April felt long and short at the same time. Some days passed in a blink and others felt as long as multiple days.

As I had tired myself out in March, I wanted to have a relaxed April. I wanted to exercise but not too much, While I did get some rest, March's momentum spilled into April and I had a full month. I don't remember all of it at once but it feels like I did so much.

I have a lot to update you on so get a drink or snack and settle in with me ☕️

words on books

The year began with me reading 15 books in a month and my reading pace gradually slowed after that. In March, I read 8 books. I expected the same in April but I ended up reading 15 books!

My friend Vaish was on a reading spree and said on the group chat one day: "I want to eat books for breakfast, lunch, and dinner." I didn't say it but I did the same. I was reading all the time in the last week of the month and finished books like I was finishing drinks.

Of the 15 books, 5 were paperbacks, 10 were ebooks, and one was a reread. I'm back to gobbling up ebooks haha.

It's Boba Time for Pearl Li! by Nicole Chen is a middle-grade book following Pearl Li who is trying to save her favourite boba shop from closing. It was so cute and wholesome. It also made me crave boba so much that I had boba tea for the next 4 days straight.

The Fall of Bradley Reed by Morgan Elizabeth is based on the meme that we all have an FBI agent looking at our searches. The main character in this book actually does and when she searches for a few dangerous things to take revenge on her ex, the agent stops her in person and they fall in love. It was a fun read.

1984 by George Orwell. This was hard to read. I hated that many chapters did not have paragraph breaks. The writing was so monotonous that my attention kept straying. It was a struggle to finish this book. The concept is nice but the writing and dull main character made this book meh for me.

Big Nick Energy by Morgan Elizabeth. After 1984, I needed a quick fun read so I picked this up. It was a pleasant read but didn't stand out much compared to the other books in the series.

The Hawthorne Legacy by Jennifer Lynn Barnes. I inhaled the first book in one sitting so I wasn't surprised when I did the same with this book. It was just as good as the first one. I'm glad it didn't end on a cliffhanger. The final book isn't out till November and I won't be able to wait with suspense so I'll take a break from the series until close to November.

Ick Factor by Morgan Elizabeth. Yes, I was reading all the books in the series, lol. This was entertaining and better than Big Nick Energy. The main character was fun to read about. I still like the first and third books of the series more though.

A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir. I was disappointed with this book. It was slow-paced and had too many POV shifts. The timeline would jump forwards and backward randomly during the POV shifts. I was so done with the book and wanted it to end sooner. The end was disappointing as well. Hopefully, the third book is better.

The Worst Wingman Ever by Abby Jimenez. This is a short and cute read. I liked how the "meet cute" happened and how the book ended. It was a one-time read, though.

The Exception to the Rule by Christina Lauren. This was not a one-time read! I've already read it several times. This is also a short and quick read but is SO FRICKING CUTE. The main characters exchanged emails for 10 years on Valentine's Days before meeting in person and it was EVERYTHING. I can't believe a 100-page book was so much better than many full-length novels. I highly recommend this.

I Hope This Doesn't Find You by Ann Liang. YA has not been my thing for a long time but I will eat my words with this book. It was so good! I loved the character growth. The academic-rivals-to-lovers trope was *chef's kiss.* It left me feeling so nice. I meant to write a review on it immediately but didn't get to it and I kind of forgot what I wanted to write about so... we'll see if that review happens.

Vera Wong's Unsolicited Advice for Murderers by Jesse Q. Sutanto. I loved the author's Dial A for Aunties and expected this to be a great read as well. I took it with me on a solo date to a café and it was perfect. The first book that I read start to finish in a café! I loved the main character and how I grew to like the other characters. The found family aspect was too good. I highly recommend it!

S. by Doug Dorst, J.J. Abrams. This book is very unique and its price reflects that. I baulked at buying a ₹1.6k book but was convinced by a friend. When I started to read it, I understood why it cost so much. It's a mystery book where you're invited to solve mysteries along with the main characters. Unfortunately, I read it when I didn't have enough brain space or energy to devote to it and couldn't fully enjoy it. I'll read it again someday.

Perfect on Paper by Sophie Gonzales. I've heard many praises of this book and expected to love it but.. eh. It wasn't a bad read but I couldn't love it much either. The romance did not feel great and the plot was all over the place. It felt like the other YA books that I read in the past few years that made me realize that the genre isn't for me anymore. It looks like I Hope This Doesn't Find You was a one-off case.

The Very Secret Society of Irregular Witches by Sangu Mandanna. After being disappointed by Perfect on Paper, I wanted a cosy book with a satisfying plot. Although I disliked Mandanna's The Celestial Trilogy, this was totally different and I gave it a go. It was so cute and wholesome and cosy <3 I loved it.

All-in-all, it was a great reading month. I enjoyed many of the books and loved a few books enough to push my friends to read them immediately.

Because of all the reading, I'm halfway through my 2024 reading goal! I'm currently at 50/100 books and I have no worries about reaching my goal.

words on the blog

First and foremost, this blog has crossed 1 million total views! Wild to think that the number reached 1M in a little over 3 years. I'm not sure what to do to celebrate it, do you have any ideas? Maybe a Q&A? If I liked cakes, I might have gotten one with 1M on it but I don't like sweets so that's off the plate 😂

Thank you for supporting my blog and helping it reach this milestone 🫶

I reduced my posting frequency just a bit in April. For the first 3 months of 2024, I was posting once every 6 days which led to 5 posts a month. It was hard to maintain, though. In April, I switched the frequency to once every 8 days. The extra two days feel like a luxury, haha. I'm able to maintain this schedule more easily.

In case you missed it, here's what I posted in April:

After a long time of saying that I wanted to broaden my content and write for myself instead, I finally started it! I wanted to share my comfort books and talk about them, so I did. I already have more such post ideas (one that is completely out of my niche too) so keep an eye out for them!

My newsletter turned 3 years old as well! My first newsletter went out on May 1st 2021. Wild that it's been three years since I started a random newsletter simply because I wanted to try it. And I kept up with it! It's honestly the easiest content I make because I let myself be absolutely random there.

illustration of 5 books tied together with a big brown bow

Onto the not-so-good news... Jetpack has identified my site as a commercial site and hence requires me to pay to use its stats. I didn't even know it had such a rule. Turns out that if a site fulfils any of the following 4 criteria, it is a commercial site: displays ads, sells services, promotes businesses, or accepts donations/sponsorships.

The funniest part is that the minimum tier assumes you have up to 100k views and costs 1k a month. My blog currently gets barely 15k views and that amount is more than what I pay for hosting! So yeah, I'm annoyed. I'm not going to pay for it. I'll just live without knowing my stats properly and breaking my head on Google Analytics once in a while, thanks.

Do I earn enough to pay for Jetpack every month through blog ads? Yes. However, I am currently in the process of removing ads from the site so I'm not banking on that. Once I remove ads, I'll probably ask Jetpack to verify my site again. I hope allowing coffee donations doesn't count towards a commercial site. Who knows, the rule is that adding affiliate links (even if you don't earn from them) means your site is commercial 🙄

Speaking of removing ads, remember me mentioning that I got the pop-up ads removed in last month's wrap up? I was curious to see how it would affect my stats and revenue so I kept an eye on them. My revenue decreased by 30% and my stats didn't change but became consistent. For the first time in months, my stats are not hitting 600 one day, dropping to 300 the next, and going up to 900 the day after that.

For the last 3 weeks, my stats have been consistently around ~560 a day and ~3.9k a week. I am convinced that it's because the pop-up ads were removed. The numbers started looking consistent within a week of removing them. After a lot of deliberation on what the blog means to me (which I wrote a bit about in my last newsletter), I decided to remove ads completely.

As I agreed to a contract with SheMedia, I must terminate it legally before removing the code. I reached out to the support team and found out that I can't terminate it before the term. I'm signed on for a year and have to complete it. We've gotta bear with the ads for a few more months. Meanwhile, I reduced ads to a minimum with what I have control over.

illustration of a person typing on a pink keyboard with a pink mouse kept next to the keyboard

I didn't spend much time blog hopping but what I did was enough to come across some great posts:

Lately, I've been increasingly drawn to content and media where girls and women stop being nice and do whatever they want. The Good Girl article above, Morgan Elizabeth's dedication in Tis the Season for Revenge "And for all the girls who were told they were “too much.” Let him go find less.", I Hope This Doesn't Find You subtly showing that being overly nice is useless and toxic in the long run, Nia's newsletter titled "Are you really gossiping or just talking?"—they're all flavours of the same thing.

I'm glad that we're all talking about and writing about these things more. The unsaid burden on and expectations from women aren't limited to how we look and what we cater to. It is also about how we're supposed to behave, when and whom we're supposed to smile at, and what we're supposed to talk about. We're told how we're supposed to be and how much we're supposed to be.

Anyway. There's a lot of good stuff being written by people now and I'm glad to have a platform to promote them.

words on my 2024 goals

As I said before, I'm halfway through my reading goal! It's going splendidly.

I ran only 2 days in the entire month. This is disappointing because I wanted to do much more in April. The silver lining is that the first time I ran in about a month, I hit a new 5k run time and I ran 6km the second time. I've decided that I'll be serious about running more often in May. I want to run at least 10 times.

My blogging goal is going splendidly too. I'm currently at 20/25 posts this year! Wild how I posted 24 times last year and I'll post just as much by June this year. It feels great to be blogging consistently.

No update on my other goals.

words on life & other stuff

Y'all, my city is going through an unprecedented summer. It's never been this hot or humid my entire life. Just a few years ago, it used to rain randomly even during summer. There was a running joke that Bangalore has a consistent season of cool winds and random rains. We carried umbrellas all year.

This summer, it has rained ONCE and that too only for 3 minutes. Those 3 minutes felt like such a huge respite and it was the reason I went for my first run in April. I used to be the girl who, as soon as it rained, would curl up with a book and tea. Now, I'm a person who goes for a run to take advantage of the weather. Who knew that I'd change so much?

Speaking of, the reason I haven't been running much is because of the weather. Running is a struggle when it's so hot and humid. The 8 AM sunlight is strong enough that I'm worried about my skin. I don't sleep well because it's randomly hot at night and mosquitoes annoy me so I don't wake up early. By the time I wake up—even if it's only an hour after sunrise—it feels too sunny and hot to step out.

I've got to get over it, though. The way I wake up and go to play badminton anyway, I should go for runs. 10 runs in May is my short-term goal. 10 times in 31 days should be reasonable, hopefully, I can do it. I hope that it rains too.

illustration of a person holding up japanese matcha boba tea

While I haven't been running, I have been active in other ways. Remember how I tried to work out every day in March and almost made it by exercising for 30/31 days? And how I was so tired every day that I wanted to rest a lot in April? Well. Guess who worked out every day in April 🙂

It was possible only because I walked many of the days. On holidays or weekends, if I returned early from something and had some time, I walked. My commute to and from work easily makes 30 minutes of walking. Whenever I didn't hit my activity goals, I easily walked for a while in my apartment and completed them.

I played badminton for 17 days, ran for 2 days, and walked for the remaining 11 days. Sometimes, I played and walked because I couldn't avoid my work commute after playing. The above walk number doesn't include the double exercise days.

As it does every month, my Fitness app gave me an April activity challenge. It said that I averaged 55 minutes of exercise in March so my April goal would be to exercise 55 minutes on at least 14 days. I was like, no way. I honestly don't exercise that much at once and don't know how I reached that average.

However, I reached it pretty easily in April. I completed it on the 19th and was surprised to see the congratulatory notification. I did not realize how active I've been daily until that notification.

It feels good to be active, though. I'm surprised that I was able to exercise in some form daily without being totally exhausted by the end of each day like in March. Maybe my body got used to it? Or I've been better because I've been walking more instead of running?

Not only am I not exhausted, but I have enough energy to do other things at home at the end of the day as well. I work out in the mornings, go to work all day and reach home at 8 PM, and I could still do things after 8 PM on many days. Today, I exercised for 83 minutes in total (badminton + commute) and I still have the energy to blog! I'm so surprised haha.

It is not sustainable, though. I'll most probably take a few days off in the next week or so to rest and prevent burnout. Good to know that my energy and stamina levels have improved so much, though.

illustration of a person blogging in a cafe with an open book next to them and a cup of coffee

As I don't have Instagram or Twitter on my phone, I don't have anything to mindlessly scroll through. Sometimes, I feel like just spending time on something random and not using my brain. One day, I installed Cats&Soup because it looked cute and I was hooked.

If you don't know it, it's a cute mobile game where you have a bunch of cats that cook food. You can sell the soups, juices, and grilled dishes and make money. Then, you can use the money to expand your cat team, buy them cute outfits, build recreational areas for them, etc. The game is so popular that it has its own subreddit!

Cats&Soup has such a good UI that I couldn't stop admiring it. After a while, it takes up a lot of battery because of the thousand different movements happening on screen at once. I had such a good time dressing up my cats, feeding them, and furnishing their rooms. Sometimes, I would just stare at a car squeezing lemons or chopping carrots. It was cute and soothing. I easily lost a lot of my time in it.

After growing to a team of 32 cats in ~4 weeks, I finally uninstalled it. I started getting bored and the amount of work to build new workstations started becoming too much. In a currency that goes from a to z—where 1000a is 1b and so on—I was already at s. I built a hot spring area where the cats looked so cute taking breaks. There was a tea party place that I could build but it was sooo far off that I didn't care about it much.

So. Yeah. I finally uninstalled it after weeks of spending a ton of time on it. I will remember it fondly, though.

Speaking of uninstalling, it's been almost a year since I uninstalled Instagram. I can't believe that I've not had it on my phone for 10 months other than random 5-minute installs to promote a blog post. For some reason, I felt uneasy that so much of my face was on Instagram recently. I removed all my photos to feel better. But after a couple of weeks, I temporarily deactivated my thewordyhabitat Instagram account. I feel much better now.

I'm not sure if it's because I suddenly don't want to be as visible on social media for people to judge, or because one dude has been messaging me constantly for months despite me not opening his messages, or something else. After deactivating the account, I thought about whether I should permanently delete it.

For now, I'm considering activating the account after a few weeks, cleaning up the followers, and making it private. I don't want to lose all the memories I have on it. However, I also don't want to fully return any time soon. We'll see. Maybe I'll change my mind later.

It feels different to be so off social media while everyone around me is chronically on it. When my friends suddenly exclaim about something in the group chat, I have to figure out that it's due to an Instagram post that I missed. Sometimes, they still send me reels on Instagram, forgetting that I don't use it. I see strangers around me on the app during my commute while I look around and don't stare at my phone.

Sometimes, it feels like I'm living a different life, haha. It feels lonely at times but it also feels so good. I find social media so unnecessary now (except Snapchat because that's how my friends share and talk a lot). It is almost viewed as an unchangeable part of life by the younger generations but it is seriously not.

I'll probably make a post on being away from social media when it's been a year since. I have a lot to say about it.

illustration of a person with short hair holding two books and looking away

In other news, my badminton group hosted a tournament within ourselves! 25 people from my group participated. We made teams of 2 (with one person in two teams because of the odd number), split into two groups, and played a bunch.

I am humble enough to admit that I am not a great player amongst the great players in the group and won only 2/5 matches even though I had a good partner. The expectation and seriousness got to me. I find playing without high stakes more fun and less stressful. Although I've improved in the past few months, I still have a lot to improve on.

The funny part is that I'm the only woman in the group. So we had 12 men's doubles teams and one mixed doubles. Yes, there needs to be more diversity in the group haha. I don't feel weird or unsafe playing with the group, though. Everyone's nice and fun.

I was in charge of the prizes, medals, and certificates for the competition. It added a bunch to my plate and lowkey made me annoyed a few times because it felt like I was working after work hours. But it was a good experience. I didn't know that good trophies came at such low prices before. I now know how to budget for such things. Every day, we learn something new.

Through the tournament, I also finally got to know the names of most of the team members. Although I've been playing with them often, we don't really go around introducing ourselves and WhatsApp names are not always accurate. (Although, they knew my name easily because I'm the only girl!) It was good to finally know the names of the people I regularly play with.

We also had elections so I voted and then treated myself to a solo date after a long time. I went to a nearby café that I knew wouldn't be busy. Reading Vera Wong's Unsolicited Advice for Murderers while having good food and good drinks (the Iced Matcha Tea was SO GOOD) made for a great day.

Overall, April was a mix of a lot of different things but I am content. I took days off to rest so that I didn't become exhausted. I made many fond memories with the people I love and by myself. I hope that May is good to me too.

chat with me!

Well, this post is officially above 4k words. Thanks for sticking with me through my rambles, I hope you enjoyed them 🫶

How was your April? What did you do? What did you read? Did you play any random games? Were there any memories that you will remember fondly? Tell me in the comments!

photo of Sumedha

Sumedha spends her days reading books, bingeing Kdramas, drawing illustrations, and blogging while listening to Lo-Fi music. Read more ➔

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  • theorangutanlibrarian says:

    wow amazing achievement!!! Congratulations!!

    Reply ➔
  • Erin says:

    Congrats on hitting 1M views! It is such a huge milestone! Congrats again! xx


    Reply ➔
  • Smelly Socks and Garden Peas says:

    Wow congratulations

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  • Sophia (Bookwyrming Thoughts) says:

    THERE'S A BOOK ABOUT BOBA?!?!!??! Hold on, let me add this to my TBR like right now because I NEED it.

    Congrats on hitting a million views! That's so exciting and I love this for you. 🥺

    TBH I think it's BS that Jetpack puts those of us with affiliate links or even KoFi as commercial even if we earn nothing from it (and even if it's subtle). Stats transparency post is going to be so much fun when the year ends even if I do find a good alternative that's more friendly than GA4 (and without costing anything). 😂

    It's definitely warmer earlier in the yar now, even here. It's not too hot in terms of temps but since my area is pretty swampy, the humidity is high and therefore it feels like I'm melting into the concrete.

    I hope May will be good to you!

    Reply ➔
    • sumedha @ the wordy habitat says:

      thank you so much, Soph!
      we already spoke about the jetpack nonsense on DMs haha but yes it is BS.

      melting into the concrete sounds about right. it finally started raining a bit here and i'm so glad i could cry lol.

      Reply ➔
  • abookowlscorner says:

    Congrats on the 1M milestone and on your excellent reading month! All the hard work you've been putting into the blog more than deserves the appreciation, and I'm still in awe of how you manage to read so much in addition to writing such beautifully wholesome monstrous posts! 🤩

    Also, coincidentally, we (unfortunately) agree on the two books on this list that we've both read - I wasn't blown away by 1984 or A Torch Against the Night, either... However, I did see a stage adaptation of 1984 once that was beyond amazing, so I really do think it's the writing style that contributed to the majority of its tediousness.

    And gosh, those jetpack issues seem to become more traumatizing every time you report back on them 🙈🙈 I'm so sorry they've been giving you so much trouble! Hope it all works out!🤞🏻

    Also, heavily relating to your weather struggles! I was burning to death one day and freezing the next, so I admire you even more for sticking to regular exercise despite the heat. The truly hot days here basically consisted of me lazing around on a picknick blanket with a book and refusing to move at all...

    Anyway, I hope you have a great May! Thanks so much for sharing my post, and if you write those social media reminiscions, I'll be totally here for it!

    Reply ➔
    • sumedha @ the wordy habitat says:

      thank you, Naemi!!
      i'm considering giving up jetpack at this point tbh. my only concern is losing the WP RSS feed and subscribers. otherwise, there's nothing unique to jetpack.
      it finally started raining here! it rained for like 30 minutes a day for two days, skipped a day, and it's raining now again! i'm so glad i could cry lol.
      i hope you have a great may as well! oh i'm already lowkey drafting it in my mind. i think i'll wait for a year to pass so i can do "a year without social media"? that will give me enough time to actually write it too haha.

      Reply ➔
  • Charvi says:

    Wow, so many updates!
    First off, huge congratulations on 1M views that's insane!!
    I'm glad that you've been going strong with your reading goals. Oh my god the summers are truly terrible. I went to Delhi for a weekend and fell sick because of the heat, it's just absolutely insane everywhere. It's also amazing how you're keeping up your physical activity! I just started a new gym so I'm hoping to be regular this time. Last time I didn't like my trainer plus the environment wasn't great. It's a bit better this time so that should keep me going.
    I didn't realise you're off instagram now. But that's okay, you should do what you feel like. Anyway Instagram is just increasingly erratic and hard to maintain so I just post whatever and whenever without caring for the stats, haha.
    I hope your May is even better <3

    Reply ➔
    • sumedha @ the wordy habitat says:

      thank you so much, Charvi!!
      won't lie, keeping up with work outs in this heat is a struggle and i'm surprised i've kept up with it. i hope your new gym is great for you!
      yeahh. i will return at some point but with much lesser activity and a private account.
      i hope may is treating you well 🙂

      Reply ➔
  • meltotheany says:

    your april was amazing! and proud of you for all things (and working out every day!) but i am so sorry about the ad problem - that is so not cool. but congrats on 1m!! and youre officially the reason i am finally going to pick up i hope this doesn't find you by ann liang! i hope may is filled with happy days and happy reading, friend!

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  • aimee can read says:

    Sumedha, what a beautiful post! (I love the formatting and your way with words is just... *chef's kiss*!)

    I'm a bit scared that you didn't like the An Ember in the Ashes sequel, because I told myself that I was FINALLY going to read book one this year after putting it off for AGES. T_T For I Hope This Doesn't Find You... yes. I haven't been having the best luck with YA contemporary romances either, but this was just so cute, and I'm glad you enjoyed. <3

    I also constantly feel the urge to deactivate my social media accounts bc I am incredibly socially anxious. I do really enjoy taking and editing bookish photos, so I'm trying my best to power through despite the anxiety. Same goes for my personal account -- I also had this dude constantly messaging me, which led to me finally privating my account after years of having it public. Men really have insane guts (and I'm saying this in a degratory way).

    I hope May willl be extremely kind to you. 🙂

    Reply ➔
    • sumedha @ the wordy habitat says:

      thank you so much, aimee!
      my friend is still pushing me to read the series so i'll give it a shot and let you know how it goes! so far, book 3 is meh but i'm only 4 chapters in.
      also, yes. men do have insane guts. i keep thinking "why are men." the question ends there.
      i hope may is great to you too 🙂

      Reply ➔
  • lovemichl says:

    Hi Sumedha,
    Congratulations! One million views is an amazing accomplishment! I hope you do something fun to celebrate. I look forward to reading your posts, especially the book reviews.
    Keep being wordy,

    Reply ➔
  • Books Teacup and Reviews says:

    congrats on 1M milestone. I also don't like Jetpack making this new rule of not showing stats. Why does it care we have ads or not! I'm not removing Ads as it's only source of income for me. I have job now but I don't know how long that will work for me. I still can see stats in phone app so that's fine for now. I also loved the Exception to Rule. It was the best in entire series. I hope you get more time for workout in May. Wish you a great May.

    Reply ➔