September – December 2021: Thoughts, Aspirations

I love fall and winter. My birthday is in September, my family has birthdays, there’s Halloween, fall weather, Christmas. It’s basically a time of food and and fun in my house. . .and also a time of great book releases!! However, I am a senior, so I have college applications. Here’s what my blog and bookstagram will (tentatively) look like this fall.

Blog

There’s a few ARCs I need to review:

  • Our Violent Ends
  • Fools in Love
  • The Bronzed Beasts
  • A Clash of Steel – for Colored Pages Book Tours – look out for my post September 10th!
  • The Red Palace
  • Within These Wicked Walls

Tbh, I DNF-ed OVE, FIL, and WTWW just because I was in a reading slump in August, but I really need to get those reviews done. I highly recommend all of the books btw!

I also want to make more lists of books with certain tropes/genres, maybe an article on why I don’t use online book tracker apps, my third year bookstagram anniversary post. I have a lot of ideas and hopefully can use my free time to work on something other than applying to college.

Bookstagram

Ah, my main platform! Time to pull out the fairy lights and wayyyyyy more props. Another fun activity that calms me during the school year.

The main post I want to have up in October is a cosplay of Kallia from When Night Breaks – I cosplayed a modern version of her in 2020, and it’s one of my favorite posts ever.

And of course, 2022 has many great book releases in store (All My Rage by Sabaa Tahir comes to mind), so I will definitely be promoting those.

Additionally, I think J. Elle may have another street team for Wings of Ebony’s sequel, so I want to sign up for that. The cover for Ashes of Gold is out!!

Shopping

Recently, I’ve gotten into online shopping. I am looking for clothes that I don’t have in colors I don’t have. As a shorter person, I fit in clothes from middle school, but then grow out of others, and I recently got some money, so that’s really fun.

I also am limiting myself to buying five books this fall, however, it depends on if I get anything for my birthday (September 25). I am grateful to have parents who support my book lovingness.

Wishlist

I am really hoping to buy more contemporary, fun books. I own a lot of fantasy series/first books in fantasy series, and I am realizing that I cannot own every single one because I am already having to double stack my books, which is not great. I actually got rid of a lot of books, or not got rid of because they are still where I live, but it feels good because I have friends who love books, so they are going to good homes. I also want to start a book collecting project at my school, but as a senior, I think I’m going to wait for myself to get into a routine before jumping into another project.

As for things other than books, I am looking to add a few new pieces to my fall and winter wardrobes that can work for both seasons AND for every occasion. There’s so many fancy pieces of clothes I have, so I’d like to add some casual clothes as well.

School

I am a high school senior. My first app is due November 1, and then I have an interview really soon.

I am taking two APs, Bio and Stats, and both go together, so I feel good about my AP classes. Stats is involved in Bio, and I love math, so I am excited to use math in bio!! I am also in Graphic Arts where we’ll get to use paper AND iPads. Art used to be something I wanted to do in college, and I want to take it as an elective because while I love talking, debating, and writing, art lets me use my thoughts in a different way!

Life

Honestly, I have such great friends both offline and online, so I am grateful to have support! August wasn’t a good month for me except for Santa Monica and LA which I am glad to say were bright spots. I am doing better now and am so grateful for the support I received in August, not only from my family, but also from my friends and school.

Do I have any goals? One of my CA’s is due Nov 1, I want to be done with my apps by December 17, and I want to find some clothes I do not have – I’m getting into experimenting with my outfits, which is a lot of fun.

Anything you want to do in Sep-Dec? Book recs for me?

What do I want this blog to be?

One particular post I am super proud of – the first book I ever got sent to me because of publisher because of Shealea @shutupshealea’s Asian Bloggers Directory. Go follow her!!!

Recently, I’ve realized that there is a cycle that I go through on bookstagram that I think started in March 2020: first, I’ll feel really good about what I’m posting. I’ll feel so inspired. Then, the second part of the cycle is me looking at other people’s posts and comparing myself to them. Finally, I’ll start to worry that what I post is not good enough, and that I’m not being aware enough. This causes me to either 1. want to delete my account, or 2. delete Instagram off my phone. Then, the cycle starts again. How do I break the cycle? Here’s how I think I can:

First of all, the past two days, I’ve deleted Instagram off my phone when I start to do homework until my school day ends. This is really helpful because I’m becoming less attached to my phone in the morning. My eyes feel better and there’s more separation between my life outside my phone.

Second of all, I am someone who tends to overanalyze a lot and therefore, this causes me to think people don’t like me. I know this is a very convoluted way of reasoning. For example, if someone responds to a text with a period in their sentence, I’ve worried that they don’t want to talk to me.

Finally, I realized recently that I just wasn’t liking what I was posting, including what I was posting here on the blog. I didn’t like how I was just trying to maintain a certain aesthetic instead of contributing to educating others, and I repeated some of the same questions that I tried to use to talk to my followers. I think some of these feelings might be from me growing up in a competitive schooling environment where I was always second best from sixth to ninth grade. I get jealous of those who are so amazing at writing reviews, but I must realize that it takes time. I also need to accept that it’s ok to feel sad if I do put a lot of work into something and I get no response. I need to let go of relationships that are one-sided. Furthermore, I actually stopped talking about problematic books a while ago, but now, I feel like I should because white authors are still getting away with a lot. I don’t remember the author’s name, but she was harrassing someone who gave her book 4.5 stars on Goodreads.

GOALS

  1. Use my platform effectively.
  2. Create work that I’m proud of.
  3. I’ve seen this phrase many times and I did not come up with it: post with intention.
  4. Recognize that I don’t need to post everyday because my main “job” right now is to finish the school year and to continue researching colleges.
  5. Honestly, this goes for ALL parts of my life: recognize that stress is ok.

Overall, I think I do have to accept that analogy that “there will always be a car ahead of of me on the highway.” I feel like, as a high schooler, I’ve gotten caught up in the mindset that I need to have everything in my life figured out in addition to maintaining a certain image, but that’s not what I want this blog and bookstagram to be about. I wouldn’t want to monetize this hobby right now because my main concern is school, although it would be very cool to get paid to promote the books I love. I still get jealous of those bloggers who’ve been around for the past 5-6 years who have really pretty aesthetics and the perfect layout and sound so smart, while I’m over here with incoherant messes of reviews, which makes me think I’m not working hard enough to be taken seriously or for people to want to be friends with me, but I must recognize that comparing myself to others won’t help me make progress in where I want to be.

Thank you for reading! How are you?

Bookstagram: What am I changing?

Hello everyone! If you’ve been following my bookstagram for a while, you know that I’ve had it since December 2018. I used to be @lives_in_ya_books, but decided to change my handle to @solaceinreading at the beginning of August. I don’t just read YA books anymore (because of The Poppy War), and I am getting older. It is time for a change.

What are my plans for Bookstagram?

My bookstagram is a product of work, time, and effort. I’ve worked it on since December 2018, coming up on two years this December!! I haven’t been as dedicated to something since rowing, which I participated in from September 2016 to March 2020, so about 3.5 years. I know I want to be a bookstagrammer longer because I can make friends (and already have so many amazing friends who I know are there for me), and love taking pretty pictures! I’ve developed real photography and writing skills. Here are five changes/updates I want to make:

  1. Not following a schedule. “Wait, don’t you have to follow a schedule to be sucessful?” Definitely not. I literally did not have a schedule from January 2020 to nearly the end of June. I still retained about 1,050 followers in spite of my sporadic posting, and that’s what I need to do when (takes deep breath) dual enrollment starts tomorrow. I like taking pictures when I want to take pictures. (Right now, I have no inspiration since I am waiting for Where Dreams Descend, lol.)
  2. Follow as many people as I want to. For some reason, I thought that I had to have more followers than people I was following. HOWEVER, I follow less people because now I can see that I have seen all the posts! I don’t see a million posts per day!
  3. Use stories less. I don’t want everyone to swipe through 15+ story posts per day because I really don’t need to be on Instagram as much as I am. I am going to make it so that I don’t feel like I need to post on my stories if I am not posting on my feed. I want to change my mindset from “this is a place to gain followers and free books” to “this is a place to meet friends and make life long connections.” (Lili @utopia.state.of.mind, ty for this!)
  4. Keep my Close Friends list limited. I like to rant there, and it is limited to people I’ve known for over a year.
  5. Maintain a theme. I like having organization online and offline. (If you ever meet me, you can get on my good side by talking about how much we both love pens and notebooks.)

What is your bookstagram (if you have one)? Would you be interested in advice posts about bookstagramming?