Armchair BEA 2016: Beyond…

Day 3: Beyond Books and Blogs

If you had asked me ten years ago if the format of approximately 95% of my reading would be in digital format, I’d probably have called you crazy. I find that reading digitally is easier on my eyes and, amazingly, easier with chronic migraine headaches. I also seem to read much faster digitally than I do in print. Go figure?!

I’d probably have provided the same “you’re crazy” response if you had asked me if I’d ever read graphic novels or listen to audiobooks. However, I’ve read quite a few graphic novels over the past few years and thoroughly enjoyed them. I’m still acclimating to audiobooks, primarily because I don’t like the amount of time involved in listening to a book (12+ hours) when I could read it in less than half that time. 

Here are a few of my favorite reads in the graphic novel genre:

I hope to incorporate more graphic novels into my reading over the next few years. The illustrations definitely add another dimension and seem to enhance the overall reading experience. I’ll also have to give audiobooks another chance, perhaps on my next road trip.

Outside of my blog, I try to keep up my Goodreads as well as my LibraryThing profiles. These are excellent sites for keeping track of my reading and TBR lists. For some reason, I’m better at maintaining my profile on Goodreads than I am on LibraryThing, I don’t know why. I also use a spreadsheet for keeping track of my reading and note the author’s gender, nationality, and ethnicity, year the book was published, number of pages, format read [ebook vs. print], dates read, where I obtained the book [publisher, NetGalley, Edelweiss, public library, personal stash, etc.], and my rating [0-5 stars].

To add to my overall reading pleasure, I’m in several IRL book clubs. Three of these meet on a monthly basis and the fourth is rather hit-or-miss but usually meets at least four times each year. Two of these groups are through my local library system (thank you Kanawha County Public Library), one is a local women’s only group via Meetup, and the fourth is via my apartment building (a tenant’s book group). I’m also in several online book groups (okay, it’s three online book groups). I’m good about reading the books and participating in nearly all of my IRL book clubs but only participate about half of the time with the online book groups. I either need to get better at managing my reading time and online participation or give up the online book groups. Better time management it is!

Happy New Year and Thank You

Beginning in November of 2015 I began to see an onslaught of articles and posts about readers’ favorite or top books for the year. I always felt that these articles/posts should be written in 2016 so all the books they’ve read for the year could be included (on the off chance they read something really great in those last few weeks of the year). 

I’ve spent the past few hours debating whether or not I would write a post about my favorite reads from 2015. Listing my top reads is a great way to help promote those books and authors that I enjoyed, but what do you do when you have more than 25 top reads for the year? (You have no idea how long it took to whittle my top reads down to just 30 books.) Do I or don’t I list the top books? I decided not to and to simply provide a link to my Goodreads 2015 reading challenge (this way I get to promote every book I read). 

The only drawback to my Goodreads list for 2015 is that it doesn’t include rereads, especially if you reread a title in the same format during the same calendar year (this happened several times last year when different book groups chose the same title to read). I don’t actually mind rereading a book and realized that 37% of all of the books I read last year were rereads (told you I don’t mind rereading books). For more on my reading habits from 2015, please check my update on the various reading challenges I participated in for 2015.

I consider myself very fortunate that I’ve been afforded the opportunity read so many great books since I started this blog. I’ve been introduced to some wonderful authors, got hooked on some wonderful series, and have found some wonderful book people on and offline. I thought it would be nice to start the year off with some gratitude.

  • Thank you to all of the authors and publishers generosity in providing review copies.
  • Thanks to all of the publicists and book/blog tour companies for tirelessly helping to promote books and authors, as well as introducing me to some great reads. 
  • To all of the organizers of book festivals and authors that participate in these festivals, thank you for your time and hard work. 
  • To the librarians and staff at the Kanawha County Public Library system and at the West Virginia Library Commission, thank you for all that you do and all the books you provide. 
  • To the leaders and members of all of my book groups (online and in real life), thank you for your participation and bookish friendships.
  • To all of my blog readers, thank you for your time and continued support.

Happy New Year and Happy Reading to you all!