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Sometimes it really sucks being an Australian blogger. Take for instance right now with Bout of Books, I'd love to take part in the twitter convos but they're right in the middle of my day and as much as I love to procrastinate I really shouldn't! But that hasn't stopped Twitter from being an awesome blogging tool, whether to get word out about my reviews and giveaways, to lament or celebrate the ending of a favourite book (or TV series - Hello Breaking Bad obsession!), to talk bookish and non-bookish things with blog friends or to send gushing 140 character love letters to authors - it's the MOST great! Honestly, if I wasn't a blogger I don't think I'd even bother with twitter, but since I am, it's a part of my day to day life.
I know everyone got really worried when Amazon bought out Goodreads, but I've got to be honest, they'd have to go realllllllly off the rails for me to turn my back on them. Aside from being a fun place to connect with other readers, this site is a god send for tracking my progress and reading stats. If I'm at the book store and want to buy something I can scroll through my 'To Read' list and check out the books that have been lingering there for awhile, or if I find a book that looks interesting I can get an idea what my blogging friends have thought of it as well as the rest of the reading community. Just...keep clear of the comments on some (most) reviews because damn, people can be nasty.
3. Net Galley
I'm pretty new to Net Galley but I'm really loving it as a place to find new galleys to read and review AND to see what's trending with other bloggers at the moment. My reading preferences vary pretty far from the popular reads but it's nice to keep on top of the latest reading preferences for other bloggers - mermaids seem pretty in right now right?
4. The Kindle App
I don't have a Kindle (or any kind of e-reader) but if I'm sent a review copy 9 times out of 10 it's in ebook form. Thanks to the kindle app I can actually read on my phone (and considering how flippin' huge smart phones are now that's absolutely fine!) or my boyfriend's tablet rather than have to boot up my laptop and sit in front of the screen to read. Computers are not conducive to imaginative reading - blame it on the news and my PhD I guess? My reading speed has picked up astronomically since making this switch, and it means I always have a book with me, no matter what.
This might not seem like an obvious choice, but when I host a giveaway (which, granted, is not too often) I like to include a secondary little gift along with the book. Because Etsy is populated by awesome crafty people, you can find pretty much anything you want, and they'll usually package it up sweetly so you can send it directly to the winner. Also, if you're the kind of blogger who wants business cards or personalised stationary, you'll be hard pressed finding a greater range at a better price than what's available on Etsy.
Like Twitter this is just a fun way to connect with other readers and bloggers. Things like the Estella Society #Estellagram photo challenges are a great way to look at your reading and blogging in a new way, and readalongs and readathons are only made better when you share your progress and reading piles and snack choices! And I just really like looking at how other bloggers live #SwearImNotAStalker
I'm still pretty new to audiobooks, but they're SO great right?! If you've been to this blog before you'll know about my struggles to balance my PhD with reading and reviewing, and audiobooks are the perfect way for me to get some reading done without sacrificing research time. Plus there are some books, autobiographies for example, which I think benefit exponentially from having the author reading them.
8. My phone!
This sort of ties into the Kindle App, but thanks to having a smart phone I can reply to comments on my blog, read and comment on other blogs, update my goodreads, read new books, make notes about the book I'm reading or record quotes, add important dates into my calender, receive and reply to emails instantly....Yeah, I think you get the picture. It makes being a busy gal oh so easy.
9. You guys
Nawwwwwww! But seriously you guys rock! If people didn't comment on my reviews and posts from time to time, include me in discussions on twitter, or comment on my Goodreads progress, well I don't know if I'd still be blogging. It can be a pretty solitary hobby at times, especially when you're all the way over in Australia, but it's the community that makes it all worth while. So thanks a bunch for being awesome people.