Top Ten Tuesday | Ten Bookish Discoveries #toptentuesday #orangecountyreads

Last year was my first full year of being a blogger and bookstagrammer. From figuring out WordPress to sending an ARC request, I’ve learned a lot during the journey. Today’s post is all about Bookish Discoveries.

January 14: Bookish Discoveries I Made In 2019 (these could be books, authors, blogs, websites, apps, products, etc.)

About Reading

Reading is a completely personal experience and no way is better than another. No genre is better. No format is better. Whether you’re reading exclusively nonfiction or something from every genre. Whether you prefer the classics or more contemporary works. What brings this community together is the act itself.

We read because we need to relate. Or escape. Or laugh. We read with our eyes and our ears. We read to children and pets and the elderly. Reading about other peoples’ problems can sometimes put your troubles into perspective. At the end of the day we read because we’re searching for something.

About Instagram

Instagram is not going anywhere any time soon. It’s a visual and creative platform with millions of users. No matter your passion you’ll find new content being produced 24/7.

The downside? Two words now have negative connotations for me. Algorithm. Engagement.

Instagram has a complicated algorithm for showing posts in your feed. In order to get your post seen, you need people to like, comment and save your post, even better if it happens within seconds or minutes of the post going up.

Aaaaand it’s all about “engagement”. I actually hate this word. This method of joining groups so you can announce the moment you have a new post feels disingenuous and forced.

I wonder how things will change when Instagram stops showing likes on posts…

About FOMO

Fear of Missing Out is real. I have more books than I could ever possibly read, yet show me a pretty new cover and I’m a goner. Ironically the only reason I’m even aware of the new releases is because of this job hobby of mine.

FOMO leads to competition which leads to drama. No thanks.

Maybe ignorance IS bliss? If I ever hope to make a serious dent in my unread shelf, I’m going to have to take a social media hiatus. Can you imagine? It’s tempting!

About Book Slumps

Book slumps are terrible but can be reversed! Or better yet, avoided altogether. I have three little words for you. Did. Not. Finish.

Time to throw out the concept of finishing what you start! It’s okay to put a book down. Maybe everyone else is raving about the book and you’re scratching your head, puzzled. Not every book is for everyone. You know if a book is for you. You do you. Maybe you’ll pick it up later and the timing will be right. Maybe not. Don’t force yourself to read a book that doesn’t resonate with you in some way. Don’t feel guilty, someone else will probably love it.

About Blogging

I’m fascinated by the idea of millions of blogs that are still online but haven’t been updated in years. And also with how much personal information people share! At its best it’s an online diary or journal that serves as a digital memory. At its worst it’s a garbage dump of broken links and 404 error pages.

If this blog is going to outlast me, I want it to be a helpful resource which is how I learned about “evergreen” content. Put simply, it’s content that stays relevant, it’s not time sensitive and it continues to drive traffic long after its first published.

Here’s a much better explanation: Beginners Guide to Evergreen Content

About Publishers

First, if you’re not getting paid, you don’t owe anyone anything. But it doesn’t cost you anything to be professional. When you receive an ARC, send a quick thank you email to the person who sent it. If you blog or post about the book, send the link to your contact.

Make it easy for publishers to work with you. When you request an ARC, include your address (every time), your current stats and links to a recent or relevant review you’ve posted. Tell them what types of books you love or which authors are your auto-buys. I promise, most people don’t follow up, so your email will definitely stand out and you’ll start to build a rapport.

About International Book Bloggers

I’ve learned so much about the disparity between book bloggers in the US versus the rest of the world. Here we are so privileged that we can buy practically any book at the click of a button and publishers send out thousands of advance review copies to bloggers and influencers.

I learned that is not the case in the majority of the world. Finding new releases, especially in English is next to impossible. If you’re not located in US/UK/AU publishers don’t seem to want to bother.

Kal over at Reader Voracious has the right idea. Read about blogging all around the world here. Have ARCs? Consider donating them here.

About Reading Challenges

I like the idea of reading challenges because they bring people together with a common goal. Whether you’re reading science fiction or crime noir or if you’re keeping track of the Modern Mrs Darcy or Popsugar challenges, there’s something for everyone and it’s fun to have that camraderie and accountability.

As with most things, moderation is the key. The last thing you want is to stress yourself out and force yourself to read some obscure book with a robot in it just to complete a challenge.

About Audiobooks

Thanks to the great team at Libro.FM I’ve been motivated to try audiobooks again and to my surprise (and thanks to one amazing book), I can finally say I see the value and appeal.

If I speed up the narration, can spare 10-16 hours AND it’s an especially compelling story, I’ve had some success! Now, I just need to get better at multitasking… I find myself staring into space, listening and being drawn into the story!

About Balance

This is going to seem obvious, but here it is: If you have a choice between reading and blogging… Always choose reading. Blogging is so much more than just “writing” so it’s easy to get consumed with creating content.

You think, oh I’ll schedule some tweets and clean up some tags and take some book photos and write that Top Ten Tuesday post and scroll Instagram and before you know it, seven hours are gone that you could have been reading!

What bookish discoveries did you find last year?

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Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

Coming Up:

January 21: The Ten Most Recent Additions to My Bookshelf

January 28: Book Cover Freebie (choose what kind(s) of covers you want to talk about: prettiest, most unique, most misleading, weirdest, most memorable, creepiest, ugliest, etc.)

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I receive compensation if you make a purchase using this link. Thank you for supporting this blog and the books I recommend! I may have received a book for free in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.

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  1. I’m so glad you discovered all these this past year, what a year! I guess your next step will be booktubers! I wasn’t thinking of discoveries I made in 2019 (I have been book blogging for 10 years), but I could have listed a few great book tubers.


  2. I learned to speed up audiobooks as well this year. It’s AMAZING.
    I’ve given up FOMO in the past year. There is always excitement about authors and books I love, but I don’t have to request or get them all. I can read them now or later. I’m all about scaling back.


  3. I can only listen to audiobooks when I’m doing something that doesn’t take a lot of brain power, like cleaning, cooking, working out, etc. Then I can dedicate some time to a book while still getting things done. Great post!


  4. Wow, you really have learned a lot this year! I’ve also recently discovered audiobooks. Obviously, I’ve always known that they exist, but I didn’t think they would work for me. But, I’ve listened to 1 1/2 in 2020 and I’m enjoying the experience. I feel so efficient when I do housework, errands, or desk work and “read” a book at the same time!

    Happy TTT!



  5. You have learned a lot this year! And it is so helpful that you organized and shared it all with your readers, from Evergreen content to FOMO (I feel the same and don’t get caught up in ARC’s, reviewing new releases-it looks like an exhausting treadmill to me). I’ll take thoughtful reviews about books read, no matter the pub date, over that new-new cycle any day.
    Thank you!


  6. This is such a good post! I’m always struggling with FOMO, too. There are just too many books to read and too many exciting releases and the hype and being in the community doesn’t help, haha.Stepping away every now and then and trying to find our pace and the books that really matter to us is the most important, at least I’d like to think so 🙂


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