Book Lifestyle

You Love Books, So You Must Want To Be An Author, Right? – Part One

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Books were my home as a kid. I wish I had half the time and energy to read as I did back then. I would take a stack of books out from the library weekly and finish them all, no questions asked. Summers were spent in my room or outside, reading anything and everything I could get my hands on. Now I’m lucky if I can read three a month. Adulting is the worst.

I recently had a realization that truly had me feeling down. I only know one adult in my life that reads regularly. I’m not kidding. ONE. This freaked me out a bit. I only have one person I can talk to about books, besides people in the book blog community. This actually makes me sad.

To get to the point of this post, I’ve had many, many people ask me if I planned on writing a book someday. I’m not sure if it’s because people who don’t read as often as me can’t grasp the fact that writing is a huge, daunting, endless, exhausting process? I mean, when I think of how many hours authors spend writing/editing, I think of how I can barely concentrate on something for 45 minutes and realize I would probably struggle HARD.

You read a lot. Like a lot more than anyone I know. Do you want to write a book or something?”

I always automatically say no — I don’t have the time for it and could never handle the criticism. However, a small part of me loves the author community and how people have gone from struggling to the New York Time’s Best Sellers list. I think it’s incredible. Authors are truly special people. The criticism though… I CRINGE often on Goodreads. I’m pretty sensitive when it comes to criticism, to the point that I’d rather not hear it.

It really had me thinking. DO I want to write a book? It would be awesome, but would of course take a ton of work. I love reading and getting involved in stories. I am sometimes so amazed by story lines that I cannot possibly imagine the time and energy that goes into creating them.

The hardest part for me would simply be starting. I’ve thought many times in my head “just pick up a pen Michelle, or just start typing!” but getting my thoughts out to write an actual BOOK? Yeah, right!

Part two of this will probably have to do with growing up a reader and being shamed/made fun of for being a book lover. It was a huge problem for me as a kid because I was constantly reading. I’d love to discuss it with fellow book lovers.

So, do people ask you if you want to become an author? Do you plan on writing but struggle to pick up a pen as I do? Are you currently writing your dream novel? Let’s discuss!

Book Lifestyle

Learning to Budget & What that Means for Book Blogging

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I’ve been on a bit of a hiatus lately, due to wedding stress and an overall crazy life. My reading has slowed down, in part due to not enjoying the last few YA books I purchased and also because I’ve been attempting to watch my budget.

Yep, you heard me right. Budgeting.

I grew up having to get a job at 16, paying for my car and gas and anything other than necessities on my own. That meant when I went off to college, I was studying and working part time to pay my bills. After college didn’t work out, I was saddled with huge student loans on a less than $30k budget. I managed somehow, but “budgeting” was not something I did.

Flash forward almost 7 years later and (thankfully) a better salary, I realized that I spend a lot of money on things I don’t need. Example, the past two months I spent $500-$700 between eating out, BOOKS, clothes, wedding things, etc. I’m actually too terrified to go back further than that.

Getting back to books, I did just finish one that may have changed my life for the better. That was Dave Ramsey’s “Total Money Makeover”. Before this month I thought Dave Ramsey was just some crazy old guy trying to sell me something. My fiancé started listening to his podcast lately and giving me tidbits of information that actually had me curious. Would it be possible for us to pay off thousands of dollars in student loan debt in less than three years?

Yes, it’s possible. But we would need to get serious about it. We would have to budget every single thing and live well below our means.

My first thought, what about books?

I spend more money on books than clothes, that’s for sure. I would say I spend anywhere between $30-$60 a month on books. I try to find the cheapest option, whether that’s using coupons at Barnes and Noble or buying on Amazon, but I’m still spending $12-$20 per book. They aren’t cheap, that’s for sure. I always left the store feeling guilty about spending on myself.

I notice some book bloggers or booktubers seem to buy at least 4 books a month, which doesn’t include anything sent by publishers. I know this isn’t every case. As much as I want to become a better known book blogger, I don’t think purchasing 4 books a month will be in the budget any time soon.

UNLESS, I get frugal about it. I live near Goodwill and other thrift stores, so I may need to start frequenting those places to keep up. Unfortunately, I likely won’t find new books. I have also been listening to audio books, but it just isn’t the same. Utilizing Netgalley will also be huge for me.

Luckily, my local library is decent and seems to get new books frequently.

My question for my fellow book bloggers is, do you budget for books and if so, how much? Do you ever feel guilty buying them? Do you feel like you don’t do as well at blogging because you can’t buy ten books at a time?

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Book Lifestyle

Bookish Self Care

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One of my non bookish goals for 2018 was carving out time for myself during the work week.  I work a normal 8:30am-5:00pm job, so by the time I get home, get dinner ready and settle down, it’s usually 7:00pm and I’m exhausted. I’m typically in bed by 9:30pm. The two and a half hours in between are typically spent hanging out with my fiancé and dogs, and maybe a bit of reading or Netflix. So as you can see, there isn’t a ton of time to do things for myself.

What I have been obsessed with lately are what I call my “book baths”. That means I grab the book I’m currently reading, a bath soak, some incense and hop in the tub for some me time. It may not be something you can do every day, but it’s so, so worth it.

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Last night my bath included some dry rose petals left over from Valentine’s day and a buttermilk bath soap from Jenness Farm that smelled like Fruit Loops! Yeah, really! I also included my favorite incense, Fairy Dreams (you can find it on Amazon!). I felt a little extra at first with the rose petals, but hey!

Not only do these baths relax me, but I’m able to take a small amount of time to clear my head and really focus on reading. I make myself put my phone away and disconnect for just a little while. Not only do I sleep better, but I feel better. This is so important, especially when you stare at a computer screen all day like I do.

I’m thinking about continuing posts like this and calling it “Bookish Self Care Sundays” or something like that. I’d include any new self care products I’ve found and what I’m reading. Thoughts?

What do you do for bookish self care? Leave a comment below!

You can find me on Instagram at fawnandfernbooks or Twitter at fawnandfern__

Book Lifestyle

What Harry Potter Means to Me

What Harry Potter Means To Me:

Nearly everything I remember from my childhood includes reading. Whether it was reading under the table during class (I never got in trouble!), rushing through my homework so I could read at night, or begging my Mom to bring me to the library. Reading took up so much of my life that I don’t remember much else.

Out of all the books I read, the most memorable series was Harry Potter. I could completely lose myself in the books – spend hours and hours laying flat on my bed, letting my imagination run wild with Harry, Hermione and Ron.  I could finish an entire book in less than a day. That was back when I had no responsibilities, of course.

But what truly has me remembering this time in my life was who bought me these books. My Memere was one of the happiest, funniest and smartest ladies I have ever known. I remember waiting patiently every time a book came out in the series… waiting for her to drop it off and for me to dive deep into the world of Hogwarts. My Memere didn’t have a lot of money, but she was always able to buy me Harry Potter books. Some of my fondest memories include staying at her house and eating ice cream sundaes. She made the best sundaes – even had special glasses specifically for her favorite ice cream treat. She bought chocolate sprinkles specifically for me, since everyone else preferred rainbow.

She passed away in March of 2013 from cancer. It happened quickly, and I felt, and even feel now, that I could never thank her enough for helping my childhood love of reading. A few weeks ago I saw a grandparent buying their grandchild a copy of Harry Potter and Sorcerer’s Stone, and my heart burst with joy. I almost said “Good choice!” but kept silent. I took that as a sign my Memere was present and telling me to get some ice cream and get back to reading.

What does Harry Potter mean to you?