HOW TO TELL YOU HAVE A READING SLUMP + reading updates

I figured I hadn’t done some reading updates in a while, and then realised I’ve read less books than I usually would. AHH WELL, said I, LET’S DO IT ANYWAY.

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Have you ever wanted to know if you have a reading slump? Well, here’s a simple formula.

BOOKS YOU’VE READ SO FAR THIS MONTH
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AVERAGE BOOKS YOU READ THE LAST FEW MONTHS

In other words, divide the books you’ve read by the books you read last month. If your top number is very low compared to the rest, chances are you’ve either been really busy, or you’ve got a reading slump on your hands!

I decided to test this formula on myself, and it confirmed a sneaking suspicion I’ve had for a while.

Jan – 12

Dec – 19

Nov – 11

Oct – 17

Add the above together, and we get 59.

Now we divide 59 by four, and we get 14.75. (BUT LET’S ROUND IT UP TO 15 BECAUSE MATH.)

So my average book reading count over the last four months is fifteen books. NOW LET’S USE MY FORMULA.

3 (books I’ve read)
________________________
15 (average books read)

… well that’s wonderful isn’t it.

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So if you didn’t get any of that (BECAUSE WHO NEEDS MATH TO READ) it means that I’m a third into the month, and I haven’t read anywhere near my usual amount. I mean, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s a reading slump, but those three books I did read were a struggle. I really had to force myself through them.

And that’s not how I like to read!

Anyway, what were those three books?

// Books I’ve Read So Far This Month //

The Loaded Dog (Henry Lawson) – 3 // 5.    I enjoyed this short story. It was well plotted and the characters were all well written in the short space that they were allowed! I didn’t like the racism and sexism that crept in, but obviously it’s over a hundred years old so unfortunately that’s what we have to expect. How I wish it wasn’t so!

Alice in Wonderland  (Lewis Carroll) – 4 // 5.    I’ve always loved Alice in Wonderland. A couple of years ago I got to play Alice in a drama performance. This just grew my love of this book, and when I got a new edition the other day, I knew I had to reread it! The book itself is extremely crazy and random, and I have to say I didn’t enjoy it as much as I used to. I think that it was because the plot felt a little less tight than some other books I’ve been reading lately? Obviously that’s just part of the nature of the book, but it did take away a little of the magic of the story for me.

Fangirl (Rainbow Rowell) – 4 // 5.     This book was incredibly enjoyable (I fangirled every few pages), and yet I still felt a little bit let down? I think it was because I didn’t like the ending, nor some of the themes present. I know that it’s all part of the author’s writing style, but I did feel that the end was very anticlimactic. Particularly with the whole Nick storyline. Anyway, if you’ve read the book you may know what I mean. I greatly enjoyed it, but I didn’t think it was brilliant.

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I do have a few reasons for this mini reading slump that I am currently experiencing.

A) I’ve been super busy lately, and struggle to find time to read. YEAR ELEVEN, MAN.

B) The internet is distracting?? I just get distracted really easily, okay, and I know this isn’t a proper excuse.

C) My life has changed a lot lately, and I kinda use my spare time to process and cope and get my brain going again. Which is a good thing, I think.

SOOOOO I’m not too sad that I haven’t been able to read properly for a while. Because sometimes I just need to make sure that I’m okay first?? I think I’ll dedicate the rest of this month to working myself out and getting properly mentally prepared for the rest of 2017.

(is it just me or where did January go???? Like seriously.)


img_0581So how are you guys? Do you have any recommendations for getting out of a reading slump?????? Cause I may desperately need your help soon, if this gets any worse. I don’t want to pressure myself but I do miss reading.

Love,

Emmeline 🙂

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MY SIX MONTH BOOK BUYING BAN! (rip me)

So I decided to go on a book buying/borrowing ban, until either my birthday in August or until I’ve read all the unread books in my bookshelf.

I think this is a suitable time to shout HELP into the void.

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In some ways this was a random, impromptu decision, but in others it was well thought out and considered. I’ve known for ages that the ratio of unread books in my shelf was growing steady larger, and I knew that I would have to do something about it. THEN when I went out and bought 40+ books from a second hand sale, I knew that my TBR was really getting out of hand.

So here’s a short list of WHY I’M DOING THIS.

  1. the unread books in my shelf will squash me if I don’t.
  2. there are lots of books that I may never get round to reading unless I make myself, because libraries are distractions.
  3. I really want to read above mentioned books.
  4. my broke self can’t afford to keep up with my book-buying habit.
  5. please see number one.

My life right now is filled with regret every single time I glance at my shelf, upon which I have placed a pile of read library books in front of the unread books on my shelf.

So here’s what I’m banning myself from.

  1. libraries.
  2. bookshops.
  3. secondhand sales.
  4. borrowing from friends.

FOR……

  • six months, i.e. until my birthday because hopefully I’ll get new books.

OR….

  • until I’ve read all the unread books in my bookshelf.

Surely that won’t be that hard? Surely. *future me cries in the distance*

At the present time, I have three library books that I am planning on reading (I borrowed them before deciding on this whole ban thing) before officially starting my ban. They are the three books in the Raven Boys series, and when I saw all three of them on the library shelf next to each other in order my heart broke and I simply had to borrow them. I’ve only read the first one and can’t wait to try the rest!

SO that’s that! Six months of no buying or borrowing.

BUT WAIT.

I MAY OR MAY NOT HAVE MADE TWO EXCEPTIONS.

(woops)

My Exceptions, Or the Two Books I Plan On Buying Despite My Ban:

  • A Court of Wings and Ruin, by Sarah J Maas. It comes out May 2nd and I’m sorry but I’m not waiting until my birthday to read it.
  • Berin and Luthien, by JRR Tolkien. It comes out May 4th and I’ve been looking forward to it for a very very long time! The book was edited and put together by Tolkien’s son, and I’m extremely excited to read it. MORE TOLKIEN GIMME PLEASE.

BUT APART FROM THOSE TWO I am not planning on buying any more books!



img_0581Fingers crossed that I’ll make it through the six months! I think the hardest thing will be no library visits, as I love my library. But no. I will last. I will prevail.

Have you ever done a book ban?

From a determined bookdragon,

–Emmeline 🙂

NaNoWriMo UPDATE BECAUSE I CAN’T MAKE UP MY MIND CAN I + reading updates

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I was so sure of what I was doing for NaNo. In fact, I was so sure that I didn’t even bother to plan it in the slightest – I know what I’m doing, thought I.

Ha.

I was so sure of what I was doing, my brain just had to change its mind, didn’t it.

What I’m Doing For NaNoWriMo (take two)

I first wrote this story … two years ago methinks? It was a while back, anyway. I picked it up again the other day and knew that I could do something with it, so I decided to do it for NaNoWriMo.

It’s set in the land of Samaa (sam-uu) (pronunciation is important) which is a land which my sister and I made up around ten years ago. Since then a heap of world building has taken place, and I thought it was about time that I set a story in it!

So I did/will. It’s a children/fantasy/fiction/everything really sort of story, about a girl and her family. I’m working on the planning of it at the moment, so that I’m not completely pantsing NaNo when it begins. (which, subsequently, is in one week. Eeek.)

I will provide more updates shortly, but in the meantime, I wish everyone good luck and many well wishes on their writing journey!

Let’s have some reading updates…

What I’ve Read Recently

from 19th October to 24th October 2016

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd (Agatha Christie) – 4/5

This book excited me, bringing with it both Agatha’s wonderful talent and some unexpected twists. And the ending! Brilliance. While some of this book was a tad dull, I was never bored. I pronounce this a good book that you should READ, humans.

The Jewel: The Lone City, #1 (Amy Ewing) – 1/5

I really do not like giving books one star. I really don’t. But this one… it didn’t have much going for it. At all. For example… Mary Sues galore, weak writing, unrealistic decisions made by aforementioned Mary Sues, depressingly ridiculous romances (with some parts that made me cringe and want to stop reading), me wanting to laugh in all the wrong places… oh dear. This wasn’t for me.

Four (Veronica Roth) – 1/5

I was looking for a good book to cheer me up after the disappointment of the above book. I didn’t find it in Four. The writing was weak and I found the protagonist rather Mary Sue-ish. The only reason I could see someone enjoying it was if they were part of the fandom … as I am not, I can safely say that this book, which I had anticipated reading for years, was nothing short of a depressing disappointment.

The Raven Boys: The Raven Cycle #2 (Maggie Stiefvater) – 4/5

I needed something to cheer me up after those last two reads of mine, and I found it in this book. It was so good! It relieved me, it was fresh, it made me stay up late to finish it, it made me laugh, and it made me cry. The only thing I wasn’t a big fan of was the magic in this one. It was real; it wasn’t fantasy magic, and this makes me uncomfortable – I can deal with bits, but the whole plot centres around it. It is because of this that I am hesitant of reading the sequels, even though I want to. I’ll have to wait and see. But I really loved it, and the writing was wonderful – such a change from all the prosey prose that I’ve been reading lately.

Well, that’s all from me. Keep smiling, and until next time, humans!

–Emmeline 🙂

NaNoWriMo and EXCITING NEWS + Libraries

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Lots of things to talk about today! Let’s start right off with …

// NaNoWriMo and My Failed Attempt //

National Novel Writing Month is coming up soon, and I am pumped. I’ve done the camp in July but I’ve never done the actual thing, and I’m so ready!

My experience in July was – ahem – interesting. You see, ten thousand words away from my goal of forty thousand words, and just over halfway into the month, I decided to change stories. It was most definitely the right choice but it did cost me my official win.

I ended up writing – I think – twenty thousand of the other story (I’ve written more now, though). So I won technically, but it wasn’t registered on the site … and I wasn’t going to cheat by saying I had written more on that story than I had!

So in the end I had written twenty thousand. And I was a little disappointed in myself, because I had really gone it hard. But I’m so pumped for this time round, now that it’s the proper thing. I’m gonna do it this time!

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the beginnings of planning my NaNo story

// My Actual Story That I’ll Be Working On // *

I started this story two years ago, and it was the first one I ever wrote since my debut book of The Dancing Chickens, years and years ago. (Which I barely count as a book … my illustrations are terrible.)

I won’t say much about it, other than that it’s technically a kids book, but I am aiming for Harry Potter style – fun and thought provoking for all ages. It’ll probably be in more than one book, but as I’m still in the planning stage I’m not sure yet.

I am NOT pantsing it. I AM PLANNING IT. ** This story is going to be so well planned that I will not have even a second of wondering, “What comes next?” or alternatively, “What the heck am I doing?”

My username is Emmeline Annie on there, and you’re welcome to stalk me 🙂 I made a new account because I despised my username, and I’m hoping to keep this account for many years to come!

*if I don’t change my mind before the start of November, or in the middle like last time
** future me laughs nervously in the distance

// Big Wonderful EXCITING NEWS //

I started a Youtube Channel!!! I am honestly so, so excited – and nervous – for this. Talking is not something that comes naturally to me but I find talking to myself relatively easy … is that weird? I don’t know.

Link to my first video HERE!!!

I didn’t even mention this on my instagram because I was so nervous. Seriously, two minutes after I had uploaded it I was regretting EVERYTHING and wishing I could CHANGE EVERYTHING.

But I have swallowed the little self-esteem I have left and am now telling the internet. If anyone’s reading this. Otherwise I’m just telling future me who is probably rolling her eyes at me … *waves and swallows nervously*

But seriously, I would love it if you could show me some support. Even if it’s just watching it, or spending two seconds of your time to add a comment to the video, I would appreciate it beyond all anythings.

Thanks so much, humans 🙂

 

// Reading Update //

I have read four books this month so far, am halfway through three more, and am in the first pages of two. This is what happens when you go to the library and get a pile that is SURELY HEAVIER THAN YOU.

But it’s definitely an improvement from last month! I’m hoping to keep it up 🙂

Well, that’s all from me. Keep smiling, and until next time, humans!

— Emmeline 🙂