Must buy books

I’m finally done with my exams! Hooray! My last exam was on Thursday and it was the most difficult one of this semester. Hopefully I’ll pass and won’t have to take it again in June. Fingers crossed. Classes start on Monday so I only have this weekend to catch up on some reading. Last week I started listening to the audio version of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets which is narrated by Stephen Fry and it’s hilarious! He literally sounds like Dobby and Hagrid and it’s almost like I’m watching a movie but not quite. I absolutely love it.

Since the exam period is over I decided to treat myself and so I bought two books: The Beginning of the World in the Middle of the Night by Jen Campbell who is my favourite booktuber and The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman. Although Instagram is my main platform where I spend most of my time, I got really involved in the booktube community and I keep scrolling down playlists and watching videos. Yes, that’s how I survived this past month. It’s fun to discover new authors but there is also a trick to it.

By watching all these videos about book hauls and wrap-ups and recommendations my TBR list on Goodreads started to grow fast and I suddenly felt bad for not constantly buying books. I literally spent hours browsing on Book Depository looking up prices and deciding which books I’ll order next. This sudden urge to buy more books was obviously rooted in my sudden obsession with the booktube community. The same thing happened with Instagram weeks before: by looking at other people’s profiles and their vast book collections, I’d grown impatient and envious and a voice in my head started telling me: YOU MUST BUY NEW BOOKS.

Now I have around 15 books on my physical TBR pile which are patiently awaiting for me to pick them up plus a couple more on my kindle so the chances of running out of reading material are basically non-existant. Yet I was consumed with this desire, no, NEED to buy more books. I can draw parallels to consumerism and the way most women buy clothes and shoes, but the point is, this is all artificial. By looking at what other people have I immediately started feeling bad for not having as much as they do. It’s all ridiculous, really.

Yes, I do love buying more books but at the same time I get really nervous if I have too many books on my physical TBR pile. So naturally what I should do is first read those books and then buy new ones. That would be the logical thing to do. Still, I was lured into thinking I needed more books and what is even worse is the fact that I felt ashamed for not buying as much of them as others do. Welcome to the land of consumerism and artificially created needs.

From now on I’ll try to be more rational about my purchases and while watching a video on booktube I’ll remind myself that I don’t have to buy books in order to qualify as a booklover. I’ll continue to add new purchases to my book shelves, one book at a time. Slowly but steadily I’ll build my library and even if I only have like a thousand or so books in it (which still sounds pretty impressive to me!) I’ll be happy with it. It doesn’t matter how many books you own as long as you are in love with every single one of them.

I like best to have one book in my hand, and a stack of others on the floor beside me, so as to know the supply of poppy and mandragora will not run out before the small hours.

Dorothy Parker, The Collected Dorothy Parker

I don’t feel like reading tonight

I confess – I’m not always in the mood to read. After a long day spent at uni and an even longer drive back home I’m often too tired and anxious to read and I just need something to keep my mind from overthinking. So instead I turn on my computer and watch a new episode of my favourite TV series or I sit in front of the TV and let myself be drawn to that state of numbness which is typical for when you’re staring at the screen. And yes, I love reading, I absolutely adore it, but sometimes I let the book sit in the corner and I turn away from it.

As a new bookstagrammer and bookblogger I often feel pressured to read. I look at other profiles on Goodreads and compare my reading challenge to other people’s and I feel this knot in my stomach and a voice in my head starts whispering ‘you’re not doing enough, you should read more books’. And this little voice puts me in a momentary state of despair because I feel like I can never read enough books and can’t possibly compete with more serious and well-established bloggers.

I do this with other things as well, I compare myself to my friends and then I tell myself I’m not trying hard enough and I should be doing more. Lately however, this pressure has been focused primarily on my reading progress. Goodreads is a fine platform to find new books and keep tabs on your reading progress but since I’ve started using it in connection with this blog, I keep browsing through other people’s updates and I feel like they’re constantly reading and well, I’m not. I then ask myselfย  how can they possibly have that much free time on their hands to read all the time.

Regarding my reading pace, I do know I’m not the fastest reader but I like it that way. I like to take time with my books, to look at how they’re written and not only what they’re saying. I often admire paragraphs or sentences and look at how they’re structured because I want to understand how the author came to that and why they used this particular style of writing. Reading is as much entertainment as it is research for me.

I asked my friend about her experiences with reading under pressure (she studies literature) and she said that she often feels pressured into reading classics because that’s what you’re supposed to read as a literature student. But she loves romance novels and so she reads mostly that. It’s also true with fantasy – when I say I love Harry Potter and fantasy novels, a lot of people start smirking and saying ‘that’s not real books’. Who says so? I am so tired of people nagging me about my reading choices. If you want to read boring old Tolstoy in order to appear smart and educated (even though you probably don’t understand a word of what he’s saying) then please do that but stop critisizing me for the books I enjoy reading.

There is a certain pressure in this community to constantly be on the lookout for the newest literary trends but I refuse to be affected by it. Too many times I got frustrated by reading a hyped book (bestsellers even) because at the end of the day they just weren’t good, the story was unimaginative, the writing poor and the plot twists predictable. I take time in choosing the books I want to read and that often pays out. But it’s really hard to stay strong under all this pressure and to read the books you want to read and not look at what other people are reading.

Writing this has helped me to accept the fact that I will never be able to read all the books I want. There are so many of them and that’s good because it means there is always a new adventure waiting for me around the corner. Can you imagine running out of reading material and being bored with what your local library has to offer? I hope it never comes to that. In the future I will try to remind myself that if I pick up a book I will do it because I enjoy reading and I want to know where the story will lead me. Some night I’ll be too tired to read and instead I’ll watch TV and that’s okay. It just means that when I’ll eventually start reading again, it will be that more precious to me.

Birthday bookhaul

People keep asking me if I feel older and I hate that question because I always think to myself, “Yeah, I really feel that one plus year, my bones are telling me I need more exercise and my hair is quietly whispering they’ll be turning grey any day now.” Age is just a number and I may be one year older but I’m still me. Different than last year, that’s true, but not by that much.

My mom ordered a cake for me and I managed to eat four pieces of it (not in one day of course!). It was delicious, I even dreamed about it one night. I didn’t do anything special, just spent time with my family and friends. Besides cake which is by far the best part of birthdays, I also got lots of presents. And lots of books. Hooray!

These are the books I got for my birthday:

  • Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman
  • Sinner by Maggie Stiefvater
  • Dark Lord of Derkholm by Diana Wynne Jones
  • Power of Three by Diana Wynne Jones
  • Unexpected Magic: Collected Stories by Diana Wynne Jones
  • Uprooted by Naomi Novik
  • The Girl You Left Behind by Jojo Moyes
  • The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith a.k.a J. K. Rowling

I’m not sure which book I’ll read first but it’s probably going to be Uprooted because I’m in a serious fantasy mood. I’m currently reading All the Crooked Saints by Maggie Stiefvater and although I really like the book, I don’t love it as much as The Scorpio Races. It seems quite different than her other books. Still, I highlight quotes from it in almost every chapter, they’re just that good!

This afternoon I’m meeting a friend who lives in Taiwan and it’s been ages (almost 4 months) since I last saw her so I’m really excited to finally talk to her again face to face. And tomorrow my sister and her boyfriend are coming to our house and we’re having a little family gathering. Otherwise I hope I’ll manage to finish All The Crooked Saints tonight and I still have about a hundred pages left in my Sherlock Holmes book and it would be pretty great if I also finish that tomorrow.

My birthday this year wasn’t at all bad though I’m not a fan of birthdays. They remind me of time passing and I always feel like I’m not doing enough, like I should try harder and do more, read more, write more (which is funny because I haven’t written anything in almost two years – but that’s a topic for a new post). Cake and presents cheer me up but I still feel a bit sad about getting older. I keep comparing myself to other people which I know I shouldn’t but we all do that, right? My new resolution is to be kinder to myself and except the fact that I can’t do it all and I need to take things slow. Also, I’ll try not to compare myself to others. Because that will be the death of me.

Cats and Arrow(s)

Ahoj, dear readers! I just spend five minutes browsing through the photos on my phone and swooning over all the cat photos. Cats are just the best, aren’t they? They are so cute and fluffly and soft and you don’t have to take them on walks, they clean themselves and they purr when you stroke them. What more can you want? True, they can also be arrogant and full of themselves but that’s just because they remember they used to be worshipped in Ancient Egypt and they wonder where the times have gone.

My sister and her boyfriend adopted another cat and named him Oscar. They already have a cat called Zoya but she is very playful and active and likes to run around the apartment a lot so they decided to get her a brother so she won’t be so bored. Well, the idea was good. The execution however… Poor Zoya now feels left behind and she always keeps an eye on Oscar. Just by looking at her face you can tell she’s not happy about the new living arrangements. She seems quite sad, to tell you the truth.

But Oscar is just a cutie pie! He is way cuddlier than Zoya ever was, he just leaps into your lap and immediately starts purring. You don’t have to convince him to stay in your lap like we have to do with Zoya. And he is such an adorable cat, here is his picture.

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Poor Zoya has to fight to get her share of attention now. She used to play around a lot and whenever I’d catsit her she’d just get in my way and try to get me to play with her. One time I was really busy with school so I brought my homework with me and when I tried to write it, this happened.

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Yeah, I didn’t get anything done. When I was typing an essay, she either jumped on my fingers and tried to bite them or she turned on her creepster mode and looked at the screen like this:

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I do hope she and Oscar will learn to live with each other and started to get along. I mean that was the entire point, to have two cats who get along, play together and keep each other busy. In the end they’ll end up being best friends (I hope) and they’ll drive everyone around them mad. One day (hopefully) I’ll also have a cat or two. I really want a ginger cat because they are so beautiful!

edf(I saw this gorgeous cat when I went on a walk near the sea and just couldn’t help taking a photo of him! Isn’t he beautiful?)

In other news I started watching a new TV series, Arrow. When I was in primary school I watched Smallvile and was sort of obsessed with it so I knew the main story of this series. At first I really didn’t like the main character Oliver (the actor I mean) but then he grew on me and now I swoon everytime he does something cute. I binge watched the first two season (well I skipped the flashbacks because I found them boring) and now I’m finally at season three which is where Oliver and Felicity get together! Yes, I googled that and watched a clip of their wedding on Youtube. I’m terribly nosy!

Apart from Arrow, I also sort of started watching Victoria but I’m not really in the mood for historical series so I only watched four parts. I binge watch two season and give up after four parts, that’s me. ๐Ÿ˜€ Oliver and Felicity will soon become my new favourite TV couple. Can we all agree how refreshing it is to finally get a character who wears glasses? Almost all my friends, including me, wear glasses but almost no one wears them in TV shows and that always gets on my nerves. I know it’s a silly thing but it’s just so unrealistic. Maybe they should film a show where all the actors wear glasses, now that would be something!

Come here, Christmas!

Howdie, dear readers! I apologize for not being active in the last two weeks, school was intense and I had zero energy. But now it has finally ended and I’m on my Christmas vacation which will last for two weeks. How exciting is that? ๐Ÿ˜€ I already started binge reading and I’m looking forward to receiving my Christmas gifts (I already know what’s in them) because I want to read the books I’ll. Which books are that, you must be wondering? The first is The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater who is my favourite YA author and the second is The Book of Dust by Philip Pullman. Seriously, tomorrow evening cannot come soon enough.

What was I up to in the past two weeks? Not much. I was busy with school and procrastination, I (sort of) learned how to use a professional camera and I worked on changing and adapting my IG theme. Our professor kindly loaned us his camera for a week and I got to play around with it for a day. It was so fun, I felt like a real pro. It was also really hard to figure out how to use it. Luckily my best friend’s brother gave me a short lesson and I managed to take some pretty decent photos. I went for a walk and ended up taking photos at the local cemetery (as one does) and one photo turned out pretty good. Here it is:

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Then we went exploring a local church and I took some photos there but I wasn’t really happy with them. I learned how to use the portrait filter and my best friend kindly agreed to model for me. And then I looked around the winter fairytale and played some more. Here are my best photos:


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Last weekend I was busy writing a paper and planning a photoshoot so I did a bit of research to figure out what my theme will be, which photos I liked the best etc. My personal favourites are the ones that are nature themed but I can’t very well go outside and hang around in this rain and mist taking photos all day (well I can but it won’t look good) so I moved my shoot indoors and my sister helped me out. We managed to take like 15 or so photos so I don’t have to worry about that for a while.

When school ended I was finally able to see my friends again and it was super fun going for a cup of coffee and ending up talking for like 4 hours. We both ordered a latte, an apple pie and then later on shared a toast because we were getting hungry. Just so you know how long we chatted. I drank like a liter of water and had to go to the toilet at least five times. But it was so great, to just chat about different things and not worry about homework.

My plans for the holidays are quite simple: read as much as possible and try to write something. Anything. I also started watching a new TV series, Arrow, so that may take up some (a lot) of my time. But who cares, it’s Christmas!

Just one more photo, I promise. I used the micro thingy that you fasten on the camera (wow, I sound like a real pro) and I really like the way this photo turned out.

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Yeah, those are my books in the background. Happy holidays, everyone!