Tag Archives: Bookstagram

As Seen on Bookstagram | All the Crooked Saints

After five years of blogging, sometimes it’s hard to come up with new ideas. So much has changed over the years, including my blogging style, many times over, and I’ve gotten so much more into taking photos and posting on Instagram as a part of my love of books and bookish merch!

In an attempt to keep things interesting and fun, I wanted to started a little something new for me where I take a post that I had originally shared on Instagram — or “bookstagram” for those in the book community — and took it a little further in a blog post. There’s a limited  number of characters that you can share on Insta and the point of those posts is more to get to the point, rather than writing a whole narrative, but sometimes each post deserves a few extra words, and “As Seen on Instagram” is a fun way for me to do that!

 

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Yesterday was the release date for ALL THE CROOKED SAINTS and I’m still stalled on page 56. I had actually put the book down to pick back up as audio once it was released because Maggie Stiefvater’s writing is so important that it was too hard to read this book on my lunch break at work when everyone else is talking. I wasn’t able to concentrate like I needed to and I was having a hard time getting into the book without being able to focus on the writing so I decided to wait and let the audiobook focus for me!

It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of The Raven Cycle and THE SCORPIO RACES. I adore Maggie Steifvater’s writing and how much she gets readers invested in characters while another detailed plot is forming. I had started reading ALL THE CROOKED SAINTS and I didn’t feel that character investment yet and I knew it was my headspace so I’m excited to start it over again as an audiobook! I borrowed the audio from Hoopla (woo!) and started it this morning so instead of picking up where I left off, I’m just going to restart from the beginning so I can pick up anything I missed.

Already, the writing is similar to the books that I love and it’s also very different. Just by changing the setting, a whole new tone is set up and maybe it wasn’t a bright idea to binge re-read The Raven Cycle because I need to adjust my brain to allow myself to fall into the setting of ATCS. I’m trying to let myself be pulled into the book, which I think might be easier now that I’m listening, so I’m interested to see how it goes!

I was also having a hard time with the religious tones because I’m not a religious person and sometimes it’s a turn-off. I mean, “saints” is IN THE TITLE so I don’t know what I’m expecting but I’m curious to see what the Stiefvater spin is on this concept and what the miracles and miracle-workers actually are. It still seems like there are a lot of magical realism elements which I’ve been enjoying lately so I hope it’s something I’m able to connect with!


Have you read ALL THE CROOKED SAINTS already? No spoilers — how did you feel about it? Is it easy for any Stiefvater fan to enjoy or do you have to enjoy specific elements?

If you want to read the original post, check it out above or head to my Instagram page where you can follow for all kinds of bookish photo updates! 

As Seen on Bookstagram | Subscription Boxes

After five years of blogging, sometimes it’s hard to come up with new ideas. So much has changed over the years, including my blogging style, many times over, and I’ve gotten so much more into taking photos and posting on Instagram as a part of my love of books and bookish merch!

In an attempt to keep things interesting and fun, I wanted to started a little something new for me where I take a post that I had originally shared on Instagram — or “bookstagram” for those in the book community — and took it a little further in a blog post. There’s a limited  number of characters that you can share on Insta and the point of those posts is more to get to the point, rather than writing a whole narrative, but sometimes each post deserves a few extra words, and “As Seen on Instagram” is a fun way for me to do that!

 

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I’ve dabbled in a few bookish subscription boxes and certainly have my favorites. Owlcrate is one of the largest, most-respected, and well-establish bookish sub boxes and the one I purchase from the most! I love the care that goes into each box and each item is from a high-quality bookish shop. This was an unboxing for September’s Owlcrate which was the theme of Mythical Creatures. I’m not a big creature person but I had (correctly) guessed the book which I knew I wanted and the promise of a Book Beau lured me in (before the manufacturing drama hit)!

I wanted to share a little more about this Instagram post on my blog today because I wanted to talk a little bit more about my experiences with purchasing subscription boxes! If you want to see more about the items in the September Owlcrate box, head on over to the photo above for links to each shop and a description of each item! 

I can’t even imagine what it’s like to own a subscription box company! I’m a perfectionist at heart and I want EVERYONE to be happy ALL THE TIME and with so many different items in a box that are all a surprise, it’s impossible to keep every single subscriber happy, but it’s also part of the charm and part of the fun. I do like surprises so I keep on coming back but I also am the worst kind of bookish  box subscriber because I’m so picky about my fandoms! I’m the black sheep on some of the bigger ones, haven’t read others, and then there are times when I’m subscribing for my fandom and it’s for an item that I don’t like or won’t use. It’s funny because one of my favorite boxes was less specific fandom items, more geared toward the theme and I loved it because I didn’t feel like I was missing out on any fandoms.

I don’t like writing negative posts so I don’t want this to feel like a negative thing about this box. It’s more of a general subscription box + me post. I’ve been having a hard time justifying spending money on subscription boxes lately. While I can always appreciate the quality of the items selected for any given sub box, IT’S ME. It really is. I usually pick out two or three things that I’m excited for out of … five? six? seven items? So it’s starting to get discouraging when I feel like I’m giving more away than I’m keeping, and again — that’s no fault of sub box company. I’m too far outside of a “normal” subscriber to appreciate everything. I’m outside of the fandoms, or not wanting jewelry, or not using bath items, or not wanting coin purses. I mean, this is why my friends tell me I’m hard to buy for at the holidays HAHA.

It really is me, and I know that. I but I think I may have to start saving my pennies and NOT subscribing and then seeing if there are any leftover boxes or finding a way to make a trade if there’s an item I really, really want. I know Owlcrate has a Buy/Sell/Trade group — for their items AND other young adult books/merch/sub boxes — and I’m a member of it but I’ve never actually done any buying/selling/trading, although it is appealing. But that involves me gathering up all those items which I just don’t have time for. I also have a hard time selling the items, which is silly but also not. I paid for the items so it only makes sense to be monetarily compensated for them if someone else wants them… But I also hate selling another shop’s item. I don’t feel like it’s mine to sell and often times, those items are sold for way more than the shop might retail them which just feels icky. I get that part of it is to cover shipping costs but sometimes it’s not and I just haven’t been able to bring myself to do that. I’m more likely to engage in a trade but then I’m being picky about what I’m trading for and we’re right back where we started!

One thing I have enjoyed is using some of those items as bookstagram props, even if I won’t actually use them for their intended purpose! The Pride & Prejudice headband from Storiarts was lovely but I surely can’t pull that look off, so I’ve been using it as a literary background to add a touch of black and a splash of words to my photos! I’ve also used a gorgeous Harry Potter-inspired necklace as a prop for some Harry Potter photos and a nautical necklace for some ocean/sea themes. I absolutely love them both but I don’t really wear jewelry and I never wear necklaces so this was a fun way to still put those items to use even if I’m not wearing them.

When it comes down to it, I’ve decided to cancel most of my subscriptions and just buy the box after the fact (if I can) unless it’s something fandom-specific. Nerdy Post’s boxes are based off of specific fandoms (like this Harry Potter one!) each month so it’s hard to be disappointed, but that’s resulted in me skipping several months because of fandoms I’m not a part of. It feels more satisfactory but I have to be more vigilant about unsubscribing and resubscribing when I need to. I’ve been more happy with one-off boxes like ones from The Bookish Box where they appeal to a specific book or fandom like their Princess Bride box or their Harry Potter House box! I loved both of those and almost all of the items in there so it was so much easier to feel like I was getting my money’s worth there!

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when you forget to unsubscribe to a specific month and take a photo anyway… 

I love the idea of subscription boxes but I think I need to know when they might just not be for me. I’ve been leaning more towards boxes with specific fandom-themes that I know I’ll love and I’ll sign up for that surprise, but it’s so hard to have a box appeal to all of my fandoms when they’re either so small in number or so far spread in genre!


Do you regularly subscribe to any bookish sub boxes? What are some of your favorites? Do you have the dreaded fandom problem like I do? (Aka being too picky haha!)

If you want to read the original post, check it out above or head to my Instagram page where you can follow for all kinds of bookish photo updates! 

As Seen on Bookstagram | The Cozy Life

After five years of blogging, sometimes it’s hard to come up with new ideas. So much has changed over the years, including my blogging style, many times over, and I’ve gotten so much more into taking photos and posting on Instagram as a part of my love of books and bookish merch!

In an attempt to keep things interesting and fun, I wanted to started a little something new for me where I take a post that I had originally shared on Instagram — or “bookstagram” for those in the book community — and took it a little further in a blog post. There’s a limited  number of characters that you can share on Insta and the point of those posts is more to get to the point, rather than writing a whole narrative, but sometimes each post deserves a few extra words, and “As Seen on Instagram” is a fun way for me to do that!

 

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I recently shared a post featuring this Little Mermaid print from Nerdy Post‘s Disney box from a few months back on top of some book cozies from The Cozy Life. The photo just started out as me digging through my “Instagram Prop Box” to see what I hadn’t photographed in a while — if ever — and I hadn’t even taken a close-up of this beautiful print with a quite from The Little Mermaid! I tend to play around with the layout of my photos a lot and didn’t like the first shot of the print by itself, so I put it on top of my stack of book sleeves from my favorite book sleeve company, The Cozy Life.

Even more inspiration to write this post today was that I went a little overboard on Steffani’s restock yesterday with some really fun fall and flannel prints! I realized that I didn’t have a book sleeve big enough to fit my RENEGADES ARC and since I tote my books around in my purse, it really needs one! My purse is a tad too small and I’m not exactly gentle with it so I need that extra cushion and protection so I don’t beat up my books!

On my Instagram post, I had shared a little bit about how I came to purchase from The Cozy Life. Book Beau was the big name in book sleeves on the scene at the time but I never had luck snagging one before they were all sold out, and I got really discouraged in many ways. I gave up for a little bit until I found The Cozy Life! I purchased one of Steffani’s book sleeves and fell in love! I was hoping to grab a book sleeve before I had to leave to stay in Indiana at the hospital with my husband for two months and I REALLY wanted to get a sleeve before I left so I knew I could keep my books safe, both in transit and while I was staying somewhere new. I had ordered my very first and left a note in the comments for Steffani, letting her know my situation and that I had to leave in a few days, requesting if possible for it to be shipped quickly but being a small business myself, I know that’s not always possible so I totally understood if she couldn’t. My Cozy shipped immediately, arrived in lovely packaging, and was just beautiful! I became an instant fan and have only shopped at The Cozy Life since!

Steffani has three different sized book sleeves (and I love that they’re named after trees): Sapling, which is meant to hold ereaders and mass market paperbacks; Pine, which is meant to hold paperbacks and smaller hardcovers; and Redwood, which is meant to hold larger hardcovers and thicker books! I had instantly purchased a Pine and later followed up with another Pine and a Sapling. I just snagged my first Redwood yesterday and I can’t wait to receive it!

I’ve loved everything I’ve received so far and I’m so excited for my new fall book sleeves! I got a few flannel prints that will also work well for winter and I can’t wait to show them off on Instagram too!

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Do you have any book sleeves from The Cozy Life? Which prints have been your favorites? I didn’t think I needed more than one in each size but I’ve somehow become addicted and need different seasonal ones! Damn you, collector’s spirit!

If you want to read the original post, check it out above or head to my Instagram page where you can follow for all kinds of bookish photo updates! 

Top Ten Tuesday – April 4, 2017: Ten Grishaverse Candles You Need To Own

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TOP TEN TUESDAY
April 4, 2017

It’s Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by the wonderful blog at The Broke and the Bookish! This week’s topic was fandom related and with the mention of merch, I immediately went to candles!

The other day for a #bookstagram photo prompt, I ended up photographing my Dregs-inspired candles, which is a lot and a little all at the same time! Leigh Bardugo is one of my favorite authors and so I tend to collect a LOT from her books (other editions, candles, etc) but since I’m candle-crazy, I thought it would be fun to share some that I have and some that I still want! (Because I have to eventually get them all…)


KETTERDAM | In the Wick of Time 

This Ketterdam candle smells like the wafting coffee scents from the Crow Club to entice people inside. I own a mini version of this and it’s delicious!! Plus that label is gorgeous. I definitely need to own more candles from Kaylan’s shop!


MAKE ME YOUR VILLAIN | Icey Designs

Ugh, look how gorgeous. These candle labels are seriously to die for! There are so many Dregs/Six of Crows candles out there now that I’m still looking for more Grisha Trilogy candles to add to my collection too.


NO MOURNERS, NO FUNERALS | Lumiere Candle Shop

I’ve had my eye on this one since this shop opened but still haven’t shelled out the money for it yet. I love the darkness and the crows on the label. Let’s be honest, the book it was inspired by and the label are a vast majority of why I buy a candle!


KAZ | Seven Hearts Wax Co

I always need more Kaz and this candle looks divine! I love this candle shop too — I have one inspired by Ollivander’s and can’t wait to get more! This one is definitely on my list.


KAZ BREKKER | A Court of Candles

I recently did a candle exchange with Nali from A Court of Candles and I’m so glad I did! She actually sent me minis of Kaz AND Inej so now I have TWO more candles for my collection!!


KAZ | Wick and Fable

Wick and Fable has some gorgeous label images and I love this smoky crow for Kaz. I recently purchased one their monthly boxes and was so impressed! I definitely want to try some more candles from this shop.


MATTHIAS | Nerdwicks

Matthias is pretty much my favorite character in the Dregs duology. I loved him from the first book and need all the Matthias candles!


MALYEN ORETSEV | Fragranced Fandoms

I love that Fragranced Fandoms makes a Mal candle! I’m not personally a shipper of Alina with The Darkling and I’m a sucker for friends-to-more romances so I may need this Mal-inspired candle!


HEARTRENDER | Meraki Candles

Meraki Candles has an amazing selection of the candles of my heart. Look at this gorgeous Heartrender candle!! And it has a waffle on it! Ugh, I just love it.


DIRTYHANDS | The Melting Library

Raquel from The Melting Library has so many ingenuous candles and Dirtyhands was actually the first candle that I got of hers that wasn’t included in a subscription box. I love the way it reminds me of Kaz and has a little bit of a masculine scent on top of the scents as a whole. They blend together really well!


THE WRAITH | Novelly Yours Candles

And of course, I can’t leave you without a plug for my own candle shop. (Maybe only a little bit sorry.) I wanted to come up with a candle that was unique and there weren’t any Inej candles out there when I came up with The Wraith! Inej doesn’t really have a scent since she is the Wraith and all so I selected the scents from the story from her childhood. They were actually inspired by her mother but they’re all of Inej’s favorite scents so they combine for a lovely soft, floral and earthy mix in this candle.


Which fandom candles are you dying to own? As if I wasn’t already series-obsessed, these candles really bring each series to life even more and as long as these shops keep making them, I will keep buying them for my collections!

Top Ten Tuesday – March 28, 2017: Ten Authors I’ve Been Lucky Enough to Meet

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TOP TEN TUESDAY
March 28, 2017

It’s Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by the wonderful blog at The Broke and the Bookish! This week’s topic was things about meeting authors so I chose to talk about some of the amazing authors that I’ve been fortunate enough to meet! 

Let’s brag about Anderson’s Bookshop for a second, shall we? They’re my local indie (I frequent the Naperville, IL location but they also have stores in Downers Grove, IL and now LaGrange, IL) and they KILL IT with events! I first discovered them through the blogging world and ended up going to my very first Fierce Reads tour (well, really first author even EVER) on a whim and it was all downhill from there. They’ve brought sooooo many amazing authors to town and I’ve met most of my favorites through them!

I’ve also got to meet quite a few amazing authors at events like BEA and ALA. It’s always such a whirlwind because sometimes signings go by so fast or events are full of bloggers and authors so you try to talk to literally everyone there… But it’s so amazing to be able to mingle with your rockstar authors!


MARISSA MEYER

the book addict's guide

Obviously, Marissa Meyer is at the top of my list. I first met her when I was asked to moderate (!!!) the Fierce Reads even in 2014 and I was SO. NERVOUS. She was so amazingly sweet and kind enough to sign all of my many copies of her books. I got to see her again for the WINTER release and again at BEA 2016! She’s always so wonderful to talk to (and I hope I don’t scare her TOO much).

LEIGH BARDUGO

You think Leigh Bardugo is tired of seeing me yet? I just love every time I get to see her! She’s so funny, down-to-earth, clever, and an awesome lady all around. She actually recognizes me when we meet now (gosh, is that a good thing or a bad thing? I’m floored) and she’ll always be a favorite author of mine in so many ways, only one of which is that she was at my very first ever author event!

MAGGIE STIEFVATER

Maggie Stiefvater is AWESOME. I’ve only gotten to see her once (I saw her walk by at BEA but didn’t go to her signing since I already had The Raven King) and she was funny, unique, and amazing. I hope she comes to town again for future tours!! I need to see her again!

GAYLE FORMAN

I’ve actually met Gayle Forman twice now but failed to take a picture with her both times. Once was at Anderson’s YA lit conference and the second was at BEA 2016, but the signing lines went so fast that I felt bad asking to take photos! The Anderson’s YA lit conference was really what started my collection of her books because I forgot to bring my copies so I bought new ones while I was there but then couldn’t bear to get rid of the other ones! So I kept them all and started collecting.

BRANDON SANDERSON

I didn’t realize that I met Brandon Sanderson twice but looking back, now I remember! I was basically tongue-tied both times I met him and tried to come up with interesting conversation. I asked him his advice for which of his books I should start next but what does it really matter because I’m binge-reading them all anyway! (I did take his advice though.)

EMERY LORD

I adore Emery Lord and her books so it was so excited to finally meet her!! She came to town on a Bloomsbury tour and I also got to have dinner with the authors! Man, I had a hard time playing it cool. I was so excited to be around some of my favorites, especially Emery!

ROBIN LAFEVERS

His Fair Assassin is still one of my favorite series out there and I was so excited to meet Robin LaFevers many years back! It was so exciting to meet her and hear some fun and exciting things about her writing process and history on her books.

LAUREN OLIVER

It was a DREAM meeting Lauren Oliver! DELIRIUM was one of my first YA books and I read her series when I was obsessed with dystopian. She read a passage from her book during the event and she used my book to read out of. I died a little.

ERICA O’ROURKE

Erica is local to Chicago and I picked up one of her books BECAUSE she was going to be at an event and I looooved it! I’ve gotten to meet up with her a few times and it’s been too long since our last encounter! I can’t wait to read her latest adult mystery novel and I need to backtrack and read her earlier series too!

MEG CABOT

Meg Cabot was one of the authors who got me back into reading and I got to meet her at ALA!!! It was so, so surreal. Like usually, I had no idea what to say.

CARY ELWES

Okay, so this was more celebrity encounter than “author I wanted to meet” but he was appearing at BEA as an author and OMG I GOT TO MEET WESTLEY.


Which authors have you been most honored to meet? Who else is on your bucket list? I still can’t wait to meet Kasie West someday!!

Top Ten Tuesday – February 28, 2017: Favorite #bookstagram Photos of Mine

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TOP TEN TUESDAY
February 28, 2017

It’s Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by the wonderful blog at The Broke and the Bookish! This week’s topic was a freebie!

I always come up with these great ideas for some freebies or variations on topics with the best intentions like bookish infographics or the best #bookstagram photos out there! But I neglected to save all of the cool infographics I’ve come across and aside from the fact that I haven’t saved Instagram photos from other accounts, there’s no way I could pick ten favorites from all of the amazingly talented people out there! So once again, we end up viewing personal favorites from my own collection.

I’ve been getting more and more into taking those neat #bookstagram photos and it’s interesting to see how things have come along over the years! Photos that I was proud of last year look totally horrible to me now and I feel like I’ve really worked on my lighting and props to come up with some really solid photos. I’m not photographer and I don’t have the skills that some other bookstagrammers do but I’m pretty proud of some of these photos! I picked my top ten favorites from my Instagram account to share today. (In order from most recent told oldest, for convenience.)

LUNARTIC SHELFIE | January 13, 2017
I had finally gotten around to taking a new selfie after the addition of HEARTLESS and special Owlcrate edition of HEARTLESS… but it’s already outdated because I’ve since added WIRES AND NERVE to my Marissa Meyer collection! OH DARN going to have to take another one…

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SIMON TEEN ON THE SCENE | December 24, 2016
Simon Teen sent this AWESOME blogger package and I was thrilled to receive these books AND a mug! I really liked the way this photo turned out as far as lighting went and I think it looks nice in more muted tones instead of amping up the saturation. I also loved the pop of the plaid scarf for some reason!

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CARAVAL, COFFEE, AND COOKIES | November 12, 2016
I did it for the ‘gram when I set up this photo while on vacation and bought two more macarons just so I could get the fancy box for my Instagram photo. What can I say… their packaging totally succeed in getting me to buy more! They were all delicious and to this day, I still miss them and want more. I was reading CARAVAL while in Salem with my BFFs (and I also miss this whole trip to this day because it was glorious) and this all came together for an interesting photo that’s apparently pretty popular on Tumblr.

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HALLOWEEN AND SERIAL KILLERS | October 31, 2016
I got to interview STALKING JACK THE RIPPER author Kerri Maniscalco for our Fortnight of Fright blog event and so naturally, I had to take another photo of her book with the Foggy Knight candle! The lighting on this one highlighted the blood splatter so beautifully and I love it so.

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AN ABUNDANCE OF CINDERS | August 29, 2016
I added some new versions of CINDER to my Lunar Chronicles collection and I had to snap a photo of them! I was too tired to drag the whole collection out so I just grabbed all of the copies of CINDER I had instead!

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THE SUN SHINES ON THE SHELFIE | August 21, 2016
This was the first FULL shelfie I had taken in a while and the sun left a night highlight in the middle. It’s hard to get the whole bookcase in one shot and I liked the way this one turned out!

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A STACK OF THRONES | August 6, 2016
This photo isn’t very complicated but sometimes those simple, clean photos are the best. I simply stacked my mass markets of A Song of Ice and Fire, popped some color in, and added a candle to complete the scene!

MY SORCERER’S STONE | July 30, 2016
I used a prompt from a photo challenge to come up with this photo. It was a “House Cup” challenge, so I represented my house of Ravenclaw and the other part of the prompt was “Horcruxes versus Hallows”. Secret? My husband and I both had rock collections when we were kids and we both still have them haha! So I went into the basement to sort through our rocks to find one that was Sorcerer’s Stone-appropriate and this was what I got! Also, have you ever included your hand in a photo? Whether it’s holding a stone or a mug, it’s REALLY hard to get your fingers to cooperate and look delicate instead of clunky and awkward.

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ANGRY IN NANTUCKET | May 27, 2016
This was another photo prompt for some underrated reads and I chose books by Louise Rozett and Leila Howland. Another simple, clean photo turned out be one of my favorites.

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OPPORTUNITY KNOCKS | May 12, 2016
This photo was a totally random moment that I took after a day on the floor of BEA 2016. I had just stacked up my books on the bed to assess what I had picked up and was chilling out with my delicious Starbucks when I decided to snap a photo of my current view because it looked like the perfect photo opp. I think all I did was make sure the coffee was at a good angle and move that clutch further into the photo frame to round it out and it turned out pretty awesome! I think this is actually the Instagram photo of mine with the most likes ever. Go figure!

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Are you a bookstagrammer? Do you take the time to set up photos or is it just more work than it’s worth for you?