How to Enjoy Required Reading | Thursday Tip Day

I am sorry this is late, but I was out of town on my senior class trip, and I only got back today. I didn’t have the time to schedule this post before I left. Again, my apologies. 

‘Required reading’ has always sounded daunting and in most cases, we don’t generally enjoy required reading in school or college. Initially, in middle school and in my first two years of high school, I wasn’t particularly fond of the books we were assigned, but as I got into my last two years of high school, I actually began to enjoy required reading.

People don’t enjoy required reading for a whole host of reasons; they don’t like the pressure of reading a certain amount within a set amount of time, some people read ahead of the class and get bored during class discussions, and in a lot cases, students simply don’t like the books assigned because they’re generally not the ones students would pick up in their free time. However, it is really easy to get into required reading, and I’m going to share a few of my own tips with you:

  1. My first tip is to research the books you’ve been assigned. In most schools and universities, you receive the list of books assigned before the school year or semester begins. Do some research about these books; their summaries, their authors, the time periods they were set in. Doing research about the book will give you some information about the books rather than going to class blind, without any knowledge of the book. Doing research should also pique your interest in the book and get you in the mood to read the book.
  2. My second tip is to read actively. This means underlining quotes, highlighting turning points, making notes in the margins of your book to make note of stylistic and literary devices. When you read actively you pay more attention to what you’re reading and this will help you develop more interest in the book.
  3. My third tip is to read ahead of your class. Now, this tip may not work for everyone because some people choose not to read ahead because they fear they will get bored in class during discussion. However, personally, I like to read ahead because it gives me better insight into a character’s personality, or the reasons behind why they made a specific decision. This will also allow you to take more part in class discussions and provide a unique, more in-depth perspective that your classmates may not have to offer.
  4. My fourth tip carries over from the previous one, and that is to be active during class discussions. Class discussions are really helpful because they allow you to voice your own opinions, but also get opinions from your classmates and pick up on some details that you may have missed out on while you were reading. Again, this should help you develop more interest in the book.
  5. My last tip is to have questions for your teacher. It is very likely that your teacher would’ve read the book a lot more times than you did, and they may have a very interesting and unique take on a character or plot point. Your teacher’s insight should help you develop more interest in the book.

These are my tips to help you enjoy required reading! Do try them out and let me know what you think, and whether or not they work for you. I hope you enjoyed this post, and I hope these tips help you.

If you enjoyed this post, and would like to see more of these kinds, don’t forget to subscribe to my post, it’ll be very helpful!

I will see you soon with another fun, bookish post, so until then, I hope you have a great morning, afternoon or night wherever in the world you may be.

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How to Take Part in Reading Challenges | Thursday Tip Day

Hello! I was making my Summer TBR and going through my Goodreads Reading Challenge to see what books I’d read and what I planned on reading when I thought I’d do a Thursday Tip Day post on Reading Challenges. As readers, we take part in a host of reading challenges; some of us like to keep it simple by taking part in reading challenges that keep count of our books, such as the Goodreads Reading Challenge. Some of us like to expand our reading preferences and experiment with other genres by taking part in challenges such as the Popsugar Ultimate Reading Challenge. Though these challenges are very different from each other, tackling these challenges is virtually the same.

Last year, I was unable to complete my Goodreads Reading Challenge, so this year, to be able to complete my challenge, I did a few easy but effective things that I’d love to share with you:

  1. One of the most important things in tackling a reading challenge is setting a goal for the number of books you want to read this year. If you choose to do the Goodreads Reading Challenge, choose a number of books you’d like to read this year. Be realistic; don’t set your goal to be 100 books when you know you’ll only be able to get through 40 by the time the year ends. At the same time, make your goal a little challenging; don’t set your goal to be 10 books if you know you can read more than that. By setting a goal, you make your reading more specific, and it becomes much easier to plan.
  2. Once you’ve set a reading goal for yourself, create a tentative TBR for that challenge. I did this for my reading challenge at the beginning of the year where I made a list of all the books I wanted to read this year, including re-reads. This list doesn’t have to be final and can change as the year progresses based on what your reading preferences are and based on book release dates and other stuff like that. This makes tackling the challenge a lot easier because you now have a set list of books that you want to read rather than randomly picking books.
  3. After you’ve created a TBR and have started your challenge, keep track of your reading dates. Note down your starting date, ending date and the halfway point. This allows you to pace yourself and also anticipate the amount of time it’ll take you to read a book of a similar size. It’ll also tell you how long you’re taking and how much time you should be spending on a book depending on its size. This way, you are able to change your goal if required and also change some of the books on your TBR. This allows you to make the most of the time you’ve devoted to the challenge.

Those are my tips to help you take part in a reading challenge! I’m currently taking part in the Goodreads Reading Challenge which you can keep track of here and here. I hope these tips do help you, and if you have any tips of your own, do share them with me!

That’s all for this post. If you liked this post and would like to get other such fun, cool bookish posts then don’t forget to subscribe to my blog, it’d really help me!

I shall see you soon with another post, most likely my Summer TBR, so keep your eyes peeled for that!

TMI vs. TID Tag

For those of you who don’t know, TMI: The Mortal Instruments and TID: The Infernal Devices. They are both very popular series written by Cassandra Clare, set in the Shadowhunter World. If you have not read either, please be careful, as there are spoilers. 

As you all know, I recently finished The Mortal Instruments and I’d seen this tag on YouTube and it seemed really interesting because both of these series are very close to my heart, so I decided to do this tag to see how they’d compare.

  1. Favorite Main Character: Tessa or Clary? I’d have to go with Tessa Gray because The Infernal Devices was the first series by Cassandra Clare that I’d read so Tessa will always have a special place in my heart. Also, even though Clary and Tessa are the same age in both of their respective first books, Tessa seemed a lot more mature to me than Clary did.
  2. Favorite Herondale: Will or Jace? Will Herondale, without a doubt. Even though Jace comes from the same lineage, and they are literally the same with the attitude, the cockiness, the narcissism, the I-won’t-talk-about-my-feelings, the unreasonable good looks, the sarcasm/witty one-liners and the intensity with which they love, I have to choose Will.
  3. Favorite Love Triangle: Tessa/Will/Jem or Simon/Clary/Jace? I have to choose Tessa/Will/Jem because we all know Simon had no chance in the face of Clary’s and Jace’s relationship, even though theirs was super complicated. I didn’t like Jem and Tessa, but I think we have to accept that she loved both Will and Jem equally, though I am a Wessa shipper.
  4. Better Villian: Sebastian or The Magister? The Magister, duh. I think The Magister’s story was a lot more complex and well-written than Sebastian’s. Plus, The Magister had been plotting his revenge for 30 years so I have to commend him for his commitment.
  5. Better Army: The Dark Army or The Clockwork Army? The Dark Army because I loved reading about the good Shadowhunters turn rogue, and it challenged the whole premise of being a Shadowhunter.
  6. Better First Book: City of Bones or Clockwork Angel? Clockwork Angel because I hated City of Bones for that plot twist at the end. Also because by the time Cassandra Clare wrote Clockwork Angel, she’d written the first three books in The Mortal Instruments so her writing had gotten so much better and she was so much more comfortable writing in the Shadowhunter World.
  7. Better Female Sidekick: Cecily Herondale or Isabelle Lightwood? Isabelle because she is bad-ass, and also, because she was a main character throughout the series, I feel like I know her better than Cecily.
  8. Better Setting: The New York Institute or The London Institute? The London Institute. I don’t even have a reason why. I just prefer it over The New York Institute.
  9. Better Last Book: City of Heavenly Fire or Clockwork Princess? Clockwork Princess because we all know how I struggled with CoHF.
  10. Better Final Epilogue: City of Heavenly Fire or Clockwork Princess? The epilogue in Clockwork Princess had me in tears, and I still go back and read it. Also, if I’m being completely honest, I can’t even remember CoHF’s epilogue.

The Infernal Devices won 8-2, which is honestly not even surprising because I’d pick The Infernal Devices over The Mortal Instruments any day. 

That’s it for this tag! I had a lot of fun doing this and kind of analyzing the reasons behind my choices. I’m not going to tag anyone in particular, but if this tag seems interesting to you, go ahead, but don’t forget to tag me so I can see your choices as well!

I’ll see you guys soon with another post! 🙂

t e n

April was a huge month for me because I graduated from high school, and I also finally enrolled at college. As you already know, I will be attending Case Western Reserve University in the fall as part of the class of 2020.

I’ve already talked to a whole bunch of students who’ll be attending with me and I’m so excited to be attending. I’ve found people who are interested in the same things as me, people who have the same major as me. It’s all very exciting stuff!

I have finals right now, and the hardest part about studying for finals is not being able to read. I can resist Netflix, watching TV and going onto BuzzFeed, but staying away from my books is so hard. It’s just intensifying as time goes on and the first thing I’m going to do when finals are over is treat myself to some Taco Bell, Starbucks (I’m very healthy, I know) and Lady Midnight in my pajamas in my bed.

Every night before I go to bed, I swear to God, my books are teasing  me, begging to be read. Amazon suddenly seems more interesting and the number of books in my cart keeps going up everyday. Goodreads has become such a great pasttime and my TBR has grown tenfold and it’s all so overwhelming and I wish finals would end quickly.

That’s all that’s happening in my life. I just want to share with you some of my favorite music for the month: I’ve been obsessed with Champagne Problems by Nick Jonas, Toothbrush by DNCE, all of the latest music from Danerous Woman by Ariana Grande and LIKE I WOULD by ZAYN.

Very short post but not much to update you on. Have a great May! 🙂

May TBR + Popsugar Ultimate Reading Challenge | Summer 2016

Hey, you guys! I’m here with my May TBR plus a very special announcement. I have finals for the first two weeks of May, and then after that I am officially done with high school! May’s going to be a busy month because I have finals, then I have prom and we also have the senior class trip to Goa.

I will make the most of the remaining two weeks I have so here are the books I want to read this month:

  1. The first book I’m going to (have to) read is Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare. This is the first book in The Dark Artifices, which is the sequel series to The Mortal Instruments. I’ve heard so many great things about this book and this is at the top of my TBR list, so I’m hoping it lives up to its hype.
  2. The second book I’m going to read is I Heart Paris by Lindsey Kelk. This is the third book in the I Heart series. This series is hilarious and the books are such quick and fun reads and I love the main character, Angela. I’m really excited to read more of Angela’s crazy adventures!
  3. The next book I’ll be reading is Jenny Lopez Has a Bad Week by Lindsey Kelk. This is a short story following one of the main characters, Jenny Lopez. This short story comes right after I Heart Paris. I really like Jenny, so reading a story following her will be fun.
  4. Next, I want to read Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard. This is the second book in the Red Queen series. I loved Red Queen and I flew through it when I read it last summer. The plot twist definitely surprised me and I cannot wait to see how the story unfolds.
  5. The last book I plan on reading this month is I Heart Vegas by Lindsey Kelk. This is the fourth book in the I Heart series. Because these are such quick reads, I read them in between heavier books to avoid a reading slump.

Those are all the books I plan on reading this month. I’m not sure if I’ll get to all five because of how much that’s happening in the two weeks after finals are over.

Now, for the special announcement: I have decided to take part in a reading challenge. I’m already doing the Goodreads Reading Challenge for 2016 but that’s a very general challenge. The challenge that I’ll be taking part in is the PopSugar Ultimate Reading Challenge. So, it’s a list of 40 different challenges that you have to read a specific book for. You can check out their page here, and there’s also a Goodreads Discussion Group here. I’m not planning on reading all 40 books but I am going to try to read as many as I can because I do have my own set of books that I’d like to read that I will expand on in my Summer TBR.

I will be posting a TBR for this challenge and a wrap-up once my summer is over. If you guys do decide to take part in the challenge, let me know! I am super excited for this challenge and I cannot wait to see how many books I do end up reading!

See you soon! 🙂

How to Read More eBooks | Thursday Tip Day

Readers love the whole experience of being able to hold a book in their hands, being able to smell the pages, crack the spine, but with the improvements in technology and the introduction of devices such as the Kindle and the iPad, more and more readers are turning to eBooks because of their convenience and how easily available eBooks have become.

Initially, I used to stay away from eBooks because I thought it would diminish the reading experience but as I started to experiment with eBooks I realized that it doesn’t matter how I read the book, physical copy or not, the experience remains the same.

I actually started reading eBooks because some books weren’t available as physical copies in India but were available on the Kindle store, so I decided to read eBooks. I use my iPad mini and read on the iBooks app.

Getting into eBooks doesn’t require too much effort and it is actually worth it, believe me. With these tips I’m about to share with you, I hope you can find some inspiration and maybe get into eBooks:

  1. One of the key things for reading eBooks is finding the right device. Either the device is too small, like your phone, or too big, like your laptop. Finding the right sized device is key in achieving a good eBook experience. After struggling to read on my iPhone and finding my MacBook to be inconvenient, I switched over to my iPad mini which is the best size because it’s not too big or too small, and it’s very convenient because I can slip it into my backpack before school or carry it in my hand if I’m going out. I am hoping to invest in a Kindle for my birthday, though.
  2. After you’ve found the right device, the next step is to find the right reading application. Some reading applications don’t have the same features and some are better than others. I use the iBooks app because it lets me highlight stuff, make comments, and if I’m reading late, it automatically adjusts the lighting and colors for me. (Also because it was already on my iPad and I didn’t feel like downloading anything else.) There is a whole host of reading applications like iBooks, the Kindle app, the Nook app, Kobo and the list goes on. Experiment with different applications and see which one works for you.
  3. Another important thing is to find the right place to download eBooks. Not everybody prefers to pay for eBooks and there are quite a few websites out there that allow you to download eBooks for free but the problem with these copies is that they aren’t author or publisher-approved so it’s hard to tell the quality of these books. I buy my books off of the Kindle store and the iBooks store, or sometimes if I sign up for an author’s or publisher’s newsletter they offer me a free book. For example, Tuesday morning, I signed up for Raye Wagner’s newsletter and received a free copy of her book, Curse of the Sphinx. (Sign up here: rayewagner.com)
  4. The last thing is to choose the books you want to read as eBooks. Sometimes, not all books should be read as eBooks, or sometimes eBooks aren’t even available. So it’s best to maybe make a list or keep in mind the specific books you’d like to read so it’s easier to find what you’re looking for.

Well, those are my tips on how to get into eBooks. Try these tips out and let me know what you think! I hope you liked this post! I will be going on a hiatus for two weeks because of finals, so I’ll be posting my next Thursday Tip Day on the 19th of May (it’s a very exciting post!)

See you soon!

April Wrap-Up + Book Haul

Hello, you guys! I know it’s a little early to be doing a wrap-up but I will not be doing any more reading for this month because of my upcoming finals, so I thought I’d share my wrap-up with you before I get swamped with finals. (May TBR will be up very soon!) Before I get into what I read this month, I just want to share with you the books I purchased this month. I bought 3 books this month:

  1. The first book I bought was Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard. This is the second book in the Red Queen series. I absolutely loved the first one, and I flew through it when I read it in the summer of 2015, so I was really excited to get my hands on this one. I was supposed to get it last month when it actually released but it was only released on Amazon this month.
  2. The next book I bought was Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys. I’ve really been trying to get into historical fiction, and I heard such amazing things about this book so I decided to buy it. Salt to the Sea takes place in 1945 towards the end of the Second World War as the Red Army is starting to advance on Germany. Thousands of refugees are trying to flee by getting onto the Wilhelm Gustloff. This book follows four refugees whose lives converge. It’s told in switching points of view and the back of the book says it’s been inspired by the worst disaster in maritime history.
  3. The last book I picked up this month was The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. This book did come out a while ago but I only bought this because I’ve been trying to get into historical fiction. My bookstore classified The Book Thief as young adult and Salt to the Sea is adult fiction, so I want to see how the genre is treated in different categories. This is also set in Germany in 1939 just as the war is beginning. It follows Liesel who lives with her foster family, but her family is taken away to a concentration camp. She steals books to try and survive and this book follows her journey through the war. The most interesting part about this book is that it’s narrated by death!

Those were the books I bought. Now for the books I read:

  1. I finished Tales from Shadowhunter Academy by Cassandra Clare & Sarah Rees Brennan, Maureen Johnson, and Robin Wasserman. It’s a series of 10 e-only novellas that follow Simon Lewis from The Mortal Instruments at the newly re-opened Shadowhunter Academy. I have a full review of the series up here, so you can go check it out if you’d like my thoughts on the entire series and each novella. I gave it an overall 4.5/5 stars because I really enjoyed the series, but a few novellas in between were a little disappointing which is why it didn’t get the full 5 stars. I definitely recommend reading this series after you’ve read The Mortal Instruments (and The Infernal Devices) before moving onto Lady Midnight.

Well, that’s all I read this month. I have two weeks off before finals begin first week of May so I want to spend as much time as I can studying. I was really tempted to start Lady Midnight but I decided against it.

Well, that’s it for this post! My May TBR will be up very, very soon! I hope you guys liked this post! Let me know what you read this month, and if you’ve read any of the books I mentioned let me know what you thought!

See you soon!