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I Haven't Touched A Book In Six Months: An Update On My Life

Hello friends! It has been AGES since I was last here!
I hope you have all been well! 
Confession time: I didn't touch a book for six months. 
Do I feel guilty? Not really. 
At this point, you're probably gasping. How could I have gone six months without reading a single book for fun? And how am I not guilty?? 
These are very good questions. Questions that I have no answers, only excuses for! 
Of course, the usual comes to mind; university, doing five subjects, work, tutoring, research projects, a social life, etc. Sorry (but really not) for the excuses! 

What I've been doing (life edition)
Juggling five uni subjects again this semester was definitely not fun - especially when I had to worry about anatomy and chemistry! My final exam weeks were especially daunting, since I had five exams in the first week alone, and one more exam in the first half of the second week. 
But throughout all the stress, I was really glad I had my family and my boyfriend to back me up with delicious food, dinner dates, supplying me with chocolate and dried mangoes and...and...wait....I think I'm just grateful to have delicious food :')
I also had one exam over the holidays, because I deferred it due to my hectic exam timetable, so holidays were filled with study >_< 

What I've been doing (bookish edition) 
Like I've said, I've been doing...stuff. Which is all fair. But what have I actually been doing bookish wise? 
I went to a Penguin Teen event at Brisbane Library two months (?) ago! It was really fun...mostly because I got to meet up with some of my fave book bloggers, such as Maddie, Jeann, and Brett! 
I've also been buying a ton of books...stocking up for these university holidays! One month is definitely not enough to get through all the books...but I'll try my hardest to! 
I rearranged my bookshelf! It looks the same as always (i.e. a cluttered mess), but I managed to fit more books in! LIFE ACCOMPLISHMENT. 
I managed to read just one book over the holidays... Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare! Which I resisted buying for so long, because I had another exam over the uni break...but I bought it anyway and gave into procrastination :')) 

My plans for the future
I'm planning on reading The Song Rising by Samantha Shannon! 
I'm also looking forward to writing a ton more posts and actually posting them...instead of leaving them as drafts :')) 
Hopefully I'll finally adapt to using Twitter...been offline on it for way too long! ...same with bookstagram haha! 
I'm getting ready for a new semester of uni now too - hopefully I'll do well again this semester! 

What have you all been up to? Have you read anything interesting that you think I should get around to? Any hot new releases I should keep my eye on? Talk to me! It's seriously been WAY. TOO. LONG. 

Keep reading and loving books (and sorry for the long absence!) 

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Conversations: Commenting Back - Should it Be Compulsory?

Welcome one, welcome all, to another edition of Conversations! This month, our topics will be focused on blogging habits. 
This week, let's discuss:
Do you always comment back? Should commenting back be a must? 

Firstly, let's define what commenting back means. I know when I first started blogging, that term really confused me. I initially thought it just meant replying back to comments on your blog. But then as time wore on, I realised that "commenting back" meant visiting said commenter's blog and commenting on one of their posts. 
So that's the definition we'll go with today - commenting back refers to visiting a commenter's blog and commenting back on their post

I personally try to always comment back. After I reply to someone's comment on my blog, I head on over to their blog, through their user or their link they've provided, and find an interesting post to leave a comment. This isn't always feasible for me though - sometimes I take unexpected hiatuses (like I am now) because life creeps up. I try to go back afterwards and comment back - so I do a delayed comment back, if that makes sense. 
Sometimes, people comment on older posts of mine, which have been up for a month or so. Whilst I really appreciate that, and Disqus does send me an email notifying me that someone has commented, I usually leave it for later...until later becomes never. >_< 

Still, I make sure to try to always reply to peoples' comments on my blog at the very least - for me, that's just common courtesy. If people take the time out of their lives to care what you think - shouldn't you take the time to reply to them? Replying to these comments is always easier than making your own comment - at the very least, replying back shows that you are grateful for their presence here. 

Should commenting back be compulsory? I don't know. Personally, I used to think it should be compulsory - after all, we are in this community to make friends, to find other like-minded people. And it does get tiring, leaving so many comments on other peoples' blogs, hoping to make a connection with them, but to be faced with them never trying to connect with your words. I get that people have busy lives, but it's important to reach out, and connect with your readers if you have a blog. 
But at the same time, I remember hearing someone say in the blogosphere that they didn't comment back, because they didn't want to force a comment, and be fake. I think that philosophy is pretty interesting, and I agree with it to some extent. I agree that you shouldn't have to force yourself to comment back - if you can't find anything interesting to talk about, don't comment! Don't write a comment like "Wow, so interesting, thanks for sharing!". It's pretty fake, and it shows that you don't really care about making connections. But at the same time, we are all book lovers - there should be something on everyones' blogs that we can relate to, or empathise with. 

In the end, I don't think that commenting back should be compulsory. But at the very least, I believe that bloggers should reply to comments on their own blogs - I know I used to follow a bunch of blogs that didn't reply back to comments on their own blogs, and it was really disheartening because I never felt like I mattered to these blogs, it never felt like they wanted to make friendships. It seemed like all they cared about was stats, getting ARCs, and gaining followers. 

If you know me, that's not the kind of person I like.

Well, that post took a very personal detour. What do you all think about commenting back? Should it be compulsory? Let me know in the comments below, or in the linky here!

Keep reading and loving books!

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Conversations: Why Reading Multiple Books Is My Jam

Welcome to another week of Conversations! 
This week, the topic is...
Do you prefer to read a single book at a time, or multiple books at a time? Why? 

I am not ashamed of it - I like reading multiple books at one time! 

A huge problem I have when I read is actually starting the book. Particularly for fantasy and science-fiction books, there's usually quite a lot of world building involved. I'm a lazy reader, and I generally like to skim over information dumps - so when one book gets to be too much for me, I skip it. I move onto another book, and when I feel like returning back to Book #1, I return back. But of course, I can't forget about Book #2! So I concurrently read them. 
And then, I want to read Book #3 - someone has just recommended it strongly to me, and that synopsis is gold! So of course, I pile on Book #3, and chug it down as well. 
The sequel of a wonderful book has JUST come out - I NEED to know how that cliffhanger in the first book was resolved - let's add on Book #4!
By now, I'm thinking, "I think I've got enough books - let me start properly reading them!" BUT NO, LIFE DOES NOT WORK LIKE THAT. 
School throws compulsory reading my way. 
"Hey Gerri, we're studying The Picture of Dorian Gray this semester for English" 
And I add Book#5 to my list. 
Let's not forget that ARC that you signed up for three months ago! You need to read and review it by the end of this week! #oops. Book #6 is on the pile!
...the number of books, and the reasons why go on and on. I think at one point, I was reading eight books at one time?

I'm not going to lie - reading multiple books at the same time does have its drawbacks, as you can clearly see. 
Getting inundated with all the books isn't always fun, because I feel overwhelmed. I also tend to forget a bunch of information about each book, as it all blends together. Sometimes, I forget what page I'm on as well, because I don't use bookmarks - I rely on my memory. 

But reading multiple books at the same time also has its benefits. If I didn't read multiple books at one time, I would be so bored of that one book I'm reading. It spices up my reading life! It's also pretty convenient - I never leave the house without a book, and if I'm too close to finishing a book, I can decide not to bring it - I can bring another book that I've yet to get to the middle of (we must always be prepared for boring situations). Finally, there's also review writing...I tend to finish all my books around the same time, so I also have to write all my reviews at the same time! I like doing all my reviews at the same time, because I get to focus my whole attention on doing those reviews, open up all those tabs for just one occasion. Makes it so much easier, and more time-effective for me! 

What kind of a reader are you - a one book at a time, or multiple book at a time reader? Why? Let me know in the comments below, or else link up with the linky! ^_^

Keep reading and loving books!

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