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Reviewing My 2016 Resolutions (and NEW bookshelves!)

reading-and-blogging-resolutions

Even though I rarely check in on them to see how I’m getting on, for some reason I still feel it’s necessary every year to sit down and write some bookish and bloggish resolutions. Occasionally, I’ll even do a couple for “real life” as well. Visualise it, write it, achieve it, and all that jazz! Without further ado, let’s review last year’s resolutions to see how epically I managed to fail in 2016!

1. Actually Get Some Bloody Bookshelves!

THIS one, I have achieved!

harry-potter celebrate gif

We’re off to a good start. Finally, finally, I have beautiful bespoke bookcases to call my own.

new-bespoke-handmade-walnut-bookcases

These were designed by me, with a 3D visual of how they would look provided by my sister (to make sure I LOVED the design before I went ahead with buying the materials!), and they were handmade by my dad. A true family project! They’re walnut veneer, with solid walnut edging, and clear varnish finish. And I am IN LOVE with them. I’ll be doing a post all about them soon, with lots of pictures!

2. Revive Babes and Books!

This was a massive fail. I honestly can’t believe it’s been so long since we buddy-read a book! The group consists of me, Brandie @ Brandie is a Book Junkie and Stef @ Caught Read Handed. Check out previous Babes and Books reviews. What do you think girls, should we give this a go again in 2017?

Babes and Books Feature

3. Make Review Notes!

I did actually make some review notes in 2016, but definitely not enough! It SO helps to have notes when writing up reviews, especially if like me, you’re quite behind in getting the reviews posted for the books you’ve already read. I should really focus on this in 2017, it would make life much, much easier.

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Running Away From Reading Challenges!

running-away-from-reading-challenges

Reading Challenges are a hot topic, and there are A LOT to choose from.

There’s the super popular PopSugar Reading Challenge, and the equally infamous Book Riot’s Read Harder Challenge, then of course there is the Goodreads Challenge, as well as the vast number this community comes up with themselves, and this year I’m putting my foot down.

I’m saying “no” to reading challenges.

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How Much Do You Spend On Books? 2017 Edition

How much do you spend on books 2017

At the end of 2015, I started analysing how much I spend on books each year (see how much I spent on books in 2014, and how much I spent on books 2015). It’s a really popular post, and one I like to do to try and keep control of the spending situation. Typically, I prefer physical books to eBooks, and I prefer owning books as opposed to borrowing them from the library. This has resulted in a substantial TBR pile (based on my current rate of reading, it would take around 5 years to get through the books I currently own… eek!), and while I’m not a believer of Book Buying Bans, I think it’s a great idea to be mindful of what I’m spending my money on.

In 2016, I definitely started buying more books in physical bookstores (I ❤ Waterstones), and unintentionally (at least initially) reduced the amount I was buying through Amazon. As I’ve gotten older, and become less ignorant of the publishing Industry, I’ve developed a new appreciation for the amount of time and work involved in book publishing, and I’ve begun to understand how Amazon’s pricing policy undermines the Industry.

For a long time, I justified cheaper purchases because I was a student, or a recent graduate, who couldn’t afford to spend a lot on books. While I’m not exactly rolling in riches four years after graduation, I am in a position where I can spend that little bit more for a personal and physical customer experience in a bookstore, and that means something to me. That being said, I’m still a firm believer in value for money, so I rarely buy RRP.

Spending that little bit more means that, hopefully, a physical bookstore will stay part of my high street, and it usually means I’m buying books I’m super interested in, rather than sneaky impulse purchases. I haven’t tracked my in-store spend for 2016, but it’s something I really want to do this year. Surely keeping a receipt jar won’t be too much trouble? (Though it may possibly be a massive eye-opener!).

The following figures are taken from my online order histories, and don’t include gifts or books bought from a charity shop. The amount I’ve spent also doesn’t include the benefits of using discount codes and cash-back deals from Quidco to make further savings (which I highly suggest you do!).

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Crazy and Best Search Terms 2016

crazy-and-best-search-terms-2016

Last year, I brought you the Crazy and Best Search Terms of 2015 and I’ve decided there are some posts I like redoing as a bit of an annual review, so today we have the Crazy and Best Search Terms of 2016!

First up, lets check in on those unknown search terms. Last year I had a total of 6,089 unknown search terms, this year that figure has grown to 12,723, and as ever it still really, really gets on my nerves! Search terms are a fantastic way to figure out how people are finding you on the Internet, and all these unknown ones are completely useless. That being said, there were also some entertaining and humorous phrases…

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My Second #OTSPSecretSister Experience

2016-Discussion-ChallengeWhen my first round of #OTSPSecretSister ended, I wrote a post all about my OTSPSecretSister experience, and now that another round has sadly come to an end, I thought I would do it again to encourage all of you to participate in this project at least once.

To recap, OTSPSecretSister is the fabulous invention of Brittany @ Book Addict’s Guide, Alyssa @ Books Take You Places and Amy @ Tripping Over BooksThe project is a “cheer club” – you are paired with a “Secret Sister” and send them letters, cards and gifts over the course of 6 months, before revealing to them who you are. While you’re doing this, you have your own Secret Sister who’s looking out for, and sending cheer, to you.

The project started in the US only, but now there are Secret Sisters in the UK, Belgium, Canada, and Australia. Check out #OTSPSecretSister on Twitter to see what all the ladies (and guys!) get up to. I really enjoyed taking part for a second time, but I’m taking a break for this next round as I’ve other things going on, and don’t feel I can commit to it fully just now, which wouldn’t be fair to the other participants. I’ve a feeling I’m really going to miss it though, so no doubt will be back doing it again soon!

The Secret Sister I Sent To – Natalie @ Food For Bookworms

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New Adult Fiction is NOT Erotica

This Isn't Literature This is Porn Gaston

Afternoon, Book Geeks!

Today, I’ve written a Guest Post over on Dani Reviews Things for her event, #NAAugust!

In it I discuss NA fiction, and declare that NA is NOT erotica! Check out my discussion and drop Dani some love!

In celebration of the event, I will soon be reviewing It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover AND offering one of you lucky Book Geeks the chance to win a paperback copy for yourselves!

Stay tuned to find out how to enter the giveaway. Happy Reading!

Harry Potter Tag

The Harry Potter Tag

I spotted this tag ages ago on Alicia @ A Kernel of Nonsense‘s blog, and kept the questions in a draft post, should the need ever arise to complete it. Considering my review for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child went up yesterday (and to give you a break from book reviews now my blogging mojo has returned), I thought today was the perfect day for a tag. The Harry Potter Tag was originally created by Underland to Wonderland (you can leave a link to your post on the original Harry Potter Tag). *Beware* there may be spoilers ahead.

1. What is your favourite book?

It has actually been ages since I read them all (I NEED to fix that this year), but from memory I’ll say it’s a tie between Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone and Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Harry Potter Philosopher's Stone Illustrated Edition

2. What is your favourite film?

Such difficult questions! Again, I’ll say Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, because the first one got all of the characters so spot on, and brought the world to life in the most perfect way, but this time it’s tied with Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. I thought the movie really did that book justice.

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eBooks vs Paper Books – The Facts

2016-Discussion-ChallengeIn this two-part discussion, I break down why I’m breaking up with eBooks (posted yesterday), and explore eBooks vs paper books – the facts.

Before eBooks came on the scene, the publishing industry was already in a spot of bother. Non-fiction sales were suffering a little due to the plethora of free information available on the Internet, and sales of other books were decreasing as the population moved towards digital entertainment. When eBooks launched, with peak sales of 23.2 million eReaders in 2011, there was scaremongering that physical books would disappear entirely in favour of their digital counterparts. It is, after all, the age of the digital revolution – VHS lost to DVD, Xtravision is gone thanks to Netflix, cassettes lost to CDs (which lost even quicker to digital downloads), HMV is gone thanks to Spotify. We’re evolving, and business models that don’t adapt quickly? They don’t survive.

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