Top Ten Things That Make My Life As A Book Blogger Easier

Top Ten Tuesday2

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted over at The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic is things that make our lives easier as readers or book bloggers. Here are my picks:

Twitter – I LOVE Twitter, I check it several times a day. If Facebook is for keeping in touch with family and personal friends, then Twitter is for the book blogosphere. Twitter lets me follow and reach out to authors and sometimes, they reply! It makes my day when that happens. Twitter also lets me chat with blogging buddies about random things that aren’t necessarily book-related.

Goodreads – I like how Goodreads lets me organize my virtual shelves into categories, making it a lot easier for me to keep track of them. I used to have an Excel spreadsheet that lists all of my books but there’s no need for that now that I keep my Goodreads account updated. I also like that I can post status updates of the books that I’m reading because I can note down passages or lines that catch my attention. I also cross-post my reviews on Goodreads. And my Goodreads is linked to my Twitter.

Instagram – I’m a fan of pretty pictures, even more so of vintage-looking images (which is why I love lomography) so it was a given that I’d make use of Instagram as much as I can. My Instagram account is filled with my favorite things: food, books and postcards. What makes it even more fun is that several blogger friends also have Instagram accounts.

My smartphone – The current phone that I have is my first ever smartphone. It’s so convenient to have a device where I can check my email and all of the social networking sites mentioned above while I’m on the go. I also have the WordPress app installed in my phone so I use that to edit posts or reply to comments.

Kindle Touch

My Kindle – As much as I love physical books, I can’t imagine not having a Kindle. I take the train to go to work and my commute takes a while. Since trains are always packed during rush hour, it’s easier for me to keep my balance when I’m holding a Kindle while standing. I also like having the option of being able to read a book right away if it has a Kindle edition.

Galleys/e-ARCs – Most of the review copies that I get are galleys or e-ARCs because I’m based in Singapore. And like I said, it’s more practical for me to read ebooks on my Kindle because I bring it with me everyday. If I end up liking the book, I usually buy a physical copy anyway.

Memes – I like participating in memes when I feel like posting something on the blog but I’m not in the mood to work on a review. I like joining memes that are fun like Top Ten Tuesday and Retro Friday.

Guest posts – I like having authors or other bloggers over here to do guest posts for events or features and I also like doing guest posts on other blogs. I think that kind of blogger interaction is pretty fun.

Online bookstores with free worldwide shipping – Other online retailers (such as Amazon) don’t have free international shipping so it makes me happy that the Book Depository delivers to both the Philippines and Singapore! I can just order books that aren’t available in local bookstores (or if they’re cheaper online since books are pricey in Singapore). Other shops that have free international shipping: Fishpond and Better World Books.

Book bloggers – I love my family and friends but when it comes to books, bloggers are my people! I feel like you guys get me. For me, making connections with fellow readers who understand what it’s like to obsess about books is one of the highlights of blogging.

That’s it for me. What about you, what are the things that make your life easier as a reader or blogger?


12 thoughts on “Top Ten Things That Make My Life As A Book Blogger Easier

  1. Awe, I love your list! Bookstores with free worldwide shipping is the best. I only recently discovered The Book Depository, but now I can’t get enough. Any time I have to order a book online will be done through that.

    • I can’t even count the number of times I’ve ordered books from the Book Depository. They even have discounts when you pre-order a book. You should try Better World Books as well, if you don’t mind used copies. Fishpond is an Australian retailer and I haven’t tried it yet but I’m always tempted to get Aussie YA novels from them.

    • Gadgets make life a lot easier, don’t they? I don’t have the Kindle app on my phone because I can’t download it here due to geographic restrictions. And I prefer reading on my Kindle which has an e-ink screen so there’s less eye strain. The WordPress app is handy, especially when I upload pictures taken by my phone to the blog.

  2. I completely agree with everything on your list! I would just add Amazon Prime, Amazon Vine (for ARCs), and a B&N membership so I get free, fast, and inexpensive books/shipping, one of the benefits of living in the US.

    • If I lived in the US, I’d probably sign up for Amazon Prime and Vine as well as B&N. I always order books from Amazon whenever I go to the States for a visit.

  3. – I couldn’t do without my Sony ebook reader. I hardly ever read paper books anymore – mostly because I can (and do) carry a huge selection on my e-reader, but even more because I can increase fontsize to my current eye sight level. I adore Jody Lee covers – for example for Michelle West’s Essalieyan series, so I buy the new books in hardcover, too. But when I open them, the print is so tiny (MW always writes huge books and DAW publishes them and I adore her world and characters) I can’t read immersively – I’d need a magnifying glass for hour-long reading.

    Also, I can buy books at all kinds of ebook stores with my Sony (and if I were in the US they would also support library ebook lending). I’ve successfully purchased Australian ebooks from Australian bookstores, which is so amazing. The newest Sony has a plugin to Evernote, but then I never switch on Wifi support, because I buy enough books as it is without one-click.

    And I’d never have discovered Lindsay Buroker, Deborah Leary, Elizabeth McCoy and – my favourite – Andrea Höst if there had been no ebooks in my life. That would have been a real lack.

    – Calibre: it’s the most versatile organising software for ebooks and if you go to the effort (completely optional) of getting to know the plugboard language and browse through all the available plugins, you can customise it to organise any kind of book, not just ebooks – and to do the most important things to you automatically. I have the most current drm-disabling plugins and whenever there’s a drmed ebook added to Calibre it automatically strips that – so I can edit the metadata, or increase fontsize here already (and the ebook reader RAM doesn’t have to do it, except when I have really bad eye trouble, which hasn’t happened in more than a year now), or switch out the cover (if there is more than one known) or actually get a cover (there are still trad publishers who don’t add the cover to the ebook file).

    I can also buy at Amazon and import from Kindle for PC and then convert to .epub (or vice versa, Chachic in case you need those Wilks stories for your Kindle from me – I can convert to .mobi in a click of the mouse), so I don’t have to worry about that – and since my Sony always supported tags and folders, I can name those in Calibre and have them show up on my Bookshelves screen in my Sony with no extra fiddling.

    And it’s free donationware.

    – Goodreads revitalized my writing online about books again, although it depends if I’m feeling up to it. Since there is so much other content and I still comment I don’t lose contact with my fellow readers like I would if a personal blog site went quiet for months – the down side is of course that GR might change it’s ways and develop into something I don’t like and then all of my content and reviews would be there – then again I could export my stuff (not sure if it saves the reviews and their comments, it does save the booklist and I’m not sure what I could do with that stuff). And it was hugely encouraging to see me get back to my reading groove, mostly – I can’t read as much as I could as a student, heh).

    – the online community of reader/reviews, definitely. No one currently available in my real life (during university that was different) reads my genres – and if they did they wouldn’t read them in English.

    so to summarize: Easier and more enjoyable for me as a reader.

    • – Yes, it’s so much more convenient to read on an e-reader because you have a nice selection in one device and you can adjust the font size. My co-worker was just making fun of the font size on my Kindle, saying that it’s so big compared to her own settings. Maybe I should make a more conscious effort to read ebooks instead of physical books, especially now that I’m based in a country where I don’t have a permanent residence. It’s such a pain to pack (and unpack) books when moving. I really just enjoy reading physical books – the feel of the pages when you turn them, the smell of new books. I usually miss reading an actual book when I haven’t done it in a while.

      Library ebook lending sounds great! I think the library here has that feature but not a lot of books are available. You’re right, I don’t think I would have discovered some of the authors I’ve enjoyed reading if I didn’t have a Kindle. It’s just so easy to purchase affordable ebooks with one click.

      – Oh I have Calibre but I don’t use it as much as you do. I don’t even have that DRM plugin that you mentioned. That’s pretty cool that you can purchase ebooks from Amazon – I love how easy it is to order a Kindle edition and read it right away when you’re in the mood for it. I wouldn’t mind getting a mobi copy of those World of the Lupi short stories. 🙂

      – Goodreads may have a lot of issues but since most of my bookish friends are on there, it’s still the best choice for me. You’re right, I like how Goodreads lets us post status updates and star ratings even if we’re not up to posting reviews. At least those who are curious will still have an idea of what we’re up to. I really hope Goodreads doesn’t change that much. It’s funny but I read more now than I did when I was a student, I don’t know why but I guess I was more into extra-curricular activities back then.

      – I love the online reading/blogging community, I’ve made a lot of good friends and discovered amazing books because of it. I have some friends who read YA or contemporary romance but not a lot of them read epic or urban fantasy.
      Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this topic!

      • You’re welcome ^^. Your own enumeration really inspired me to think about this.

        Also, having just now managed to read this, the azw3/mobi versions are on their way in a .zip-file to the e-mail address we two have had contact under before…. I think this was a very German sentence construction *sigh*.

        Anyway, enjoy or tell me how to convert better to your taste, if something went wrong.

        – And because it was the basis for me getting that story in the first place I should add another bullet point to my reader resource list which is, which allows me to grab the gist from a web article without distractions like pictures or comments and import it to my Sony to read and archive at my leisure. Of course it only really works if all the content is on one page.

  4. I’m always amazed by solo bloggers because I can’t imagine blogging without Noelle! She makes blogging easier for me because I have someone to bounce ideas off of. I’m definitely with you on everything else on your list. I forgot my Kindle at home last Friday and I felt so lost!

    • Maggie, it must be so much fun to have a co-blogger! It’s like having a bookish BFF, you automatically have someone you can message when you want to talk about books. And yes, you can bounce ideas off someone and you can share the work involved in creating posts. Hey, I just remembered, have you had a chance to meet Noelle in person yet?

  5. Pingback: My Favorite Top Ten Topics | Chachic's Book Nook

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