Life of a Blogger - Routines

My good friend, Jessi, over at Novel Heartbeat runs this awesome feature as a way for her followers to get to know her better!  Check out the list of upcoming topics here.

Today's topic is routines.  With a two-year-old, routines are SO important, so our day looks like this:

Monday to Friday, we wake up at 7 and wake Marko up at 7:30 if he doesn't wake up earlier by himself.  We're out the door by 7:45ish.  I drop Marko at daycare, and then usually arrive at work shortly before 9.  I work 'til 5, pick him up and we're usually home by 6:15.  Our evenings are spent playing at home, or going to the mall so Marko can run around a bit.  Once the days get longer, we go for a walk to the park in the evenings, but it's dark by the time I get home at the moment.  Marko goes in the bath at 8:30 and is asleep by 9.  From 9 to 11, we tidy up the house, make lunches for the next day, and then relax by watching a bit of TV or reading.  Then, it's off to bed!

On the weekends, our days are pretty relaxed.  Marko has gymnastics on Sunday mornings, but otherwise our days are filled with grocery shopping, household chores and, of course, time for playing.  We try to get outside whenever we can, unless it's pouring rain (which, unfortunately, is most of the winter!)

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Top Ten Book Related Problems

Top Ten Tuesday is, as always, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.  I'm going to try to participate in Top Ten Tuesday a little more often this year, because I love making lists and hopping around to see other lists on the same topics!  Last week's topic was book-related problems, but I didn't get my post finished in time..  I still wanted to share what I'd written, so... here goes!

1. My TBR is ENORMOUS.  I did a really good job of culling my Goodreads to-read shelf last year, but I'm sure there's still a ton of books on there that I may never read.

2. My physical TBR is crazy big.  I've never felt shame about my book-buying, nor have I ever told myself to stop buying books, but over the past few years I've been reading mostly library books, which means that my physical shelves rarely get touched.  This year, I'm making a dent in my physical TBR and it feels amazing!

3. I have fallen victim to book hype more times that I care to admit.  In fact, it was only a few months ago, while writing my bookish resolutions for 2015, that I realized the fact that I rarely fall head over heels for a book that others have loved.  True, there are exceptions (ahem, Throne of Glass, ahem), but more often than not, I end up disappointed when I go into a book expecting to be blown away.

4. Reading what I want, when I want is the most enjoyable.  One of these days, I will finish that post on mood reading, but I have increasingly become a mood reader over the past year or so.  Reading on a schedule (darn review copies!) just doesn't work for my anymore, and makes reading (and blogging!) stressful.  Reading what I want, when I want has brought the enjoyment back into my reading life.

5. Cover changes irk me, but I'm too cheap to do anything about it.  I think that this is a problem that all book readers can relate too, and one that the publishers should listen to.  We all hate cover changes, especially when our series won't match.  So, maybe, just maybe, the publishers should just stop doing it?  What do you think?

6. Series burnout.  This happens to all of us.  We read the first book, or two, and then just never get around to finishing the series.  Sometimes it's because I was liking it, but not loving it; other times it's because by the time the next book comes out, I've forgotten what happened in the last book.  In all honesty, as much as I love a good series, I just get burned out on all these books that have stories that last through hundreds, if not thousands, of pages.

7. Giving up on a series.  This is something that I positively SUCK at.  Although I will happily DNF a book if it hasn't grabbed my attention by page 50, I have an entire shelf on Goodreads devoted to series that I need to finish.  Some of the books on this shelf are sequels to books that I read YEARS ago.  Some examples include: the rest of the Magyk series (I read the first book circa 2005) and the Bone series (I read the first four or five books in 2006, I think?)  Yet, I still think that one day, maybe, I'll go back and finish what I started.  Then again, see #6 above.

8. Spoilers.  I was chatting with Lauren @ Lose Time Reading about this a couple of weeks ago, and I realized that I am very careful about avoiding reviews for books that I haven't read yet; however, I was accidentally spoiled on something from Crown of Midnight, which rendered the ending a bit less of a surprise.  The spoiler was un-intentional, as I think it was just a character's name included in a Top Ten Tuesday post; however, it was enough to slightly taint my reading experience of a book (I still loved CoM, don't worry!)  From our discussion, I realized that it is a hazard of participating in this community.  As much as we try not to, spoilers can sometimes be un-intentional and can affect a person's reading experience.

9. Taking care of my books.  I take good care of my books and I don't dog ear the pages or write in the book.  I do carry my current read around in my purse, and the book often gets a tiny bit banged up, just from being toted around; however, this doesn't bother me.  What does bug me, is when I lend a book out and it gets returned completely trashed.  Fortunately, this only happened to me once and, needless to say, I never lent a book to this particular person ever again.

10. Reading fast.  I read fast, sometimes too fast.  As a mom, reading time is rare and precious, and I do like the fact that I can maximize those rare reading moments by racing through a book.  At the same time, I also feel that being a fast reader allows me to miss things because my eyes are racing over the text so quickly.  Just as a slow reader can't make herself read any faster, I've also found that it's impossible to make myself read slower.

How about you?  What are your book related problems?  If you posted on this topic last week, leave me a link and I'll stop by to visit.  Thanks for reading =)

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Life of a Blogger - Organization

My good friend, Jessi, over at Novel Heartbeat runs this awesome feature as a way for her followers to get to know her better!  Check out the list of upcoming topics here.

Today's topic is organization.  I am a very organized person by nature, but one of things that I struggle with in our small condo is finding a place for everything!  Especially as Marko grows older, I find that the amount of stuff that he has just gets larger!  For example, I used to keep his books in a basket, which then grew to a plastic box.  Last week, I went and bought him a little bookshelf for his books because I just couldn't keep his box organized.  Plus, when they were piled in the box, he'd only pull out the books sitting on the top of the pile.  So far, he hasn't expressed too much interest in the books on the shelf, and only looks at the oversized ones in the basket that's sitting on top, but his little shelf looks super adorable.

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TBR Tag!

I wasn't tagged by anyone specific, but I saw this show up a few times in my blog reader, so I thought I'd join in the fun.  If you haven't been part of this yet, then TAG -- you're it too!

1. How do you keep track of your TBR?

On Goodreads!  I have three TBR shelves: series to finish, series to try and then the rest of my to-read books.  These are exclusive shelves, and then I also have books I own and wishlist shelves, which I can view in conjunction with any of the TBR shelves.  This allows me to see what I have to read, as well as what I still would like to purchase in order to read.

2. Is your TBR pile most print or e-books?

Definitely print!  I have a couple of unread e-books (iBooks freebies), but I mainly use my e-reader for e-galleys.

3. How do you determine which book from your TBR to read next?

I've had a post on this in the works for months now, but I'm definitely a mood reader!  I think that I've pulled myself out of reading slumps by realizing that I need to be true to what I want to read when I want to read it.

4. A book that has been on your TBR the longest?

On October 16, 2007, I added Paulo Coelho's By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept.  It has been a long, long time since I got caught up in Coelho's writing ... I'm long overdue!

5. A book that you recently added to your TBR?

Christina Baker Kline's Orphan Train, which is my book club's next pick.

6. A book on your TBR because of its beautiful cover?

So freakin' pretty!  I borrowed this one from the library, but returned it because I think it's one that I would prefer to own.  I *think* it just came out in paperback?  This might just sneak its way into my next Chapters order!

7. A book on your TBR that you honestly don't ever plan to read?

Every time I see Beth Revis' Across the Universe on my shelves, I wonder if I'll ever pick it up.

8. An unpublished book on your TBR that you can't wait to read?

It's a three way tie!  Winter by Marissa Meyer, Queen of Shadows (it has a TITLE!) and Crown of Thorns and Roses (a new SERIES!) by Sarah J. Maas.

9. A book on your TBR that everyone recommends to you?

I've seen, and am still seeing, lots of buzz about Shadow & Bone by Leigh Bardugo.  It's definitely a series that I'd like to try out this year so that I can see what all the fuss is about!

10. The number of books on your TBR?

On Goodreads, I have 330 books on my TBR list.  Goodreads says that there are 57 TBR books that I own, 19 series books to finish and 24 books from new series to try.  This is a total of 100 TBR books that are physically on my shelves.  Honestly, I thought that these numbers would be much worse!

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