March Wrap Up | Alexia's Books and Such...: March Wrap Up

“Books are for people who wish they were somewhere else.” ~ Mark Twain

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

March Wrap Up

March monthly wrap up | Alexia's Books and Such

Monthly wrap up posts seemed to help keep me on track last year, so going to try them again this year.

Books read

Didn't make my reading goal last year, so lowered it from 100 to 75 books. In order to meet my Goodreads goal, I need to read 6.25 books per month. I read 4 books this month:

  1. Hold Me Closer Necromancer by Lish McBride
  2. Crewel by Gennifer Albin
  3. Trigger Warning by Neil Gaiman
  4. Trial by Fire by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Not great, but I've doubled my books read for the year, so guess that's something! And I had a blast reading books from my own stacks for the March Take Control of Your TBR Pile Challenge. Amazing how relaxing it was not worrying about review deadlines and reading whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted! Need to do this more often!

Blog Goals

Couldn't find any info on adding a Facebook page share button to the bottom of my posts, but did find a pop-up share button at Conversions Box that I like. No directions on how to install the code, but I found some easy instructions here. I like that it doesn't block anything and that you can close it if you want. What do you think?

Took part in the week-long Bloggiesta. I love Bloggiestas because no matter how many times I participate, I always learn something new. Totally in love with the social media icons I installed as one of my goals! Here's my wrap-up post in case you missed it.

It took me way too long, visiting way too many websites, but I got my horizontal tab menu back! Finally found instructions that worked at the awesome MET website! You have no idea how long I've been searching for a fix, so am really relieved it works! And now I can't stop staring at them. So pretty!

Thank you internet!

Commenting

Am getting better at replying to blog comments, although I do admit it sometimes takes me a day or two. Still trying to visit and comment on at least five blogs a day, with varying success. Let's just call it a work in progress. Think I'm going to try a commenting experiment for April. I'll let you know how it works.

What do you think about my new comment system? I was torn between leaving the blogger system or going to CommentLuv, so decided to give CommentLuv a test run. Please let me know if it gives you any trouble!

Overall

Did better on my reading this month and I think a large part of that was because I took part in the TBR Challenge. It's so relaxing and fun to read what you want, when you want! Think I need to cut waaaaay back on accepting reviews in order to keep that fun, love of reading feeling alive. We'll see, as I have a hard time resisting the bright, shiny new books.

I changed my Pinterest account from a personal to business account. I had been thinking about it so I'd have access to their analytics, then one day I received a pop-up asking if I'd like to switch, so did. It was really easy too, which I always appreciate! The only difference is that instead of my name, it has my blog name listed. I'm loving Pinterest and having fun with it, so please stop by and check out my boards!

Let's see, what else? Got some good feedback during Bloggiesta and tweaked my blog a little to make it easier to read, so please let me know what you think!

Do you think I should keep my full posts, or switch to excerpts so you don't have to scroll so much to read the next post? I'm also starting to think about changing to a new blog design, so anyone know a good, affordable designer?

Happy April!

23 comments:

  1. **Reclaimed Comment 4/1/15***

    Doubling your number of books for the year in March is pretty good -- especially with Bloggiesta.

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    1. Thanks Joy! Didn't read as many books as I had hoped, but had a productive Bloggiesta so think that makes up for it.

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  2. **Reclaimed Comment 4/1/15***

    I've really enjoyed doing the TBR challenge as well and not just because my TBR mountain is now 8 books less but because as you say its a pleasure to read what you want at the pace you want.

    On the full post v excerpts debate, happy with both really but my personal preference if I had to pick would have to be full posts.

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    1. Thanks Tracy! Was surprised how nice it was to read whatever, whenever, so am going to try to read from my TBR pile at least once every month!

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  3. **Reclaimed Comment 4/1/15***

    I use Feedly so I already get a shorter version and pick what I like. I'm glad you're getting out there and commenting. It's the best way to network.

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    1. Still getting used to Feedly, but really like the index feature! Wish there was some way to leave a comment without having to click through to the blog, but remember that I had the same complaint with Google Reader. And what's an extra click or two between friends? lol

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  4. **Reclaimed Comment 4/1/15***

    I totally agree with you! It's so freeing to read from your TBR pile without worrying about reviewing it! I just finished my last book for review, and I'm very tempted to make it my VERY last. haha!

    I love the Bloggiesta also! And I'm trying to get out there and comment on more posts too. It's hard because it can also be very time-consuming. :/

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    1. I've really cut back on accepting review titles, but NetGalley is still my Kryptonite! If I don't log in, they send me tempting email offers that I can't seem to resist. Evil geniuses!

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  5. **Reclaimed Comment 4/1/15***

    Alexia thanks for linking up. Yes bloggiesta was a great week, and although I only did a small amount I enjoyed it. The TBR challenge month was great and I loved reading my own books too. I think I'd like to cut back on 'review' books too and have to some extent, although I only occasionally get lumbered with something I am not really interested in.

    I love the look of your blog, because it looks fresh to me. Easy to read too. I don't know of any not too costly designers though. I was happy with Parajunkee and she wasn't too expensive. Found your switching to business on Pinterest interesting, something for me to keep in mind in the future.

    Happy reading in April.

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    1. I've missed a few Bloggiestas, but this one seemed extra productive and fun for some reason. Maybe because it was a full week? Loved visiting other participants and seeing all the great progress people made on their blogs! Got lots of inspirations!

      Thanks for the kind words about my blog! I'm paranoid about making any big changes, but have had this design for awhile now and maybe it's time for something new? Still going back and forth about this in my head. I guess I could always try a new design and switch back if I hate it. Just paranoid I'd break something!

      I like the analytics offered on the business Pinterest account, but don't see much of a difference otherwise. None of my boards changed, just went from my personal name to my blog name. Really love Pinterest, but have yet to try a single DIY that I've pinned! lol

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  6. **Reclaimed Comment 4/1/15***

    I got a lot out of Bloggiesta, too. It was my first. I finished the second book in the Crewel series, but I didn't like it as much. It's totally different. But I'm still going to read the third, I forget the title, but it's on my TBR.

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    1. Glad that you enjoyed your first Bloggiesta! I love them and always have so much fun! Thanks for the heads up about the Crewel series. It's strange how I've read a couple of books lately where I liked the premise, but not the main character. Maybe I'm just in a funky mood or something? Luckily, I'm loving the main characters in my current read!

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  7. **Reclaimed Comment 4/1/15***

    I did the business for pinterest a while back too and it is nice having those stats :) It's so easy to get lost on there for ages!

    I like excerpts of posts with a read more, personally.

    Oh I see your like on FB. I have the Shareaholic bits on mine but I don't think they have a like the post just a share the post to FB. Do the likes show on your fan page? Or does it just show on their personal page that they liked a blog post?

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    1. Pinterest is worse for me than Twitter and Facebook combined! I think I could spend all day on there with no problem, so have to be careful that I don't get sucked in! The stats are a nice extra, and I love seeing I have followers all over the world! Very cool.

      Thanks for the feedback about excerpts. My posts keep getting longer, so seriously considering switching as I can't seem to write short posts anymore. My early posts were nice & concise, but I seem to have lost that particular skill.

      You know, I'm not really sure if the Facebook likes show up on FB or not. Never thought of it, but now I'm curious. Will have to look into that! Thanks! :)

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  8. **Reclaimed Comment 4/1/15***

    I got a lot out of Bloggiesta, too. It was my first. I have very poor vision, to the point that there are blogs I don't bother with and others where I have to enlarge the font to read it better. No problems reading your's, the font is a good size and there is a nice contrast between text and background. Your sidebars look great, too: no unnecessary distracting visuals. I especially like your social media icons. Where did you get them?

    I finished the second book in the Crewel series, but I didn't like it as much. It's totally different. But I'm still going to read the third, I forget the title, but it's on my TBR.

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    1. Thank you for the feedback on my blog! My vision isn't great either (time for new glasses again!), so good to know the font and colors work for you. I found the icons online after a quick google search, but can't remember where. I know that there weren't too many book icons, so should be easy to find. Love that they're books!

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  9. **Reclaimed Comment 4/1/15***

    4 is good! I read Trigger Warning and really liked the short with the months in it, specifically for Octobers' vignette. :-)
    Happy April reading!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you! I need to finish my Trigger Warning review, but the collection of monthly stories was my favorite too! Loved the one with the genie!

      Happy reading!

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  10. **Reclaimed Comment 4/2/15***

    It's good to adjust goals once in awhile. I only reviewed 32 books last year. Even one/week is too much for me. Overall it sounds like you had a great month. Thanks for stopping by my blog. I still don't have a comment system. Some days are better than others.

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    1. Had a small scare when all my comments disappeared, but they're back now so not sure what happened. Figured I'd take CommentLuv for a test run to see how it goes, as I know I can always switch back if necessary. Hope you find a system you like! And yes, some days are definitely better than others....

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  11. **Reclaimed Comment 4/2/15***

    I think replying to comments takes everyone a day or two. :D So, don't fret. It's just awesome that you're doing it. I read four books in March too. I've been averaging that amount each month, which is actually more than my goal, so I'm pretty happy.

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    1. Thanks Jenni! I used to read faster, but keep falling into reading ruts. And I'm still trying to find that elusive balance everyone's in search of. :)

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