Monday, June 5, 2017

Armchair BEA 2017: Wrap-up and Final Thoughts

It's official... this years Armchair Book Expo has come and gone! I feel like it flew by, and especially with me helping on the prize team this year, I didn't get to participate with other bloggers as much as I'd hoped to.

However, Armchair Book Expo may not happen next year! Our current leader Tif, is getting too busy to run this event herself, and it's getting harder and harder to find volunteers and sponsors! If you love this event as much as I do, step up! Make sure to fill out the closing survey on the Armchair Book Expo blog and give your thoughts and suggestions.

Wrap Up:  Let us know your parting thoughts on Armchair Book Expo 2017.  Did you have a favorite day or topic?  Did you meet some new book lovers?  Share any and all thoughts with us.

I really enjoyed the varied topics we had each day! I think my favorite was the ISO day! So many bloggers gave me good suggestions on new books to read, and they got some good ones in return. This kind of sharing is what we want Armchair Book Expo to be about!

See y'all next year!

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Armchair BEA 2017

Hi everyone! Long time no see, I know... Life has been so busy and I've had little time for blogging or reading or anything else. Now that I'm somewhat settled back home from Florida and in a normal work schedule, I plan on reading more and blogging here more.

Armchair BEA, or Armchair Book Expo and it's now being called, started Wednesday and I was so busy over the weekend that I totally spaced posting the daily topics each day! I'm also on the Prize Team again so I'm taking on that additional work over today and tomorrow.

Since I missed the last few days, I figured I would just catch up with the days I missed on one big post, and if I miss anything I can use it for the wrap-up tomorrow ;)

Day 1: Introductions!

I am... a 26 year old newlywed and lifeblogger with two young kittens and a full plate of life!

My current read... is a devotional called The Comparison Trap. It's a good read!

My summer plans... are working, enjoying the sun, and spending time with family!

My blog/channel/social media... is The Librarian's Bookshelf on blogger, @arielrwilson on Twitter, and @arielrwilson on Instagram!

The best... part about this week is how many readers and bloggers come together to share a love of reading!

Day 2: What Readers Want and Collaboration

What Do Readers Want?: What makes or breaks a book? How do we rate the books, or determine if it is good literature or a good story? What do we want from an author event? How does diversity representation fit into all of this?

I think every reader is different and looks for something different depending on what genres they normally read. I know for myself that I set a limit of 100 pages, to decide if I will continue reading the entire book or call it a DNF (Did Not Finish). Because book bloggers read so many books, we have to limit ourselves and not force ourselves to read something that may end up as a waste of time.

Let's Collaborate & Listen: The online book community has changed so much over the years. How do we keep up within our own book-sphere as well as within the community as a whole (i.e., libraries, bookstores, authors, publishers, etc.)?

I personally have dipped out of the book blogosphere for the last few years, and only follow a handful of book bloggers regularly. I find that using a feed reader is still my preferred way of reading blogs! It makes it easy to see who is still updating and who I can remove from my list. I also still use Goodreads regularly and locate recommendations through there often.

Day 3: Diversity and Dining with Authors

Delving Into Diversity: Book Expo sparked quite the controversy a couple years ago regarding diversity in books and authors. Where are we now? OR, let's take a different direction and explore the diversity of the format of a book. Do we judge a book by its cover and/or content (e.g.,, audio, digital, graphic, etc.)? Or, combine the two topics and discuss diversity found in alternative content (e.g., representation in graphic novels). Get creative and maybe even controversial!

I am a book cover judge. Through and through! If a book cover turns me off, I probably won't pick it up. On the flip side, I'm likely to pick up a pretty cover and see what the book is about. While I do love the diversity there is in book media now, and I myself LOVE my Kindle, I'm still a big supporter of traditional paper books as well. I have too many books, believe me!

Dining With the Authors: Every year at Book Expo, children and adult authors are featured during breakfast. Who would you dream of enjoying a meal with? Would it be breakfast, lunch, dinner, or simply coffee? What would your meal be? What would you discuss?

Paul Stewart is my favorite author of my favorite series, one that I have gushed about a few times here on the blog. The Edge Chronicals is a fantasically written fantasy novel series, with mini timelines and huge storylines and it all wraps up so beautifully. I would love to meet him for coffee and just pick his brain! How did he come up with the multiple stories? Why did he choose the names he did? How does he keep getting ideas? I could take hours!

Day 4: ISO Books

ISO Books: As readers, we are always looking for our next book to read or a stack to fill our TBR shelves. This is your opportunity to ask using our Armchair Book Expo Book Suggestion Generator (aka YOU!). Are you wanting to expand your horizons with minority characters? Are you in search of your next book club read? Do you want to explore your graphic novel or comic book options? Or, are you looking for a book that broaches a mental health or childhood issue to help you grow in understanding and knowledge in your personal life? YOU ask and YOU answer.

I'm always ISO fantasy novels! While I do like contemporary and the occasional non-fiction, I will always return to fantasy novels. And if it's a series, even better! The more fantasy I can have on my bookshelves, the happier this reader will be ;)

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Armchair BEA Day 5: Review and Wrap-Up

Welcome back for the last day everyone! It's been a fun week with lots to participate in! For the last day we're reflecting on the week.

Armchair BEA

This year was the second year I volunteered to help out the prize team. It was just as rewarding as last year, if not more so! One thing I did that was new this year was to draw prizes for one of the Twitter chats. I had no idea how stressful that could be! I was running back and forth between tweeting winners and adding them to our winners list, that I had practically no time to participate in the chat. While that was disappointing, I know how much time goes into volunteering for this event so I don't regret it! If you're looking to help out next year, I highly recommend to look for the closing survey on the website tomorrow to submit interest! We always need help.

I hope everyone had an amazing week and that you come back to join us again next year!

What was your favorite part of the week?

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Armchair BEA Day 4: Fictional Worlds

Welcome back to day 4! It's no secret that I love fantasy novels, and by extension, fictional worlds! I'm super excited for today's topic, so let's move right into it!

Armchair BEA

Today we'll talk about surviving fictional worlds. We all know that sometimes, the worlds we love in fiction can be dangerous. Which fictional worlds would you want to live in? Which worlds do you never want to dive into? Which worlds are you content to stay behind the glass, so to speak, rather than wishing to dive through the page? And once you get there, what would you do?

I'm going to be choosing a lot of typical worlds, but hey, I love my popular fiction! Hogwarts is one place I would love to visit. I did recently get the chance to visit The Wizarding World of Harry Potter here in Orlando and it was near-perfect, but being at the real school and seeing ghosts and taking classes would be a dream. I would also love to visit Forks, WA, just because I've heard it really is a beautiful town - plus it's not too far from my hometown! One place I would never want to go is Panem from The Hunger Games. Because seriously, who wants to watch children fight to the death?!

What worlds would you visit? Which ones would you steer clear from?

Friday, May 13, 2016

Armchair BEA Day 3: Beyond the Books & Beyond the Blogs

Welcome back to day 3, everyone! The week is flying by already, but I'm having a lot of fun reconnecting with some other book bloggers and getting some reading in! I even have a couple of reviews to work on! How is everyone else doing this week?

For day three we're talking about our lives beyond reading and blogging. Because yes, those don't take over our lives. ;)

Armchair BEA

Beyond the traditional form of the novel, what are your favorite alternative forms (graphic novels, audiobooks, webcomics, etc)? Do you have any favorite works within these alternate forms? How do you think the changing format affects the reading experience?

While I do read graphic novels occasionally, I don't often. The same goes for webcomics. I actually follow a lot of webcomics, but I'm behind because life is getting in the way right now. I have listened to audiobooks before, and my husband Nick likes listening to them often. I have a hard time focusing though so I don't do that often. I prefer ebooks, and often take my Kindle with me on the bus ride to work (since it's almost and hour) and I can squeeze in a lot of reading time that way! I know many people don't like the idea of ebooks because it's not a traditional book, but I still love my paperbacks and hardbacks. I usually save those for home reading because it's easier to keep them from becoming damaged.

Our secondary topic, beyond the blog could focus on the ways you engage in talking about books outside of your blog. Do you participate in book clubs, take classes, meticulously maintain your goodreads profile? Let the world know!

I've never done a book club, but I've always thought it was a fun idea. When we move back to Oregon I'm planning on looking into one because I think it could be fun and I get to make a lot of friends! As far as Goodreads, mine is not updated at all. It's on my life of things to finish when I move back and start blogging more, but until then it's nowhere near accurate! I tend to spend hours ranting about books to my husband instead, it's helps get my frustrations out ;)

What sorts of bookish things do you do besides your blog? What other book forms do you read?

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Armchair BEA Day 2: Books and Blogs

Welcome back for day 2 of ABEA! Today we're talking about the books we read and the blogs we blog through! Ready to go?

Armchair BEA

The Books: How often do you judge a book by its cover? How often are you surprised by what you find? Do you strategize and make sure every book in your series has the same cover design (as far as you are able to) and type? How important is it for the visual art on the outside of the book to match or coordinate with the literature art on the inside?

I'll be honest, I love pretty book covers. I frequently judge books by their covers. I'm more likely to buy a book if I like the cover than if I don't! That doesn't mean I pass up books with covers I don't like, I just prefer pretty covers to go with good stories. As far as series, I hate when they change cover art! I like all my books in a series to match. I just want pretty matching covers!

The Blog: As a book blogger, in whatever form that takes, branding is important. Your colors, your fonts, your style of review, all of these things come together to make the "brand" of your blog - something that makes your reviews and posts and websites, all your various content, immediately recognizable to the people looking for you. What do you do to create a brand on your site? Do you think about these things? 

Because most of my social media aligns with Keys to My Life, the only places I try and keep on brand for The Librarian's Bookshelf is here on the blog, Goodreads, and NetGalley. Even for the latter two, it's not that hard. Here on the blog I've stuck with this dreamy, dark blue color scheme for a couple of years now and I really enjoy it! It feel it flows well and returning visitors recognize it easily when they come back.

Do you judge books by covers? How do you keep your blog on brand?

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Armchair BEA Day 1: Let's kick this week off!

Hi everyone! It's been quite awhile since I've shown my face here, but I've been insanely busy! I didn't even have time to participate in last month's 24 Hour Read-a-thon because I was so busy. I'll be getting back into a regular schedule for both blogs sometime in August, but until then this blog will be quiet. This week however, it's gonna be an active and fun time here on the blog!

Armchair BEA

Today is the first day of Armchair BEA! For those who don't know what that is, BEA is an event in New York every year where bloggers and authors alike can attend and get a look at what is to come for the publishing industry in the coming year. For those of us who can't make it to New York, we participate in Armchair BEA! This year I'm back on the prize team and I'm excited to get started!

For today, we're all introducing ourselves and getting the week off to a fun start. Is everyone ready?!

1. What is the name you prefer to use?

I'm Ariel! Although I am often referred to simply by my blog name, The Librarian's Bookshelf, I prefer people knowing my actual name as it seems more personal.

2. How long have you been a book blogger?

I started book blogging on my main blog, Keys to My Life, back in late 2009. Once that began to take over, I decided to dedicate a blog just to book blogging, and this blog was born!

3. Have you participated in ABEA before?

Yes! I believe I've done three years or so now!

4. Do you have a favorite book? If you cannot choose a favorite book of all time, pick your favorite book today - just this second. Remember that favorites are allowed to change if something affects you deeply enough.

One of my all-time favorite books is The Immortals. It's book 10 in The Edge Chronicles series and I read the series growing up, so it became a big favorite of mine. This book, which was supposed to be the last book, wrapped up the three previous trilogies in such a perfect way that it could not have been completed any other way. Definitely check out the series if you like fantasy!

5. What is your favorite genre and why?

I like a lot of genres, but fantasy has always been my favorite. A huge portion of my bookshelf is dedicated just to fantasy novels!

6. What book are you most excited for on your TBR? What are you most intimidated by?

As I mentioned above, The Immortals was supposed to be the final book in The Edge Chronicles series. Welllll last year they started a NEW TRILOGY and I have the first and second books in that new trilogy! They're currently taunting me. I guess in a way I'm also intimidated by them because the last one ended so well that I don't want my expectations to be too high.

7. What is the most interesting thing that you have learned through your reading this year so far?

I haven't really learned anything through a book, but I have learned something about myself. First, I've learned I have to change up what genres I read every once in awhile. While I love non-fiction and fiction equally, reading too many non-fiction books in a row can burn me out from reading. Also, I've learned if I carve out an hour or two a day for reading, I can actually get a lot of reading done. I'm a quick reader, so as I move back into book blogging and reviewing this will be a strategy I use to keep my reading going.

8. How do you arrange your bookshelves? Is there a rhyme or reason? Or not at all?

I try to keep them by genre. I keep series together and in order of course, but each shelf is usually the same genre or a similar genre.

I'm excited to be participating and helping out this year! If you're a fellow participate stopping by, please leave your link so I can visit you!
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