The Versatile Blogger Award

I am late, oh so late!

 

I have not done one of these in ages!
I don’t know her name but thank you for nominating me, Ajoobacat!
You should definitely visit her blog, her reviews are concise and very informative and have helped me on several occasions to pick out my next reads.

Rules:

Show the award on your blog
Thank the person that has nominated you
Share 7 different facts about yourself
Nominate 15 blogs of your choice
Link your nominees and let them know of your nomination

Seven facts about me:

1. I am extremely awkward in social settings but I thoroughly enjoy one on one interactions.

2. For the past few months I have woken up at 5ish am regardless of what time I went to bed and just cannot get back to sleep.

3. Some of my happiest moments are spent around nature, just feeling/listening/smelling it or reading as well.

4. Reading is definitely my #1 hobby but it has been increasingly difficult to find a book that sweeps me off my feet.

5. I don’t watch movies or shows on my computer.

6. For several months now I have switched from morning coffee to around 4 cups of tea and have found it makes me feel better and perks me up just as much, not to mention I get the liquids I need and never get otherwise.

7. I cannot recall ever buying an e-book.

15 Blogs I Nominate:

I am picking awesome people who take time to check out my posts and whose blogs I thoroughly enjoy.
So, in no particular order:

1. Sarah @ http://www.sjhigbee.com/

2. Emma @ https://emmathebooklover.wordpress.com/

3. Kim @ https://cadburypom.wordpress.com/

4. Rosie @ https://rosieamber.wordpress.com/

5. Koeur @ https://koeur.wordpress.com/

6. Paul @ https://photopaulm.com/

7. Nicola @ https://rustandstardustblog.com/

8. Diana @ https://mythsofthemirror.com/

9. Cathy @ https://746books.com/

10. Angela @ https://booksandopinions.com/

11. Loreen @ https://coffeeandcatsblog.wordpress.com/

12. Daniela @ https://bookstogetlostin.wordpress.com/

13. Geoffrey @ https://highteadreams.com/

14. ? @ https://abooknation.wordpress.com/

15. ? @ https://wearevoracious.wordpress.com/

Day 212: Celebrations and Updates

Hey folks!

Since I missed my 6 month anniversary last August 19th, I figured I would make a post about other achievements I got in the meantime today, the 7th month anniversary.
Since the last update, Ana’s Lair got the following badges:

1337 likes!

200 Followers!

200 Followers!

Updates:

– I decided to get rid of the Authors text index in Books page. It is just too time-consuming updating two indexes, so I figured people would rather see the book covers and kept that one.

– The Polls page was pretty useless so I took it out.

– Added a new page: Chats. At the moment, it only features an index of my Random Chats feature posts. If I ever get around to doing other Chats, I will be keeping track there as well.

 

Thank you all who helped Ana’s Lair achieve these marks. It helps keep me motivated to blog.

As always, any and all suggestions are welcomed.

The Blogger Recognition Award

I would like to thank Josie at Josie the Bookworm and Raven at Dreamy Addictions for nominating me for this award.
Their blogs are amongst some of my favourites, and I definitely recommend that you visit and follow them!


The Award


The Rules

1) Select 15 other blogs you want to give the award to. Do some digging if you must! Find those blogs. You cannot nominate yourself or the person who has nominated you.
2) Write a post to show off your award! Give a brief story of how your blog got started, and give a piece or two of advice to new bloggers. Thank whoever nominated you, and provide a link to their blog. List who you’ve nominated in the post.
3) Make sure to also attach the award itself! (You can do this by right-clicking, saving, and uploading the image above).
4) Comment on each blog and let them know you’ve nominated them. Provide a link to the award post you created.
5) Provide a link to the original post on Edge of Night. That way, anyone can find the original guidelines and post if needed, and we can keep it from mutating and becoming confusing!


Original Post

Click here to view the original post.

Quote from it:

Blogging has changed our world. Like the Internet as a whole, it’s changed the way we communicate, exchange information, and simply how we spend our time. People of all kinds, from nearly any country, of nearly any social or political status, can create a blog and work their way into having a dedicated readership, or just experiment with the freedom it gives. Celebrities, world leaders, your next-door neighbors, ordinary citizens—every single one of us has the chance to be heard. To be part of a global community. This is the blogosphere, the blogging world, and each individual blogger helps to make it what it is.

So, why not celebrate this wonderful thing? No, I’m not talking about a special day, month, or year dedicated to blogging. I’m not even talking about celebrating blogging. I am talking about celebrating the bloggers themselves. Because, without them, such a diverse, free and fun thing wouldn’t exist.

Now, how shall we celebrate? With an award, of course!


About Ana’s Lair

Ana’s Lair began without many prospects. Initially, it was only supposed to be a place where I would post my reviews, which I already put up on GoodReads.

When I got into Negalley, I noticed having a blog could influence whether my requests got approved or not, so I figured, why not?

I was browsing a blog, I don’t know whose anymore, and it was a WordPress blog, so this became my platform out of pure coincidence.

I clicked the sign up button out of curiosity, browsed all the themes, fell in love with this one at first sight and created it just for fun.
Initially, the blog was called MistLuna, as that is usually my nickname online, or just Luna.

Soon enough, I was copy pasting my reviews from GR, but I never really intended to develop the blog much further than that. I didn’t and still don’t have any html skills, which limits me a lot.
Boy, did that change. I found a couple of people willing to help me with the ‘coding’ and then there’s, of course, our best friend Google. In a short amount of time, blogging became one of my favourite things to do, almost as much as reading!

So I changed the blog’s name to Ana’s Lair. It has become my little niche, where I share my opinion about other things besides book reviews. Those are still what you will find here most often but, over the course of these roughly 5 months, my blogging interests have certainly broadened. I also enjoy posting movie reviews, videoclips from time to time, and other random stuff.
I created a new feature called Random Chats to discuss all sorts of things that appeal to me and believe others may enjoy talking about, and am already thinking of new things to implement in the blog.

Most of all, I love sharing my opinion, meeting people from all over the world, and receiving feedback from everyone. I have been lucky enough to only have had kind words posted here. Folks are just so nice!

It has been a blast, and I don’t see myself stopping anytime soon.

At times, I am not going to lie, it’s hard work keeping the blog active. Everyone goes through periods where they are just not inspired to write. It is difficult to come up with something. As I mentioned in another tag, the way I deal with that is by writing up rough drafts whenever an idea pops up, work on it over the course of whatever time is required for me to feel good about the post, and publish it when I feel I have not posted in a while.


Advice for New Bloggers

I have only been blogging for 5 months, so am in no way an expert…

There are, however, a few things I would like to mention:

  • Most often than not, beginnings are difficult. It takes time to get views and followers. Do not get discouraged!
  • If you are not blog savvy as me, experiment! Create a draft and play with all the buttons. Don’t be afraid to explore all the options and reach out for people to help you get started. If you don’t know how to do something, ask! Folks are really nice in the blogosphere, someone is bound to come and help you.
  • Reach out to other people. If you take the time to visit other blogs, like, and comment on the posts, sooner or later they will be curious about you and visit your blog as well.
  • Write about what makes you passionate. Never write for obligation. It’s a sure way to make you lose interest.
  • Most of all, have fun! If you have fun while blogging and take the time to connect with people, sooner or later your blog will succeed.

 

I hope you have enjoyed this post. If you decide to do this tag, even if I have not nominated you, please post the link in the comment box so I can check out your answers!


My Nominees

  • Geoffrey @ High Tea Dreams
  • Cristina @ Tiny Obsessions
  • Candice @ Wondrous Reviews
  • Cátia@ The Girl Who Read Too Much
  • Amanda@ Amanda’s Nose In A Book
  • Laura @ Snazzy Books
  • Analee @ Book Snacks
  • Yvo @ It’s All About Books
  • Tiffani @ The Book Venom
  • Maren @ The Worn Bookmark
  • Ashley @ Socially Awkward Bookworm
  • Kristi @ Hidden Staircase
  • Tamara @ Orange Pond Connects
  • Daniela @ Books To Get Lost In
  • Nicole @ The Bibliophile Chronicles
  • Day 147 – 200 Posts and 100 Likes

    I just found out I published my 200th post a couple of days ago and reached 1000 likes yesterday.

    First of all, I want to celebrate this! I want to thank every single one of you who bothers to come and check out what I write, like and comment on it.

    I also got into a sort of brooding mood, or at least a thoughtful one. The first badge in particular made me wonder about quantity vs quality.
    Since May, I have been posting daily. However, I have come to a time in my life where I simply don’t have much time to blog any more, and I don’t want to post just for the sake of posting.

    I would like to make it very clear that I am not quitting at all! I just need to choose my priorities well because I no longer have free hours to search the web for interesting topics to talk about and then turn those into a post. So I hope you all understand if I don’t post as often.

    Thank you again for all the time and tlc you put into visiting Ana’s Lair. You make all this worth while.

    Much love,
    Ana <3

    The Secret Life of a Bookblogger Tag

    Hello, everyone!
    Raven over at Dreamy Addictions was kind enough to nominate me for this fun blogger tag.
    Thank you, Raven, for remembering me! Her blog is awesome and you should definitely visit it!! I particularly love her book reviews ^_^

    This will actually be the first tag I do which focuses more on the blogging itself; so far I have only been nominated for all book ones.

    So, on to the questions!


    1. How long have you been a blogger?
    I started Ana’s Lair on February 19th, 2015. So roughly four months and a half.

    2. At what point do you think you will stop?
    I suppose whenever it is no longer enjoyable, or I just don’t have enough time to put up a decent post.
    At the moment, this is one of my favourite hobbies, along with reading. But, you know, people change, so does life and priorities, so who knows what the future will bring!
    For now, I am fully committed to it and do not plan on quitting anytime soon. :)

    3. What is the best thing?
    The best thing about blogging is that I can rave and rant and overall just share my opinion about all sorts of things, though most are book related, and people actually seem to care enough to stop by, read and even sometimes like and comment on my posts. It feels great to know that I can reach people from all over the globe. And, truly, people seem to follow me from all over the place! That makes me truly happy.

    4. What is the worst thing? What do you do to make it okay?
    The worst thing is feeling the pressure to post. Sometimes there isn’t really anything I want to talk about, but I feel the need to try and come up with something, to keep my followers interested.
    It’s weird how sometimes I cannot think of a single thing to post, and other times there are numerous ideas. So what I do to cope with that is try and take notes whenever an idea comes up, write-up the post as I think of stuff, and schedule it when I am happy with it, so that, instead of posting several times a day, I will try to do it once a day.

    5. How long does it take you to create/find pictures to use?
    Hmm I don’t really use pictures in my posts other than the book or movie covers/posters.
    There are some really interesting animated gifs out there but I wouldn’t even know how to begin looking for them and, to be honest, I prefer my text clean. Some folks post a lot of those images and, while interesting and funny, I find them immensely distracting as well. Not to mention that my eye immediately jumps to them, so I will be seeing a reaction to something I have not read yet, ya know?

    6. Who is your book crush?
    I actually stay away from romance in books as often as I can. I cannot imagine myself having a crush on a character, to be frank. When I am reading, I like to immerse myself in that world, so on the rare occasions where there is romance in the book I am reading, rather than thinking ooh, I want to meet that guy I will most likely be thinking hey, girl, look how lucky you are, you better not let him slip!. So I will be rooting for the characters, not feeling like one.
    Hope that makes some sense!

    7. What author would you like to have on your blog?
    Any author who wrote a book I truly enjoyed reading. It doesn’t matter to me if they are famous or not.
    Also, I would like to make a note that ratings are poor statements of a book’s quality and my enjoyment of it. There are books which I have rated, say, 3 stars, but still stayed with me for long.
    There are a lot of things which affect how I feel about a book and how much I enjoyed it. Sometimes, all one needs is a good editing, for instance, or a bit more cohesion to the story, for me to bump the rating up one or even two stars.
    So, if I ever do get to chat with authors in my blog, don’t be surprised if the actual ratings aren’t extremely high.

    8. What do you wear when you write your blog posts?
    Well, it depends where I am. Right now I am at home and wearing my pajamas!! Comfy!

    9. How long does it take you to prepare?
    To prepare my blog posts? I tend to write them over a period of days, so then I just make little adjustments before publishing.
    Other times, like this tag here, I will write everything, peruse the entire text, edit whatever I feel is necessary and go ahead and post!

    10. How do you feel about the book blogger community/culture?
    So far, I have only met awesome people. I am that lucky! Not a single person has posted a negative comment on my blog; I feel truly blessed.

    11. What do you think one should do to get a successful blog?
    I am still trying to figure that out!! I started my blog from scratch, with no supporters. I posted about it in my GR group, Book Lair, but not many folks there follow books so that wasn’t much of a boost. Quite frankly, I find it difficult to get followers and views, in general. I wonder often what I should be doing, so if you have any tips feel free to post!
    I do know a few things you should do if you want your blog to get noticed:
    – Take the time to visit other people’s blogs and comment.
    – Create social media accounts for your blog (you can find Ana’s Lair at Facebook and Twitter.
    – Try and post often!

    For the record, I am trying to come up with new things for the blog. As you can see in my June Wrap-up post, I already did new things last month. Right now I am trying to find a balance between trying new features which will appeal to current and new followers while, at the same time, not turning blogging into something extremely high maintenance or do stuff I am not comfortable with, because that would be a sure way to get this to stop being an enjoyable activity and feel more like work.
    But if you have any thoughts, do feel free to post. Maybe your suggestion will be something I can actually manage well, and include in my blogging without feeling that pressure.

    Well, I guess that’s it. Thank you so much for coming here and reading my answers, you guys!


    My nominees:
    (In no particular order)

     
    And if you think that wasn’t enough, I tag every single person reading this post!

    Please remember to post the link to your post if you decide to do this tag so I can check it out, I am very curious to know all your answers :)

    Have a great weekend, ya’ll!

    Day 112 – Random Chats

    Greetings, ladies and gents!

    I would like to introduce a new feature in Ana’s Lair:

    Step right in, take a seat, make yourself at home and let's chat!

    Step up, take a seat, make yourself comfortable and let’s chat!

    Sometimes I see interesting stuff online, most often articles which pique my interest and make me wonder, or just random questions that pop up in my head, and I would love to discuss them with all you fine folks.

    So I will be posting those from time to time in a new category – Random Chats.
    Most of the posts will probably be related to Books, but we’ll see. Whenever I start something new in the blog I only have a rough idea and then it takes a mind of its own, so I am excited to see what this will become!

    Obviously its development will also depend on your feedback and participation. I hope you won’t be shy in leaving your thoughts! And if there is anything in particular you would like to chat about, let me know.

    As usual, all suggestions are welcomed!

    Hope you have a great day :)

    Day 107 -100 Followers & new categories

    Yesterday, Ana’s Lair got its 100th follower!

    So I would like to take this moment to once again thank you for making this possible. The blog is not even 4 months old yet, so I am very happy.

    When I look at its beginning and what it has been achieved now, I have to say I am pretty proud. I have done things I did not think possible, since it is quite difficult to come out of my shell. Having such awesome folks as yourself take the time to drop by, make suggestions, criticism, compliments, etc., gave me all the motivation I needed to go beyond my capabilities. So thank you so very much!


    I would also like to mention that I created a new Category: Tags. It will parent both Awards and Challenges.
    So far they house the Liebster and Beautiful Bloggers award, and the 20 Books of Summer and 2015 Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge Jan-May challenges.

    Happy weekend, everyone!

    Day 104 – Facebook Page and other stuff

    I posted previously that I created a Twitter account for Ana’s Lair, so I figured… Why not create a facebook page as well?

    Different social media have different things to offer, and I wondered if any of my followers appreciated facebook and would be willing to like the page and eventually post there.
    I find that some folks will more easily post on facebook than blogs, so I was curious. And since I barely use the site myself, it did not make much sense to have WordPress link it to my personal profile.

    So even if you’re not that big a fan of it, I have now linked my WordPress account to the blog’s facebook page, and therefore you can use it to follow the blog, since a link should be automatically generated whenever I post here, just like on Twitter. You will at least have a different way, if not easier, to view all the posts than on the blog.

    Click to access the facebook page for Ana's Lair!

    Click to access the facebook page for Ana’s Lair!

    I have also recently found out about Blogging for Books, because that is just what I need, more places to get free books and increase my huge TBR pile.

    BfB linked me to Klout, so hey, I signed up to that too, because I am just in an exploratory mood.
    I am still not quite sure how it works but, from what I gather, we have a score – mine at a measly 10 – which supposedly increases as we post, and the higher that gets, the more books you get to request from BfB. However, even though I linked it to my WordPress account and have posted in the meantime, my score is yet unchanged. Maybe it would rise if I could actually share their suggested articles to the blog by using the Klout’s share feature, but I only get the facebook option…

    So, have any of you guys used any of these sites? What is your experience of it?
    Do you have any suggestions for my Facebook or Twitter pages?

    Tell me everything!

    My first reading challenges!

    I have been looking to join a reading challenge for a while now, but could not find one that I believed I would even come close to completing and that I would not feel pressured by joining.

    Browsing the blogosphere today, I actually found two!!

     

    2015 Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge

     

    I found this challenge mentioned in The Worn Bookmark’s May Wrap Up post.

    I did a quick google search and as far as I can tell the original post is the one you can get to by clicking the image above.

    This challenge aims to motivate people who, like me, cannot seem to stop requesting awesome books from Netgalley and/or Edelweiss, but have a hard time keeping up with the actual reading and reviewing bit of the deal.

    I was ecstatic to find this, because I do have this issue, and so this serves as a motivation to me, rather than placing any more unnecessary and unwanted pressure.

    I wonder what badge I will get hmmm….

     

    20 Books of Summer

     

    I found this one also through The Worn Bookmark blog.

    It can not get any simpler than this: Pick 20 books to read during the summer, more specifically between the 1st of June and the 4th of September.

    I am 99% sure I can do this so I want to jump on board. The hard part is to actually pick 20 books, since my reading never seems to go according to plan.

    I think I will include a mix of Kindle books, paperbacks and audio, to make things interesting, but the large majority will be read for review requests, either from authors or Netgalley – most likely the latter above all, so I can go for the two challenges at once.

    I will be posting the list soonish, as soon as I see what I have lying around and can make up my mind!

    In the meantime, you can help me! I have loads of paperbacks sitting on my shelf – ok not sure if 33 qualifies as loads but anyway – and I would love you to help me pick a couple to include in this challenge. You can find the list in my scanned shelf at GoodReads, but I will be posting the covers below anyhow. Oh and if you would like to do a buddy read of any of them, even better!

    Here they are:

    In the Night RoomDifferent SeasonsSomething Wicked This Way ComesThe Bad PlaceThe HauntedOdd Thomas (Odd Thomas #1)The Turn of the Screw & The Aspern PapersThe Picture of Dorian GrayTwenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea (Captain Nemo #1)SepulchreJoylandErewhon (Erewhon #1)ThinnerMagic TerrorM Is for MagicThe First Fifteen Lives of Harry AugustThe Host (The Host #1)The Game: The Valley (Das Tal, Season 1 #1)Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass: 100th Anniversary Edition (Alice's Adventures in Wonderland #1-2)The MartianFahrenheit 451His Dark Materials (His Dark Materials #1-3)City of Endless NightThe HumansThe Night CircusSpy Glass (Glass #3)Nobody True. James HerbertMoonBird BoxA Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire #1)A Special Place: The Heart of a Dark MatterCujoMr Mercedes (Bill Hodges Trilogy #1)


     

    Do you participate in any challenges?
    Which ones?
    Does either of these sound appealing to you?
    Tell me everything!!
    And please don’t forget to post your suggestions for a paperback on my shelf which I should include in the 20 Summer Books challenge :)

    Day 100 – Celebration, Twitter and About

    Ana’s Lair is 100 days old, yay!

     


    Bring out the confetti, champagne and cake!

    I have to say I am surprised to have come this far and even more surprised that I definitely want to keep going! So I would like to take the opportunity to thank all of you who took the time to follow Ana’s Lair, like, comment on and/or share my posts. You give me the motivation to continue and I truly appreciate each and every one of you.

     

    I also reached 500 likes a few days ago!

    And now, onto the updates!

    Update #1:

    I started a Twitter account back in 2012 to see what all the hype was about. I did not get the appeal of it, especially due to the character limit, and I did not really want another social media site to take up my time. But I could tell that the instant aspect of it was interesting, especially for news items.
    So I peeked in, followed a couple of entertainers I liked but did not stick around for long.

    Recently I found a couple of giveaways using the Rofflecopter platform and amongst the conditions to submit an entry was follow someone on twitter and tweet about the giveaway.

    So I sort of resurrected my Twitter account. I changed the username to Anaslair, my profile and header pictures to match the blog’s, and linked it to my WordPress account.
    I am not counting on actually using the account much, but whenever I post here in the blog, a tweet linking to it should automatically be generated.

    Click the picture to access my Twitter account!

    Click the picture to access my Twitter account

    If you would like me to follow you back, just let me know, and I will try to keep up.

    Update #2:

    The About page has been revamped.
    Main changes include:

    – A reorganization of the former text and addition of a new section, a walk-through on how to navigate the blog;
    – A clickable index to the main four sections (Author, Blog, Review Policy and Contact);
    – Little tweaks here and there :)

    Let me know what you think and thank you for stopping by!

    Beautiful Blogger Award

    I would like to thank Sarah at Stacks of Sarah for nominating me to this award. She is a kindred bookaholic and I really enjoy her blog. You should definitely visit it!

    On to the award!

    The Rules
    Link to the blogger who took the time to nominate you.
    List seven random things about yourself.
    Nominate seven creative, beautiful bloggers.
    Notify the amazing people that you nominated for the award.

     

    Random Facts:

    1. I absolutely adore sleep. Don’t bother telling me it is overrated. There is nothing like a good night’s rest and that feeling of waking up utterly refreshed in the morning.

    2. When the weather starts getting better (sun shining, lovely warm temperature, slight breeze) my brain immediately goes… Beach!! There is nothing quite like dozing away to the sound of waves crashing while feeling the warm sun on your body.

    3. I often forget to watch tv. There’s actually a couple of shows I like to watch (especially Criminal Minds) but when I have a bit of free time I am either reading or blogging, so it often slips my mind.

    4. I have been progressively distancing myself from facebook, to the point I now loathe it. I never really got into other social media sites, so this blog is the closest I have to one.

    5. I have never felt comfortable in groups. I prefer one on one interaction.

    6. People who know me probably think I don’t have much of a sense of humour. I am quite a serious person and this translates both to my personal and professional life. I tend to focus on enjoying the little things in life, having nice conversations with the people I care about and doing the best/being the best person I can be. The things I find funny other people usually don’t, and vice versa.

    7. As you can see by my blog my main interest these days is reading. I got into a bit of a slump in the last couple of months or so, and therefore I decided to try new genres, since I tended to only read fantasy/sci-fi/horror. I started with The Doll Maker, a thrilling mystery book, and should now read more mysteries, but probably more of the contemporary sort, not so much police investigations.

     

    My Nominees:

    1. Amie @ Amie’s Book Reviews

    2. Anthony Vicino @ One Lazy Robot

    3. Jennifer @ Book Junkiez

    4. Kimberly @ Come Hither Books

    5. Lynn @ Lynn’s Book Blog

    6. Magdalena @ A Bookaholic Swede

    7. Natalie @ Fill Your Bookshelf

     

    This post turned out a lot different from what I had initially thought, a lot more intimate! I realized I have grown rather isolated. But as long as I have my books, all is well.

    Besides, I grew up during a time when internet first didn’t exist and later it was rare; not everyone had access to it and when they did it was quite expensive. So I learned to take pleasure from other things. I guess that’s something that stayed with me throughout my life.

    I went through the hype as everyone else did but, these days, I honestly do not miss facebook, for instance. Or even tv for that matter. I prefer watching a good movie, but even those are hard to find nowadays. The importance of great graphics has long since surpassed that of a good plot. It’s a shame that the two seem to have become mutually exclusive!

    So yes… Books. :)

     

    Looking forward to reading what my nominees have to say about themselves!

    Tag, you’re it! :D