Tag: challenge


No Book Buying Challenge: Perils

Posted 21 September, 2015 by Nikki in General / 12 Comments

This month’s prompt is all about the perils of being a book hoarder. And, well, I happen to know some things about that. Coincidentally, this month I’ve actually made a big effort to get rid of books I didn’t actually intend to read — books I read years ago and won’t reread, books I own multiple copies of, unsolicited ARCs that are just not genres I enjoy — and all that hauling around of book boxes did pull a muscle in my shoulder…

But also, there’s the whole issue that I have literally about a thousand books owned and unread. Someone counted them a while back, I’m not kidding you. I get stressed, I buy books for comfort… and then I reread books I already own because it’s more comforting to know the plot and characters ahead of time! And it’s actually a little bit stressful having such a big, big pool of books to choose from. I already have problems making decisions, and now. Well. It’s at peak levels.

One thing I am doing to get over it is monthly TBR lists — picked somewhat randomly from my backlogs. Usually I’ll pick a category (like, “oh, I’ll tackle some of my unread comics”) and find some books to fit it, and try to use that as motivation, to cut down on the problem of choice. It’s working reasonably well in September, but I gave myself August as a month off because I’m fickle and sticking to a list stresses me out… And I can be pretty enthusiastic about the set-up in the last week of the month, and then go off it on the first. I have a list drafted now for October, but I don’t know how the actual list is going to resemble it.

(You can, uh, see the problem with the fact that I keep masses of lists about books.)

Anyway, rambling done, here’s my general updates on the #ShelfLove challenge and my New Year’s Resolutions. The colour scheme should be familiar by now…

  • 47/51+ already owned books read from prior to 2015 (last one recorded: The Martian, 21/09)
  • Spent: £21 out of ~£30 budget (budget is 10% of my income) for January
  • Spent: £20 out of ~£25 budget for February
  • Spent: £22 out of ~£25 budget for March
  • Spent: £15 out of ~£16 budget for April
  • Spent: £45 out of ~£30 budget for May
  • Spent: £18 out of ~£40 budget for June, plus stuck within holiday budget
  • Spent: £45 out of ~£50 budget for July
  • Spent £51 out of ~£60 for August
  • Spent £30 out of £40 for September

Not such good pay so far this month, alas, but the total might go up.

Here’s my more general progress on resolutions:

  • No books impulse-bought (I’ve made a couple of impulse purchases)
  • Read every day 
  • Bed before midnight
  • Up before ten every day
  • Only bought one book from a series at a time
  • Posted to the blog every day
  • Commented on at least one other blog every day
  • Tithed 10% in every month so far
  • Done 6o hours volunteering total
  • Reading/reviewing books from NG/etc (67% ratio; steady progress)

So not so bad! Especially that leap of eleven books from last month’s check-in, when it comes to reading books I’d previously bought.

Tags: ,

Divider

ARC August Update

Posted 24 August, 2015 by Nikki in General / 0 Comments

Sooo back in July, I said I was going to take part in ARC August again, and posted about it here. How am I doing? Well… not that well, honestly.

Completed:

  • One-Eyed Jack, Elizabeth Bear.
  • The Hollow Crown, Dan Jones.
  • Sorcerer to the Crown, Zen Cho.
  • The Galaxy Game, Karen Lord.

So yeah, I have plenty left to read.

Hoping to read: 

  • Fair Game Fair Play, Josh Lanyon. I didn’t have the first book as an ARC, but obviously I want to read it first.
  • The Philosopher Kings, Jo Walton.
  • Seven Forges, James A. Moore. No seriously, it’s about time.
  • California Bones & Pacific Fire, Greg Van Eekhout. Again, the first book wasn’t an ARC but I need to read it first.
  • Of Bone and Thunder, Chris Evans.

I think that’s quite ambitious enough, especially since I have a whole bunch of other books I want to finish by the end of August too. Crossing fingers!

Tags: , ,

Divider

No Book Buying Challenge: Best Bookish Gift

Posted 22 August, 2015 by Nikki in General / 10 Comments

This month’s theme is about the best bookish gifts you’ve received, and aside from books themselves, I have the perfect example this month! LookHuman.com have some great bookish t-shirts, and I now own an obscene number of them because my family/partner are good to me and it was my birthday on the 20th. Here’s the list (with links, if you click):

I’m a bit addicted to the raglans, they’re cosy and perfect for curling up to read in! Now if they came in more colours, I’d be set for life.

As for a general update, here goes. Green is for good progress or sticking to a target; orange is for marginal or in progress things. Red is for an uh-oh.

  • 36/51+ already owned books read from prior to 2015 (last one recorded: The Magus, 22/08)
  • Spent: £21 out of ~£30 budget (budget is 10% of my income) for January
  • Spent: £20 out of ~£25 budget for February
  • Spent: £22 out of ~£25 budget for March
  • Spent: £15 out of ~£16 budget for April
  • Spent: £45 out of ~£30 budget for May
  • Spent: £18 out of ~£40 budget for June, plus stuck within holiday budget
  • Spent: £45 out of ~£50 budget for July
  • Spent £51 out of ~£60 for August

Yep, that is the sign of someone who got paid a lot this month. Too bad it doesn’t seem to be a repeat job.

Here’s my more general progress on resolutions:

  • No books impulse-bought (being maybe a bit fast-and-loose with my definition here)
  • Read every day 
  • Bed before midnight
  • Up before ten every day
  • Only bought one book from a series at a time (couple of lapses, but mostly for deals/sets)
  • Posted to the blog every day
  • Commented on at least one other blog every day
  • Tithed 10% in every month so far
  • Done 6o hours volunteering total
  • Reading/reviewing books from NG/etc (66% ratio; steady progress)

So that’s all pretty good, as long as I keep behaving myself. (Or, alternately, keep getting well paid jobs. Sadly, this is not likely.)

Tags: , ,

Divider

No Book Buying Challenge: Best So Far (Part 2)

Posted 20 July, 2015 by Nikki in General / 4 Comments

I already did this month’s prompt for the #ShelfLove challenge last month, but what the hey — I’ll do it again. My favourite book since I picked Tropic of Serpents last month has to be Ancillary Justice, by Ann Leckie. It swept the awards when it came off, and swept a lot of my friends off their feet. I bounced off the first time I tried to read it, but once I got into it, I gobbled it up and immediately read the sequel, Ancillary Sword. You can find my review here!

As for a general update, here goes. Green is for good progress or sticking to a target; orange is for marginal or in progress things. Red is for an uh-oh.

  • 32/51+ already owned books read (last one recorded: Fire, 20/07)
  • Spent: £21 out of ~£30 budget (budget is 10% of my income) for January
  • Spent: £20 out of ~£25 budget for February
  • Spent: £22 out of ~£25 budget for March
  • Spent: £15 out of ~£16 budget for April
  • Spent: £45 out of ~£30 budget for May
  • Spent: £18 out of ~£40 budget for June, plus stuck within holiday budget
  • Spent: £45 out of ~£50 budget for July

Here’s my more general progress on resolutions:

  • No books impulse-bought (despite a recent spree, that was still books I considered for at least a day first!)
  • Read every day 
  • Bed before midnight (couple of issues lately with work)
  • Up before ten every day
  • Only bought one book from a series at a time
  • Posted to the blog every day
  • Commented on at least one other blog every day (back on the wagon with this now)
  • Tithed 10% in January, February, March, April, May & June; not picked a charity for July
  • Done 55 hours volunteering total
  • Reading/reviewing books from NG/etc (63% ratio; still making steady progress)

So that’s pretty good progress, as long as I behave myself for the last eleven days of July! Yay me.

Tags: , ,

Divider

No Book Buying Challenge: Best So Far

Posted 22 June, 2015 by Nikki in General / 6 Comments

Well, the theme for this month’s #ShelfLove update is to do a mid-year review, which I’ve already done. So I will do July’s theme already: to share the best book so far this year that counted toward this challenge. Let me dash to my Goodreads shelves and take a look… Seems like the winner is Marie Brennan’s Tropic of Serpents. You can read my review here!

  • 30/51+ already owned books read (last one recorded: Ancillary Justice, 21/06)
  • Spent: £21 out of ~£30 budget (budget is 10% of my income) for January
  • Spent: £20 out of ~£25 budget for February
  • Spent: £22 out of ~£25 budget for March
  • Spent: £15 out of ~£16 budget for April
  • Spent: £45 out of ~£30 budget for May
  • Spent: £18 out of ~£40 budget for June

Can you tell I’ve been earning some more money this month? Such a relief. It’s going to be a bit difficult to keep track of the rest of this month, given that I’m in Belgium, Canada and the US, so dealing with various different currencies. It will basically go green if I manage to keep to my main budgets, and I won’t worry too much about the exact total.

Here’s my more general progress on resolutions:

  • No books impulse-bought (despite a recent spree, that was still books I considered for at least a day first!)
  • Read every day (I had problems with this because of an assignment, so I’m giving myself half a pass on this one!)
  • Bed before midnight (nearly every night now)
  • Up before ten every day
  • Only bought one book from a series at a time
  • Posted to the blog every day
  • Commented on at least one other blog every day (I should have made time for this despite my assignment, it’s not like it takes long)
  • Tithed 10% in January, February, March, April, May & June
  • Done 55 hours volunteering total
  • Reading/reviewing books from NG/etc (60% ratio; massive progress in the last month!)

Obviously this month I added some colour-coding. That red line for May will give me extra determination not to have more! Green is for good progress or sticking to a target; orange is for marginal or in progress things.

Tags: , ,

Divider

Female Authors Only Month

Posted 31 May, 2015 by Nikki in General / 4 Comments

Well, both the reading and the posting for my month of reading only female authored books are done. I also didn’t buy books by men or borrow books by men from the library during the month, and made sure all my ‘Flashback Friday’ posts were of books by female authors. Did I notice a change? Well, no, not really. Once or twice I had to remind myself, and put off reading something or other until the month was over. I don’t think I’d want to extend the month any longer; I read a lot of female authors anyway, and there’s so much worthwhile stuff out there that isn’t written by women.

Still, it was interesting. Browsing the shelves at Caerphilly Library, realising that I had to go for three shelves in the SF&F section until I found a female author; looking for books about science written by women and finding them thin on the ground; noticing my own dismissal of certain genres (paranormal romance, for example) because I just assume they’re all the same. Even though I’ve read some and really enjoyed them.

It wasn’t a struggle to read female authors only for a month, but the change in focus was interesting. I might do it with other groups in future.

What about you? Did you notice that I was only posting reviews of books by female authors in May?

Tags: ,

Divider

No Book Buying: January

Posted 21 January, 2015 by in General / 26 Comments

Since I’ve run out of reviews to post right now — I know, I don’t know how that happened, I had one day off reading and suddenly it’s a week later and I’m still playing catch up — I’m going to post my #ShelfLove January update today. The January post encourages us to share our TBRs, lists or pictures, whatever works. Well, I already have my TBR shamefully displayed on my site: hit Mount TBR and it’ll show you my acquired/unread lists for the last five years. Gulp.

But here, also have a picture of the new set of shelves my dad hacked together for me. It’s on wheels, the top serves as a desk (with my standing desk on top), and there’s two sides. I got just about all my books out of boxes and onto the shelves with this baby!

It doesn’t look like much extra space, but it’s something. And yes, you can see another set of shelves immediately behind it, the side of a large bookcase to the right of it, and there’s another set out of sight. And that box you can see is full of books. Almost all of those are books I haven’t read yet.

And then… at my parents’ house, I have a set of shelves that double as a coffee table, a shelf above my mirror, five shelves around my desk which is currently also piled with books, a small set of shelves by the door and a set of shelves up to the ceiling directly as you enter the room. And boxes. Lots of. Fortunately, most of the books here are books I’ve read, though I think there’s another box worth of Christmas books going back to where I normally live when I go…

From this you can tell that A) I have a lot of books and B) my father is wildly indulgent, though he pretends not to be, and continues pulling ideas for more bookshelves out of his hat.

In terms of sticking to my goals, by the way, I’m doing well:

  • 6/51+ already owned books read
  • Spent: £6 out of ~£30 budget (budget is 10% of my income)

As for my other resolutions:

  • No books impulse-bought
  • Read every day
  • Bed before midnight… mostly
  • Up before ten… mostly
  • Only bought one book from a series at a time
  • Posted to the blog every day
  • Commented on at least one other blog every day
  • Tithed 10% already this month (to Stonewall)
  • Done two hours volunteering
  • Reading/reviewing books from NG/etc… in progress

Tags: , ,

Divider

No Book Buying Challenge

Posted 5 January, 2015 by in General / 16 Comments

Show Your Shelves Some Love: No Book Buying Challenge

I’m never very good at these, but let’s see what I can do… I’m joining in this challenge from Chapter Break. I don’t think I’d make it the whole year without buying books (in fact, I know I wouldn’t), so I’m choosing the “set a budget” option…

Goals: 

  • 51+ already owned books read
  • Stick to budget of 10% income spent on books

I went for a percentage rather than a fixed thing so that if I get a windfall I can splash out, and if I’m having a short month, I am correspondingly reined in. (For the curious, 10% is also the amount I tithe to charities; 20% or more goes into my savings.)

Wish me luck…

Tags: , ,

Divider

My Friends Made Me Do It

Posted 1 January, 2015 by in General / 12 Comments

I don’t know how many people are aware of Day Zero Project, but I’ve been doing something like for ages. I think I’m on my third ‘101 things in 1001 days’ list; this one finishes on Christmas Eve, 2016 (and I didn’t even plan it that way!). I have a lot of book-related resolutions because, well… just look at this blog. (Trivia: I didn’t actually have a blog when I wrote the list, so there aren’t any blog related ones.)

Anyway, one of my tasks was to ask my friends for twenty books I must read. Which produced the following list (with asterisks by the ones I’ve already read):

  1. Eleanor Arnason, A Woman of the Iron People.
  2. Raphael Carter, The Fortunate Fall.
  3. Blake Charlton, Spellwright.
  4. Denis Diderot, Jacques the Fatalist and His Master.
  5. Emma Donoghue, Life Mask.
  6. Stephen Grosz, The Examined Life.*
  7. Tanya Huff, The Enchantment Emporium.
  8. Andrey Kurkov, Death and the Penguin.*
  9. Scott Lynch, Republic of Thieves.
  10. G.R.R. Martin, A Game of Thrones.
  11. Seanan Mcguire, Rosemary and Rue.
  12. Alistair Reynolds, House of Suns.
  13. Rick Riordan, Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief.
  14. Wen Spencer, A Brother’s Price.
  15. Catherynne M. Valente, The Girl who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making.
  16. Anne B. Walsh, A Widow in Waiting.
  17. Louise Welsh, Tamburlaine Must Die.*
  18. Walter Jon Williams, Metropolitan.
  19. Margery Williams, The Velveteen Rabbit.*
  20. Janny Wurts, That Way Lies Camelot.

It’s mostly a list of books I would’ve been interested in anyway, but there were one or two surprises. So what would you recommend if I was to do this again? Which of these do you think I should get round to ASAP? Do you want to know what all my book-related resolutions are?

Tags: ,

Divider