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Let’s Talk | “Testing” Books for a Taurus Article

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Hello everyone! A few months ago I came across an article by Read It Forward that was called 2019 Book Horoscopes: The Grounded Taurus and being a Taurus myself, I needed to give it a bit more of a read. So I clicked the link and dove right in.

This article listed 8 books that they thought would be a perfect fit for a Taurus. It gave you a bit of a yearly horoscope and then connected each book to a yearly horoscope, which was really interesting. I was kinda bummed out by the first book, Rich People Problems, not because it is a bad book or anything, but it is the 3rd book in a series. I don’t know about you, but for me it is irksome to be recommended a book in a series that is not the first one. Now, if I find any of them interesting I need go over to good reads and make sure they aren’t in the middle of the series. Anyway, here are all of the books mentioned and my thoughts on them.

Stars, Universe, Sky, Scorpio, Space, Taurus, Zodiac

Rich People Problems by Kevin Kwan, 3rd in a series so I can’t be reading this currently. Maybe I will try the first one.

In Intimate Detail by Cora Harrington, this just is not something I am interested in at all. I don’t want to read a book about picking fancy underwear…

Save Me the Plums: My Gourmet Memoir by Ruth Reichl, this is a memoir of a women who was living the life of a hippie and ends up being a big wig in the publishing game and is questioning if she is a sell out. This isn’t something that interests me.

The Very Worst Missionary by Jamie Wright is another memoir following a blogger who converted to Christianity and became a missionary in Central America. She talks about the failures and shortcomings her and her fellow missionaries fall into. This is something I would read because I am curious as to what she vocaizes are her shortcomings and shortcomings of missionaries around the world. It also seems like she may talk about how to actually help others in a meaningful way, which would be great to hear. Yay, finally a win for this article.

Your Second Life Begins When You Realize You Only Have One by Raphaëlle Giordano, this novel revolves around a 30 something year old lady who is feel like she has missed out on happiness. Throughout the book she follows the advice of a routinologist, which apparently is a time management coach, to find happiness. This book is not something I am interested in, I feel like it is going to preach to me about balance instead of being a novel if that makes sense? 

Blockchain Revolution by Don Tapscott, is a nonfiction book discussing bitcoin, which crypto currency doesn’t really interest me, so another pass.

Autumn by Ali Smith seems to be a general contemporary of sorts that is about a women getting to know her neighbor? I will be honest the desciption I found on goodreads told me little to nothing about this book so I am passing.

The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang is the one of two books I have heard about on this list previously, the first was Rich People Problems. Anyway, I have had this book on my radar and I have been waiting for the time when I want something quirky and cute to pick this up. So, this is the second book I would read on this list.


So out of the eight books in this article that is meant for Taurus readers, I have 2 books I might actually read. I have to say that is kind of abysmal if you ask me. That is a 25% success rate for me personally. I am curious though if fellow Taurus’ (not sure of the plural) would find more luck with this list. Maybe it is just me personally, am I a fake Taurus?! I did wish the article gave the descriptions of the books instead of just tying them to the horoscope, I had to go on goodreads to find them all.

Would you read any of these books? What do you think of the recommendations they gave us Taurus’?

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Lets Talk

Let’s Talk | My First Month Using Scribd

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So, I finally decided to give the service Scribd another try. I think back in the day when it first started I did a free trial and canceled it within a day. At the time they did not have the books I was trying or enjoying so at the time it was not worth paying for. As of late I have been seeing more and more of it and I thought a great deal of time has passed it might be worth giving it another try. On top of seeing it talked about a lot I also was motived by the NEWTs Readathon taking place and I was going out of town for a few weeks. Traveling with huge books is not really fun or easy to do so I thought that giving this digital service a try might help.

I will say I did have reservation mixed with my hope of the improvement of the choices from this service. I continue to hear stories of people being limited without really being told why they were being limited. They make it kinda clear that you can have unlimited listening or reading, but then why are there limits? When do you hit these limits? There is no real answer that anyone has come across. I was just kinda worried I would be on vacation then all of a sudden in the middle of a book, I loose access to it. I was also worried that this service still didn’t really carry the books that I am currently reading and I would not be using it after a month because none of my current TBR are on there or the same availability as my library that I can use for free. Anyway, worries aside I gave it a try and here is my experience after using the service for one month.


-My Experience-

So, during this experiment of sorts I accessed both audiobook and ebooks. I enjoy both of these formats and they are great for traveling and being on the go. I am going to discuss my experience by talking about each format on their own.

First, let’s talk about the audiobooks. I first used Scribd mainly on my desktop computer I wanted to save the app and room on my phone for when I was traveling. Anyway, I really liked the interface for the audiobook on desktop. It was set up pretty cleanly and everything was clear without being walked through it, at least for me. Another major thing I was the look out for was the speed I would be able to access the audiobook at. I tend to listen to audiobooks at 2x or 3x speed, it depends on the narrator and pace of the reading to begin with. I also took advantage of the sleep timer a few times when I was listening at night incase I were to drift to bed.

The only thing I think that could make this interface better would be if there was a preview or label that popped up if you hovered over a control. I learned by playing along with a book I didn’t really care to much about keeping my place, but if I was in the middle of a book and hit the go back to start of chapter button when I really only wanted to go back 15 seconds or 30 seconds. Also, labeling how many seconds it jumps back or forward, it would be wonderful. So, I guess I would say there are two things that can be improved upon.

-The App-

On top of using the desktop interface, I also used the ISO app. I have to say, there were a few things that I liked and some things that I didn’t like.

I will start with the things I liked, first and foremost of which is that I can download an audiobook for on the go and not have to worry about data usage or being in a low service area interrupting my listening.  For me personally, it is a must if I am going to be listening to the book on go. Another notable thing I enjoy is the bookmark aspect, incase I lost my spot by hitting a button on accident. I am notorious for doing this, so whenever I pause or put an audiobook down, I always mark my spot.

When looking at the app as a whole instead of just at the listening screen, it looks like you have access to pretty much everything. You can look at recommended books, explore, and search for your next read. You can easily find your saved list with the bottom navigation and a nifty thing I noticed is that you can hit a button and only see the books on your saved list that you already downloaded to streamline listening.

With all things, there were some negatives with this app. The first and honestly the most annoying was the fact that it randomly paused multiple times. At first I thought it had to do with it being a new chapter and maybe it was a way to make sure the reader didn’t fall asleep or space out while listening. Sadly, this was not the case. It just stoped on me in the middle of  chapters. It was very annoying and I had to keep putting aside what I was doing to get my phone, open the app all the way and hit play again. This happened 3 times within the first chapter of American Gods… a book I had downloaded on my phones. So it was not due to lack of service or anything like that. The second thing that annoyed me was that on the app the max speed you can listen at is 2x speed… on the desktop you can listen at 3x speed, which is a speed I utilize often.  While I can make due with 2x speed, I am just confused as to why on one interface the max speed is different than the other.


-Items “Taken Out”-

Thunderhead ebook

Supermarket Audiobook

American Gods Audiobook

Endless Night Audiobook


-Final Thoughts-

At this point in time, I can easily see the value in a service like this. If someones library is not well stocked with the types of literature someones likes or if their library has a fee that is maybe more than this service it is a wonderful resource. Also, if owning audiobooks is not something you are interested in, this is a very good alternative to other popular audiobook sites, such as audible. The main thing you need to make sure of it that this service has the audiobooks you are interested in. Otherwise it is not worth it in the slightest.

While this service can make some improvements, some of which I stated in this post, for me at this point in time it is worth continuing to give it a go, but I still have questions/concerns. Mainly with what the true limits are on the accounts that some people run into. I have done some research and I have found that users can run into problems if they are signed into too many browsers or devices. I was kind of concerned to be signed into the app and desktop, but I have not run into any problems at this time.

I also don’t have a firm understanding of what saved is. Does that mean I “checked them out” or just for future reference? Does that mean I have access and it is reserved in a way? I have heard stories of other users saving ebooks or audiobooks, then go to listen to them and are told they are not available. So, it is kind of confusing.

Long post short, I am going to continue to give this service a try and see if it is a good alternative for me and my reading habits when supplementing my all of a sudden limited library digital resources.


Do you use Scribd? What do you love about it? Have you run into any problems using this service?

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Life, DIYs, & Cooking · Uncategorized

DIY Tested | Sprayed Edges, Can You Guess the Book?

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It has been a little bit of time since I have shared a DIY with you all, but I have been seeing sprayed edges all over the place the last few weeks. I have been seeing it pop up in my youtube feed quite a lot. Some of these videos were talking about how they liked it, some talking about how they hate it, and some of them are DIYs on how to create this book on your own books. I finally got to a point where I needed to try and do this to one of my books.

I ended up seeing two types of methods being used. The first is using acrylic paint from a tube and painting it onto the book with a sponge or paint brush. I really liked the details that can be made with this option. Then I saw another method where you can use spray paint and acrylic paint. I think a  year ago I saw Little Book Owl try this with Nevernight, you can see the video here: PAINTED PAGE EDGES | Defacing Nevernight.  While I really like this idea I wanted to start off simple. So, when I came across the following video I wanted to give it a try.

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So, for this DIY I needed a few things, some I did not have and did not want to spend a lot of money on. I didn’t have an airbrush, but my Boyfriend does. So I asked him to help me out with this DIY. I did like how in the video he talks about how you can just use a spray can, but I thought it would be fun to try my boyfriends airbrush. I also needed paint, tape, and a book. My BF supplied the thinner needed for the paint, the airbrush, and a bunch of effort!

The most difficult part of this entire process was getting the airbrush to work, but it turned out the one by BF went to use first was actually broken. Thankfully he was gifted another one and on day two… yes day two we were able to complete the DIY. We did not finish the first day because we were trying to use the first airbrush and we ended up using all of the daylight trying to fix the broken one.

Also, just like in the video using less stick tape so you don’t damage the book is great, but sometimes it did not want to stick at all. That was a little aggravating at times, but well worth the effort so random parts of your book aren’t painted. I am glad this video gave you a few tips to help with it and gave me a few idea how to cover the book without using a TON of tape.


If you can guess what book I spray painted please write it in the comments I am curious to see if anyone can figure it out. I will give you a hint, it has been released in 2019.

Anyway, I really loved doing this DIY and I plan to do it again in the future now that we have a working airbrush. It was pretty straight forward and I was very worried about over saturating the pages and cause them to ripple, I didn’t have that problem at all. The pages are still unaffected and sit as intended, with the added bonus of being personalized a bit. It was also great fun with the BF to sit and do this together. It is wonderful when your hobbies overlap!


Do you like sprayed edges?

Would you do this to your books?

Do you know what book I painted?

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Life, DIYs, & Cooking

DIY Tested | Creating a Serialized Book

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Hello and welcome to another attempt at me recreating a DIY! This time I am trying to serialize a novel. I first came across this DIY on instagram posted by Sarah on Book50Blog. When I first saw this back in August I was first shocked by the methods used, but she made a really good point. Doing this to a huge, mountainous book into something really manageable.

Now, because this was on Instagram stories, it disappeared in 24 hours, so thankfully I thought it was a great idea and I wanted to try it right there and then. I screen shotted the steps so I could try when the time was right. That time has just now arrived, but before I get into the DIY I want to explain what a serialized novel is.

This was very popular during the victorian era, many books that are now published and full novels were once realized in chunks on a set schedule. This could be once a month, once every two months, or sometimes every other week. It really depending on the magazine or paper that the story was published. Some of the popular books that were originally published in the manner were The Women in White by Wilkie Collins, Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë, Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë, The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Bleak House by Charlies Dickens. I tend to read a lot of classics like this in their original form thanks to a website called Victorian Serial Novels. I suggest checking them out, it really give you a whole new reading experience, you get cliff hangers in places you wouldn’t even believe.

Now, the book I am testing this out on was partly published like this, but then was turned into a novel part of the way through. You can read all about that here. So I am taking a little bit of liberties with breaking it up for a few reasons. The first being I wanted to try this on a big book and the second was because I had a cheap version of this classic so I would not be horribly upset if it all went wrong.

The book I decided to try this on was War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy because I plan on reading it in 2019. So, here it goes, the doing part of DIY.

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Supplies

  • Book
  • Cutting device
  • Washi tape
  • Adult supervision-if you get hurt it is not my responsibility ask a responsible adult to help you cut. Using a knife or cutting device can be dangerous do this at your own risk!

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The DIY

First you need to find the sections, I decided to break the book down into 17 sections. Book 1-25 then he first and second epilogue. I think in herLes Misérables by Victor Hugo if I am not mistaken.

This is the part I was most worried about, I really thought I was going to butcher the edges and the entire book would fall apart page by page. But, I have to admit seeing the little bits of the spine actually looks kinda cool… did I just say destroyed book looks cool? Who am I?

The last step I think was the best part of this for a few reasons. The first being it kinda made me less worried about the book just falling apart and it made it look more uniform.

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This is such a wonderfully straight forward DIY, thank you Sarah! Three steps with not a lot of fluff, it gets right to the point. I think that is why it caught my eye right away.

Overall, I really liked this DIY. It turned out a lot better than I thought it would. I would say I did have to cut the sections two times to really get a clear cut. The first to open up the pages to get to the binding, then the second actually cut the binding. I am really looking forward to reading this now serialized edition of War and Peace in 2019!

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I hoped your enjoyed me testing out a DIY.

Which ones should I try next?

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Let’s Talk | TBR Jar Experiment

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So I know a lot of us book lovers have a huge owned TBR or TBR list and some of us in this community use a TBR jar. In the past I have made one or two of them, but I never really stuck with them for one reason of another. It might have been because I had so many incoming books I didn’t keep up with adding them, I am not really sure. Either way I always failed even though I have even posted a DIY for one a year or maybe even longer. You can see that DIY here: DIY | TBR JAR.

So for the month of October I decided that I would try the famious TBR jar once again and really commit myself to the process. So I went to the thrift store and picked up a small TBR jar and wrote down every book I owned that I still needed to read.

As you can see from the picture above my little jar was VERY full. I might have needed to get a larger one or I need to hurry up and get reading. Now, once I wrote down all the titles It was time to pick my next book.

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So this was the first book I picked out of the jar I picked a very recent addition to my TBR, Salem’s Witch House. I read it pretty quickly and I am glad I picked it up sooner rather than later. If you want to see what I thought in detail about this book you can read my post: A Week in Review | October 1st -October 6th. I will say I did not like it as much as I thought I would, but it was just not what I thought it was. It really stinks when a description was a bit misleading.

The next book I picked was a book my aunt lent to me and wanted to hear my opinion on. I was very happy to picked this book because I did not want to put it off since she is interested in hearing my opinion. I will say that this book was a wild ride and it was truly all over the place. If you want to know what I thought in a lot of detail you can read my post: A Week in Review | October 7th -October 13th.

When I picked this from the jar I was so happy and excited to pick this book. Mainly because I needed to read it for the BN book club and I did not think about that when I started this experiment. Sadly, I ended up loosing this book and needing to pick up another book.

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Reflection

So, upon having used this method for a few weeks. I can say it has its pros and cons. The first thing I liked about this was how easy it was to just pick a book and read. There was no staring at the bookshelf and being overwhelmed by choices. This happens to be from time to time and I can see that it really did cut down on that. The second pro is the fact that it really does show you how many unread books you own. Even though I have 2 book shelves that are pact with books, I mainly just see that I am lucky enough to have those books. I don’t see how many I truly have left unread because they are all spread out. This really forces you to see a visual representation that cannot be ignored and is more meaningful, at least to me, than just seeing a number.

Now, while there are some pretty serious pros to having and using a TBR jar, there are some cons as well. The first you can mainly see in my last pick. I was planning on taking part in the book club, but if I did not pick it there was no way I could have. So having books with a deadline would not work well with this format. Another con would be not really being able to pick what you are in the mood for. While this kind of helps in some situation when you are not in a specific mood, if you want to read a thriller and you picked a nonfiction or a general fiction book you would not be very thrilled. Being a mood reader, this was something I was really afraid of.

Overall I really think a TBR jar has its place in a bookworms life, especially for a mood reader like me. Sometimes I have no idea what I want to read and this could help me. Moving forward I plan on only using my TBR jar for when I am stuck on what to read next. I also think it would be fun to pick a book from the jar once a month just to get me to read some of the books I have been putting off.

I made the decision to kind of mix Books and Lala’s Closet unhaul series and My Reading is Odd TBR jar. Both of these youtubers are amazing and you should check them out ASAP! Anyway, I think I will be pulling a book per month, My Reading is Odd normally pulls more than this, but I don’t want to overwhelmed myself too much.  Now, if I do not read that book in that month off it goes from my shelves, kinda like Lala did in her series.

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What do you think about TBR Jars? Do you use one? How come?

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Life, DIYs, & Cooking

DIY Tested| Hollowed Out Book

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So, I have seen this around the internet for some time and I thought testing some DIYs would be really fun. I have always loved crafting and making stuff with my own hands so I thought to myself, “why not?” I will only be making ones I really an interested in and not just doing DIYs for the sake of doing them though. So I am starting off with one I have been wanting to do for some time.

Since I was young I wanted to have a box made out of a book. I don’t know why, but I always thought it was the coolest thing. Over the years I have seen them in the store, but they always looked so fake and I never really liked what the outside looked like. So, many years later I am finally deciding to make my own.

Here is the DIY video I am following/testing:

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Supplies

  • Hardback book, at least 1½” thick
  • Mod Podge Gloss
  • Craft paintbrush
  • Craft knife
  • Ruler
  • Pencil 

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Overall this video really helped me a lot. It is very straight forward and simple. One thing I think I would change about this DIY is that if you have a larger book I would separate it into sections like I ended up doing. That way if you don’t have a very long or large craft knife you wont run into so many problems in the corner and the opening stays the same size instead of developing an angle.

DividerI hoped your enjoyed me testing out a DIY.

Which ones should I try next?

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