#COYER Black Out: Winter Storm

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This COYER, from December 17th to March 3rd, is much more strict than it has been in the past.  Participants can only read ebooks we already own and got for less than $1 or audiobooks we got for less than $5.

However, there is the “generator” option, but I won’t be taking advantage of that.  If you would like to know more about using your generator, click on the COYER picture to get the full details over at the official COYER website.

Since the rules are tight this time, I’m not going to read any ebooks until December 17th, and I’m going to concentrate on finishing the books I’m currently in the middle of reading.  Once COYER starts, I’ll concentrate on reading as many of my ARCs as possible.  With any luck, I’ll get completely caught up on them.  Since library books don’t count, I’ll also be focusing on the few audiobooks I own that I got for free.

Usually, my goal for COYER is 10 books, but this time I’m going to try for 12.  Bout of Books is coming up during the first week of January and I’m taking vacation during that week as well, so I’m fairly certain I can manage 12 books by March.

Are you participating in COYER?

R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril XI

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Image: Abigail Larson

R.I.P. XI takes place from September 1st, 2016 through October 31st, 2016.

I’m a day late in signing up for this, and I blame my old day planner and myself for forgetting to write all the important reading events for the year down in my new planner.

There are multiple levels of participation.  I’m only going to give a summary of them here, so for the full details, click on the image above.

Peril the First – Read four books, of any length, from the very broad categories of Mystery, Suspense, Thriller, Gothic, Horror, and/or Dark Fantasy.

Peril the Second – Read two books that fit the R.I.P. categories.

Peril the Third – Read one book.

Peril of the Short Story – Read one or more short stories.

Peril of the Screen – Watch one or more movies.

Peril in Play – Play one or more video, electronic, board or table top games.

I’ll be doing Peril the First and, since I’ll also be participating in Castle Macabre’s Gothic September and Season of the Witch, Peril of the Short Story.  Though I’m sure to watch several movies in October that would count towards Peril of the Screen, I won’t be writing any movie reviews.  However, I might list the ones I watch in my Monday’s Minutes posts, especially if they are based on books.

Are you participating in R.I.P XI?  Which Peril(s) are you going to do?

Let the Challenge Begin!

SCI-FI SUMMERReading Challenge

Starting today, June 20th, and running until September 21st (the day before the Autumnal Equinox), is the Sci-Fi Summer Reading Challenge!

If you haven’t signed up yet, the link-up is at the bottom.  You can link up your reviews HERE.

Here are the challenge levels:

  • Red Shirt – 1 to 5 books
  • Viper Pilot – 6 to 10 books
  • Jedi – 11 to 15 books
  • Time Lord – 16 or more books

Any book of at least 100 pages that is classified as Science Fiction, including any Sci-Fi subgenres, qualifies for this challenge.  That means audiobooks, physical books, ebooks, library books, free books, other borrowed books, anthologies, and graphic novels are all acceptable options.  You may also count any Sci-Fi book that counts towards another reading challenge.

Link up your sign-up posts below:

The sign-up will remain open until September 14th, a week before the challenge ends.

#ShelfLove: Mid-Year Check-In

Shelf Love Challenge 2016

A lot has changed in my life since I started this year’s Show Your Shelves Some Love challenge.  I got a full-time job.  I moved to a new apartment.  I began to truly focus on my health.  With all of those changes, I’ve come to realize quite a bit about myself that I didn’t previously know, and books have become an even more important part of my life as a result.

For instance, I realized I have to work for the sake of my mental health, not just my bank account, but I also have to have a job or at least be doing or working towards doing something I’m passionate about.  After I was offered the job, I was so excited to finally be working full-time again, but the excitement quickly wore off because my job is 1) not challenging and 2) has nothing to do with books.  So, my game plan has changed a little bit.  It’s no longer “I want to eventually go to grad school to become a librarian.”  It’s now “I’m taking the steps to go to grad school as soon as possible.”

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My TBR shelf before I moved.

That doesn’t have much to do with #ShelfLove, other than the obvious (books, of course), but my recent move to a bigger, but very differently configured, apartment made me greatly appreciative of this challenge’s existence and the lovely women hosting it.  I’ve discussed many times before how my book collection has caused quite a few problems when it comes to moving.  There’s the back-breaking weight, the cost of packing materials, and then the process of unpacking and reorganizing.  Ok, that last one is kind of fun.  Alright, a lot of fun.

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Only 2 of my book boxes before I moved. The other 5 or 6 were in storage.

 

For the first time in nearly seven years, I finally cut down my collection and moved to a place big enough to have all of my books in one place and easily accessible.  No longer do I have to drive out to my storage unit and dig through boxes to find that *one* book I want to read or loan to the Boyfriend.  Granted, not all of those books are on shelves, thanks to my shelves still being in storage until we have the money and time to shut down the storage unit for good, but all my pretty lovelies are READily available 😉 and that makes me a happy gal.

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My TBR shelf now. Though it doesn’t appear to be any different, it really is.

Though the main purpose of this challenge is to read the books we already own, and I’m definitely doing that, it has also made me rethink the books I choose to keep.  I was holding onto a lot of books I knew I would probably never read, but the pressure to read them because I bought them was causing me unnecessary stress.  I finally decided to take them to the used bookstore.  I thought letting go of these unread books would be difficult, but I didn’t shed any tears, and those books are better off in the hands of someone who will actually read them.  So far, I’ve made over $50 off those books and I’ve got another box that is halfway full.  Since my job hasn’t made me rich, that extra money means that I could afford to buy myself some exercise clothes that actually fit and are cute and comfortable so I’m more likely to get off the couch.

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The remaining books after the purge.

What does concentrating on my health have to do with #ShelfLove?  It means I’m reading more.  Not only am I setting aside time every night to read as a form of self-care, I’m also reading while I exercise.  Whether I’m reading a book on my Kindle while I’m on the treadmill or listening to an audiobook while I’m walking during my breaks at work, I’m getting through my books much faster than I did last year.  I’m already at the halfway point of my goal of reading 51 books off my TBR pile.  Last year I was about five books behind.  Of course, I was still in college and taking Summer courses to finish my degree faster, but I wasn’t making as much time for exercise, either, and there’s nothing I’d rather do more while I sweat than read.

Overall, the changes in my life have improved my relationship with books and reading.  I didn’t believe that was possible, especially since I was sure my new job, moving, and exercising more would all cost me valuable reading time.  Instead, the opposite has happened, and maybe this challenge has something to do with that.  Perhaps my determination to stick with it has made me come up with workable solutions.  All I know is that before #ShelfLove, and before I started blogging, I was barely getting through half the books I now read in a year, despite owning double the number of books I own today.

#COYER Summer Vacation!

COYER Summer

The COYER Summer Vacation reading challenge is from June 18th to September 2nd, and I’ll be participating!  The lovely hosts of COYER have decided to throw out the rules and allow ANY book, regardless of price or format.  I’m super excited about this because during most of the challenge, I’ll be hosting my Sci-Fi Summer reading challenge, and a large chunk of the Science Fiction titles I own are physical editions, which is what I want to concentrate on clearing from my TBR mountain since I’m also participating in the Shelf Love reading challenge.  That’s THREE awesome challenges!

Since the rules for COYER have been tossed like hot potatoes for the Summer, I’m not setting any goals.  I’m just going to read as much as I can, mostly Sci-Fi, but also a few of my ARCs that have publication dates between June and September.  This is going to be a wonderful Summer! 🙂

Are you participating in the COYER Summer Vacation reading challenge?

Sci-Fi Summer Reading Challenge

SCI-FI SUMMERReading Challenge

There’s Sci-Fi November, and Vintage Sci-Fi January, but for me, the Summer is the time of year that is best for reading Science Fiction.  I don’t know why.  Do you think I make the rules of when I read certain genres or books?  Oh…wait…I do.  Or maybe my cat Dresden does?  He seems to be Lord and Master of the rest of my life, so it stands to reason that he does.  Regardless,  from June 20th, the official first day of Summer, to the 21st of September (the day before the Autumnal Equinox), I’m reading as much Sci-Fi as possible.  I’ve got a lot of it on my TBR shelves, and I’m inviting all of you to join me.

Since I’d like to make this a legitimate annual reading challenge, below are the levels:

  • Red Shirt – 1 to 5 books
  • Viper Pilot – 6 to 10 books
  • Jedi – 11 to 15 books
  • Time Lord – 16 or more books

Any book of at least 100 pages that is classified as Science Fiction, including any Sci-Fi subgenres, qualifies for this challenge.  That means audiobooks, physical books, ebooks, library books, free books, other borrowed books, anthologies, and graphic novels are all acceptable options.  You may also count any Sci-Fi book that counts towards another reading challenge.  On June 20th, I’ll post the link up for your reviews, and it will stay open until September 25th.

Are you up to the Science Fiction Summer challenge?  Link up your sign-up posts below:

 

The sign-up will remain open until September 14th, a week before the challenge ends.

 

Take Control of Your TBR Pile Challenge

Take Control of Your TBR Pile

The Take Control of Your TBR Pile Challenge is entering its fourth year, but this is the first year I’ll be participating.

The Rules:

For the entire month of March, read books in your TBR pile released before March 1, 2016. They can be eBooks, physical books, or audiobooks.

My Goals:

  • I will read nothing but physical books I already own.  That means no borrowed books, whether from the library, a friend, or the Boyfriend’s bookshelves.
  • I’ll update my progress in my weekly “Monday’s Minutes” posts, and write a final wrap-up post at the end of the month.
  • I’ll also write a review for every book I read.
  • I will participate in the 24-hour TBR Readathon on March 12th.
  • I will try to participate in the Twitter party on March 16th.

My TBR:

As you all know by now, I have an entire floor to ceiling bookcase full of books I’ve never read.  Thanks to the Boyfriend and giveaway winnings, I haven’t cleared out any space yet this year.  While I also haven’t run out of space again, that needs to change because we’re moving in March, and I’d love to have at least one box of books headed to the used bookstore before then.  While I don’t have any specific books I plan to read during the challenge, I do plan on attacking the paperbacks I’m pretty sure I won’t want to keep after I finish them.

Feel the Paper Love February: My TBR

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Yep, that’s right!  The photo above of my bookcase is my TBR mountain for Feel the Paper Love February.  Why?  Because, with the exception of three books I want to read this month, I don’t have a plan.  It depends on the weather, my mood, and how quickly I get through the other three books.

What are those three books?

  • An Echo in the Bone by Diana Gabaldon – I started it on the 1st of the year but kept getting distracted by other books.
  • The Talented Mr. Ripley by Patricia Highsmith – I borrowed this from the Boyfriend’s Mom’s Husband when we went to visit for Christmas.  I don’t know how it will work out, but the plan is that we will exchange books when the Boyfriend’s Mom comes down to Austin every couple of months.  Since I don’t know when she’ll be in town next, I want to have the book finished, a note with my thoughts about it written, and a book of mine ready to send with it.
  • Warren the 13th and the All-Seeing Eye by Tania Del Rio – This is an ARC that I’ve had on my shelf for far too long.

One thing I did decide is that, since I’m choosing to read nothing but physical books this month, but I usually listen to audiobooks when I’m in the car, I’m going to catch up with the ridiculous number of podcasts I’ve been neglecting instead.  They’re not books, so I’m not breaking my commitment to the printed page.  I’ll return to my audiobooks next month.

Bout of Books 15!

Bout of Books

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01 am Monday, January 4th and runs through Sunday, January 10th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 15 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. – From the Bout of Books team

It’s that time again!  Unfortunately, I’m considerably more busy than I was during Bout of Books 14, but I’m determined not to let that stop me from reading every day instead of doing other things with my free time.

My Goals

  • Read for at least 2 hours each day.
  • Finish at least 1 book, but I’m hoping I’ll be able to finish 2.

Books to Read

  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling
  • An Echo in the Bone by Diana Gabaldon
  • Moll Flanders by Daniel Defoe

Updates

I will be posting an update each day with the amount of time I read, the number of pages read that day, and the titles of any books I’ve finished.

#ShelfLove 2016

Shelf Love Challenge 2016
I’m joining the Show Your Shelves Some Love Challenge again!  Below are my goals.

My Goals

  • Read at least 51 books from my personal library that I got before January 1, 2016 (my shelves and I are going steady).
  • With the exception of one book, I can only buy books using gift cards.  I can “buy” as many free books as I would like, accept ARCs, and enter giveaways to my heart’s content, but I may only use my hard earned cash to buy one carefully chosen book.
  • The one book I buy this year must be purchased with the funds I raise from selling books to the used bookstore.
  • Participate in the monthly discussion posts.

My TBR

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These are, of course, only my physical books, and not all of them are books I haven’t read yet, but the majority of them have never been opened. Total, I have approximately 400 unread books sitting on my shelves or in my Kindle and Nook.  One of my projects this year will be to update my TBR shelf on Goodreads to get a more accurate total (none of the ebooks on my Nook are on it).