With the New Year just around the corner, it is time to pull out your planners for tracking your TBRs and reading challenges for 2021. Here are some bullet journals spread ideas for book lovers to organize your reading schedule.
I love lists and planners. But as someone with minimal artistic talent, I totally suck at bullet journaling (or BuJo). Of course, that doesn’t stop me from drooling over these amazing bullet journal set ups over Instagram. How about you?
I usually have a hard time choosing my next read, often. Having a reading list for the month or week, or even the year would be a great idea for your reading bullet journal set up. These are some of the ones that I loved for your inspiration.
Tracking your reads
How do you track what your reading habits? I do so on notion and excel but BuJo spreads are much more fun and interesting, especially if you are artistically inclined. Here are some bullet journal set ups to help you track what you read during the month.
Know your reading habits
I love being able to look at how my reading style and habits have been over the year or month. Bullet journals can help to do just that too.
Like many other trends, I joined Instagram for books and reading a bit later than everyone else. I genuinely thought it was another platform that bookworms, among other people, use to procrastinate while the books in their TBR shelves collected dusts. (Am I wrong or am I wrong?)
I joined the bandwagon with much innate skepticism, thanks to the peer pressure and the allure of getting more free books to review from the publishers. Let us face it, we bookworms are all greedy for free books!
And boy, am I a convert! From someone who didn’t even have the Instagram app on her phone, I have become a person I hardly recognize – especially when I took 25 minutes to buy a coffee mug, which is now visible on every alternate photo I post on Instagram. It just not that.
Bookstagram has changed so many things for me including my reading habits. Oh let me tell you how!
Positive Changes –Instagram for books
Finding book clubs and more discussions
Thanks to Bookstagram, I met some amazing people online and one thing lead to another. And BAM! I am now a member of four book clubs in Instagram that are actually active.
We have book of the month, and most of us religiously read and DISCUSS them, which is what I was craving for like any book worm would.
Keeping up with the challenges
I have always been meaningto read more classics and revisit the novels of the queen of mystery Dame Agatha Christie. And while on Instagram I found the book clubs that have members who want to do that as well, and that has helped me keep up my resolution.
I have read seven Agatha Christie books and six classics since joining the group in 2019, which is quite a feat for me. But all thanks to reading Instagram and the book clubs that keep me on my toes.
Understanding the importance of representation
I cannot stress enough how much I depend on social networks on keeping me updated with the current state of affairs and issues. As someone who is living out here in the deserts of Dubai, I need all the help I can get.
Bookstagram and Twitter are the sole reasons that I have been finding out diverse representation in books. Without them I would not have known what to look for and mainly why they matter. I am still learning y’all!
Reading more regularly and rigorously
I am generally a mood reader which means I either read ten books a month or read nothing for the next two months. And choosing which book to read next usually took a lot of time in general. It still does. But joining bookstagram helped me keeping track of what I read and updating my reading progress regularly has made me more accountable.
Having to talk about books on a schedule has made me read more rigorously and regularly. I think the pressure(?) that the bookstagram schedules has been putting on me and it works well on me.
Falling for the book covers
I think I was one of those rare bookworms that never gave a second thought about the book covers. Especially since I have a weird habit of not reading the synopsis (or blurb) before reading the book, I didn’t really take much time to appreciate the beautiful cover of the book.
Then bookstagram happened. Now the first thing I see about a book is the cover. I appreciate the designs, fonts and colors of the cover lot more and I am enjoy doing that.
Reading more Young Adult books
Bookstagram plays a huge role in the books I read and since the young adult books are the most popular ones I have been picking a lot of them recently.
It is a good thing because I don’t usually reach out for them and they are a great alternative to the classics and mystery novels that I read for the book clubs. Also because YA is where most representations and current issues are being addressed currently.
Negative Changes –Instagram for books
Looking out for popular book
Let’s face it. At the end of the day it is the numbers that matter, even in Bookstagram. And it may not come as surprise that posting about popular books is inevitable to gain popularity and engagement.
So I have been reading so many popular books of late, many that I wouldn’t have if it hadn’t been for Bookstagram. Not that I haven’t enjoyed them nor all of them were bad, but I am sure I could have spent the time better, knocking off some book of my TBR list.
I hope sincerely that more Bookstagrammers started posting about books from Own voices, POC authors and independent publishers as well, which is becoming rare due to all the number games.
The feeling of being left out
Continuing the above theme, I have come to realize that ‘doing our own thing’ is more difficult with Instagram than book blogging.
I generally do not read much of fantasy and SciFi genres and they constitute almost half the new releases these days. So it is kinda inevitable but to feel left out seeing all these beautiful books that I might never read.
It is really a short ride from the fear of missing out to feeling guilty about the reading choices.
Giving in to the schedule pressure
I am trying so hard not to do this and I hope the day never comes, that my Instagram feed will consist of so many books that I never have read before.
The pressure of having a schedule and the need to talk about new books shouldn’t end up in just adding a picture and not forget the existence of the book.
Yes I know I have a lot of them currently on my shelf but I hope Bookstagram doesn’t add more to that bunch.
Giving up lesser known books
We book bloggers want it all. We want to read so many books in so little time. The cost of reading the most popular books comes at missing out the other great ones.
I sometimes miss giving in to the mood and picking a random book off the shelf. And the pleasure of buying never heard of books based on the quirky title off a second hand books shop.
Are you on Instagram for books and reading and more importantly, are you following me? And has it affected your reading habits at all, or is it just me? I would love to hear from you, in the comment section. Let us talk.
You have just finished reading a book. Now what? Why not write a book review on your own blog or other sites, so that the author and the other readers might benefit from it? Here is a quick guide on how to write book reviews to help other readers decide whether they should read the book or not.
Also if you are already a book blogger, you might have heard that the book review posts do not get much engagement from other bloggers, and that might be putting you off from writing more book reviews. If it is so, this guide can help you on creating a format so that you wont have to spend too much time on writing book reviews.
How to write book reviews
So here is how you can write book reviews in a way that it will be useful for your readers and yet you can write them fast.
Again, writing them quickly doesn’t mean you can do a half baked job. Having a template ensures that you will not miss out on any important detail from your review post.
Write a short introduction to the book
You might start with all the relevant details like
Author name and link to their website
Their other books
the name of the publisher
the year of publication
ISBN or ASIN of the book
Genre of the book
Target age group
Do not forget to include the book cover and link to the purchase page.
Keep the plot short and spoiler free
Instead of copying the plot summary from the blurb or Goodreads, summarize the plot in your words. And keep it short and to the point.
Most importantly keep it spoiler free, because you are trying to get the reader pick the book (or not, depending on the review) and giving away the plot is not the right way to do it.
Add the relevant disclosure
If you have added any affiliate links like Amazon, B&N in the post, please mention that to avoid the legal issues.
This site contains affiliate links to products. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.
Mention if you received the book received the copy from author or publisher for reviewing.
Any books, products, or compensation received in exchange for review or promotion will be clearly stated in individual posts. This does not affect my opinion; opinions expressed are honest and entirely my own.
Also mark as spoiler if your review has anything that might be considered spoiler to the book you are reviewing. We do not want to spoil others
Add your rating and explain your scale
After the disclosure and before starting your detailed review, add your rating for the book. It can either be a number scale (say, 3/5) or a pictorial representation showing the rating, like many other bloggers do.
Either way ensure it is visible distinctly as soon as the readers open the page. Insert a sidebar text box explaining what your rating scale means, say
5/5 – Wow, favorite book
4/5 – great, would recommend!
3/5 – good but can be better
2/5 – It was ok, wouldn’t miss it if I had not read
1/5 – it was so bad that want my time back
Also, rating a book on your blog is not absolutely important. Here is my stand on why I do not rate books on my blog.
Pen down your personal thoughts
Here comes the main part of your review – writing down your thoughts on the book.
Make the review personal and tell your readers about how did the book make you feel. Or be objective and talk only about the positives and negatives of the book. Your choice.
Here are somethings that you can talk about in your review
Character development of the protagonists
Character development of the side characters
Main plot and the sub plots
Did you see the twists coming?
Author’s writing in terms of the style, pace etc
Representation, if any
Triggers, if any
Conclude with a strong summary of whether you recommend the book or not. You can mention the specific set of people who may enjoy the book or should avoid the book.
Other sections that you can include in your review
Pointers on what you liked or disliked in the book
Quotes from the book
Relevant GIFs and images to convey your emotions
You can mention other books that might be similar to the book you are reviewing.
Add links to Goodreads book page, if you are not adding purchase links.
I hope this guide helped you in knowing how to write book reviews. If you are looking for some inspirations, take a look at some of my newer reviews.
Do you like writing book reviews? Or do you feel it is not worth the time spend on writing the book reviews? Do you prefer emotional or analytical book reviews when it comes to deciding whether to read a book or not? Let us talk.
Happy new year 2020 y’all. I am not sure if it is still cool to talk about “New Year, New me” but I am always excited for a chance to start new. Yes, I am that kid that would try to buy entire set of stationery after every summer break. Of course, never worked, thanks to my desi parents.
Coming back to the topic, I get too excited for each new year and make elaborate plans. The planning process may start well in advance, say in October sometimes.
You do know how weird we, bookworms, usuallyoften sometimes are right? Not all people are suited for the book nerd life but as much as we put up with the muggles in our life, they do with us. So I am gonna write up a quick list about the weird things bookworms do.
Maybe it will make their lives easier, and they will not have to worry every time you burst into tears because a character died. Or complain about your massiveness of TBR list or lack of shelving space for your books when you had just bought a shelf two months ago.
Ten weird things that probably definitely bookworms do in life
10) Bookworms hoard books everywhere
Do I even have to explain more? Despite being on a self imposed book ban for a while now and the fact that the majority of my books are still in India, books are definitely everywhere in the small one bedroom apartment that I currently live in.
Just to dissuade myself from the book buying spree I avoided getting a book shelf for a long time here, and then got the smallest Ikea floating shelf. Well, I should not have even attempted that. Now my books are on the vanity table, coffee table, bed side table, the bed and every other flat surface of the house.
TL;DR: Be prepared to be taken over by our books. Also don’t buy the small shelves, even if we say it would be enough. IT IS NEVER ENOUGH.
9) Bookworms can read anywhere
Running late for your meet up? Don’t worry about your bookworm, they will be reading a book just at a corner. They maybe angry at you but still they won’t fret much because they will a book or two or ten handy to read while they wait for you.
Be it a holiday, a date, a party or even a movie, we are bringing our books and the Kindle with us. Do not attempt to stop us.
8) We complain about our never ending TBR list
If you are new to the bookish world, TBR means To Be Read and any sensible bookworm will have a long ass list of books they ought to read some day in the future. Usually the list is long enough for them survive without having to talk to any other human until the apocalypse.
And of course, we are gonna complain about the number of books waiting to be read and how we do not have space to hoard stack the books. Get used to it, for your own safety.
7) We do not stop buying books
Despite the space issue and the number of unread books, we are never gonna stop buying books. And we will visit the library often, even borrow books from other friends. And you would think all these would reduce our book hauls.
But you would be wrong. We are bookworms and book shopping is what we do.
6) And multiple copies of the same book!
Okay this is a truly weird one. But TRUE!
Many of us buy multiple copies of the same book sometimes. There have been times I loved the e-copy of a book so much that I ended up buying the physical format just to savor them again.
And I know of other bookworms who buy a paperback and a cloth bound and/or hardback because we love owning pretty things. We are humans, too!
5) Adaptations are scary and exciting
Every time a movie or television adaptation of a book I love is announced I am scream with excitement and then cower with fear. It is almost akin to risking to lose someone special.
What if they change the storyline? What if they massacre the character arc or just cut off an entire character? I mean the fears are real. But if and when the movie hits the screen and it turns out to be good, our excitement has no bounds.
We will be right with you telling how it was in the book, while watching it.
Again we can’t help ourselves, YOU need to be more understanding.
4) We will totally judge what you read
We may tell you that it is great as long as you read, no matter what. But you may not have noticed that we had our fingers crossed.
We will totally, truly and repeatedly judge you based on what you read.
Maybe not in a bad way, but we size up your interests, taste and preferences on everything else based on your taste in books. Basically we are using books to typecast you. It may sound wrong, but it is mostly not.
I give up, it is something we should not be doing. But we do.
3) Measure time and distance in terms of books
Did I say we judge a person based on the books and it sounded totally wrong? Well, this may soften the blow. We use books as denomination to measure time and distance as well.
How far is the next metro station? Oh it is close by, I read just one chapter in The Bell Jar.
Do you wanna go to that party? I can finish reading a whole book instead.
Well, you see how it goes?
2) Recommending books
Bookworms read a lot of books. They discuss a lot about them. Their whole life is consumed by books. So of course they can recommend you a book when you ask of them.
That is where you are wrong.
Bookworms simply can’t recommend A BOOK. They give you a list of books that you should read and why you should read them all. And then follow up with the things that you should watch out for while reading each of them. And then opens the book for you and reads along with you.
Okay now you would have realized that you may have made a mistake.
1) Do not ask to choose favorites
I repeat. DO NOT ask a bookworm to choose a favorite author or favorite book.
More often than not, they would be so overwhelmed that they forget their name. There are so many thousands of books to be read, hundreds of books they have read, hundreds that they are hoarding and you ask them to choose one? STOP IT!
If it were up to us, the bookworms, every book would have a great plot and well written. But sadly that is not the case! And we come across some not so great books often and a few even test our sanity.