7 Reasons Why You Should Be Reading Books

Click on the pic below to check out my top 7 reasons to read books :)7-Reasons-Why-You-Should-Be-Reading-Books-1024x1024

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15 Day Book Blogger Challenge | Days 6

I was going through some old blog posts and realized I never finished this challenge! How negligent of me!

(Actually, truth be told, I just got super busy :P).

But how’s about picking it up again even though it’s several months removed?

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[6] Describe how you shop for books.

So I have these wish lists on Amazon, see, and I have my books organized in several lists by genre or author.  On payday, I peruse through my lists and select a title or two or three…or four and purchase!  I also shop at Thriftbooks.com and sometimes find better prices on books I don’t mind buying used. I also love, love, love shopping at physical book stores. I could spend hours browsing the stacks.

How do you buy books?

You can check out my other posts for this challenge here:

Day 1

Day 2

Days 3, 4, & 5

The Count of Monte Cristo Read-Along Begins!

I can’t believe October has arrived!  You know what that means?  It means that tomorrow we start reading Dumas’ classic, The Count of Monte Cristo!  And I don’t now about you, but I’m really looking forward to it!  

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Since we’ve got two months to read this hefty book, I’ve divided the reading into two parts:

October – Chapters 1-59

November – Chapters 60-118

This will keep me motivated and on point as I squeeze my reading into my busy schedule.  I can read about two and a half-ish chapters a day and finish with a bit of breathing room which I will desperately need!  Feel free to read as your schedules allow you! No pressure :).

I’ll post a halfway report at the end of October and then a full review at the end of the read-along as well as bi-monthly check-ins so ya’ll can post your comments about how you’re getting along!!

I received comments on my announcement this past summer from those of you who were wanting to participate.  I’d love for you to comment here and let me know if you’re still on board!  Or perhaps you are just finding out about the read-along and are thinking of joining.  Glad to have you as well!  Anyone can jump in at anytime, as long as you finish the book by the 29th of November.

I’m thinking about a giveaway. . . details to follow ;).

So, without further ado, let the reading begin! . . . Um tomorrow that is!

Happy reading!!

15 Day Book Blogger Challenge | Day 1

Found this challenge on a fellow blogger’s site and thought it looked like fun!  The original post can be found at Good Books Good Wine.

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[1] Make 15 book related confessions:

  1. I love, love, love the way my books look all lined up in their bookcases.
  2. I, for real, spend a considerable amount of time shopping used books online, comparing prices, editions, and conditions.
  3. When it comes to my material possessions, I’m pretty much worth the clothes in my closet and the books on my shelves. Considering the fact that I shop used/thrift 7 times out of 10, the resale value is pennies on the dollar.
  4. If all the money I’ve spent on library fines could be refunded to me. . . let’s just say I could buy a good many books from my Amazon wish lists and still have money left over to treat myself to dinner.
  5. I get physically giddy when walk into Barnes & Noble.
  6. I bring a book with me everywhere even if I know I may not get a chance to read it.
  7. I’m building a collection of all my favorite children’s books.
  8. I do judge books by their cover.  Just sayin’.
  9. I do love my Kindle Paperwhite but when all is said and done, I’m a hardcover kinda’ reader.
  10. I feel sorry for people who don’t enjoy reading.
  11. I know I might get grief for this one and I know the genre is an artistic one in it’s right but when someone says they read a comic book I still don’t consider it the same thing as reading a regular book.
  12. Gilbert Blythe is ten times better in the book than in the movies.  Don’t get me wrong, he’s amazing in the movies, there’s just more of him to love in the books!
  13. I heard they’re making John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars into a movie and I’m nervous they’re going to get Hazel and Augustus all wrong…
  14. Reading outside of my intellectual comfort zone is such a thrilling experience!
  15. I think people underestimate the power of the written word.

Have you any bookish confessions to make?  It’s quite a fun exercise, you should give it a go!

This post is linked up HERE.

Happy reading, y’all!

Questions for the Book Lover

This questionnaire was originally posted by Hero @ Heroic Endeavors but I found it on Kelli’s blog, She Learns As She Goes.  I love quizes & questionnaires so I thought I’d try it out too :).  Here we go!

Do you snack while you read?

Sometimes.  If I do, it’s usually popcorn :)

What’s your favorite drink while reading?

I love the herbal coffee Teeccino.  I put almond milk, sugar, and vanilla syrup in it and it’s super delish!  Of course, when it’s too hot outside for a hot drink, I love homemade lemonade.

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Do you tend to mark your books as you read, or does the idea of writing in books horrify you?

It kind of does horrify me even though I read somewhere that it’s good to write in your books.  The only book I mark in is my Bible.  Wait, that’s not true, I mark all over my textbooks if I own them.  But beyond that, I do not highlight or write in the margins of my books.  If I want to remember something, I put a sticky tab or note on the page and write on that.

How do you keep your place while reading a book?

I use bookmarks.  My neighborhood library, when I was growing up, always had bookmarks at the front desk and I would get a new one every time I visited.  I still have a handful of those bookmarks and they’re super nostalgic and homey and sweet.  I do pick up new bookmarks every now and again at bookstores or libraries.  I do want some of those monogrammed ones….

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Are you the type of person who tends to read to the end of the chapter, or can you stop anywhere?

I can stop anywhere.  I’d prefer to finish a chapter in one sitting but it’s just not realistic.  I snatch time to read in bits and pieces.

Are you the type of person to throw a book across the room or onto the floor if the author irritates you?

Is the author irritating me or the storyline?  Because it depends.  Gone with the Wind irritated me but I stuck through it.  I’ll only quit on a book if the writing isn’t clear, the arguments are bogus or I get bored with a weak storyline.  But to answer the question, haha, no I have yet to throw a book across a room.

If you come across an unfamiliar word, do you look it up right away?

I usually just figure it out by the context.  Lately, I’ve been writing down cool or unusual words to look up later.  I’m usually too lazy to stop and look words up in a dictionary.

What are you currently reading?

  • The Bible
  • Christ’s Object Lessons by Ellen White
  • Of Thee I Zing by Laura Ingraham
  • Les Miserables by Victor Hugo
  • On Writing Well: What Every Blogger Needs to Know by Denise J. Hughes

Yeeaah.  I’m not one to read just one book at a time :P.

What is the last book you bought?

1776 by David McCullough.  It’s list price is $32.00. I bought it on Amazon for $0.01 + &3.99 for S&H.  Aw yeah, babe, I was a happy camper!

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Do you have a favorite time/place to read?

I can read anytime and almost anywhere but I especially like reading curled up in bed or on the couch or armchair.

Do you prefer series books or stand alone?

I love both :).

Is there a specific book you find yourself recommending over and over?

I usually match book to person but I have recommended Crazy Love by Francis Chan several times, as well as Authentic Beauty by Leslie Ludy.

How do you organize your books?

I’m real specific about my books.  I sort by genre and then by height.  I’m not all alphabetical with my library, I prefer my books to look good on my shelves.

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That was lovely!  Feel free to fill in this little questionnaire, and leave me a comment and link so I can check out your answers :).  I will be linking mine to Kelli’s post.

Y’all have a blessed Friday :)

audio vs. hard copy: how do you read?

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With all this reading and book reviewing I’ve been doing will will be doing, there is a question that I’ve never quite been able to answer for myself:

I still haven’t decided whether or not I count audiobooks I’ve listened to as books I’ve read.

Part of me says yes and part of me says no.  I’ve been an audio bookworm for years and still haven’t settled that in my head.  I just think reading and listening are two different things.  Or has reading become the all-purpose term for taking in information from a book?  Whether you physically hold the book in your hands or your parents read it to you before bed or you pop the tape into your player doesn’t matter, but rather that you are taking in the story or information that the author penned.  It certainly sounds better to say, “Oh yeah I read that book awhile ago,” instead of “Yeah I listened to that on tape once.” (Okay, I know books-on-tape are so very antiquated, but you get my meaning!) Often, after I’ve finished an audiobook, I’ll want to get my hands on a physical copy so I can read it and pick up on anything I might have missed.  This is usually the case with non-fiction titles.  However, I don’t hesitate too much to say that I’ve read a novel I’ve only listened too.

I don’t know.

I know I’m probably over-thinking this :P.

What do y’all think?  How do you read?  Which do you prefer?  Do you consider audiobooks and hard copies equals?

Y’all have a blessed day =)

Image courtesy of africa/Freedigitalphotos.net

2013 Audio Book Challenge

I stuck the button on my sidebar last week but never posted about the 2013 Audio Book challenge! I’ve mentioned before that I’ve been an avid audio book listener since young childhood. When I saw this challenge, I absolutely had to join ;).

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It’s quite simple really.  Participants choose a level and listen their way through the year!  Here are the different levels:

  • Flirting-Listen to 6 Audio Books
  • Going Steady- Listen to 12 Audio Books
  • Lover- Listen to 25 Audio Books
  • Married-Listen to more than 25 Audio Books
  • You Define the Relationship- Create your own challenge (choose your own name and level starting as low or going as high as you’d like)

I have chosen Lover, level 3.  I wouldn’t be surprised if I end up listening to more than 25 books but we shall see!

If you’re an audio bookworm and would like to join in the fun, click here for full details!!

read along tuesdays, thursday edition

I’ve been trying to write this post for the past couple of days and I’m determined to get through it today!  Here’s the Thursday edition of Read Along Tuesdays :P.

I figured that since the year began on a Tuesday, I’d do weekly post every Tuesday and talk a little bit about what I’ve read in the Bible that week.  Yeeeeeeah.  As one might imagine, commenting on scripture is a whole different ball game than commenting on any other book!  Where do I begin to talk about Adam & Eve and Cain & Abel and Methuselah and Noah and Abraham & Sarah and Lot and Isaac and Ishmael and Hagar…?  So much is covered in these 27 pages!  So many lessons to be learned.  So much to absorb and  ponder over.

I haven’t yet determined how brief or in-depth my comments will be in the future, but for today, I’ll keep it short and sweet. First of all, WOW. When I tried to read the Bible last year, I don’t think I even made it this far. Now that I’m actually taking the time to sit and read and not just pick off passages for reference purposes or hearing a verse during morning and evening devotions, but actually reading through and building on context and the various happenings, it’s such a rewarding experience. The Bible is just a super cool book! There are no two ways about it, God’s Word is awesome!! And because it’s His word, there’s something wonderful that happens to your soul when you’re reading it. It’s a calm and an inspiration you don’t get from any other reading, that you’re not meant to get from any other reading! As inspiring as other great writing can be, these words, inspired by the very Creator of the universe, capture human heart in a way that can only be realized in the reading of them. It’s truly a beautiful thing!

As a Christian, to me the Bible isn’t just a great work of ancient literature (cause it is that), it’s not just a collection of interesting, sometimes heartbreaking or humorous, stories (cause it is that), it’s not just a great text on history (cause it is that), it’s not just an authority on the sciences (cause it is that), it’s not just philosophy, psychology, sociology or even religion, (cause it’s all of those too).  The Bible is the living, breathing, ever relevant Word of God.  From “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” in Genesis to “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.” in Revelation, God reveals His heart.  How can I deny myself the pleasure of drawing nearer to the heart of God?  The very idea that God even cares that much about me to condescend to give my this letter of His love brings tears to my eyes.

That’s why I’m going to make it through this year in His word.  I’m finally committing to this way of getting to know my loving heavenly Father.  And I’m relishing every moment of it!

Okay, so I didn’t comment on anything I read.  I was just basking the utter coolness of the Bible.

I’ll pick it up next Tuesday :)

Y’all have a blessed day!

tbr 2013

2013tbrpilechallWriters and bookworms alike have stacks and lists of books they want and/or need to read but can never seem to tackle. Well, I happen to be one such writer/bookworm!  So this year, I’ve decided to join the 2013 TBR Pile Challenge, hosted by Adam at Roof Beam Reader.

The goal is to complete 12 books from your “To Be Read” list by the end of 2013. You can check out the official rules here. BUT HURRY!  The sign-up deadline is January 5th!  Adam has graciously extended the deadline due to the challenge’s popularity and the hustle and bustle of the holiday season!!

So here goes TBR 2013!!

  1. The Pilgrim’s Progress//John Bunyan
  2. The Count of Monte Cristo//Alexandre Dumas
  3. The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin
  4. The Narrative of Fredrick Douglass
  5. Of Thee I Zing//Laura Ingraham
  6. 1776//David McCullough
  7. Single Men are Like Waffles – Single Women are Like Spaghetti: Friendship, Romance, and Relationships that Work//Bill and Pam Ferrel
  8. The Narcissism Epidemic: Living in the Age of Entitlement//Jean M. Twenge & W. Keith Campbell
  9. Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything//Steven D. Levitt & Stephen J. Dubner
  10. The Dumbest Generation: How the Digital Age Stupefies Young Americans and Jeopardizes Our Future(Or, Don’t Trust Anyone Under 30)//Mark Bauerlein
  11. A Return to Modesty: Discovering the Lost Virtue//Wendy Shalit
  12. Generation Me: Why Today’s Young Americans Are More Confident, Assertive, Entitled–and More Miserable Than Ever Before//Jean M. Twenge

Alternates:

  1. Redeeming Love//Francis Rivers
  2. Teen 2.0//Robert Epstein

What do you plan to read this year?

in which i ramble about the writer’s manifesto

I have a problem.

A serious problem.

And I’m going to confront it right now.

My ailment manifests itself in daydreams.  Wonderful dreams where my name graces the cover of a book or at the beginning of a magazine article.  You know what I’m talking about?  Those of you who are writers and bloggers can relate, I’m sure.  You sit in front of your computer screen trying to crank out clever copy and slowly, your mind wanders off and you fantasize about what it’d be like to be read.  To have your words devoured by a famished reader somewhere afar off.  Then you look at the few lonely sentences on your screen.  How utterly depressing!  You begin dreaming again.  Someday someone is going to read your work.  And they’ll love it!

Oi, oi, oi!  This is dangerous!  I spend so much time thinking about being read, I never get any real writing done!  *hand on forehead* Erg! It’s a rather frustrating place to be cause all that’s waiting to be written kind of piles up inside and clogs up my creativity.

Then I found The Writer’s Manifesto.

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It’s like it was written just for me.  Don’t you love it when you read something and you’d swear it was written just for you?  Like when I’m sitting in church and feel like the pastor is speaking directly to me?  Or when I’m reading the Word and it’s like God hand picked the verses I needed to read that day.  And I know He does that cause that’s how cool He is :D.

But I digress.  Jeff Goins’ ebook, The Writer’s Manifesto is exactly what I needed to read.  In it, he tells writers to “Stop writing to be read and adored.”

It was like having a bucket of cold water sloshed in your sleep-weary face.  WHA!?!  My purpose as a writer is really more like my…ulterior motive?  You mean the less I care about being read, the better I’ll become at actually writing?  Exactly.

Someone inside my brain just went, “Duh, Elyssa!”

Okay, it sounds simple, but until you let it slap you in the face a couple of times, it’s easier said than done.  Who doesn’t want to be admired and appreciated for their work?  That’s what every artist wants right?  Well yes…and no.  Perhaps what every true artist desires is simply the room and freedom to create.  To express what’s dearest to their hearts regardless of who listens or reads!

Give me a moment while I let that sink in…

So now that begs the question: Am I writing just to write?  Or do I actually have something to say?

More cold water in the face.  *splutter splutter*

Of course I have something to say!  I always have something to say!  Be it poetic or prosy, a writer has something they want to say to the world.

Well that’s just hearts and flowers but when you’re as painfully punctilious as I am and you want that perfect copy the first or second time around, you don’t allow yourself the beautiful mess of experimentation.  Another draft.  And another.  And another.  Man this writing stuff is hard work!  I already have to work hard to finish my degree.  Who has time to sit around and sweat over word choices and sentence structure?  Who has time to experiment with creativity?  I want to be good at this now.

So I daydream.  I dream that someday, somehow I’ll get there.  And I’ll be read and adored.

(I have time to dream, but not to write.  Cause that makes perfect sense…o.O)

This, then, begs further questioning.  Is what I have to say worth fighting for?

*splutter cough splutter*

Am I willing to work hard at saying it the best way possible?

*splutter cough cough splutter* Enough with the cold water already!

After some consideration, and second reading of the The Writer’s Manifesto, the answer is a resounding YES!  I do have something to say and I am going to work hard to put it into words!

*sigh of relief*

The fact that Jeff Goins wrote this piece proves that I’m not an oddball.  Turns out there are other more-than-slightly distracted writers out there and we all need a shove in the right direction…and maybe a little cold water in the face!  Phew!

So where, you may ask, can you check out this wonderful little piece?  Easy.  Just click here.  You can sign up for Jeff’s newsletter updates by e-mail and get a free copy of The Writer’s Manifesto (that’s what I did ^.^), or you can purchase a copy for $0.99 on Amazon  for your Kindle or Barnes & Noble for your Nook.

December’s all about organization in my life.  This is one place that needs some shaping up. This ebook is short and sweet and the perfect place for me to start ^.^.

Y’all have a blessed day =)

And check out Jeff’s blog, Jeff Goins, Writer. He’s got some great stuff!!