Thursday, May 3, 2018

Seeing the Movie First

Like many readers, I've always had a book before movie policy. As most of you are aware, this makes us incredibly popular. Phrases like, "We can't go to that movie yet, maybe if it's still in theaters in a month" are always crowd pleasers. Then the 2018 the PopSugar Reading Challenge included this prompt - Read a Book Made into a Movie You've Already Seen.

ABSOLUTELY NOT. That is against the RULES of being a reader. and is completely wrong for a reading challenge. The book is ALWAYS better (okay 99% of the time).

But wait. The book is usually better - or at least a more complete story. Anytime I see a movie based on a book I spend most of the time noticing all the discrepancies between the book and movie. I notice all the elements of the book that the movie left out or neglected. One notable example of this for me is The Hunger Games. I objectively think those movies are very well executed adaptions. Unfortunately, all the things I imagined differently would jar me out of the watching experience. I'm rarely able to fully immerse myself in a movie based on a book because of the constant cataloging going on in my brain.

Maybe I have this whole thing backward. Maybe if I see the movie first I can just enjoy it for what it is. I tend to find books more immersive then movies in the first place so maybe reading the book second will allow me more enjoyment of both.

Another factor that occurred to me. There have been a few instances where I did see the movie first.  I'm not a huge classic reader. The only reason I made it through Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen was because I saw and loved the movie first. I had attempted to read it on couple occasions but found the writing style tedious and repetitive. Knowing my favorite moments were coming up helped me get through the parts of the book I found exhausting.

Does this mean I have a new "Movies First" policy? No. But it does mean the next time someone asks me to go see a movie that looks good I can say yes.

Side note - I recently saw A Wrinkle in Time without reading it first and I really liked the movie. I'm looking forward to tackling the book soon.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

One Month Down - a shopping ban check-in

Within the first 2 days of starting my shopping ban I really noticed how many of the sites I visit daily are recommending purchases for me. And I think that's on me. I enjoy online shopping and over time have gravitated to blogs that recommend clothes and decor and books that are up my alley. But it did represent the first question to how my online shopping ban was going to work.  Do I allow myself to "virtual" shop without purchasing?

So far I haven't set a hard fast rule on that. I've tried to really notice when blog reading turns into shopping and I haven't been checking flash sale sites daily like I did pre-ban, but I have followed a few links to cute clothes and I did view the entire Target Opalhouse collection online.  Oops.  But no purchases so I'm calling it a win. It did inspire a trip to Target because I really liked a quilt I saw online, but I didn't like it in person. No damage done.

So far in the first month I had 2 fails, both Kindle books that I read immediately - not impulse purchases because of sales. I've also downloaded the nine free Kindle books for World Book Day so my unread Kindle book number isn't going down anytime soon.

Overall, I'm calling month one a win. I have gone actual shopping a bit more, but it hasn't lead to purchases just higher daily step counts and I'm definitely feeling much more aware of my spending.  Onto month two!

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Three Month Shopping Ban

Last week I was listening to Young House Love has a Podcast and they referenced The Year of Less by Cait Flanders. Among other things in the book Cait outlines a year of not purchasing things that aren't NEEDS. Listening to this podcast episode made me realize March was almost over and I'm still in Christmas spending mode. I'd also just made a major purchase (27 inch iMac) and that had me in a online furniture shopping frenzy. New desk, new nightstands, bedding, etc. I haven't made any of those purchases, just spending an inordinate amount of time looking for them.

I mulled several options for instituting my own shopping ban. One month doesn't feel long enough.  I'm more than capable of filling up my online shopping carts for a month without purchase and then clicking "Buy" once the month is up. That doesn't seem like it would really force any changes to my habits. I also hate the idea of passing up the "perfect" desk if it came into HomeGoods or something during the ban.

After really evaluating my spending habits, I ended up settling on a three month online shopping ban.  If I really need/want something enough to go to the store to buy it, fine, but no mindless internet shopping. No purchasing just because it's on sale. At last count I had over 100 unread kindle books from purchasing them on sale. Officially from March 27th through June 27th I won't do any online shopping with two exceptions:

1) I'll still order my groceries online and have them delivered once or twice a month because that is just a time saver on something I need anyway. Food/paper goods only.

2) Bathing suit - I have one swimsuit I love, but I've lost 30lbs and it's dangerously close to being too big. If I lose anymore weight, I'll attempt to find a suit locally, but I prefer one piece suits and I have a long torso so I generally have to find them online.

If it turns out that I do go out to shop more with this ban in place I may make it more stringent, but I think a three month online ban is a good place to start changing habits or at the very least, identifying my shopping triggers.

Has anyone else done a shopping ban online or full on?  Tips?

Random PS - I have to go through every post after I write them and delete my double spaces after sentences. Please tell me this isn't still taught in schools because it's a habit I'm never going to shake.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

2018 Goals

Last year was a decent reading year for me, but as always I feel there are a few things I could do to make it better. These all seem doable, but would have significant impact.

Read Books I Own

I know a lot of reader identify with this one. My Owned and Unread Bookshelf is approaching the 3 year mark (how long it would take me to read them all if I read nothing else). I have cut back on book purchases over the last few years and become a much better library user, but I haven’t cut out all book buying. Since library books have a due date and I always have library books around, my owned books keep getting pushed back.

This year I’m going to make it a priority to read books I own. If I don’t like them at 25% - DNF and donate!

Quit Buying Books!

Between Kindle sales, BookOutlet and thrift stores, I still accumulate a fair number of new books annually because I have a hard time passing up a deal on a book I have on my (very long) TBR list. I think I’m going to cap my Kindle sale books at one a month MAX and just stay off BookOutlet and out of thrift stores.

Read (at least attempt) longer/harder books

I read Gone With the Wind at twelve. I read The Power of One and Tandia in high school and loved them all. If I look though books I’ve read, even 4-5 years ago I was reading a few chunksters annually and they are books I thoroughly enjoyed and am glad I read: The Stand and 11/22/63, Poisonwood Bible, and The Passage to name a few. But in the last two or three years, the only times I’ve finished a book over 500 pages were later books in YA series. This goal ties in with my first one because I do own quite a few longer books that I just never seem to get to.

My top three priorities (subject to change):

Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln by Doris Kearns Goodwin
Roots: the Saga of an American Family by Alex Haley
Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry

Find new ways to use Audiobooks

I went through a ton of audiobooks when I was traveling for work 2014-2016, but now that my commute is down to 20-30 mins (45 on a bad traffic day) I’ve inadvertently cut back on audiobooks and I miss them. My commute is just so short that I feel like I can’t “get into” a book before the ride is over and I don’t always start them up again. I’ve tried listening when cleaning and that doesn’t work for me.

Other possibilities:
During exercise – works for walking outside, but not anything on a machine indoors. Not enough of a distraction.
During other hobbies that don’t engage all of my brain – puzzles, cross-stitch, etc. I’ve had a little success with this. Just need to make it a habit instead of iPad and TV.

Less Mindless Internet browsing/More Reading

I’d like to better use small amounts of downtime to read 5-10 pages instead of always waiting until I have at least an hour of reading time.

Read Diversely

I hate that this still takes planning and effort, but if I don’t make it a priority (and many other readers like me) than neither do publishers.

Less Decision Paralysis

I have a very first world problem in that I have so many book choices sometimes I struggle to pick my next book. This year I'm going to try having a Priority TBR of 10-20 books. I'll update it weekly after every library trip so it will only be books I currently have access too, but then when it's time to pick a book I'll only chose from those titles. Maybe it won't work, but I think narrowing my choices in a given moment will help with decision paralysis.

What about you? Any goals you really want to achieve this year? Any tips for me on accomplishing mine?