I asked Friends for Book Recommendations.

Hello Friends! I recently went on Twitter and asked friends what the last book they read that made them happy was, or their last five star read. Life is tough. You never know what demons someone is battling. The smallest thing can easily change the course of someone’s day. As someone diagnosed with chronic depression, I am constantly seeking ways to brighten my day and reading has never let me down. I hope this post reaches someone who needs it. I screenshot the actual message from everyone so you can see who it came from and give them a follow if it appears you read the same kind of books. They are all absolutely wonderful people and I am so grateful for their responses.

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DebbieRoxyAlexaStephanieKristynNicolestephanie BStaciravenBriHannahAmyAngieAlishaLibbyKayJenifer

 

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Sunday Coffee

Hello Friend, how are you this morning? How was your week? I have had quite a bit on my mind this week. I’ve been gradually reevaluating some things, and just want to share some of my thoughts with you. I hope you have a nice cup of coffee or tea, let’s chat.

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I have been thinking about the online book community and specifically my place in it a lot lately. When it comes to my small presence I question what am I doing it for? Am I satisfied with what I am putting into this community? Am I satisfied with what I am getting out of it? These are some of the main questions I have been meditating on.

I discovered the online book community back in 2014 when I first moved to Texas. I remember setting up a new twitter account and following the R&B singer, Amerie, and she shared a link to a Youtube video. Up to that point, I had not been one to watch Youtube but I loved her and her music so I clicked the link which took me to a channel she created. I was shocked when I saw that on this channel, she was discussing books. I watched the book side of Youtube for about two years before getting the guts to start my own channel which I have had now for over three years.

I remember how excited I was when I created my channel. I loved hauling books and sharing them with followers. I looked forward to discussing all the books I read during the month as the month came to a close. I enjoyed the different tags that were created as a different way to inspire you to talk about books.  I was such a fan of the community I had become part of.  So, I guess another question I have been pondering on is, do I still have that excitement that I felt when I first joined the online book community?

The good thing about the online book community, is how many different platforms there are. You can do Youtube, you can blog, you can create a podcast and/or you can create an Instagram dedicated to book content. If you want to share your love of reading online, there are ways to do it.  Joining Youtube, in the beginning was the route that I chose. At this moment, if I had to answer the question in regards to if the excitement is still there or not, I’d have to say No.

Life has changed for me in the matter of just a few months and in reality, I don’t have the time to dedicate to creating the content that I want. At first I was okay with filming when I could film, but eventually it started to feel like a job or a chore. I have had to make peace with not allowing Youtube to be yet another thing that stresses me out. It is hard though. You see other creators and how often they post and how big their channels are getting and how quickly they’re growing. Paying attention to stuff like that can really take a toll if you let it. So for a while, even though it felt like a job, I continued putting content out there, because I felt like I needed to keep up. I think I have held on too because I have built some amazing friendships with other content creators and subscribers–but I’ve realized, those friendships are going to be there regardless of if I am making vides or not.  Sometimes the hardest part of walking away from something, is taking those first few steps, but I told myself in the beginning, when it is no longer fun, I’ll be done. And at this moment, it is no longer fun.

I am happy I discovered the blogging world and right now it feels good with the way my life is going. I also am really enjoying putting more focus into Instagram and sharing books I am excited about through that platform. Reading is something I have always done for fun. It is basically a lifelong companion. It has been there through the darkest moments and the brightest days. I never want to turn my love for it into something that turns long it into anything negative. I want to be reading for fun, I want to be reading because I love doing it, and not because I found a community and feel like I need to keep up with what everyone else is doing.

I am a big advocate of being kind to yourself and I need to practice more of what I preach. I think part of being kinder to myself is not beating myself up about having to cut the cord with things that once upon a time meant the world to me. Things change and there comes a time when you have to move on. I’m so excited to root for my friends still creating and cheering them on..but as just a viewer. I am ticking this off of my list of stressors. It is definitely time for me to move on from creating content on Youtube and focus on sharing my love for reading on the other platforms I’ve discovered I love.

Whew! That was a lot, and I appreciate you hearing me out. Share with me what has been going on with you and please be kind to yourself today. Until our next chat, take care of yourself. xoxo

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Reading As A Busy Mom

Hello Friends! One question I get asked often is how I juggle reading with working full time and being a Mom of three.  My husband and I are both active duty military in a career field that doesn’t work your typical Monday through Friday 8-5.  There are a lot of 12-14 hour days and long work weekends.  Add on having three young kids who demand quite a bit of attention, wanting to blog, wanting to take photos and post to Instagram and Youtube, I can understand the question of, “How do you juggle it all?” So I wanted to share some of my tips, or things I do to squeeze reading into my already busy life.

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  1. I posted the above photo because it was around the time that I read The Wedding Date, that I became serious about the advice I’ve heard from so many online friends to, “Always have a book with you.” I have found this piece of advice very helpful. If I know I have a doctors appointment or will be somewhere with some down time..even if as a family we are driving somewhere, I always have a book with me for those moments I’m able to read a few pages.
  2. Continuing on with always having a book with me, I highly recommend downloading the Kindle App to your phone if you are a Kindle user. I have the app on my Ipad and IPhone. Having the app on your phone is so convenient.  For those days when I can’t bring a physical book with me, I still have all my ebooks on my phone thanks to the Kindle app which comes in handy for those few moments throughout the day I am able to squeeze in some reading.
  3. One word: Audiobooks. I know there are still a lot of people who don’t really vibe with audiobooks. I thought for the longest that I was one of those people. I think what helped me was before I read my first audiobook, I had already spent about a year listening to Podcasts. So I was already used to listening to people talk. I have friends who read 6,7,8 books a week sometimes thanks to audiobooks. I usually listen to mine on 2x speed and depending on what I have going on, can usually finish one in 2 to 3 days. Now, where do I listen to them? My commute to work is only about 10 minutes. Regardless though, I listen while driving to and from work. Depending on what I’m doing at the gym, I occasionally listen while there. I listen while prepping and cooking meals. I have a speaker I purchased from Walmart so  I’m able to listen while taking a shower or sitting in the bath. While putting awa laundry I’m listening, while cleaning the house, I’m listening. I pretty much listen whenever and wherever I can.
  4. I find ways to keep myself excited about reading. I find the more I keep myself excited about reading, the more I stay motivated to incorporate it as much as I can into my day to day. To keep myself excited, I’ll read blog posts by friends to see what they’re excited about. I may listen to one of the bookish Podcasts I listen to or watch one of my favorite Youtubers who talk about books. I think excitement and happiness can be contagious. Seeing someone else excited about something they read definitely inspires me to continue reading and find the next thing that excites me.
  5. Try reading more than one book at a time. I used to be a one book at a time kind of girl. I admire people who can focus on one book at a time, but I have grown into one who reads multiple books at once. Sometimes you’re just not in the mood for the one book you may have set aside to read. If you’re not in the mood for it, but still want to read, pick up something else. I have found in a strange way, this keeps me interested in everything I am reading and has upped the amount of books I have been able to read a year.
  6. Do buddy reads. If you’re already part of a real life book club, that’s great and pretty much the same thing but if not, find a friend and let them know you’re interested in reading something with them. All of the buddy reads I have done have been with online friends and we share our thoughts via the Voxer App. I love buddy reads. Even though you’re reading the same book, everyone interprets things differently. It is always cool to see how someone else viewed a situation. Buddy reads have really helped me read books that I probably would have not finished or maybe not even started had I went at it alone. Usually with buddy reads you set a page count or chapter count for the day and to keep up it kind of forces you to make time to read so you can share your thoughts with everyone. And they are just so much fun, especially if you’re reading a really fun book or one that causes a lot of discussion.

 

I hope these little pieces of advice help. They are just some of the main things I have done to help balance being a full time working mom of three with my love of reading. When it all comes down to it, incorporate reading any way you can into your everyday life. Whether listening to an audiobook while cooking dinner or having a book in your bag to read while waiting for your doctor’s appointment to start, make the time to read what you can when you find the moments to do so.

Until next time Friends, take care of yourselves. xoxo.signature