Lets Talk

Let’s Talk | Using a Commonplace Book

Let's TalkHello and welcome to my post where I am sharing my reading notebook and I would love to hear your thoughts! So, a few months ago I came across the idea of a commonplace book while researching different note taking methods on youtube. I came across Amy Landino’s video, which I will link to below and went from there. As someone who loves note taking, notebooks, and the link I am honestly surprised that I have not heard about this sooner. A commonplace book is defined as…

Commonplace Book  – source: Lexico powered by Oxford

NOUN

  • A book into which notable extracts from other works are copied for personal use.


What is a Commonplace Book and What Method I am Using?

Now, there are many ways to organized a commonplace book, some people use notecards and a series of boxes or dividers, digitally create one, or use an old fashioned notebook. I feel like the method you use really comes down to your personality and why you are using it. From the light research I have done, I see a lot of authors using the notecard system, if you want to check that version out, I suggest starting out with Amy Landino video called My Box of Inspiration! How to Create a Commonplace Book. I have not watched any other videos by her or anything, but I felt like she did a wonderful job explaining her version of a commonplace book. Now, as for myself personally, I went for using an actual notebook.

There are a few reasons why I went with an actual notebook. The first being it is the most historically accurate and pays a bit of homage to the history of a commonplace book. This is not to say the other methods are less, I am just a huge history nerd. See, commonplace notebooks have actually be around for a very long time, they were very prominent during the Middle Ages and Renaissance periods (source, source) and a lot of them were almost like scrap books of information.  Just like actual scrap books, they really varied from person to person depending on their lives and interests. It is even featured in some literary works ranging by Virginia Woolf and can even apparently be found in A Series of Unfortunate Events.  (source). As someone who like historical stuff, I am used this in historical context of everything including the kitchen sink. A lot of people who use them now organize them based upon theme and honestly me organizing my months and such is more effective for me. I do not want to create sections in a notebook. Although if I ever do I feel like a travelers notebook would work wonders for that.

Now, that I rambled about the first reason, to be fair the biggest reason for me personally, here are the other two. I have a ton of notebooks. I love stationary so I have it laying around, but it brings me true joy when I actually use them. On top of that I feel like I absorb more when I physically write and then put things into my own words. I feel like this is something I personally can only accomplish with the notebook style. While a notecard system would have me writing, I wouldn’t really have room to reflect or put it into my own words. So, that is how I decided what method I was going to use and now onto the notebook itself and my experience.


My  Commonplace Notebook

Dark brown notebook with tan inserts, one is labeled common place book. Notebook is placed open on a color striped blanket.

So above is a picture of the notebook I will be using as my commonplace notebook. It is a A5 side travelers notebook with a beautiful brown fake leather cover. Inside I have a few dot grid inserts so I am free to format as I please. As some of you might know I am someone who loves bullet journaling and I have fallen in love with dot grid paper.


My Thoughts and Outcome

So, I have really enjoyed using a commonplace notebook. It has been great to keep all the random things such as quotes, ideas, and little tidbits. I have been using it on and off for about a month and half and I feel like it is really beneficial to have an outlet. While I have a bullet journal, I am more worried about keeping it neat and tidy. The coommonplace notebook I am free and happy to doodle, write, and more without having to worry.


Bonus: a bit ago another blogger I follow posted on the topic as well WHAT IS A COMMONPLACE BOOK & HOW TO USE IT

Do you have a way to organize your notes?

Do you use a commonplace book, maybe even without knowing it?

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Lets Talk

Let’s Talk | How I Read 10+ Books a Month

Let's Talk

Hello and welcome to a little post where I list a few ways that help me personally read 10+ books a month. Now, this is just my personal experience, but I figured maybe sharing might give some ideas to those who might read this or even maybe get you into the reading mood!


First and foremost, audiobooks! I listen to audiobooks on a few platforms, the one I use the most is free through my library, I use libby. I use this to borrow audiobook (& ebooks), because honestly audiobooks are expensive and I can’t keep up financially with the amount I listen to each month. In second place is scribd, which is a small fee each month that give you access to audiobooks (& ebooks).  Lastly, is libro.fm which is an independent bookstore alternative to audible for a monthly fee. I listen to audiobooks when I am cleaning, crocheting, or when my hands are busy, but my mind is not really engaged.

The next thing that helps me is reading before bed each night. A few months ago I wrote a post called, Challenge | One Week Reading Before Bed. Following this challenge, I actually ended up changing up my nighttime routine. I loved my experience so much I kept it as part of my nightly routine. It is really calming for me and helps me wind down after the stress of the day.

Now, this is a bit of an odd one to mention but, I stopped reading books just because of the hype. I realized a lot of the books I was reading I picked up because of the hype. Well, since I realized hyped books I am meh about tend to be  slow paced and have little enjoyment, I should just leave them behind. Now I just read books I am really interested in and feel drawn to picking up. Since this switch happened I have read more because I want to pick up my current read more often and for longer periods of time.

Lastly, I am a huge supporter of DNFing books. Now, this is something that I have really embraced over the last few years. I used to have serious feelings of FOMO when I was reading a book I was not liking. I was convinced that there would be a huge turning point and I would see why everyone was loving a book. Well, nine times out of ten, that turning point never really happened. Now, if I don’t like a book after 50-100 pages, depending on the length, I DNF it. For me personally, I have found there is no point in pushing myself to read something I am not enjoying. Not only does it slow down my reading, I could be reading something I am really enjoying.

Well, those are a few ways that help set me up to read 10+ books a month. 


What are ways you work reading into your day?

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Tags

Let’s Talk | The Bookish Baking Tag

Let's TalkHello and welcome to a tag. I have not done one in a while, I am sorry! But, I was so happy when Alexandra over at Reading by Starlight Blog tagged me to do this. I love baking and books, so this is a perfect combination! Also, I want to note I made this a little extra challenging by only picking books I read this year.


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☆ Thank whoever tagged you
☆ Link back to them and the original creator (Kay @ Hammock of Books)
☆ Answer the 12 prompts, and feel free to use these graphics
☆ Tag 5+ friends to share the sweetness


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Norse Mythology

Norse Mytholgy by Neil Gaiman, I picked this one because the start of this book Gaiman goes into his personal history with Norse Mythology and it was really interesting and I felt it really set a great tone to the whole book.pumpkinpid.png

Little Women

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott, this novel will forever be a holiday book for me because it just feels cozy and it radiates family to me. This also a book I reread often and when I want to relax so either holiday meaning it has it covered!

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Firestarter

Charlie from Firestarter by Stephen King, I feel so much for Charlie in this book and I feel like everyone should just protect this poor girl. I don’t want to say much because you know, spoilers. But, I just want her to be safe and with those who care.

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Beach Read

Beach Read by Emily Henry, I mean the cover and title alone really say it all. This was a really fun and you probably heard all about it because so many people have been raving about it. It is a fun read that tackles a few sadder themes, but over all it had full on summer vibes and even a summer romance.

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Teen Titans: Raven

Teen Titans: Raven by Kami Garcia and Gabriel Picolo, so this one I am twisting a bit. Raven really made me think about what makes us, well us. In addition to the importance of family. I feel like the, “who am I?”, “What does it all mean?” are questions a lot of us ask of ourselves from time to time, but I feel like it happens a lot as we grow up in high school. Like I said, I am twisting this prompt a little, sorry!

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Northanger Abbey

 

Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen, I read this a bit ago and it was a really fun classic to read. I loved that the narrator had a sense of humor and was making fun of the book. On top of that it was a very typical love classic into also a horror/thriller esc. classic. It was quote enjoyable. I ended up writing an entire post about this one, Let’s Talk | BuzzFeed Picks My Jane Austen Novel

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Don't Touch My Hair

Don’t Touch My Hair by Emma Dabiri, this was such a great read. I annotated this book so heavily I needed to buy a new highlighter. This was such a great mixture of memoir and history of slavery all tied together by hair. It is a wonderful anti-racism novel that I think more people need to talk about and read.

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Mooncakes

Mooncakes by Suzanne Walker and Wendy Xu, okay, I admit this is not all fluff, but I just loved the relationships in this graphic novel and the support given! I just had to mention it, I need to read more by these two.

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Before the Coffee Gets Cold

Before the Coffee Gets Cold by Toshikazu Kawaguchi, the message of this book, at least to me, was savor all the time we get to spend with those around us. You never know when things will happen and you don’t want to regret not saying something or showing how you care. This was a beautiful short story.

macarons.pngAlexander Hamilton

Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow, this book is HUGE. Now, I love history and I worked with someone who also loved history at an old job. I knew their taste was generally similar to mine and they were having a hard time reading it saying it was slow and dragged. So, I was really afraid to read it. Well, years later I finally read it and this person could not be more wrong, at least in my opinion.

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Girl, Woman, Other

Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo, such a wonderful book. This book was diverse in so many ways. It was diverse in so many ways, such as age range, race, sexuality, economically. It was a wonderful book and I will say, this should have been the ONLY winner of the 2019 Man Booker Prize.

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Mexican Gothic

 

Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia, as you all probably know. This book has been on booktube, blogs, and just about everywhere I see books talked about. Well, I picked it up and I really did love it! This author is so talented, I can’t wait to see what they do next. It really is amazing when the hype pays off.

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Misty

Evelyn

Kayla

Destiny

Whitney

Meeghan

You!


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Hauls & Unboxings

Unboxing | New eReader!

Hauls & Unboxings

Hello and welcome to a bit of unboxing of my newest eReader. In the past I have used Nook when they first came out, then I transitioned to Kindle years later. Well, I decided I did not want to have a kindle because they are WAY over priced for what they are and I am not throwing my money away at Amazon. Due to this I started to look around for other options. There were a few things I was looking for specifically; a larger screen, backlight, physical buttons, work with my library. That is the thing about eReaders, they need to be fit for the user and you need to do your own research before purchasing to make sure it is right for you.


I ended up looking back at nook since I have used them in the past. To be honest I was not sure why I left, it was so long ago. I looked at their options and I was looking at the model called the NOOK GlowLight Plus and it was $200.00, which I found too much and didn’t even have the physical buttons I wanted.

I then decided to do a general search for eReader and came across Kobo. I decided to take a closer look and came across Kobo Libra H2O. It checked all the boxes for me personally, it had an internal light, had built in OverDrive(library), and had physical buttons and a larger screen than my kindle. The bonus on top of that it was cheaper then the Nook I came across. I decided to purchase this model for myself and waited for it to arrive.

When my eReader arrived I was so excited, it came in a simple box and I opened it right away to get it all set up and ready to go.


The packaging was simple, but it was more than sufficient to keep it safe. I was just as happy when I opened it and it seemed to be exactly what I needed and wanted. When I did take it out it was a good weight, not too heavy, but not too light that it felt fragile. The buttons felt sturdy and were not loose, which is something that always bothered me. I really dislike when a button wiggles.


My Kobo was really easy to set up, I was fairly surprised. When I switched from Nook to Kindle ecosystem there was a bit of a learning curve, with this it was very intuitive for myself personally. I added my library right away and I was surprised and delighted that I could see my holds and how long they thought it would take my to get them. I could also request books from from my Kobo without having to go on another device like with my Kindle. I will be honest, I don’t buy a ton of ebooks, I mainly use the library so this is a huge deal for me.

I also was able to also add my pocket account, which I was also excited about. I always find blog posts and articles I want to read later on and I have used pocket for a while. Well, turns out these are now automatically sent to my ereader now too! I am really thrilled with what this Kobo can do and I will continue to play with it and I am thinking I might do an update post later to share how I feel after a few weeks or months of use.


Do you have an eReader? If so, which one?

What are your musts when it comes to an eReader?

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Lets Talk

Let’s Talk | Personal Reading Sprints with ASMR

Let's Talk

Hello and welcome to a bit of a different post. I have not don’t a discussion post in a long time and I felt like doing something a bit different since I have not really been reading as much as I normally do. Anyway, my last post Challenge | One Week Reading Before Bed I talked about how I did a reading challenge where I read every night before bed. Well, I felt like I should share something else as well.


For the past few years or so, I have really fallen in to love a specific type of ASMR video. I don’t mean the food eating, sand cutting, and stuff like that ASMR, I am talked about ASMR Ambience. I love ambience and background noise any time I doing something, I really don’t enjoy the silence. So, when I came across this genre of videos I was really excited. For me, this is great to fall asleep to, get stuff done, but also the perfect method to set up a reading sprint for myself.

A lot of the videos I watch are around an hour, for me this is the perfect amount of time for a reading sprint. Putting on one of these ASMR Ambience videos I know the amount of time I have for a task or in this case reading. Also, it is great when you can find one that fits the setting of your book, it really ads to the experience. Now, when I use these videos for a reading sprint I don’t need to keep track of the clock or get startled out of my book by an alarm.

While reading it is a great experience for me.  I don’t get distracted by sounds around my room or home. It also keeps those I live with away, they can hear I have these videos on and it is a signal at this point that I am busy.  These videos allow me to just focus on my book, which is the whole point of a reading sprint in my option. But, as I mentioned before it can even pull you more into reading if you can find one that can go with the world you are falling into.

When the video is done and my hour long sprint is over, as I said I am not startled out of my book. Things just go silent. For me this is a lot more beneficial to my reading experience. If I am in the middle of a sentence, page, or chapter. I can finish without having to rush to turn off an alarm that is getting louder and louder as I try to ignore it. These allow me to find a natural stopping place, which I always need to stop at. I can never stop reading in the middle because I will forget my spot.

Anyway, this is my experience and I thought I would share it. I feel like this has made a good impact on my personal reading habits and experience.


My Favorite ASMR Ambience Youtube Channels


Do you participate in reading sprints?

Do you listen to ASMR?

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Lets Talk

Blogmas | Let’s Talk | Christmas Traditions

LetsTalk12:17

Hello and welcome to another blogmas post, I am so surprised I have actually stayed with my plan of 12 days of blogmas and the time is almost over already. Time flies when you are having fun! Earlier in blogmas I shared some of my favorite memories surrounds the holidays, Blogmas | Let’s Talk | Best Holiday Memories, well now I want to share some of my favorite traditions.


My favorite tradition would have to be cuddling into bed with a hot cup of cocoa on Christmas Eve and watching some of my favorite Christmas movies. I wrote up an entire post of the ones I love watch on the Eve and the day of, Blogmas | Lists | My Favorite Christmas Movies. There is nothing like relaxing and getting cozy with a heart warming movie. Then at midnight my boyfriend and I open our presents from one another, so it is technically Christmas, but we are the only ones awake and is it just so fun having our own mini Christmas in our own little world. We save all the rest for the morning with the immediate family.

The next tradition that really sticks out to me would be breakfast with my family after all the excitement of opening presents. It is just so wonderful to sit around the table, have fun, talk, and just be around one another without having to run off to this place or another. We always have the same breakfast eggs, bacon, english muffins, and delicious coffee. The coffee is very important because my extended family comes over for dinner so we have a lot of cooking to do. But, even with that breakfast feels so relaxed and nice. It is also at this time we usually take a family picture together to save the memory for us all.

My last favorite tradition is Christmas dinner with my extended family, I don’t see them often enough so I really love just sitting around and spending time with them. Our food is different every year, but we are always together and that is what I value very much.


What traditions do you have for the holidays?

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Lets Talk

Blogmas | Let’s Talk | What I Want From Blogging

LetsTalk12:17

Hello and welcome to this little discussion post! Since it is nearing the end of the year and my wordpress renewal went through I wanted to take this time and reflect on what I truly want from blogging and to check in and see if my motivation for it has changed since I started writing and posting on here.


So, when I first started blogging I was still in college and I had a very different way of life. A lot of the people I went to school with loved to read, but no longer really had the time to read due to our heavy reading loads. My degree was reading and critique heavy, so it is understandable that a lot of my peers didn’t want to pick up a book over reading a text and determining if it biased and how and if sources are right and so on. I on the other hand went to books to relax and still read a decent amount, but not as much as I do now.

I started to blog because I saw other book blogs online and I wanted to jump in on the conversation. I wanted to chat and gush about books I loved and hear what others had to say about their favorite reads of the year, month or in general. I feel like this is why a lot of us started our book blogs, if I am wrong please feel free to correct me.

Now, many years later and out of college my life has changed a lot. I actually have more time to read if I feel like it, I don’t pressure myself to read. If book blogging every did that to me I would honestly walk away. Reading in my hobby and how I enjoy my time, if anything stops that from happening outside of the dreaded book slump, Hello November 2019 Slump I am looking at you, I would stop. Now, I still am here to talk books and hear about others gush about books. I still want to talk to bloggers, I even started a twitter since I started blogging and I am on there all the time.

But, the question is, do I want more? The honest answer is yes. I would love to start a book club or a podcast of sorts. I feel like these would support my overall goal for blogging, connecting and talking books with awesome people. I know reading a blog is not always doable and bookclubs and podcasts are a wonderful alternate option. I also want to have more discussion posts like this, sometimes just reading information about what a person is reading or doing isn’t always inviting to comment on, but preficit it by saying “Let’S Talk”, it seems way more inviting.

Overall, I just want to find new ways to connect to you, my readers and fellow book lovers.


If you blog what do you want out of blogging? Have you ever blogged?

Do you still blog or have you stopped? If you stopped what were the reasons? 

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Lets Talk

Blogmas | Let’s Talk | Disappointing Books of 2019

LetsTalk12:17Hello and welcome to the most disspointing read of 2019 for me persnoally. Earlier this week I talked about the best I have read, which ended up being a list of nearly 10, this one thankfully is quite a bit shorter. If you want to see my favorites you can find that here: Blogmas | Let’s Talk | Best Books Of 2019. Anyway, onto my most disappointing reads of 2019.


Much Ado About NothingMuch Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

I have a pretty negative relationship with Shakespeare at this point because I have already read his works while bing forced and for me personally, if you force me to read something as a mood reader, I am not going to like it. I am going to be giving his works more of a chance in the future, but I did not enjoy this one at all. I was bored and just wanted it to end.
View all my reviews


 

SupermarketSupermarket by Bobby Hall

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

I hate to say this, but I did not enjoy this book really at all. The writing was almost childish and gave me Catcher in the Rye vibes, but not in the good way. At first I was enjoying this, but as I read more and more I became bored and kinda just stopped caring pretty early on. I only finished this because the blurb sounded interesting and I was hoping it would turn around and this would just be a lull in the writing.

It is jumbled at times and idk, I feel like it needed to be more flushed out before being published. It also needed a better editor.

I feel like Hall with some practice, studies writing, and has a good editor could write something good in the future, so I am not writing him off.

View all my reviews


 

The Secret History of Twin PeaksThe Secret History of Twin Peaks by Mark Frost

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I am giving this book 2.5 stars. I found this tale to be interesting, but at times I found the font to be a real pain in the butt to read (hand written notes in script and sometimes really messy handwriting). I also found that the description misled me a little bit, I thought it was going to focus mainly on one thing, but jumped around a bit. I will say I enjoyed the mixing of fiction and facts to create this story, it really added to the feeling of this book.

If you enjoy reading novels that are made up of a bunch of documents, alien stories, or stories following research I think you will like this.
View all my reviews


 

The Favorite DaughterThe Favorite Daughter by Kaira Rouda

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

The main reason I personally did not enjoy this was due to the narrator. I could not take more than a half an hour at a time listening to her. I am not really sure what to say, the idea is really interesting, but for me this is a case of a really annoying narrator.
View all my reviews


 

The Woman in the DarkThe Woman in the Dark by Vanessa Savage

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I am kind of struggling to pin point why this book didn’t blow me out of the water. I think the main reason is because I was able to predict a lot of what happened from very early in the book. I think once I made an assumption and it started to be proven correct I was just kinda meh about it.

I think if you have not read a lot of thrillers this is a great place to start. It is shocking and has quite layers to it. The writing style itself is good and it flowed for sure. One thing I really liked is the fact that I was debating throughout that maybe this is actually happening or it isn’t happening at all. What is reality?
View all my reviews


So there you have it the five books that utterly disappointed me in 2019. I am happy to say that this list is short because a majority of my reads from 2019 were three stars and up. It is nice to finally be in a reading spot where I really know my taste and I am not just buying books because they are popular or hyped anymore.

What was your most disappointing read of 2019?

Did you like any of the books I listed here?

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Lets Talk

Blogmas | Let’s Talk | Best Holiday Memories

LetsTalk12:17

Hello and welcome to a bit more of a personal blogmas post. I wanted to take the time and reflect on some of my favorite holiday memories and share them with you. I would also love to hear your favorite holiday memory as well. I feel like this is a time to spread joy and happiness and hearing all the wonderful stories and sharing adds to this. Anyway, on to my stories.

The first story is when I was very young. I can’t quite figure it out, but it was after the Space Jam movies came out. I remember laying on my floor Christmas eve and looking at my Space Jam poster of Lola Bunny. Then I heard a noise, jumped up and ran to the living room to see what was going on. Under the tree were all the presents all of a sudden dropped off by Santa Clause. I remember the glittering wrapping paper under all of the lights. It is still so vivid in my brain. I was so excited I ran to my parents room,  jumped on their bed and announced that Santa had come already and he had presents for everyone. We all went to the living room opened all the presents, we laughed and played and had a wonderful time while both my parents had coffee.

As an adult, I brought this memory up to my parents and I was told some funny things I did not realize or remember. I apparently had fallen asleep on my floor without realizing it and I had woken up at about 2 or 3 in the morning and decided to wake everyone else up. Thankfully, I let everyone else go to bed after we opened presents. It is funny, because I totally had forgotten that it was still pitch black outside.


The second story is a little more magical at least in my eyes. I was driving home Christmas Eve in the backseat of my parents car from a Holiday get together. I remember looking up into the sky hoping to see Santa riding his slay around. According to Santa Tracker on the radio, he was seen over my area not that long ago.

I vividly remember the cold glass on my forehead as I peered as high as I could, begging the clouds to break. Then all of a sudden seeing a red light followed by some white lights. I was so excited I had just seen Santa Clause and Rudolf flying. I remember telling my parents to hurry home because I wanted to make sure I was asleep before he could make it to our house. I didn’t want him to miss us. I never told anyone what I saw, I wanted to keep it a secret because I was afraid my parents would panic we wouldn’t be home in time.


Both of these stories are silly, but they both are stories that stick out in my memory all these years later. I think because I felt true wonderment and excitement, I felt that I saw or heard something magical and it just ingrained itself on me. But, they also are wonderful memories that I told of me and my parents. They are both wonderful people and it is only proven more true because they let me wake them up in the middle of the night excited to open presents. I am very lucky to have them and I am so happy that I have these treasures of memories to hold dear.


What is your favorite Holiday Memory?

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Lets Talk

Let’s Talk | Things I Want to Track in 2020

LetsTalk12:17

Hello and welcome to this little self talk and discussion. Over the year I have been become a bit more interesting in data revolving around my reading habits. I don’t what the reason behind it, but I feel like it would really show an interesting picture.


I know that goodreads keeps track of a lot of information such as how many books I’v read, book ratings by year, pages read etc. But, this is a mainly an end of the year event. I would really like to see if there are patterns for particular months. So, this is where this post comes in.

While I do really appreciate all the data goodreads keeps for me, I am interested in data that is not collected in a manner easily accessed. While you pick the editions you read of particular books, there is no way to look back at the year and see I have read this many ebooks, this many hard covers and so on. You also don’t have easy access to seeing the books you DNF, unless you count a book as read and put it on a shelf, which messes up my other stats. So, here comes my handy dandy notebook. Yes, I did just make a Blues Clues reference. I regret it already. lol.

Next year I would really like to track the following things on a monthly basis. If a book is fiction/nonfiction, while I know I read a wide array of genres, I would like to make this to be general so I am not overwhelming myself. While I know I read each of these each month, I don’t really track it too much and I would like more insight. Following that I would also like to track general stats like how many books of each rating, pages per month, library or owned. On top of keeping track of the format and how many I DNF over a year as I noted earlier.

I know a few blogs I follow do this, this is not all, but the ones I saw the most recently, are Read With Allison and Jordyn Roesler and I really love how they do this, but I really want to make this more conducive to my reading and my blogging style. So, I have another month to figure this out, but if you have any suggestions I would greatly appreciate it!

What stats do you keep track of?

Do you track outside of goodreads or only goodreads?

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