Discussion: I Figured Out My Problem With Reading Slumps and I Came Up With a Solution!

Hello Everyone,

Back when I was a kid, I read a lot. I was even grounded and the punishment was always “no books unless homework”. I was that kind of girl who snuck chapters in during boring science lessons. I enjoyed reading thick tomes like The Count of Monte Cristo at age twelve and War and Peace at age fourteen. Probably y’all won’t believe me but I don’t care. Reading was my world. I didn’t have a lot of friends. At least, not human ones. Books were my entire world.

So the fact that at age 25 I started slumping hard when it came to reading. I loved it but for some reason despite wanting to read, I just wasn’t in the mood.

Why? What happened? What had gone wrong?

I’m now 33 and I’m straining to keep reading the same amount that I used to. Churning out three to five books a day in terms of reading. Short books, long, it didn’t matter to me. I also had a fondness for anything and everything that wasn’t dull, dry, and boring. Stuff that didn’t ramble on and on for no reason.

I love reading. But it’s been hard, not just finding time to read (about 30% of my problem) but also I have to find the motivation to read.

I’m stressed. Burnout has come and gone back and forth. I’ve been struggling with my blog in getting noticed which feels like it’s going nowhere. Sure I’m getting followers but it’s a slow progress. I’m almost at 800. After six years that feels like a pitiful attempt in matching up with bloggers that have easily hundreds of thousands of followers. Traffic has never gone past 50 views in a day. And let’s be honest. Reviews are hard to write and catch people’s attention these days. Especially with super talented reviewers out there.

So what was my problem?

All the above mentioned, but also the key problem being energy.

Stress, exhaustion, and all the sh*t that’s going on has made me struggle with reading. I’m steadily managing to compartmentalize and getting better in catching up with reviews.

The key? Blocking the world out and having a safe spot to read with few distractions.

Probably that’s not an answer for everyone. But for me it’s working. I have read 8 books in the past two days in successfully creating a safe place to be away from everything and everyone for a while. It’s really helped me focus on tasks at hand and I’m able to just chill, relax and read. No distractions, no people pestering me, no family poking their heads in, just my own little space.

So now I’m finally in the swing of reading again. I find what helps besides just making your own quiet space:

  • Hide away your laptop and gaming sets. Lock that stuff up for a few hours. Make it a challenge and a reward system.
  • Be kind to yourself and try not to stress about big books. You know you can read that amount easily. Just pick it up and get to it!
  • Block apps on your phone except for your kindle (and ridiculously large amount of emails to sort through)

And so far that seems to be working! I’m managing to read more and it’s exciting getting back into the swing of reading again. Reviews will slowly start appearing too. I’m just researching and learning how best to write them.

So that’s what I’ve been working on. A cure for reading slumps everywhere. Let me know your thoughts in the comments about your own reading experiences. I’d love to hear your stories and ideas!

Until next time,

-Pass Me That Book

A Guide: How I Read More Than Most Probably Do

Hello Everyone,

A lot of people on Twitter are asking how I managed to already read 100 books this year. Many of them can’t fathom how I’m reading a 1000 pages of a book in less than two weeks, while simultaneously managing other books. I’m going to go through and explain how I read so much and offer tips!

First: I don’t do gaming.

I know a lot of book bloggers game and I love Skyrim to pieces. But I really am not enthusiastic about most games. I do sometimes play chess online, and lately I like Stormfall (available on Google play) but otherwise I don’t game. I’m weird that way I know, but I read more than game.

Second: I quit watching TV.

Most tv annoys me lately. With how loud my family listens to it in being mostly deaf, I find tv supremely annoying. I prefer quiet and solitude, though all of us are avoiding Covid like the plague. So I can’t get solitude often. I’m sometimes watching TV shows on Disney Plus, Hulu, and Paramount. But that’s only for the shows that I’m currently on. I’m picky in what I want to watch. And lately, I’m perfectly fine without tv.

Third: Reading based on mood.

I barely have set tbrs. I used to but they began being a challenge in completing so now I just read what I want when I want. I splurge for a new release but only if it’s an author I absolutely adore i.e: Seanan McGuire, Stephen King, and a lot of others. I read, finish the book, pause, pick up another book. I try not to pause too long as to avoid a reading slump.

Fourth: I have no social life.

As I said earlier, I don’t get out much due to Covid. I’m have family that’s hugely at risk for death and I’m the same. I’m disabled and I have to keep my family in mind. We’ve barely gone anywhere. So it grants me more time to read at home.

Fifth: Reading keeps me sane

I know that probably sounds like I’m overreacting but reading is one of the few escapes that I have these days. I’m incapable of going anywhere but reading lets me pretend. I’m stuck where I am so I might as well read lol.

Sixth: I am a fast reader

I speed read. Sometimes I skim if it’s not keeping my interest but I read ridiculously fast. I’m also fast at typing, though texting is another matter lol.

Seven: I don’t punish myself if I don’t finish a book.

This is a trend I’ve seen about on Instagram and Twitter that I don’t understand. I’m never going to finish certain books and I don’t care to. Why are y’all wringing your hands and doing punishments? So what? If a book didn’t suit you then oh well. There’s other books waiting and I’m not going to read a book I’m not enjoying unless it’s school/work related. Please stop it with this trend!

Eight: I have unlimited resources through internet and library.

I have so many bookish apps. I test out new ones all the time. I use the Wayback Machine. I use my own library system. I sometimes buy books off Amazon. I read in every waking moment that I can, when not busy with real life. I’m always walking about with my phone that has the Kindle app installed so I can easily read books from there. I make it a practice in taking a physical book with me wherever I go. There’s all sorts of books and things you can read online or use your library. Support your local library!!!

Nine: I read to educate myself but also to have fun.

Don’t stress over books you have to read, but enjoy the to books you want read. It’s fun, but also pick up new genres to try. Read nonfiction. Learn new things. But just read for fun.

Ten: I also read to support authors

I write book reviews. At least I’m supposed to lol. But I like supporting authors and their works. I like helping others out, and I enjoy interacting with authors on Twitter and through email. It’s fun and it’s a big reason why I try to read as much as I can as often as I can. If I could get paid to read books, I’d love it. It would be the perfect job.

And that is it. I hope that this guide was super helpful and if you still have questions feel free to leave comments down below. Click the like button to boost this post because it really does help me out. Subscribe if you want to see more content from me.

Until next time,

-Pass Me That Book

DISCUSSION: Other Bloggers Talk About 458% Traffic Increase… I’ve Yet To Get That

Hello Everyone,

I’ve written a few posts about gaining followers, attention, and the like. While it’s helped my blog to a point, I am going to be blunt and honest

I have 600 followers after six years hard work.

What am I doing wrong here?

Absolutely nothing.

For those new to blogging, there are so many bloggers right now. #Mombloggers, #Bookbloggers, and so many #lifestylebloggers.

600 million blogs. That’s how hard it is going to be to rise to the top.

I’m sure your here for tips, tricks, and ideas. I’m sorry but this isn’t a guide post. This is just me noticing why my blog is slow in gaining traffic

And it’s not your fault.

We all are struggling. Working every day to make our blog stand out and shine. I’m sure we all will power through it. Keep up the good work.

This post was just an exercise for me. I’m trying to figure out my writing and content structure and I’d love to hear your thoughts about if this was at all interesting in the comments. Click that like and subscribe button. I’d love to add you to my list of favorite people.

Until next time,

-Pass Me That Book

Procrastination & Social Media Our Number One Enemies: AKA How A Book Blogger “Plans”

Hello Everyone,

  • Netgalley Review “A Brilliant Night of Stars and Ice to be Posted in April
  • Read Where The Drowned Girls Go
  • Review Above
  • Check Goodreads
  • Instagram for Inspiration for next reading choice
  • Twitter
  • YouTube (for watching content, not creating it for me)
  • Google ideas for book blog Content
  • Read another Netgalley arc
  • Repeat process

I’m trying to get more organized, scheduling posts and reviews, but it’s a lot of work and more planning than I thought it would be. I’ve been steadily making progress for my blog to grow and be better and better. Researching blogs and getting ideas are taking up a chunk of time that I could be reading. But then there’s also the reading slump I’m actively struggling to avoid too.

I’m trying to find a system that works but so far it’s note taking, browsing, researching, and watching others creating content that works. It’s a lot of hard work and a lot of fun at the same time. I’ve been discovering new places to read book blogs such as lithub and Crime Reads and a lot of other places that have such cool content ideas and blogs posted. But they have more than one person working with them (usually) and they also usually have way more experience too. I’ve been blogging six years and only a couple years ago I’ve been taking it seriously. It’s a struggle.

For those that blog, tips and tricks in the comments below would be super helpful! How do you get your followers? I still haven’t breached 1k. I’m trying to figure out how to reach that goal, and so far, nada. I’d love advice to finding more ideas and your favorite blogs. I’d like to hear about your process in running a blog.

Thanks for sticking around this long to listen to me chat about blogging struggles. I’m appreciative of all those that come and read what I have to say.

Until next time,

-Pass Me That Book

Well Crap. I think I have Burnout. (A Discussion)

Hello Everyone,

I have a lot of friends that have been burned out on blogging, reading and social media. It’s an ongoing fight. Right now I’m trying hard to get past the burnout phase and back into my reading mojo phase. It’s a challenge in coming up with new content for my blog, Instagram, and I’m terrified to even look at my Netgalley!

Burnout happens. I’m not sure why, but maybe it’s the stress. The boredom. The repetition of doing the same sh*t different day. All in the hopes of making money, gaining popularity, and making a name for yourself. I’m still not at a thousand followers. I’m barely, barely past 600. Instagram I have 135. Twitter? Just past 300. I’m a small fish struggling to keep up with the school of popularity around me.

So what to do?

Ignoring what it says on Google (exercise being top of the list as usual because obviously that’s what’s wrong with us and let’s not forget eating healthy and being social-ha! In this day and age? Please. No thank. I’m trying to avoid Covid.) The first things I’m going to suggest are very different from that of Google.

1. Take a step back and breathe. Calm down. It’s not a competition. Yes, I know it feels like you have to be the best but you also need to be yourself and yourself needs to take a deep breath and relax.

2. Rethink. Recall why your doing what you’re doing. Give yourself a week to get a clear head, then dive back into your passion/hobby. Focus. Relax. Calm. You got this.

3. Block Twitter. It’s dragging you down. Making your mental health stress you the f out. Seriously. Put down Twitter and step away from YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook. You don’t need all that negativity-or positivity!- in your life. Seeing how amazingly well people are doing or the awful news in the world, is not good for you.

3a) I understand that there are blog tours and the like so use Twitter sparingly for your bookish related items.

4. Make a list of ideas for your blog. It doesn’t have to be anything flawless, but just a start of a vague sense of accomplishment may help you feel better about all this.

5. Don’t force it. If you need a break because of burnout, you’re allowed a break. A week, a month, whatever. Go do other things for a while and you can come back to this later. It’s not the end of the world if you skip posting something on a frequent basis.

6. Do fun things. Play games. De-stress, and focus on finding something to do that’s not gonna cause more stress. Watch your favorite films. Do something away from social media for a while.

That’s all I have for now on burnouts. If you have more tips and ideas, I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

Until next time,

-Pass Me That Book

A Guide To #OwnVoices: What Is It, What Books Go With It, and Why It’s Important

Hello Everyone,

Recently, I have noticed that no one ever did a blog post explaining what exactly #OwnVoices was. (If I’m wrong, please correct me in the comments and I will fix this!) came across the term about a year or two ago and researched it myself. I got a vague understanding of it. Yet though it’s increased in popularity there seems to be an alarming amount of publishers, bookstore owners, and random people that have no idea what #OwnVoices is, exactly. Let me explain.

#OwnVoices IS NOT BIOGRAPHIES!!!

)As stated on Google) #OwnVoices is a term that was coined by YA author, Corinne Duyvis. The term refers to books about characters from underrepresented/marginalized groups in which the author shares the same identity. The writing is inspired by the author’s own experiences and written from their own perspective.

The author Corrine Duyvis wrote one of my all time favorite YA sci-fi novels On the Edge of Gone back in 2016.

One of my top favorite covers. Just look how beautiful it is!

Her book was an #OwnVoices story, wherein both the Main Character and the Author is autistic. That is #OwnVoices, in the character being described by someone who HAS THE SAME THING!

Say I’m Bi. (Of which, I am, hello fellow bi people! 👋) I write a book and it has a bi main character. That is therefore, #OwnVoices. Simple, easy, and good.

But why is #OwnVoices important you ask? Because we need diversity! We need to have stories with positive representation! We need good stories that accurately show how lgbt lives are, or certain issues are in being important! It should be a more frequent content seen in books, but in a positive way.

What are some other books that have #OwnVoices?

I’m glad you asked! I have a handful of books here that each one have #OwnVoices in some form or another!

Why Are #OwnVoices books becoming more popular?

Well, because we like seeing positive representation of ourselves. It’s nice seeing another character that’s bi and not straight. Nothing wrong with straight people but we like seeing more and more acceptance for lgbt. Along with a lot of other amazing things that are being showcased more and more frequently too.

Has Corrine Duyvis written other books?

Yes she has. She has at least two other novels out (that I know of) and a few short stories. I love most all of her writing and I support her each chance I get. There hasn’t been anything super new that I’m aware of but again I hope I’m wrong on that.

If you have further questions or want to chat, feel free to comment below and I’m also on Twitter as Lovesteaandbook.

Until next time,

-Pass Me That Book

Writing Fanfiction as Therapy, A Discussion

Hello Everyone,

This is something that I thought long and hard about. I don’t see a lot of people talking about this either. I write fanfiction. I used to publish it on AO3, but nowadays it’s private on my laptop. I’ve churned out 350 pages of fanfic month after month, year after year. I share it with no one because my writing desperately needs an editor that doesn’t require lots of money I don’t have. Writing fanfiction (mostly Avengers fanfics) I have found it actually helped relax me, and find out things about myself that I hadn’t realized before. Now granted, I know this isn’t for everyone. But for me this is a great stress relief and gets me to keep writing and focusing on practicing world building and characterization and things like that. Win win.

I’m not going to share my fanfiction with anyone any time soon, but I will note that it’s super easy to write out five hundred pages and counting of fanfic in two, three months. But when it comes to original worlds it suddenly becomes impossible to do that. Each word is a fight. Each page is a battle. But still I press on. I’m not a published author. I tried self publishing exactly once and it was a dismal failure. So writing continues to remain a personal therapy choice. (I also do art. I sketch!)

Here’s a pro tip: writing fanfiction mostly for yourself? Helps you to become a better writer and makes your blog writing more relaxed and easy. You know how to write. You’ve researched, you edit along the way, you get really into details and you find a voice people either like or don’t like. Writing fanfiction also doesn’t have to be a thousand pages, it can be short stories. It can be anything you want it to be. But so long as you write.

Writing as Therapy as helped me a bit but a real therapist would be much better. I’m not suggesting you replace writing for a real therapist I’m just saying that maybe it can help relieve stress. So long as you can write without your family pestering you lol.

I’d love to know your thoughts about this. And if you’re a fanfic writer, please share your stories in the comments, I’m always up for reading them!

Until next time,

-Pass Me That Book

Discussion: 2022 Bookish Plans and Goals

Hello Everyone,

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!!! I hope this post brings good cheer for all of you, and I also hope you have all met your bookish goals and plans for the year. Myself? I managed to happily complete my Goodreads goal and my kindle goal. 100 books on my kindle and 250 books on my Goodreads challenge.

Image from Pinterest.

My Goals For 2022:

Read more arcs + post reviews.

I very much want to get my Netgalley account down. At the moment this is what I have:

Technically over five hundred books! A lot of these are backlisted. I’m seriously hoping to get down to 200. Which means a crapton of reading.

Manage my Goodreads account and organize it better.

My shelves are a bit of a mess. I’ve tried organizing more this year but I’m struggling to keep it up. I hope to fix it more later in 2022.

Make consistent blog posts + grow content.

I’ve hit 600 followers this year! My goal is to seriously increase that to 1k, and I would love to grow my blog more too with author interviews, blog tours, and a serious increase in book reviews. I did better this year but I really need to work more on all that I just mentioned. Suggestions and ideas are appreciated!

Gain more traction on my blog

This is a minor goal. While it would be great having more followers and seeing my view count soar, I have no idea if that’s going to actually happen. I’m happy at having over 500 followers but still struggling to make a dent in gaining serious attention. I hope that changes next year!

Read more novellas, Tor short fiction, and short stories

I did better with reading novellas, short stories and Tor short fiction this year but I really want to step up my game and read easily triple the amount of what I did this year. There’s a lot of great short stories out there and I feel like I’m missing them! I need to fix that!

Catch up with other bloggers and their posts

One thing I’d love to do is read more of other blogs. I generally am terrible about that but this year I’d like to make more of an effort besides sticking with my top ten favorites, sometimes just my top five! I hope to improve that next year.

Make my book reviews more in-depth

I want to have my book reviews read more than just “this was fast paced” or “strong characters”. I’m hoping to not only write detailed longer reviews that actually tell what the book is about but I also want to add more backlinks, Twitter handles, and make my book reviews read far more smoothly than they do now. I have improved but I’m still not quite there yet.

Have fun!

I miss blogging for fun. I’d like to do that again and not stress over it.

That’s pretty much all I had for my goals of next year, I think. I’ll probably add more because I’m ambitious but also lazy lol. Terrible combination I know. What goals do you have? Let me know in the comments!

Until next time,

-Pass Me That Book

An Obvious Way to Read More Books: A Discussion

Hello Everyone,

It seems lately that a lot of my close relatives and friends can’t find the time to read. They don’t want to either, but at the same time they do. It’s a weird reading slump and I have felt a huge reading slump this past year making me take an almost year long blogging hiatus.

How did I fix it?

Simple answer-I didn’t. I still feel that slump wanting to push it’s way back into my life. I adore reading but the past year it was hard. I went from reading to instead focusing on art and gaming. And it’s been a struggle coming back to reading.

I managed to get my act together a few months back and now I’m reading anything from one to two books a day. How?

Easy.

I have no social life…lol, no I’m serious. I have few friends as I’m primarily an introvert. I like being alone with my books and my pets. I like tea more than coffee and I like not being on social media countless hours of the day because god is that stressful.

My main reasons and explanations as to how I read so much probably might help you…if you’re willing to meet this halfway:

°No more games. At least not countless hours of games. Schedule your gaming time responsibly. It will help, I promise.

°No more YouTube. Again, get off social media. Unless it’s research or homework or tied in with growing your blog? Bye-bye Twitter and YouTube and Discord.

°Make a Reading Schedule trust me! This will definitely help you read more! Make sure you put in at least two hours minimum for your reading time and you can easily knock out those tbrs.

°Focus on the good books. Dnf as you need to. Believe me, it took me a bit to actually get in the habit of dnf’ing books I truly wasn’t liking or enjoying. If you have to read it for school, that’s one thing. But don’t continue a book that you really aren’t enjoying and dnf it. It’s okay. Really.

°Pick small books. If you want to read more books consider picking small books that have been on your tbr for agessssss. Small books can easily increase the amount of books you’ve read for the month. And also? Novellas count! So do graphic novels and comics! Just read something!

°Have fun. Don’t stress about your tbr. Seriously. This is all about reading for fun. Enjoy what you’re doing and take reviews seriously in making sure they are spell checked and all but you gotta have fun doing this too. Don’t be so stressed out about blogging and statistics in being famous. Remember about reading just for pure pleasure? Do that again.

°Make your family leave you alone for a couple hours. Ask politely for your family/friends to get back to you later. You need downtime and you need to handle up on your own comfy cozy setting for a while. Rest. Relax. You deserve it.

°Make sure all chores are done. Get things in the house handled and phone calls done before diving into a book. It’ll help in the long run-trust me.

°Pick a room and shoo everyone away. Distraction doesn’t help in terms of reading. I know, believe me.

°Make sure you have a drink/snack. Even if it’s a small book, or something else entirely snacks and a drink are a necessity so that you don’t have to get up for that later. I generally have a glass of tea with me and some chocolate!

I do hope all of that helps in your getting more books read. I know it seems like a lot of sacrifice but the payout is worth it, in reading more and therefore learning more too. If you have suggestions for more tips in reading more, please let me know in the comments! Or if you have questions, I’m open for chatting on Twitter @Lovesteandbook.

Until next time,

-Pass Me That Book