Hauls

Read 5, Buy 1 | August 2019

Read 5 Buy 1

Hello all and welcome to another month and the continuation of my Read 5, Buy 1 challenge. This month I will admit I did not fully stick to my Read 5, Buy 1 because I went away on vacation and what does a bookworm do when they are away on vacation? They visit awesome new bookstores and bookshops and buy books! Well, at least that is what I did/do. So there are a few extra books I am adding to this haul.

I want this journey to be honest, so I am not hiding the fact that I have some extra books on here. Plus, I want to share the awesome books I have come across and thought so highly of I felt the need to get them right away. Anyway, here are the books I have read and the books I have added to my TBR. I will say at one point I was under 30 books on my owned TBR and it felt great, hopefully I can get there again soon!


Read 2

 


Books Added 2

American Gods by Neil Gaiman

Drums of Autumn by Diana Gabaldon (a reread copy purchased)

-Book Boxes-

The Adventures of Huckleberry Fin by Mark Twain

Well Met by Jen DeLuca

-Vacation Books-

Cujo by Stephen King

Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman

The Salt Path by Raynor Winn

Ghosts of Acadia by Marcus LiBrizzi

 


OWNED TBR COUNT.jpg

33 Books!


What’s the last book you added to your TBR?

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Writing and More

Bullet Journal | August 2019

Recs

Hello everyone! Today I am going to give you a peek inside of my August bullet journal. Like the past few months I am really inspired by plantbasedbride’s theme. This month I took from her watercolor ocean  vibe. I am really feeling the deep blues and greens, not sure why because blue is not my most favorite color, but I am going with it. I also changed up my weeklies for the first time in the last few months, I hope it works out well. Anyway, here is my bullet journal!


The image on the left I fell in love with. I did some googling and came across Let’s Make Art  she has an entire kit you can buy or you can use her print out and paint along with her if you have paints already. It is so cute and I loved how she shared her talent. As normal I have a mini calendar on the other page so I can have a quick reference for the month.

I really have been loving this new social media calendar I have been using. It really is great to be able to see everything in one place and visual see when I past because lists of dates don’t really work for me. I added a little quote with my stamp set on top of a water color water image I came across.

Here is my favorite spread of the month, my NEWTs page. I wanted to take a bit of inspiration from Book Roast and her first OWLs bullet journal tracking page. I loved the look of used roughed up parchment. On the left I printed out my desired career and put it down as a little bit of inspiration and motivation and on the right I placed the NEWTs grade I need. I didn’t write in my books from my TBR, which you can find here:___. The reason is because sometimes I don’t stick to a TBR, so I decided I would write in the book title when I read a book that meets the NEWTs requirements. I had a lot of fun doodling the castle and the fancy HP font for NEWTS.

This page is just like I have every month. It works really well for me so I don’t want to change it. I did add a bit of color to tie in the water / ocean theme. On the right I draw a physical representation in the form of spares or rectangles for the days I read a particular book. These books are color coded based upon the color that is assigned to them on the key page.

This is my new weekly spread. I decided that I did not need an hourly breakdown for the upcoming month and I didn’t want to have wasted space and waste my time making something I don’t need. I put all of the days on the left hand side and on the right I left open for notes and reminders. I did put a mini calendar on the top corner and highlight the week I am currently in. It gives me a good visual perspective as to where I am during the month.

This month I also decided to redo my blog kanban board. I found that I needed to redo the order of the steps. I find that it is best for me to write my posts first and then take the pictures. I also gave myself a little more room the blocks are larger and I left a page blank.  On the left side I decided to leave it blank to hold the tabs for the days I need to brain storm topic idea. It is a nice visual for me to see empty tabs with dates waiting for my attention.


What Bujo spread is the most used by you?

Do you track your reading outside of goodreads?

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TBR

NEWTs Readathon 2019| August TBR

NEWTS 2019.jpg

I am so excited that it is finally August and the Magical Readathons continue once again! This is my second year doing these readathons and I have to say Book Roast does an amazing job. Earlier this year I participated in the Owls, you can find those posts here: Wrap Up | #OWLsReadathon2019 , Middle Mark | #OWLsReadathon2019 Update and April TBR | OWLs Magical Readathon 2019. This year I decided to go for Herbology since I have been loving gardening and flowers this year on top of the fact that I am a proud Hufflepuff. I plan on continuing this journey to becoming a herbologist with these exams. Without more ramblings, here are my exams and the books I am planning on reading. Divider 2

-Mandatory-

Herbology

  • A: Audiobook: Emma by Jane Austen 
  • E: Between 350-390 pages: Bringing Down the Colonial by Patricia Miller
  • O: Flowers on the Cover: Everything Under by Daisy Johnson 

Potions

  • A: Friends Fav: Thunderhead by Neal Shusterman *cough* Jenna, Reg *cough*
  • E: Yellow on the Cover, Yay Hufflepuff!: Drums of Autumn by Diana Gabaldon 

Care of Magical Creatures

  • A: Book that stars with A: The Alienist by Caleb Carr


-Bonus-

Arithmancy

  • A: Ends in an even number: Endless Night by Agatha Christie

Just like last year, my most up to date NEWTs News will be over on twitter, but I will be updating half way through the month of August via my Middle Mark post. The readathon will be using the hashtag I know that the readathons official tag is #NEWTsReadathon2019 and the readathon also has a twitter of their own, you can find that here: is @MagicalReadthn.

Best of luck on your exams everyone!

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What NEWTs are you taking? Which profession are you trying to become qualified in? Any fun books you picked to read?

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Lets Talk

Let’s Talk | Top 5 Books I Have Read So Far This Year

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I was watching youtube, as one does and I recently subscribed to a booktuber called Katie Wismer. Her newest video, at the time of writing this, popped up into my feed and I loved this little addition to a midyear check in. Last month I went over all of my goal. updates and such in my post called Reading & Blog Goals | 2019 Mid-Year Check In, but after watching her video I thought it would be fun to share my favorite and least favorite reads so far this year. I am going to start with  a gush fest, I hope you don’t mind!


-The Books-

Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman

I mainly read this because I was hearing so many great things. Then after I picked it up my boyfriend happened to watch the first episode of the Prime series and said I would really liked it. So, I decided to read this and it has easily become a favorite for me. I read this in two days. If I didn’t have work it would have been a single day.

The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton

This was such a well planned out and very well organized thriller it was able to surprise me so many times along the way. The description I think sells it sort because the plot is so much more. I don’t want to say too much, but wow. I have to say I am really lucky to have been given an ARC for a book that ended up being 5 stars. It is wonderful when that happens.

Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with Me by Mariko Tamaki, Rosemary Valero-O’Connell

This was such a cute LGBTQ+ graphic novel. I actually read a free sample from the publisher on their website and I read the sample then walked into the library because I needed to know what happened next. The artwork and the words were both beautiful. Sadly not pictured because it was from the library.

Elevation by Stephen King

This is a wonderfully weird novella from King. It was not horror, but more science fiction and I loved that! Even with its short size I became connected to the characters and felt for them. I will admit I teared up at a particular point. This was a very unique story and I will reread it again.

The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien

Now, there is not much to say about this high fantasy novel/series that has yet to be said. I am started a reread of this series and I am enjoying the adventure so much. I can’t  wait to continue and maybe implement a hobbit style eating habit along the way. The world, the language, and the songs created by JRR Tolkien are all amazing and so detailed it feels so real.


What has been your favorite read of 2019 so far?

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Hauls

Read 5, Buy 1 | June 2019

Read 5 Buy 1.jpg

Hello and welcome to another kind of blog post series I am adding to my blog. Nearly a year ago I shared by Read 5, Buy 1 Challenge, you can find that here: Lets Talk | My Read 5, Buy 1 Challenge. In this post I explain how I challenge myself when I feel that my Owned TBR has gotten a bit out of hand. Well, This past month with Book Con I decided that having nearly 50 books at one point was way to high for me to be comfortable with. So, I decided to reinstate the Read 5, Buy 1 Challenge. In the linked post it goes into detail of what it is and what it entails, but I will give you a little summary.

Pretty much for every 5 books you read, you get to buy 1 book. No book buying bans needed with this, but it does help you cull your TBR and get it under control. I have used it quite a few times over the year. My last run of it I got my TBR down to the high teens, which is within my happy place of owned TBR. Anyway, each month I am going to give a little summary of how it is going and share the books I read and the book I bought.


Read

Buy


Since I started this in the middle of the month I only have one book hauled through this challenge. Now, I need to get reading so I can get my TBR down and buy some books! Any questions about this challenge I am happy to answer.

Divider 2What does your TBR look like?

Have you ever done a book buying ban?

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Writing and More

Bullet Journal | July 2019

Recs

Hello again! Welcome to my monthly peek into my bullet journal. This month, much like last month I took a lot of inspiration from Plant Based Bride over on youtube and her blog, http://plantbasedbride.com. I took her theme and quote and then added in my own style to it and my spreads that work from me. If you have never seen her stuff before, I suggest taking a look. She is very talented.


First off I loved her use of peaches for July, I know I am eating a ton of fruit this time of year so I loved this. I drew her images on my into page and then used my stamps for the month. I also decided to keep my spreads mainly monotone, but with a splash of peach. Which, you can see on my calendar overview.

I absolutely loved this quote that she used this month, so I decided to add it to mine as well. If I am not mistaken it is a quote from Dita Von Teese. I changed the font to just my hand writing and added in a little pop of color instead of going all out with the coloring. In the past I have noticed when I add color I tend to ruin my spreads by over doing it. I really loved this new social media calendar that I tried last month so I added it again. I wish I had used this spread sooner to track by blog and insta posts.

Next is my much loved book tracker. I have used this tracker through two different bullet journals and I am going to keep it for a long while I think. It is just really satisfying to see how long it takes to read a book and how often I actually read.

Here is my TBR for the month of July. You may have seen my TBR post, if you have you will notice I added another book in there. Since I loved Good Omens so much when I read it last month I wanted to read more works by Terry Pratchett so on the guidance of quite a few people I decided to start with Mort.

Last, but the most useful to me on a daily basis would be my weekly spreads. At this time I have not added the hours in the little squares on the left side of the day because my schedule has recently changed and I need to find a new balance with that.


What Bujo spread is the most used by you?

Do you track your reading outside of goodreads?

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Wrap Up

Wrap Up | June 2019

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June was a very crazy month for me, I am so I am very surprised at how much I ended up reading this month. I was expecting to read maybe only 4 books, but I ended up reading much more than that.

I will say this month I was very bad about sticking to my TBR, June TBR | 2019, I ended up only reading 1 book on that list until the 24th of the month. Then, I kinda tried to binge the rest of the list. The main reason I did not do to well with sticking my my TBR was my mood reading and the books that became available from my library. Library books always take precedence with me because I can’t keep them and I might not be able to extend my time with it if someone else is in line.

Anyway, I overall liked a lot of the books I read this month, but below is some more details about the books themselves and my thoughts.

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Read 2

The Secret Life of BeesThe Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I really liked the time period this was set in and how it was true to that time period. It showed the hardships that African Americans faced and the horrible treatments that were thrust upon them. I enjoyed the writing style and the theme of bees throughout the story.

I think I have come to realize though, that I do not like stories about young girls who lose their mothers at a young age. I think it is because I have read it so many times or what, but I am just not in the mood or enjoy stories with that plot line.

View all my reviews


Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with MeLaura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with Me by Mariko Tamaki

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I have not read a lot of books or comics or anything in a while that dealt with HS aged people. But, I am very happy that I read this. I started reading this as a preview from the publisher on their website, when the preview ended I needed more and got it from my library that thankfully had it. I finished it in one sitting.

The story line was heart wrenching, but heart warming at others. I loved that the characters were raw at times, but the issues that were hinted at and full on explored are real issues that are dealt with every day. I really enjoyed reading this.

On top of the storyline/plot being amazing, the art work was beautiful. I enjoy the style that is used and the color pallet and use of color to highlight certain aspects of the story. You can clearly see a lot of time and hard work went into this graphic novel.

View all my reviews


Daisy Jones & The SixDaisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

When I first started to read this I started to feel like I was mislead by the title of this book, but that quickly turned around for me when I was about 70 odd pages in. This story had me really engaged for a few reasons. The first being the time period, how can you not want to hear a story about a rock and roll group in the 1970? The second being the format of this novel.

I didn’t know that this was set up as an interview the entire book and I think it really lent itself to the story. I feel like the story would not have been as powerful and I would not have felt as much as I did if it was written another way. Also, if you are into audiobooks, I think this is one of the best I have ever listened to. They have an entire cast and it makes the voices so much more distinct, even through they would be without the audio.

This story talks about a lot of different struggles and it really is a roller coaster, but not the one you would expect from a rock group.

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


Much Ado About NothingMuch Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

I still don’t like Shakespeare, I am not sure why I keep trying at this point.

View all my reviews


The Fellowship of the Ring (The Lord of the Rings, #1)The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A great reread and adventure! Not really much to say other than I love this book and this story. It is filled with quirky wonderful characters and takes place in a very imaginative world.

View all my reviews


 

Middle Mark Books 2


Beat the Backlist 2

Current TBR: 45

Backlist TBR: 6

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What was your favorite book you read this month?

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Goals

Reading & Blog Goals | 2019 Mid-Year Check In

Reading Goals NEW

It is mind boggling to think that we are already halfway through 2019. It feels like it only just begun if you ask me. I almost totally forgot that I needed to do another check in on my year long goals. I felt like I had all the time in the world. Turns out, I only have another 6 months to meet all of these. If you want to see where I was. 3 months ago, you can see my previous check in here; Reading & Blog Goals | 2019 First Quarter Check In.

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-My Goals-

  1. Read all of the short listed books for the 2018 Man Booker Prize
  2. Read a book set in each of the 7 continents
  3. Read 50 books
  4. Read 30,000 pages
  5. Read at least one book per month from the library
  6. Read 12 non-fiction books
  7. Read a book recommended by someone I look up to
  8. Read my classic of 2019, War and Peace
  9. Take part in 2019 Beat the Backlist
    • My backlisted books are here.

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-My Updates-

  1. I recently did an update post on this goal in particular, Revisiting | Reading a Shortlist. To summarize I have read/DNFed 3 books out of the 6 on the list. If you want to see my reasonings and such, please look at that post I go into a lot of detail.
  2. At this point in the year I have read a books that take place on 4 of the 7 continents. I am still working on South America, Asia (already have a book picked), and Australia. If you have any reconditions from these continents please share!
  3. As of writing this June 10th, I have read a total of 38 books, I am very close to reaching this goal.
  4. At this point in time I have read 16851, so I am once again in pretty good shape and on track to hit my goal!
  5. So far I have read a book from the library for Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr, May, and Jun! So I am sticking to this one for sure!
  6. I am happy to report that I am ahead of schedule on this goal, I have read a total of 11 non-fiction books this year. So, more than 25% of my read books are non-fiction. It is my most read genre.
  7. So, this goal I am a little on the fence about, I tried to read a book reccoemnded by Megan Mullally, Milkman, but I ended up DNFing it. So, I kinda did and kinda didn’t meet this goal? I am going to maybe try one more from this list since I only need to read one.
  8. So, reading War and Peace is progressing slowly, but surly I am currently on Book 7 out of 17 sections. I am a little behind, but I plan on catching up over the summer when I will have more time outside taking care of my plants.
  9. So, beat the backlist I have been keeping track of in my monthly wrap ups, As of writing this I only have 9 books still to read from 2018. I stared with 34, so not to shabby.

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-Bujo Spreads-

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How are your goals progressing so far?

Have you changed any of your goals?

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Writing and More

Bullet Journal | June 2019

Recs

So, this month I was so excited to be starting a new bullet journal. I don’t know about you, but I get super excited about starting a new one. It feels like a fresh start, a sweet breeze, or a clean slate. I can take all the spreads that have worked for me and leave the ones behind that I either don’t use or out grew. It is nice to see it evolve and grow as you do. Well, this time around I will admit I was heavily inspired by the Plant Based Bride over on youtube and her blog, http://plantbasedbride.com. I really enjoy the feel and simplicity of her bullet journal and I have heavily taken inspiration along with the spreads that have worked for me to create this new bullet journal.

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My last bullet journal was a Rhodia goalbook, I HATED it. The pages fell apart just from erasing it, the paper was awful and I will not be buying a new one. Also, their customer service is horrible. I filled out a from and reached out on twitter and they said they would contact me twice and they never did. Not how you handle a situation as a company. This time around I am trying a new company, their notebooks are a bit pricy, but I was lucky enough to get it as a gift from my wonderful BF. I am trying an Archer and Olive notebook.


Before I moved into my new notebook I decided to make a list of the spread I wanted to keep and the ones I wanted to add. Here is a bit of a peak into the spreads I wanted to keep for this bullet journal, as well as add.

Keep

  • Crochet hooks ✔️
  • Weight-loss Tracker ✔️
  • Yearly Reading Goals ✔️
  • War and Peace readalong tracker ✔️
  • Twitter tracker ✔️
  • Blog tracker ✔️
  • Seasonal Bucket List ✔️
  • Grid spacing ✔️
  • ARC Tracker ✔️

Add

  • Period Tracker ✔️
  • Crochet Project Tracker/Wishlist Just Bright Ideas ✔️
  • 5K Training Progress ✔️
  • Owned TBR ✔️
  • Buddy Reads ✔️
  • Study Tracker ✔️

-General Spreads-

This layout is very helpful for me when I move into a new bullet journal, especailly when the brand is new to me. This lets me quickly see where 1/4, 1/2, or 3/4 in either direction as well as how many boxes are in each page.

I tent to only keep a bullet journal for 4-6 months, so I only bother putting 6 months ahead so I can easily see how many days are in each month. I also left an area on the bottom incase I wanted to add a particular note for a day. On the other page I updated my eARC/ARC tracker page. I can easily see when a book comes out and if I have reviewed it. In this bujo I only added the ones I am still working on.

While I am not in blogging or on twitter for the numbers, I find it fun to track them. Seeing all the people I can connect with or who want to read my work is motivating in a way.

Alright, these two pages are totally new. On the right I added a different layout for my War and Peace reading this year. This year I decided that I would read W&P on the right hand side I write what sections I should read each month to finish on time. On the right I am writing when I actually end up reading it. I also added a little progress bar at the bottom. On the right I decided I wanted to keep track of all the books Reg, Jenna, Amy and myself read together. I added a bit of a starry night because I messed up, but I really did love how it came out.

Here is my reading challenge tracker, the same as it was in my old bujo. On the right I started writing my seasonal bucket list. I am still thinking up ideas, if you have any suggestions let me know!

I decided I wanted to track my studying my writing in the topic as well as checking off if I actually do study. I am trying to become a bit more structured. On the right I am tracking my period, I find myself needing to track it more now so I figured having an over all picture in one place would be helpful.

If you did not know this year I am really taking the time for myself and my health. So, I have been doing my best to make healthier decisions and lose some extra weight. I really loved the spreads I had in my other bujo so I migrated them over. I took the layout on the right from Forever Good Life.

A bit of a continuation, I am currently doing a 5K training app. I wanted to track my progress through the program as well as the km per week I am running/walking. On the right I wanted to keep track of the crochet hooks I have so I did some googling and found this spread from paperandinkco.heidi on instagram.

On the left I decided to give myself a space to write all of my “dream” crochet projects. I also decided to implement a kanban board for my blog posts. I picked this up from Plant Based Bride, as I said in the start of this post I found a lot of inspiration from her.

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-Monthly-

This is my dashboard page and a bit of a monthly overview. I really enjoy having this monthly overview each month and I wanted to continue with it.

This is my normal book tracker that I have been using for MONTHS and I just love seeing what books I read and on what days. It is a great overview picture of my reading habits without using a habit tracker, which I realized are not for me because I don’t look at them for days and then have to do my best to remember when I did what.

Here is a bit of a view of my other reading tracker. I color in a block for each chapter that I have read. It is almost like a goodreads for my notebook when it comes to progress.

I wanted to try something new for my social media page. I decided to draw a mini calendar and highlight my blogging days, but I want to also color in when I post on instagram. I will see how this format goes instead of a list. On the other page is my TBR, pretty simple and straight forward.

Last month I used this weekly spread and I really loved it. I had to resize it a bit for this new notebook, but I still really like it. It made organizing my day really easy and gave me a clear view of my week. I will be adding some quotes as I move through the weeks, but I also left room to add doodles if I want to as well.

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Well, there you have it, my new bullet journal and my June spreads, what do you think? Have you ever used a notebook by this brand before? Are there any notebooks you think I should try in the future?

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Lets Talk

Let’s Talk | Why Reading Only Digital Books is Harder Than it Seems

LetsTalk12:17

Hi everyone, it has been some time before I have done a full Let’s Talk post. I haven’t really had anything I wanted to talk about until today, I am writing this May 22nd. I was walking around the bookstore looking for a book to peak my interest. Which, if you read my post Decluttering | Switching to Ebooks, is most likely VERY confusing and pretty much hypocritical.

In this post I talked about why I wanted to switch to ebooks, how I didn’t have room on my shelves and how I wanted to carry all of my books around with me on my kindle. I made the very bold statement of switching to ebooks and committing myself to it. That was before really researching it and realizing how difficult it could really be.

Now, for some there are medical reasons why this is not viable, there is also the price of the device, and a few other issues with this. But, in this post I really want to focus on one aspect that I found difficult/annoying and derailed me from my goal.

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So, like I said earlier in this post I was walking around a bookstore looking for a book to inspire me to pick it up. I received some great news and I wanted to treat myself in celebration. Now, I didn’t have a ton of money in my budget so I was looking strictly in the discount section of the store. I ended up finding a book I was really interested in called The Secret History of Twin Peaks, it appears to be a thriller/mystery told through documents and interviews. It kind of has a House of Leaves interview type feel, thankfully the pages aren’t as all over the place.

As you can see from the picture I posted earlier today, The book was under $7, I actually for it for under $5 because I have a membership. Now, as you know I was making the switch to ebooks so when I find a book I am interesting I look up the ebook cost, this is where once again I ran into my problem/issue.

When I first looked it up on amazon, where I get my ebooks for my kindle, at first I was excited to see what the hardback copy was going for.

I knew right off the bat that I was getting a very good deal. I then clicked on the book and then switched to kindle edition and was not as happy. 

The ebook was more expensive than the hardback edition in person as well as online. It was a whole $10 more… How can I justify spending $10 more on a book? I can buy a lot of food and other necessities with this money. How is it that something that is digital is more than something made of actual matter? This is the issue I have found myself running into time and time again. The digital editions of books costing more than physical and not by a few dollars.

Now I know, I can spend $0 on a book by using the library via ebook or even physical. While, I am lucky my library generally has books I am looking for. But, recently they have broken from the company they were working with and the choices have gone down. So, where I was able to get ebooks and audiobooks for nearly all of the books I wanted that is sadly, no longer the case.

So, I am left with spending the least amount of money. That means I am picking up a physical book. Thus, my ebook commitment has kinda gone out the window. On top of that, I have the problem of not wanting to keep my credit card bill high and less and less stores are carrying gift cards for amazon. So, there is another issue that is kinda related.

So, thanks for listening to my rant/possible discussion about ebooks.

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Have you ever run into this issue?

Do you know any other sites I can buy ebooks for my kindle?

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