lucky bandit | RVA based lifestyle blog: books
Showing posts with label books. Show all posts
Showing posts with label books. Show all posts

Friday, December 13, 2019

how to stay on top of your book collection

Being a bookworm is usually a positive thing - well-read, vocabulary is expanded, get to go on adventures while sitting on the couch... However, I am also a clutter bug. It drives Kyle absolutely up the wall. This is the current state of our coffee table - packed with books, magazines, and catalogs.

I tend to buy books secondhand, bring them home, then let them sit where they get put down until I'm ready to read them. Now that we live in a one-bedroom apartment, this isn't acceptable. Here are some ways to tackle and stay on top of your reading material!

Control what you do have // Assign a designated spot for magazines, catalogs, and books and only keep them in that spot without expanding it. Put away the new books you bring in, whether it's a bookshelf, a corner of the closet, or in a decorative box. I have some stacked and holding cosmetic organizers on my vanity.

Switch to eBooks // I know, I know. The feel of a physical book can't beat an eBook. But they take up so much less space and it's easy to always have a book on hand (especially when it's dark and you can't read via light!).

Avoid the book section // I'm always afraid of missing out on a book on my TBR for cheap at the thrift store, so I tend to buy more than I can feasibly read for our space constraints. I remedy this by not even looking at the book section when I thrift, and avoiding pricey retail bookstores.

Institute a 'read 2 before buying 1' rule // Instead of just not buying anything, vow to finish and get rid of two books before buying one. Drop off those books at the thrift store, sell them, or gift them to someone and then go get only one to replace them.

Read, read, read // Not carving out time to read can make those books sit there. I sometimes feel that reading isn't "productive" enough, so I bypass it. Reading is productive, as long as you aren't ignoring glaring tasks that need to be done. Take the time to sit and enjoy a book for a while!

How do you handle your books?

my currently-reading shelf:
Katelyn Carter's book recommendations, liked quotes, book clubs, book trivia, book lists (currently-reading shelf)
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lucky bandit is a for profit blog. I use affiliate links and paid advertisements. I may earn compensation for a click or purchase through a link. Paid (whether via product or monetary) reviews will be noted in the actual post. Though compensation may influence the type of posts, all opinions and reviews will be legitimate and honest.

*All affiliate links will be marked with an asterick.*

Tuesday, June 04, 2019

thrift haul // books

I have been avoiding the book shelves in the thrift store until I can read and move out some of my vast modest collection I currently own. However, I stopped by recently and hit the motherlode! I love baseball books, so Moneyball by Michael Lewis and It's Outta Here by Bill Gutman had to come home with me. At one point I was really into floral arranging and I think I'd like to get back into that, so I snagged a vintage The Art of Flower Arranging by Jan Hall and Sarah Waterkeyn and Designs by Nature by Terence Moore for some inspiration. Insomnia by Stephen King is actually one I haven't read, and I believe this is a first edition. The King pickings are slim since I've read so much of his work.
But my absolute favorite find was The Total Book of Houseplants by Russell C. Mott. The illustrations are gorgeous and I'm excited to glean what knowledge I can from it. Stay tuned!

What great things have you found lately while thrifting?

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lucky bandit is a for profit blog. I use affiliate links and paid advertisements. I may earn compensation for a click or purchase through a link. Paid (whether via product or monetary) reviews will be noted in the actual post. Though compensation may influence the type of posts, all opinions and reviews will be legitimate and honest.

*All affiliate links will be marked with an asterick.*

Wednesday, January 02, 2019

2019 reading challenge

Another year finished! I almost completed my reading challenge for 2018 with 42 of 50 books read. It had initially started out as 55 books that I wanted to read, but I knew that wouldn't happen later in the year so I lowered it. You can check out my 2018 in books here!

In 2019, I'd like to read 50 books. I've managed to carve out some time a little better for reading and I've taken a different approach in recent months. I read what I want to read, not what I force myself to read to clear space. It's helped me enjoy the books I choose more. Check out my challenge progress in the widget in the sidebar or at this link.

Be sure to add me on Goodreads so we can connect via books!

Katelyn Carter's book recommendations, liked quotes, book clubs, book trivia, book lists (currently-reading shelf)

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Saturday, March 31, 2018

book haul // i actually bought new books

This is a pretty groundbreaking post in the book talk category - all of these books were bought brand new. Very rarely do I ever buy new books, but in my defense, I didn't pay retail for any of these. I've been reading like crazy this year so my interest in books has been renewed.

I picked up If the Allies had Fallen on a whim while browsing Barnes & Noble. They usually have a great selection of WWII books in their bargain section. That same trip I picked up Matt Bellassai's Everything is Awful, which I'd been pining over since I started listening to his podcast. I scored it for half off since it had just left the new release table.

Leah Remini's Troublemaker was an order from Books-a-Million with a gift card from Christmas. I've always been morbidly interested in Scientology and I've wanted to get my hands on this for a long time since I'm a big fan of Remini. How Not to Kill Your Houseplants was an Amazon purchase since the reviews were good and I've recently really gotten into houseplants.

Lastly, K picked me up Gizelle's Bucket List by Lauren Fern Watt from the airport one night when I was on my way to get him. (What's better than a man that buys you books?? Nothing.) It's almost guaranteed to make me cry, but it looks really good!

And there we go! I'm super excited to get started on all of these. If you haven't already, add me as a friend on Goodreads! I love seeing what other folks are reading.


Monday, January 15, 2018

2018 reading challenge

I love to read. However, with my end-of-year schedule, I practically had to pencil in times to sit down and enjoy a book. With 2018 just starting, I decided that I really wanted to buckle down and knock out a reading challenge fully.

This past year was a much better year for reading than 2016, but I'd still like to read even more in the new year. There's been so many new books that have come out that I've been dying to read, but I keep getting stuck in the mindset that I need to go through the actual physical books I have cluttering my bedroom. Instead, I'm going to read the books I want to read instead of the ones I feel the obligation to read. I think that's why I've had so many lulls.

I use Goodreads to keep track of books I've read, want to read, and am currently reading. It's such an invaluable resource if you're a bookworm! You can even participate in an annual reading challenge. For 2018, I've challenged myself to read 55 books. Fingers crossed.

All Bong

Saturday, December 09, 2017

odd little book haul

One evening I was wandering through Dollar General pickup up bleach and sandwich bags and light bulbs when I noticed a book with a cute little pupper on the cover. Upon closer inspection, it was this book that's been on my Amazon Wishlist for forever. Then, on the same shelf six inches away, I found Mariano Rivera's book! Ahh!! As a huge Yankees and Rivera fan, I immediately grabbed this one. It's currently selling on Amazon for $20. Both books were $3 each, a pretty good deal.

You never know where you'll find books!


Wednesday, November 29, 2017

thrift haul // books

Lately, I've been doing pretty good with the whole "for the LOVE OF GOD stop buying BOOKS" thing. Honestly, being a member of huge library system really helps. Instead of spending a dollar or two on books, I can just open up the library system's app and see if they have a copy.

That said, clearly, my willpower was on vacation today when I went thrifting. But that's okay, we all make mistakes. I hadn't intended to even look at the books, but my best friend and thrifting partner wasn't with me so I mosied on over and picked up Burnt Toast by Teri Hatcher first, because I've been watching Desperate Housewives lately. I've really been getting into sci-fi lately, so I snagged At Winter's End, which has many pages and very tiny font. I love a good thriller, so The Missing Girl was a random selection and The Plague Dogs, which sounds depressing, has been on my to-read list for a while now. I feel the need to explain Dark Places by Gillian Flynn a little. I absolutely did not like Gone Girl and I was not afraid to tell it. I thought it was written well but it was highly infuriating. However, I try not to let one book ruin my opinion of an author, so I picked this one up.

I'm only 24 books into my 50 of the reading challenge, so I really need to start chugging away on some of these.

These are all non-affiliate links from Thriftbooks, but if you'd like a discount just click here* and we both get one!

Katelyn Carter's book recommendations, liked quotes, book clubs, book trivia, book lists (currently-reading shelf)

Wednesday, August 02, 2017

library haul

I recently got a card (again) for a huge library system in the city I work in. It's a little easier to access than my county library and I was eligible for a card since I have one in a surrounding county. Well, I checked out their online catalog and holy cow. SO MANY TITLES. I'm ecstatic! I put a ton of hold and on my to hold later list, but this is my first haul. I've already finished one of these.
Alllll of the graphic novels. They have such a selection and I'm trying a ton of new ones. I've already finished Rat Queens, which was amazing, and I'm going to start on The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen next. Y: The Last Man has been on my list for quite some time, and it comes highly praised, even by Stephen King. While I was browsing graphic novels, I stumbled upon The Hospital Suite and added it. Last but certainly not least, A BOOK ON BIGFOOT.

I have so many books I already own and need to read that I tried to stick with graphic novels as they're quick to get through when I want to read but don't have time to sit down for hours like I'd like. Luckily I have a few people to pass my books onto when I'm finished, so hopefully that motivates me to knock out my TBR list.

As usual, all links are Thriftbooks and not affiliate, but use this link* for 15% off and I get a discount, too!

What you reading?


Thursday, July 13, 2017

book talk

Well, I bought my first Agatha Christie novel, Sleeping Murder, which is coincidentally her last. I picked it up at the thrift store for a mere buck. Along with that, I grabbed Stephen King's The Green Mile and Hitchcock's Stories to be Read with the Door Locked. And in my ever growing pile of nutrition reads, I've added What to Eat by Marion Nestle, which is from 2006 but still looks really interesting.

Did I need more books? Absolutely not. But I finally finished Haunted by Palahniuk (which I'm not so sure I liked), so I treated myself to a few cheap thrift store goodies. I finished up a couple smaller eBooks, too, which can be found on my Goodreads page.

I've been toying with the idea of rereading the Harry Potter series again for the 19th (probably no exaggeration) time, but I haven't decided if I want to do that or knock out some more of my TBR pile. I really need to downsize this massive collection of books I have if I want to move at any point in the next year.

I've started linking all of the books to Thriftbooks because they cater to secondhand books. None of the above are affiliate links, but if you'd like 15% off your purchase, use this link* and I'll get a discount, too. :)


Thursday, June 08, 2017

recent book finds

lucky bandit blog katelyn carter

On the way out to Tennessee, I realized I'd forgotten to bring my book to read. A bookworm's worst nightmare! Luckily for me, my favorite secondhand bookstore was having a half off sale so I ran down and snagged a few books. For ten dollars, I got all of these! Candles Burning was completed by Tabitha King after Michael McDowell passed away and I was excited to spot it, as it will be my first T. King novel. As a Yankees fan, I quickly grabbed Pinstripe Empire and added it to my pile, and ever the horror fan, I picked up Masterpieces of Terror and the Supernatural, along with The Sentinel, which has been on my TBR for a while now. Ghost Hunters seems like it'll be a nice read and I'm always interested in the paranormal.

If you're interested in any of the above titles, get them secondhand via Thriftbooks with this link* and we'll both get 15% off!


Friday, April 28, 2017

thrift haul: books

lucky bandit blog katelyn carter

I continually moan and groan about how large my To Be Read pile has gotten, but I repeatedly scope the books out every time I got to a thrift store. I've gotten better about only picking up books I really want or I've been looking for, though. I snagged these two books for $1.49 each!

A couple years ago I gave my mom a copy of The China Study* and I've been wanting to read it ever since. Now I can! And of course, as a Yankees and memoir fan, I had to pick up Bat Boy*.

These haven't been started yet as I'm still working my way through Haunted* (that's a slow go) and I started Gathering Blue by Lois Lowry, too.

I linked all of these to Amazon, but if you don't mind secondhand books and want a discount, check them out on Thriftbooks* and get 15% off!


Tuesday, April 04, 2017

currently: reading

lucky bandit blog katelyn carter currently reading

I've been really slowly making my way through a couple books here lately. I finished A Head Full of Ghosts* by Paul Tremblay earlier in the year, which was a great read if you're into horror and thrillers. I'm currently working on a couple books, The Stand* by Stephen King and Haunted* by Chuck Palahnuik, which are both at slow spots, but I'm still chugging along.

Did you know that the cover for Haunted glows in the dark? I didn't until I woke up at 3am one morning to a glowing face in bed next to me. It was terrifying and I didn't realize what is was until my sleepy brain had cleared. Just a heads up.

My TBR stash is growing and I need to get it under control. I have an entire two bins of books to read and send to new homes. There are quite a few little informative ebooks I've gotten into that need to be finished, and I really need to clean up my 'currently reading' list on Goodreads. I'm very behind on my 2017 reading challenge.

Speaking of Goodreads, are we friends on there yet? :)

Katelyn Carter's book recommendations, liked quotes, book clubs, book trivia, book lists (read shelf)


Friday, November 18, 2016

thrifted: book haul & reading update

lucky bandit blog katelyn carter

I have a problem. I can't stop thrifting books. My TBR pile is overflowing, I have books stashed everywhere, and still I buy cheap books.

Anywho, here's what I picked up in my latest thrift store visit. Let's start with the bad: Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James. Sigh. I know. I bought it because it had such a cult following, and even though reviews are terrible, I guess I'm just a glutton for punishment. Prey by Michael Crichton is one I've been meaning to read after reading Jurassic Park. I've become quite the little Crichton fan, but I'm still slowly working my way through The Lost World, so I'm not sure when I'll start this. Laughter in the Dark by Nabokov was one I hemmed and hawed over in the aisle. I'm still not sure about it.

Ghost Story by Peter Straub comes highly recommended by Stephen King. We all know I'm a massive Stephen King fan, so I immediately snatched this one off the shelf. He could probably recommend reading boot tracks in dirt and I'd do it.

What am I currently reading? The Lost World by Michael Crichton, which is dragging on and on, The Stand by Stephen King, and The Passage by Justin Cronin. I've not had much time to sit and read, but I get a few pages done here and there.

Are we friends on Goodreads yet?


Monday, September 26, 2016

book review: the butterfly garden by dot hutchison

lucky bandit blog katelyn carter

From Goodreads: "Near an isolated mansion lies a beautiful garden.

In this garden grow luscious flowers, shady trees…and a collection of precious “butterflies”—young women who have been kidnapped and intricately tattooed to resemble their namesakes. Overseeing it all is the Gardener, a brutal, twisted man obsessed with capturing and preserving his lovely specimens.

When the garden is discovered, a survivor is brought in for questioning. FBI agents Victor Hanoverian and Brandon Eddison are tasked with piecing together one of the most stomach-churning cases of their careers. But the girl, known only as Maya, proves to be a puzzle herself.

As her story twists and turns, slowly shedding light on life in the Butterfly Garden, Maya reveals old grudges, new saviors, and horrific tales of a man who’d go to any length to hold beauty captive. But the more she shares, the more the agents have to wonder what she’s still hiding..."


First off, whoa. This book was amazingly written. It's told in two perspectives - Maya's first person perspective in the Garden, and from a narrator's point of view. I will say there are triggers in this book, there's speak of suicide, rape, sexual assault, murder, and violence.

The characters are likeable and their stories come together in an intricate but tragic way. It's hard to talk about the plot without spoilers, so I'll keep it neat. The Butterfly Garden builds are you read, the stories told becoming more horrific as time goes on. It's written in such a way that you almost feel like you're in the garden with the victims.

I consumed this book in a little over three days, reading when I could. It's a thriller that sucks you in. At parts, admittedly, I wished the story would move just a tiny bit faster, but the details prove beneficial once you get to the plot twist and ending.

If you're even remotely a fan of thrillers, definitely snag this one. And from what I hear, the rights to the movie version are being discussed!

Get your own copy: Amazon | B&N | iBooks | Goodreads


Wednesday, May 11, 2016

thrifted books & my reading list

When I took a trip up to see Jess, we stopped by McKay Used Books and I grabbed some titles. Here they are!

thrifted books lucky bandit blog

I've been really slacking on my reading lately, and with so many books on my reading list, I've only managed to skim Destiny Turns the Wheel. I hadn't seen Blaze in stores before, so I snagged that and The Talisman. I've read Black House and was a little lost, so I'm excited to read this one and be filled in.

Currently I'm reading The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling (which you can get free on iBooks!) and I hope to read The Wide Window #3 by Lemony Snicket soon. I think my "to read" list changes every time I make write one of these posts, so who knows what book I'll really be reading next,

Add me as a friend on Goodreads! I love seeing what everyone is reading.

Katelyn Carter's book recommendations, liked quotes, book clubs, book trivia, book lists (read shelf)

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

books - what i'm reading and what i have planned to read

book book list lucky bandit blog

My reading has come all but to a standstill. I've been crazy busy at the store, so I'm usually exhausted and just want to social media surf when I get home. Half the time I don't even bother pulling my laptop out!

However, I've gotten a little bit of reading done. I don't think I'll meet my Reading Challenge on Goodreads (that I changed from 50 to 30 books a few months ago. Sigh.), but reading a smidge is better than not reading.

I just finished The Secret of Platform 13 by Eva Ibbotson and it was fantastic. My friend, Jessica, gave me a copy. I'm a huge fan of easy YA reads; they're pleasant and you don't have to wrack your brain to understand a twist. Eva Ibbotson can spin some great fantasy stories. Island of the Aunts is another of her works that I love.

Never Never by Colleen Hoover and Tarryn Fisher is an ebook I caught on special for free a few weeks ago - I'm about halfway through. It's written well, but doesn't quite hold my interest enough to be un-put-downable. It's not that it's slow, I just really want to know what's going on.'s a little slow.

I started The Invisible Man by H.G. Wells one night ages ago when I couldn't sleep, I started it and I have yet to go back to it. Not for lack of interest, I just have to be in the mood for certain books. Is anyone else like that?

Normally I don't like to take on more than a couple books at once, but I'm super excited to start a couple more - a thrifted copy of The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith (J.K. Rowling), Witch & Wizard by James Patterson - I read a sample on my Nook and finally managed to thrift a copy, and Kiss of the Spider Woman by Manuel Puig, that I picked up used at Riverby downtown.

In other book news, did you know that enhanced editions of Harry Potter are now on iBooks?! How awesome! Here's the press info on it from October.

I'm always open for book recs, so feel free to send some over! (And add me as a friend on Goodreads!)

            Goodreads: Book reviews, recommendations, and discussion

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

book review: IA: Initiate by John Darryl WInston

I was provided a copy of IA: Initiate by John Darryl Winston in exchange for this honest review.

ia: initiate john darryl winston book review

When I was first contacted by John Darryl Winston about reviewing IA: Initiate, I wasn't sure if it was something I'd like, but I quickly got into the book. The story follows "Naz" Andersen, a young boy who finds out he can do extraordinary things. Naz cares for his younger sister, Meri, after an accident leaves their mother dead. Meri is such a likable secondary character - I'd love to see where Meri goes, as well! The two children live with a woman who houses them purely for the money she receives - they're very independent and resourceful, and you can see that Naz's world is in Meri. A gang suddenly takes an interest in Naz, and he uses some of his ability to get Meri, his friend Artie, and himself out of a bind, while trying to find out more about himself and the world around him.

The characters are well developed and likeable, and I'm interested to know about their pasts and futures. The great part about this book is that it isn't completely ridiculous - the supernatural abilities that Naz has are believable in a way that makes the book enjoyable, and not campy. The writing is great - I tend to pick apart books on grammar alone, and I had no problems reading Initiate right on along. I am truly excited for the next part of the series and I can't wait until it's released!

I'd like to thank John Darry Winston for the opportunity, and I'm impatiently waiting for the next piece to the puzzle!

To find out more about John Darryl Winston and the IA series, definitely check out website and give him a follow on Twitter and Facebook!

Monday, July 13, 2015

book list: to read

I have quite the extensive book collection. No, it's not filled with priceless antique books, however, I am continually adding to this collection (usually at a rate far faster than my reading rate). I pick up most of my books from thrift stores or my favorite local seller. While in town today, I stopped by the bazaar to check out said favorite local seller's latest wares, and found a couple little gems.

books to read katelyn carter

The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough // This book has been on my Goodreads shelf for a while, and I held out long enough to find it secondhand. It isn't my normal genre of books I tend to read, but I've heard good things.

Different Seasons by Stephen King // It's becoming increasingly hard to find pieces of King's work that I haven't read or own with the intent to read, but this is one of them.

Living with the Kennedys: The Joan Kennedy Story by Marcia Chellis // I'm probably the least political person (though I do identify as Libertarian), but I am a complete sucker for political books. I've got about seven lined up, but couldn't pass this one up.

Let's be friends on Goodreads!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Mousestruck by Ita Stein Gvirtzman #BookReview

I was provided this ebook in exchange for a review. All opinions are honest.
Mousestruck by Ita Stein Gvirtzman #bookreview book review katelyn carter

Today I'm introducing Mousestruck by Ita Stein Gvirtzman. This book shows the journey of the author through chemotherapy for cancer and how her experience as a cancer patient kept bringing her back to her days as someone who experimented on rats in the name of science, and how she grew from vivisecting for twenty years to animal rights activist.

First of all, wow. This book was written so well - thought provoking and detailed. The words spoke to me as an animal activist, and as a reader I could tell that the level of feeling Gvirtzman has developed for these creatures is amazing. I will say that if animal activism isn't something that appeals to you, this book may change your mind. It goes to show that being disconnected from something initially can be changed - for the better.

Mousestruck truly is a book that everyone should read. It sheds light on things that humans tend to hide - out of sight, out of mind.

Monday, April 21, 2014

latest thrift find - books

books lastest thrift finds

I've always been a sucker for books. I read constantly - it's my way of beating anxiety and relaxing. Bored? Read a book. Worried about something you have no control over? Read a book. The list goes on.

I found these pictured at Goodwill. I think I'm most excited about Dolly's! I picked up Pride and Prejudice because, honestly, I've never really read any of the "classics". Yeah, pretty terrible. I really loved The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd, so I grabbed The Mermaid Chair in the hopes that it's just as good. And, of course, I'm a sucker for all things animals, especially dogs.

Do you have any favorite thrifted books?