Top Ten Tuesday: Things That Make My Bookish Life Easier

the broke and the bookish

What up, book nerds? I’m actually quite excited for Top Ten Tuesday (hosted by The Broke and The Bookish) this week. The topic is Top Ten Things That Make Your Life As A Reader/Book Blogger Easier, and apparently I had a lot of ideas!

Blogging journal

1. My blogging journal – I’ve only been using a blogging journal for… 5 or 6 months now? And I can’t believe I didn’t do it sooner! I’ve been blogging for 4 years! I found this cute little style of notebook that’s the perfect size for my purse (I think it’s this brand/style) at Target, and I love it! I take notes as I read to use for reviews, write down my Top Ten Tuesday ideas, write down other post ideas, etc. There are two little pockets in the front – in one I keep a list of books to buy or get from the library. In the other I keepΒ a little checklist for my reviews, to remind myself to add reviews to my Review page and to Pinterest.

Blogging checklist

Like this.

Seriously, having a blogging journal = best idea ever. It helps keep me a little organized.

2. Instagram & Twitter – This year I started taking pictures of the books I’m reading to use in my reviews (instead of just grabbing the cover image off the internet) and Instagram is perfect for making the pictures a little prettier. Plus, it’s just fun to post pictures of books and other random crap. Twitter I sadly don’t get on as much as I’d like (cause my phone is stupid sometimes), but I like chatting with bloggers and authors. It is SO COOL that authors sometimes interact with me! Well done, Digital Age, well done.

blogging calendar

3. Blogging calendar – I only started using a calendar solely dedicated to blogging at the start of this year. (A friend gave me the “how to tell if your cat is plotting to kill you” calendar for Christmas, and I already had a calendar.) Since I schedule posts more often these days, this helps me plan stuff out better.

4. WordPress app – So I take a picture of the book I’m going to review in Instagram, save it (usually without posting it), and then go over to the WordPress app and add it to a draft that I eventually finish off for the review. I’ve gotten so used to doing this, I don’t know what I would do without it.

5. The library – I absolutely love my local library (with the exception of the time they accused me of damaging a book that I didn’t), since it allows me to check out so many books that I want to read and review but I’m not sure I want to spend money on yet. Of course, the downside to that is that sometimes I read amazing books and then have to give them back, and go buy the book later. There’s also a little used bookstore at my library, with books usually no more than $2. It’s awesome.

 

office space gif

6. My job – Okay well let’s get this straight: I kind of hate my job. A lot. The hours suck, the pay sucks, and it’s high stress-level when it’s busy. Buuuuut the one perk is that I’m alone when I work, which means I can read and blog at work. I always work weekends, which are the slowest days, which means I can usually fit a good amount of reading in, and I can go online to read blogs and to work on my blog. This is by far the thing I’ll miss the most when I get a new job.

7. Amazon Mobile app – Having this app on my phone is super helpful when I’m at a bookstore and I’m looking at a book, and I want to know how people are rating it. (I’m sure you could use the Goodreads app for the same thing.)

8. Post-It Notes – These little suckers are so helpful when you read! Use them as bookmarks, use them to take notes, use them to mark certain pages, etc. Especially when I’m reading library books and can’t make marks in them like I might my own.

9. REALLY good books and REALLY bad booksΒ – For real, “meh” books can be the hardest to review and the most boring reviews to read. But give me a book that totally rocked my socks or a book that has me ranting for days, and I’m good. Passionate reviews are the most fun to write AND read, whether it’s positive or negative.

10. My fellow bloggers! – Last but definitely not least are the tons of bloggers that I follow and interact with! I get SO many good book recommendations, I get to discuss books with people (which few people in RL want to do with me), I get to participate in book blogging events (like Top Ten Tuesday memes, or the Bout of Books readathon happening right now)… It’s just the best. I love the book blogging community. Check out my new Blogroll page here – it’s very new, so it’s a list-in-progress, so keep that in mind!

 

Alright my pretties, now it’s your turnΒ – share some of your blogging and reading tips with me! I could use all the help I could get.

 

~Sarah

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46 comments

    1. Somehow, I’m not good at using flags! Love post-its, but when I try to use flags I lose them somehow.

      I also really like having a physical thing to look at. It just helps me plan better than using apps and my phone calendar.

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  1. Awesome list! Totally agree with you on really good/really bad books. I really need to get better at taking notes while I read, I usually just read through and then try and remember things later when it comes to the review, Maybe I should get a notebook for myself!
    I use the Goodreads app for checking reviews in bookstores πŸ™‚

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  2. This is a great list! I have only been blogging for about six weeks, but I have made very good use of a blogging journal and several smartphone apps. I think the most helpful smartphone apps have been the Amazon Mobile app (I use it primarily as a mobile wishlist), the Goodreads app (I use it to see how people tend to rate a book), and the Book Crawler app (I use it to keep track of the books I own, so I don’t accidentally buy a second copy). The Book Crawler app is actually one of the only apps I have ever paid to download, but it has probably saved me money in the long run.

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    1. I’ll have to check out the Book Crawler app – I use the Book Catalogue app, but I need to re-do it since I purged a ton of books and then bought a ton of books, and it doesn’t match anymore, lol.

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    1. That’s a really great idea! Maybe I should start doing something similar to my books… I don’t have review books, but I could do it by purchase date to try to focus on reading the books I’ve owned the longest but still haven’t read. You’re such a smartie πŸ™‚

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  3. I love Post-It’s. I feel a little bit bad for the environment with the amount I use. I keep one on the inside of my kindle to remind me of upcoming release date. I put another post-it with release dates on physical copies.

    And, of course, other bloggers made my list too!

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  4. I do miss the days of my keeping journals/notebooks/planners for everything. Now I just throw everything on my cell phone. Sometimes I’ll jot things down on a piece of paper – like my blogging schedule so I can keep up with my reading.

    Love me some post-it notes though! Use those things generously. They allow me to revisit my favorite bits of the book when I’m done and to gather my thoughts before writing the review.

    Great list!

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  5. Ah, good choices! The reading journal is similar to what I started a couple of months ago, my yearly planner, but I am going to carry the idea further like you did and keep everyone organized and noted. Thanks for sharing all these.

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    1. Thanks! My journal isn’t very organized, but it serves as one place to keep running blog ideas, lists, review notes, etc. I thought about using a planner, but it didn’t have enough space for random notes, so I use the journal/calendar combo.

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    1. Oh trust me – the pay sucks, the 12-hour days suck, and up until a few months ago we didn’t even have a bathroom at my job. I NEED a new job. But the free time for reading is definitely the one perk!

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  6. Meh books really are the hardest to review! I usually end up putting them in with a few others in a mini review post. I love the calendar idea, I may have to steal that.

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    1. Calendars are so helpful!

      Some meh books I skip reviews, and then mention them briefly in my mini-review recap. But it stinks when it’s a longer, more popular novel and my basic reaction to it is just a shrug, because I feel like I need to say more than that! Lol. Such a silly problem to have.

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  7. As a beginner blogger, i love this list! I’m so overwhelmed with the blogosphere at the moment and not sure how to get into it properly, but this helps a lot!!

    I’m going to start using your post-it tip to keep track of important points throughout!

    I think once I get the hang of my blog and where I want it to go, I’ll start with the journal idea (i love writing down things, though i’m not a writer by any means! I just like to write in pencil and see how the lines form. Weird?)

    Please check out my new blog and let me know what you think of the idea.
    booksonthesubway.blogspot.com

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    1. Hi Rosy, you are so sweet! I’m glad you find all my ramblings helpful πŸ™‚

      I checked out your blog and I LOVE the idea! It’s like World Book Night, but kind of better. I can’t wait to see what other books you leave along the way!

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