This Week in Books #1: “Hot Dudes Reading” Gets a Book Deal

Welcome to my first post in my new series “This Week in Books” on Johnny Reads. If you didn’t watch my video from Sunday, then you likely have no idea what I’m talking about. Basically every Friday I’m going to discuss one to three different stories I’ve been reading about in the world of books. It’s no different from what you’ve grown accustomed to reading on here, but now it’ll be a kind of weekly mashup of a few different stories. Some you’ll likely be aware of, and others might be completely new to you.

I’ve wanted to make a video on this topic since the second I read about it. Hot Dudes Reading is a popular Instagram account that shows photos of men reading in public. But it’s OH SO MUCH MORE THAN THAT, and I have a lot to say about it. A LOT.

You might find yourself nodding your head in agreement when you hear what I have to say or you might find yourself shaking your head, but I’d still encourage you to listen to what I have to say  (especially if you’re unfamiliar with the account) because I’m quite curious to know where you stand on this, no matter if we agree or not.

So, here is my first video in my new series “This Week in Books”.

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My Year: 2015

I’d initially wanted to write a series of posts this week discussing my favorite things from different categories, but now I’m just going to write one review for everything. Even though I know everyone else already has. But eh. Let’s get started.

Blogging

At the start of 2015 I set some pretty ridiculous goals for the blog that I thought were attainable. They were, but I missed the mark. Here are some side-by-side stats comparing 2014 to 2015.

Posts

282 (2014) – 363 (2015)

Views

30,102 (2014) – 33,469 (2015)

Visitors

12,195 (2014) – 17,097 (2015)

Likes

5,302 (2014) – 8,386 (2015)

Comments

10,159 (2014) – 9,685 (2015)

I’m sure some might look at the numbers and think of how great the year was. It wasn’t. It was okay. About a thousand new followers and it didn’t translate into anything meaningful. No surge in views, comments, or much of anything. But it’s fine. Maybe my content was to blame. I don’t know.

But my original goals for the year were to reach 40,000 site views, to reach 5,000 followers, and to post 25 poems. I didn’t achieve any of those goals. So I won’t set any goals for the blog in 2016. Because it can only be as good as I can make it. And that’s it.

The top three posts published in 2015 were:

Ursula Le Guin is Clueless

Little Free Libraries Have Come Under Fire

On False Claims From Bloggers

Social Media

I’ve all but stopped using other social media. My Facebook app has been deleted but there’s something wrong with my phone and it randomly restarts and re-downloads the app. Not even kidding. I rarely use Twitter. My blog posts go there automatically, but I just don’t tweet hardly at all. I’ve only recently really started using my Instagram account a bit more. But I see people posting multiple terrible photos a day and I’m just baffled. Eh.

Reading

Y’all already know I only read 10 books in 2015. There’s nothing satisfying about that number. I did manage to read some good books, including the best book I’ve ever read. But this has got to stop. From 2010-2012 I read a total of 106 books. Which is nothing compared to some people on WordPress, but at least it’s something. From 2013-2015 I read a total of 32 books. It’s just stupid. What the hell am I even doing? *slaps myself*

BookTube

I know my channel has something like 16 subscribers, but this is probably what I’m most excited about in 2016. Because I’ll be making videos for two different things going on. I’ll still be reading from Amazon’s 100 Books Everyone Should Read list, which means videos for each one of those. And I’ll also be making videos for every book I read from my challenge. The first will be coming tomorrow for The Perks of Being a Wallflower, which I finished last night. So if you’re still working on your first book of the year and you’re doing my challenge, you’re officially in the rear view mirror! I WILL set a goal for my channel in 2016. 25 videos. Easy enough. I released seven videos on my channel in 2015. My most viewed was my first video, An Intro to Johnny Reads!. It was also my shortest in length. Welp.

Hometown Teams

What a year for Houston sports. The Rockets had one of the most improbable playoff series wins in history by overcoming a 3-1 deficit to the LA Clippers and reaching the conference finals for the first time in almost 20 years. The Astros continued their improvement by snagging a playoff spot and having the eventual World Series champions within six outs of elimination. And the Texans just won their third division title in team history. Playoff game this Saturday! Everyone jokes at work that I don’t know anything except sports and books. Not that far from the truth.

Half Price Books

In August I started working at Half Price Books. It”s been great from day one. The people are great to work with and be around (even if they poke fun sometimes) and I’m literally paid to work in a bookstore. Heaven does exist! It’s already been five months and I’m still loving every single day there.

Trip of a Lifetime

My first. I’ve been saving as much of my little bit of money as I can. And I’m rewarding myself by taking the first trip of my life. I’ve been to Disney World. I’ve been to Michigan. But Disney World happened in the 90s and Michigan wasn’t a vacation type trip. But I’ll finally get to experience what it’s like to really travel. And I’ll be able to see the capital city of my country. I think during those four days I’ll be able to learn even more about what it means to be an American. Heck, I might even cry when I see some things. I can’t tell you how excited I am, and how glad I am to have made the decision to go. I’m hoping this becomes my first trip of many trips of a lifetime. Fingers crossed!

Reading Challenge

I said I’m most excited about my BookTube channel, but I’m also very excited about my reading challenge. Mostly because I’ve gotten tons of feedback and support since I first mentioned it a week ago. I have a feeling the post is going to be one of the top two or three posts of THIS year. It’s getting that much traffic. But I’m also excited to see what other people read and say about something I came up with fully on my own. I overhear my co-workers talking about it just about everyday. It’s great because I know others are also talking about it in various places on the Internet.

In a nutshell, I became more and less active on social media. I started working at a bookstore, My loyalty to my hometown teams finally paid off. And I saved up enough money to start my traveling. Sounds like an alright year to me.

Thanks for always coming back, guys. I know I write things you won’t always agree with and I’ll probably push your buttons without even knowing it, but it’s never too serious. And no one is aiming to be disrespectful. This is my little piece of cyberspace, and you’re always welcome.


On this day in 2015 I published Mark Zuckerberg’s “A Year of Books”.

May the Odds be Ever in Your Favor

Today is January 1st. Which means my 2016 Reading Challenge is officially underway! I have way more people participating than I thought would, which means one heck of a competition.

But wait, are you sitting there reading this with no idea what I’m talking about? Then let me refer you to this post. You’ll find all the information you need to participate.

Good luck to the rest of you participating! There could be gift cards in your future!

The first book I’ll be reading for the challenge will be The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky, but I won’t tell y’all which bullet it’ll be fulfilling. Ha!

Don’t forget to tag me on here or on Instagram whenever you finish a book from the challenge! I’ll be able to Like and comment easier that way.

So without further delay, may the odds be ever in your favor. What’s going to be your first book for the challenge?

The Year on Johnny Reads

I have much to tell you. This year has been quite something. I’ve finally decided on what to write next. I’ve decided to rename the blog. I’m hosting my own reading challenge that seems to have attracted dozens of people, if not more. I’ve been working at Half Price Books since August. I started a YouTube channel that is sure to be more active in the coming year. I didn’t read much or write at all, but there’s room for improvement on both fronts heading into next year. I finally got an Instagram account. I could go on and on, but y’all already know most of what I’m saying. I may not post ultra personal things on here, but I have told y’all what’s been going on in my life throughout the year. Now take a look at some fun stats gathered by WordPress to get a glimpse into just how wonderful it’s been on here.

PS: Next week I’ll have a series of year-end posts. Here’s to 2016!


 

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 33,000 times in 2015. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 12 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

#LiterarySwag is Supposed to Make Reading Stylish?

Wait, what? So there’s a guy on Instagram who’s been taking photos of people with books or reading for some time now. He also started #LiterarySwag. Evidently he’s done these things to make reading more accessible to those who don’t like to read.

Except there’s a major flaw to his entire project. There’s nothing wrong with people who don’t like to read just like there’s nothing wrong with someone who reads 100 books a year. There’s some fashion aspect too, but it’s entirely irrelevant. What does it matter if someone is really into fashion and likes to read or if they are really into sweatpants and romance novels? It doesn’t.

Reading doesn’t have to be stylish or cool. It’s just like any other thing. Some people like it and some don’t. So let’s all post pictures on Instagram of ourselves with books with #LiterarySwag so we can show how stylish we are and say we’re part of some stupid movement.

Ugh.

I Have too Many Books

Not really.

But I’ve been buying more books than I’ve been reading lately. And now my TBR (to-be-read) shelf has way more books than ever before! Prior to now the most books I’d ever had on my TBR shelf at once was 21. At least that’s what I THINK the number was. But now I’m at 29! I know some people have way more than that, like stacks on stacks of books. But I don’t make it a habit of buying books and not reading them fairly soon. Because I don’t see the point of that.

But July was a bit of a perfect storm, I guess. Discovering Half Price Books AND getting the rest of the Potter series is just one of those things that likely won’t be happening again. So I’m not too worried about my ever growing TBR shelf of doom. HA! Just kidding. A Little.

Here’s what it looks like right now:

IMG_20150808_134138I’m starting to get the hang of Instagram. So if you like this, then follow me!

What’s your TBR shelf look like these days?


 

On this day in 2014 I published Writing as a Hobby.

Follow me on Instagram!

I know I probably didn’t have to devote an entire post to this, but eh. Very recently I discovered another blogger who has an Instagram account linked to her blog. Which in itself isn’t unique because people do that all the time. But her Instagram account is all about books! I know people do this, but I don’t think I’d ever seen it up close. When I saw it I thought it looked pretty awesome and it made me want to join in on the fun.

I think it’s a thing to call these types of accounts “Bookstagram” accounts. I think. And I figured since I have the blog, I have the BookTube channel, and I’m about to start working in a bookstore that I might as well start taking some pictures of all these bookish things I’m going to encounter and discuss. Even though I am not great with a camera in my hands, but I think there are filters on there or something? I really have no idea.

Anyway, if you would like to see some mediocre bookish pictures in the future, then you can follow my newly created Instagram account here. There isn’t anything on it at the moment. I’ll start taking pictures once I’m off work today. I’m not even sure what I’ll be taking pictures of. Ha!

If you have one of these types of accounts, then I’ll follow you! And probably a bunch of celebrities I may or may not be in love with. Hehe.


On this day in 2014 I published Attending a Writing Conference?.