free write friday • that new new


Since I have the book broads helping me to cover excellent book content for this old blog, I'm not terribly sure where I fit in outside of book broad-dom. Well, I wanted to try something a little bit different-- free write friday. It will entail me just blathering about little things about my week (so hopefully less of that on every post) and sharing snapshots from the week. I think it would also be cool to link up some interesting articles I have encountered. This literally just came to me so I don't have any links at the current writing, but if you check back later in the evening, I will link you to some fun shit!

I'm excited again about this blog. I feel people have moved past blogging to podcasts. As I hate my voice and don't have anything interesting to podcast about, I think sticking with my blog is my best bet. It's not something I ever plan on monetizing. It's an exercise in writing and sharing with like minded folk that would like to read my words, along with others.

Okay, so about my week-- it was kind of crummy. I was sick for the majority of it. Everyone is moving and so I'm just a solitary chump. Laura is moving to Seattle and I'm so sad. I wept for an entire day, but I'm glad she's a plan ride away. I love my boo boo. Mary is moving, but not too far. It's crazy how right now, it feels as though everyone is moving. Things are changing. It's definitely spring.


book broads • What I'm Reading

by Angie Eakley
Reading is a solitary endeavor. When the title character in Gabrielle Zevin's "The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry" proposes, he says, "When I read a book, I want you to be reading it at the same time." Ugh. I can't be the only bookworm who melted at that sentiment. You read by yourself, but what you read becomes a part of you, and you want to share that with other people.

Because I've always been "a reader," because I worked in a bookstore for 10 years, because if I'm out with a group of people and they all pull out their phones I pull out a book, and because I always have at least one book with me (two if I think I'll finish the first before I get home), people often ask me what I'm reading. Unless I am actively reading and you walk up to me with that question -- I'm busy…READING -- I am happy to oblige. Probably to a more detailed degree than you'd like.

When Elis asked the phone chain for ideas for the blog, I realized that I would like an outlet to talk about what I'm reading. I didn't give myself any other guidelines, so some essays might be more analytical while others are more directly to the point of the question. I am a girl who on a whim decided to read all the John Grisham books (even, somewhat regretfully, "Skipping Christmas"), so I don't always have logical reasons for the things that I do. It's usually because I'd heard it was good, or I love the author's other work, or I probably should have read it already. Or, you know, because I love a good procedural and may have used my newfound legal thriller knowledge to offer unsolicited legal advice at the slightest provocation.

I think this exercise will make me read more actively, since I will know in the back of my head that I have to have something to say about each book, and I (and the notebook app on my phone) look forward to the challenge.

Yay! Welcome to the blog and I look forward to more plenty more from Angie. -Elis

book broads • The Reading Life of a Bookseller

by Portia Turner
Being a bookseller, especially at a small indie store, can be both a blessing and a curse when it comes to reading. I am constantly receiving free copies of books, mostly galleys from the publishers so we can read books before they come out, and my book nerd heart is just exploding with happiness.

That said, reading when you are surrounded by all of those books can be stressful. I know, boo-hoo, you have too many books. Hear me out.

When it comes to reading, I don’t always have a choice about what I want to read. Sometimes I look over at the stacks on my shelves and think, “Oh, my precious books, how I want to read you.” But there is so much more that goes into making those decisions. The first priority for my reading has to do with events we are doing. I don’t always read the book before the events (because we have tons of events and there is no way I could possibly do that).

Take my last few months, for example, which have been especially event book heavy. For example, we had an event with Augusten Burroughs followed by an event with Brendan Reichs and Veronica Roth in March so I read their books and then we divided up the books for our YA Fest right after I finished those books and so I had six YA books that I had to read in a month. Half way through the YA Fest reading, I went on a trip and decided to take no work books with me so I took a Jane Austen which helped me with my reading challenge with my roommates. (More about that later.) I returned to work and found that there was a brand new galley from one of my favorite YA authors who was also going to be at the fest so I picked that up and added it to the list. 5 of the 7 YA books in, my brain couldn’t handle teenagers anymore so I picked up We Are Never Meeting in Real Life by Samantha Irby and started to read that but then got overwhelmed by the fact that I wasn’t reading the YA books I needed to for work. So I started reading an essay from that book followed by a YA book. ALSO, all this time, I had a galley of the new David Sedaris (my all time favorite author) staring at me, asking why I wasn’t reading it. So I was sneaking around with it, reading bits and pieces here and there and feeling like I was cheating on the other books. Finally, I finished the YA books in time for the fest and had time to read two whole books for fun before event reading for May started up. In fact, it snuck up on me cause who knew it was already May? So now, here I am having just finished Ginny Moon by Benjamin Ludwig for an event we had last Tuesday and madly trying to finish Cork Dork for an event that is happening this week. After that I have one more event book and then I can read for fun some more, that is until the June schedule comes out.

And don’t even get me started on backlist! (For those not in the book world, backlist are books that have been out for a while. They are usually in paperback and, if an author has many books, includes the older books by that author.) My roommates decided that we were going to do a reading challenge and both of them said, “Oh this will be so easy for you.” But when I looked at the list, I started to panic. There are multiple items on the checklist that include old books. While I have more than enough ideas of what I want to read to check that off, I can’t begin to imagine when I will have time to read those books. I bought Middlemarch last year because I want to read it and I haven’t picked it up since I bought it. Every time I see it I think about how much I want to read it but then I get overwhelmed thinking about all of the books that are coming out and why haven’t I read them yet and oh crap there are so many events coming up and three different books came out last week that I wanted to read oh no I’m falling behind and then I find myself in a puddle on the floor. From there I crawl away and pick up the book I am currently reading and try to forget the whole thing.

So yeah, reading can be stressful as someone working in a bookstore. And this doesn’t even take into account that publishers are constantly telling us what is awesome and coming out soon and the fact that we are going to author dinners and getting to talk to authors about their new books and why we should read them. And then we get Publishers Weekly and Kirkus and the boxes of galleys arrive everyday. I can’t even keep a TBR list anymore because everything would be on there.

All of that said, I still love reading. Nothing lives up to the feeling of hanging out with a good book. I absolutely love working in the book world and wouldn’t trade it for anything. I just really wish there were more hours in a day and more days in a week so I could just read everything.

Thank you, Portia! Read more about Portia and the other Broads as their bios fill on here. Stay tuned for more of the Nerd Phone Chain :) -Elis

book broads

I decided to enlist some of my friends who are definitely more avid reads than I am these days. I wanted to still keep a book component, but didn't want to delve into stale topics. So I enlisted some other broads to be part of the Nerd Phone Chain Book Corner. We all became friends when we worked together at a book store. As we've been away from that place for about two years, we've developed a group chat dubbed Nerd Phone Chain (NPC). We're drawn together by our love of books, quirky humor, old fashioneds, fried cheese, and our pets. Also, I love them ❤️ I will be introducing them once we get their photos situated, but for now, I wanted to write a little bit on why I have been a terrible reader lately.

When I worked at the book store, I tore through books as though we were running out of books. Essentially, there were too many books and I wanted them all. Hell, I still want them all. Matt and I have shelves and bins of books we have yet to read, not to mention we read each other's books. I think it's safe to say I love books. I love talking about them and I'd love to write someday. But things have shifted and I don't read as often as I do.

I began a new job almost two years ago at a small local natural food grocery. I still hung onto reading then, but I recall a depressive episode completely sidelined any and all of my interests. I watched a playlist of Jimmy Fallon playing games with his guests to make myself laugh. I was buried deep in the depressive darkness. It's hard to get back into a book that you abandoned during that episode, no matter how much you wanted to finish it. Things seemed to decline from there.

I would pick up a book, get half way, and put it back on the shelf. I continued buying books that I hoped would intrigue me. Only a couple managed to make me to feel like to voracious reader I once was-- Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng; Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl by Carrie Brownstein; The Girls by Emma Cline; The Highly Sensitive Person by Elaine N. Aron; Will You Please Be Quiet Please? by Raymond Carter. Lots of starting and stopping books. I don't know. I just became preoccupied by work and other hobbies. But, that's about to change.

I'm in the middle of reading South and West by Joan Didion. It will be my first contribution for the NPCBC. I look forward to it and to sharing the brilliant minds of my fellow book broads.

barista bug


In the midst of all the world things going on, Matt and I are wedding planning. I brought out my computer to look up some things and thought I would update again to try to get into the habit again of writing here. I'm still unsure of my purpose, but I suppose for now, I'll just do what I always do and blather.

Last week I had some extra espresso training. I think it was more so to get everybody on the same page, but I joked to everyone I could've taught it. It was really fun, although a little bit gross in the tasting stages. Although I have made coffee for years, I haven't done it in an official-feeling capacity. I left that class pulling hearts consistently in my foam (oh yeah, I mostly bypassed the whole micro foam portion as my skills are sick as hell) and wanting to steam milk all day. Bitten by the barista bug again.