5 Top Tips for Busy Bloggers

I’ve been asked a few times now how I juggle blogging, reading and working full-time. The truth is, with great difficulty! I’m yet to suss out a fool-proof way of being amazing and keeping on top of all three, but here are some top-tips you might want to try if you’re struggling to fit everything in too:


Draft Blog Posts Whenever You Can… Plan Ahead!

This is the main one. I very rarely have time to sit down at my laptop and write out full posts, especially if I’m wanting to blog regularly. I have the WordPress app on my phone, so if I ever have a quiet moment when I’m out and about, I’ll quickly type up some bullet points or draft a post to come back to later.

The key to this is to plan in advance what you want to blog about. Set up some draft headers that you can just keep dipping in and out of.

Scheduling Blog Posts

If I have a day or a weekend off, I’ll type up some posts and the schedule them to be posted automatically throughout the week. This way, I know that even if I can’t physically blog, I’ve got some posts going live and keeping my blog active.

I’ve made the mistake in the past of writing a few posts and then posting them one after the other, only to the not have anything going up for several weeks after that. If you only get chance to write a couple, schedule them for one per week. Blogging is still blogging; no matter how infrequently you post people are still going to enjoy reading your content.

Type Up Reviews ASAP, or Make Notes

I’m the worst for this one… The amount of times I have read a book and then left it weeks, or even months before writing my review, and then realising that I’ve totally forgotten everything about it. I remember I enjoyed it… but why?

Top-tip for this one is to do it as soon as you can, or if you know you won’t be able to write the whole thing then at least make a few notes to remind yourself of specifics.

Find Out What Works For You

Everyone’s schedule is different. Don’t think that you won’t be a successful blogger if you don’t post everyday. Remember: quality, not quantity! What works for me might not work for you, so just figure out what time you have available and then work around that.

Don’t Panic!

This is key. Don’t stress yourself out about not posting enough. Blogging should be fun! Most of us do it as a hobby, so the worst thing we can do is add even more stress to our already hectic lives – that takes the fun out of it and goes against why we started in the first place, so just do what you can and do it for you, because you love it, not for anyone else.


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Do you have any tips that might help me and other busy bees make the most of our limited blogging time? Let me know in the comments below!

 

[TBR] December 2018

December, December, December…

OH MY GOD IT’S DECEMBER!

I’m ultimately failing at my reading challenge this year, but do I care? NOPE.

I’ve come to accept that I won’t complete it this year, and that is absolutely fine. There are much more important things in life and overall I’ve had a very successful year in other ways.

That being said, I’ve set myself an ambitious TBR for this month to go out with a bang, but I also have a fair few unfinished books on my shelves which I’ve started reading throughout the year but never actually finished.


Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J. Maas

I have less than half of this HUGE book to finish… let’s hope it doesn’t destroy me. Who are we kidding? I’ll be dead after this book, nice knowing you all!

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Again, less than half to go! I started reading this book in the summer but could feel myself slipping into a major slump so I put it down. Id really like to finish it though and I reckon I can do that this month!

Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo

This is a short story collection based in the Grishaverse which I’ve been dipping in and out of throughout the year. I’m exactly 50% through this one, and it’d be great to finish it before King of Scars is released in January.

Illuminae by Jay Kristoff & Amie Kauffman

I’ve been listening to this one on audiobook alongside the physical book as I’ve found I enjoy it much more that way, although I haven’t listened to any in a couple of months. *Hits play…*

Pages and Co: Tilly and The Book Wanderers by Anna James

This is actually a super fun, quick read. Again, I’m over halfway through so it shouldn’t take me long at all to finish. Hopefully I can get this one ticked off in a day as soon as I finish KoA.


What are you going to be reading this December?

Christmas Gift Guide for Book Lovers

It’s almost Christmas… WOOPEEE!

I love the lead up to Christmas; buying gifts for all my friends and family is one of my favourite parts, along with wrapping them up in pretty paper and ribbons, and of course Christmas Dinner! Who doesn’t love to stuff their faces with yummy roast potatoes, pigs in blankets (unless you’re a veggie?!) and gallons of gravy. Being a Yorkshire “lass”, I’m also impartial to a perfectly formed Yorkshire pudding…

But enough about food.

What do you buy for a bookworm who devours books for desert and who’s shelves are stuffed with exciting worlds?

Aside from books, that is?

Here’s my gift guide for the bookiest of bookworms!


Bookish Candles

We all love candles. Especially ones that don names of our favourite characters and smell exactly how we imagine our imaginary worlds would smell.

There are some fantastic small business shops which create incredible bookish candles. Here are some of my personal favourites:


Mugs… Bookish Ones.

For all of those nights when you need copies amounts of coffee, tea or hot chocolate to gulp whilst you tensely read battle scenes in the hope that your favourite character survives…

There are some incredible designers out there who print onto mugs. I’m obsessed and I know a lot of other book dragons are too! And not only can these designs be printed on mugs, but you’ll also find cushion covers, coasters, phone cases and more! Here’s a selection of some amazing designers:


Bookmarks

There’s nothing better than a super cute bookmark to mark your progress in your current read, especially if you can get it to match your book!

There are several different types. Standard paper/card ones, magnetic clip bookmarks and gorgeous woodmarks. I personally love and collect all of them!

Magnetic Bookmarks:

Woodmarks:


Enamel Pin Badges

These are super cute and I’m pretty sure 99% of book lovers love them, even if, most of the time, we have no where to display them..! There’s such a variety of styles and fandoms out there, but these three stores knock it out of the park in my opinion:


Subscription Boxes

Bookish subscription boxes are such a great idea, particularly if you have a slightly higher budget. For an average of £30 ($45) you get a box filled with amazing goodies based on bookish fandoms, and in most cases, a brand new hardback book which often comes as a special edition with sprayed edges, exclusive covers or even signed by the author.

Again, there are so many out there to choose from, but being based in the UK where it seems significantly harder to get hold of one for a decent price, here are some UK curated boxes that I love:

Illumicrate:

Illumicrate was one of the first ever boxes I subscribed to, and I haven’t turned back since! It’s such a well curated box that gets better each and every month.

This box is quarterly, so you only get one every 3 months. In my opinion, this makes the box much more affordable and the items are incredibly well thought through and of amazing quality. Plus, Daphne is a real gem!

Illumicrate also do special edition boxes, which tend to be quite a bit more expensive but so worth it if you have the budget! The next upcoming box is for the highly anticipated King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo!

FairyLoot:

FairyLoot is one of the most popular boxes out there, and for very good reason. It’s a monthly, auto-renewing subscription but you can also do single purchase if there are any boxes left after subs close each month. The themes are such good fun, and perfect for fantasy lovers with the occasional sci-fi theme thrown in from time to time.


Other Ideas

Still at a loss of what to get the book lover in your life? Why not see if you can find a special edition of their favourite book, or keep it simple and get a gift card for their favourite book store? There’s always something; whatever you decide to get them, they’re going to love the thought you’ve put in anyway!

Have you got any favourite small business shops? Add them in the comments below and let’s make this the Ultimate Book Lovers Gift Guide!


[Book Haul] November 2018

I honestly cannot believe it’s December… another year gone! There are so many great releases in 2019 that I’m looking forward to, I will compile a list of my most anticipated before the month is out. But first, my November Haul!

I got some amazing books this month, a couple I bought and the rest are from publishers – thank you to Titan, Gollancz and Harper360YA for being amazing, always!

November Purchases:

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindlewald – J.K. Rowling

Throne of Glass (Collectors Edition) – Sarah J. Maas

Girls of Paper and Fire (Fairyloot Edition) – Natasha Ngan

Publisher Haul:

The Dark Vault – V.E. Schwab

Archangel’s Prophecy – Nalini Singh

Empress of All Seasons – Emiko Jean

Pride – Ibi Zoboi

Skyward – Brandon Sanderson


Do you spot any favourites or books you want to read? Let me know below, I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Mid-November Update (Hey, Where’d You Go…Again?!)

What am I reading, and what’s taking me so long to write another blog post?


Here’s the answer:

I’m reading Kingdom of Ash, which most of us know is a hefty 980 pages long… now, when you only have a total of about an hour a day to read in, it’s going to take some time to get through… and because I’m SO BUSY at work at the moment with the lead up to Christmas, as well as rehearsing for 2 shows each week, it’s leaving me very little extra time.

But trust me, please, I will be back soon with more reviews, book hauls and dare I say… BLOGMAS?!

Yes, that’s right, miss “totally irregular blogger” over here is going to try and commit to blogmas and redeem her terrible lack of blogging for the year in one short month… Am I crazy? Probably, yes.

But I have a few ideas already, and I can’t wait to write them and schedule them in!

Thanks for sticking with me everyone!


My last post was a review of Skyward by Brandon Sanderson for the official blog tour.

Click here to check it out!


You can also follow me on Instagram @incaseofbookishness for lots of pretty book photos, quick reviews and reading updates.

[Blog Tour] Skyward by Brandon Sanderson

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐.5

36642458Synopsis: Defeated, crushed, and driven almost to extinction, the remnants of the human race are trapped on a planet that is constantly attacked by mysterious alien starfighters. Spensa, a teenage girl living among them, longs to be a pilot. When she discovers the wreckage of an ancient ship, she realizes this dream might be possible—assuming she can repair the ship, navigate flight school, and (perhaps most importantly) persuade the strange machine to help her. Because this ship, uniquely, appears to have a soul.


Brandon Sanderson, aka. the KING of fantasy has written a YA Sci-Fi adventure you say..? Oh yes, and boy is it good!

Thanks you to Gollancz for sending me a copy of this wonderful book to review as part of the official release blog tour.

Usually, I’m not a huge fan of sci-fi, but when I heard that Brandon Sanderson was writing this, I knew I had to get my hands on it. It’s a communally agreed fact that Sanderson is the master of building intricate and exciting worlds within his books, as well as enticing plots and multi-dimensional characters which we all can relate to. His latest feat is no exception.

Skyward is thrilling, un-putdown-able and undeniably funny. It follows our teenage heroine, Spensa, who longs to be a pilot. Coming across a wrecked ship, she soon realises that this dream could become a reality and embarks upon teaching herself all there is to know.

Of course, this task is never going to be simple. For starters, the ship talks… you heard correctly, our starship is absolutely bloody hilarious and for me, gives the book a wholly unique tone unmatched by anything I have read before. It’s so refreshing to read a sci-fi that isn’t all doom and gloom.

The characterisation throughout this novel is truly wonderful. Everyone is different, strong and interesting, but Spensa in particular has a voice which I honestly admire. She is funny, independent and her seven year-old-self even has a bear called Bloodletter. If that’s not enough of an indication into her kick-ass personality, I don’t know what is! The world may be against her after the shaming of her father, but she certainly doesn’t let that defeat her, a trait we should all aspire to have in ourselves.

Long story short, if, like I was, you’re yet to find a sci-fi book that you love, this is that book.


Be sure to check out the other awesome bloggers on this tour!skyward tour graphic

[Wrap-Up] September 2018

We only have 3 months left of 2018… WHAT?

This year has gone by far too quickly. I’ve achieved a lot in my personal life, but in doing so, have failed miserably at my Goodreads challenge! I set out to read 50 books this year and so far have manged… 19. Oh.

I may consider lowering my goal by the end of October, but I have a LOT of books which I need to read this coming month for work, so for now I’ll leave it as it is and hope I can bump up those numbers a bit.

I’ve actually had a good month for reading this month. In fact, I think it’s been my best all year. I managed to finish 3 books and get a fair chunk of a fourth read (I know it doesn’t sound much, but believe me, it’s a darn sight better than I have been doing so far this year) and 2 of those were 5 star ratings! It’s been a long time since a book truly drew me and kept me up reading for hours, which is why I think it’s been a slow year for reading for me, but I’m glad to finally be back in the swing of it – better late than never!


City of Ghosts by V.E. Schwab

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

I really enjoyed this one. I love Schwab’s writing as it’s always quick paced, mysterious and gripping. This book was no exception to that, and would make a great Halloween season read!

See Full Review


The Binding by Bridget Collins

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

My favourite book of this year. It was simply incredible. Moving, magical, romantic… honestly, it had it all. This book will be released in January 2019, and I’ll post a full review closer to its release date, but for now, just make sure you add it to your TBR because you’re going to want to read it, trust me!


Tower of Dawn by Sarah J. Maas

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

I have been waiting for nearly a year to read this one, just so I could drag the series out for as long as possible and read it closer to the Kingdom of Ash release date. It has very quickly become one of my favourite books in the whole series. In fact, of anything Maas has ever written. It was touching, and I loved Chaol’s journey throughout the narrative and the relationships (particularly one which I’m shipping SO HARD) the he made. Full review to come, but bring on Kingdom of Ash, I say!


Pages & Co.: Tilly and The Book Wanderers by Anna James

Thoughts So Far:

I’m actually really enjoying this so far! I raced through over 100 pages yesterday, so it’s a super quick read, with a little mystery and a whole heap of nostalgia. I’m loving bumping into all of the characters we know and love from childhood favourite books.

A simple concept and simply written, but wholly enjoyable from what I’ve read so far – I hope to finish this today.


What books did you read in September?

Comment below!