Saturday, August 29, 2015

Design Change!

Soooo I changed the design of my blog! I wanted stars (a tie-in with the name) on white background. What do you think? Do the colors work out together, or is it difficult to read some of them? Few blog designs drive me as crazy as having unreadable text, so if that's the case here, please let me know. I want this to be an enjoyable experience, not one hurts your eyes. :)

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Admiring a Blogger + Life Updates

So...Rachel @ Random Rants by Rcubed is basically my soulmate. We're almost the same age, we both run, we're both excited for school (or at least, I am) and we're eager to drive, (also, we both got new laptops!) Seeing her posts makes me want to post as well. Hence, this update on life.

1. Learning: Instead of going to a Catholic co-op twice a week this year, now I'll be going to community college as a dual enrolled student. That means I'm still in high school (although I plan to "graduate" early), but it'll be on college campus and with college credits. Since I'm dual enrolled though, I can only take three classes, and two start late. :P So soon, I'll be taking Intro to Criminal Justice, and at the end of September algebra starts (I'm not getting college credit for that though, since it's below college level), and in early October my fitness class starts. The only one I anticipate being difficult is algebra. :P

2. Running: I'm running a half marathon in October! The training plan has been perfect so far--right now I'm running for 9 minutes, walking for 2, repeat ??? amount of times (it depends). When I started there was no way I could do that, but now I'm ready for more.

3. Reading: I was in a reading slump for a while, but I think I'm pulling out of it. I finished a book the other day and I'll write a review for Goodreads soon. The amount of books I have in my room waiting to be read (maybe twenty?) were overwhelming. Frankly, Netgalley books are at the bottom of my list. Right now, I prefer physical books. I'm sure my preference will flip soon but that's where I'm t right now, so yeah.

4. Writing: I really want to get into this again! I bought 642 Things to Write About to try to ease in. Maybe I'll do NaNoWriMo this year.

5. Watching: I'm looking for TV series recommendations! I've finish BBC Sherlock, Avatar: The Last Airbender, The Legend of Korra, and Downton Abbey. I can't sit still for a movie, but I can watch 5 episodes in a row or something. Less emotional commitment.

Sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo there you go. Hopefully I'll start posting more regularly soon.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Liebster Award!

I LOVE getting tagged for awards an' stuff, but unfortunately I don't always have time to do them. :( I've been in a blogging/reading slump for a while, but I just finished a book that pulled me out of it (Every Last Word--review to come!) So if someone's tagged me and I haven't gotten to it, I'm sorry! I'm still really grateful, even if I don't end up posting it. Briana @ Reader, Writer, Critic (a blogger I've admired for a super long time!!!) tagged me for the Liebster Award. Let's go. :)

1. What is your favorite quote?
Hm. Tough one. You can see all of them on Goodreads, but here's a couple more:
There's this:
BBC Sherlock

And this:
Gone With the Wind
And 'The Old Astronomer to His Pupil', by Sarah Williams.

And this: "My heart never says Why? only Who?" Jerry Spinelli, Stargirl

2. Do you tend to borrow or buy books more?
Buy! I like to keep them looking pretty on my shelves, even though I almost never re-read them.

3. What is your least favorite type of dessert and why?
Hm...maybe cake. I love it every once in a while, but you can only have so much till you burst. Ice cream, on the other hand? I can have that all day, any day. Which is why I work at an ice cream place. ;)

4. If you could be a MC in a Disney movie, who would you be and why?
None of them. :P I love Disney, but I wouldn't want to be in any of the movies, except maybe Enchanted.

5. Is there a restaurant or store you visit on a regular basis?
Haha, yes. I work at an ice cream place, so I get things FREE while working and 50% off when I or my family just stops by. I go more than any other employee combined.

6. Is the career you currently have, or dream of having related to books, reading, or writing?
Surprisingly no. I'm going into criminal justice/FBI stuff.

7. Do you have a best blogger buddy? Who?
I more of a loner blogger, actually. There are several I admire, and several more that whose posts I can't wait to read, but I seriously need to start commenting more. I'm afraid I won't be coherant, but I think I usually am? So yeah.

8. Is there any kind of book you won’t read or try?
I usually leave paranormal alone...too weird, and I can't suspend my disbelief for very long.

9. What is your favorite thing about each season?
Winter: ICE, ICE BABY. And peppermint and Christmas and happiness.
Fall: IT"S ALMOST FALL!!!!!!!!!! Woo hoo! Back to school shopping, pumpkin everything, long sleeves, sweaters, and coziness.
Summer: cream? But you can have that any time. I like flip-flops and swimming though.
Spring: that term does not compute for this Michigander.

10. Do you have any superstitions?
No...? I think.

11. If you were to re-name yourself, what name would you pick?
Hm...I probably wouldn't. Julia is #26 of the most popular names in my birth year, but I only know, like, three that are within three years of my age, and I don't know them well, so I guess it's not overused or underused. Rebecca's a cool name though.

Thanks for tagging me, Briana! I'm kind of in a blogging slump, so I'm just going to finish this post. Any one who wants to do this can, and just use the questions above. <3 you all!

Friday, August 7, 2015

Reading Schedules: Yay or Nay?

A little while ago, Allie @ Little Birdie Books asked if reading schedules suck the fun out of reading. At the time, I commented, saying,
I have the same problem! I buy a bunch of books simply because I want to read them, but then I request books for free that look interesting. Then I have to read those books BEFORE I can get to the ones I wanted so much I was willing to buy them. It can be kind of a pain, but thus is the dilemma of blog tours. At least those typically have an HTML already for you that I've just got to stick my review in. I think if I'd use Excel, I'd lose my mind, because I'd always forget to add some book. 
But now I've been thinking about it a little more, and I've decided to give schedules a try. Why the change of heart? They give order. With so many books in the world, how do you know what to read next? I usually have 4+ going at a time, so it takes me forever to finish one. On the other hand, becoming too obsessed with reading the right book at the right time defeats the purpose of reading and reviewing for fun. I don't get paid for this--I spend money on it!

Hence, I've come up with a plan. If it doesn't work for me, I'll throw it away. First, I made a list of the different formats of books. Here's what I came up with:

  1. Audio
  2. Netgalley/blog tours
  3. Purchased e-book copies
  4. Purchased print copies (hardcover or soft)
  5. Library
  6. Subscriptions (love Uppercase Box!)
  7. Other. I don't really know what fits in here, but I have a feeling I'll find out soon.
Then I divided them up per week.

First week of the month: Netgalley/blog tours. I've always had a problem trying to finish blog tour books a few days before I'm scheduled to have an opinion on them, so hopefully this will help. Now I'll read and review them right away, and post the reviews whenever I'm supposed to.

Second week: library. Usually when I get books at the library, they hang around in my room for a while before I return them because FINES. If I have a week dedicated to reading these, maybe I actually will.

Third week: subscription week. I signed up for Uppercase box in June, and I'm only now reading The Wrath and the Dawn! I still have July's book to read too, and soon August's. Since the books ship on the 15th of every month, I think this will work out.

Fourth week of the month: purchased book week. THIS I'm very excited about. As I told Allie, the books I give so much priority to that I'm willing to buy generally are at the bottom of my list. No more! (The fact that it's the last week of the month has no bearing on how much I love the books I buy.)

And there you have it! Sprinkled throughout will be audio books or really long ones that take more than a week to read. These are just guidelines for me, not rules. I can't wait to see how this goes.

Comment: do you have a reading schedule? Why or why not?