15 Day Book Blogger Challenge: Day 9

The 15 Day Book Blogger Challenge is hosted by Good Books and Good Wine. The challenge for day 9: Why do you blog about books?

I started doing the 15 Day Book Blogger Challenge when April @ Good Books and Good Wine first posted about it, and I loved it. It’s such a great idea. But I only got to Day 3, and then I decided to switch to WordPress and I got a little bit side-tracked. I know I’m skipping a LOT of days, and I might go back and do the missed days at some point. But I really wanted to do this one. A lot has happened in the last few days, and I think this topic is incredibly time appropriate.

I’ve been on Twitter since 2009 or 2010, and I’ve been using it to discuss book-ish things since about 2011. I’ve been using Tumblr since 2011 to post slightly longer Twitter updates on the books I read (because, sometimes 140 characters just isn’t enough!). But it didn’t occur to me until a few months ago to try blogging. It seemed daunting and impossible, especially when I looked at some of the blogs that have been around for awhile and realized how amazingly well done they were. I figured, I could never do that. Where do I even start?

But then, in June of this year, I decided I wanted to become a blogger. Why? Simple: I love books. I love reading and I want to share that love with other people. I want to highlight authors who deserve to be recognized, and I want to spread the word about their amazing books.

Growing up, none of my friends were readers, and I was made fun of for what I liked to read. To this day, it’s hard for me to share what I enjoy reading with people, because that judgement from when I was a kid is always in the back of my mind. I’m trying to get over it, though, because I’m proud of what I read, despite those childhood memories.

I’ve only been blogging for a month. I don’t claim to be an expert, or to know how it all works. I’m still learning! But I feel like I’ve learned a lot in a short period of time, and I’ve met some amazing people so far. I know I need to establish myself, and I continue to strive for that. But I feel honored, gracious and humbled by all that I have done so far. I’ve had a lot of bloggers who have supported me. I’ve also been granted some amazing opportunities as a newbie blogger, opportunities I never thought I’d get to experience so early in my blogging career. And again, for that, I am grateful.

Blogging will always be about the books and the wonderful authors. When that ceases to be the case, or when it isn’t fun anymore, I’ll consider my next move. But for right now, I love sharing my love of books with fellow book nerds, and I’ll cherish that forever.

So, why do you blog about books? Share your reasons with me in the comments! And if you don’t blog, just tell me why you like sharing your love of books with others!

15 Day Book Blogger Challenge: Day 3

The 15 Day Book Blogger Challenge is hosted by Good Books and Good Wine. The third challenge on the list: Who are your blogging BFFs?

I almost didn’t participate in the Day 3 Challenge, because I’ve only been blogging for two weeks and I don’t know if I’m qualified to answer this. But then I realized, so many amazing people have helped me out in these last two weeks, that to NOT do this challenge would feel – to me at least – like I was snubbing them. Without the support and advice of the following people, Pandora’s Books would never have happened:

(In no particular order)

1. Nikki from Fiction Freak. Honestly, I’m terrible at designs, HTML, Photoshop, etc. I’ve been practicing and getting better. But if it hadn’t been for Nikki, who offered to help me get started, this blog would NOT exist right now. She designed the beautiful background and all the essentials. All I did were the posts themselves, and some of the side-bar things. She also designed the GORGEOUS blog button for me. So, thank you Nikki!!! Seriously, I don’t think you realize how grateful I am!

2. Monica at Cover Analysis. Monica was so friendly and welcoming, just chatting about random things, sometimes blog-related. She was the first comment I ever got on my blog, and that meant a lot – even if it sounds silly! So thank you, Monica, for being awesome!

3. Emily at On Emily’s Bookshelf. I don’t know what it is, but Emily and I just clicked and we constantly email each other and chat about random things. It’s awesome to have someone to just rant to, so I really appreciate that! Thanks for reading my really long, babble-filled emails and still responding!

4. Tahereh at Books As You Know It. Another friendly, welcoming blogger who was always there to just talk about random book-related and blog-related things. She’s also always so great when I have questions, especially when they’re silly!

5. Stacee at Adventures of a Book Junkie. Ohhhh, Stacee probably regrets saying I could go to her whenever I had questions! I’ve been bugging her like crazy the last few days, but I seriously, with every fiber of my being, appreciate it! You’ve been awesome!! And if you ever get tired of me, just tell me to shut up!

I know there are a few others who have been incredibly awesome and kind, and I’m probably missing so many of you! Honestly, the book blogging community is so welcoming and helpful, if I tried to name everyone, I’d have a list 15-people long.

Quick shout-outs to others who have been either helpful, welcoming, or both:

Rachael at The Book Muncher
Hafsah at Icey Books
Kate at Froze8’s Blog
Stormy C at Book Blog Bake
Meredith at Meredith’s Musings

And again, to anyone I missed, you all rock and thank you so, so much for making me feel so welcome!

So, who are your Blogger BFFs? Share it with me in the comments below!

(PS: If I messed up your blog name or link, let me know and I’ll fix it ASAP!)

15 Day Book Blogger Challenge: Day 2

The 15 Day Book Blogger Challenge is hosted by Good Books and Good Wine. The second challenge on the list: What’s Your Bedtime Reading Routine?

First, something you guys need to understand: I’m still living home and my mom and I are very close – always have been. So at the end of the day, once errands, chores, dinner, clean-up, etc are done (usually between 7pm – 8pm), she and I sit in the living room to watch TV and read – Our way of de-stressing after a long day. So I do a lot of reading at night to begin with, prior to my bedtime routine.

With that said, I actually used to have a set bedtime reading routine. I would come to bed anywhere between 10pm and 12:30am. I would get my room ready for bed first (Fix the sheets, mark the day off on the calendar, straighten up if my room my messy). Then, after doing whatever I needed to do on the computer, I’d settle in on my bed with my book, comfy pillows and, even in the summer, some big, soft blankets. Once I was all settled in, I’d read until my eyes were blurry and I had to re-read pages to take it in, until I couldn’t remember what I’d just read. And then I’d put my book away and go right to sleep. Usually, this was anywhere from 1am – 3am.

Then, something weird happened. All of a sudden, I was just really tired all the time. I still can’t figure out why, but I was exhausted and I was coming to bed and just going to sleep by 10pm, 10:30pm… Usually, no later than 11pm. I was basically too tired to read once I finished my bedtime routine, and fell right to sleep.

So, I kind of got out of the habit of reading before bed. Don’t get me wrong, I still read while sitting in the living room, usually for several hours. But not right before bed anymore. Now-a-days, I usually don’t go to bed until 2am or 3am, but I’ve been distracted a lot by Twitter and this beautiful blog, so I tend to tool around on the computer until I’m tired and go to sleep.

Except, guess what? I’ve been sleeping terribly lately, and I’m starting to wonder if taking reading out of my bedtime routine is the culprit. Starting tomorrow (possibly tonight…) I’ve decided I’m going to try to incorporate reading back into my bedtime routine, and see if I start sleeping better.

I’ll keep you posted, guys! Now, tell me, what is your bedtime reading routine? Share it with me in the comments below!

15 Day Book Blogger Challenge: Day 1

The 15 Day Book Blogger Challenge is hosted by Good Books and Good Wine. The first challenge on the list: Make 15 Book Related Confessions.

So here are mine, in no particular order:

1. In love triangles that include the MC, the friend she’s known for years and the new guy, I almost always root for the friend. So far, there’s only ever been one exception to that.

2. I’m a big fan of trilogies.

3. I used to judge books by their covers, but I’m trying really hard not to. From entering so many giveaways lately, and from the short time I’ve been blogging, I’ve received/heard of books that I otherwise might not have read based on their covers, and I’m really glad I have the opportunity to read them now.

4. If I buy the first book in a series in hardcover, I have to have them all in hardcover – it’s just the way I stack the books on my shelves. But if book one is paperback, then I don’t care what format I buy the others in. If I’m being totally honest, I prefer all hardcover.

5. I’m still not a huge fan of eBooks. Recently, I’ve bought a LOT of books, and I’m running out of room, so I’m starting to see the sense in it, but I’m stubborn and I really don’t want to jump on the bandwagon yet. I do have an iPad with a Kindle app, though, and I did recently buy three eBooks…

6. I’m really not into silly love stories. I don’t mind romance as part of a book, but I can’t really stand books that revolve around romance. It needs more substance than that for me, some kind of major conflict, drama, horror elements, something.

7. When I was younger, I made the mistake of trying to tell some classmates (we were doing group work) that I liked to read and write books about aliens, ghosts, and vampires — Needless to say, I got made fun of. Despite being involved on Twitter, Goodreads, and now with blogging, I still get embarrassed when people ask me/see what I’m reading. The humiliation has been hard to shake

8. When buying books, I’m insanely anal about making sure the book is in PERFECT condition. I’ll pick up and examine every single copy to make sure I’m getting the best one. When reading the book jacket, I’m careful not to crack the spine AT ALL. It’ll happen eventually, but I don’t want it to happen until I’ve started reading it.

9. I won’t pay full price for a book. Especially from Barnes & Noble. I’ll wait until I have coupons, and I usually shop online. I love the Strand in NYC, but I don’t get there often.

10. I have a bookcase headboard where I keep my TBR pile. I have three distinct piles that I separate the TBR pile into: “Immediate Reads,” “Once I’m done with Immediate Reads,” and “Whenever I get to it.” And I get upset when the three piles overflow into each other – that means I’m WAY behind and need to catch up, ASAP.

11. I had the privilege of going to books signings for Stephenie Meyer (Twilight) and Cecily Von Ziegesar (Gossip Girl) before anyone really knew who they were, so the crowds were smaller and the signings more personal. Both were incredible experiences that I will treasure forever.

12. I AM a Twilight fan. I bought Twilight the first week it was released, before it got so popular. When people ask me if I’m a fan, sometimes I still feel embarrassed to say yes. I try not to, I try to be proud of my reading choices, but sometimes insecurities rear their ugly head (See confession #7).

13. Even if I don’t enjoy a book, I’ll finish it. I’ve only not finished maybe 3 or 4 books in my entire life, and I feel too guilty when I don’t finish a book, so I just try not to do it.

14. I feel guilty when I get rid of books. I try to give them to the library, but then I regret it after. I also feel guilty when I buy new books, despite having so many I still haven’t read. Especially when I think about the books I gave to the library. I could have read those, but instead I bought new ones… Immense guilt.

15. I live SO CLOSE to NYC, yet almost never get there. And I haven’t been to nearly enough signings, despite so many of them being in NYC. I need to correct this, because I love meeting and interacting with authors.

Wow, those were hard to write, some more than others. So what are your book confessions? Share them with me in the comments section!