Monday, August 6, 2012

ERMAHGERD: I'm Back. (Also, My Personal Blog Commandments.)

I blame the summer for my hiatus. And may I just say that was like, the quickest summer ever? I thoroughly enjoyed it, but if I'm being honest, I'm ready for fall. Big time. I miss the mornings where I could wake up, brew a cup of coffee, wrap myself up in an oversized hoodie and pajama pants and There wasn't much time for reading this summer. More on that later.

I was out of town for a good 3 or 4 extended weekends since I took my hiatus. Mom's birthday, my sister's 21st birthday, a nice trip up to Michigan, and that's just to name a few of the awesome times I had. Plus Mr. Jen had the summer off from school (after completing his second Master's, of course. OVERACHIEVER!) so I spent every moment I could with him.

I've also had some downfalls. My cat child, Bo (aka the white one) had been diagnosed with moderate periodontal disease and tooth resorption. I guess those times I giggled when my vet told me I need to start brushing my cats' teeth are coming back to bite me in the ass. I've never heard of this, EVER. After doing my hypochondriac research, apparently the majority of cats develop gum disease by age two. WHAT THE EVER LOVING HELL. And as far as tooth resorption? It's a very painful, incurable condition where the roots of the teeth basically disintegrate until the entire tooth is just... gone. The body attacks the teeth. I now brush my cats teeth every single day.

Public Service Announcement: GET YOUR PET'S TEETH CLEANED.

So yeah, reading. My totals are as follows:

May: 10
June: 10
July: 6

Considering I still have 51 books to read by December 31 in order to meet my goal of 120 for the year, I'm not holding my breath on that one.

And finally, you may be wondering the real reason I took a break. I got tired of it. I was tired of the stress I put on myself to keep up with everyone else. I feel like I have crap content most of the time. I felt reading became a chore. I didn't feel like a "cool kid." I felt like no one really cared what I had to say, and I didn't care to say it. I became bitter and jealous. I lost sight of why I started this whole shebang in the first place. These are all huge blogger no-nos, and I was just knocking them all out like it was my job.

I was sad.

Luckily, my little sabbatical put things into perspective for me and I came out with a way more positive outlook. I will not be accepting or requesting nearly as many books. That is not what it's about and I'm ashamed at how easy it is to get sucked into that mentality. I have spent hard-earned money on so many pretties that have been shoved from sight because "OH MY GOSH I HAVE TO REVIEW THIS AND THIS AND THIS." Never again. If any of you catch me breaking these commandments, hold me accountable and send a little rage my way.

Makeshift Commandments

1. Thou shall avoid the green-eyed monster. (See: ARCs, traffic, comments.)
It's all about fun. It's all about books. It's all about talking about them with you guys. If one person reads my post, SUPER YAY. If not, perhaps tomorrow will be better.
2. Thou shall not throw pity parties.
Because nobody likes a whiner.
3. Thou shall not give a damn about consistency.
This is how I burnt out in the first place. I'll post whenever I feel like it.
4. Thou shall return as many comments as possible.
Or at least more often than I used to. (Ahem, SELDOM.) There are so many of you that I don't know and I WANT TO KNOW YOU.
5. Thou shall read each book like it's the last book on earth.
No more of this flying through books to get to the next one. No more worrying if I'll make my goal for the year. And if I don't love a book? I'll quit it. Because there's no time to be wasted on books that don't click with me. I want to savor these experiences, because what if some crazy ass patient pokes both my eyes out? (Audiobooks, yeah, yeah.) But then they rip out my eardrums, those precise bastards! I don't want to remember reading as something I felt I had to do. It's not a sprint. It's a leisurely marathon where I'm not actually running, but being carried through paradise while people like Hayden Christensen feel me grapes, cheese, and wine. (But sorry, Hayden. I'm married.)

You get the point.

Bottom line: I missed you guys. I missed this. Let's give it another go, yes?


  1. Great to have you back Jen! Love your commandments - I think it's important to remember we blog because we love books, reading and talking about it.
    Have a great week!

  2. well...good ones! ;) I quite agree! Keep up the fun, girlie..because's supposed to be just! :) :) :)

  3. Welcome back! I really admire you for taking a break. There's nothing wrong with stepping away for a bit, it rejuvenates you. I've missed reading your posts and I'm looking forward to your upcoming book reviews.

    I LOVE your Makeshift Commandments. Those are a great reminder to all of us about why we blog and to just have fun with what we, as individual blogs are doing.

  4. I love your commandments. I have only reviewed books personally, but I have fallen victim to the consistency and struggle to finish a book I hate anti-commandments. Since I let those things go, I have been much happier. I now post when I'm inspired, which is more often than I thought it would be! It helps being a part of such an awesome community. Welcome back!

  5. I'm glad you are back! I certainly never thought you had nothing to say. In fact, I think your views are always mighty refreshing. But it doesn't matter if I think that if YOU don't think that. So I'm glad you made it. :) I like that -- READ EVERY BOOK LIKE IT IS YOUR LAST. That should be a tshirt or bumper sticker or something.

    I'm sorry to hear about your kitty. :( I would never think about about a cat's teeth. My cat is like 19 years old. I'm wondering if it's too late to make a big deal out of that? Hm...

    Anyway! Happy monday!

  6. Yay welcome back Jen! I think your commandments are very wise and I particularly like the last one, as that is one of my main philosophies about reading. I hope you enjoy your return to blogging and that your kitty gets better!

  7. Welcome back and glad you had such a refreshing summer! Hope you have a great week and the fall will be here before you know it.

  8. You are HILARIOUS and I hope a patient doesn't poke your eyes out. Or rip out your eardrums.

    And yes, blogging should be fun! Read for fun and if you feel like chatting with us about it, fabulous. But don't feel pressured because then you'll go away for good :(

  9. YAY for your blogging return! I freaking love your commandments and have a similar set myself - it's just so easy to get wrapped up in the not-fun things about blogging. Looking forward to more hilarious reviews from you love :)

  10. Welcome back!!!! I love reading your blog

  11. Welcome back! :)

    That's scary about your cat! I never even knew that could happen ... Hubs is in charge of brushing the animals' teeth periodically. The dogs definitely like it a lot more -- must be the beef-flavoured toothpaste.

    I love your list! Reading each book like it's your last is great advice. It's just too easy to fly through the reads to get to the next one that I don't think we don't take the time to really savour everything we read.

    And consistency! I'm so bad about this because I think I should post Eventually I plan to scale back, so I'm keeping the momentum now, but I keep reminding myself that it's okay to NOT post a day or two during a week.

    I posted something similar to this last week -- I took time off in May and read only 3 books and felt so much better when I came back in June. I wrote up a list and am trying my darndest to follow it! I think the hardest thing is NOT going after all the review books -- my goal is to limit myself to 1 or 2 a month. We'll see how it goes.

    Anyway, awesome post! Thank you for sharing!

  12. Glad you're back!! I love this blog and the new commandments!

  13. I am SO HAPPY that you're back to blogging! Your commandments make absolute sense to me, and I'm glad you're sticking to your guns. I'm definitely inspired by your advice to remember that I started blogging for (a) the joy of sharing about books I really loved and (b) meeting awesome new people who love books as much as I do... like YOU!

    Welcome back!

  14. Welcome back! What a great post - completely agree, I'm still in the midst of my slacking but this helped remind me why I need to wander back!

  15. AAAHHHHHHHHH YAYYYY I missed you and your content!

    Bring it back so I can reeeeeaad it. Please and thank you!

    ps) Louisville Weekend had to be pushed to February. For reasons. (you can't see it but I'm making a "that stinks" face)

  16. I feel like this a lot. Well, the left out and unpopular part haha. But I have hit a good groove with my blog now, especially now that my wedding is over. I'm glad you're back and not quite so stressed about everything.

  17. YAY Jen!! I'm glad you're coming back!

  18. You seriously are one of my favorite bloggers out there. Please don't change your style ! I love your reviews and more personnal posts so keep them coming ;D

  19. It's so easy to lose sight of why we do this, isn't it? I can't tell you how many times I've lectured myself about not worrying about things like comments, hits, etc. and to stop guilt-tripping myself every time I fall behind in posts, comments, and reading other blogs. Stick to those commandments! But don't beat yourself up if you don't :)

  20. YAY! So glad to have you back :)

  21. Yay! I missed you and your awesome, funny posts very much. Xoxoxo

  22. Yes. All of this.


    There be fangirling ahead, y'all.

  23. I missed your posts!!!! Welcome back! And <3 to your commandments, I need to remember those too.

  24. Glad to see you back! I've missed your posts (I know I haven't commented, sorry, I tend to lurk!) I'm so glad that someone else worries about the stuff that I do, and your post has given me the push I needed to go back to my own blog after a LONG hiatus. So I just wanted to say thanks :) I will definitely be trying to keep your commandments in my head!

  25. Sorry for the comment spam, but here I am again!

    I just wanted to say that I am so glad you are back! I discovered your blog around 6 months ago or so, and I always enjoy your posts even if I don't comment on them (which I used to be HORRIBLY remiss about doing; I'm trying to work on that).

    Just for the record, yours is one of my favorite book blogs on the web. I love how you are unashamed of the books you love, no matter how much mockery and dismissal to which they are often subjected. I love how fangirly you get. I love how you are hilarious and witty (I mean, Top 10 Reasons I Would Suck as a YA Heroine? WHO WOULD COME UP WITH THAT?).

    Those are fantastic commandments! I especially need to remember #1/2, since I sometimes fall under the attack of "WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME THAT I CAN'T EVEN GET 100 FOLLOWERS? Everyone else seems to have 1000 or more!" Anyway, I hope you can abide by all of them and have a great time while book blogging! The world is a much happier place with your awesome posts. :)

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