Let’s Talk… Taking a Chance

I am scared. There, I said it. If you are anything like me, then you understand how scary it is to put yourself out there. And I’m not talking about just public speaking, I’m talking about saying to any old stranger that may come across it that I am terrified of life.

From as young as I can remember, I have been alone. And I’m not saying that for sympathy, I am saying it to make a point. I have, since I was in single digits, been afraid to live. Afraid to go out and make friends. Afraid to see what life had to offer. I am scared. And that’s embarrassing.

When I started the blog, I tampered down that fear. I said, “screw it, let’s do this” and I thought that if I got started that the fear would just go away. And don’t get me wrong, I am nowhere near as bad as I used to be, but I am still scared. I still reread posts, say that I am doing an awful job, try to read myself to death so I can put out as much content that I think will attract people as possible, and put myself through hell in order to put off an air of “I got my life together”. But I don’t. I’m still trying. I took a chance, and I’m taking chances everyday with this blog, and I wanted to share what I have learned along the way.

Firstly, you have to start. That’s normally the hardest part. Take the leap of faith. Ask the person of your dreams on a date, apply for that job you don’t think you can get, just try. The worst thing you can do is fail at that point. It is better to know. Hindsight is always 20/20. “Don’t let the fear of striking out hold you back”-Babe Ruth

Secondly, consistency is key. Maybe that is only talking about this blog at this point, but put in the effort. I could post 1 review every 3 months, but then people wouldn’t keep me in the back of their minds. The hope is that because I post SO much and I produce content that I am proud of, I will get support. And that has worked some days, and completely failed others. The days were I get no views are hard, because I know how long it took me to get that post out, but that just makes me want to do better next time. “If at first you don’t succeed/ Try, try again.”-William Edward Hickson, Try, Try Again

Thirdly, be innovative. Don’t completely niche yourself. Try new things. I have constantly been trying out new things that I can A) talk about on the blog and B) use for the sake of increasing viewership of the blog. If you aren’t moving, you are stuck. So keep trying. Take another step towards where you want to go. “Success seems to be connected with action. Successful people keep moving. They make mistakes, but they don’t quit.” -Conrad Hilton

So go out. Take the risk. It is better to fail and experience life, than to never try. In the words of Steve Jobs: “We had everything to gain. And we figured even if we crash and burn, and lose everything, the experience will have been worth ten times the cost.”

If you guys have any thoughts or ideas, feel free to leave a comment, find me on the social medias at @elizabooksblog, or email me at elizabethslick@elizabethsbookstore.blog. And as always, I’ll see you all in the next book!

Let’s Talk… Reading for Yourself

Thank you guys for everything! I think I start every post with an Oscar speech, but I genuinely feel so grateful to talk about something I love (and have people read my thoughts). Last week, I took a break. I am pretty sure that it is the longest break I have taken since planning posts for the blog, so this was a pretty big deal for me. The first thing I did? Picked up a book. When I started reading, I knew I wouldn’t be posting a review. I didn’t want to think about how I felt or thought throughout the process of reading, I just wanted to enjoy it. Here’s what I learned:

  • Reading is fun. Sometimes this blog can feel like a chore (flashback to the last week of Nicholas Sparks), and reading can feel like a job. Well, more like an internship because I don’t get paid, but you get it. Sometimes it is nice to not have a timeline, a pressure, or a review to think about. Just picking up a book and reading is enjoyable. That was what started me doing this blog, and that is what I stand behind as I read.
  • I don’t read enough memoirs. I read The Hidden Power of F*cking Up by The Try Guys. If you know me, you know that YouTube is a huge part of my life, and I love watching The Try Guys thanks to their humor and wit and ultimate fails. What I didn’t know: they are people, too. They have feelings and families, fears and frustrations, and that I am not so different than them. I have read 1 memoir for this blog, and as great as that one is, I feel like I should have more. Fiction is great, but people are real.
  • Taking a step back is not giving up. When I was finishing the last week of Nicholas Sparks, I could not stop thinking that I needed a book for Tuesday. And to be honest, I had one ready. But then I would have had to push myself for Thursday. And then the next Tuesday. And while I know that I could have probably kept up with the demand, I wouldn’t be able to breathe. There is nothing wrong with taking time for yourself, just like there isn’t anything wrong with reading 2 books on your weekend vacation. But sometimes, we need a mental health day. I turned mine into a much needed week.
  • Positivity over negativity. I was starting to get real negative. Since he followed a set pattern in his books, I had to start nitpicking Sparks. And wouldn’t you know, I began to ignore the parts I liked in order to find things I couldn’t. Taking time to realize that “hey, I don’t like where my brain is at right now” and changing it, means that I can go into the next book with a better attitude.

So yea, I needed this. And you guys probably do, too. Books can be a form of escape, and by taking the time to read for yourself, you learn more about yourself. Keep in mind that you still need to read those books for class or that handbook for work, but you also desperately need time to read that book for yourself. So take the time, you’ll be surprised how badly you need it.

If you guys have any thoughts or ideas, feel free to leave a comment, find me on the social medias at @elizabooksblog, or email me at elizabethslick@elizabethsbookstore.blog. And as always, I’ll see you all in the next book!

Let’s Talk… Romance

Pull out the candles and the Marvin Gaye, because we are talking romance tonight! Well…. it’s the morning, and I’m talking about the genre, not the concept, but you get the idea. Romance can mean a million different things, and even the Audible romance package has to separate romance into “levels of steaminess”. And yes, that is 100% real. From Fifty Shades of Grey and the After series to All the Boys I’ve Loved Before and The Fault in Our Stars and to everything in between, let’s talk about some tips and tricks I have picked up on reading in the romance genre:

  1. Find a book that can pace the love story correctly. There are a lot that have a really slow build up to then rush the actual romance part of the book. And of course, there are books that do the exact opposite. If you are going to write a romance novel, keep the book moving while still telling the story you are trying to tell.
  2. Smut is smut. It bothers me to no end when people judge other people on their smut (things I never thought I would write when my grandmother will probably read this). We all have different things that interest us, and it is not my business to judge another person for their sexual reading habits. If you don’t want to read smut, then don’t read smut. But if you don’t want to read smut, then don’t judge someone else for reading it. (Hmmmm… that argument sounds familiar, doesn’t it)
  3. Take a chance on a new book. There are a lot of authors who specialize specifically in the romance category (*cough, cough* Nicholas Sparks), but there are a lot of authors within the category that have similar styles. Be willing to explore, there’s a lot in the genre.
  4. Love isn’t always black and white. Sometimes the romance is about loving yourself, finding yourself, or finding a home. We all love The Notebook type romances, but romance is also about falling in love with the person you are.
  5. Keep in mind what is important to you. I have always said on this blog that health is incredibly important to me, but for other people it is about how quickly the romance develops, the types of people (or monsters thanks to Twilight), or even about writing style. while I always say you should keep an open mind when picking a book, don’t sacrifice what’s important to you in order to read a book.

If you keep all these ideas in your head, you will find what you want in the genre. If you guys have any thoughts or ideas, feel free to leave a comment, find me on the social medias at @elizabooksblog, or email me at elizabethslick@elizabethsbookstore.blog. And as always, I’ll see you all in the next book!

Let’s Talk… Reading a Series

Hey guys! Happy Saturday from me to you! Today we are going to talk about what you should be looking for in a series!

So let’s say that you found a book that completely kept your interest, and you learn that it is in a series of more than 2 books. At what point do you invest or at what point do you walk away? Here a few questions to ask yourself:

  • Are you still interested? Did the second book keep you as entertained? That may seem like a completely obvious question, but I think as a reader, we sometimes get caught up in the idea of a series that we power through a not-so-great series just to say we read it. Both the Hunger Games and Divergent trilogies come to mind. Despite their phenomena, the third books of both series were downright criminal. (Don’t think so? Come at me.) Solid reminder that everyone perceives books differently, so what may be a good series to you could not interest your best friend and vice versa. Take time to explore.
  • Who are you reading it for? I find myself in this position a lot because I often am reading books for the purpose of posting it here. Reading books for you makes the whole experience so much more enjoyable than reading for any other reason. I think we all felt that when we had to read Scarlet Letter in high school, but we were able to read the entire Harry Potter series in a week. (Just me? That’s cool.)

When it comes to how to read a series, here are a few things I have picked up:

  • Take breaks. You may not think it is necessary, but give yourself some time. Trust me. Let each book sink in. The more you take in from the first book or so, the more meaningful events are going to feel in the last books. Listen to your brain on this one, not your heart.
  • Don’t watch the movies. If there is a movie out, don’t watch it. Not only will it give away the ending for the book, but often the movies incorporate “easter eggs” for the ending of the series. Just stick with the books until you finish it all.
  • Keep an open mind. Don’t go in with an agenda. If you let the series take you where you need to go instead of every review on the planet, you will enjoy the experience a whole lot more.

I hope this helps any of you and happy reading! If you guys have any thoughts or ideas, feel free to leave a comment, find me on the social medias at @elizabooksblog, or email me at elizabethslick@elizabethsbookstore.blog. And as always, I’ll see you all in the next book!

Let’s Talk… Reading Goals

I am someone who always sets reading goals for myself. For as early as 5th grade when I told myself I would read 100 books during summer vacation to telling myself I would read 150 books this year, I have always set my goals high. But here are some tips and tricks I have picked up along the way about setting and keeping your reading goals:

  1. Make it realistic. To be fair, I am totally not listening to this one (although I am way ahead of that goal, so how unrealistic is it?), but it is super important. The whole purpose of the goal is to set something that you can reach, so keep in mind your capabilities as a reader. If you don’t have the time, then don’t put pressure on yourself to make the time. Keep it light.
  2. Make it fun. The second it stops being fun, you won’t want to keep with it. You will be amazed how much easier a goal is when you want to do it than when you have to do it.
  3. Keep updated. That’s as simple as making a list or a count. Find ways to track how far you are in your goal, how much you have left, whatever you need to do to feel good. But knowing where you at gives you the chance to either feel better or tell yourself to read a little more.
  4. Treat yo’-self. If you hit a milestone, give yourself a reward. Or even if you get to a certain part of a book. However you want to do it, give yourself encouragement. Also let your friends and family know so that your successes can be theirs too.

If you guys have any thoughts or ideas, feel free to leave a comment, find me on the social medias at @elizabooksblog, or email me at elizabethslick@elizabethsbookstore.blog. And as always, I’ll see you all in the next book!

Let’s Talk… Writing Reviews

When it comes to writing reviews, I GOT OPINIONS (does this surprise anyone?). There is nothing that I hate more than going on to Goodreads, seeing a review for a book I want to read, and either I can’t read any of it because it is all spoilers or they literally say nothing that a reader really needs to know about the book. I sat down and made a list of things I try to cover when I write reviews, so here goes nothing.

  1. DO NOT, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, WRITE THE SYNOPSIS ON THE BACK OF THE BOOK. Oh my God, this gets on my absolute nerves. Make it personal. Maybe what the author thought was most important out of the book isn’t what you took away as the reader. I also don’t want to read 3 reviews that are all phrased exactly the same way. AND Goodreads posts the synopsis. We are in 2019 people, have your own mind and your own thoughts. Okay, PSA over. But truly, make your review your own.
  2. Write about what you like and what you don’t like. You don’t have to completely degrade a book you hate (at least I hope I never have done that), but don’t be afraid to give your opinion. That’s the whole point of writing a review. Just be confident in your ability as the reader, and people will respect your review. It’s that simple.
  3. If you are going to give spoilers INDICATE IT. I am not about writing a review and giving spoilers. I do everything I can to be as vague as possible so I don’t ruin the story. With that being said, sometimes you have to give a spoiler in order to say your opinion. That’s totally fine, just let the reader know that “hey, btw, this is a spoiler” so that the reader can decide if they want to read that opinion or not.
  4. Be honest. Nobody wants your review if you aren’t being honest. I don’t care if I am being paid a million dollars for a review, I would rather keep my integrity than give you all a recommendation to read something I don’t stand behind.

I hope this helps someone live out their dreams as much as it has helped me live out mine. If you guys have any thoughts or ideas, feel free to leave a comment, find me on the social medias at @elizabooksblog, or email me at elizabethslick@elizabethsbookstore.blog. And as always, I will see you all in the next book!

Let’s Talk… How I Read It

If you looked through my reviews, one of the first things I list is how I read it. To me, how I read the book says a lot about not only my interest level in the book, but also the amount of time I invested into a book. So here is the list of ways I read, and if there is another way you encourage, I am open ears in the comments.

Audiobooks

In August of 2018, I finally took the plunge and downloaded Audible. What I love about it is that when I am driving, it helps keep my mind off the road rage and in a book. I also love listening to a book while I work, which I think is purely because I work in a secluded corner doing very repetitive, mindless work. (Side note: I always was the kid that did better working while I was distracted. I always had the TV on or headphones in my ears while I worked, and even into college I did better when I had something I was listening to. For whatever reason, that sentiment has carried over into adulthood.) A lot of the time, if I have an audiobook, I will also have an ebook or a print book along with it. Audiobooks take so incredibly long compared to reading something in print, so if I start listening to something that truly piques my interest, then I will also read it in print to speed the process along. From my experience, audiobooks are much more expensive than the other two options. HOWEVER, using an Audible subscription plan, I pay about $11 per credit instead of the $20+ of an audiobook. I also try to conserve credits as much as I can, so if a book I want is on sale at any point, I try to snatch it up for a price less than $10. They also offer a romance package that gives you access to any book within that package for a monthly fee. Overall, I love using audiobooks, and you will often see them in my reviews, but for someone without the same freedoms in their everyday life, I don’t recommend it.

Ebooks

I am specifically going to talk about Kindle books because that is the service I use. Kindle books are convenient because you can have an entire library at your fingertips. Essentially, if I was at the doctor’s office and they took forever (which they always do), I could pull out my phone and read a book. Also, using Kindle and Audible, the two work together to update where you are in the book, even if you switch back and forth. Kindle also gives you the option to organize your books into collections, so those of you who need that OCD, you’re welcome. Kindle is often the least expensive option and also the most immediate. When trying to think of why I don’t use Kindle as much as print, the only honest answer is that I am a snob. I desperately want to feel a book in my hand, turn the page physically, and feel the incredible satisfaction of snapping a book shut when I finish. For those of you that want the best option, I begrudgingly have to say this is it.

Print

The final option and the most organic option. This is the one you see on bookshelves as far as the eyes can see. Whether it be paperback or hardcover, print books means that I physically hold a book in my hand while I read. I absolutely love this option, but it comes with a price. While I absolutely love holding a book, it is becoming obsolete, and for good reason. As we become more environmentally and globally conscious, ebook libraries seem like a better option than their physical counterparts. In some ways, print books can be more economically favorable in my position, but I have quickly begun to choose audiobooks over print books (oh the shame).

When it comes down to it, pick your poison. At the end of the day, all that matters is that you are reading! If you have any thoughts, feel free to leave any comments in the comment section. Also as always, if you have any questions you want to ask to me personally, feel free to contact me at elizabethslick@elizabethsbookstore.blog. Until the next book guys! See you soon!