what I’m reading…

Look at my nail! I’m obsessed with Incoco nail strips!

I bought myself a Christmas gift, one I never thought I’d buy. I was browsing Amazon’s electronics gift guide for kicks. I always think gift guides like that are… ridiculous? I don’t know about you but I don’t really know anyone who gives huge, expensive gifts like that and if they do, they certainly don’t need a “gift guide” to tell them what to buy. But this gift guide, it got me thinking, maybe I’d read more if I had a Kindle. Maybe I deserve to buy myself something nice, ya know because life is stressful and shopping for others is stressful too. Maybe it’d be good for me. Aaaand then I got an email that said it was shipped and would arrive two days later.  You’re welcome, self!

I’ve always been that annoying person that was like “I like the feel of reeeal books! Why would I ever need a Kindle?” Then I went on two separate vacations where I finished off the book I was reading and didn’t have another to start on. This year I also adopted this minimalistic view where I don’t want to own anything I don’t absolutely love which includes books. I sold nearly all that I owned except for my favorites (Chuck Palahniuk + Mary Roach collections, Geek Love + The Contortionist’s Handbook.) So owning a device I can have in my home and take on vacations that takes up almost no space at all and still can hold thousands of books is right up my alley. I’m honestly surprised it took me this come to come to that conclusion.

I bought the Kindle Paperwhite and I’m IN LOVE. Definitely one of those purchases that I should have made a long time ago. I christened my new Kindle by buying Make Something Up: Stories You Can’t Unread by Chuck Palahniuk. I’m about 60% of the way through (love seeing the percentage!) and probably wouldn’t recommend it* but I’m still obsessed with reading it. I feel so much more motivated to read than I have in a long, long time.

In 2017 I want to spend less time aimlessly browsing the internet. I’m not talking about reading blogs or writing up my Friday Favorites (you wouldn’t believe how long that can take some weeks!) but the time clicking back and forth to check my email, facebook, ebay, etc fifty billion times a day. It’s just wasted time and I don’t even like doing it. It’s almost like a compulsion. I want to spend this newly found “free time” reading. I haven’t picked a number yet but there will definitely be a book goal on my list of things to accomplish in the new year.

I’m so excited to get back into reading like I was a few years ago when bubble baths and tearing through a book were something that happened almost every night. I think me, my Kindle, and my new clawfoot tub are going to be spending a lot of time together. I bought a waterproof case which should arrive shortly after moving in to my new apartment so I am alllll set to get my readin’ on!

So, tell me, what are you reading? What books should I buy next? I finally made a Goodreads account and have gotten some awesome recommendations over there but I love hearing yours!

*It breaks my heart to say that. In the past I’ve been accused of being a “fan girl” who eats up whatever he puts out but I’m finally willing to admit that maybe, just maybe, Palahniuk’s work has started to get a little, uh, out there? I still consider Rant my all time favorite book but I no longer feel the need to pick up his books on release day which bums me out immensely. 

Also, I made a little section over there in the right sidebar that I will keep updated with what I’m currently reading in case you’re curious!

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  • I've some sugestions 🙂 Hope you like them:

    Life Everlasting: the animal way of death – Bernd Heinrich
    Murphy's Law – Arthur Block
    The Private Life of Plants – David Atteborough
    Dr. Tatiana's Sex Advice to All Creation – Olivia Judson (this one is so funny and interesting with some fun facts)

    Merry Christmas ***

  • I LOVE my Kindle and I know for a fact I read more because of it! Just this past weekend I was at a music festival and did a lot of waiting around. The internet wasn't loading on my phone but I had my book synced through my Kindle app so I read while I waited! You should definitely check out what your library offers for ebooks too. Getting a book from the library without having to leave your home is probably my favorite thing about having a Kindle. Happy reading!!

  • I can't remember if you've read "The Stranger Beside Me," but I finally did and it's great. Also "The Radium Girls" is probably the craziest true story I've read all year – the book was published in the UK but it's probably easier to get on a Kindle. I've resisted getting an e-reader but you make a good case for it!

  • Kayla, I was die-hard paper books only until 2 years ago. I got a Kindle for Christmas. Now I read more than ever!

    My suggestions.
    #1: BookBub. You put in what your preferences are and they send you a daily email with deals, both free and low cost. Its free and great!

    #2: Shell out for Kindle Unlimited. Again, I didn't think I'd read enough to justify it but got 3 months last Christmas as a gift. I have had it ever since and, again, it upped the amount I read.

    #3: Make a "wish list" named KINDLE and but books that will be coming out later or that you might want to buy but aren't sure on it. Helps so much!

    #4: Be sure to 'follow' authors you like! You will get an email when they have a new book coming out, when it does come out and when Amazon notices you may not have read it.


    • Do you like Kindle Unlimited? I was thinking about joining but read tons of reviews that the books on there are never really all that great. I'm pretty picky about what I read and so far literally nothing I've added to my wishlist has been available on Kindle Unlimited so I'm leaning toward the idea that it might not be right for me.

    • Kaylah,

      At first I didn't think I would. Like you, little of what I was reading was there. However, what it has done is introduced me to a LOT of new authors. Many who are published by small firms or self published. Now, I find myself rarely reading anything that shows up in normal lists. I would say it is worth it to try a month and keep an open mind. Do searches and refine it by clicking "Kindle Unlimited". The nice thing is if you don't like it, you aren't out a cent. You just take it off the Kindle and try others. You can have 10 books at a time and it's easy to switch them out.

  • I definitely agree with you about Palahniuk and would always read all of his stuff. I recently read Beautiful You and it took me a while to get into. I just couldn't get into it, which was really hard for me to admit as well. So I definitely understand.
    And also, I've also always been that girl. I actually posted about it earlier this year, but realized most galleys I could only get electronically. So I ended up purchasing an Amazon Fire tablet to use for reading. I don't love it and haven't got into using it yet, but maybe I will.

    • Yeah… I hate admitting that his work isn't as great as it used to be! It's just like he's trying too hard to pump out one book a year instead of taking his time and writing quality books.

  • I was the same, then my mom got a kindle and I just HAD TO HAVE ONE, yep, reading is once again one of my main activities XD

    One of the first books I read in it was the Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss and I'll recomend it to everyone even if they don't ask XD it's fantasy, like fantasy justified by science, not sure if that's the rigth way to describe it, but it's pretty great :p

    Also Eva Luna by Isabel Allende, don't know how it would be in english but she's an amazing writer, she writes magical realism.. so I think you can guess I'm really into this kind of stuff :p I'm not sure if this is your style, but if it isn't you should give it a try XD

  • I always refused to buy a Kindle because, like you, I love the feel of holding an actual book. My hubby bought one for me last year and it has been the greatest gift! I read SO much more now! We are on the road quite a bit, so trying to pack books just seemed to take up too much room!

    I'm currently reading Gillian Flynn's – "Dark Spaces." It's great so far!

  • My kindle is the best thing I ever purchased. I read a lot more and it's great on trips. Plus, it's really light, so I can take anywhere (I live in a huge city and sometimes I spend too much time in public transportation). I only buy "real life" books when it's something I know I'll want to keep forever <3

    • So great to hear! I definitely think this is going to make a huge difference in how much I read. Already finished two books and made a nice dent in #3. I loooooove it!

  • That is awesome! As I was reading this I was going to suggest Goodreads to keep track of everything then I read you already made an account! I added you on there! 🙂 They also have a neat feature for a Reading Challenge so you can set a goal for how many books you want to read in the coming year! It has a percentage and lets you know if you are on track for your yearly goal (which I find super motivational!).

  • I got a Kindle Paperwhite for my birthday and I'm so in love with that thing! I still love regular books but having a Kindle keeps me reading all the time. It's the best gift my Mother has ever gotten me 🙂

  • i got a paperwhite a few years ago and i love it so much! you should check out your local library, you can probably download books to your kindle for free! When the Nashville library doesn't have what I'm looking for, I can recommend it and they have always ended up buying it, even the weirdest stuff! haha. Congrats on your new kindle. YOu're going to love it!

    • I've been meaning to look into that! I remembered hearing something about the library and kindles way before I even had one but wasn't sure how that really worked since downloading books for free sounds too good to be true. 😛

  • oh! and a recommendation. I read "All the Ugly and Wonderful Things" recently and you might be into it. Here is the description on Good Reads:
    "As the daughter of a meth dealer, Wavy knows not to trust people, not even her own parents. Struggling to raise her little brother, eight-year-old Wavy is the only responsible "adult" around. She finds peace in the starry Midwestern night sky above the fields behind her house. One night everything changes when she witnesses one of her father's thugs, Kellen, a tattooed ex-con with a heart of gold, wreck his motorcycle. What follows is a powerful and shocking love story between two unlikely people that asks tough questions, reminding us of all the ugly and wonderful things that life has to offer"

    I love good reads too. It is fun to make a reading challenge for myself every year and I love seeing what other people are reading. AND the yearly survey about the best books of the year always has some great suggestions.

  • I was against a Kindle too until I got one for Christmas. It's nice because you can rent books from your library even while you are away. I brought my library card to Russia so I can download books whenever I want. Also, I like to read sitting in weird positions and a Kindle makes that much more practical.

  • "When the Drummers Were Women" by Layne Redmond, "The Glass Castle" by Jeanette Walls (a great book when you're in the car for a long time) and Alone Together by Sherry Turkle were the 3 books that changed gave me so much perspective this year.

  • My favorite thing about reading your blog is all the great recommendations! Goodreads.com, never heard of it before but now I am all signed up and ready to go! I guess you keep me "in the know" about whats popular these days (wow that made me sound old). Glad you joined the Kindle world! Its much more practical. I read 60-100 books a year and before the Kindle that meant yearly heart wrenching trips to donate books to the Library and way more shelf space then I had available. What kind of books do you like to read? I like sci-fi fantasy with tough-girl female leads, but I am a avid lover of the cheesiness and books are my brain-vacation from the real world. If you like fiction with tough female leads, Shannon Meyer is amazing and so is the Throne of Glass series. If you like real life inspirational stories The Art of Asking by Amanda Palmer is what i am reading now. Good luck and happy reading!!

    • Yay! So happy you signed up for Goodreads! I'd been resisting joining for so long. My Kindle kept bugging about it so I finally bit the bullet. I love all the recommendations it gives me!!

  • I love reading, and I guess I'm one of those annoying people that will always favor the look and feel of "real" books over electronic ones. I don't buy books much, because I'm trying to save money, minimalize, ect, and one of my favorite things to do is browse my local libraries. I could spend hours just touching and looking at all the different books! I come home with stacks of them about all different things that I'm excited to learn about – for free!

    Currently I'm reading Jurassic Park – definitely recommend!

  • Welcome to the digital reading world! I was a stubborn book lover and my boyfriend was a stubborn e-reader lover and he finally converted me by getting me a kindle fire for Christmas a couple years ago. It really is *so* convenient and so much easier to travel with. I still hoard books but I'm trying to cut down and focus more on digital copies, save for my favorite authors. I'm gonna add you on goodreads 🙂

    Right now I'm reading The Stand by Stephen King. This year I attempted to read 1 King book a month (and I'm one short) on top of my goodreads 55 book challenge.

    And I'm sad to say I'm in the same boat with Palahniuk. He used to be one of my favorites but I just can't get into his newer work 🙁

  • One of the best gifts I've ever received was the Kindle Touch–which I've had for years now. I have quite a few good reasons why I love reading on it more than "regular" books, one in particular being because I can enlarge the font when I'm having one of those headache/migraine days but still want to read. Another is the features. I can highlight certain passages and save them for later or share them on social media (I don't know why but this pleases me). I also really like the idea of being able to see the percentages like you said. Also, my battery lasts FOREVER. Oh…and I don't have to turn over when I'm lying in bed and it's time to read the next page of the book. That sounds so lame but uh yeah! I just added you on Goodreads by the way! Hope you enjoy your Kindle 🙂

    • No, I totally get it! There are a ton of really random little perks to reading on a Kindle. I mentioned it in a comment above but I LOVE reading on my side and with a real book it's not always the easiest.

  • I adopted my mom's old Kindle when she bought herself a new one, and it was super exciting and convenient at first, but eventually the excitement wore off. While it is quite nice to not have as many books on my bookshelf, there's still something about the feeling of being able to touch the spines and pages of each book that an electronic reader simply can't replicate. But! They're really really really convenient for traveling 🙂

  • -But What if We're Wrong by Chuck Klosterman. If you love Mary Roach, you'll dig it.
    -Potted Meat by Steven Dunn
    -I'm not sure if you're into graphic novels but Paper Girls and Harrow County are worth checking out.
    My goal for 2017 is to read a book every two month. I'm with you on the casual browsing of the internet thing. It's making my brain mushy!

  • I made that same goal for myself yesterday! I felt like I had read a ton this past year, only to check my Goodreads account & see that I had only finished 17 books. I'd much rather get lost in the good book then keep falling into the Internet wormhole 🙂

  • I am not a HUGE kindle fan. I really like seeing how far I have gone by looking at the pages. BUT I hate reading huge books. My husband and I got a kindle as a wedding gift, and rarely use it. It wasn't until I had a baby I picked it back up. The baby book I took out from the library is HUGE (like 700 pages) and I couldn't read it while feeding or holding the baby. Now it is so easy to read, I might get some other books on there. If anything I don't mind reading short stories on the kindle.