Thursday, September 30, 2010

Time to Nominate!

Although it's still September here on the West Coast, it's officially October 1st over there on the eastern side. Which means it's Cybils time! For those of you unfamiliar with the term, the Cybils is a loose acronym for the Children's and Young Adult Literary Blogger awards. It's a cross between the People's Choice Awards and the Newberry Award for book bloggers. If you'd like more information, there's a great overview at the Cybils Wikipedia Page.

Nominations are open right now over at the Cybils blog, so head over and nominate your favorite books. I'll be having a couple of Cybils themed posts over the next few weeks, but for now you simply get to nominate and enjoy. And you know you better nominate a graphic novel, since that's the committee I'm on. (LOL)

There's also been two changes this year. First, my graphic novel panel has been split for nominations. So now you can nominate one MG and one YA title. We've been announcing the award for both categories for awhile, but until this year you could only nominate at title for one or the other. Likewise, the Early Readers category has been split with Early Chapter Books, so you have two nominations there as well.

Here's a reminder of the rules (thanks to the Cybils official blog):

•One book per genre per person. Have two young adult books you love? Get a best friend, co-worker or random stranger to nominate the other one.

Anyone may nominate. Anyone! This means you. And me. And that person over there, and the guy who cut you off in traffic. Or that kid you won't sit next to at lunch. Anyone!

•The book must have been published between the last contest and this close of this one. In other words, between Oct. 16, 2009 and Oct. 15th 2010.

•The book can be bilingual, but one of the languages must be English.

•As long as a book has a nomination, it'll be considered. You don't need to try and nominate it over and over. The nomination form will kick it back to you anyway.

Ready to get started? Head over to the blog to put in your nomination!

How to Get Free Books: Part 3

I've been a bad blogger, and I missed my Free Books post last Thursday. But, I'm back today, so we're going to jump right in. I know I've been scarce lately, but I've had some things going on at home and I have all sorts of great posts planned as soon as life settles down a bit.

Anyway, moving on....

This feature is dedicated to showing readers how to get free books (or at least cheaper books) to help supplement tight book buying budgets (without badgering publishers for copies).

Here's links to catch up if you missed anything. Otherwise, the new stuff's below!
Part 1: Blogs
Part 2: Trading

How to Get Free Books: Part 3, Libraries

Yeah, I know this one sounds a little obvious. But stick with me on this one. Libraries are an excellent source for free books. Although if, like me, you have problems with turning the books in on time, overdue fees make them not so free sometimes (haha).

Libraries a great thing. With thousands of free books on the shelves, and all you need is a library card to be able to take them home for your very own for a few weeks. Libraries are a great option if your book buying budget is small. And not just because you can read books for free.

How many times have you spent hard earned money on a book and then got partway into it and realized you hated/disliked it? This has happened to me a few times and it's very disappointing. So now if there's a book/movie/cd/whatever that I'm not sure if I'm going to like, I get it from the library first. I give it a "trial run" with the library copy, and if it seems like something I'd like to own, I'll go buy a copy at that point.

Now of course this only works if your library is fairly well stocked. But a lot of libraries aren't. I know both the college campus library and the local library where I went to college in Idaho were both fairly lacking in anything published less than 2 years ago. If you have a similar situation, I'd highly recommend talking to your librarian(s) whether they have an inter-library loan program. Here in Northern California we use one called LINK+ where we can also check out materials that belong to colleges and libraries throughout the state of California. My university library had one as well, and I was able to get a lot of books for my young adult class from that one.

And here's one last reason libraries are great, other than just getting free books. The answer is library book sales. And while the books aren't necessarily free, they're usually fairly cheap. Plus anything you buy usually goes to help the library pay for more new books, so everyone wins, right?

Our library has sales twice a year, and it's something I look forward to. You can pick up hardcovers for $1.00, paperbacks for $.50 and children's books for $.10. Sometimes you have to wade through a lot of junk to find treasures, but I've found some great stuff at library sales.

So that concludes today's How to Get Free Books post. I promise I'll remember to post next week so I don't leave you hanging again. :) As always, if you have tips of your own to suggest, feel free to leave me a comment or send me an email. I'd love to hear from you!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

LOL of the Week: Phantom of the Opera

Or is it kitteh of the opera?

Since we're getting close to October and Halloween I thought this was appropriate.

Starting in October we'll be having a special basement cat themed LOL all month. So stay tuned for that.

In the meantime, if you'd like to learn more about LOLcats, you can check out the website, or read my review of the book.

Have a great week!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

A Quick New Update

Well, now that's it's been officically announced, I can share some news I've been sitting on for about a week.

The Cybils (Children's and Young Adult Liteary Bloggers' Awards) are fast approaching. I've loved participating in the past, and I'm happy to annouce that I've made it on to the Graphic Novels Panel again this year. I so excited to work with these lovely bloggers in the Round 1 judging category:

Kim Baccellia, YA Books Central
Betsy Bird, A Fuse #8 Production
Alyssa Feller, The Shady Glade
Maggi Idzikowski, Mama Librarian
Liz Jones, Liz Jones Books
Nicola Manning, Back to Books
Madeline Stevens, Bibliophibia

So what's that mean for this blog? Well, you can expect a lot of discussion about graphic novels and the awards in the coming months. Also, as soon as nominations close, I tend to neglect the blog a little bit because I'm so busy spending free time reads. But, my goal is to do better this year about simultaneously blogging and reading.

Anyone can nominate a title for the Cybils starting October 1-15. More infomration will be coming around then.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Winners, Winners, Winners

It's winning time! Yesterday was the last day to enter my blogversary contest, so today means it's time for winners. So without further ado, here we go:

Our international winner is: Wanda B

Our Bookmark Swap winner is: Nicole M., who wins a copy of The Season by Sarah MacLean

Winner of Bright Young Things preview and 4 items from the list: Haleyknitz

Winner of 3 items from the list: Rosie C

Winner of 2 items from the list: Ari

Winner of 1 item from the list: Valerie (lalibrarybug)

And since I got over 60 entries, I'm adding another suprise winner. So our bonus winner of 1 item from the list is: Ann (behapppppppy)

Congrats to everyone! Send me your mailing address to shadyglade(AT)mail(DOT)com within 72 hours to claim your prize. I'll be sending out books based on what you put on your entry form.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

LOL of the week: Swim With Tigers

Aww, they're so cute. Who wouldn't want to swim with them?

If you'd like to learn more about LOLcats, you can check out the website, or read my review of the book.

Have a great week!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

How To Get Free Books: Part 2

Today is the second part of my new mini-feature How To Get Free Books. This feature is dedicated to showing readers how to get free and cheap books to help supplement tight book buying budgets (without badgering publishers for copies).

Here's links to catch up if you missed anything. Otherwise, the new stuff's below!
Part 1: Blogs

How to Get Free Books: Part 2, Trading

I know I mentioned trading with other bloggers briefly in my post last week. So today we're going to discuss that on a wider scale. Which means today's post is all about trading websites.

Trading is easily the way that I get most of my books. If I can blame anything on the hundreds of books that have come my way in the past 4 years, it would be trading. Is it completely free? Well, no, this is one of those ways that you get nearly free books. But as long as you're smart about your methods, you can get some truly excellent deals. Becoming smart takes a lot of trial and error and a lot of experience. So that's where I come in. I've been doing this for 4 years now, so I've learned some tips and tricks to get you off to a great start.

First of all, for those of you who've never heard of trading websites, this is the general idea. You go through your bookshelves and pull out all those old books that you have outgrown, won't read a second time, didn't want in the first place, etc. Then choosing a trading website, you list those books on the website for other people to request. So you mail the book to the other member. Other people can request your books and then you can turn around and request books from other members, who mail the book you requested to your house. The method in which this happens depends a little on the site you're using, but the idea is the same.

Before we get into specifics, there's something I want to emphasize. Although trading the books themselves is free, you do have to pay for postage for your book to get to the other member. And postage adds up fast. So the key here is MEDIA MAIL. This is a special discounted rate the Post Office has specifically for mailing media (books, CDs, and DVDs). It's going to save you a ton of money over parcel post and first class (or even priority) mail. Books are usually 1 pound or under (except for some hardcovers), which will cost you $2.38. If you mail a hardcover book (usually under 2 pounds) it will cost you $2.77. Anyone who's interested can find the rate chart here, but as you can see it's much cheaper.

So you can get a new-to-you book for just the price of postage when you trade. I'm going to cover my top three favorite trading sites and a few tips for each one. There are many out there, but these three are the ones I use the most.
  • Cost to join: Free
  • Method of trading: Every book you post gets you .1 point. Every book you send earns you 1 point. Marking books received also gains you .1 point. Requesting books will cost you 1 point for domestic and 2 points for international.
  • Wish List: One member on the wish list is randomly selected to get an hour head start. After an hour it's first come, first served.
  • Requesting method: Requestors can pick which person they order from based on their feedback, the book's condition, location, etc.
  • This is the only site I know of that's open to international members.
  • My profile can be found here for anyone who's interested in joining.
  • Cost to join: Free
  • Method of trading: +1 credit for every book you send, +2 credits for every audiobook. Requesting books will cost the same (1 credit for books, 2 for audiobooks).
  • Posting your first 10 books to trade will earn you 2 initial start up credits to use right away. Otherwise you get your credit when a book is marked received.
  • This site is based on the a system called First In, First Out. The first book posted will be the first requested. The other books are then placed in "line" behind it to wait their turn for requesting. The wish list works the same way.
  • Contrary to the name, you can trade both hardbacks and paperbacks as well as audiobooks and textbooks.
  • If you run out of credits to request books with you can purchase them for $3.45 a credit from the site.
  • This site has a very active forum, so often you can find deals and wish list books there
  • If you'd like to put me as a referring member, my username is Greycat133 (recently changed the name from
  • Cost to join: Free, although you have to put a credit card on file. This is to pay for postage printed through their site, although you don't have to use it after giving them your credit card number (I don't).
  • EDITED TO ADD - announced this week that trading will no longer be free at their site. It will now cost $.50 to $1.00 for each trade, and delievery confirmation (an additional postage charge) is required on all packages. Changes go into effect October 1st.
  • Method of trading: Swapping directly. You send a member a book they want, and they send you one you want. No credit/point system.
  • You can also trade your books for DVDs, CDs, or video games and vice versa (those items for new books)
  • As a tip, only put books you are willing to send out for any book on your "Have List". Cancelling orders can limit your account otherwise.
  • This site does allow you to swap ARCs, although you must state it is an ARC in your condition notes, and you cannot post anything before it's release date.
  • This site can be one of the most frustrating because their database is a little weird, but it also can be the most rewarding. I've gotten two very hard to find books from trades I did here, both traded for books I had that I no longer wanted.
  • Once again, my username is Greycat133 if you'd like to find me here. (ETA: I will be closing my account October 1st when the above metioned changes go into effect.)

I could easily make a regular feature out of tips for these three websites, but this post is already getting kind of long. So if I get a lot of interest in a trading sites tip feature, then I'll pursue it. Otherwise, I'm sure you're getting sick of scrolling down. :)

So with that I'll end this week's post. As always, I'm open to your own tips and suggestions, which may find their way into a future post.

Until then, happy reading!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Look What Came in the Mail Today

I got the first package for The Great Bookmark Swap in the mail today. And here's a sampling of what was inside:

Aren't they cute? These three bookmarks and their companions will be on their way to new homes in a couple weeks.

If you still want to join the fun, sign ups for the bookmark swap will remain open until September 18th (this Saturday).

Monday, September 13, 2010

Book Blogger Appreciation Week is Here!

Don't forget that this week is Book Blogger Appreciation Week. Head over to the site every day to see all new stuff going around.

P.S. I'm in the middle of doing some behind the scenes tweaks to the blog, so I may be scare in posting for the next week(s). But I'll still pop in every once in awhile. :)

Sunday, September 12, 2010

LOL of the week: Sprinkles

So today's LOL is not really cat, but I still thought it was funny anyway:

Makes you think twice about ordering stuff from the ice cream truck, doesn't it?

If you'd like to learn more about LOLcats, you can check out the website, or read my review of the book.

Have a great week!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

A Moment of Silence

This blog is paused today to remember the nearly 3,000 men and women who perished in the attacks on the US at the World Trade Center and the Pentagon 9 years ago today.

In the words of FDR, it is a date that will live in infamy. And I will never, ever forget.

And thank you to the brave people who continue to put their life on the line every day in order to protect our country and our freedom.

"It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."
-Abraham Lincoln (emphasis mine)

Thursday, September 09, 2010

How To Get Free Books: Part 1

As promised, today is the first part of my new mini-feature How To Get Free Books. This feature is dedicated to showing readers how to get free (or very cheap) books to help supplement tight book buying budgets. Make sure you check out the post that inspired this feature.

Well, since this whole idea started out with some thoughts on blogging, I thought that'd be a good place to start.

How to Get Free Books: Part 1, Blogs

Before I go any further, I should mention that the tips in this post aren't just for bloggers. Whether you have a blog, website, or not you can follow the ideas I have here. Why? Because it's not about getting free books because you have a blog/website/etc. Having a book-related blog can lead to requests from publishers/authors/publicists for you to review a book. But this takes lots of months (even years) of hard work and practice before you reach that point. In my humble opinion, no one should start a book blog in the hopes of getting free books. Start a blog to talk about books. And then see where it goes from there.

But I digress. Back to the subject. Blogs are a great resource to find free and cheap books. The number one way? Contests. Find a blog you like and follow them. Chances are they'll direct you to a contest or host one themselves eventually. And although I usually have the worst luck in the world, I have won a couple contests myself. So it is possible to win, you just have to enter like crazy to bring your chances up. LOL.

Here at the Shady Glade, I'm currently hosting my own contest for my 4th blogversary. So if you haven't already, check that out. It's also my goal now that I'm home to start up my Monday Contest Roundup posts. I don't know how often I'll do them, but keep an eye out for that right now.

Here's one of my other favorite places to get cheap books from blogs: trading with other bloggers. Many bloggers will either post every once and a while about a trading list, or they may even have a static page or sidebar with that information. For the cost of postage you can send out a book you're done with/not interested in for one that you want. Some bloggers will also giveaway books for simply the cost of mailing them to you. You just need to keep an eye on your favorite blogs, or even email them and ask if they'd be willing to trade with you. In fact, trading is one of my favorite tips of all time for cheap books, so you'll see that come up a few more times in this series.

And here's another way I use blogs for free books: news. Yeah, that sounds kind of weird, so let me explain. Many publishers will occasionally allow readers to read their books online for free for limited periods of time. And many of those publishers rely on bloggers to get the news out for them. Keeping an eye on your favorite book blogs can let you know about when these types of promotions occur. The first book in the Pretty Little Liars series comes to mind off the top of my head, but I know there's been several of these recently.

If you'd like to help me compile a list of free ebooks and/or books available to read for free online, please leave me a comment or send me an email at shadyglade(AT)mail(DOT)com. If I'm able to get enough examples I'll post them in the sidebar or something.

So the bottom line is, blogs are a great resource for free books, but they don't always have to be from publishers. It's more about participating in the blogging community then anything else. And really? Participating is more fun anyway. ;)

So that's it for this week. Check back next Thursday for more ideas on how to get free (and almost free) books. And if you'd like to contribute your own ideas send me an email and let me know.

In the meantime, happy reading!

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Bookmark Swap Update

As of right now, anyone who signed up for information on the new Bookmark Swap has been emailed. If you did get an email or it got deleted/missed/spammed/whatever let me know (shadygladeATmailDOTcom) right away and I'll make sure you get the information.

It's going to be a fun swap. We've got a few participants confirmed already and there's some neat bookmarks being sent. Looks like lots of fun! :)

If you want to join the fun, make sure you check out this post on how to get started.

Monday, September 06, 2010

Blogoversary Bash Huge Giveaway

It's the moment you've been waiting for! The Shady Glade has been blogging for 4 years, and so it's time to celebrate with a huge giveaway. So I present to you The Blogoversary Bash Giveaway! There'll be 4 winners (one for each year) plus 2 bonus winners. So let's get started!


  • You must fill out the form to enter. Any entries by email or commenting will not count.

  • Contest is open from now until September 20th at midnight PDT.

  • Winners will be chosen by a random number generator.

  • You do not have to be a follower to enter, although it will gain you bonus entries.

  • Winners will be responsible for contacting me within 72 hours with their mailing address or new winners will be chosen.

  • Winners will be asked to choose their top 6 choices from the list and will be assigned in order of winning.

The more people who enter, the more prizes I add to the list, so help spread the word!

  • 1 international winner will get to pick one book from the list below.
  • 1 participant in my new Bookmark Swap will win The Seasonby Sarah MacLean, our runner up winner from the Debut Book Battle (or a book of their choice from the list below)
  • Winner 1 will win a sneak peek (7 chapters) ARC of Bright Young Thingsby Anna Godbersen and will also choose 4 books from the list below
  • Winner 2 will choose 3 books
  • Winner 3 will choose 2 books
  • Winner 4 will choose 1 book
So want to know what you're playing for? The list is below. And once you get a look at it, don't forget to fill out the form to the enter the contest.

Good luck to everyone!

All books are new or gently used.
After Ever Afterby Jordan Sonnenblick (ARC)
Alphas by Lisi Harrison (ARC)
Avalon: Web of Magic Book 1: Circles in the Streamby Rachel Roberts (PB)
Boys without Namesby Kashmira Sheth (ARC)
Catwalk: Strike a Pose by Deborah Gregory (PB)
Cirque Du Freak 5: Trials of Death/Cirque Du Freak 6: The Vampire Prince2-in-1 Edition by Darren Shan (ARC)
Confessions of a Teenage Hollywood Starby Dyan Sheldon (PB)
Dancing With Ana by Nicole Barker (PB)
Dramaramaby E. Lockhart (HC)
Emily the Strange: The Lost Days by Rob Reger, Jessica Gruner, and Buzz Parker (ARC)
Frenemies #2: Faketasticby Alexa Young (PB)
Getting the Girl: A Guide to Private Investigation, Surveillance, and Cookeryby Susan Juby (ARC)
Hoot by Carl Hiaasen (HC)
Lunch Lady and the Summer Camp Shakedownby Jarrett J. Krosoczka (PB)
My Name Is Jason. Mine Too.: Our Story. Our Jason Reynolds and Jason Griffin (PB)
Selloutby Ebony Joy Wilkins (ARC)
The Everafterby Amy Huntley (ARC)
The Once Upon a Time Map Book: Take a Tour of Six Enchanted Landsby B.G. Hennessy and Peter Joyce (PB)
The Vampire Is Just Not That Into Youby Vlad Mezrich (PB)
Tiger Moonby Antonia Michaelis (ARC)
What's Your Status? A Top 8 Novelby Katie Finn (ARC)

OR someone can pick a Beautiful Creatures T-shirt (size large)

Sunday, September 05, 2010

Book Battle: Final (Round 5) Winner

Well, here we are. It's the final results of the final round of the 2010 YA Bloggers Debut Book Battle. And although I kind of dropped the ball on this one because of my busy summer schedule, I've heard back from our last pair of judges and it's time to announce a winner!

Bracket 24:
The Season by Sarah MacLean VS. Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver
Judged by Kate from The Neverending Shelf and from Star from Star Shadow Blog

This bracket was probably one of the hardest to judge from the whole battle. Here two completely undefeated books came up to battle it out to find out who would be determined number one. So which book did our judges choose? Here's what Judge Star had to say about the winner:
"Wonderfully written engaging characters that I fell in love with after getting to know each and every one, This story was captivating and emotional and kept me interested from beginning to end, from hating people to falling in love with them."

Want to know the final winner? Scroll down to find out!




Keep scrolling!

Almost there!

One more scroll should do it...

And the winner is... Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver!

And that's it folks! I hope you had as much fun with this as I did. There'll be a wrap up post in the next few days just in case you missed anything.

Congrats to the winner!

Saturday, September 04, 2010

I'm Back... Finally!

Hey everyone! The internet is back again (finally!) and so I can finally take care of all those things that have have gone neglected while I was away. So here's a sneak peek at what's coming up in the next few days:

Bookmark swap - In case you missed it, I'm hosting a bookmark swap this month. If you'd like more information, don't forget to fill out the form found in this post.

Book Battle - Yeah, I dropped the ball on this one a bit, but I'm glad to announce we finally have a winner! I'll be announcing that on Sunday, so check back to see which book was picked as the Best Debut Book.

Blogoversary Giveaway - Thanks to my unexpected internet departure, I actually missed my blogoversary this year (it was Wednesday). However, I'm still going to celebrate by having a contest to thank loyal followers! So check back on Monday for more info on that.

Free Books post - I know my first one was supposed to be this week, but again with the unexpected absence. So this Thursday instead will be the first of my How To Get Free Books feature, so come back and check out that next week.

All right everyone, that's it for now. I've got some other loose ends and stuff to wrap up before next week, so I'm off to take care of those. Meanwhile, don't forget to come back tomorrow to see the final winner of the Book Battle, and don't forget to sign up for the bookmark swap if you're interested!