The Pressure of Not Reading Enough

When I started writing more about books on this blog, I tried to get some inspiration around the internet and I noticed that all the other book bloggers and/or booktubers were reading much more than me. Like 10/15 books per month, when I usually have some issues finishing one book these days, not because I don't like reading, but because I find it very hard when I have to spend my days at university or at home studying for exams.

This completely discouraged me and for some time I felt like I couldn't talk about books on my blog because I wasn't doing what a standar book blogger or booktuber does: monthly TBR, monthly wrap-ups, book hauls, book reviews, reading challenges. How can I talk about books ignoring those blogging topics? This was the question I ofted asked myself, this is what kept me away from my blog more than once. I felt like I had to follow some rules in order to call myself and my blog book-related.

I finally realized I was wrong and who cares if I do things differently, I still love books, and that's what matters. Speaking of which, I recently stumbled upon a great video by a girl who made me feel understood (and then I binge-watched her whole channel, totally recommended). I don't usually include other media than photos in my posts, but I think ones requires Ariel's video(s).

Similar to the topic above, I'd like to share an update on my Goodreads challenge. One of the main reasons why I joined it again this year was that I loved seeing the stats of all the books read during 2016 last December, having them all together brought me a good amount of satisfaction to be honest. But I have to admit I never stopped feeling the pressure of the number set at the beginning of the year. I felt myself so conditioned by that that I wasn't even enjoying my rereading of The Lord of the Rings earlier this month, because I felt like I would never reach my year goal going on so slowly and not reading a new know, all those stupid things a crowded mind can think of.

So the other day, while I was waiting for my professor at my little university desk I had an idea: why not lowering down my reading goal to a symbolic number? I would still get my stats at the end of the year and wouldn't feel the preassure of reaching that number in time! That's how I lowered down my Goodreads challenge to only 1 book. I've seen other people doing this before, but it didn't feel right to me until I spent some time thinking about it.

Tracking books is great, I even set up a whole bullet journal with that in mind, but, in the end, what I really enjoy to see is a simple list of the books read during the year, I don't actually care about pages, editions, stars and so on. Also, I read books about some topics I studied at University more often now, for personal pleasure, and it was driving me crazy I couldn't track them on Goodreads (you can add books on your own to the website archive, but it's time consuming and most of those readings are often "weird" academic publications), fortunately I could add them to my little list on paper, but it was frustrating no matter what.

Then Ariel helped me once again to not feel like a lonely weirdo with another inspiring video I'd like to share with you all.

I hope this post helped you to not feel alone anymore, also, I'd like to hear your thoughts on this! Feel free to leave a comment down below :)

Currently | March

Watching: Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (funny but nothing super) and the third season of The Librarians, this show completely obessed me, it's very close to become the top favorite of my entire life, no joke!

Reading: I'm currently rereading The Lord of the Rings and it's nice I still love it like the first time I read it. It will keep me busy for the whole Spring, since I have tons of stuff to do for University.

Loving: Google Keep, it sounds silly but I couldn't be more thankful for this app!

Thinking: about digital/social minimalism and the fact that I already practiced it without knowing what it was. It all started when I deleted my personal real Facebook profile like 3 years ago and it's still going on right now. I've been thinking a lot about my internet life lately and I realized I was spending too much time procrastinating here and there. I have less and less will to scroll through my social feeds now, I deleted the Twitter app from my phone and I recently found myself not being even so excited to go on Instagram, which is huge for me, so I blame the algorithm and all the crappy stuff they are doing for money. Same thing with blogs pretty much. But there is a positive note on this, keeping myself away from distraction is helping me a lot, I even found again some inspiration to write for Middle-earth News and I savor every moment spent reading LOTR, plus I started practicing German on Duolingo again.

Feeling: relieved now that I decided to take things easier on the internet. I blog when I want to, I share on social media when I feel like works better for me.

Planning: a bunch of local events and exhibitions I want to attend this Spring, unfortunately I have exams to prepare so I need to plan my free time in order to have enough time to study.

Playing: so much LOTRO these days, I can't wait for the Spring and the Anniversy Festivals!

What about you, friends? :)

My New LOTRO Adventure

I started playing LOTRO (The Lord of the Rings Online) in 2013 and I basically never stopped since then. I was (and still is) my very first MMORPG and I would consider myself a casual gamer, since I cannot dedicate it much time during the week, due to my university commitments. This is mostly why I only dedicated myself to one character at a time in the past, my main is a badass little Hobbit warrior.

Lately I started thinking more and more about the lore, thanks also to Corey Olsen’s videos, and I realized that, despite my huge love for my little character, I wasn’t playing a very lore-friendly side-story with her. First of all, my Hobbit is a female and, if you’re familiar with Tolkien’s work, you know that Hobbits are not actual warriors and the main characters, the ones who go on adventures outside the Shire, are males. So I started thinking about how I could play closer to the story itself.

After my many adventures with Elves, I ended up not liking at all the way their faces look like (I can’t wait to see the upcoming High Elves!), Women are great, I’d love to play a shield maiden of Rohan, but, again, I don’t like how they look like, especially when they wear dresses (i.e. boobs), I don’t feel myself very Dwarv-ish and I excluded Beornings, because I’m not a fan of melee combats. So, it remained the Man race.

Playing a Man would be a perfect choice for me for a couple of reasons. First of all, I wouldn’t waste all my free time trying out ten different pretty dresses before actually start playing; second, it would be possible to choose one of the easiest classes, the Hunter. My main character is a Warden and, believe me, it takes a lot of effort to learn how to properly fight with all those skills! So, here is how I ended up creating this handsome guy named Flynnth.

I didn’t want to heavily role-play with this character, so I chose the Landroval server, which stays between Laurelin and the other ones (feel free to come and say hi, by the way!). Here are some appreciation screenshots of his first day in th wild.

I’m not going to abandon my main character, so I don’t know how much time I will dedicate to Flynnth, but I have a little project in mind. I want to focus myself on the Epic Quests line, trying to not be tempted to follow the other quest chains and see if I can do it without dying too many times. This is also a project that Corey Olsen started few months ago with his second character, so I’m like copying him, haha!

Hopefully I’ll be able to share some updates along the way. :)

2017 Love-A-Thon | X Meets Y Challenge

The Love-A-Thon is an event dedicated to spreading positivity and love, it's hosted by Alexa of Alexa Loves Books, Cee of The Novel Hermit, Mel of The Daily Prophecy, and Kristin of Super Space Chick. It’s time dedicated to visiting other bloggers/Instagrammers/BookTubers, leaving a comment or two, making new friends and fostering positivity among the members of our amazing community.

For this challenge we have to combine the books and movies/tv shows that we love in some way, in order for other people to find new recommendations for things to check out.

1. Fangirl + Gilmore Girls
This is an easy pair, because of the the relaxing and cozy atmosphere both in the book and the TV show. Also, I discovered both a bit late but it was love and the first sight, they are big favorites of mine.

2. Red’s Untold Tale + Once Upon A Time
I kinda cheated for this one, because they are the same thing basically, but I realized that many people don’t know that these spin-off books exist! This one is about Ruby/Red and if you’re a fan of the show, you’ll definitely appreciate it.

3. Harry Potter + Good Witch
Speaking of good magic… I discovered this TV series last month on Netflix and I binge-watched the first two seasons. It’s one of those shows you can easily watch at the end of a tiring day to relax, there is no suspance nor mysteries, it’s a quiet one, but I definitely recommend it.

4. Treasure Island + Lost
Who doesn’t like an exotic scenery and a complicated but engaging adventure? These two have a special place in my heart, I used to be obsessed with both when I was younger and I’m currently rewatching Lost, so I think I should reread the book soon!

5. The Cuckoo's Calling + Pretty Little Liars
Secrets, murders, lies. The main characters of these two stories are very different, but I think that they are a good match if you like mysteries and thrillers.

6. Nihal of the Land of the Wind + The Shannara Chronicles
This is the first book of a YA fantasy series I loved when I was in high school and I think it's a good fit for The Shannara Chronicles, the first season was released last year and it was so good! They are currently filming the second one and I can't wait!

Hope you enjoyed my mix and match, feel free to leave a comment below to let me know what you think about it and if you have any recommendation for me!

2017 Love-A-Thon | Mix + Match

The Love-A-Thon is an event dedicated to spreading positivity and love, it's hosted by Alexa of Alexa Loves Books, Cee of The Novel Hermit, Mel of The Daily Prophecy, and Kristin of Super Space Chick. It’s time dedicated to visiting other bloggers/Instagrammers/BookTubers, leaving a comment or two, making new friends and fostering positivity among the members of our amazing community.

"We all love books, but there are other things we’re passionate about too!"

This mini challenge is all about things we love aside from books, we had to mash-up a non-bookish hobby/passion/talent/fandom with our bookish life, so I decided to create a collage of photos.

I love reading and I love books, but I also enjoy taking picture of them (that's also why I started bookstagramming last year) and mix them up with pictures of the sunset I'm lucky enough to catch from my balcony very often. Nothing fancy, but I also realized this collage could be a sort of mood board for this blog. Hope you'll like it!

You can find more photos on Instagram at @alicegreenleaf.