Why I Read

There are many different reasons why I read, and as I’ve grown those reasons have changed and evolved. I read as a child because the worlds I read about were more like the ones in my imagination than the one I lived in. As a teen, I read books to find characters I could relate to. As a young adult full of wanderlust I read as a more affordable form of travel.

Now as an adult and a book blogger I read for all those reasons and also to review books for others. Reviewing has changed the way I read books, I analyze and I critique where I didn’t before and it has made me a better reader as well as a better writer. However, it doesn’t feed my soul the way reading used to.

For the last ten years, I’ve struggled with anxiety and depression, sometimes worse than others. Reading has almost always helped me in those times, bringing me laughter or simply giving me a temporary escape. Lately has been one of those worse times and I found reading and blogging to be a struggle, even a chore.

After struggling for a month or so I turned to some books on my shelf that I’ve reread a few times before. To my surprise, I flew through them AND I felt comforted by them.

It’s then that I began to wonder if the reason that I read above all others is to find those few stories that have the power to bring me solace. Like the feeling of a hot mug of tea and being wrapped in your coziest blanket. The ones that seem to speak to my soul and brush away the dust and decay it collects. The ones that act as a balm after the pressures and rigor of everyday life. The ones that shine a light on my darkest of days.

Perhaps that is why I read, what I’m in search for, my own personal life rafts. Only, I can’t know them till I have read them so I must keep reading to seek them out. Perhaps my shelves are not just full of paper and fantastical worlds but of security and ointments for this chaotic life, I live.

 

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Blogging Break

 

Hi guys! Welcome back to my blog, and for everyone who is new to my blog, thank you so much for visiting and subscribing. I wanted to let you all know that I will be taking a blogging hiatus for most of the month of May. This is partly because I will be traveling for two weeks and also because I’ve been in a bit of a blogging rut lately. My hope is a month off will leave me feeling refreshed when June rolls around, I think it’s good for creativity to take a break from time to time. I will still be reading, and be attending Raincoasts Fall Preview, which I’m really excited for! I also hope to listen to a lot of audiobooks on the drive.

Let me know in the comments below, what you have planned for May and what you’ve been reading. I hope you all have a fabulous month, and I can’t wait to tell you all about, my trip when I return!

Confessions of a Book Hoarder: New Shelves!!

20160928_115128I HAVE NEW BOOKSHELVES!

That’s right guys I am now the proud owner of not only NEW bookshelves but custom-made MATCHING shelves! Okay it really isn’t that impressive but for me it was really exciting because now my little corner library looks pretty darn, well, pretty! And just because I am so proud of my handy work I’m going to share some photos with you. Please note I have yet to organize my books in a way that pleases me. Right now they are sorted by genre, then author, but this isn’t working for me visually. I decided to build these shelves because my budget was small and the options in store were that awful particle board. These are still cheap but made of real wood and you could make them any size you like. (I wish I had made mine a little taller) Also I have had some people request building instructions for the shelves, which I would do in a separate post; please let me know if you’d be interested in a post like that.

Confession of a Book Hoarder: Bookmarks!

img_20160410_132348Where has April gone? I have been so busy that I feel like I havent written a blog post in forever! It’s only been five or six days but I have been pretty absent from all social media. I have been so busy and that always puts me in a creative slump. So here’s me trying to un-slump myself.

A little while back, on my Instagram account, I shared my book mark collection and promised I would do a post telling you all a little more about each one. I think it’s something most book hoarders have but something we don’t talk about, not nearly as much as our book collection. I really like seeing and hearing about book marks, they’re all unique and often have interesting stories behind them. I have book marks I made, or received as gifts, lots of them are from Etsy and some of them are signed by authors. When I choose one to use in a book, I tend to choose one that has the same colors as the cover, or matches the mood of the story. Does anyone else have a method for choosing? Do you use them all evenly or do you have favourites? Thinking about it now, I realize I only use a fraction of my collection for their intended purpose.

 

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This is a photo of all my book marks from Behind The Pages, a shop on Etsy owned by Gina. She is the sweetest to talk to and her designs are stunning, I am so glad I found her account six months ago. I love having a bookmark to match my favourite books and the foil versions are SHINY! Who doesn’t love some book bling? I most recently ordered her Crooked Kingdoms design because I need something to do while I wait for September. She also sells posters and 3D collages.

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Here I have a hedgehog bookmark from Chapters that use often, I love that you can clip it to the cover and use the ribbon to mark your page. Then there is the beautiful green and burgundy water-color painted by a friend of mine that I like to use at Christmas. Get Lost In A Good Book is one I colored, mounted and laminated myself. The butterfly is neat, the wings fold down so when your book is closed it looks like a butterfly is perched on the page edge. Another one I use regularly is the Book Definition book mark, its big so it’s hard for me to lose and I love the “definition”. Lastly is a Book Depository book mark that I just adore. It’s pretty dark but I think we have all felt like the character depicted, clutching ours books like they are The Precious.

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Starting with the adorable green owl from Skinny Hues, I just love owls and I find a lot of book hoarders do too. Is it because we are up late like owls? The golden book mark in the center was made for me by my friend Jennifer F. Santucci and it goes well with many of my books, most recently The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh. The writing on the book mark on the right is hard to read but it is a Borrowed Book Reminder. My #otspsecretsister sent them to me; you simply fill one out when your lend a book and tear off the stub at the bottom so you both have a reminder. I rarely lend out book but I thought these were a fabulous idea! Lastly we have my magnetic book marks, which I must admit I rarely use. I could not resist Toothless or the hot air balloon, and I had a book dragon as well but I seem to have misplaced it. You can find these and more like them at BeeDoo1107Studio and CraftedVan on Etsy.

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And here are a few of my signed book marks; I don’t use them often but I like to collect them. So that is just about my entire collection, more than I need but not completely out of control in my opinion. I would love to see some photos of your collection! Do you have a lot of a few? Do you prefer magnetic or standard? Tassel or no tassel? Curious minds want to know.

 

 

Confession of a Book Hoarder: Book Buying Bans

It’s almost the weekend! What will you be reading or doing?

Today I wanted to talk about book buying and book buying bans.

I live in a small town so I often buy my books online. I miss the days when I lived near Chapters, would buy a coffee, and walk about browsing the books. I often ask myself if I bought fewer books at that time because it was so close and buying a book or two at a time gave me the opportunity to go to the bookstore more often. Now that I shop online, pay shipping, and I have to wait for my books I buy 2 or more at a time. And it is accessible at 3 am when you can’t sleep and you aren’t making smart financial decisions. Haha.

I have also noticed that I buy more books since I became a part of the book community. Thais the way with any hobby though. When I started running 10kms I bought a good pair of runners and ran in what I had, with just an ipod and a watch. The more I got into running the more I saw all the beautiful workout clothes, the apps for my phone, the fancy fitness trackers, the pre-workout boosters etc. So I don’t feel bad for buying more books. It certainly is not something that happens just to booknerds, it happens to enthusiasts f all kinds.

That being said, last year I bought about 70 books in 3 months, that’s about 6 books a week. On average I read 4-8 books in a month and usually one or two are audiobooks. So at the rate I was going I was adding 17-19 books to my shelves that were unread each month! Which isn’t bad if you stop and read them over the following months but I wasnt doing that. Please note that if you do this and you are happy with it, I am not judging you, it’s just that I wasnt happy with it. Not all of them were brand new books, in fact most were used but I still don’t want to imagine what I spent in those 3 months. My bank account is not well endowed so I buy books I really want to read and it made me sad that I wasnt stopping to read them before buying more. So the solution? This year I decided to stop buying books. Okay so that hasn’t gone well, this year I have bought 9 books. Atleast it’s an improvement! And I am still telling myself ‘no buying!’ – instead I am making a list of books that I will buy when the ban is over. How long is my ban? My goal is to reduce the unread books on my shelves to 25 or less. I believe there is 70 right now, so I wil be on a ban for most of the year.

It is hard to not buy books. I know it isn’t for everyone and there are plenty of people out there who don’t mind how many unread books they have. I chose this abn because my credit card needed a break and because I felt the books I had bought deserved to be read. An up side to the ban? The books I have bought have been ones I borrowed from the library and loved, so I’m spending money on a guaranteed re-read. Another upside is I am doing a lot of research on the books on my ‘buy’ list. Most of them are new releases so I am reading a lot of reviews, discovering awesome blogs at the same time, and really narrowing down which ones I think I will enjoy.

Wow that was a long rant about book bans! Okay now I want to hear your feed back!

How often do you buy books? How many books do you buy at a time? Do you have to give yourself a limit? (amount of books or money spent) Have you ever put yourself on a book buying ban, how did you do it and did it work out?