurb | Bloggers, Embrace Hiatuses, Don’t Run from Them

Morning, sweets!

Last month, you may not have noticed that I took almost a week off of blogging. Even though August was the best month of my entire blogging career (hobby?), I needed to take some time for me. I needed to disconnect from my blog, my Internet life, and everything else that’s connected to them. And I felt liberated and guilt-free. And that reaction had gotten me thinking about hiatuses and their good effects for all bloggers.

But why are they good though? Why are they needed? And why do bloggers fear them? That’s why I want to dedicate an entire post on this topic.

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Beyond the Blurb | Why Are Book Reviews Difficult to Write?

Morning, bloggers!

I typically talk about Twitter-related controversies in my discussion series. But I’ve wanted to discuss why reviews are so bloody hard to write. It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been blogging. Reviews are intimidating. And sometimes, you just don’t feel like writing them. And given that I’m behind on my reviews, I’m okay with that. It takes a lot of effort to write just one. Just imagine writing two or more a week.

We bloggers are up against a lot: competition, other platforms that demand more of our time, life, work, and reading and blogging slumps. When life gets in the way of blogging, reviews don’t truly matter. They don’t. But guilt eats at you and me. So why are they so damn difficult?

Here are some reasons that stick out to me:

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Beyond the Blurb | Why I Don’t Enjoy Exclusive Edition Books or Boxes Anymore

Morning, bloggers!

When I first started blogging, I loved exclusive edition boxes and books. But lately, more book subscription companies are lumping in too many boxes and book sets. And I am losing the appeal of them. I can’t be the only reader who hates them now, right? Right? Ahem.

So let me give you some history so you know what I’m talking about. In a matter of a month or so, book subscription companies have been fairly busy, have you noticed? Fairyloot currently offers exclusive editions of Girls of Storm and Shadow, Into the Crooked Place, and a Caraval book set. Additionally, it worked with Holly Black for its Queen of Nothing collector’s edition box with a new set of the Folk of Air books. And the company had to push back the release of the Caraval set because numerous followers complained about the number of exclusive editions and the timing of their release dates.

Illumicrate presents its own Folk of Air collector’s edition. Yes, new editions of the previous books with new covers. Shelflove Crate is also selling The Land of Faerie, a getaway box that will feature Holly’s work across multiple series. So not necessarily Folk of Air, but you get what I mean. And Owlcrate will also do another Folk of Air box to complete the series. And now, Barnes & Noble is re-releasing previous copies of the same series because breaking the bank, and showing how entitled Western readers are, is the newest book trend.

I don’t mind variety and choice. But I also know how difficult it is for some buyers who have no self-control whatsoever, who don’t know what to pick, or who can’t afford any collector’s box and feel horrible about it. What I want to discuss is how all of these boxes are in fact causing a negative effect on our community. As a reader, I wish collector’s editions were handled better. Here’s why:

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Beyond the Blurb | What to Do When You Fall Out of Love with Blogging

Morning, bloggers!

Blogging is mostly a hobby for people. Some find their niche and brand, then work off of them to make business. Others don’t. And that’s okay. More will fall out of love with blogging. And that’s also okay.

When I found my Mom’s diagnosis, my life got turned upside down. And blogging helped me cope with what was happening. But once everything settled, I almost fell out of love with my blog and questioned if I should keep it. A part of me never wanted to admit that fact. I didn’t. However, being honest is kind of my thing on here. I open up more than I have in my personal life. But it took me a while to accept that I wanted to stop. But that time is when I appreciated it and the book community.

Over the last three years, I have grown as a blogger and reader. And I’ve found close friends who I love and cannot imagine not having them there for me. So what happens when you’re in the same situation? Well, that depends on you as a blogger. But I’ve figured out which pieces of advice you may want to follow if you’re struggling with your blog. Here they are:

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