How I Take Notes While Reading / My annotation Guide

Back in 2018, I wrote a post talking about how I annotate my books. I looked back on that post and realized that it definitely needs to be updated because I no longer follow pretty much any of the things I said in that post.

Over the year, my annotations went from being super colorful, with different colored pens/highlighters, sticky tabs, and more. Now, the only things I use are a black pen and yellow sticky notes.

Before I get into the specifics of how I annotate currently, I want to mention that there is nothing wrong with the colorful, intricate system of annotating. It just personally doesn’t work for me. If you like that, then maybe my older system will work better for you!

Anyway, let’s get into the post!

Symbols:

* First up is the asterisk—also known as my favorite symbol! I use this symbol probably the most when annotating. Basically, I use it to mark the quotes that I really relate to. When a character says something that I really connect with, I want to make sure I remember it, so when I flip through the book, I can find these marks easily.

! Exclamation points are used to highlight important parts in the story. This relates mainly to big plot points, foreshadowing, cliffhangers, etc. Anything big that happens, I keep track of it with this!

[ ] / __ If there are any specific quotes I like in a story, I usually mark them by underlining them. If I really like the quote, I underline it and put an asterisk next to it! When there is character description, world building, etc., I mark it by putting it in brackets!

? Whenever I’m confused by any part in a story, I put a question mark next to it. Sometimes this could be a word that I don’t know the definition to (so I’ll go back & look it up), or I just can’t understand an entire section (this is more common when I’m reading older classics). Other times, I am just confused by why a character did something, so I’ll put a ton of question marks next to the passage.

:) / :( The last symbol I use is smiley faces. If a character does something cute, or there is a happy moment in the story, I put a smiley face. On the other hand, if there is a sad moment, I put a sad face! This mark is pretty self-explanatory.

Writing I write down any quick thoughts I have about a book in the margins, directly onto the page. Usually, this consists of one or two words like “aw” or “I love him.” I’ve even written things like “LOL” or “OMG.” Sometimes I have a bit more to say, but usually I use this as a quick way to capture some of my thoughts.

Post It Notes:

I use yellow post it notes to write down any longer thoughts that I have, if I can’t fit them in the margin of the page. Usually, these are the specific things I want to mention about a book in a review post.

When I go back to writing my review, I refer back mainly to these post-its!

What if I’m not reading physically?

The majority of my reading this year has consisted of e-books and audiobooks, so obviously writing in the book is not possible. When this is the case, I literally open up a blank note on my phone, write down the title & author of the book, and then make a bulleted list of things I want to write down.

Sometimes I separate this into a pro/con list, but usually it is just my rambling thoughts as I read.

Here are some examples of that:

That is pretty much it for my note-taking while reading! I would love to hear how you annotate (if you do), so please share any of your methods or systems down in the comments.

I hope you all enjoyed the post & I’ll see you again on Thursday :)

My Favorite Book Adaptations

It’s no secret that the book is *almost always* better than the movie. But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t some really good adaptations! Today I wanted to share a few of my favorites! We’re going to talk about both movies and tv shows, so buckle up and let’s get into it!

Disclaimer– these are not the only good adaptations I’ve seen, but I just wanted to pick a few today! Also, there are some that I have seen but haven’t read the book it’s based off of, so I can’t compare how well they stick to the books.

Movies

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before: First up is one of my favorite book to movie adaptations of all time! I remember watching this movie for the first time and just being in so much awe over how well it was done. It was pretty much exactly as I had pictured the book to be, and it blew my expectations away.

Unfortunately, the second movie just wasn’t at the same quality as this one, but I just pretend it doesn’t exist (oops).

Little Women: This is a pretty popular opinion, so I’m sure you’ve already heard how amazing this movie is. If you haven’t, though, I highly recommend watching it. I felt so fuzzy and warm inside as I was watching it, and it made my heart so happy. I actually read the book after watching the film, which is not common for me, but I have to say, it followed the book pretty well. While I was reading, I kept finding lines that I remember being in the movie, and as I was reading, I could picture the scenes in my mind. In this instance, watching the movie first actually added to my enjoyment, I think.

The Great Gatsby: This is a movie that critics always have negative opinions about, but as simply a CONSUMER of movies and not a critic, I believe that it is phenomenal. When I read the book for the first time in my junior year of high school, it wasn’t until I watched the movie that I thought the book was amazing. Before watching it, I just thought the story was okay.

But the movie brings it to life in a way that made me envision myself living in that time period. I loved the vibes, the aesthetic. I still stand by the belief that it is a great movie.

Bird Box: This was a PHENOMENAL movie adaptation, in my opinion. Although there were definitely some parts that differed from the book, I still really enjoyed it. While I was watching, I definitely felt chills down my spine, as it was so eerie. I actually think I need to rewatch this movie soon, as it was a favorite of mine in 2018, and I haven’t watched it since.

TV Shows/Mini Series

Normal People: This is one of those instances where the movie (or show, in this case) was better than the book, in my opinion. I gave the book 3 stars, but as I watched the show, I fell more and more in love with the story. I just feel like this book translated really well into a cinematic version, and that enhanced my enjoyment of the story. When a tv show can do that, that’s how you know it’s good!

Little Fires Everywhere: This book is a super popular one, and for good reason. And the show was just as incredible. First of all, Kerry Washington and Reese Witherspoon in one show? Amazing. The direction of this show? Also amazing. There were a few changes in this show that I wasn’t completely happy with, but overall I think it was also really well done. It’s probably my favorite tv show adaptation ever, and I will be re-watching it soon.

A Series of Unfortunate Events: I will admit that I never finished reading all of the books in this series. I think I only read the first five or six (out of 13, I think) and stopped. Not because they weren’t good books, but I simply forgot about them because that was back in elementary school when I was mainly getting my books from the library, and also my attention span was not that great and I was always becoming interested in new things.

When I watched the Netflix show, however, I instantly remembered everything I had read in the books. I felt like I was back in fourth grade, picking out these books. It was just so fun and entertaining. I think it was so well done. I have also seen the movie adaptation, and think it is also a really great one! I honestly can’t choose which I like more.

What are some of your favorite adaptations? And what are some that I absolutely need to watch?

I am always looking for new movie/show recs, so please share them with me in the comments!

The Highest Rated Books I’ve Read (According to Goodreads) & My Thoughts

Hello!

For today’s post, I thought it would be fun to take a look at my Goodreads shelves to see what the highest rated books are that I’ve read. I want to compare those ratings to my own ratings, and see if they match up!

I went to my read shelf on Goodreads and ordered it by average rating, starting with the highest! I took the first ten, and now I’m going to see how they compare!

I want to preface this by saying I skipped over the poetry collections (mainly because they were like the first 5 books or so), and I’m not including books by JKR (I no longer want to support her on this platform, not that I ever really have, but still).

Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo- 4.60

My rating- 5 stars

I think it makes a lot of sense for this book to be at the top because it’s the second in a duology. People who read Crooked Kingdom are mostly people who read and enjoyed Six of Crows, so it makes sense for it to have a higher rating.

I definitely enjoyed Crooked Kingdom a lot more than Six of Crows. I think this deserves its place at the top!

Save the Cat! Writes a Novel by Jessica Brody- 4.55

My rating- 5 stars

I recently read this book and I talked about it in a wrap-up already, but I really did love this book. It helped me out with the structure of my outline, and it completely changed the way I view stories now, in the best way possible.

Today Tonight Tomorrow by Rachel Lynn Solomon- 4.55

My rating- 5 stars

So far, all of these ratings match up with my own opinions really well. As many of you know, I read and LOVED this book, which actually comes out today, the day this post is up! If you haven’t already, check out my review because I share all of my feelings there. I really did love this book, though!

Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America by Ibram X. Kendi- 4.54

My rating- 4 stars

This was a really great non-fiction that recounts the history of racism and slavery in the United States. It was a super valuable read for me, and I gave it a high rating! The reason it wasn’t a 5 for me was because I felt like there were some parts that were a little too info-dumpy, and could have been condensed a bit.

Becoming by Michelle Obama- 4.54

My rating- 5 stars

Michelle Obama is one of my favorite people on this planet, and I feel like the majority of the world agrees that she’s incredible. Her memoir is definitely one of my favorites, and I highly recommend picking it up! Her having a high rating is very well-deserved.

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas- 4.52

My rating- 5 stars

Angie Thomas is obviously up on this list, and rightfully so. There was no possible way I could give The Hate U Give anything less than 5 stars, and I’m honestly surprised this one isn’t at the top of this list. Either way, it is a phenomenal piece of art, and if you haven’t read it yet, what are you waiting for?

The Black Flamingo by Dean Atta- 4.51

My rating- 4 stars

This is a novel told in verse and it was so so beautiful. I read it in one day, I believe, because I couldn’t stop listening to it. If you are looking to get more into novels in verse, I suggest picking it up. I gave it 4 stars because I felt like there were some scenes that could have been expanded on a bit more, but overall it was a fantastic read.

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens- 4.48

My rating- 3 stars

We finally have one slightly controversial opinion. I just read Where the Crawdads Sing, and if I’m being completely honest, I did not enjoy it all too much. I found it to be quite boring and not as exciting as everyone made it seem to be.

Don’t get me wrong, the writing was really great, but I just didn’t care for the plot or the characters at all. I personally do not understand why so many people hype it up.

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo- 4.45

My rating- 4 stars

I already talked about this earlier with Crooked Kingdom, but I definitely preferred the second book over Six of Crows. I enjoyed SoC, but for the majority of the book, I was sort of confused by it. I kept getting lost by which character was who, and I honestly didn’t know what was happening until the end of the book.

However, I enjoyed Crooked Kingdom a lot more because I was familiar with the cast and I could actually follow along with the story from the beginning!

All Boys Aren’t Blue by George M. Johnson- 4.45

My rating- 5 stars

We are ending with yet again, a great book. This is a memoir, and I listened to the audiobook, which really brought this story to life for me. I absolutely adored it, and I am hoping to buy a copy for my collection as soon as possible!

If I’m being completely honest, I thought this post would be more interesting because I thought my opinions would be more controversial. However, it seems like my opinions of the books matches the general readerships opinions. These are some well-deserved highly rated books!

Tell me, what did you think of some of these? Are there any that you think shouldn’t have such a high rating?

Books that Disappointed Me

We all get SUPER excited about a book- whether it’s by an author we love, a hyped book by everyone, or just one that sounds like it would be perfect for us. But, you end up being really let down by it because it just didn’t live up to your expectations.

Recently, I’ve been feeling a little underwhelmed by quite a few books, which is why I thought I would share what they were! I decided to pick a few books that fall under these three categories and explain why I felt disappointed by them!

HYPE

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens: This is one that quite literally EVERYONE loves. I have seen it hyped constantly, and when I posted on Instagram that I had started reading it, everyone told me how much they had loved it. I went into it expecting it to be a life-changing book, but I was a little underwhelmed by it. I kept waiting for something more from it, and that just never came. It wasn’t bad, but it just wasn’t as good to me as everyone made it seem.

Where Dreams Descend by Janella Angeles: This book doesn’t come out until next month, and I’m actually going to have a whole review up for it (stay tuned), but I have seen all of the early reviews BUZZING about this book. The cover drew me in initially, and then I heard it was about magicians so I was completely sold. Unfortunately, I found the writing to be a little…off. It felt like pieces of the story were missing, and I was quite lost for a lot of it. I will say, the ~vibe~ of it was so fun, but the actual story wasn’t great, in my opinion.

AUTHOR

Finale by Stephanie Garber: This is one that I was disappointed by because I really enjoyed the first two books in the trilogy. I was SO excited to see how this story would end. Unfortunately, the dual POV in this story just didn’t work for me. I appreciated what Stephanie was trying to do, but it fell really flat.

Save the Date by Morgan Matson: This is one that I know a lot of people will agree on with me- I’ve only read one other Morgan Matson book (The Unexpected Everything), but I loved it. A lot. When I saw a copy of her latest book—SIGNED, too—at Bookcon, I purchased it immediately. But…it was bad, in my opinion. I didn’t feel the same attachment for the characters, and I didn’t care about the story at all. It was all super exaggerated, to the point where I couldn’t enjoy the story.

SYNOPSIS

The Bookish Life of Nina Hill by Abbi Waxman: This book sounded like it would be perfect for me. It was described as a romance about a bookworm, and I really thought I would relate to the character and fall in love with the story. Unfortunately, like the other books in this post, it was not for me. It was not very well developed or structured for me, and there was absolutely no chemistry between the main character and the love interest. I did like Nina’s character, though, I just wish the story dived deeper into different parts than it did.

The Escape Room by Megan Goldin: I don’t read quite as many mystery/thrillers as I would like to, but so far I’d say I’ve been pretty lucky in that most of the ones I have read were really good. That wasn’t the case with this one. I love escape rooms (even though I’ve never done one- the idea just sounds so cool, ok?), so I thought the concept for this book was great. The execution? Not so great. It was just boring, which is quite sad.

Obviously, these are only a handful of books that have disappointed me, so I am curious to know what some of yours were! Do they fall into one of these three categories? Or is there a different one?

Leave a comment letting me know!

Books That Intimidate Me

I have a bookish fear, and that is a fear of long books. I don’t know why, but just seeing them on my shelves stresses me out, and I tend to put them off for a really long time.

Today I thought I would share a list of some of the books on my TBR that are really intimidating to me. If you’ve read and enjoyed them, please let me know! I need all of th encouragement I can get to finally pick these up.

A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara

A Little Life

I just purchased this book recently, and I knew it was going to be a long one. But now that it’s actually in my hands, I am terrified of it. I feel like it will take me a really long time to read, and that is stressing me out.

Luckily, this is one I know that almost everybody loves (despite it being a really sad read), so that is giving me some hope hahaha!

Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

Anna Karenina

Just hearing the name of this book truly gives me nightmares. Not only is it nearly 1000 pages, but it’s also one of those classics that everyone loves. Do you know how intimidating that is?? I feel like the English minor in me HAS to read and love this one.

I mean, the Goodreads synopsis calls it “the world’s greatest novel.” That is a lot of pressure for me. But, in all seriousness, I do think I will enjoy this one!

House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski

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I’ve recently been seeing many people talk about this book, though it has been popular for quite some time now. I’m mostly just intimidated by this one because of its size, but also because of the fact that it is classified as a horror novel.

I’m not one to be spooked too easily by scary books or movies (in fact horror is one of my favorite movie genres), but I do know that quite a few people have said this one has kept them up at night!

Dig. by A.S. King

Dig AS King

A.S. King is one of those authors whose work I know I will love, I just haven’t picked up  yet. I think the reason this one intimidates me is because a lot of bookish people I look up to give this one super high praise.

To most people, this would sound like a good thing, but I am afraid that I won’t love it as much as they do. Which would make me question my entire existence (not to be dramatic or anything).

Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo

Ninth House

This book has been on my TBR since before it was released last year. I’ve owned it since pretty much the first month it came out, but I haven’t yet picked it up because of the mixed reviews it has received.

Some people love it, while others completely hate it. I obviously want to be one of the people who loves it, but that is never guaranteed. It sounds like a book I would really enjoy, but who knows?

A Conjuring of Light by V.E. Schwab

A Conjuring of Light

Finally, the last book on this list is here because not only is it the last book in a trilogy, but it is also the longest one. Reading the last book of a series you’re enjoying is always a little worrying because it can either make or break the entire series for you.

I thought the first two books were great, but what if I hate this one? Then this will be my last impression of the whole thing!! I’ll feel like I wasted my time if I am not satisfied by the ending. But, if I love it, it will make the entire read worth it!

let's chat

What are some books that intimidate you and why? Please let me know in the comments!

Jessica

Series I Need to Finish

One of my goals this year (though it’s one I haven’t talked about much), is finishing as many series that I’ve started as possible. I tend to start series and then either read them all in a matter of days, or I read the first book and never pick up the rest.

I currently have 8 series in progress*, which is a little stressful because I don’t know when I’ll ever get to them…hahaha…it’s fine.

*ps- there are other series I’ve started, but I’m not interested in continuing them.

The Diviners by Libba Bray

I am actually finishing this series up soon- I am on the third book right now, and I am waiting for my hold of the final book (The King of Crows) to come in from the library! I had the first book on my TBR for a really long time, but I finally got to it in February, and I’ve been making my way through ever since.

I really love it, and I’m so happy that I have almost completed it, though I’ll be sad to leave the world behind soon.

The Conquerer’s Saga by Kiersten White

So this next one is another that I am currently in the process of finishing. If I’m being honest, I didn’t love the first book, And I Darken, that much, but I received an ARC of the third book a while back, and I would love to at least give it a chance before donating it. I have the second book on Audible, so I will probably get to it later this month or next month!

Empirium by Claire Legrand

I was surprised by how much I loved the first book in this trilogy- Furyborn. This was another that I had an ARC of, but I don’t own the rest of the series, so I need to wait to get them from my library!

I might even purchase them if I end up liking the second one!

Shades of Magic by V.E. Schwab

This is another one that I’m close to finishing- I just have the last book left to read! It’s the longest one, though, so I know I need to have a lot of time to read it. Currently, I have too many other reads to get to, but once I have the time, I am excited to sit down and read it!

I really loved the first two books in this series, and I really want to know how it ends. But, I think there are more books coming out in this series, so I’m probably just going to be behind for a really long time (oops). I’m not sure when that is happening, or if it actually is, but I’m not opposed to it at all honestly!

All for the Game by Nora Sakavic

This is one that I have no idea when I’ll continue, but before I do, I want to re-read the first book. It was just an okay read for me, but everyone who’s read the entire series says that it gets better. I am optimistic about the rest of the books, and maybe it’ll even become a new favorite!

The Illuminae Files by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman

I really loved Illuminae, but, for some reason, I just kept putting the rest of the books off. I know that I want to read it physically because of the intricate designs of all of the pages, so I’m just waiting until I can buy them. It was an amazing read, especially as someone who does not often read sci-fi.

The problem is that I’m on a book buying ban, so unless if I can find a copy of the next two books somewhere cheap, I probably won’t be getting to these for a while!

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

This is one that I kept on the list, but I’m not sure if I even have any interest in continuing anymore. I read the first three books, but then more kept coming out and I had forgotten about them. I think there is now a 6th book coming out (or maybe it’s already out, I don’t know).

I personally just don’t like when a series is over four books, so this one is going to take a lot from me to get to them. I also feel like the series is just being dragged out longer than it needs to be now, and I have heard many people say they didn’t really enjoy the newer books as much.

Never, Never by Colleen Hoover and Tarryn Fisher

I read the first book in like 2016, and I remember the ending left off of on a cliffhanger so I wanted to get to the next one ASAP. That just somehow never happened (oops). I think I’m going to try to get to it next month, though. I am excited to see what happens!

let's chat

Please let me know that I’m not alone in having so many unfinished series! What are some that you need to get to?

Jessica

24 Hour Read-a-thon to Ease My Mind

Hello loves! If you follow me on Twitter, you know that I hosted a 24-hour read-a-thon this past Monday as a way to distract us all from the current crisis. As I’m writing this, it is Sunday night, and I am preparing for a long night of reading.

My TBR for the day:

Docile by K.M. Szpara- 20% in

Hearts, Strings, and Other Breakable Things by Jacqueline Firkins- 46% in

And I Darken by Kiersten White- 0% in

As you can see, my plans aren’t too ambitious, and I’ve already started two of the books. I don’t plan on fully finishing Docile, but I would like to get at least to the 40% mark.

I want to definitely finish Hearts, String, and Other Breakable Things because it’s the shortest of the three and I’m already halfway through it!

And I Darken is the only one I have on audio, so I’m hoping I can get a really decent amount of that one done, if not fully finish it.

I will be back after I start reading to update you all on my progress!

Midnight to 1 a.m.

I started off with the e-book of “Hearts, Strings, & Other Breakable Things” at midnight. I was exhausted so I didn’t want to stay up too late (and ruin my sleeping schedule completely).

I was able to get to about 60% before heading off to bed, though!

9 a.m. to 11 a.m.

I woke up around 8:30, and then I started reading from 9 (still reading the same book). At 10, I stopped so I could get out of bed and get my day started.

I worked out from about 10 to 11, and the entire time I did that, I listened to “And I Darken” on audio. I got about 11% into it!

yogurt

11 a.m. to 12 p.m.

At 11, I always eat my breakfast, and while I was doing this today, I listened to my audiobook a little bit, too.

I was able to get just a few more minutes in, nothing significant!

12 p.m. to 2 p.m.

A little after 12, my dad and sister wanted to go for a hike, so I decided to join them! I listened to a bit more of the audiobook, but mostly I was just taking in the outdoors for a bit.

After this, we went grocery shopping for a couple of necessities.

2 p.m. to 6 p.m.

When we got back, I locked myself in my room to finish my e-book! I managed to get a good amount done (around 85%).

I also made myself a little lunch, and around 4 in the afternoon, I facetimed Olivia from StoriesForCoffee! We chatted about school, our social distancing plans, as well as some other things. This was also the same time that I held a little reading sprint on Twitter, so we read together over the chat for a little bit!

I ate dinner around 5:30, and then I caught up on sending some emails.

7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

brownies

I decided to also make brownies because I had been craving them.

In this time, I managed to listen to my audiobook more concretely, coming to a total of 4.5 hours.

9 p.m. to 11 p.m.

I watched the movie “Singin in the Rain” because I am trying to watch more movies this year, and you guys were able to pick the movies I watched on Instagram (so be sure to follow me on there).

11 p.m. to 12 a.m.

To finish off this read-a-thon, I read a little bit of Docile while playing some music in the background. It was a nice way to end the day, but I didn’t get through this book as much as I had hoped for!

The Final Stats:

  • Docile: I only read one chapter of this oops.
  • Hearts, Strings, and Other Breakable Things: completed
  • And I Darken: 32%

let's chat

Overall, I’m very happy with how I did with this read-a-thon. I have been finding it hard to read recently, especially for longer periods of time, but this allowed me to get so much more reading in than I normally would!

I hope you guys enjoyed, and be sure to check out my Instagram and Twitter in case if I do more of these soon :)

Jessica

How I Organize My Goodreads

Look, I know Goodreads has its flaws, but if the search feature was improved and the mobile app didn’t glitch so much, it would be the best app ever for me.

I’ve had my current account since 2015, but I had another one even earlier than that. It is great for keeping track of all of the books I’ve read, and I can see myself using it for a very long time.

One feature that I find especially useful is the ability to create shelves. Today I want to show you what my shelves look like and how I used them all! This is critical to my experience on Goodreads because it truly keeps me sane.

If we take a look at my profile, it looks like I have so much going on. I have a LOT of shelves, but I really do use them all and they all serve a purpose!

goodreads account

Exclusive Shelves:

First and foremost are my exclusive shelves. I have five them- three being the generic ones that Goodreads automatically gives you- “want to read,” “currently reading,” and “read.” These are fairly self-explanatory, and if you’ve ever used the site before, I’m sure you’re familiar with them.

However, I created two of my own exclusive bookshelves, and it’s very easy to do! First is my “DNF” shelf, which stands for “did not finish.” I do not like counting books that I haven’t finished as “read,” so I put them in this category instead.

I also have a shelf called “on my radar.” I got this idea from Kayla (booksandlala), and the idea is basically to put books that you’re sort of interested in but don’t fully want to add to your TBR yet until you hear more reviews, information, etc. Typically, I put books by my favorite authors that haven’t been released yet in this category until a synopsis is released, or I hear early buzz about it!

If you want to create one of these shelves, all you have to do is hit the “edit” button next to “Bookshelves” when you’re looking at your books (on the desktop version, not mobile). Then, just change whichever shelves you want to “exclusive” and you’re all set!

Favorites:

I also have a favorites shelf, which is also self-explanatory. I believe that Goodreads automatically gives you this one as well, but I could be wrong. This shelf changes constantly for me.

Genres:

Aside from those shelves, I also have shelves for every genre and age group: YA fantasy, Adult mystery/thriller, middle grade, poetry, etc. After I finish reading a book, I add it to one of these shelves depending on which one it falls under. I do this so that when I’m writing specific review posts I can easily find books I’m looking for in specific categories.

It’s also just useful to see what books I read the most of, and which ones I should try to pick up more often! It’s a great visual representation because I don’t really keep track of this anywhere else.

Owned TBR:

I have a TBR shelf, which I mentioned earlier. Any and every book I want to read goes on there. BUT, this shelf if specifically for books that I already own. This is how I keep track of the number of unread books I own without having to constantly count them.

ARCs:

Next, I have two shelves for Netgalley and Edelweiss ARCs. I keep books that I have to read for those platforms on shelves so I can easily see how many books I need to review. I go on Goodreads more often that those two sites, so this is just an easier way to see the books. Also, when I’m picking my TBR for the month, I go here to see what books I should prioritize.

Others:

Neet to Read ASAP- This is a shelf I made a long time ago and I honestly don’t use it that frequently. I do occasionally add books I’m really excited about to this shelf, but for the most part, I don’t use it.

Not Yet Released- This is the shelf where I keep books that have not come out yet. I’m awful at new releases, so I made this shelf a few months ago in the hopes that I would get better at tracking them. Unfortunately, I don’t update this shelf as much as I should.

Series to Finish- Again, this is an easy shelf to interpret. I keep track of the series I need to finish on Goodreads or else I will never get to them. This is actually a very useful shelf to have!

To Buy- Finally, I have this shelf to refer to whenever I’m in the mood to buy books. Because I am trying to cut down on the number of books I buy, I try to only add books I’ve already read and loved to this.

let's chat

What do you think of my current setup? Are there any shelves you think I should add? Let me know by leaving a comment down below :)

Jessica

Authors I Need to Check Out!

I talk about my favorite authors on here quite a lot. What I thought I’d do instead today is talk about some authors whose books I’ve never read but I have heard amazing things about so I should probably pick up one day. Whew, that was a mouthful. 

the good daughter

Karin Slaughter

Karin Slaughter is a very well-known thriller author. I own one of her books, The Good Daughter, and I have quite a few of her other books on my TBR. One thing I noticed about myself is that I really love reading mystery/thrillers via an audiobook rather than physically, which is why I have been putting this one off for so long.

But, I definitely want to dive in and see what all of the hype is with her books, so hopefully, I will get to one soon!

my lady jane

Cynthia Hand

I own two of Cynthia Hand’s books that she actually co-authored with two other ladies- My Lady Jane and My Plain Jane. I’m not the biggest historical fiction fan (though I’ve had really good experiences with a few recently), which is why I’ve been holding off on them.

But, she has written other books that I want to read as well: The Afterlife of Holly Chase and The Last Time We Say Goodbye. I definitely plan on at least getting to The Lady Janies books in the near future and I am very excited about it!

the simple wild

K.A. Tucker

I love to read romance, though I don’t read as much of it as I would like. K.A. Tucker’s books have been on my radar for a while- first because the covers caught my attention (The Simple Wild especially), and second because I’ve heard amazing things about them.

For some reason, I just feel like I will really fall in love with her work, so I have been meaning to finally read one of her books.

Dig AS King

A.S. King

A.S. King is probably the person I am most excited to mention on this list. First of all, Ariel Bissett and Kayla from Booksandlala are two of my favorite booktubers and A.S. King is one of their favorite authors. I absolutely must pick up one of her books. It’s kind of a crime that I have not yet done so.

If anyone has any suggestions for what order to read her books in, definitely help me out!

let's chat

There are tons more authors I want to read one day, but here is my condensed list! Who are some authors you haven’t picked up yet but want to?

Jessica

Ways to Organize Your Shelves

I rearrange my bookshelves on a seasonal basis- at least. I acquire new books, or I get bored with the way my shelves look, so I change them. It’s something I do pretty frequently. Luckily, there are so many different ways to organize your shelves, and today I’m going to share 3 of them.

*All images used in this post were taken from Pinterest. They are not my own.

By Genre

This is how I typically have my shelves organized. I like this method of organizing because I’ve found it’s easiest for me to find a book I’m looking for. It’s also a good option for mood readers. You can see all of the fantasy books you have or all of the romance books you have, and choose from those sections. I also separate the books I have read from the books I haven’t read, and from there I split them into genres.

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It also helps with blogging because when I’m looking for specific books for recommendations, I can easily see all of a certain type of book in one section.

This can also be separated into sub-genres: first YA vs Adult vs Middlegrade, then into contemporary- romance, mystery, literary fiction, etc. vs fantasy- urban, dystopian, etc. Or it can even be divided into different tropes or elements!

Your shelves can be arranged in a variety of ways using this system, which is what makes it such a great option for most.

By Author’s Name

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This one’s for all my Ravenclaws.

Organizing alphabetically is something I’ve grown very accustomed to after both volunteering and working at a library. This can be combined with the previous one, or done on its own. It is pretty self-explanatory, but it means putting your books in order of the author’s last name from A-Z (or first name, if you prefer).

If you are good at memorizing an author’s name, this one might be perfect for you! I’ve had my bookshelves organized this way before and I loved it. I’m actually thinking of going back to this way because it’s such a nice system where there isn’t a lot of question over which book to put where.

With genre, it can be a little difficult to decide where to put certain if they fall into multiple genres, or if you only have one or two books from a genre. This one is simple- there isn’t that same room for confusion. Plus, all of your books from an author can be placed next to each other.

By Color

This is one that scares me, but I love the end result of so much. That is by turning your shelves into a rainbow! I’m sure you’ve all seen rainbow bookshelves before. They are a huge trend in the book community.

I love how these look. I personally just don’t think I have enough books for each color to be able to successfully do this. It also just stresses me out to have my authors and series separated.

But, if that doesn’t bother you and you are a visual person, this is perfect for you!

let's chat

Tell me, how do you have your bookshelves set up? I would love to know!

Jessica