Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday (36) - Things that Make Blogging/Reading Easier

(Such a crazy, stressful day at work so far.  Time to take a break and finally write this meme.)  Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.  This week's topic is things that make your life as a reader/blogger easier.

Top Ten Things That Make My Life as a Reader & Blogger Easier

  1. My sister & my coworker  -  Whenever I'm struggling with a review or trying to figure out how I feel about a book, I will talk it out with my sister or my coworker or both.  Usually, neither one of them has read the book, but they're always willing to listen and give advice, or just let me talk at them until I figure out what I want to say in my review.
  2. My parents  -  I am extremely fortunate to have parents that are not only very supportive, but also forgiving.  My room is a mess of books.  They're stuffed wherever they'll fit, piled on every flat surface available, and stacked in towers on the floor.  Even though they are forever "threatening" to kick me out if I bring home any more books, my parents still haven't yet (and I keep bringing home more and more books).  Even crazier - it was my mom who told me that I should have brought a suitcase to BEA in order to get more books.
  3. Other book bloggers  -  My fellow book bloggers are awesome, because they're a super-supportive community, and reading their reviews helps me make up my mind about whether to add a book to my TBR pile.  If a lot of bloggers dislike a book, they've just saved me from wasting my time on it.
  4. Goodreads  -  I love being able to keep track of the books I've read (including pre-blogger reads) in one place, as well as all the books I own.  I also almost never pick up a book now without reading about it on Goodreads first.  And I use it to get all my cover images and book blurbs for my reviews.
  5. Fotor  -  Before I discovered Fotor, I was making collages and banners using my computer's Paint application.  It was extremely time-consuming, and the images never looked as nice as I wanted them to.  Fotor is my go-to place now for making fun collages for TTTs and other posts.
  6. Amazon  -  I wish I could put my library on this list, but it's terrible.  And our interlibrary loan system is okay, but there are certain rules that are annoying.  So what usually happens is - I buy all my books.  And Amazon has almost every book out there, and the prices are amazing.  I used to be all about Barnes & Noble, but Amazon has better prices, I don't have to drive 30-40 minutes to the nearest store, and thanks to Amazon Prime, I get my books within a day or two of ordering them.
  7. Twitter  -  I resisted Twitter for a long time.  I couldn't see what all the fuss was about.  Now that I'm using it, I get why people love it.  And it's one of the best ways I've found to promote my blog.  (And to go along with this, tinyurl has been a great tool as well, helping me keep my tweets at 140 characters.)
  8. Excel spreadsheets  -  I would like to thank all of the bloggers I talked to at BEA who said they kept spreadsheets of their TBR lists.  I originally thought that was kind of extreme, but it's been really helpful in keeping me organized.
  9. Bloglovin'  -  I never had Google Reader, and I only recently discovered Bloglovin'.  Which meant that I followed blogs either through email (my inbox was constantly flooded, especially on Tuesdays) or by bookmarking the website and visiting it about once a day to see if there was a new post.  Then people started talking about Google Reader discontinuing and what alternatives to use, and Bloglovin' came up, so I figured I'd check it out.  I'm obsessed with it now.  Not only can I keep track of all the blogs I'm following on one page, but it's also the best way for finding brand new blogs to follow. 
  10. Blogger  -  And of course, I wouldn't be able to do any of this blogging at all if it wasn't for the Blogger platform.  Since my html/CSS code knowledge is minimal or mostly forgotten, when I started, I wasn't brave enough to try Wordpress or to host my own blog.  Blogger is super-easy to use, and the longer I've used it, the more I've been able to do with it.
And those are some of the things that help make my reading & blogging life easier.  How about you?  What makes your life as a reader and/or blogger easier?


  1. I am going to check out Fotor. I am always jealous of people with fancy collages, but never make the time to figure out how to do it. Time to play with some pictures! Thanks for the tip. http://wp.me/pzUn5-1Dy

    1. I was always jealous of people too. I kept trying to figure out how they made all the cool collages on their blogs, until one blogger actually credited Fotor for one of her pic designs. So I checked it out, and it's perfect. I hope it works well for you too.

  2. I'm not very good with graphics so I'm going to go look at Fotor.

    1. It's been a lifesaver for me. Hope it works for you too.


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