2021 Reading & Blogging Goals

Hello! I figured the best way to get back into the swing of things on this blog is to declare my reading and blogging goals for the year. I will be honest that the past few years I haven’t read nearly as much as I used to due to school and life. Let’s get on with the goals!

  • My overall reading goal for 2021 is to read around 30 books this year. I set my goal to 10 books last year and read 16 books. I feel like I am in a much better place this year to move forward with reading. I don’t think 30 books will be unachievable for me.
  • I wanna do more buddy reads because for me those really help me get back into reading especially after a slump. I’m very thankful for the people who did buddy reads with me in 2020.
  • I want to read more in general which means I want to read more consistently. I am currently doing a little challenge to read 30 pages a day in January. Have I read everyday? No, but I’m reading way more than 30 pages a day. It’s been a way to get myself to consistently read more.
  • GET MY PHYSICAL TBR DOWN! I inherited every Stephen King book known to man from my nana in 2019 so my TBR grew incredibly large. I believe I’m sitting at roughly 200 physical books that I have not read. I’m a series binger so I’ll buy the books in a series so I can binge them later. Have I binged them? No. I am trying to get my physical tbr down this year excluding the Stephen King books (which make up about 70 of the 200 books). Ideally, I would like to get it down to maybe 70. I also need to be more open about donating books I am no longer interested in and getting books via library or kindle.

Blogging Goals

  • I wanna try and post once or twice a month!
  • Diversify my content on my blog whether it is more bookish content like owl crate unboxings, hauls, book to movie reviews, and etc to more lifestyle related content.
  • Stop worrying about the numbers because that is partially why I stepped away from blogging. I was obsessed with numbers which I think rubbed off from the other book bloggers I was hanging out with because numbers meant more chances that you’ll get picked for an arc or get noticed. Blogging for me is just a place to write my thoughts and hope for the best!

I hope you guys enjoyed this blog post. I want to hear more about what your goals are for the year regarding reading or blogging.

Social Media

Twitter | Server Twitter | Discord Server | Instagram | Server Instagram

The Book Cryptids – Readalong Books

Hello! I wanted to share the two books that my book server is planning to read over the course of January – March. I mentioned in my previous post that I don’t know what I plan to do this year with my blog. I want to use it more, but I think it’s gonna be a lot more than book reviews. I hope that is alright with everyone.

We have decided to move to a two books per three month basis to give members more variety in the read along picks. January – March selections were selected by me and one of my mod’s Jules. We will be reading Two Can Keep a Secret and If We Were Villains. We are going to start reading the book pretty late into January to give people time to get the books. You can join in at any time in the three months. All spoilers will be hidden via spoiler tags!

Please consider joining us on the server if you are interested in taking part in either readalong! I hope you all have a fantastic 2021!

20 Things I Learned in 2020

Hello! I am sure that you guys probably have no idea who I am at this point. I must be truthful when I say I lost the motivation and love for this blog over the past few years. School got a lot harder and I was more focused on my book server which you can check out here. I learned a lot during this chaotic year about myself and others. I wanted to share with you the twenty things I learned.

  1. It is okay to ask for help! This was something I struggled with a lot in 2020 because I felt like I was burdening those around me if I asked for help. I realized that 9/10 times the people you care about will want to help you.
  2. Losing friends is 100% normal! 2020 was a big year for me in terms of relationships. I gained a few friends and I lost a few friends. Some friendships were lost organically as the year went along and some ended in bad terms. I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason. Those people were meant to be in your life for one reason or another.
  3. Give yourself a damn break because you’ll suffer from burn out. I went to school from Spring – Summer – Fall with no true break. I felt so burnt out by the end of fall semester I had honestly debated taking a semester off.
  4. Self care is key especially during a pandemic. I honestly neglected myself for the first few months. I wasn’t giving myself the same love I was giving others.
  5. People are selfish. I guess I have always been the kind of person that wants to believe in the best in people, but I think it is safe to say we are all selfish in our own ways. I realized that there’s different types of selfish behaviors (wear your mask pls).
  6. Not everyone is going to like you and that is okay! You don’t need to change yourself to please others. I came out of a really rough friendship group at the beginning of 2020 that always made me feel like I was a different person.
  7. It is okay to not have accomplished as much as you wanted to this year because it’s been a really rough year. I honestly don’t think I completed any of my goals for this year (rip).
  8. Second chances are worth it. I do want to note that if the person is toxic and bad for you then don’t give them the second chance. If both parties have grown and acknowledge their mistakes then the second chance is worth it.
  9. Stop letting people peer pressure you into things you no longer have interest in doing.
  10. Sitting in your best friend’s car and having a laugh can relieve stress. I am so grateful that my best friend and I have been very good about social distancing and being mindful of others that we are able to have moments like these this year. It has really helped with my mental health.
  11. Stop feeling bad that you gave up on your bullet journal towards the end of the year. I love my bujo, but I had no motivation to continue on with it because school was so stressful.
  12. Get out in nature more because it is healing. I went hiking a few times this summer and went out on the water. It has really helped me take my mind off of things.
  13. New hobbies are fun! I picked up roller skating recently and it has been a blast.
  14. Read at your own pace. I feel like this is something I am constantly reminding myself because I feel like I read so slowly compared to others. I might not be reading nearly 50 books a year, but I’m chugging along.
  15. Sometimes life is just hard and the only thing to do is look forward.
  16. Spending time to just destress at the end of the day is so crucial for mental health.
  18. Take breaks from social media! I actually ended up deleting my snapchat app for good after I took a social media break in May/June. I have definitely been limiting my time on twitter and other social medias. This year has been filled with so many negativity so breaks from social media is needed.
  19. Make sure you take care of yourself before you take care of others. If your mental health is a bit of a mess then you might not be able to fully be there for your friend or partner. This is something I really had to focus on this year because I’m empath. I have a lot of feelings lol.
  20. Be fucking proud that you made it through this year because holy moly it was a train wreck of a year! This goes out to everyone that had no idea if they would make it to see 2021.

I don’t know where I am going to go with this blog. I think I want it to be more than just a book blog. I think that has always been my intention since day one. I really hope that you guys take the time to stick around if other content outside of bookish content appeals to you. I can’t wait to see what the new year brings us.

The Reading Rush 2020

It is my favorite time of the year when the reading rush rolls around because July is usually my best reading month. It is the last month of the summer (for me) which means I am usually skipping away on holiday. Things are a little different this year with the virus and staying at home. I found that at the beginning of lockdown I was less motivated to do much of anything. Well June was kind of a bad month with everything going on (It was my birthday month though) so when the reading rush announcement dropped I was excited. I feel like I’m finally getting back into reading (aka stay tuned for some book reviews) over the past month which has me more than excited for The Reading Rush.

I have included the list of prompts which can be found on their website here. Prompt four will be decided the day of the readathon! It’ll be the pick I decide to pick up first.

I definitely plan to double up where I can on books simply because I do not want to overdo it. Are you guys taking part in the reading rush? Are we reading any of the same books? I’d love to have a buddy read or two during the reading rush to keep me motivated!

Pride Month : What to Read

It is Pride Month which means that a lot of people are looking to read books with LGBT+ elements. I was going to make a list of books that I have read over the years that are LGBT+, but I realized that a lot of new releases feature these elements. This list showcases some of the new releases that have ever already came out or are coming out in the following months. These are the ones that are on the top of my radar.

  • Felix Ever After by Kacen Callendar
    • First of all the cover is gorgeous! This book came out May 5th so you can get your hands on this book. The book features a Trans MC, slow burn romance with mutual pining, and it’s full of self love. Please follow the author on twitter if you are interested in the book.
  • Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas
    • Where do I need to sell my soul to get my hands on an early copy? This comes out on September 1st which is like eons away. Please consider pre-ordering this book though if you have the chance. The book features a Trans MC, magic, and ghosts.
  • The Fascinators by Andrew Eliopulos
    • This book came out on May 12th so go read it! Magic, first love, friendships, and more? It is not often we get queer rep in fantasy so this already has me sold. It sounds like it might be a little messy which is right up my alley.
  • The Henna Wars by Adiba Jaigirdar
    • I saw this floating around Twitter which intrigued me. It came out on May 12th so please get your hands on a copy. I honestly have not read too many books with lesbian rep in them. This book looks amazing and it’s on my radar to read soon!

Is there any other books I should include? Did you know about the ones I suggested? Please feel free to leave them in the comments!

Speak Out : BLM and Transphobia

My blog and my social media platforms have always been a safe space for POC and LGBT+ communities. It honestly astounds me how little some people care about what is going on in the world. I took to instagram the other day explaining why the #blackout posts were only clogging the hashtags that protestors and supporters needed for information. I saw so many that I knew posting these blackout squares, but they had been silent on the matter. Some of them are still silent on the matter even days after they posted that square. Where is your voice in this cause that you decided to take part in for a day? Protests are scary and can be dangerous, but there is other methods to support BLM. Share informational posts on your social media accounts, sign petitions, and BE LOUD! Your voice matters. You will find several links at the end of this blog post of ways you can help!

I think that really rubbed me the wrong way was the Rowling incident on twitter that happened yesterday. I spoke vocally about it on my twitter as well as shared other perspectives on the matter. This is not the first time she has acted like this and it will not be the last time she acts like a transphobic and homophobic person. I got on twitter today and saw that there is a hashtag in honor of backing her up. I was disappointed to see that so many people still supported her after all that she has done. Please feel free to unfollow me if our point of views do not line up. I want people to know that this is a safe place. If you need to vent or rant please DM me on twitter @ bookswithemmie.

Links to Check Out

If this blog post offends you then please leave because this blog will not support racist, homophobic, transphobic, or trash people.

The Future of Blogging

I used to love blogging before it became more of a chore than a hobby. I realized that I did not have the same drive as I did when I started this blog. I was primarily a book blog with some posts on other things that I am passionate about like sustainable living. Honestly, I do not read as much as I used to which is not a bad thing. It is just hard to run a book blog when you don’t read as much. That is why Tea With Mermaids is going to be more of a lifestyle blog with a major focus on books.

What does that mean? You will still get the same content like book reviews, book tags, readathons, and etc. The main change is that I will start including music playlists, what I am currently watching, games I enjoy, and sustainable living. That Is what I am passionate about so I hope you guys are okay with the change.

  • Where can you find me?
  • Instagram: @bookswithemmie
  • Twitter: @bookswithemmie and @bookcryptids
  • Discord Server: The Book Cryptids (https://discord.gg/QuGVEwz)

I plan to post on a Tuesday and Thursday for now so expect my new post on Tuesday! I mostly hang around my book server these days so feel free to join us! I hope you all have a lovely weekend!

Animal Crossing + Readathon = My Life

Hello! I am slowly trying to get back into blogging since my rather long hiatus. School and research has honestly been eating up most of my time preventing me from reading, but spring break is rapidly approaching. That also means more reading time. I probably squealed out loud when I saw there was an animal crossing themed readathon in honor of the new game. I knew I had to take part in some way, shape, or form. You can follow their twitter at acrossingread.

  • Resetti: I don’t really have a book for this because it will be whatever else I’m reading at the time of this readathon!
  • KK Slider: My Year of Rest and Relaxation by Ottessa Moshfegh
  • Able Sisters: Fountains of Silence by Ruta Sepetys
  • Tom Nook: An Absolutely Remarkable Thing by Hank Green
  • Animal Crossing Gamecube: Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan
  • Isabelle: If I can get my hands on the Tea Dragon Society that is probably what I’ll read, but if not I’ll skip the bonus prompt!

Are you guys excited for the new Animal Crossing game? I already have it preordered and ready to go!

Bookish Challenge: Reading 30 Minutes

I have been away from the blogging and book community for a hot minute. Life took me by a whirlwind and left me a little rough for wear. The book server I run as honestly kept a bit grounded. I noticed that I’m not making the time to read anymore even though it is something I enjoyed. Emma over at emmmabooks made a recent video where she read everyday before 8 am. This video is what sparked this idea to read 30 minutes everyday in October.

I wanted to sort of give you some background on the idea before I dove into the topic. It is the 9th of October as I am writing this and so far I have read maybe 2-3 days out of the month. I am not upset at myself because hey I’m still making that effort. I plan to check in at the end of the month to let you know how I did! Feel free to join in and keep tally of how many days you read for the month. I think it’s a good way to set aside time to read even if you feel like your schedule doesn’t allow for it.

Will you take part or have you done something similar in the past?

October TBR

Hello! I know that I keep falling off the radar due to college so I appreciate the people who are still around. I want to normalize reading a little bit everyday like I used to do when I was younger. I feel like I’ll get through books faster if I just read a little bit each day. I bet you are dying (no pun intended) to know what I plan to tackle in the month of October. I am keeping my TBR a bit short due to one of the books being over a thousand pages.

  • It by Stephen King – This is one of three of the readalong books for my book server over at The Book Cryptids
  • Others Words for Smoke by Sarah Maria Griffin – I need to finish this book! I started it back in June and was in love with the writing. I think it’s perfect for October.

What are you guys reading for October? I am going to try and blog more regularly, but you can usually find me on my socials or on the server,