June 5, 2015

Happy Summer Reading!

It's been a while since I updated - I've been keeping busy with my new blog (Overdue Organizing), the library's summer reading program, and reading my assigned books for my state's high school book award committee. And, of course, being a mom to a NINE month old. I can't believe how big my sweet boy is getting!

Are you participating in your library's summer reading program? I love that my library has a program for all ages - children's, teen, AND adults. So fun! I'm a department of one working in Teen Services and PR, so it was a bit crazy trying to get everything ready this spring. But I pulled it off! Here's a sneak peek into Summer Reading at my library.

Getting festive! We use the collaborative summer library theme & this year it's all about heroes.

I'm keeping all the incentive prizes on a cart so that I can roll it over to the children's department or adult department when I leave work for the day. That way teens can still pick up prizes even when I'm not there during evenings or weekends. I have prizes for them when they sign up & after they read 5 books and 10 books. Sign up prizes are bookmarks, candy, and coupons for local businesses (free Chipotle burrito, free Jazzercise class, or $1 off frozen yogurt). At 5 books, they can choose a free book and either a Sharpie, a cord wrap, or a superhero rubber duck. At 10 books, they get a book bag, a $5 gift card to a local business, and a coupon for a free cupcake or cookie. I went to the middle school and high school and did surveys at lunch to find out where they like to shop, which helped me pick out the gift cards! (Paid for by our library's Friends group.)

 For every book teens read (print, audio, eBook, graphic novel, etc) OR program they attend, they get to fill out a drawing slip for the end-of-summer drawing prizes. Here's what they can win! There are a few who are just dying to get the Doctor Who prizes and who have vowed to read more than 100 books this summer to have more chances to win. :)

For teen programming, I'm planning to show a superhero themed movie each week and do a craft each month - comic strip mad libs, comic book magnets, and paint chip city skyline art. I also have special programs planned like a Guitar Hero tournament, Heroes Jeopardy, a local author visit (to discuss writing fantasy fiction), and a demonstration and tasting from Sub Zero Ice Cream.

I'll have passive programming going on in the teen room all summer as well. Here's our "photo booth" for Superhero Selfies. I'm having them tag us on Instagram for an extra drawing prize entry.

And here's our "What's Your Superhero Name?" display. This has been fun for families as the parents and younger kids get into it as well!

What are you planning to read this summer? 
Will you be logging your books for your library's summer reading program?

March 2, 2015

TBR Survey

I love reading about how others manage their TBR (to be read) lists, and when I saw this TBR survey over at Book Hooked, I wanted to join in on the fun!

1. How do you keep track of your TBR pile? 
I use the Goodreads website and app. It's so easy to add and categorize the books I want to read!

2. Is your TBR mostly print or eBooks? 
Of those I own, it's mostly eBooks. It's convenient to be able to carry an entire library of books in your phone or eReader, and it's easy to read eBooks one handed while I nurse my little one. Of library books, it's mostly print.

3. How do you determine which book to read next? 
Books that are assigned reading for the awards committee I'm on get top priority, followed by any books that fit into a category of the challenge I'm doing this year (Book Riot Read Harder Challenge). After that, I just go with what sounds interesting at the time!

4. A book that's been on your TBR list the longest:
Shine by Lauren Myracle

5. A book you recently added to your TBR: 
Tell Me Again How a Crush Should Feel by Sara Farizan

6. A book on your TBR strictly because of its beautiful cover: 
Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson

7. A book on your TBR that you never plan on reading: 
I just delete them from my list if I decide I'm no longer interested. This is how I keep the list from getting too long!

8. An unpublished book on your TBR that you're excited for: 
Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen

9. A book on your TBR that basically everyone has read but you: 
Uglies by Scott Westerfeld

10. A book on your TBR that everyone recommends to you:
Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

11. A book on your TBR that you're dying to read: 
I'll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson

12. How many books are on your Goodreads TBR shelf? 
I have 117 on my list -- the number used to be MUCH higher until I purged some books I knew I'd never read.

Have you done the TBR survey yet? 

February 28, 2015

Read Harder Challenge: February

 Here's what I read in February!

The first category I picked was Award Winner
Gabi, A Girl in Pieces by Isabel Quintero won the William C. Morris YA Debut Award this year. It was well deserved! This was a 5 star read for me. I just love Gabi's fresh and funny voice, the way she endures tough situations, and the ways she discusses body image and cultural identity. This is a great book to give to a teen girl who likes books written in diary style. 

Next, I chose the Audiobook category.
Positive by Paige Rawl with Ali Benjamin is a memoir by a teen who was mercilessly bullied in middle school for being born HIV positive. It was relatable, written in a conversational style, and read by Paige herself. The audiobook was a quick read/listen, and Paige's voice was pleasant to listen to. I enjoyed this inspiring story of overcoming adversity. 

I also chose to read something from the Graphic Novel/Comic category. 
Tomboy: A Graphic Memoir by Liz Prince was an interesting and thoughtful read about gender roles and societal expectations. I think there are a lot of readers who can relate to Liz's story, and I like that it will get people talking about these issues. 

Next month I'm planning to read books from these categories: LGBTQ, Romance, and Author from Africa. If you have any suggestions, let me know in the comments. 

How are your reading challenges coming along so far in 2015? 

January 30, 2015

Read Harder Challenge: January

This year I joined the Book Riot Read Harder Challenge. I'm hoping to complete at least 2 categories a month. Here's what I read in January!

No surprise, the first category I went for was YA novel: I chose Behind the Scenes by Dahlia Adler. (Only $2.99 for Kindle right now!) It's a sweet romance that I'd recommend for older teens (or adults who like YA!).

Next, I read a self-improvement book: Say Goodbye to Survival Mode by Crystal Paine. Crystal is one of my favorite bloggers (MoneySavingMom.com), and I've been meaning to read this ever since it released. She offers some great strategies for anyone who struggles with time management or feels like they are overwhelmed. She has great tips for prioritizing,  goal-setting, and establishing routines.

For February, I plan to work on the audiobook and graphic novel categories. How are your reading challenges coming along so far in 2015? 

January 5, 2015

Erin Condren Life Planner Update

A few months ago I shared how I use my Erin Condren life planner. I'm always reevaluating the best way to use my planner, and I thought I'd try something new for 2015. I'm posting this to help keep myself accountable to my goals and to provide some inspiration for you, too!

I still plan to use the daily morning section for appointments and the afternoon section for my work schedule/tasks, but I think I'll use the night section for dinner plans now that my husband is on day shift and we'll be eating dinner together more often (yay)! I'll still use the left lined column for a list of to-dos but at the end of it I'm adding a quote of the week for inspiration.

At the bottom of each weekly page are several lines to use for miscellaneous purposes. This year I'm using these as a place to record weekly goals and tasks in several categories:

Books (for keeping track of my reading challenge tasks and assigned committee reads)
Blog (scheduling at least one weekly blog post)

Health (working on creating healthy habits)
Home (cleaning, organizing, and other home tasks)
Family (things to do with my husband and son)
Finances (reminders to help us reach our financial goals)

Up until now, I've been using the life planner's monthly spreads for keeping track of paydays, bills due, and other expenses, but I decided to get a separate monthly calendar for this purpose so that I could leave it at home where my husband can also reference it. I like that it just has the monthly spreads and a page of notes in between (where we can record our budget for that month and track our debt payoff progress).

Luckily I had a gift card and coupon code, so I only had to pay shipping for the monthly calendar...I love a good deal! If you want to save $10 on your first Erin Condren order, feel free to use my referral link.

How do you organize your monthly/weekly schedule, goals, and to-dos?

January 1, 2015

The Book Riot 2015 Read Harder Challenge

Have you checked out The Book Riot 2015 Read Harder Challenge? It's a great way to push yourself to read more diversely this year. There are 24 tasks that will help you accomplish this goal. I'm looking forward to a great year of reading! A few of these categories will be easy for me, but others will really help me broaden my reading horizons.

I'm planning to keep track of my challenge progress and task ideas in my Banned Books notebook from Out of Print. I'm in love with this notebook!

In the comments on Book Riot's original post about the challenge, there's a link to a Bingo card generator for challenge tasks. Just another fun way to track your progress. :)

What reading challenges are you joining in 2015? 
Will you be joining the Read Harder challenge?


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