Sunday, November 8, 2015

Happy Blogaversary to ME!

That's right, my friends. Today is the day Books Etc. turns FIVE! I cannot believe I've been writing this blog for five years now. It seems like just yesterday I put this Blogger blog together. (Yep. Five years in and I'm still using Blogger...once I'm back from vacation I plan on changing that. I hope.)

SO many amazing things have happened over the past five years. I have made new friends (IRL and online), met more authors than I ever imagined possible (including a few of my all time favourites), read way more books than a normal person should (but I'm not normal), interned at Random House of Canada and Project Bookmark Canada, helped plan a chick lit author event, and oh so much more. (You can read about my second blogaversary here, third here, and fourth here.)

This past year was really hard for me, particularly in the career department (which directly relates to how much money I have and therefore determines everything else I can - or, more frequently, can't - do). My blog really took a hit and it's only been in the past few months that I've gotten back into the swing of things. I'm still getting there but one of the things that really helped was finally making it to BEA and the back-from-hiatus Ontario Book Blogger meet up.

I'm still learning as a blogger (and a human!) and I'm hoping for even more change and amazing things over the next year.

Now, a couple of bloggers - Jaime of Two Chicks on Books and Amber of Me, My Shelf, and I - are both celebrating their five year blogaversaries as well and wanted to open up the celebrations to anyone else who is in the five year cllub. The start of the Fantastic Fives celebration starts TODAY and because the start date falls on my actual blogaversary, they granted me the first spot. How sweet is that?

Fantastic Fives Interview Questions

Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I'm a 28 year old, tall (6'), Canadian (I live about 20 minutes away from Niagara Falls) female. I'm obsessed with books (duh), tea (someone may need to stage an intervention and ban me from David's Tea), and my bunny (her name is Tonks…yep, like the Harry Potter character). I've lived in enough places to have collected four different library cards. I have a background in communications, events, and fundraising and I'm still trying to figure out what I want to do when I grow up.

How did you get started blogging?
The short answer is I just started because I wanted to talk about books. The longer answer includes a previous knowledge of blogging thanks to my fourth year seminar class in university (my final assignment was writing a blog…it's still live if you want to check it out!) and finding a few blogs online thanks to Twitter (I'm pretty sure Chick Lit Plus was the first blog I fell in love with).

How did you pick the name for your blog?
I hardly remember! I think I settled on it because I knew it wouldn't strictly be about books.

If you could go back in time and tell your newbie blogger self one thing what would it be?
Pick a better url, haha! But also to just do your thing and not worry about what anyone else is reading or how they're blogging. It took  me awhile to learn that.

What have you learned in your five years of blogging?
The book community can be really great and welcoming but there are catty/cliquey moments that make me feel like I'm back in high school. So, I've learned to ignore those moments and focus on the good, which includes the amazing friends I've made and the insane opportunities I've been given. I've also learned way more about the publishing process which has been eye opening and so much fun.

What was the first ARC or book you ever received from a publisher?
It wasn't an ARC but the first book I received was A Scottish Ferry Tale and it was part of a blog tour (review is here if your interest is piqued!). I adored it! It took time though. I didn't get it until almost six months after starting my blog.  

When you’re not reading or blogging, what can we find you doing?
Not reading…I don't understand…Kidding! I'm a pretty average girl. If I don’t have my nose in a book, I'm either hanging out with my boyfriend or friends, likely watching TV shows, movies, baseball or the odd hockey game, or my whackadoodle rabbit act like the crazy nut she is. I could also be at the gym. The whole fitnessing thing is kind of recent (even though I played basketball many moons ago) since I screwed up my back earlier in 2015 and working out and getting stronger has helped immensely.

I couldn't NOT share a pic of Tonks (there are many more
on Instagram and Twitter, promise.)
The Fives

Five Favourite Books
Harry Potter (Ugh. FINE! Prisoner ofAzkaban) (review)
Anne of Green Gables (though I might love Anne of the Island more)
This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen (review)
Arranged by Catherine McKenzie (review)
Blogger Girl by Meredith Schorr (review)

Five Favourite Book Boyfriends
Marcus Flutie from Megan McCafferty's Jessica Darling series (I think he was my first book boyfriend)
Brook from Laura Chapman's First & Goal
Dex from Sarah Dessen's This Lullaby (review)
Any of the three brothers from Nora Roberts' Inn Boonsboro series (review of book one and book three)
Gilbert Blythe from Anne of Green Gables (actually, he may have been my first book boyfriend but I don't think I realized it at the time. I was, like, 10 when I first read it.)

Five Favourite Book Quotes
"'All life's lessons are not learned at college,' she thought. 'Life teaches them everywhere.'" 
Anne of the Island

"As he read, I fell in love the way you fall asleep: slowly and then all at once."
I may have my issues with John Green but I adore this quote from The Fault in Our Stars.

"And now, Harry, let us step out into the night and pursue that flighty temptress, adventure." 
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

“I am simply a 'book drunkard.' Books have the same irresistible temptation for me that liquor has for its devotee. I cannot withstand them.”
Lucy Maud Montgomery (I actually have a bracelet with this engraved on it)

“The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid.”
Jane Austen

Five Blogging Tips For New Bloggers
1. Don't say yes to every review request.
2. Be polite and courteous to authors and publishers. This may be a hobby but you should conduct yourself in a professional manner. They don't have to send you books so make them want to work with you. Review books when you say you will! (I'm still working on this. So many books, so little time.)
3. Interact with other bloggers! It's an amazing community. And we won't bite, promise. (Er…except for the crazy chick I heard about at a past BEA.)
4. Schedule. You don't want to miss reviews/promos/NetGalley archive date because you forgot to write it down. It will also help you decide what to read next.
5. Have fun! Your blog is just that: yours. Give it personality! Write reviews how you want to write them and don't worry if you're doing it "right" because right is the way that makes you happiest.

Five Blogs You Want The World To Know About – Canadian (er...Ontario) Edition!
1. Browsing Bookshelves (Natalie is now one of my closest friends and we met because of blogging!)
4. Ms Lady Critic (she started blogging and is now focusing on booktubing)

Now for even more fun...I've decided I WILL do a giveaway this year. I don't exactly have the money (working part time is such a delight) BUT the book community has done so much for me so I want to give something back. Here's a bit of fine print: I'm away on vacation right now so I have no idea if the Rafflecopter will even decide to work. And because I'm going away well in advance of this post going live and have a ton of other things to think's a bit of a generic giveaway. I'll work out with the winner where the book will come from and, depending on where the winner lives, I might send a few little extra fun things. So make sure you leave a way for me to contact you in the blog post comment. If, for some reason, Rafflecopter doesn't work, leave a comment for me telling me what one of your favourite books is and I'll do a manual giveaway on the 29th. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Don't forget to check out the other blogs that are turning five this year!
November 9 Fiktshun
November 10 Two Chicks On Books
November 11 Me, My Shelf and I
November 12 Bewitched Bookworms
November 13 Novel Novice
November 14 Book Angel Booktopia
November 15 Maer Wilson
November 17 YA Book Shelf
November 19 Bookish Lifestyle
November 20 Once Upon A Twilight
November 21 Annette's Book Spot
November 22 Bookaholics Anonymous
November 23 Deal Sharing Aunt 


  1. Happy 5 years! You're thinking of switching from Blogger?! Awesome! I'm self-hosted WP now and happy with it. Good luck!

    I celebrated my 6 years this year. Crazy how fast time flies. I'm glad you're still around blogging. :)

  2. Happy bloganniversary! My favs are : Ten thousand skies above you by Claudia Gray, Heart of Betrayal by Mary Pearson and A gathering of Shadows by Victoria Swabz. My email can br seen in the rafflecopter. :)

  3. Happy 5 years Kayley! Thanks so much for taking part in the Fantastic Fives event!


  4. Happy anniversary Kaley!! To another 5 years and a million more great books :)

  5. Happy anniversary!! One of my favorites book(s) will always be The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare because it's what introduced me into fandoms and for that I will be forever grateful. Also Magnus Bane. XD

  6. Happy Blogaversary! I find it too hard to choose just one favorite but I have favorites from different times in my life.
    Childhood: My Side of the Mountain, The Golden Compass, The Hobbit, and Harry Potter.
    A recent fave: The Night Circus

  7. Happy Blogoversary! And I hope you're having a great vacation :)

    I can go on & on with my top favs, but one of them among my most favs is Ready Player One by Ernest Cline!

  8. Happy Blogaversary!!! A whole 5 years, that is amazing! Congratulations!
    It is so difficult when asked this, but in light of a soon-to-be released book, I think I am going to have to say The Lunar Chronicles series :)

  9. Happy, happy, happy blogoversary and wishing you many more amazing to come! :) It's always hard to pick just one, but I absolutely love Grisha trilogy by Leigh Bardugo and All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven.
    Thanks for the giveaway! :)

  10. My favorite book is Winger by Andrew Smith!!!

  11. Happy Blogaversary!! My favorite books are the Percy Jackson series :D

  12. Happy Blogaversary!! My favorite books are the Percy Jackson series :D

  13. Dissever series by Colee Firman Love all 4 books, can't wait for book 5.

  14. Happy 5th Blogoversary! I'm currently discovering that I love Jennifer L. Armentrout books, but the Twilight series and Harry Potter series, will probably always be my two favorite series.

  15. So excited to be part of the Fantastic Fives with you -- congrats on the anniversary!

  16. Happy Blogaversary!!! Such an amazing accomplishment :)

    As for my favorite book... Even naming one out of the many is hard!! Can I pick 3? I know you said one but I can't decide... Tangked Tides by Karen Amanda Hooper, Finned by Sutton Shields and The Wild Wood by Julie Anne Nelson <3 I'm sorry I really tried for one but it just didn't work out! Thank you for the chance to win!!
    Rafflecopter: Elizabeth Holme

  17. Happy blogoversary!!
    Picking one book is impossible, but one of my favorite authors is Richelle Mead, how about that? ;D

  18. Happy blogoversary!!!
    My favorite book is definitely the Grisha Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo! I just finished Six of Crows and that's mind blowing too :)

  19. My favorite books are the Harry Potter books. They changed my life. =]

  20. One of my all time favorite books is The Hobbit!

  21. Happy Blogoversary! One of my favourite books is Graceling by Kristin Cashore. :-)
    Raffecopter name: Megan S.

  22. One of my favorite books is Special Topics in Calamity Physics by Marisha Pessl.
    Prisoner of Azkaban is my favorite HP as well because it's the first one I read. (I started reading Sorceror's Stone and then my sister gave the book to our mom to read, and I thought PoA looked better than Chamber of Secrets.)

  23. Happy blogoversary! My favorite books are The Hunger Games, Percy Jackson series, Throne of Glass, Angelfall, Anna and the French Kiss and books of Jennifer Smith :)

  24. One of my favorite book is Heir of Fire by Sarah J Maas! Thank you for this amazing chance! :)

  25. Happy Blogoversary! Well I would say The Lunar Chronicles and The Raven Cycle books are pretty amazing! :)

  26. Congratulations! I'm also a huge Anne fan!!!

  27. Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett..I know, I'm such a child

  28. My favorite book is The Throne of Glass!

  29. Happy 5th blogoversary! One of my favorite books is Edenbrooke by Julianne Donaldson! Thank you for the giveaway :)

  30. Happy bloganniversary! One of my favorite books is Shadow of the wind.


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