One Small Step, and One Giant Leap

Hello, Shelfies! I realize this blog has been dead silent for weeks, and I apologize. It’s not because I haven’t been reading. In fact, I read 2 books more than I needed to for October to stay in step with my Goodreads Reading Challenge. I have quite a few reviews to post and Get in My Kindle recommendations to share, but today I wanted to share a couple pieces of exciting news. 

It is officially fall in Florida right now. I’m sitting in a screened in patio area luxuriating in the perfect weather after a truly exhausting day yesterday. Yesterday, something I’ve been thinking about and planning for months finally took a small step forward, and I’m still basking in the glow of its awesomeness.

In June, I began working through an idea I had for a project I wanted to start working on. I know I have a tendency to bail on things, so I gave myself a few benchmarks of things to accomplish before I would tell anyone about it. Later, an author I was working with specifically ask me if I’d ever thought about pursuing the thing I was mulling over. I reached out to my co-contributors on this site with my idea and they both thought it was a great idea and wanted to know how they could support it. Yesterday, after months of mulling and planning, I took the small step of buying something I need to do the thing: a microphone.

Now it’s time to take the big leap and share with you what I’m working on and how you can help or be involved. *deep breath* OK, here it goes…

I’m working on a By Her Shelf podcast!

The By Her Shelf podcast will feature everyday readers as well as authors, entrepreneurs and influencers who will invite me to peruse their bookshelves to find out the kind of people they are, and add an alarming amount of books to all of our TBR piles. There will also be episodes focused on Upcoming releases and book-related events, publishing news, literary discussions, and more.

Friends, I’m beyond excited to let this cat out of the bag. It’s been killing me to keep this idea between myself, my co-contributors and my mom. However, it’s a scary leap to announce this now because the show isn’t ready to launch yet. I’m at least a couple months away from releasing episodes. So why am I sharing this now? Because I want your help.

I’m looking for guests who aren’t afraid to share the books they love or hate, the works that changed their perspective and shaped their lives. I want to host guests who don’t mind judging and being judged by the books people choose to read, all in the name of getting to know each other. I’m dying to hear about the time you gave in to FOMO and regretted it so hard you might have broken your brain, or the weird way you stumbled upon your favorite author, or your goal to read a specific group of books in a year. I want to know what book people would be surprised to find on your shelves and the book you can’t stop pressing into every pair of open hands you find. Tell me all about what subjects or tropes you can’t help but buy, and which ones you wish would go away for good. And we simply must talk about your TBR pile before your family has an intervention.

If a conversation like this sounds right up your alley, let me know! If you’d like to be a guest, or have suggestions for the content of the show, leave a message in the comments, fill out the contact form, or email me at mz.zeyzey2@gmail.com. Want to keep up with my podcast journey and find out when the show will be ready to debut? Subscribe to the By Her Shelf Newsletter via the pop up, or send me your email address and I’ll add you to the list.

Be on the lookout for a new Get in My Kindle post on Monday.

XOXO,

Erica

 

#ReadWhatYouOwn September

Hola, fellow book lovers! This week has been super busy for me, and it’s not over yet! While I’m finishing this month helping two independent authors publish their books and sneaking in a few pages of my current read here and there, I’m already thinking about what I will be able to read with a less rigorous schedule next month. While perusing some #bookstagram pics, I came across a challenge that might peak your readerly interest. It certainly has my vote!

If you’re an avid reader, chances are, like me, you have several books in your house that you haven’t read yet (even though you’re probably chomping at the bit for that new book at the bookstore, or the one coming to your doorstep or kindle soon!). Despite my best intentions, and my desire to read them, many of these books fall by the wayside in favorite of a hot new release of find. Whether it’s because the book requires more thought than I can give it right now or I’m just not in the right mood, many books in my house have gone unread.

If this sounds like you, Instagram user @anovelfamily has a challenge you might want to try next month. #readwhatyouown is a challenge to, well, read books you already own. There are two ways to participate: commit to reading 2 books you already own in September or commit to reading only books you already own in September. Use the hashtag #readwhatyouown to join other participants. Be sure to follow @anovelfamily and give this account credit for the challenge. Easy peasy.

I believe I have over 50 books I already own that I could read this month (o_O), so I’m going to participate. I am also counting books I pre-ordered that I’ll get in September. Once I choose those I want to read, I’ll post a pretty picture here and on Instagram so you can see what I (and my co-contributors, if they’re game!) will attempt to read in September.

Your turn: Are you participating in #readwhatyouown? What books would you read for this challenge?

You Oughta Know: Book Vloggers

5 Vloggers Who Will Change the Way You View Books

Several years ago, I fell into a YouTube rabbit hole. I clicked on a random recommended video showing a book haul and discovered a whole corner of the video platform dedicated to people who love all the bookish things. One recommendation led to another and suddenly I was subscribed to over 50 channels where I could spend hours getting lost in recommendations, analysis, and videos dedicated to anyone with a literary heart.
I began watching all these videos on a regular basis and I’d be lying if I said they didn’t influence my reading choice and my book buying habits. I quickly grew to love this community that prided itself on connecting with others over their literary adventures. It wasn’t like a book club, per se, but it felt like a conversation with friends who dearly love the same things I did. For a while I even created my own BookTube videos and learned to appreciate the camaraderie from all sides. After all these years I still have favorite BookTube vloggers whose videos I watch instantly. They all have their merits and styles, but what they have in common is a love of books and reading that could make a reader out of anyone.

1. Jen Campbell – Jen is an author, poet, podcaster, bookseller, and fairytale love. Her channel was one of my first BookTube finds. She shares book hauls, intimate reviews, recommendations, and so much more. While she’s a literary judge of several book prize competitions, she’s extremely down to earth and makes books approachable by everyone. Check out her fairytale video on the history of Sleeping Beauty!

2. Jean BookishThoughts – Jean made me fall in love with antiquity. She studies Greek and Roman works of literature and brings such a young eye to works we might otherwise dismiss. She runs a book club through Goodreads called “The Feminist Orchestra” and it’s incredible. Not only does she share recommendations, but she also gives in-depth looks into her university studies and her Ph.D. program. Check out her review of “The Gracekeepers.”

3. Climb the Stacks – I consider this to be a very academic channel, but that’s why I love it! When Ashley shares her reviews and analysis of different books it’s like talking to the most awesome English teacher ever. She just has a way of making the most difficult literature feel approachable. While she doesn’t upload as frequently as others, her videos are worth waiting for. Check out her playlist on different book genres.

4. Books and Pieces – Elizabeth is an amazing vlogger, bringing such a fun energy when she talks about books. Much of her channel focuses on Science Fiction, but she does an amazing job sharing aspects of books in general. She is also one of the few vloggers who gives a realistic view into the ‘behind the scenes’ side of the book industry. Check out her playlist on bookish jobs and careers.

5. Elena Reads Books – Elena is like the mom friend we all wish we had! She is outgoing, fun, and covers such a variety that it’s hard to put her into one category. She makes such great reading choices and rarely do I watch one of her videos without adding at least a couple books to my wish list. Check out her best books of 2017.

There are so many wonderful vloggers bringing books to the front and center. Show these BookTubers some love and I promise you won’t be disappointed. If you end up down the bookish rabbit hole, however, I take no responsibility!

Happy Watching!

Did we miss your favorite booktuber(s)? Share them in the comments!

You Oughta Know: What Should I Read Next Podcast

What Shoul I Read NextHi, fellow readers! I’m happy to introduce one of my favorite features, You Oughta Know. This is where I share all the cool reading related things I find online or in real life that I believe other readers should know about. It can be a podcast, blog, YouTube channel, book related merchandise, or another cool thing related to the reading life. Today, I’m sharing one of my favorite finds: What Should I Read Next?, a podcast that answers the question that plagues every reader. 

If you’re a reader, you oughta know about Anne Bogel. I first found Anne through her interview with Jamie Ivey on The Happy Hour with Jamie Ivey podcast. Anne Bogel is a reader’s dream. Between her book-related blog, Modern Mrs. Darcy, and her books, Reading People and I’d Rather Be Reading (you can read my post on this book here), Anne is a treasure trove of bookish delights. By far, the jewel in her literary crown for me is her  podcast, What Should I Read Next?

On her podcast, Anne seeks to answer the question that plagues every reader: What Should I Read Next? On each episode, she does some literary matchmaking with a guest. They tell her three books they love, one book they hate, and what they are currently reading. Anne in turn gives them three book recommendations. If having a practiced hand giving you personalized recommendations isn’t great enough, Anne’s guests are interesting. Anne has interviewed librarians, booksellers, audio book narrators, bookstagrammers, booktubers, authors, and other book podcasters, among others, who bring an interesting perspective to the conversation. Even those who are “regular readers” have fascinating stories of how they became readers, what books they like, and what fits with their current reading life.

I get a ton of book recommendations I never would have found through Anne’s podcast. I also found several of the future You Oughta Know subjects through the show. My favorite book finds through the podcast are A Man Called Ove and Elinor Oliphant is Completely Fine, but there are still several more books on my reading list.

Do you listen to What Should I Read Next? What was your favorite episode, guest or book recommendation? Are you a fan of another bookish podcast, blog, YouTube Channel, or product I should feature? Let me know all the things in the comments section.