Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: things that make life as a reader/blogger easier

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Every week they post a new topic that the participants come up with a top ten list for.

So this week is about things that make life as a reader and/or book blogger easier

I joined about 2 years ago, a year before I started blogging. I can't even imagine my reader-life without GR now! How ever would I keep track of all the hundreds of books I want to read? Where would I hear about new books I might like? As a blogger, it's also where I get practically all my book cover pics and descriptions. As an international blogger, I appreciate getting an overview of all the different editions so I can decided which one to buy (I can choose between US/UK/whatever).

The Book Depository
Apart from being cheaper than amazon.de (I use .de for print copies, .com for ebooks) sometimes, TBD gives me more choices between editions, ships just as quickly and also for free. Plus, I can use it for giveaway prizes and it's free wherever I need to ship.

NetGalley is an invaluable source for review copies especially for international bloggers! I don't really stand a chance at getting a physical ARC but I get lucky at Netgalley sometimes :) The downside is trying to limit yourself when it comes to requesting. Sometimes I get approved for more titles than I thought I would. Oops...

It's a great way to connect with other bloggers as well as authors! I've found a lot of great blogs via tweets that other bloggers retweeted. I must admit though that in the past few months I haven't been very active because I lack the time and because I spend less time on the computer in general. I hope that once I'm settled in my own apartment again I can slip back into my old, more social twitter habits!

My kindle
I still prefer print copies, but the kindle is convenient. I made do with the kindle app for my smartphone for quite a while, but my Kindle Fire is just so much more comfortable to read. The covers are pretty and in full color and I can also read my eARCs on it. However, I tend to buy too many cheap ebooks that sound awesome but that I never seem to get around to reading :(

Other blogs
I can't stress this enough. Checking out other blogs, their reviews, memes such as this one or WoW, has brought so many great books to my attention and I also met great bloggers through them :) If you're just starting out as a blogger, checking out how other bloggers handle things is also a good way of realizing what you think works (and might want to incorporate into your own blog) and what doesn't. Also, some of the 'bigger' bloggers have wonderful 'how-to' and 'book blogging 101' types of posts!

I buy a lot of books. I need a place to put them. IKEA shelves are cheap and easy to put together. Seriously, I miss having my books on shelves. I had about 300+ in my apartment and since I moved back to my parents', I think I've added another 50. They're all in boxes, tumbling out of boxes, stacked on the floor, mixed with CDs and DVDs... it's a mess! I can't wait to have them properly shelved again.

I enjoy having online book discussions, but it's also wonderful to meet with a friend, have some coffee, and discuss about how character X could do that and how Y could be so stupid and how Z is way underrated and omg how will it all go on in the next book?! I love having these conversations face to face! It also sometimes makes it easier to figure out what exactly I loved so much about a book or what that thing was that somehow nagged at me but that I couldn't put a finger on.

Understanding environment
Reading and blogging take a lot of time, and it's time usually spent alone. I'm glad the people in my life understand how important this is to me and give me that time, respect that I'm really lost in a book and sometimes can't hear them when they're talking to me, and just in general don't come nag at me every 5 minutes while I'm reading. It wasn't always this way, and it can make life as a reader very frustrating.

And lastly, one thing that isn't making my reading life easier: the library
Yes, you heard correctly. When I was in my teens, the library was cool. Problem: I no longer read German books. So now when I go to the library, I see all these amazing YA titles... in their German translations. Which I tend to really, really dislike because the tone, writing style etc get lost. So I'm in there but the books I want to read are the wrong language. There are usually English books as well but not the ones that interest me. So I'm not paying 30+ bucks a year for a membership (no free libraries around here...). The only thing I use the library for these days is research for me university classes. Which is a shame, really, because I love the idea of libraries!

What do you think of my list? Anything you object to, or anything totally obvious that I forgot? How does your human environment respond to your reading habits? I'm curious to here your opinion, and I'd love to check out your own lists :)


  1. WOOOO Ikea FTW! That is seriously like my most fave store ever!!! :D


  2. IKEA! :) That is a big one for me, too. My home office is so full of IKEA bookshelves, it's unreal. And I'm still running out of room. I need to do a Clear Your Shelf type giveaway soon to make some more room. :)

  3. Good ones! I love the library, and Goodreads of course! Last year, when I finally bought more bookshelves, it was IKEA for the win! :)

    My TTT

  4. Totally love and am obsessed with IKEA!!! I could spend hours and hours there and spend all the money I don't have there too!! My whole house is basically IKEA furnished :) Definitely a great place to find bookshelves! I also love Twitter, Goodreads, and when bloggers write Blogging 101-type posts! Cool list :)

    My TTT

  5. Goodreads (that one is a given!), Twitter, TBD(I LOVE their free shipping, Amazon charges way too much for shipping), local libraries and (my) Kindle are on my list too. Oh, I love checking out those how-to features on other blogs. I always learn new tricks :) Book chats are the best kind of chats, both IRL and online. Haha, I think I'm very lucky because my family and (most) of my IRL friends are readers as well. Great list! I should have added other blogs/people too, but well that ship has sailed XD

  6. I love Goodreads, too, and I also get my book covers and descriptions from Goodreads. But recently a question came up and I'm wondering....do we need formal permission? Do you have permission and if you do, who did you contact?

    Take a look at my recent blog entry to see more about why I'm asking....and I'd love input from anyone who has some to give.
    Blog Photos

  7. Definitely agree with you on Goodreads. Without it, I'll be so disorganized.
    And IKEA shelves are cheap? Really? I never knew that! :P
    Awesome list Carmen & thanks for stopping by my TTT! (:

  8. Oh twitter, how could I forget twitter! I love twitter! Great list!

    Teresa @ Readers Live A Thousand Lives

  9. Wow, you picked a ten solid picks here!~ I couldn't agree with you more on Goodreads, other blogs, Book Depo, Netgalley, Twitter, People, the environment AND the Library! It is no help to me either, since there is only one big one, it's about a half hour drive. The only other one would be in my home town, same driving distance but it would have all French translations and like you I hate reading translated books because the tone and meaning get lost :(

    PS- I wish we had an Ikea close by, I have a feeling I would live for their deals :D