What Representation Means to Me

What Representation Means to Me

I just finished reading Jenny Han’s opinion piece in the NY Times about representation in films and what that opens up for people. You can read the article here.

Of course, I thought on what that all meant. What does representation mean to me?

With the release of Crazy Rich Asians and To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before, I can’t help but to reflect on my life. I really don’t want be the guy that will explain representation and why it’s so arbitrarily important. I think the meaning of representation is different with every person you come across. So I’m just going to share what I think.

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There Is Always Time To Read

There Is Always Time To Read

I recently read this article on Electric Literature about making the time to read. To quote a quote, it said:

As Molly Barton, one of the founders of Serial Box, told Vox: “I was aware that for many people, reading a book can feel rather slow and daunting compared to other media forms at this point. It’s harder to fit into your life.”

The article goes on to talk about the luxuries of reading, which is something that we all know and love about books. It’s supposed to be time-consuming. It deserves more time than you’re rewarding it. We all know this.

But for some reason, there’s just not enough time. We all want to be reading all day, but there’s no time for it to happen. We have people to take care of, jobs to go to, and errands to run. We always have an abundance of errands to run, doesn’t it feel like it sometimes?

I think the main complaint many readers tell me is that there’s just not enough time. We want to read, but there’s always something to do or someone to take care of that’s getting in the way.

It reminds me of that one episode of The Twilight Zone where this reader was always interrupted by something in his life. It kept him from doing what he loved; reading. Then strangely the world ended and he had all the time in the world to read. Only then does he accidentally step on his reading glasses. Here’s that clip I found on Youtube.

I feel like a lot of people can relate to this character. I always feel like someone needs something done or I need to run some errand or do some chore. I always feel like there’s never enough time in the day to actually read what I want to read.

But the truth is this and it’s not going to be pretty: there’s never enough time.

We’ll always have other things we need to do and our brains may sometimes take a break from reading. Life is funny that way, but we shouldn’t be upset by it. We should definitely not throw your hands up in the air and declare that you’ll never read again.

Reading, like any activity, needs dedication. There won’t be enough time to read, but if you try hard enough you can make time. Perhaps it’s while your kids are taking a nap. Perhaps it’s while you wait for that appointment to happen. In the small pockets of time throughout the day, there could be a book in your lap waiting to be read.

Another great way to get more reading in is audiobooks. I’ve only recently started using audiobooks and it’s great for reading when you’ve got to clean your house or run some errands. I’ve been using it while I pack my entire house up. That alongside your library card, you can easily download books to read without having to leave the house. I think that’s probably my favorite thing in the world.

Reading can also be the final thing you do in the day. The brain has magic ways of knowing that when you lay in bed, you sleep. So what if you took a book with you to bed? Perhaps you read for 10 minutes before you get groggy or perhaps you’re an hour deep into your book and you can’t stop. Either way, you can end your day with a little reading and pretty soon you’ll be making time to read.

So in the end, there’s never enough time to read. Even if you don’t do anything at all with your day, it’ll be hard to carve time out. But with some perseverance, some organization, and some dedication you can be reading every single day and you won’t even realize it. That is until you notice that you’ve finished 50 books in one year.

My Three Favorite Bookish Apps

My Three Favorite Bookish Apps

When you’re a reader, you might be interested in certain things. For example, you might want to be able to track the number of books you read. You might want to time yourself on how long it takes you to read one book. You might want to be social and share your reads with someone.

Luckily, the Internet exists and has provided us with numerous apps to keep us bookish folks updated and organized. I know that I have three very favorite bookish apps that keep my reading life pretty simple and organized. Here’s what I use:

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What If You Weren’t a Reader?

What If You Weren’t a Reader?

Recently, I’ve been working on moving and in the process, I’ve been touring apartments for potential places to live. When you’re touring apartments, sometimes you catch a glimpse into the lives of the residents. What are their interests? What kinds of people lived here and what kind of life could you expect?

I saw surfboards tacked to walls and cat litter all over the floor. I’ve seen marathon medals and dog beds and views of the California mountains. I’ve seen apartments with beautifully laid out furniture, but the one thing I couldn’t find in any of these apartments were books.

There were no books.

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To Annotate or Not to Annotate…

To Annotate or Not to Annotate…

A couple of weeks ago, I pictured a dogeared page on my Bookstagram and people were up in arms. I got a few responses from folks who (with figurative tears in their eyes) were upset with me for folding over the page of a book.

To me, this doesn’t seem like an offense. I’ve done many things to books that people in the reading world should never hear about. I won’t say what because it’s pretty gruesome and I now have books in little plastic baggies because of it.

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I Just Finished a #24in48 Readathon, Failed Miserably, And Moved On

I Just Finished a #24in48 Readathon, Failed Miserably, And Moved On

There’s no sense in crying over spilled hours not spent reading. – me

Over the weekend, I participated in a #24in48 challenge on Bookstagram. To give you some background on what that is, it’s a reading challenge to read for 24 hours within 48 hours. It’s run by the people at @24in48 and usually over a weekend. The objective is to drop everything you’re doing, stop adulting, and just freaking read! There’s also other challenges throughout the year, but this one is the biggie.

Of course this is a tough challenge because no matter how you slice it. It’s tough to read for 12 hours in a day. But I decided to challenge myself this weekend and sit on my tush for 24 hours and read books. Here’s how it went:

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Taming the TBR Update

Taming the TBR Update

A few weeks ago, I put out a short-term project called #tamingtheTBR. This was basically a way for me to clear my bookish calendar for the summer and let me read whatever I want. It’s the summer after all and the summer deserves certain types of reads. For me, it’s going to be a lot of romance, a lot of fantasy, and a little bit of diverse reading.

I know there’s a couple of slow burners in my pile and I might skip them depending on my mood. That’s right, I’m going to kick off the TBR and just read books because of the mood I’m in. I want to make a pretty good dent in my TBR list this summer. I’m already getting anxiety that I won’t get to read everything I want. I mean, it’s more realistic to think this way.

Anyway, I did come away with a few highlights that I want to share. But from this point on, it’s going to be reading for me and I’m so excited about it.

Finished reading all the books

Well, just the books I had to read. It actually didn’t turn out so bad. Aside from a couple more books I’m waiting on for various IG promotions, I’m pretty much done! I did end up not reading a couple of the books I chose from Netgalley and I’ll share those reasons why.

I won’t be using Netgalley anymore

When I first started out, I used Netgalley to get books and review. It was a lot of fun! It allowed me to build my blog and my credibility. I was able to work on my review style too because of it. But as my Instagram started to take off, I didn’t need the books I was receiving on Netgalley. In  fact, I started ignoring my Netgalley reviews because I was getting so many books in the mail I’m happy to read.

So I’ve decided that I’m not going to be using Netgalley to request and review books, but I will use it as a resource on all the new books coming out and I can easily request from publishers.

I had the worst book slump ever

Scratch that, this wasn’t the worst book slump. That was the few years after college where I just didn’t care about books and just wanted to watch TV for a little while. That was my worst book slump. However, it did take me a week to read a contemporary YA story that would have taken me about two days. I mean, that could have been the book too, but I’m not going to count that.

As I mentioned in my post from a few days ago, I’m legit over reading. I guess when I’m asked to read a bunch of books I’m not in the mood to read, then I find myself wanting to stop reading all together. It’s something valuable and I’m glad I learned that about myself. But I’m glad that this slump is over as you can see by my review of Save the Date by Morgan Matson. I’m now reading They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera which is giving me serious Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe vibes.

Finally I organized my books and ready to read!

It’s been an interesting few weeks. I don’t think I’ve bellyached more than maybe I was a kid at Disneyworld and I didn’t get a chocolate Mickey ice cream bar. I finally took a moment to go through all my books in my TBR, make the choice on the ones I do intend on reading, and displayed them out like a library or a bookstore or something.

To make things short, I displayed all my books in my room. I don’t plan on having a TBR during these months because I want to really go by my mood. I still have a few books that I’m going to be reading for my book club, but aside from that it’s free reading from here on out.

I hope you enjoyed this update and I do hope you follow along with me as I read books existing in my TBR. Who knows, maybe you’ll read along with me or we’ll coincidentally read the same book at the same time.