Indie Interview: Geetanjali Mukherjee

Indie Interview: Geetanjali Mukherjee

Copy of APPROACH BOOK BLOGGERS

A few months ago I had the big pleasure to read and review Anyone Can Get An A+: How To Beat Procrastination, Reduce Stress and Improve Your Grades by Geetanjali Mukherjee (Review). As a student myself I was excited especially about the “How to Beat Procrastination” part, and of course about all the newest tecniques applied to neuroscience to reduce stress and reach your full potential.

Ms. Mukherjee is a young self-published author, with six books published and a very promising career. For the Indie Interview she tells us about her work, her audience, cover designing, book marketing and how to overcome the fear of failure.


1. First a little about you. Who is Geetanjali Mukherjee?

Wow, difficult question right off the bat! I am not sure how to answer philosophically, but in practical terms, I am the author of six books of varying lengths, all non­fiction at the moment, hoping to use my love of books and writing to create books that touch readers and in some small way, make their lives a little better. I also have an academic research background, with degrees in law and public policy.

2. Your book “Anyone Can Get An A+: How To Beat Procrastination, Reduce Stress and Improve Your Grades” is a guide meant to help students. What moved you to write a self-­help guide for that audience?

I actually wanted to write a book for students since I was in high school. I was always a good student, but I went through this phase where I really struggled in school. And when I turned that time around, eventually getting the highest grades that year, I wanted to share the lessons I had learnt, especially because I saw many students who did poorly adopt this attitude of “I am just not smart enough”.

The reason I finally sat down and wrote this book last year was because I had been reading a lot of books on how the brain works and how we learn, and I was fascinated by the idea that anyone can learn anything if they approach it in the right way, and inherent “intelligence” or “ability” play a much smaller role than we usually ascribe to it.

3.Cover design can be tough for a lot of authors, and while getting it done by professionals may be the easiest option, it can also be quite expensive. You designed your own cover, what lead you to choose the colours, the font etc…?

Yes, cover design is quite difficult, and I am constantly trying to learn and improve. The current version of the cover is my second major redesign actually. I knew that I wanted a bright color, and somehow I wanted to include yellow in some form from the beginning. Other than that I researched other covers in my genre, tried many different options, and then finally something clicked and I finalized this cover. The advantage of indie publishing of course is that you get to change things, so I might change this again in the future, but for now I am happy with it.

 

4.Do you proofread your own book or do you get someone to do that for you?

I actually have done editing and proofreading professionally, for organizations and also as a freelancer, so I have a fair bit of experience. I am one of those people who read newspapers or books published by major publishers and find all the typos, which then ruins my reading experience! I do most of my proofreading myself, but then I get some family members to read through and point out any errors.

 

5. You have your book ready, now it’s time for marketing. How do you get the attention you need?

I think marketing is an ongoing endeavor, and it is never quite done. My main strategy is to get reviews, and get people to discover the book and the message. I also believe in content marketing, and have recently launched a blog dedicated to the ideas from this book. I have also done several promotions, with different levels of success. Earlier this year my book hit the #1 spot on Amazon for its genre, albeit only for a few days. The book has also been on 7 other bestseller lists on Amazon. However, it doesn’t get any easier, and one month it could be doing well, and the next month nothing happens.

 

6.Social Media for marketing. Does it work for you? Which social is the best?

I heard somewhere that you should pick the social media site that you like and focus on that. I am not sure how helpful that is, but I believe in that. My own favorite isTwitter, mainly because I enjoy it, there are lots of writers on there, and it doesn’t feel so intimidating to me. I don’t really know if it sells books, but it has other advantages. I think Facebook is obviously the big one for everyone, but it can be tricky and I think I have a lot more to learn. I have recently fallen majorly in love with Pinterest, and again, I don’t know if it helps me with my marketing, but it is a way for me to show my personality and share my own interests with others, and hopefully engage genuinely with potential readers.

 

 

7.Do you have a strategy for finding reviewers? One is better than no one or are you picky about who you ask to review your work?

Well in some ways I am not very picky, in that anyone who wants to review my work is welcome. But I am choosy about who I reach out to, mainly because I try to focus my energy on asking those who are more inclined to read my type of book. I like reaching out to bloggers mainly because although they are swamped and it can take some time to get a review, they are always thoughtful and comprehensive and I think readers trust book bloggers more than someone who just may be a friend of the author.

I believe in the elbow grease method, and I have reached out to many, many more reviewers than have responded or shown interest, and then a smaller subset of that number have actually written reviews. This is definitely a game for the patient and perseverant. In terms of specifics, I reached out to the top reviewers on Amazon, as well as those on Indieview and The Book Blogger List.

 

8.Back to your book. One of my favourite chapters is called “Adopting the Right Attitude”, where you talk about the importance of developing the right mindset. What’s your inspiration? What keeps you positive?

Thanks, that’s actually my favorite chapter too, because I think it’s the advice I need personally the most. I often think that we write what we need to learn ourselves. Here’s the thing ­ it’s not possible to stay positive all the time, and I have had my share of feeling overwhelmed and defeated at many different junctures. I guess my coping strategy is to have a lot of different ways to inspire and pick myself up, so I try not to wallow in those negative feelings for too long.

I read a lot of self­help and motivation books; I have been reading self­help books since I was 9 or 10 years old, and I love those movies where the team wins the trophy at the end. I love the idea of going from failure to success. I am lucky in that my parents are very supportive, always there to give me a pep talk if I need one. Some of the advice in the book in fact came from things they told me over the years.

My biggest inspiration is my mentor in life, Dr. Daisaku Ikeda, who is a Buddhist, philosopher and educator. He has written a lot about character, and success, and especially given a lot of advice to young people, and I try to follow his advice and share it with others. In fact, I just read this quote this morning: “Simply deciding from the outset that you’re just not good enough, without making any effort, is nothing but escapism. Each of us is different, but we are all alike in that we possess tremendous potential. The truth is, you can do almost anything if you set your mind to it. The worst thing is to lose confidence in yourself and limit your own potential.”

When I feel defeated or negative, I read his guidance ­ there is always something that helps me to look at my problem or challenge in a positive or hopeful manner. That, and my daily practice of Buddhism keeps me positive and inspired.

 

9.A big obstacle ­for both students and writers­ is searching for perfection, or “fear of failure”. How do you ­as a young writer­ overcome that?

This is actually a huge issue for me, and lately I have been really trying to work on this. My need for perfectionism actually permeates every aspect of my life, and is far more insidious than I realize. I don’t have any magic solutions, but there are a few things I try to do to minimize its effects.

Firstly, I use deadlines to ensure that things get done and sent out. Anyone Can Get An A+ was actually on pre­order and I knew there would be real consequences to my not completing it (I was days away from the deadline and still needed to finalize a couple of chapters). I just had to get it done and sent off, and actually the chapters that I had to rush turned out to be my favorite ones.

I also try to remind myself that if I don’t get it done, I won’t be able to move on and work on the next project. Earlier I would just abandon one project and go on to the next shiny one, or if I was feeling stuck just let it sit for months on end (who am I kidding, I still do that sometimes!) But nowadays, more often, I just decide that I will complete this project and put it out there, and so I have to complete it, no matter how much I want to stall. I can be pretty stubborn, so I try to channel my obstinacy towards finishing something and not getting stuck in trying to be perfect.

Finally, I surround myself with inspiration. I go to bookshops and libraries and see the rows of books and try to remind myself that if all these authors could finish their book, so can I. I also listen to podcasts and read blogs of successful authors, who are usually very pragmatic about how they view their work. If nothing works, I read bits from some of my favorite writing books. A combination of the above usually does the trick, at least for that day. And the next day or week or month, I go through the whole cycle again!

 


Bio:

Geetanjali Mukherjee grew up in India, spending her early years in Kolkata, and then attending high school in New Delhi. She attended the University of Warwick, United Kingdom, to read law as an undergraduate. She went on to earn a Masters’ in Public Administration with a concentration in human rights and social justice from Cornell University, USA.

Geetanjali is the author of six books, and currently lives in Singapore. Her latest book Anyone Can Get An A+: How To Beat Procrastination, Reduce Stress and Improve Your Grades is available at all major retailers. In her spare time, she reads as many books as possible, watches romantic mystery movies and tries to avoid cooking.

 


You can find Geetanjali here:

Blog: geetanjalimukherjee.blogspot.com

Twitter: @geetumuk

Facebookfacebook.com/geetumuk

Google+: Geetanjali Mukherjee

Pinterest: @geetumuk

Goodreads: Author’s Page

 


 

Thank you Geetanjali for taking the time to answer these questions and for giving us the chance to enter your creative space! Thanks for sharing your experience with us!

Check out Geetanjali’s book review at Study Struggles: Strategies That Work and College Starter Kit.

 


#indiecorner

#indieinterview

 

The Simple Life Comes At A Cost

The Simple Life Comes At A Cost

My Million Dollar Donkey: The Price I Paid to Live Simply, by Ginny East

Feeling stuck is a sign that it’s time to make a change. And that’s exactly what Ginny and her husband Mark did. One day they both decided to cash in their life and reinvent their world; packing up their three kids and a dog, they said goodbye to a successful dance studio business, and moved to 50 acres of land in northwest Georgia.

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In My Million-Dollar Donkey: The Price I Paid for Wanting to Live Simply, Ginny honestly—with both the optimism of the inexperienced and the wisdom of the exhausted—recounts the four years she and her family gave to their incredibly complex attempt to forge a life that would lead to more poignant and heartfelt relationships with the environment, community and, most importantly, one another. 
Eventually, Ginny and Mark are forced to deal with an even more difficult challenge: will the dream of simple living drive them apart?

Today Ginny is the director of Heartwood Retreat Center and the founder of the Heartwood Writers and Artists collective, a community and school that offers retreats, trainings and writing opportunities for ongoing growth and development of writers. After the divorce she set to the work of reinventing herself, and armed with the lessons of the birds, the bees and her million dollar donkey to guide the way, she dedicated to her own artistic passions, and her strong desire to be of service to others.

There is a lot about My Million Dollar Donkey that I particularly enjoyed:  the   writing style -fluid and engaging- but mostly Ginny’s candor and honesty about her experience. This book is splendid and carries a message so powerful that’s impossible to ignore: Ginny’s story is about love, family, faith and resilience. Because even if sometimes new beginnings can feel like endings and life seldom offers smooth and simple paths -in the end- you don’t have to have it all figured out to move forward and become the best version of yourself.

My Million Dollar Donkey: The Price I Paid For Wanting To Live Simply is the ultimate journey of a woman who wasn’t afraid to try, fail and try again: a wonderful read that I wholeheartedly recommend to anybody.

Follow Ginny’s lovely blog @heartofginny.net


Get your own copy now! On Amazon.com (Book) – (eBook)

Books of the Week

Books of the Week

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Happy Independence Day WeekEnd!! I love the fourth of July… delicious barbecues, friends and a good book, of course! Wherever you are, whatever you’re doing, play it safe and enjoy the fourth! … Here’s my best books of the week.

Ready for college? I have the perfect College Starter Kit ready for you, the best books that will help you managing your finances, writing the perfect paper and becoming the best student ever.

Did it ever cross your mind to fake your death? Too much work -if you ask me, and Playing Dead  will show you how this is easier said than done. #NotAGoodIdea

Speaking of hashtags, Babe Walker vs Suburbia in American Babe. Funny, irreverent and absolutely enjoyable.

That’s not how we do it here and a mob of meerkats will teach you about management and leadership. Not just a fable, but an inspiring lesson for every entrepreneur out there.

The Indie Corner is officially open! Interviews, tips and tricks and much more.. for indie authors! Join us! #indiecorner

Social media addicts in search for inspiration try this:  Post this book and explore your inner artist with creative prompts to doodle, color, collage, pictures. And don’t forget to #PostThisBook!

This is all for now! Enjoy your day, have fun and celebrate the fourth! Happy reading!!

The Indie Corner

The Indie Corner

The Indie Corner

 

 Welcome to The Indie Corner!

As you may know, The Serial Reader (aka me) is open to receiving Advance Reading Copies and Review Copies of books. Soon after I’ve been listed on The Indie View, I got a huge amount of authors reaching me out asking for a shout-out on major platforms as Amazon, Goodreads, Twitter and every other “book-friendly” websites. As a matter of fact, I am overwhelmed with requests!

To be testimony of such creativity is definitely the best part of being a book blogger! If you are an Indie author, just let me congratulate you! I admire your talent and courage to go after your dream to become a writer!

Now, what’s The Indie Corner?

The indie Corner is a new section here on The Serial Reader where everyone can learn from each other and share their own experience in the publishing world. There will be interviews, tips and tricks and everything else you might want to know about being an independent writer.

I am not a professional reviewer. I am an avid reader and a newbie blogger. I love working with Indie authors, share my thoughts and help them promoting their work in the most effective way, and it is my sincere desire that The Indie Corner can serve as a catalyst to meaningful discussions about the perks of being a writer.

As always, feel free to comment and share your thoughts….and if you are an Indie author I really hope to see you around!

Welcome to The Indie Corner!

#indiecorner

 


The Serial Reader’s  Review Request Policy

Going to College? Here’s the Starter Kit

Going to College? Here’s the Starter Kit

COLLEGE

 

High school: been there, done that! Now you’re ready for College!

Today I want to share with you my starter kit, just the best books (and a few other online resources) that you could use during your college years.

How to Graduate Debt Free, by Kristina Ellis

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Going to college can be a huge financial commitment. Kristina Ellis -author of Confessions of a Scholarship Winner will share the best strategies to pay for college and  #notgoingbroke!

Pre-college actions, financial aids, scholarships, the best schools and majors that pay off, and  everything else you need to know to make your college experience worth it.

 

Get your own copy now! On Amazon.com (Book) – (eBook)


Anyone Can Get An A+. How To Beat Procrastination, Reduce Stress and Improve Your Grades, by Geetanjali Mukherjee

Study Book (9)

Anyone Can Get An A+ is a down-to-earth, honest guide for students on how to maximize their learning and get good grades.

Based on research on principles of psychology and neuroscience,  Anyone Can Get An A+ will teach you:

  • how to prepare for exams
  • how to overcome procrastination and use your time wisely
  • how to write a paper painlessly
  • how to organize your time and study schedule

and many other useful tips and techniques.

Geetanjali Mukherjee is not selling you the magic pill, but strategies that work!

 

Get your own copy now! On Amazon.com (Book) – (eBook)


Student’s Guide to Writing College Papers, by Kate L. Turabian

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Writing your first college paper can turn into a nerve wracking experience, but there are some key skills that will facilitate the process. This book is a must-have!

Student’s Guide to Writing College Papers is organized into three sections that lead students through the process of developing and revising a paper. Part 1, “Writing Your Paper,” guides students through the research process with discussions of choosing and developing a topic, validating sources, planning arguments, writing drafts, avoiding plagiarism, and presenting evidence in tables and figures.  Part 2, “Citing Sources,” begins with a succinct introduction to why citation is important and includes sections on the three major styles students might encounter in their work.  Part 3, “Style,” covers all matters of style important to writers of college papers, from punctuation to spelling to presenting titles, names, and numbers.

 

Get your own copy now! On Amazon.com (Book) – (eBook)


Campus Politics. What Everyone Needs To Know by Konathan Zimmerman

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Universities are usually considered bastions of the free exchange of ideas, but a recent tide of demonstrations across college campuses has called this belief into question, and with serious consequences. Such a wave of protests hasn’t been seen since the campus free speech demonstrations of the 1960s.

In Campus Politics: What Everyone Needs to Know®, Jonathan Zimmerman breaks down the dynamics of what is actually driving this recent wave of discontent. After setting recent events in the context of the last half-century of free speech campus movements, Zimmerman looks at the political beliefs of the US professorate and students. He follows this with chapters on political correctness; debates over the contested curriculum; admissions, faculty hires, and affirmative action; policing students; academic freedom and censorship; in loco parentis administration; and the psychology behind demands for “trigger warnings” and “safe spaces.” He concludes with the question of how to best balance the goals of social and racial justice with the commitment to free speech.

 

Get your own copy now! On Amazon.com (Book)


The Roommate Book, by Becky Simpson

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Author/illustrator and expert roommate Becky Simpson uses her optimism and sense of humor to highlight the advantages of having a roommate and how best to enjoy these shared years of modular furniture, crockpot meals, and binge-watching Netflix. For high school graduates going off to college and new adults leaving college, this book is essential.

The Roommate Book is all about celebrating this short season of life. It’s the time between parental curfews and settling down with a significant other. It is for the single and proud, silly and crafty, witty and thrifty. It’s a non-serious look at how to live with a friend (or total stranger). Nuggets of wisdom are included, but so are comical pie charts, hypotheticals, illustrations, and brief essays. This book invites passersby to thumb through and stay a while.

Get your own copy now! On Amazon.com (Book) – (eBook)


Blogs You Should Follow

I also want to share with you some of my absolutely favourite blogs for college students:

  • Broke Millennialsstarted by Erin, who found herself in this situation at 25 after she graduated from college.  Now, she is learning how to be financially literate and is sharing what she learned with others.  The great thing about her site is that she tells funny stories and is pretty sneaky about getting financial lessons in.
  • Making Sense of Centsfounded by Michelle, who shares her story about graduating with almost $40,000 in student loan debt, and then side hustling her way to paying it off. Her story is incredibly inspiring, both on where she has been with her finances, as well as what she is doing today to support herself.
  • TeensGotCentscreated by Eva Baker to inspire other teens to make savvy financial choices early on in life, and that being smart about your money can be fun as well. On her site, you will find resources for high school students and college bound teens – from saving for college, to finding volunteer work to beef up your college applications, to fun ways to save money.

 

News – Education

Attending College is a terrific opportunity! Learn as much as you can, build good contacts and enjoy!

Are You A Self-Help Addict?

Are You A Self-Help Addict?

Don’t Get A Job, Live Your Dream, by Scott Haug

Did you know that the self-help represents a $11 billion per year industry in the U.S. alone?

Surprised? Well, don’t be! Self-improvement is the goal of everyone in some ways, we all strive to make tomorrow a little bit better than today; we want to be more productive, more focused, we want the perfect life/job/partner and we are not ashamed of spending up to $500 million  on personal development products every year.

Motivational speakers, inspirational websites, personal coaching, books and seminars.. everything you want. Or need.

I will never get tired of self-help books, I love reading them and becoming inspired by other people stories. Don’t Get a Job, Live Your Dream by Scott Haug is the latest addition to my collection.41d49rY+4BL.jpg

At age 22 Scott -fresh out of college and with a new job- felt trapped. A good job and the new acquired inpependency could’t relieve the huge discomfort he felt everyday after work. No matter how he tried, still the unpleasant feeling made him unhappy. So, one day he decided to quit his job, he found himself a new one and he was finally ready and confident for a fresh start. But after moving his life across the country and settling in a new location, he got a call..the new job was cancelled for budget reasons.

Well, if this is not a major set-back then I don’t know what it is! The impressive thing was Scott’s reaction, he quickly regain his composure and start figuring out the next step. And this book is about how he made it happen.

Don’t Get a Job, Live Your Dream contains 7 important reasons that will help convince you to live the life you truly want to live. Each chapter explains some strategies and useful tips for changing your life:

  1. Be an Inspiration
  2. Create Extraordinary
  3. Live a Life of Meaning
  4. Eliminate Future Regrets
  5. Exercise your Right to be Free
  6. Use the Last of the Human Freedoms
  7. Act on the Only Chance You Have

 

What sold me Scott’s book was its different approach. For once a self-help book which is not promoting to be aggressive, but more self-conscious, understanding that we all have fears, but we also have the courage and the power to overcome them.

If you feel stuck or trapped in a life that doesn’t belongs to you, just step back and listen to your heart…we already have all the answers we need.

 


Get your own copy now! On Amazon.com (eBook)

Study Struggle: Strategies That Work

Study Struggle: Strategies That Work

Anyone Can Get An A+: How To Beat Procrastination, Reduce Stress and Improve Your Grades, by Geetanjali Mukherjee

Anyone Can Get An A+ is a down-to-earth, honest guide for students on how to maximize their learniStudy Book (9)ng and get good grades.

We heard that already, haven’t we?

The Self-Help industry annually outpours tons of books with title such this, and promises that who follows the prescribed steps will become a straight As student in no time.

We all know that’s not entirely true. Sef-help must take some of the blame for fostering the illusion that academic success comes  easy. Let’s get down to earth folks.. studying in not easy, but difficult. Discipline and perseverance are qualities that need constant practice.. sometimes you feel frustrated and tell yourself things like “I can’ do that” or “I am too stupid to learn“.

This book is different. And I’ll tell you why: it’s honest.

Based on research on principles of psychology and neuroscience,  Anyone Can Get An A+ will teach you:

  • how to prepare for exams
  • how to overcome procrastination and use your time wisely
  • how to write a paper painlessly
  • how to organize your time and study schedule

and many other useful tips and techniques.

Geetanjali Mukherjee is not selling you the magic pill, but strategies that work!

 


Get your own copy now! On Amazon.com (Book) – (eBook)

How to Ace Your Job Interview

How to Ace Your Job Interview

101 Job Interview Questions You’ll Never Fear Again, by James Reed

You got it! Your job interview is scheduled! Now what? How do you prepare for an interview? Of the thousands of questions a potential employer might ask, which ones will they ask? cover81432-medium.pngAnd what should you say?

After extensive research among hundreds of interviewers and directly form top interviewers and recruiters, James Reed reveals the secrets to ace at job interviews.

Powerful preparation techniques, useful tips on how to answer the most common questions and – above all – how to adopt a winning mindset, one that will help you stand out from the pack and land the job.

James Reed reveals what interviewers are really asking and gives you the best possible answers:

  • Classic Questions

Tell me about yourself –  How do you deal with stress and failure?

  • Career Goal Questions

What motivates you? –  What’s your ideal work environment?

  • Character Questions

What are your core values? – Your boss overslept and is now late for a client meeting. He ask you to lie for him telling the client he is stuck in traffic. What do you do?

  • Competency Questions

Why are you a good fit for the company? – How have you improved in the last year?

  • Curveball and Creativity Questions

If you were an animal what would you be? – Aren’t you overqualified for this job?

and last but not least,

  • Parting Shots

Everything you need to say / do when the interviewer invites you to ask questions of your own.

101 Job Interview Questions You’ll Never Fear Again is an extremely useful book that will help you get the job of your dreams.

Keep  the negative thinking in check, embrace your nerves and… go get ’em, champ!


Get your own copy now! On Amazon.com (Book) – (eBook)

Grit Will Make You a Winner

Grit Will Make You a Winner

Grit. The Power of Passion and Perseverance, by Angela Duckworth

Everyone is striving for success. We want the best. We want it all: top education, good job, family, friends and lots of money. We have goals. But, unfortunately, being goals oriented and ambitiousUnknown-1 doesn’t equip us to deal with the reality that sometimes -despite one’s efforts- things don’t work out as planned.

Suddenly we are stuck, lost. We try, but we fail. What happens is that we have to make a choice: keep going or just quit.

In this must-read book, pioneering psychologist Angela Duckworth shows parents, educators, athletes, students, and business people that the secret to outstanding achievement is not talent but a focused persistence called “grit.”

To be gritty is to keep putting one foot in front of the other. To be gritty is to invest days/weeks/years in challenging practice. To be gritty is fall down seven times, and rise eight.

This book has been about the unique power of grit, because what we accomplish in life mostly depends on our passion and perseverance. Grit will make you a winner.


Get your copy now. On Amazon.com (Book) – (eBook)

College Education: Is It Still Worth It?

College Education: Is It Still Worth It?

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We are talking about education at the Serial Readers Book Club on Goodreads.

While reading Academically Adrift: Limited Learning on College Campuses by Richard Arum and Josipa Roksa I questioned myself if society and parents around the world aren’t making a huge mistake by encouraging every student to get a college education.

Young people -fresh out of college or not- are actually struggling to adapt to a certain kind of economy that isn’t ready (or doesn’t want to) include them at this time.

Are colleges really preparing you for the job market? are they providing you the skills you need to succeed in the workforce? Or are they just burying you with huge debt?

According to Richard Vedder -economist from Ohio University- “only five of the top 25 fastest growing occupations over the next 10 years require any sort of college degree“.

There must be something wrong in the system! Does our education system need to be reformed? Or is it fine the way it is?