That Was Easy: A Top Ten List

It amazes me how many social (media) outlets there are. It further amazes me how people manage to keep up with them all. There is Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, blogging, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google+, Goodreads, LibraryThing, and many more. I use three of these: Twitter, Instagram, and blogging (though I have essentially defunct accounts for most). Twitter is fun. Blogging I enjoy because it provides a place for me to discuss the things I want and it acts a sort-of diary about what I was reading/feeling/doing. I can tell just by reading my writing whether I was having a good day or not. And really, my Instagram activity is spotty. I can’t use Facebook for the insane amount of political bullshit that’s on there. I find Pinterest irritating – another inspirational quote, anyone? Though I shouldn’t poke too much fun, as I recently used it to find examples of a hairstyle I wanted to try. And Goodreads. I want to be a good Goodreads user, but I can’t seem to find the time and I don’t like their search set-up. Searchability matters.

This brings me to this week’s list: things that make my book blogging/reading easier (as hosted by The Broke and the Bookish). I know many of you use Goodreads and all of its possibilities. I’m sincerely curious, for those of you who are particularly active, how you manage to use Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Goodreads, LibraryThing, Booklikes, blog, read the books to blog about AND deal with work, family, friends, and anything else that comes up. There’s only so much time in a day.

The Spectacular Now
Facts of life from The Spectacular Now*

So, in no particular order, here are the things that make my reading and blogging life easier.

Other blogs. This is an easy one. There are a couple of bloggers (and a writer) I trust implicitly. We rarely disagree, so if they say they loved it, I’m certain I will as well. It makes finding a book I know I’ll love a simple task. They are booksaremyfavouriteandbest, Bookishly Boisterous, and Annabel Smith.

Twitter. A few of my favorite authors are easily accessible via twitter. If they recommend a book, it’s easy to favorite the tweet and return to it at a later date.

Writing in the margins. Of all the book “rules” I break, this is typically the one other people don’t understand. I like to write in my books. I take notes about what I enjoy, what doesn’t work, what quotes I like. Of course, I only do this to personal copies. I occasionally lend my books out to other bookish people who return my books, appalled at the extensively defaced copy. However, it’s a good way to know exactly what I thought of a book.

Libraries. I am, of course, biased because I am a librarian. However, I truly believe libraries are cornerstones of their communities. My library saves me more money than I care to admit.

Reading the ending first. Since I’m feeling confessional, I do this too. Sometimes if a book is not going in a direction I like, I check the end to make sure it will be worth my time. I don’t always do this, especially with longer books or mysteries, but I do it often enough to be worth mentioning. If I had read the end of ‘Wuthering Heights’ first, I never would have had to suffer through the whole thing. If I’d read the end of ‘Revolutionary Road’ first, I might have saved myself some heartache. ‘Revolutionary Road’ devastated me.

Movies. If a movie I want to see is based on a book, I’ll go out of my way to read the book. It makes the “What should I read next?” choice easy for me. Right now I want to see both The Spectacular Now and Austenland. I’ve already read Austenland and I thought it was fine, but the movie stars Keri Russell – so I will be seeing it. Although I don’t particularly like the term, I have the biggest girl crush on her. The Americans is the best thing on TV right now and I’ve seen every single episode of Felicity. Twice. A caveat: I’ve not seen Breaking Bad, which my brother insists I must watch and that it’s the best thing on television, ever.

Netgalley. This helps and hurts. It helps because I can see the upcoming titles. It hurts because sometimes the urge to request a title I know I won’t have time to read is overwhelming.

WordPress for iOS. This is a silly one, but the amount I use it necessitates its mention. I have the WordPress app on my phone and iPad, I get quite a bit of blogging maintenance done (like correcting typos, responding to comments) when I otherwise wouldn’t (on the train, stuck in traffic). It makes my life easier (or less irritating, at the very least).

If you couldn’t tell by my last entry, I’m really struggling this week (I made it to 8). I don’t use a lot of tools to make my book blogging/reading easier. What do you use? Is there something I’m absolutely missing out on? And how do you find the time for it all?

*Let’s hope no one defines me by my record collection.


60 thoughts on “That Was Easy: A Top Ten List

  1. I would *totally* define you by your record collection. I don’t care at all what people are reading, but I totally judge them by what they listen to.

    I know. I KNOW.

    I use goodreads more than I’d like. I friend most of the book bloggers I know and it’s easy to click through to their blog reviews if they’ve read something I’m interested it.

    BUT ALSO, there are a lot of people I adore on goodreads that DON’T HAVE book blogs. So.


    1. If I’m lucky, I update my goodreads ‘read’ list quarterly. I don’t mind most aspects of the site and I like that you can update statuses. I comment on other people’s statuses all the time. I’ve never posted one of my own.

      I define people by their record collection too. I just wouldn’t want to be defined by mine. There’s a lot of angsty ’90s stuff still hanging around (because I love it), A LOT of Ani DiFranco, Wilco, Ben Harper, Bob Dylan, The Who, The Smiths, The Cure, Van Morrison, Metallica, Letters to Cleo (odd band out) and others that clearly say I’ve never moved on from generations past. I swear I have. Sort of. I mean, I am in love with Frank Turner (to make myself sound about 20 years old). I just cringe every time I hear Katy Perry and John Mayer (weird how they are dating now), which makes me feel sort of old. Long story short, I secretly judge others, while hoping they don’t judge me. Somewhere I’m sure someone thinks it is really awesome to still love The Who, Metallica, and Cheap Trick. I just haven’t met them yet.


      1. Well, I still listen to most of the stuff you mentioned, so I think we’re good.

        I won’t tell you which things I judge you by, though. 😀


      2. Ha! That’s okay, as long as it’s not for my dislike of Katy Perry, because come on…

        What can I say? I was a teenager in the late 90’s and early 2000’s. I can’t help if I love all things ’10 Things I Hate About You’ (and Letters to Cleo, by default).

        As for Van Morrison, I’ve got no explanation – just love. I omitted my love for Bruce Springsteen, but if I’m airing my (usually hidden) music tastes, I ADORE ‘I’m on Fire’, but don’t care for ‘Born to Run’ as much. Mysterious.


      3. HAHA!

        Surprisingly, it’s none of the things you mentioned here! Ooooh, I’m being all mysterious!

        But srsly, when my husband and I were newlyweds, we drove across the country and one of the only tapes we had in the car was Van Morrison’s Greatest Hits…and we spend a good portion of the drive determining which bands should cover each song.


      4. As long as it’s not Bob Dylan…

        (don’t tell me if it is)

        That’s awesome. I love some of the covers that have been done. My favorite might be Emiliana Torrini’s version of Crazy Love.


      5. Ooh, lovely choice. My favorite is a toss up between ‘Til I Fell in Love with You, Shelter From the Storm, or Tangled Up in Blue (or various others, depending on the day).


      6. It’s funny, I haven’t listened to that song in a long time. But listening to it now it amazes me that I can still listen to a song of his and fall in love all over again (it also happened recently when I listened to Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues for the first time in years).


      7. Gah, I don’t have it on my iPod and was just trying to find it to listen to. I think I’ll be digging Blood on the Tracks out of the CD pile tomorrow.


  2. I’m so glad that someone out there takes my reviews seriously! Thank you! And the feeling is mutual.

    I’ve toyed with the idea of switching over to WordPress for a long time and partially because of the app- not having one is definitely one of Blogger’s many limitations.


      1. There is a blogger app, it’s appallingly bad. I quit using blogger because it was so bad (lame reason, but important to me).


    1. I’ve enjoyed WordPress quite a bit more than blogger. I also like the commenting system much better. Since over half of my enjoyment is interacting with other bloggers, a good commenting system is important to me.

      And I do. If you say it’s good, I trust you. I read The Family Fang recently on your recommendation and thought it was great. So the streak continues…


  3. Well I LOVE your first point. 😉

    Agree with you about Netgalley. I often find myself saying ‘Kate, back away from Netgalley….’ It’s just sooooo tempting.

    And yes, I also write in books. Some say it defaces them, I say it’s ‘showing love’.


    1. It’s very true.

      Netgalley. I need to stop, sometimes I just can’t, or I swear I’ll make time (fully realizing it would be impossible). I haven’t even touched Edelwiess – too dangerous. Writing books IS showing love, absolutely agree…


  4. Same here, I think I also made it to 8 for this week’s list. Maybe we’re just super-organised bloggers/readers 😀

    GoodReads is addictive, lol. The minute I came across it years ago, I knew I would stick with it. I think I spend far too much time browsing on there….

    In general I don’t like writing in my books but I do like writing in the margins when it comes to my non-fiction titles (results of uni) and some of the second copies I have of some of my classics (recently did this with North and South; that was fun :D).


    1. I do take my organization seriously. I actually think it’s part of a librarian’s personality – so I try to own up to it.

      I think I’m going to try harder with goodreads (if I find the time). Everyone loves it and I like how you can track the books at the end of the year (% male and % female, etc.).

      My writing in books is due to school too. Once I started, I never stopped.


  5. I’m gonna pretend you didn’t say that about Wuthering Heights.

    Goodreads, definitely. I wish it had existed when I was in my teens and 20s, maybe I’d remember what the hell I read during those years. I read so much, and a lot of it’s a blur.

    Evernote is where I jot down my occaisional BIG IDEAS about things I need to blog about- about 50% of them every see the light of day. I have a real paper notebook in my purse for more detailed notes, say if I’m preparing to write a review.

    My Kobo Glo is my #1 tool. I have two fair to poor sleepers, 1 and 3 years old, so I spend a LOT of time in dark rooms… having something I can read with one hand without fussing with lamps and such is AWESOME.


    1. I’ve generally found you either love Wuthering Heights or Jane Eyre. So which is it? If you tell me you hate Jane Eyre, be warned, I won’t take it well. Kidding. Mostly.

      I have a ridiculous amount of drafts sitting in WordPress that will never see the light of day. As far as blogging things to do, I’m a list-maker. Recently, I’ve started making electronic lists, but I’ve found it far less satisfying. Apparently crossing things off actually makes a difference to my psyche…

      I do like my Kindle Fire. I don’t know that I ever would’ve bought one, but I did get one for my birthday and I’ve enjoyed it significantly more than expected. I hope your boys’ sleep improves (and I can see why a Kobo would be grand in that situation). It always does eventually, but sooner rather than later would be best! I’ve always heard babies who sleep poorly are more intelligent. 😉


      1. I never thought about it, but you could be right. I’m a WH girl for sure. Maybe I need to give Jane Eyre another shot.

        Crossing things off is the best. Always put something you’ve already done on your to-do list so you can cross it off right away 🙂

        Excellent, my boy’s going to be a genius!


  6. I think a lot of us pick and choose the social media things that work for us. I use Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest… but not Google+, Goodreads, and hardly ever Tumblr.

    Also, I totally write in my books! You’re not alone. I do it in my classics and non-fiction a LOT – notes in the margins, underlining, asterisks… it’s a mess, but it also gives me warm, fuzzy feelings next time I look at that book too.


    1. I don’t even know what Google+ is, except I have it as part of my gmail set-up.

      I’m glad I’m not the only one who writes in books, I do get a lot of side-eye for it. That books KNOWS it’s loved though. So, there’s that.


      1. You know, I don’t use Google+ with my blog at all. I abandoned the idea when I couldn’t find a way to automatically share my posts there from WP. I don’t have the time to manually post everything there! LOL


  7. I am on a ton of social networking sites, but I’m not on most of them on a daily basis (I actually don’t like being plugged in all the time). Plus, I do almost everything from my phone, so it all takes, like, two seconds. I use Goodreads & Twitter the most.


    1. I typically take Sundays off of social media (not always, though I try to take at least one day off per week). Aside from WordPress, I probably use twitter the most. I do quite a bit from my phone/iPad as well.

      There are a few people that have it all together (they’re on Facebook, Twitter, Blogging, etc. and actually update there content). I’m impressed (I was thinking you and The Relentless Reader, specifically).


      1. My Twitter and Facebook profiles get updated with new WP posts automatically. I never even have to get on Facebook or Twitter to link to WP posts.

        As far as posting other people’s links on Twitter, I go through my feed reader every morning while I’m waking up, and the reader makes it so easy to post things to Twitter. Going through my feed reader probably takes the most time on any given day.


  8. Excellent! I love this post. I’d also like to mention that if I judged you by your record collection, the judgement would be “awesome.” (Because it looks an awful lot like mine! 🙂 Owning every Letters to Cleo album is a point of pride, I tell you!)


    1. Thanks and it is! I may never rule the world, but Katie says I have awesome taste in music. So I am content.

      (This may sound sarcastic, but I am TOTALLY serious.)


  9. Well, I applaud your honesty … writing in books – cringe – reading the endings first double cringe – it hurts just to type those! 😉 Seriously, though, I think it’s cool. The notes in the book, I can see how that would be helpful. I don’t know if I could ever do that, but I can definitely see how it’s helpful! 🙂

    And, uh, I promise I’m not judging. I swear I’m not – just in case it came across that way!

    I never thought to use my WP app to respond to comments and fix typos. What an excellent idea! I don’t use the app much, because I never liked how it worked for blogging. I don’t see why I couldn’t do these smaller maintenance tasks that way! Thanks for sharing that!

    In case you’re interested, here’s my list:


    1. What can I say? I’m a rebel.

      I can’t imagine composing a blog post in the WordPress app, but it’s great for the little things. I actually love the comment system set-up. Occasionally I run in to spelling issues on my phone with auto-correct, but as long as I proofread, it mostly works out.

      I will check it out.


      1. For whatever reason, my autocorrect insists on ‘correcting’ tomorrow to Oreo (capital o and everything). However, since I consistently misspell ‘occasionally’, I need to keep it on.


  10. Sometimes I wish Netgalley and Edelweiss didn’t exist. It’d be so much easier to read all those books that I already paid money for and are sitting, collecting dust bunnies. I don’t use a lot of resources either, I would have likely had a hard time coming up with 10 too. Hmm… I use my library a lot too oh AND I listen to quite a lot of audiobooks and I just paid $0.99 for the most amazing audiobook app… I do use Goodreads extensively (not LibraryThing) and Twitter is fun but not exactly useful.


    1. Me too. Especially Netgalley. At least Edelwiess shoots me down, netgalley gives me access to ALL THE BOOKS. Well, except The Shining Girls. It doesn’t want me to get an ego or anything.

      I have a hard time getting into audiobooks, I usually have issues with narrators (and time to be able to listen). I typically read very fast, so occasionally audio seems too slow for me.

      Twitter is useful. I quite adept at wasting an incredible amount of time on there – so it’s good for that.


  11. The only social media I am up to date with are Twitter and Blogging. I’m on goodreads and facebook, but not socially, if that makes sense. Keeping up with it all would be impossible, and I’m currently out of work.

    My friend confessed she read the end first the other day, initially I was horrified, but in a way it makes sense. It preps you for heartbreak in some instances.

    I scribble all over my books too, I like my annotations by the text as invariably I’ll lose a notebook.


    1. I’m on Facebook for this blog, my feed’s as stimulating as a tree stump, but not socially. I have a personal account, but peeking at my feed can leave me in a rage – so best avoided.

      It really doesn’t bother me to know the end first. I also don’t mind spoilers. I never feel like anything has been ruined for me and I can prepare if there’s going to be a death of a beloved character.

      A well-used book is a well-loved book.


    1. Twitter is not so bad, I swear. I think I’ve been on it less than a year and I’m not very active, so I’m probably not the person to really sing its praises wither.

      I feel a little less alone now that I know others read the end first too, on occasion.


  12. Oh I totally peek at the end of books. Often. Sometimes I’m so stressed about what could happen to the characters, that I check out the ending. Then I can go back to where I was and all my anxiety is gone. So I can enjoy the book so much more.


    1. I started reading ending after being totally devastated in the GRRM Ice & Fire series. That man kills off every beloved character and I just couldn’t handle it any more. Now if I think there will be a death or if the end will be ridiculous (and not worth my time), I peek. I agree, I enjoy it so much more when I not worried about what *could* happen.


  13. I bought a specific type of sticky notes specifically for notes in my books so I wouldn’t have to write on the book itself.

    And, I admit that I peak at the end of books if I’m worried its going to break my heart. That way I’m prepared. 🙂


    1. I know, right? Sometimes you just have to know, otherwise you are blindsided.

      I actually think I own the sticky notes you’re talking about. I use those as well if I don’t or can’t write in a particular book.


  14. I can’t look at the end of books… because if the end seems worth it, then I’ll be mad I didn’t experience it the way the author wrote it. I’d honestly rather just DNF and leave it unknown.

    And YAY libraries!


    1. My exception to reading the ending is actually mysteries and thrillers, because then the way the stories plays out is of utmost importance to the book. So I peak, but with limits.


  15. I love that you included writing in the margins as one of your items. I write in my books too, but I don’t usually take review notes. One of my students borrowed my copy of Fahrenheit 451, and he was like, “I want to crack your code! It’s like your speaking a secret language in here!”


  16. Love this post (and your blog as well!) I sometimes write in the margins of my books for school, but mostly I write my notes in a notebook that’s laying around. Using mobile apps (Twitter/Hootsuite as well as Feedly) has made catching up with blogging so much easier since I can get stuff done when I’m in line.

    Netgalley is great, too except when I have more books than I have time to read or when finally get around to downloading a book only to find that it’s been archived.


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