Let’s Talk Bookish: 2022 Mid-Year Bookish/Blogging Goals Update

Let’s Talk Bookish is a weekly meme created by Rukky @Eternity Books and hosted by Aria @Book Nook Bits, and it’s where we get to discuss certain topics, share our opinions, and spread the love by visiting each other’s posts! If you want to join in the bookish discussion fun, check out the July 2022 prompts!

Now without further ado… The topic asks us about:

How are you doing on your reading goals so far this year?

(SUGGESTED BY AMBER @ ESCAPE LIFE IN THE PAGES)
Prompts: Did you set any reading goals for yourself at the beginning of the year? If so, how are you doing with them? Any you’ve already met? Are there any goals you want to add? Did you set any blogging goals? If so, how are you doing with those?

MY 2022 READING/BLOGGING GOALS

The thing with me is that I enjoy setting goals and I love making grand plans for myself but when it comes to 100% follow-through, it doesn’t always go so smoothly. Life happens though and so I’m not trying to be too hard on myself about these things but it’s kinda nice to have something to reflect back on at the end of the year, don’t you think? So in 2022 I set six general reading/blogging goals:

  • Read 150 books
  • Read 50 backlist titles
  • Complete the 2022 Popsugar Reading Challenge
  • Fill in my Library Tracker (for my owned digital and physical books)
  • Grow my blog to 800 followers
  • Start my re-read project (aka the “dinipanda(re)reads project“)

I’m sort of close to achieving three of these goals right now so I’m pretty chuffed about that but I think for now I’ll keep it as it is. If anything, I’ll probably modify the goals that I manage to achieve before the year ends depending on my mood and how much time is left. Now, let’s take a little deeper dive into each goal…

Buckle up, folks, this might be a bit of a long one!

read 150 books

This is my Goodreads Reading Challenge and until now I’ve read 131 of 150 books. I think if I continue reading at my current (slower) pace, I might be able to achieve it in the next two months. If I achieve this soon, I think I’ll increase my read goal in 25 book increments (so 175, 200) until the year ends!

Image shows Goodreads Challenge update. Text says: "You have read 131 of 150 books."
read 50 BACKLIST TITLES

I’ve actually just checked my spreadsheet (cos it’s been a while) and according to my stats, 45.5% of my reads have been from my backlist (YAY!) which is roughly 55 reads? So that means I’ve achieved this goal! Woo, why does it feel so good crossing anything off a list?! 🥳

COMPLETE THE 2022 POPSUGAR READING CHALLENGE

I’ve been participating in the Popsugar Reading Challenge since I discovered it in 2020 and not once have I completed all the prompts. It’s always so disappointing because I usually get very close and I still never manage to read them before the year ends! 🥲 So far this year I’ve completed 27 prompts which are just over half of the prompts. 23 to go!

FILL IN MY LIBRARY TRACKER (FOR OWNED PHYSICAL & DIGITAL BOOKS)

WELL. Hmm, well, I started strong with this prompt early on in the year and I managed to finish cataloguing a decent chunk of my digital books as registered/recognised by Amazon. These are the titles that appeared on my purchase list back in 2012 when I got my first Kindle but I forgot that it didn’t include gifted books from authors or ARCs. I HAVE A QUESTION FOR YOU:

If you have your books catalogued, do you count ARCs as part of your digital library catalogue or do you only count purchased/gifted books?

I still haven’t even begun to catalogue my physical books and since I’m now in India and not where my books are in Indonesia, I can’t work on that until I go back—whenever that’ll be. So I guess you can say this goal is having a bit of a *whomp whomp* moment? Heh… 😬

GROW MY BLOG TO 800 FOLLOWERS

I’ve been trying to grow my blog to 800 followers for a little over a year now and I’m kind of really excited that the numbers are finally getting close. I’m now at 787 followers (including email subs) and I can hardly believe I’m 13 followers away from 800?! I’m really hoping that I can at least hit that number by the end of the year. Thanks to everyone who follows and supports my bookish journey! I appreciate you all so, so much! 🥰

start my re-read project (AKA THE “DINIPANDA(RE)READS PROJECT”)

This hasn’t really taken off the way I had planned because life, I guess?! I really thought I’d make a start on it this year because I got really excited to start re-reading a few really popular titles that I remember loving from years ago. I’m still hoping that I can at least re-read one series and that’ll be The Final Empire, Book 1 of Mistborn, which I’ll be buddy reading with Leslie at some point this year.

Did you set any bookish/blogging goals this year? How much progress have you made with your goals? Are you happy with your progress or do you still have a long way to go? Any new goals to add to your list? You got this, friends! 💜

#WWWWednesday: 29 June 2022

Hello, hello and welcome back to another episode of WWW Wednesday, a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World of Words, which means I’ll be answering these questions:

  1. What did you read last?
  2. What are you currently reading?
  3. What will you read next?

Post divider: What did you just finish reading?

Since last week I’ve managed to finish four books. It was a pretty decent reading week although it did feel a bit slow.

(ARC) Take the Lead (Central State #3) by Jaqueline Snowe ★★★★☆
I’ve been looking forward to this friends-to-lovers romance since hints were dropped at the end of book two and it didn’t disappoint. They had such a great friendship and amazing chemistry! Check out my review

Radio Silence by Alice Oseman ★★★☆☆
I read this with Leslie and we were both a little underwhelmed by it. It was enjoyable enough but there was something about it that made it difficult to connect to the story and characters. I loved how diverse the characters are and how inclusive the story is though. Plus, AO always does a fantastic job addressing mental health and identity issues!

Continue reading “#WWWWednesday: 29 June 2022”

Let’s Talk Bookish: Book to Film Adaptations

Let’s Talk Bookish is a weekly meme created by Rukky @Eternity Books and hosted by Aria @Book Nook Bits, and it’s where we get to discuss certain topics, share our opinions, and spread the love by visiting each other’s posts! If you want to join in the bookish discussion fun, check out the June 2022 prompts!

Now without further ado… The topic asks us about:

BOOK TO FILM ADAPTATIONS

(SUGGESTED BY ARIA @ BOOK NOOK BITS)
Prompts: What are your favorite book to film adaptations? What are your least favorite ones? Do you think that books translate better to movies or shows? Would you rather see a standalone or a book series adapted? What do you think is important for a successful book to film adaptation?

not much of an adaptation watcher/reader

I considered skipping the prompt this week because I haven’t watched many adaptations of the books I’ve read or conversely, I haven’t read the books that I’ve seen the adaptations of. I like to tell myself that I’d rather read the book first before watching any adaptation but then I never get around to reading the book, thanks to my ever-growing TBR 😂, so then I never get around to watching the adaptation. Whoops! When it comes to watching adaptations of books I’ve already read, I always hesitate to do it because I’m worried that I won’t enjoy the film/show if I loved the book, and then I end up waffling on a decision until I simply end up not watching it.

LEAST FAVOURITE ADAPTATIONS

So, with that in mind, it took a while for me to come up with a list of my least favourite adaptations! One of the first that came to mind was Ready Player One. I really enjoyed the book but I thought the film didn’t capture half of what I loved about it. This might be an unpopular opinion but back when I first read Twilight while I was at uni, I really enjoyed the books but the one and only time I walked out of the cinema was when I went to see the first movie (yep, I walked out cos I hated it so much)! 🤣

Film vs tv show, standalone vs series

Honestly, I’m not particularly fussed either way. They can make a book series into a series of films, they can make a standalone book into a film or (mini-)series like they’ve done with many books (Normal People, Good Omens, and American Gods are a few that come to mind). Ultimately, I don’t think the medium matters so much to me as long as the adaptation is well done. I’m a bit picky when it comes to books I love being adapted because I usually prefer if they stay true to the storyline and only make a few changes; there are obviously exceptions, but I mostly like for things to be recognisable or at least for the changes to not detract from the characters or stories.

I thought I’d share a list of the film/show adaptations that I’ve read the books for and have actually enjoyed both versions! Again, this is my opinion so maybe others might not agree but that’s cool!

Favourite film adaptations:

  • Pride and Prejudice
  • Persuasion
  • The Hobbit (I’m sorry but I was bored to tears by the book but the movie is one of my comfort faves!)
  • To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before
  • The Princess Diaries
  • The Perks of Being A Wallflower (maybe another unpopular opinion but I enjoyed the movie more than the book, though I did like the book well enough)
  • The Hunger Games
  • Jurassic Park

Favourite show adaptations:

  • The Magicians (I only read the first book because (I’m sorry) it absolutely bored me to tears!)
  • Heartstopper (can’t remember the last time I loved a book and series equally!)
  • Game of Thrones (I binged the first four books in the span of two weeks and ‘warred’ myself out so I took a break and then never picked it back up again, lol)
  • The Umbrella Academy (I didn’t read all the volumes but it was too chaotic for me lol)

What do you think about books being adapted to films/tv shows? Do you prefer one medium more than the other or are you also not particularly fussed? What were your least fave adaptations? Your favourite adaptations?

#WWWWednesday: 22 June 2022

Hello, hello and welcome back to another episode of WWW Wednesday, a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World of Words, which means I’ll be answering these questions:

  1. What did you read last?
  2. What are you currently reading?
  3. What will you read next?

Post divider: What did you just finish reading?

Since last week I’ve managed to finish three books. Compared to last week’s low-rated reads, this week’s reads have been winners! Elizabeth O’Roark is slaying me with her angsty romance chemistry and I’m 100% here for it. 🥹

(KU) The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea (Devil #2) by Elizabeth O’Roark ★★★★½ (rounded up)
There was little that I didn’t love about Drew and Josh! I love myself a simp hero and Josh is definitely a favourite contender. This ‘Devil’ series is making me reconsider my stance on angsty romances because these books deliver such fantastic angst and I love it so much?

Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender
I’m actually buddy reading this with Leslie but I accidentally ended up reading it in one day? 😬 I’ll share my rating later but I’d defo rec it! Long story short: I loved it. It’s messy, realistic and written with so much heart! I cried (lol).

Continue reading “#WWWWednesday: 22 June 2022”

Let’s Talk Bookish: Books on Vacation

Let’s Talk Bookish is a weekly meme created by Rukky @Eternity Books and hosted by Aria @Book Nook Bits, and it’s where we get to discuss certain topics, share our opinions, and spread the love by visiting each other’s posts! If you want to join in the bookish discussion fun, check out the June 2022 prompts!

Now without further ado… The topic asks us about:

BOOKS ON VACATION

(SUGGESTED BY FIVES @ DOWN THE RABBIT HOLE)
Prompts: What books do you like to bring on vacation? Do you bring any books at all? What kind of books do you think are good for a vacation? How much time do you usually have to read on vacation? What does an ideal vacation with a book look like?

BRINGING BOOKS ON VACATION: YEA OR NAY?

As a mood reader, bringing books on vacation is a must but choosing the books is always a dilemma (and I’m well aware that I’m speaking from a place of privilege). I’m currently on an extended “vacation” to India for the next few months and when I was packing for my trip a couple weeks ago, I struggled to choose which ones to take with me! Do I just rely on my Kindle and pack 1-3 physical books or do I say “who needs clothes when I have books?” Spoiler: I kinda went with the latter! 😂

In general, although I often can’t bring as many physical books as I’d like with me on vacation I do bring at least two and sometimes end up picking up another 1 or 2 along the way, but I always have a fully stocked Kindle and I never go anywhere without my device!

WHAT ARE ‘GOOD’ VACATION BOOKS?

I’m personally not much of a seasonal or ‘moment’ reader because it depends entirely on my mood most of the time. For my current trip away it was a little simpler to pick which physical books to bring because I have buddy reads planned and I had a few titles that I wanted to get to for Pride Month 🌈! For other trips, I’ve focused on bringing physical books that I knew would be easier to read which would usually be romances, thrillers or YA contemporaries. I think the perfect vacation reads are those that don’t require much focus to get through and that are fast paced. Also, definitely not the chonksters but the ones that are easy to hold while lying back!

READING BOOKS ON VACATION: FACT OR MYTH?

I don’t think I’m the only one who believes that they’ll end up reading every book they bring on vacation, right? (no? just me?) 😂 When I go on vacation (or previously staycations) alone, I have much more time because I have the choice to not do anything but laze in bed or by the pool or on the beach with my book. Even if I did go out for some sightseeing and all that, I can take it at my own pace and bring my book along and read when the mood strikes me. But when I’m away with others, I always overestimate just how much time I’ll have to read and end up feeling slightly disappointed that I make so little progress reading! I mean, some people will say the whole point of being on vacation is to do something different but I like my comforts, y’know? 😅

THE IDEAL VACATION FT. BOOKS

I’m such a lazy homebody that my ideal vacation with a book would be me sunk deep in a plush and cosy hotel bed with the windows thrown wide open so the sunlight comes through, surrounded by delicious room service ft. easy to eat nibbles and lots of coffee, and of course, all the books and time to read them! This version of a vacation laying by a private pool or a quiet/secluded beach would also be ideal—just as long as I have all the time I want to read my books! 😍

Do you bring books on vacation? If so, how many? Do you have specific types of reads that you bring or are you more of a mood reader?

#WWWWednesday: 15 June 2022

Hello, hello and welcome back to another episode of WWW Wednesday, a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World of Words, which means I’ll be answering these questions:

  1. What did you read last?
  2. What are you currently reading?
  3. What will you read next?

Post divider: What did you just finish reading?

Since last week I’ve managed to finish four books: two graphic novels, one romance and I finally finished the chonkster! 😭 Even though I’ve read four books, it was a pretty slow reading week for me, what with settling somewhere new and no longer having half as much alone time as before!

(ARC) Slip by Marika McCoola and Aatmaja Pandya ★★☆☆☆
This had a great concept but sadly the execution didn’t work for me. It started well but as the story progressed, it became more disjointed and I didn’t feel any connection to our MC either. Check out my review

(ARC) Dreams Factory by Jerome Hamon ★★½ (rounded up)
This had an absolutely fascinating concept but again, the execution was a bit of a miss for me. The story was interesting but not as great or coherent as it could’ve been. BUT the artwork was absolutely fantastic and really brought the bleak atmosphere to life. Check out my review

Continue reading “#WWWWednesday: 15 June 2022”

#WWWWednesday: 08 June 2022

Hello, hello and welcome back to another episode of WWW Wednesday, a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World of Words, which means I’ll be answering these questions:

  1. What did you read last?
  2. What are you currently reading?
  3. What will you read next?

Post divider: What did you just finish reading?

Since last week I’ve managed to finish two books.

(ARC) A Little Bit Country by Brian D. Kennedy ★★★★☆

Country music. Delicious southern cuisine. Theme park shenanigans. Sweet, slightly angsty first love. This was a fun read but it was definitely angstier than expected.
Check out my review

(ARC) So Not Meant to Be by Meghan Quinn ★★★★☆

It took a little while for me to get past the childish antics but I ended up loving the antagonistic banter and the chemistry between JP and Kelsey was absolute fire!
My review is up tomorrow

Continue reading “#WWWWednesday: 08 June 2022”

Let’s Talk Bookish: Quitting Blogging

Let’s Talk Bookish is a weekly meme created by Rukky @Eternity Books and hosted by Aria @Book Nook Bits, and it’s where we get to discuss certain topics, share our opinions, and spread the love by visiting each other’s posts! If you want to join in the bookish discussion fun, check out the June 2022 prompts!

Now without further ado… The topic asks us about:

Have you ever considered quitting blogging? 

(SUGGESTED BY KRISTIN @ LUKTEN AV TRYKKSVERTE)
Prompts: Have your reasons for blogging changed since you started? If so, what changes have you noticed? Have you ever taken a break from blogging, or thought about it? Have you ever thought about quitting blogging entirely? What stops you? What gives you motivation to keep blogging?

MY REASONS FOR BLOGGING HAVE CHANGED

Actually, yes, my reasons have changed since I first started. I’m sure I’ve mentioned it a time or twenty by now but I started my book community journey on Instagram and started a blog after seeing people comment on how important it is to have this platform to get ARCs. So, yes, although the reasoning is very simplified, I essentially started blogging to get ARCs, specifically from NetGalley. Did it work? It has in a way because I learned about blog tours and connected with indie authors but it didn’t work out in the way I expected—and the joke was on me as an international blogger! 😂 Since realising the limitations of being an international blogger in a non-western location, my reasons for blogging have definitely changed.

If I’m being honest, I think my reasons for blogging would’ve changed regardless because what I get most out of it is really the connections I make with other bloggers—doesn’t that sound cheesy AF? 😂 But seriously, it is mostly about connecting with others who share the same passion and interest, though I also blog to keep track of what I’m reading, to share my thoughts through reviews and other bookish posts (like these Let’s Talk Bookish posts!), and of course, to find out what everyone’s reading and to grow my never-ending TBR!😂

IT’S GOOD TO TAKE A BREAK… OR TWO!

That said, it’s always good to take a break… or two or more, even! I’ve taken one unexpectedly long 3-4 month break last year and another shorter break earlier this year. I didn’t take those breaks because I didn’t enjoy blogging anymore but I was feeling overwhelmed and unmotivated and my mental health was Not Great™️. I missed engaging and writing but taking that breather to do other things (like gaming) or even simply focusing on reading without worrying about writing reviews was exactly what I needed. If you do feel this way, or even if you don’t, know it’s 100% okay to take a break—the community will still be here whenever you decide to return! 😉

I WILL NEVER STOP… 🎶

(Does anyone else start singing that *NSYNC song whenever you think the words “I will never stop” or is it just me?)

Back to the question: have I ever thought about quitting blogging entirely? Nope, I haven’t and I mean, it’d be premature of me to say I’ll never stop (heh) since I don’t know what’s gonna happen in the future, but right now I still really enjoy blogging. I think it is easy to feel demotivated sometimes when you see others posting so much and so often, also, I don’t know about you but the imposter syndrome I feel a lot of the time is no fun, especially when other bloggers are posting such smart, interesting and original content. Still, at the end of the day, I’m mostly blogging for me but it’s the connections I make, all the new books I discover, all the amazing posts I read, and all the people who read my posts too, that motivate me to come back and keep doing this!

What about you, friends? Have your reasons for blogging changed? Have you ever taken a break or thought about quitting blogging? If you have thought about it but haven’t yet, what is the thing that’s motivating you to keep doing it?

#WWWWednesday: 01 June 2022

Hello, hello and welcome back to another episode of WWW Wednesday, a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World of Words, which means I’ll be answering these questions:

  1. What did you read last?
  2. What are you currently reading?
  3. What will you read next?

Post divider: What did you just finish reading?

Since last week I’ve managed to finish four books.

(KU) Malice (The Faithful and the Fallen #1) by John Gwynne ★★★★½
This was my first book by John Gwynne and I thought it was one helluva debut! This was an absolute chonkster but Leslie and I sped through it so quickly. The first half is pretty slow but it’s so worth it when all the storylines start tying together and the action really kicks in. I can’t wait to continue the series soon! Check out my essay I mean, review.

The Perfect Escape by Suzanne Park
Friends, I have to say I was a little disappointed with this one. I loved the first book I read by this author and I was expecting the same fluffy, fun, feel-good vibes with this one but I didn’t click with it. The romance was insta and the zombie stuff was fun, but there was a lot going on in the characters’ lives that I wish had been better addressed. Not sure what to rate it!

Continue reading “#WWWWednesday: 01 June 2022”

Let’s Talk Bookish: Tracking Reading

Let’s Talk Bookish is a weekly meme created by Rukky @Eternity Books and hosted by Aria @Book Nook Bits, and it’s where we get to discuss certain topics, share our opinions, and spread the love by visiting each other’s posts! If you want to join in the bookish discussion fun, check out the May 2022 prompts!

Now without further ado… The topic asks us about:

Tracking reading

(SUGGESTED BY ARIA @ BOOK NOOK BITS)
Prompts: Do you keep track of the books you read? If so, do you use Goodreads? Storygraph? Another platform? Has the way you keep track of your reading changed since you started blogging? What are the pros and cons of tracking your reading?

TRACKING MY READING VIA GOODREADS (+STORYGRAPH, KINDA)

I do keep track of the books I read. Until now, I mostly use Goodreads but since the beginning of 2022, I’ve started to dabble with Storygraph and the 2022 Ultimate Book Blogger/Reader Spreadsheet made by Kal @ The Reader Voracious. My main platform has always been Goodreads but I’m starting to become more partial to the spreadsheet as it allows me to track more all at once!

Let’s be friends on Goodreads!

GOODREADS VS STORYGRAPH VS SPREADSHEETS

I first signed up for Goodreads in September 2012 but I didn’t start actively using it until a few years later. I started getting “serious” about using it in 2018 when I discovered the existence of the book community and of bookstagram and book bloggers! I still do the most tracking on Goodreads although I’m not always the best at marking what I’m “currently reading” as I’m reading it. I think I’ve at least gotten a little better at it because I have the Goodreads Reading Challenge to keep me motivated.

Since I started to track reads using the blogger/reader spreadsheet I’ve been using it alongside GR and it has actually motivated me to keep my GR as updated as possible. I track start/end dates on the spreadsheet and it has made it much easier to update my GR, even if I don’t mark the book as “currently reading” from the start!

Of these three platforms, I use Storygraph the least. I don’t find it as easy to navigate but I do like the way their stats are presented so I’m hoping to eventually update all my reads on there by the end of the year. So far I’m only using it to track my buddy reads (which is probs my favourite feature of the site) and that has been fantastic!

Let’s be friends on Storygraph!

changes in tracking habits and the pros/cons

I think the biggest change for me has been the inclusion of tracking my reading with the spreadsheet this year! It definitely takes more work to log everything including publication years, page numbers, etc., which you obviously don’t have to do but I find that I actually enjoy it. The biggest pro of tracking reads is that it gives a complete picture of what you read and depending on what you track, it can also give you a nice overview of your reading habits. I love seeing how many books I read, what genres I actually read the most/least, the average length of books that I choose, and other bookish stats.

A downside to tracking reads is the added pressure I think it gives to continuously keep up a certain reading pace. There have been moments when I look at what I’ve read over a period of time, I think “omg, that’s all I’ve read?” and then I feel pressured to read more. It’s definitely silly and there are certainly going to be good/bad reading days but that’s just life! I feel like a lot of us already put a lot of pressure on ourselves to always churn out content and to read all the books to stay relevant, and we don’t need to put more pressure on ourselves.

Do you track your reads? Do you use more than one platform to track or do you use spreadsheets too? Do you enjoy tracking your reads or do you think it adds pressure to your reading that you’d rather not have?