#ShelfLove No Book Buying Challenge: Avoiding Relapse

showyourshelves_zps8f6e8b06-png320x480This month’s #ShelfLove topic is all about how well we’re sticking to our goals and what we’re doing to refrain from caving to the temptation of buying books.

Honestly, I feel like I’ve got it pretty easy so far.  The Boyfriend has been buying me one book of my choice, as long as it’s not a full-priced hardcover or new release, every week that I get all of that week’s writing finished for my research papers.  Not only is the agreement motivational, but it’s keeping me sane.  It’s also making this No Book Buying Challenge a breeze.  So, check back with me around mid-May, when I’m not getting a book every week.

Besides the Boyfriend’s amazing gift of books, I’ve been making do with the books I already own but have never read, as well as the books I get through Netgalley, and I just recently used up the last of my gift cards.  I’ve also done quite a bit of “buying” and downloading of free books offered around through so many different websites besides the major book sellers, and checking out the occasional book that grabs my attention from the library.  Other than that, I don’t have any special strategy, which is why I’m a little worried about what I’m going to do when the semester is over and the Boyfriend is no longer enabling my habit.

The problem is that I’m addicted to bookstores, and not just to books.  Bookstores, with their mostly quiet and peaceful atmospheres and organized shelves, calm me down, but I have difficulty leaving them without buying at least one book.  Even when I lived in South Korea, I would find something to read in the smallest of sections dedicated to books in English.  It doesn’t matter if I’m also buying a magazine or something to eat or drink from the store’s cafe, I will come across a book that will call out to me and beg me to take it home.  After this semester is over, if I want to make it through this challenge, I will have to stay away from bookstores, unless I have adult supervision.  I have no idea how that will affect my mental health, but I plan on trying to mitigate any craziness by making frequent trips to the library, since it has a similar calming effect.


Once Upon a Time IX


Today is the start date of the Once Upon a Time Challenge, which runs until June 21st.

I will be doing “Quest, the Third”:

Fulfill the requirements for The Journey or Quest the First or Quest the Second AND read Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” or watch one of the many film versions of the play.

My choice between. “The Journey”, “Quest the First”, and “Quest the Second” is “Quest the First”:

Read at least 5 books that fit somewhere within the Once Upon a Time categories of Fantasy, Folklore, Fairy tales, or Mythology.

In addition to “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”, I’ll be reading:


March 2015 Take Control of Your TBR Pile Challenge

March 2015 Take Control of Your TBR Pile


Take Control of Your TBR pile is back for its third year, but this will be the first time I’m participating.  For the month of March I’ll read books in my TBR pile that were released before March 1, 2015.

The Rules:

  • Link-up!
  • Make a Goals/updates/Results post (can be combined).
  • Begins March 1st, 2015 and ends March 31, 2015 at midnight.
  • Read/listen to books from your TBR pile.
  • ALL books must have been published before March 1st, 2015.
  • Post a review and then link it to the Rafflecopter for an entry.
  • You can combine events, challenges, etc. (I’m combining this with all of my current challenges.)
  • No novellas.
  • The rafflecopter will only allow two books to be entered per person per day, so update as soon as you finish a book.
  • Earn an extra entry for adding the Take Control Button to your blog with a link-back.
  • Use hashtag #TakeControlTBR
  • There will be a Twitter Party and a read-a-thon (To be announced).
  • The Rafflecopter will close on April 2, 2015 at midnight and a winner will be chosen within 72 hours. The Prize is a new 2015 release valued up to $20.00.

My Goals:

  • I’m going to try to finish 4 books.  I’ve already chosen 3 of them:
  • I’ll include updates in my Monday’s Minutes posts each week.
  • I’m going to do my best to participate in the Twitter Party and the read-a-thon, depending on when they will be.


#ShelfLove No Book Buying Challenge: Finances



It’s February, which means those of us participating in the No Book Buying Challenge are supposed to share their book budgets, or what the money saved from not buying books will be spent on.  As you all know, my goal for this challenge is not to spend any money at all for the entire year, but gift cards and free books don’t count.

I got $75 in gift cards for Christmas and my Birthday this year.  I’m also earning gift cards by using a few different online rewards programs.  On top of that, the Boyfriend made an agreement with me that for every week I get at least 2 pages written for each 20 page research paper I have to write for my classes this semester, along with whatever other papers I have due, he will buy me one book of my choosing, as long as it’s not a hardcover.  His reasoning for this agreement is partly motivational, but also because going to the bookstore and seeing all those organized shelves of books is relaxing for me, and he wants me to keep my sanity throughout the insanity of this semester.  That’s what I call love <3

I’ve spent most of the money on my gift cards, but I’m saving the rest for the new edition of The Outlandish Companion by Diana Gabaldon that comes out in March.  I’m close to earning my 1st $5 Amazon gift card through one of the rewards programs, and I’ve also downloaded several free ebooks that I’ve come across.  I’ve earned 2 books so far from the agreement with the Boyfriend.  So, overall, I’m not feeling at all deprived for books.  However, I do have to repeatedly tell myself when I’m at the bookstore that I don’t have to buy every book on my wishlist right now because they’ll still be there when I’ve earned them.  I don’t know where that sense of urgency comes from, but I do know that my self-discipline and willpower are growing 🙂  I’ve read 5 books off of my TBR shelves towards my goal of 50, which means that if I’m able to keep that up, I’ll have met my goal by November.

I don’t have any plans for the money I’m saving from not buying books, but I will be taking the books I’ve read and decided not to keep to Half Price Books at the end of the year.  The money I get will go towards my book budget for 2016.  By then, I should have my degree and hopefully an adult job, but I want to continue spending as little or no money on books until I’ve got free space on my shelves.

Sci-Fi and Fantasy Bingo Challenge

S&S Bingo2
Snowflakes and Spider Silk has a SF/F Bingo Challenge that I’m going to participate in.
1. One book can only count as one square, but feel free to shuffle which square you’re using the book for as the year progresses.
2. Although this card is geared towards SF/F, you can use other genres for squares like “debut author” or “reread a favorite”.
3. Fill out the entire square if you’re feeling motivated, or 5 in a row (across, vertically, or diagonally) for a more relaxed challenge. You are welcome to fill out as much or as little as you like!

No Book Buying Challenge: TBR List


There’s no way I could possibly list every single book on my TBR bookshelf and all the ebooks I have in my 1st gen Nook (thankfully, Kindle links to Goodreads).  Even just randomly listing the amount of books for the level I chose (Black Belt: 51+ books) is daunting.  Since I signed up for this challenge, I’ve been very slowly adding books I already own onto a newly created TBR shelf on Goodreads, but those are only a drop in the bucket.  So, my TBR for this challenge is a weird combination of lists and photos:

To start off, I’ll be reading my review books:

  1. The Kingdom Lights by Steven VS
  2. Those Rosy Hours at Mazandaran by Marion Grace Woolley
  3. The Very Best of Kate Elliott by Kate Elliott
  4. The Eterna Files by Leanna Renee Hieber
  5. Cannonbridge by Jonathan Barnes
  6. Onyx Webb: Episode One: The Story Begins by Andrea Waltz
  7. Feast of Fates by Christian A. Brown
  8. Walking the Labyrinth by Lisa Goldstein
  9. Tommy Black and the Staff of Light by Jake Kerr

Then, I’ll be clearing out as many of my ebooks until March 6th, which marks the end of COYER.  These are the ebooks I’ve managed to get listed on Goodreads:

Foreign Correspondences Lesley Krueger
Little Boy Lost (The Librarian, #1) Eric Hobbs
The Princess of Dhagabad Anna Kashina
Ren of Atikala (Kobolds, #1) David  Adams
Turn of the Tide Margaret Skea
The Uncanny Valley: Tales from a Lost Town Gregory Miller
Lights Out Holly Black
Birth Of The Monster Shane K.P. O’Neill
The City of Worms (Everville. #2) Roy Huff
Everville: The Rise of Mallory Roy Huff
The Magic of Highland Dragons (The Clan MacCoinnach, #1) Kella McKinnon
Vigilante of Shadows (Novel 1 of The Scarlet Rain Series) Miranda Stork
The Final Formula Becca Andre
A Sea of Shields Morgan Rice
Gods & Dragons: 8 Fantasy Novels Daniel Arenson
The Lord of the Plains (Mixed, #1) Sarah Chapman
Fell’s Hollow A.J. Abbiati
Penny Dreadful Multipack Vol. 3 Robert Louis Stevenson
A Tide of Shadows (Chronicles of Llars, #1) Tom Bielawski
A Quest of Heroes (The Sorcerer’s Ring, #1) Morgan Rice
Mad Tinker’s Daughter (Mad Tinker Chronicles, #1) J.S. Morin
The Great Darkening (Epic of Haven Trilogy) R.G. Triplett
A Shadow of Lilies (The Last Savior) R. Moses
The Sibyl Cynthia D. Witherspoon
Sabriel (Abhorsen, #1) Garth Nix
The First Pillar (Everville, #1) Roy Huff
The Queen of the Tearling Erika Johansen

After COYER ends, I’ll move over to my physical TBR shelf.  Here are the 3 I’ve added to Goodreads:

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making (Fairyland, #1) Catherynne M. Valente
The Haunted Bookshop Christopher Morley
The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry Gabrielle Zevin

And here are pictures of my bookshelf, sans knick knacks, with the books I’ve already read, and decided to keep, blacked out:

first shelf

second shelf

third shelf

As you can see, I have way more books to read than I will get through this year, and it doesn’t include the 136 books I have on my Nook.  I would be ashamed if I didn’t know that I’m not the only one with a major book buying addiction.

Resolutions and Announcements


“New Year’s Day… now is the accepted time to make your regular annual good resolutions.  Next week you can begin paving hell with them as usual.” – Mark Twain

It’s New Year’s Day, so instead of “Thursday’s Quotables”, I’ve decided to let all of you know what changes I’ll be making for 2015!

First up are my resolutions for the year:

  • In keeping with the challenges I’ve chosen to take up, I need to read at least 65 books by the 31st of December.  At least 50 of those books will be those that I already owned as of yesterday, and 50 of them will need to be from Netgalley or Edelweiss.  That means I will actually have to read 84 books, so that’s my “true” goal.
  •  I’m participating in #FitReaders.  My goals for that are to start off the 1st week of the year with at least 1K steps per day, and then increase my total steps per day by 1K each week until I’m walking at least 12K steps per day during the 12th week.  I’ll repeat the week if I don’t make the steps for that week before moving on to the next one.  After that, I’m going to add some weight-bearing exercises and start either a cycling or jogging program, but that’s all dependent on my knees.  The Boyfriend and I also have plans to do Hot Yoga, so I’m hoping to do that at least once a week.
  • I have a bookmarks folder full of blog tips and tricks that I will attempt to clear out by the end of the year.  This will probably mean some changes to the blog over time, but they may or may not be as noticeable as the changes I’ve listed below, since some of them have to do with my editorial calendar, writing schedule, and other behind the scenes stuff.

Now on to the changes I’ll be making to the blog:

  • What I’m Reading Monday will now be called Monday’s Minutes.
  • Tuesday’s Tunes and Things will be split up into Tuesday’s Tunes and Thursday’s Things.  They will remain monthly features.  On “off” weeks, I’ll be posting book reviews.
  • Thursday’s Quotables will be moving to Wednesdays and will be called Wednesday’s Words.
  • I’ll be adding a new feature called Friday’s Fairytales starting Jan. 9th.  I’ve yet to decide if it will be a weekly or monthly feature.
  • Saturdays will be for author interviews or other book related posts that don’t fit into one of the features; otherwise I’ll be taking the day off.
  • Unless I’ve got something time sensitive and/or I just don’t want to wait to share it, I’ll be taking Sundays off.

What resolutions have you made?  What are your thoughts on the changes I’ve mentioned, or is there anything you wish I would add or that you would like to see more often?  Let me know in the comments!

COYER New Year’s Read-A-Thon


I’m participating in the COYER New Year’s Read-a-thon! Anyone can participate, whether you’re a COYER participant or not. The Read-a-thon will run from 12 AM Thursday, January 1 2015 – 11:59 PM Sunday January 4 2015.

New Year’s Read-a-thon Rules

  1. All books must meet the COYER Price Guidelines (so Free/Nearly Free eBook or Audiobook)
  2. It’s a new year, so read an author, narrator, or series that’s new to you.
  3. Sign-up on the linky before 11:59 PM December 31st.
  4. Before 11:59 PM December 31st, post on your blog, twitter, FB, Google+, Booklikes (you get the idea… somewhere!) that you’re participating. That’s the link you’ll need for the Rafflecopter.
  5. Have Fun!

It’s not required, but my “goal” is to read Tommy Black and the Staff of Light by Jake Kerr and I’ll include a wrap-up in my “What I’m Reading Monday” post on Jan. 5th.  The great thing about this read-a-thon is that it ends the day before Bout of Books 12, which ends before the COYER Dusting off the Shelf Read-a-thon.  TWO WEEKS OF READ-A-THONS before I head back to school for the Spring semester! 🙂

2015 Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge

Falling For YA
  • Jan 1, 2015 – Dec 31, 2015.
  • Any genre, release date, request date, length, etc. counts so long as it came from Edelweiss or Netgalley.
  • Falling For YA will have a round up post every month to link up reviews.

Levels (I’m going to try for Gold):

Bronze – 10 Books
Silver – 25 Books
Gold – 50 Books
Platinum – 75 Books
Diamond –  100 Books

2015 Outdo Yourself Reading Challenge

2015 Outdo Yourself Reading Challenge


Since I hit my reading goal of 50 books for this year back in October, and I’m probably going to be past that goal by 10 books, I’ve decided to stretch myself just a bit further next year by joining the 2015 Outdo Yourself Reading Challenge.

Reading Challenge Details:

  • The challenge runs January 1, 2015 – December 31, 2015 (books read prior to 1/1/2015 do not count towards the challenge).
  • The goal is to outdo myself by reading more in 2015 than I did in 2014.
  • Books can be any format (print, ebook, audio).
  • Books can be any genre (fiction, nonfiction, romance, mystery, etc.).
  • Novellas that are 100 pages in length (give or take), as well as full-length novels, will count for this reading challenge.
  • Re-reads and crossovers from other reading challenges are allowed.


Getting My Heart Rate Up: read 1–5 more books (or 250–1,499 more pages)

This is the first level.  I’m not sure if I’d be able to read much more than 65 books, assuming that I’ll read 60 this year, so I’m sticking to this level.  If anything, I’ll move up to the next level, but since I can’t move back a level, I don’t want to commit to a goal that isn’t realistic.

Do you have any reading goals for 2015?