I've moved bookishwhimsy.com to tumblr! This blog is now an archive of my past posts.


Friday, August 2, 2013

Bookish Whimsy: Behind the Scenes

Posted by Charlene // Tags: , ,

Today is my birthday!  And since this is a certified Me-day, I wanted to share a little bit about my reading and blogging routine.  I've been book blogging for over a year, and have learned a few things about what works best for me when it comes to managing the work load and keeping organized.  It's especially nice to have a few book reviews banked against future life happenings, which I was able to do once I got organized.  It's usually a little bit of daily upkeep to make sure I'm on track.  As for reading, I usually read a book off and on during the week, and on the weekends I shun friends and family and read, read, read.  In ideal circumstances I can get through at least two books after I finish up the first book I was reading during the week.  But the TBR pile refuses to diminish!

So these are some of my preciousss my books!  I could use another bookcase - if only to house all the trinkets I like to decorate my shelves with! - but at the moment, the 'case is looking pretty good I think - not shockingly crowded.  I did some book pruning earlier and moved some of my lesser appreciated books or more recent purchases to a different area.  The first picture on the left is of my specialfavoriteawesome books that sit on my desk because I like to have them on hand for occasional perusal.

I hope Alisa from Picture Me Reading sees the lovely Ariel and Ursula POP figures on my shelf! She was so amazing to give them to me for Christmas! I love them!  And continuing the Disney theme, I have lots of Minnie and Mickey and yet more Little Mermaid things.  I love them so.  There's a Minnie Mouse in a pink car that I got on my birthday cake when I was 9 or 10 years old.  :)

For the blogging side, I have pictured:

  1. The Chair: that I usually read on in my room.  It's from Ikea.  Not amazing, but serviceable.
  2. The Notebook: where I like to take notes when I go to bookish events, or sometimes write out my reviews.  I usually like to type up my reviews directly but when I was on vacation or sometimes in a boring meeting at work *wink* I write down my reviews while the book is fresh in my mind.
  3. The Laptop: or my Beloved. And pictured is an absolutely fabulous book I just wrote my review for!
  4. The Calendar: I don't always write down what I'm posting every day, I usually just schedule a blank post in Blogger to keep track, but when I went on vacation in June and knew I had to prepare for two weeks away I pretty much scheduled posts a month in advance and it helped to see everything written down.  I normally just use the calendar for important days I need to remember - book tour stops or book releases of any ARCs I'm lucky to get.

Having a calendar and a notebook are two things I recently decided to start using to help me keep up with an almost daily blogging schedule and it's been very helpful.  The notebook in particular for when I've just finished a book and I don't feel like writing a review yet, I jot down some thoughts and notes that I can refer to when I start the review.

I feel like this post should also make up for missing posting about my first year blogoversary back in March, so to make up for that, here are some of the things that learned and/or work well for me as a book blogger that I didn't know when I first started:

  1. TURN OFF CAPTCHA.  It's annoying.
  2. Don't accept books from authors or publishers that you do not truly want to read.  In the beginning it really made me feel bad to send back a "no".  I still feel a little bad, but I know it is for the best.
  3. Whenever I get stuck on what to write for a review, I just try to think about how the book made me feel.  The feels are always fun to write about!
  4. You can not edit yourself enough.  I like to write a review days before it's supposed to be posted, so I can read it over again later and see what mistakes I missed, or maybe fix some ideas that didn't flow as well as I wanted.  But still I seem to miss things!
  5. Comment a little bit every day. I was not very good at commenting in the beginning because the sheer amount of posts to read seemed so daunting so when I tried not to feel like I have to comment on every one, and just try to comment on blogs that are my regular reads, and random ones besides with posts that catch my interest I got better. And using Bloglovin helped!  Sometimes if I'm at work and I have a spare minute, I like to read the top post on my blog feed and comment.
  6. Use Twitter.  I only really started checking my twitter feeds a few months ago, but it's been a much better way to keep connected with the blogging world and with the authors and book events, and with what my new favorite bloggers are doing.  And it's fun to have the instant interaction!  
If you've read this far, wow thank you so much!  I hope this post was just a little bit interesting!  Last picture is me at a book signing for one of my favorite authors, Shannon Hale.   The film adaptation of her book Austenland is coming out this month (in select cities) and I can't wait for it!  It's my most anticipated film of the year! I didn't blog about her book signing event, partly because I got there late so I didn't get a seat and didn't want to bust out my notebook and take notes standing up, and partly because I had a Doctor Who convention to go to the next day so time, I had not.  But she's so nice in person, and it was lovely to meet her. (I got to squee a little bit about J.J. Feild with her!)  And I don't mind this picture of me (shocker) so I'll post it. 

This past year (well by my birth years) has gone by so fast, and I've had so much fun with blogging and with going to author events, that I can't imagine things getting better than this.  But I'm sure it will because there are so many wonderful and enthusiastic book bloggers and lovers out there and I look forward to meeting many more.

If you have any tips you didn't know before you started blogging please comment with them, I would love to read them!

Oh and by the way, I've started a Pinterest account (click the image to visit) - not sure how much I'll use it, but I do like to see all those book covers in one place!

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21 comments:

  1. Happy Birthday! :D I love your bookshelves- I'm also a big Little Mermaid and Snoopy fan. I keep a notebook handy while reading, too; it definitely helps me keep track of my thoughts for writing the review later.

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    1. Thank you Lee! Yay for another Little Mermaid fan! I don't mention my love of Snoopy much, Disney seems to get in the way, but I do love him, he's so cute! I'm very fond of my notebook, I think it will be a great reading diary to look back on when I'm a lot A LOT older. :)

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  2. HAPPY BIRTHDAY CHAR! I didn't realize today is your birthday..check your inbox I am sending something your way! :) YAY! I think the pop funko figures look so cute on the shelf!I envious of your Jane Eyre edition.

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    1. Aww, thank you Alisa! And thank you yet again!! for the gift, it reinforces your awesomeness again! I'm thinking that because Little Mermaid is being released again in some special edition they might make more of the figures so I want to snag them all! You may have started my Pop figures collecting habit. :D

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    2. Yay! So far I have most of the Disney Figurines..all of the Game of Thrones ones..we need to make a shelf for them! I want a full Beauty and the Beast set as well..*waits*

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  3. Happy Birthday!!! I love all of us Disney fans!! Those pop figures are fab!!! I am so glad I found you blog.. I have loved getting to know you!!

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    1. Thank you Angie! I really love visiting your fabulous blog, and am so glad to have gotten to know you too! It seems like you are also a fellow Disney princess - the appellation Paola @ A Novel Idea started . :)

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  4. Happy birthday, lady!!! I totally sent you a Disney-themed birthday tweet already but one can never be wished a happy birthday too many times, right?

    Loved your post! I always learn so much when other bloggers talk about their process and how they keep themselves organized. And I love your Funko Pop figurines!! I have two myself: Thor and Winnie the Pooh, both gifts. I keep stalking Amazon for Rapunzel but I guess they don't have one of her, sob.

    Anyway I hope you had a lovely birthday! I'm so very glad we're friends <3

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    1. Thank you Paola! The tweet made me smile! I was tempted to buy a tiara today but sometimes Disney Princesses need to keep a low profile. :D

      Aww, they should make Rapunzel one soon! At least to complete people's Disney Princess collection!

      I'm so happy we met through blogging, your blog is amazing and you have such great taste in books! I'm forever indebted to you for introducing me to Finnikin and the whole crew! :)

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  5. Happy Birthday! I love your Snoopy calender on the bookshelf!

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    1. Thank you! Actually that calendar was birthday gift from a few years ago, so it is very appropriate for it to appear in this post. :)

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  6. Happy birthday for yesterday! I love seeing people's bookshelves and book/blog related things =) I have a notebook too (or rather two notebooks, one for reviews and one for general blog stuff), so I'm glad to know it's not just me who sits and takes notes... do you find it distracting sometimes though?
    I did the exact same thing when I started blogging - I accepted all requests then didn't particularly enjoy them, and felt horrible about it. Now I'm way more picky, especially because, despite reading even more now than before, my TBR list is crazy.
    I hope you had a great birthday =)

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    1. Thank you Rinn! I love seeing other people's bookshelves too, especially to see what books they have. :) I wonder if I will need to do the same with the notebooks too - but I haven't been filling mine up very fast, so maybe not. I'm not very distracted, but I only take notes after I finished the book. But sometimes I have to force myself to take notes because I can be lazy. :) Thank you for stopping by!

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  7. First off Happy Birthday (although a little late!) I hope you had a great day. I love all the little trinkets on your shelves! I think we all went through the "accepting craze" and then the "realization phase". I also have really cut down on review books as I have a standard for my reviews and when I have no interest in a book, it takes a lot of effort to read it let alone want to review it.

    Great post!

    -Mari @ The Sirenic Codex

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    1. Thank you Mari! I had a fun day - just shopping and spending time with family. I love collecting those trinkets! I think it makes my bookshelves look 'lived-in'. :D Absolutely agreed - it becomes a chore to get into a book I'm not that interested in - I found myself wanting to hurry through them so I could reward myself with a book I was really looking forward to.

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  8. Happy belated birthday!! I love those pop-up figures on your shelves! They're so cute! Especially the Ariel & Ursula ones!
    I keep a notebook too. I jot down my thoughts and feelings as I'm reading the book. I started it recently, helps a lot!
    I loved your post! Enjoyed reading it. :)

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    1. Thank you! :) I wish I had known about keeping a notebook earlier, it has been so helpful!

      Thanks for commenting!

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  9. I am a terrible person but happy belated birthday!! Better late than never right?? :D? Love your Disney POP figures!! I have Avengers ones though I gave Spidey to one of my friend because she loved The Amazing Spiderman, haha. ;D Though a corner of my shelf is pretty much a Captain America mini shrine of sorts. :x

    I guess I should also put thought into action of keeping a notebook. I have a bad habit of letting my reviews pile up and after a while, I have to force myself to write them down NOW lest the memories become stale and faded. D:

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    1. Aw thank you so much! I think this whole month is my birthday month, so it's okay to still wish me a happy birthday! :) Oh you are a big superhero fan! I don't read comic books generally, but the movies are so fun. I watched Captain America kinda recently (was a little late to watching it)and it was a good movie, but I have to say nice eye candy! LOL

      A notebook would be helpful for that I think! I hate writing reviews if I have to work to remember what the book was about! I do start to get nervous if I have a bunch of books read and no proper review written yet. :)

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  10. Happy belated birthday, Charlene! :)
    It was nice to read your blogging tips. I always try to learn from my blogging friends, so I love these posts. I agree that CAPTCHA is annoying, so I don't have it either. Some time ago it seemed to be a flood of spam, so I had to at least moderate my comments. I hate that too... oh well...
    I admire you for being able to keep a notebook and schedule your posts. I'm quite disorganized when it comes to this and I hate myself for it. I end up reading more than I get to review simply because I don't feel like reviewing a book right away. I'm working on this, though. :)

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    1. Thank you, I'm glad it was interesting! I didn't get a notebook til recently so I know what you mean about being disorganized - it makes things so much more difficult than it has to! Even jotting down a couple lines about a book I just read and writing the review later makes writing the review so much easier.

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