No Book Buying Challenge: Best Bookish Gift

This month’s theme is about the best bookish gifts you’ve received, and aside from books themselves, I have the perfect example this month! LookHuman.com have some great bookish t-shirts, and I now own an obscene number of them because my family/partner are good to me and it was my birthday on the 20th. Here’s the list (with links, if you click):

I’m a bit addicted to the raglans, they’re cosy and perfect for curling up to read in! Now if they came in more colours, I’d be set for life.

As for a general update, here goes. Green is for good progress or sticking to a target; orange is for marginal or in progress things. Red is for an uh-oh.

  • 36/51+ already owned books read from prior to 2015 (last one recorded: The Magus, 22/08)
  • Spent: £21 out of ~£30 budget (budget is 10% of my income) for January
  • Spent: £20 out of ~£25 budget for February
  • Spent: £22 out of ~£25 budget for March
  • Spent: £15 out of ~£16 budget for April
  • Spent: £45 out of ~£30 budget for May
  • Spent: £18 out of ~£40 budget for June, plus stuck within holiday budget
  • Spent: £45 out of ~£50 budget for July
  • Spent £51 out of ~£60 for August

Yep, that is the sign of someone who got paid a lot this month. Too bad it doesn’t seem to be a repeat job.

Here’s my more general progress on resolutions:

  • No books impulse-bought (being maybe a bit fast-and-loose with my definition here)
  • Read every day 
  • Bed before midnight
  • Up before ten every day
  • Only bought one book from a series at a time (couple of lapses, but mostly for deals/sets)
  • Posted to the blog every day
  • Commented on at least one other blog every day
  • Tithed 10% in every month so far
  • Done 6o hours volunteering total
  • Reading/reviewing books from NG/etc (66% ratio; steady progress)

So that’s all pretty good, as long as I keep behaving myself. (Or, alternately, keep getting well paid jobs. Sadly, this is not likely.)

No Book Buying Challenge: Best So Far (Part 2)

I already did this month’s prompt for the #ShelfLove challenge last month, but what the hey — I’ll do it again. My favourite book since I picked Tropic of Serpents last month has to be Ancillary Justice, by Ann Leckie. It swept the awards when it came off, and swept a lot of my friends off their feet. I bounced off the first time I tried to read it, but once I got into it, I gobbled it up and immediately read the sequel, Ancillary Sword. You can find my review here!

As for a general update, here goes. Green is for good progress or sticking to a target; orange is for marginal or in progress things. Red is for an uh-oh.

  • 32/51+ already owned books read (last one recorded: Fire, 20/07)
  • Spent: £21 out of ~£30 budget (budget is 10% of my income) for January
  • Spent: £20 out of ~£25 budget for February
  • Spent: £22 out of ~£25 budget for March
  • Spent: £15 out of ~£16 budget for April
  • Spent: £45 out of ~£30 budget for May
  • Spent: £18 out of ~£40 budget for June, plus stuck within holiday budget
  • Spent: £45 out of ~£50 budget for July

Here’s my more general progress on resolutions:

  • No books impulse-bought (despite a recent spree, that was still books I considered for at least a day first!)
  • Read every day 
  • Bed before midnight (couple of issues lately with work)
  • Up before ten every day
  • Only bought one book from a series at a time
  • Posted to the blog every day
  • Commented on at least one other blog every day (back on the wagon with this now)
  • Tithed 10% in January, February, March, April, May & June; not picked a charity for July
  • Done 55 hours volunteering total
  • Reading/reviewing books from NG/etc (63% ratio; still making steady progress)

So that’s pretty good progress, as long as I behave myself for the last eleven days of July! Yay me.

No Book Buying Challenge: Best So Far

Well, the theme for this month’s #ShelfLove update is to do a mid-year review, which I’ve already done. So I will do July’s theme already: to share the best book so far this year that counted toward this challenge. Let me dash to my Goodreads shelves and take a look… Seems like the winner is Marie Brennan’s Tropic of Serpents. You can read my review here!

  • 30/51+ already owned books read (last one recorded: Ancillary Justice, 21/06)
  • Spent: £21 out of ~£30 budget (budget is 10% of my income) for January
  • Spent: £20 out of ~£25 budget for February
  • Spent: £22 out of ~£25 budget for March
  • Spent: £15 out of ~£16 budget for April
  • Spent: £45 out of ~£30 budget for May
  • Spent: £18 out of ~£40 budget for June

Can you tell I’ve been earning some more money this month? Such a relief. It’s going to be a bit difficult to keep track of the rest of this month, given that I’m in Belgium, Canada and the US, so dealing with various different currencies. It will basically go green if I manage to keep to my main budgets, and I won’t worry too much about the exact total.

Here’s my more general progress on resolutions:

  • No books impulse-bought (despite a recent spree, that was still books I considered for at least a day first!)
  • Read every day (I had problems with this because of an assignment, so I’m giving myself half a pass on this one!)
  • Bed before midnight (nearly every night now)
  • Up before ten every day
  • Only bought one book from a series at a time
  • Posted to the blog every day
  • Commented on at least one other blog every day (I should have made time for this despite my assignment, it’s not like it takes long)
  • Tithed 10% in January, February, March, April, May & June
  • Done 55 hours volunteering total
  • Reading/reviewing books from NG/etc (60% ratio; massive progress in the last month!)

Obviously this month I added some colour-coding. That red line for May will give me extra determination not to have more! Green is for good progress or sticking to a target; orange is for marginal or in progress things.

No Book Buying Challenge: Allow me books!

Well, the theme for this month’s #ShelfLove update is about asking to be allowed a book… and I’ve really taken that upon myself lately. Heh. So in that sense, I’m afraid I don’t deserve any books. But I have been making progress, particularly on ARCs, so if Captain Marvel: Stay Fly showed up, I’d have to welcome it.

  • 25/51+ already owned books read (last one recorded: Valour & Vanity, 12/05)
  • Spent: £21 out of ~£30 budget (budget is 10% of my income) for January
  • Spent: £20 out of ~£25 budget for February
  • Spent: £22 out of ~£25 budget for March
  • Spent: £15 out of ~£16 budget for April
  • Spent: £30 out of ~£30 budget for May

Oops. Ouch.

Here’s my more general progress on resolutions:

  • No books impulse-bought (despite my sprees, it’s all been books I’ve wanted a while)
  • Read every day
  • Bed before midnight (nearly every night now)
  • Up before ten every day (generally eight AM now!)
  • Only bought one book from a series at a time
  • Posted to the blog every day
  • Commented on at least one other blog every day
  • Tithed 10% in January, February, March, April & May
  • Done 45.5 hours volunteering total
  • Reading/reviewing books from NG/etc (54% ratio)

So, yeah. Clearly, it’s only 14th May and I’m maxed on my budget, and I am going to die of withdrawal. Or something.

No Book Buying Challenge: Progress

The time seems to be flying by, and apparently it’s time for another monthly update on this. This one’s easy for me, since I’ve been reporting my progress each month anyway. So here goes:

  • 16/51+ already owned books read (last one recorded: Tropic of Serpents, 17/04)
  • Spent: £21 out of ~£30 budget (budget is 10% of my income) for January
  • Spent: £20 out of ~£25 budget for February
  • Spent: £22 out of ~£25 budget for March
  • Spent: £15 out of ~£16 budget for April

Of course, my sister has helped by wildly indulging me — she’s bought me a couple of books, lately, including the £11.99 copy of Ms Marvel: Generation Why that I wanted, and the even more expensive Angela Carter’s Book of Fairy Tales. I also had Mum pay me for some secretarial work in book vouchers. So, um. I’m cheating, a little, but in terms of my actual written down budget, I’m sticking to it. Even when it’s difficult, like this month. I’m not earning much at all, and it scares me a little.

Here’s my more general progress on resolutions:

  • No books impulse-bought
  • Read every day
  • Bed before midnight… mostly
  • Up before ten every day
  • Only bought one book from a series at a time
  • Posted to the blog every day
  • Commented on at least one other blog every day
  • Tithed 10% in January, February, March and April
  • Done 32 hours volunteering total
  • Reading/reviewing books from NG/etc… making some slow progress

I’m actually using a challenge on HabitRPG now to keep me accountable. There’s a big gem prize available if I lose by not reading enough by December 31st, so hopefully I’m going to do it. But it’s looking doubtful: I started with 54 books to read before I got to 80% ratio on Netgalley, and now it’s 55 thanks to some requests. Oops.

But I have been catching up with some ARCs, and I can only hope I get my skates on before December 31st.

No Book Buying Challenge: My Secret Sauce

Yes, my puns are terrible, I know. This month’s prompt from the #ShelfLove challenge is about free books: where do you get them from?

I have a feeling that I had a brilliant idea for this list and then forgot it. Ah well: I can always add it later. And now to the general update!

  • 8/51+ already owned books read
  • Spent: £21 out of ~£30 budget (budget is 10% of my income) for January
  • Spent: £20 out of ~£25 budget for February
  • Spent: £12 out of ~£25 budget for March

As for my other resolutions:

  • No books impulse-bought (two marginal; they weren’t on my list, but I was aware of and interested in them before, and I used a voucher)
  • Read every day
  • Bed before midnight… mostly
  • Up before ten every day (now basically up before eight every day and not entirely happy about it)
  • Only bought one book from a series at a time
  • Posted to the blog every day
  • Commented on at least one other blog every day
  • Tithed 10% in January, February and March.
  • Done 27 hours volunteering total
  • Reading/reviewing books from NG/etc… making some slow progress

I now have a couple of challenges and stuff set up on HabitRPG to keep me accountable, too. If I don’t get to 80% feedback on Netgalley by December 31st 2015, I pay an eight gem forfeit to a random person who joined the challenge. (You can find it in the Short-Term Accountability Guild if you’re a HabitRPG fan like me!)

No Book Buying Challenge: Finances

I promised an update on the #ShelfLove challenge today, so here it is! The discussion this month is around budgets, which means I can pretty much stick to the same format as my extra updates for last month.

  • 7/51+ already owned books read
  • Spent: £21 out of ~£30 budget (budget is 10% of my income) for January
  • Spent: £5 out of ~£25 budget for February

As for my other resolutions:

  • No books impulse-bought
  • Read every day
  • Bed before midnight… mostly
  • Up before ten every day
  • Only bought one book from a series at a time
  • Posted to the blog every day
  • Commented on at least one other blog every day
  • Tithed 10% in January, February tithe not done yet
  • Done 18 hours volunteering total
  • Reading/reviewing books from NG/etc… in progress

As for the money I save, mostly it’s going to my savings account. I am planning a slightly more complex budget so I can also save up separately for my next games console, but the main goal is just to build up my reserves a bit. It’s working well so far; I’ve shunted at least £200 into my savings so far this year, which may not be a lot for everyone but certainly is a respectable amount for me!

No Book Buying: January

Since I’ve run out of reviews to post right now — I know, I don’t know how that happened, I had one day off reading and suddenly it’s a week later and I’m still playing catch up — I’m going to post my #ShelfLove January update today. The January post encourages us to share our TBRs, lists or pictures, whatever works. Well, I already have my TBR shamefully displayed on my site: hit Mount TBR and it’ll show you my acquired/unread lists for the last five years. Gulp.

But here, also have a picture of the new set of shelves my dad hacked together for me. It’s on wheels, the top serves as a desk (with my standing desk on top), and there’s two sides. I got just about all my books out of boxes and onto the shelves with this baby!

It doesn’t look like much extra space, but it’s something. And yes, you can see another set of shelves immediately behind it, the side of a large bookcase to the right of it, and there’s another set out of sight. And that box you can see is full of books. Almost all of those are books I haven’t read yet.

And then… at my parents’ house, I have a set of shelves that double as a coffee table, a shelf above my mirror, five shelves around my desk which is currently also piled with books, a small set of shelves by the door and a set of shelves up to the ceiling directly as you enter the room. And boxes. Lots of. Fortunately, most of the books here are books I’ve read, though I think there’s another box worth of Christmas books going back to where I normally live when I go…

From this you can tell that A) I have a lot of books and B) my father is wildly indulgent, though he pretends not to be, and continues pulling ideas for more bookshelves out of his hat.

In terms of sticking to my goals, by the way, I’m doing well:

  • 6/51+ already owned books read
  • Spent: £6 out of ~£30 budget (budget is 10% of my income)

As for my other resolutions:

  • No books impulse-bought
  • Read every day
  • Bed before midnight… mostly
  • Up before ten… mostly
  • Only bought one book from a series at a time
  • Posted to the blog every day
  • Commented on at least one other blog every day
  • Tithed 10% already this month (to Stonewall)
  • Done two hours volunteering
  • Reading/reviewing books from NG/etc… in progress

No Book Buying Challenge

Show Your Shelves Some Love: No Book Buying Challenge

I’m never very good at these, but let’s see what I can do… I’m joining in this challenge from Chapter Break. I don’t think I’d make it the whole year without buying books (in fact, I know I wouldn’t), so I’m choosing the “set a budget” option…

Goals: 

  • 51+ already owned books read
  • Stick to budget of 10% income spent on books

I went for a percentage rather than a fixed thing so that if I get a windfall I can splash out, and if I’m having a short month, I am correspondingly reined in. (For the curious, 10% is also the amount I tithe to charities; 20% or more goes into my savings.)

Wish me luck…