How to Get More Reading Done

With every passing month’s new releases, and with every new author you’ve discovered, your TBR (to-be-read) Pile never seems to lessen, when even more books are added on top of it.

I’ve been participating in Goodreads Annual Reading Challenge for 2 years now, (2016 & 2017). Both years (hopefully 2017 included) I’ve surpassed the number of books I thought I’d read for that year.

To start of with, I don’t go for the outrageous number of pledging 120 books for that year. I know its a “challenge”, but I like my goals to be S.M.A.R.T. (Just Google it)

I have an estimate of how many books I’ll be buying – well, planning to buy, in the year. Meanwhile, all my past hauls have lead to my bookshelf having 50% TBR books. [My Kindle Library is more of 90% TBR]. I make a point to finish at least one book per month. Adding the books I’m planning to buy, plus the books that are top of my TBR. Then rounding it – I end up with around +/- 20 books as my personal ‘challenge’ for that year.

 

So how to exceed that and get more reading done:

  1. Read more than one book. On average I read 3-4 books during the same time.
  2. Have books on various platforms. I have my paperbacks, Kindle, and epub reader app on my phone.
  3. Carry your book every where. During commute, or while eating lunch, or even at your work. These little breaks can give you a lead in your challenge, and having it various platforms will help as well. Heck, you can even get comfy and all tucked in your bed, and get your Kindle out, read until it falls over your sleeping face. (Been there, Done that)

The next two suggestions are from EpicReads via their Youtube Channel. I’ve yet to try it out myself.

  1. I’m not a fan of Audible Books, but it can seriously get some ‘reading’ done, by just how convenient it is. And if you increase the speed of narration, Bam! you are getting through that TBR-pile at the speed-of-sound! (ok bad joke)
  2. Commit a certain time for reading. We all are busy people, but one has to make time for reading. As a way to relax yourself after a hectic day, carve out little time – 20 minutes – to just get a mug of coffee/tea and a good book.

 

However, there comes that time when you hit a reading slump and nothing really catches your attention.

I prefer to give a short break, and let is run its course. but when it stretches over, I pick out a book that I’ve already read and thoroughly enjoyed. Re-reading books reminds me of the love I have for reading and the relaxation I get from it.  By the time I finish re-reading, I’m luckily out of my slump and can get back to picking a new book. (Yay!)

 

Lemme know how you get more reading done, and don’t let the slump get you in a dump. (ok seriously no more jokes)

 

Happy Reading!

 

🙂 FTK

The Dragons of Nova: Review

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I was finally able to read this, been looking forward to it since the moment I finished TAoL. And It. Did. Not. Disappoint. (So far, it the best of Elise Kova’s works).

Elise managed to add everything that I felt was missing from book 1, and she did it wonderfully.

This is a direct continuation from the point where book 1 had ended. It is mostly set in the world of the Dragons, Nova, while we do have interludes of Loom in between.
Tensions rise up as Loom prepares for the rebellion, while Ari manages to stay in Nova (without causing too much trouble). We get a ton of characterization to Florence, as she steps-up from being just Ari’s shadow in book 1, to this hardcore woman in this book. We also see a other territories on Loom and new characters are introduced, who give light to the ‘other’ side of Dragon Rule.
As the inner workings of Dragons are introduced, we understand Cvareh a bit more, and so does Ari. Their romance has a gradual build-up and they stay true to their character. We also find out a bit about Ari’s past, but still majority of it is kept undercover.

This book maintains interest throughout, by its fast-paced and entertaining premise. Plot points are partly answered that were left open from book 1, and new twists are introduced. The new characters also have varying personalities that are dived upon enough to make the reader have certain regard towards to them. While the climax of book 1 had dissatisfied me, this book’s climax kept me on the edge until the last page, where is ends in a nasty cliffhanger (why, Elise!!).

I’m looking forward to the final book in the Loom Saga, meanwhile I’ll go re-read this book.

Overall 5 out of 5 Stars.

I Danced with Sorrow: Featured Review

I Danced with Sorrow handles topic that are barely whispered in today’s societies and kept behind closed doors. Alicia portrays it beautifully in this collection of her poems.

The collection completes a journey of girl who was suffering and then finds retribution through writing.

While I flew through the book, the feeling still lingered.

Overall 4 out of 5 stars.

**I received a free copy from the author in exchange for an honest review**

Netflix Disrupting the Anime Industry

The Japanese Anime Industry was valued at a whooping $17.5 Billion in 2016 (1). Anime industry is notorious for not only underpaying their staff and animators, but also overworking them. 2 to 3 decades ago, “anime” wasn’t known in the West, but due to the influx of online streaming channels, anime industry got a boost.

With works of Studio Ghibli, being a classic-favorite in the industry, and more recent successes of Attack on Titan and Your Name; Anime has seen unprecedented growth on a global scale.

 

Anime Distribution and Online Streaming

Anime producers primarily earn from the original TV run in Japan, and the merchandise that sells afterwords. This didn’t give Anime a wide-enough scale for growth. However, anime distributors like, Crunchyroll and Funimation, gave a platform for foreign audience to also enjoy anime.

Last year, they announced their partnership to better serve their growing demand (2). Recently, Sony is in process to acquire Funimation, value at $150 Million! (3).

Amazon and Netflix soon entered the race and got distribution rights to several anime. This was the true boost the industry needed.

 

Game Changer

Netflix did not stop in just buying distribution rights, they decided to invest in making anime. With the majority of the $8 Billion budget of 2018, expected to produce 30 anime projects for next year, Netflix will not only change the paradigm of the market but also disrupt the industry (4).

The industry in Japan in always severely tight on budget (5). However, with the Netflix label, past known successes on animation originals, and the global reach of Netflix, several animation companies and talent will be flocked towards this new window of opportunity.

 

What’s in for Netflix?

Netflix’s audience are people who mostly love to binge-watch. Who watches anime? – people who (definitely) binge-watch. Netflix will be gaining loyal subscriber base who are not hesitant to spend (Note: Anime Merchandise is super expensive) and are willing to move on to different platforms if they get quality content to watch and enjoy. Netflix will be tapping into a huge market whose characteristics match their target audience to the core.

 

Edit 2/2/18: Netflix Original Series, such as Violet Evergarden have taken a kick start, and have been going good with fans. Before the month ended, Netflix had yet another announcement (6). They announced a partnership with three of the biggest anime production houses. This can be the deal-breaker of making quality Anime on a global level.

 

If this new venture of Netflix is a success, it’s bound to leave competition behind.

Until then, happy watching!

 

🙂 FTK

 


Credits:

(1) Anime Industry Revenue Via Goboiano.com

(2) Crunchyroll and Funimation Partnership Via IGN.com

(3) Sony acquiring Funimation Via IGN.com

(4) Via HollywoodReporter.com

(5) Via Comicbook.com

(6) Via Comicbook.com

 

Photo via Visualhunt.com

Socialize like an Ambivert

I used to stress out every time there would be a gathering at my place, or whenever a group of friends’ friends organized a massive BBQ and everyone was going.

The thing was, I realized, I didn’t have to go. Sure, my friends were going to be there, but I can easily excuse myself earlier and all would be well.

I forgot to mention, I used to have social anxiety, which made me miserable around people.

 

As an ambivert (part introvert and part extrovert), while I didn’t mind social events, I just as same didn’t mind being by myself. So that left me on neutral grounds. Most of my decisions were then deflected to these questions:

‘Who else is going to be there?’ and

‘Do I really have the time to go there?’ and

‘Do I have something to wear for this event?’

Once I had the answers, it made it easier to schedule my time and work around with what I had left to finish of my pending chores.


So how to Party like an Ambivert?:

  1. You know who your friends are. And you also know which of those friends you are most comfortable with. It’s highly likely that they will be similar to you in terms of personality. Hanging out with them during social events, will give a sense of security to your introvert-side, while your extrovert-side still has fun.
  2. You don’t have to go to each and every single party or Happy-Hour you are invited to. Pick out the places that you like to visit or is convenient for you. This way, it’s easier when you need some quiet-time from all the socializing. But hey, if you want to be a party-animal; by all means, who’s stopping you.

But what to do when you are at a work-related event?

How to Network like an Ambivert?

  1. For a Seminar or conference, you might be able to find out who is attending. Look them up and connect with them via online platforms beforehand, then re-introduce yourself at the event.
  2. Observe the audience. You are not the only one who doesn’t know anyone or is feeling out of place. Narrow down to couple of people you might be interested in talking to, they might be of the same industry or might have mutual connection with you.
  3. Small talk is ugh, probably avoidable, because it may make you awkward. Instead start with some industry news you read recently, or better yet, discuss the topic of the event itself.
  4. Don’t push yourself, you don’t have to meet everyone. Quality over quantity.

 

Hope this helps! Happy Partying!

 

🙂 FTK

Photo via Visual Hunt .com