Reading Life

February 2019 Book Chat + Annotating Books

*Hi! πŸ€—Welcome to what is soon to become a traditional monthly post on TCS. In these book chats I talk about all the great bookish things I’m loving in my life right now.

Annotating books, book rating system, bookish things I love.

New book rating system.

I’ve been experimenting a lot with book rating systems because I’m trying to find a system that will work perfectly for me. The thing I’m loving about this is that I can customize it to my specific preferences.

*A while ago I wrote in a blog post about my book rating system and I have since then changed it. You can find that blog post here.

I first started using a system to rate my books when I found this video by @book_roast on YouTube and I followed this system to a “T”. I soon found that it was too strict for me. The books I was reading weren’t getting a rating that reflected how I really felt about them. So I adjusted it to the system I mentioned in my blog post above.

That system was better, but not perfect. I most recently found this video by Amanda on YouTube that is based on @book_roast’s system but it’s much less strict and has fewer categories, which is a lifesaver.

Currently, my system is to rate a book by five categories with a 1-10 scale, 1 being horrid and 10 being unbelievably amazing. I then add up the 5 scores, divide them by five and assign them a star rating based on that number. It’s much simpler than @book_roast’s original method and I don’t feel like I’m being redundant when I write my book reviews.

*Note: you can pick whatever categories you want to rate books by. I rate character, world, plot, writing style, and enjoyment. I also assign the 1-10 scale emotions. 1 being “absolute trash, I hated it.” 10 being, “I’m dead”.

Annotating books.

Another thing I’m starting to delve into is annotating books. I found this video by @littlebookowl to be extremely helpful in explaining what annotating is and her specific method for doing it.

For a long time I have felt that I’m not very good at talking about books and I know that annotating has been the missing link for me.

I have yet to start annotating books, but I did use her index card method in the last book I read and it was extremely helpful. One modification I’m going to make is to create character cards. Creating character cards will really help me determine what it is about the characters makes me like them or hate them. Which is usually the determining factor in me liking the book or not.

Things that are saving my life.

*When I say, “saving my life” I don’t mean in a literal sense. I just mean that these things have been immensely helpful or they just make me a little bit happier than I was before.

The Libby app.

I don’t know about you, but the Libby app, which is the new version of Overdrive, has been really great. There are a lot of titles that can be borrowed without being on a holds list. I really like it for mega thick fantasy books that have teeny tiny type. With Libby, you can make the text bigger so you don’t have to strain your eyes to read those itty bitty words.

Always Fully Booked Planner

Another thing I’m absolutely loving is the Always Fully Booked planner by Little Inklings Design. Megan is absolutely the sweetest person on the planet and her planner is a book lover’s dream. Unfortunately, the 2019 planners are sold out.

I know, why am I telling you this? If it’s sold out what’s the point. Well, my dear friend, the point is for you to go bookmark her website, sign up for her email list and then when she announces the 2020 planner in the fall, you can go ahead and order. Your future self will thank you. Oh, and also check out her other products! She has bookmarks, stickers, prints, and mugs.

Drawing boxes in my reading journal.

Ok, why is this saving my life? I have started drawing boxes around my book reviews in my reading journal and it has been life changing.

The thing is, I love my reading journal (and my bullet journal for that matter) but I can’t stand rows and rows of messy jumbled up handwriting. I think it’s ugly and it makes me cringe every time I see it. So I started outlining my pages and it has made a world of difference. All I needed to do was give my words some boundaries and my brain is happy. πŸ˜ƒ

reading journal, book reviews, annotating books

Things I love.

Owlcrate and LitJoy Crate.

These two book subscription boxes are some of the best things I do to treat myself. I know it’s a risk to buy these kinds of boxes because you don’t know what you are going to get, but the surprise is half the fun for me. It’s also really nice to get a newly released book each month. Most of the time I can guess what the book is, but that just helps me make sure I don’t go out and buy it myself.

You can sign up for Owlcrate here and LitJoy Crate here.

Five star reads.

Last, but not least here are the last few books I read that scored 5 stars from me.

Out of the three The Mime Order was my favorite one.

That’s all from me today!

I hope you found the videos on book rating and annotating helpful and fun!

Happy Reading,

Alicen β˜•οΈ

P.S. Do you feel like your bookshelves could use some TLC? I wrote a blog post all about decluttering your books. You can find it here.