That Bookshelf Bitch goes on a break – a blogging hiatus announcement

Hello, everyone! Just a few days ago, I sort of spilled the beans on Twitter about the very likely possibility that I might have to take some time away from the wonderful world of book blogging.

This isn’t the first time I’ve decided to take a blogging hiatus, but [insert frustrated screaming], that never makes it any easier or less nerve-wracking, if I’m being honest. I can’t help but feel a little bit like a failure every single time I’m overwhelmed by everything. All the could-haves, would-haves, and should-haves. All the blaming it on my embarrassingly mediocre time management skills (you’d think that at 22 years old, I’d be a lot better with this BUT NOPE!).

But then again, as they say, the past informs the present. When I decided to take a two-month hiatus from blogging so that I could fully commit to working on my blog’s relaunch in 2016, it was strangely enlightening and cathartic. Among all the things I’ve learned, the most relevant lesson was that working comfortably at your own pace is always the best idea.



Wrapping up July 2018: a month of lists, and um, overnight fame? (Oh and read for a surprise!)

Hello, everyone! With July nearing its end, we’re a lot over this year’s first half, and perhaps more importantly (or at least to me), we’re quickly approaching August, which just so happens to be my birth month! Yep, you read that right. On the 14th, I’ll be turning twenty-two (22???) years old even though I still feel like the same eighteen-year-old kid. But we can talk about that later!

July has been a pretty good month for me. The first half was pretty uneventful because I was sort of stuck in a routine: wake up, attend my Spanish class, eat lunch, take a long nap, spend the rest of the day inside my dormitory alternately binge-watching Jane the Virgin and Fresh Off the Boat, drafting multiple blog posts at the same time (which has led to multiple unfinished drafts saved in my laptop) or getting some reading done, grab dinner, answer my Spanish homework, and head to bed.

In hindsight, I had dedicated a sizable chunk of every day to my naps – an indicator that it is truly the rainy season here in the Philippines (read: naps on rainy days are the best and y’all can fight me on that!). But I digress.


Recap: My 1st #BookwormsUnitePH – book haul, photo grabbing, & an ARC giveaway!

I can still recall the brief conversation I had with JM @ Book Freak Revelations when we bumped into each other last #AprilFeelsDay. While a lot of details about that conversation aren’t very vivid (because all the gods know that I have terrible, terrible long-term memory), I won’t ever forget his comment on my rare – let me stress that for you, rare – availability for book and blogger events because I am, and if I may quote JM, “usually busy with studies.”

And there is no greater truth, if I’m being honest. In my two and a half years of blogging, I have missed out on countless events and activities because of schedule conflicts, big exams, family occasions, and so on and so forth. With all that said, I am extremely delighted to inform all of you that: ya girl went to her second bookish event this year!!! (Is it so lame that this is a huge milestone and personal accomplishment for me? Yes, it is. But whatever.)

What bookish event was I lucky enough to attend this time? The highly anticipated Bookworms Unite PH, which is a wonderful get-together for Filipino readers and bookworms filled with fun activities, awesome games, and exciting bookish prizes and giveaways! For four years now, this event has been organized by a group of dedicated (and established – wink, wink!) Filipino bloggers, namely, JM @ Book Freak Revelations, Miel @ Bookish and Awesome, Inah @ The Bibliophile Confessions, Hazel @ Stay Bookish, and as of this year, Bianca @ The Ultimate Fangirl and Danica @ The Hogsmeade Reader. (I want to talk about their individual awesomeness, but I will definitely exceed the average reading span of the average millennial.)

Bookworms Unite PH (Year 4) was held on the 21st of July at the magnificent Rizal Library of Ateneo de Manila University. As a student from a neighboring university, I’ve been inside Ateneo’s campus a handful of times, but prior to this event, I had never gone inside their library – which easily became another thing for me to feel excited about. But I digress.


Wrapping up June 2018 {a month of frustrations and a broken laptop}

Another month finished means another monthly synopsis to be written and posted. I’m sorry. I don’t make the rules, honey. But slight sassiness aside, I recently shared my midyear breakdown (spoiler alert: in more ways than one!) on my blog, and while I have already thoroughly discussed my 2018 so far in terms of events that transpired and books I’ve read, I still have a ton of bookish and non-bookish things to talk about!

For starters, I opted against mentioning what I’ve reviewed and what I’ve posted within the month of June. Had I done otherwise, my already lengthy midyear breakdown would have been a lot more tedious to read. I was also unable to really discuss my plans for the next couple of months. But fear not, loyal readers I am endlessly thankful for! This monthly synopsis should tackle all those bits and blahs.

So let’s get started, yes?

While May ended on a relatively positive note, June was an incredibly frustrating month for a number of reasons. One of them being the fact that my laptop broke (and is still currently broken), and I still don’t have the finances to pay for its repairs (note: the world is cruel and unjust). I had hoped to remedy this by taking on freelance writing jobs, and although I was able to secure a supposedly stable writing gig a week ago, I was unceremoniously kicked out of the job just yesterday due to inarguably questionable reasons. I’m not one to state the obvious but: it sucks. Having said that, however, you can easily help me raise my laptop repair funds by donating to my ko-fi account. That’s $3 per cup of coffee for you, and a huge saving grace for me! And if you do decide to buy me a coffee, my heart thanks you!


2018 Midyear Breakdown [spoiler alert: in more ways than one]

June marks the middle of the year, reminding all of us that we are already halfway finished with 2018. Wow. Maybe it’s just me but time seems to move along noticeably more quickly now than ever before. Quite frankly, it’s freaking me out — but let’s not dwell on that right now. Instead, let’s talk about some highlights and low-lights (Is low-lights a thing? Can we make it a thing?) of 2018 both in terms of life events and books I’ve read!

{ breakdown in terms of life events }

As of 2017, ya girl started keeping a planner and managed to, you know, actually use it for an entire year. My first attempt at planner-keeping was embarrassingly mediocre and awfully inconsistent.

For 2018, however, I was really determined to get myself back on track, which includes becoming more organized and staying consistent. I dedicated the first days of 2018 to working on my planner, ensuring that it was designed and structured in such a way that I won’t get tired of (or feel unmotivated to) use it on a daily basis. As a testament to my commitment to planning and keeping a planner, I even used the ridiculously cute Pokemon stickers I’ve been saving for months!


Wrapping up May 2018, a trip to Bolinao, and bouncing back from an unplanned blogging hiatus

Hello, everyone! In my last blog post, I mentioned my intention to blog a lot less for the month of May so that I could focus on the last stretch of my semester. However, I ended up not blogging altogether, which resulted to the unplanned blogging hiatus throughout May. But I’m back(!!!) with a long overdue blog post.* This is going to be a lengthy one.

* Honestly, I spent around 3 to 5 minutes internally debating on whether this post more appropriately falls under ‘Shealea Struggles’ or counts as a monthly synopsis. Ultimately, my monthly synopses pertain to blogging updates — that is, a summary of what I’ve read, what I’ve done, and what I’ve written — and since I didn’t actually blog for an entire month, there is literally nothing for me to summarize.

So what, pray tell, happened in May that took up all of my waking hours (and arguably, even a large chunk of my sleeping hours)? The answer is so simple and obvious — and one that I’ve mentioned repeatedly throughout my 2 years of blogging: college.


Wrapping up April 2018 {where I ramble about #romanceclass & Infinity War}

With April being the second to the last month of my semester, things were a little crazy for the most part – but also tons of fun! As per usual, it was a month of academic requirements and deadlines, which, for the sake of not boring any of you, I won’t delve into in detail. Let’s just proceed to some of the highlights, yes? Yes!

Nothing made my day quite like returning to my dorm and discovering book mail, which, to my utmost pleasant surprise, happened a lot last April. Unfortunately, I did not have the time to take decent photos of all of them, so for now, let’s settle for a handful of half-assed shots, yes? (But I swear to all of you, I will make time to do a bookish photoshoot for all the books I’ve acquired so far this 2018!)

I received a gorgeous UK paperback of The Astonishing Colour of After by Emily X.R. Pan from the lovely Val @ The Innocent Smiley because I won her giveaway on Twitter. I was overjoyed when she contacted me because this has been one of my most anticipated 2018 releases, and I can’t wait to finally read it!