297! 297! That's the number of unread messages in the primary folder of my email. When I started my blogging and Instagram journey, I anticipated many hours of...well, connecting with others and writing. I didn't really give thought to how much of my time would be consumed by answering emails. How do you organize your emails, so that they don't get out of control? The thing is, the newsletters I subscribe to and really want to read often end up in the "promotions" folder of my Gmail account, while spam messages somehow find their way to my main messages folder. I do tend to delete these kinds of messages immediately, but as I was sick last week I rather got behind on checking emails. I've also reached that point where I'm receiving requests to review books by indie authors, and/or from publishers asking of my interest in reviewing soon-to-be-released books. I also receive offers to collaborate by brands (most WAY out of my areas of interest).
It's a new month, and I'm ready for a fresh start. I wish I could say I tackled all of those unread messages before February came to an end, but alas I did not. However, I'm determined to make this month flow a bit more easily. That requires more organization on my part.
So, first thing this morning (as I was drinking my morning tea and daydreaming about spring flowers), I decided one thing I could do to keep on top of things was to compile my March 2019 TBR list. There are some books I have committed to read and review this month, so naturally those made it to the list first. I thought it might be useful for you to read about my process for choosing my monthly tbr, and to share my own March 2019 reading list. This reading list and my explanations for why I chose these books, might serve as a guide for those of you hoping to compile a monthly tbr.
Oh, and as to all of those requests...I've decided that for now it's in my best interest to only respond to the ones I'm interested in. Once I get caught up, I'll try to go back and politely decline the offers that aren't the best fit for me. I welcome you to share any tips with me for organizing and responding to emails in a timely fashion, without getting overwhelmed. I'm all about simple living and embracing an Enchanted Simplicity lifestyle after all. I want to grow my business, but I also want to appreciate a slower lifestyle and spend time playing with my son and seeing the beauty and magic in the everyday.
My March 2019 Reading List:
I organized my list into categories. I know from experience that I tend to be a mood reader, so I wanted to include books I know I tend to enjoy re-reading this time of year, as well as some to consider in case I want to swap out some books. This gives me some flexibility, while still keeping me organized.
The books at the top of my list are the books which were gifted to me by the publishers. I am not obligated to read "The Guest Book" by Sarah Blake by a certain date, but I did feel like attempting to read it before it is released to the general public (publication date is May 7, 2019). The other gifted book is "The Beantown Girls" by Jane Healy. I collaborated with the lovely folks at Get Red PR on this one, so I am obligated to at least post about this book quite soon. It will be the first book I read this month.
I also ended up receiving an e-book from my library, which I had put on hold. That book is one I have been excited to read for so long. It is "Muse of Nightmares" by Laini Taylor. I loved "Strange The Dreamer" and can't wait to get started on this sequel.
"Why Didn't They Ask Evans?" is the book of the month for Maidens of Murder book club. I've been wanting to participate in this book club ever since I found out about it a few months back. I have read "Why Didn't They Ask Evans?" but years ago. I look forward to re-reading this book. Agatha Christie will always be among my favorite authors.
I received "Letters to My Daughter" by Maya Angelou when I was a rep for Capsule Books. I loved my experience with Capsule Books, but unfortunately wasn't able to finish this book at that time. I want to read it from beginning to end this time.
I started reading "Big Magic" a couple months ago. I knew when I picked it up that I wasn't going to read it quickly. I enjoy non-fiction, but lately I want to devour fiction books and just want non-fiction to fill in the gaps. I enjoy reading this book at a leisurely pace, perhaps reading a few pages a night before bed. I might try to finish it this month, but very likely it will end up on my tbr for next month too!
The last few books are ones I have already read (many times), but might wish to re-read this month if I have time. If I feel uninspired by my current read and find myself in a reading slump, it usually works for me to re-read old favorites in order to find my rhythm once more. I've included these books for that reason.
The last book I shared isn't really a book, but a collection of books. I joined NetGalley a while back, and have a few galleys I need to catch up on. I tend to choose my next read according to my mood, which is why I didn't list individual books.
I failed to mention my book for @faesoftheforest book club. This month we are supposed to read "Daughter of the Forest." I hope to receive my library copy soon.
As far as organizing my monthly tbr, I tend to make a list and then put the physical books in a basket. My Kindle e-reader remains in that same basket, so I can easily access my e-books from NetGalley, and/or library loans.
My process for choosing books for my monthly tbr:
1. Write down all of the books I have committed to review by a certain date. Are there any coming up that month? Add these to the top of the list on another page.
2. I am a mood reader and tend to read seasonally as well. I also tend to re-read favorites according to season. For example: "I Capture the Castle" is one of my favorite books. I enjoy re-reading it every year, and usually in the spring since the book begins in that season. Add seasonal books and books I know I will re-read that month or season to my list.
3. Are there library books that are due back soon? Add those books to the list.
So tell me, how do you organize your monthly tbr? Are you a mood reader like me? Do you feel better if you make a list and stick with it? I'd love to know. Share with me in the comments or come find me on Instagram.
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