After a little bit of a life-dictated break (new house, new job, new puppy), we’re back! Again! And we’re going to review the two books we didn’t get to in August (oops) because they deserve their time in the sun. And then we’ll dive straight into our (semi) regularly scheduled programming in 2018. So let’s get to it!
Check out these five great stories from around the web.
- Two industry hotshots have teamed up to create a new imprint at Macmillan that will focus on “idea-driven narratives” that “straddle the line between commercial and literary.” You go, girls.
- Author Max Winter reminds us that rules are made to be broken, especially when it comes to writing fiction.
- This 94-year-old man keeps his mind active by self-publishing fiction. Because why not write 20 books after you retire at 90?
- The LA Review of Books created a five-week summer program to help people break into the publishing industry, and I. Want. To. Be. There.
- A fascinating look at what really goes into making a cookbook. Spoiler: it’s a lot.
Let’s have a quick chat about something very, very personal. No, not your true hair color or how often you actually eat the ice cream straight out of the carton. Something even more personal than that — your “reading spot.” I’ve always had a “spot,” from the horribly uncomfortable butterfly chair I had as a child to the less private but infinitely more comfortable couch I have now. Having a “spot” is a crucial part of being a bookworm. It’s a place that’s yours and yours alone, where you can settle into your next romance novel or mammoth biography and lose a few hours of time. It’s also a place that’s allowed to be messy because it’s your spot and you can leave whatever you want there. Or maybe that’s just my spot.. Regardless of where (or what) your spot is, there are a few key ingredients to making it the best spot in the whole house. And don’t feel bad if you don’t feel like inviting other people into your spot. Tell them to go get their own.
Curl up in a chair
If you’re lucky enough to have some extra space in your living quarters for a dedicated reading chair, then color me jealous. A comfy reading chair is a perfect backbone for your reading spot. It can be a well-loved family heirloom or a new-fangled thing from Ikea. But whatever you do, make sure it’s not a canvas butterfly chair. My back still hasn’t recovered from that ergonomic nightmare. And if you don’t have space for a separate chair, don’t fret. I don’t either. Instead, I have a cushion on my couch (a la Sheldon Cooper) that it mine for reading time. It’s a corner cushion of our sectional couch that I can bury myself in and LET. ME. TELL. YOU. It’s so good. Except sometimes it’s too good and it’s hard to stay awake.
Build some bookshelves
The other crucial aspect of any perfect spot is a place to put all of your reading material. Because what is a reading spot without reading material? Build some shelves into the wall if you have that option. Get a basic bookshelf from Target if you don’t. Or, if you’re extra tight for space, make some book stacks on a small table or window sill. I actually have and utilize all three of these storage options in my apartment and I love them all. Mix and match to your heart’s delight. You can play fast and loose with the rules here as long as your reading material ends up with a home.
Pile on the pillows
Throw pillows are an easy and relatively cheap way to boost the cozy factor of your reading spot. They can be used as butt cushions, back cushions, head cushions… Whatever body part you need cushioned, throw pillows are your answer. Throw some on your chair or put a few on a wide windowsill. Pillows will make your spot that much more comfy, wherever your spot happens to be. And bonus points if you can find cool patterns or colors that give your spot its own unique vibe to set it apart from the rest of the room.
Bring on the blankets
Pillows are nice, but blankets are where the cozy is made. Find yourself a spot blanket and let it live there full-time. That way, when you finally have a few moments to spend in your spot, you don’t have to waste any of those precious minutes on tracking down your cozy ingredients. What makes a perfect spot blanket? Mine is fluffy but on the thinner side and HUGE so that I can wrap myself in it, use it as a pillow, fold it onto itself when it’s extra cold outside… The opportunities with my spot blanket are endless and yours should be too.
Add some accessories
What more could your spot use? Whatever you can think of! Maybe you’re a huge magazine collector and your spot could use a fun magazine caddy. Or maybe your spot isn’t located by a window so you need some cool lights to brighten up the space. Perhaps you like to bring your coffee (or, um, wine) into your spot, so you need some funky coasters. Your spot is your spot, so make it what you want it to be. And then get to reading!
So my plan was to have this book done by the early part of this week. But… that didn’t happen. Mainly because after I finished Don’t You Cry, I couldn’t really bring myself to start reading a boring self-help book. I mean… C’mon. That sounded awful.
Well, jokes on me. Because I started reading You Are a Badass this week and it’s AWESOME. But, I think it’s going to take me a hot minute to get through it because I ended up busting out the highlighter. Because hot damn. There are some insightful nuggets in this bad boy.
All of this to say… I’m not done with You Are a Badass yet. But I will let you know when I am. And I’m sure I’ll be shouting it from the rooftops, if these first few chapters are any indication.
I took a brief hiatus from this fledgling project to finish my Master’s degree in Publishing. I feel like one of those baby sea turtles, emerging into the sun from beneath the sand after a long, long time. So much free time! So much possibility!
Now that I’ve got some extra time on my hands, I plan on diving back into reading and (hopefully) writing about the books and stories that everyone’s been raving about. So let’s get to it!
Check out these five great stories from around the web.
- Are all female-authored novels pigeoned into the “chick-lit” book cover design hole?
- A look inside the first preview of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child – did someone say something about rouge owls?
- Five tips for perfecting your copy editing skills (from one of my uber-talented GWU cohorts).
- Another must-read list for the summer, this time from The Everygirl.
- London just got a new book delivery service – dead tree books delivered to you within the hour. Is the future of book buying upon us?
Matthew Carter is somewhat of a legend in the publishing industry – well, in any industry, really. His life’s work is visible practically anywhere you look, from the TV screen to the corner bodega to the book in your hand. Carter designed some of the most prolific and popular fonts to ever grace the screen (or the page) and their popularity, even after all of these years, isn’t going anywhere. Continue reading →