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:
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.
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?