RST: Reading A LOT Less Than I Used To

Imagine going from reading approximately 14 books per month to barely finishing one. I’m telling you, the struggle is too real. It’s time to face the facts; I’m simply not reading as much as I used to.

My love for reading is definitely still there but where I used to put books above all, I’m now putting other things first. Priorities and all that. Apparently life outside the blogosphere is a thing. Who knew?

Currently I’m reading like a million books and I can barely remember the page numbers I left off on. I’m getting into that mood where I’ll just put books on hold and come back to it when I know for sure that I can finish it. I’d rather do that than enter a reading slump because all readers know how uncool that is. You want to read but at the same time you can’t bring yourself to actually read anything and you just end up hating the story which is totally unfair.

My Read pile is bigger than my Unread but I’m starting to worry because with the way things are going, I’m going to have more of the latter than the former. Maybe I should just stop buying books in general…HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA as if that’s ever going to happen.

I wouldn’t mind reading less if it wasn’t for the fact that I want a functioning blog. My blog is not something for me to stress about, in fact it’s where I release my stress but the longer I take to read, the less reviews I can schedule beforehand. And that’s what the main issue is. This is why audiobooks are a gift. Listening to them in the car instead of the radio, chilling with it at night with all the lights off as you’re going to sleep, taking a morning jog and have the story play out in your ear.

These days when I finish a book that’s more than 200 pages I get so excited because it feels as if I completed a marathon. It has gotten to that point where reading a big book causes me to forget how to English. It might be a problem but I’m not going to make it one.

I like to get lost in the book I’m currently reading so with all the movement going on around me, it gets difficult to concentrate. Also, I look like a couch potato that has nothing worthwhile to do and that’s a no no in my house. These are the struggles of our lives hey. I have this grand idea of reading so much that I’m so far ahead with all my posts and I finally end up taking down that TBR but I have to be realistic and face the facts. That’s not going to happen any time soon. It’s a thing.

Anyway, another random post on another random day. Cheers and adios.

Thanks for stopping by
Caron xx

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RST: Started from the Bottom…Again

Back when I first started my book collection I didn’t have many, probably around 5. I do remember that my first ‘complete’ series was A Song of Ice and Fire but those books are nothing to the amount I own now. Because of the small amount of books I had, I didn’t have a proper bookshelf so I used what I could find around the house i.e. a shoe rack. Yes, you read that right. A shoe rack used to be my bookshelf. I decorated it really nicely and had my meagre amount of books out on display. I was quite impressed even if I do say so myself.

It was less than a year later when my dad bought me the display cabinet that’s been featured here on the blog but I decided recently to do away with that so once again…I’m without a bookshelf.

A little while ago my gran gave me a plastic crate because I needed something to store my newly bought books. I didn’t have many so it wasn’t a problem. I didn’t mind the drastic change because 1. I still had all my other books even though they weren’t in my immediate vicinity and 2. I love seeing a collection grow.

I understand the struggle of moving so many books and that just because I want them with me, doesn’t mean that’s the way it’s going to be. I can’t have my cake and eat it too no matter how much I want to. I’ve relented to keeping my books at the storage facility but I am not happy about it. I paid constant attention to them, always dusted them off and recounted and reorganised them even though I knew how many their were and would end up sorting them the exact same way again. Books = My Happy Place.

One thing that I used to do that I can’t do now- or I can do it, it’s just less impressive now- is show off my ‘massive’ book collection. Think about showing people 300+ books versus 10. Yea, that’s a bit of an anti-climax. I’ve barely increased my collection because books are so friggin’ expensive and I’m shocked every time I walk into a bookstore. I’ve yet to become a ‘regular’ at the bookshop, so I’ve got to work on that too.

I haven’t really been out on the town looking for secondhand bookstores and the like because I’ve been constantly studying but I hope I get to do that soon. For now, I’ll sit with the books currently at my disposal (I’ve already read almost all of them) and try to be content with this situation. No, I lie. I will not be content but I can seethe silently.

For now, let’s see a pic or three of this makeshift bookshelf of mine.

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As you can see, I wasn’t joking. I’ve recently added Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela to my collection (ahem, ‘stole’ it from my dad) since I figured I rarely read about South Africa and it’s history.

I’m actually quite excited about growing my collection once again because now I have a chance to go out and search for new titles and discover different authors. Let the journey begin!

Thanks for stopping by,
Caron xx

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RST: Separated from My Precious

Being apart from something that’s important to you is always a bummer and you’re constantly thinking about the day when you’ll be reunited. It becomes part of who you are, that longing, and you think of nothing else.

When I went on an indefinite hiatus I just said that I had to focus on my life and my studies but I didn’t say that I was moving back home to South Africa, as I was currently living in the United Arab Emirates. Moving alone meant that I had to leave most of my things behind and that includes my bookshelves along with my entire book collection. That’s over 300 books we’re talking about here. I was sad to leave my babies but it was a sacrifice I was willing to make because  I had responsibilities and I knew the reunion would be amazing.

At the time I’m writing this post, it’s November 2017 and while my books are all in South Africa, I have yet to hold them and tell them I’m sorry for abandoning them.

I turned to books when my anxiety was just starting out and while books didn’t take take it away, it certainly helped me a lot. Books are my everything and it broke my heart to away from mine. I asked my sister to leave two or three books out for me and when she told me she’d ‘misplaced’ them, I actually started to cry. It’s all well and good now but my heart stood still for a moment there.

I’ve gotten a few weird looks here and there when I go on and on about books and I’ve been told to stop buying so many because naturally I started another book collection while I’ve been home. I’ve said in another post, I have an obsession and I’m more than okay with that. Books are my happiness and that’s all that matters to me.

I did enter a bit of a reading slump because of the change of environment but I stuck through it and I’m back to reading…just maybe not as much as I used to. I’ve become more social now, so that’s a thing.

My point of all this is that we’re at 5 months now of being separated and this journey was unwanted and definitely not easy. I miss being able to just walk over to my shelves and pick out any book I wanted. I can’t do that anymore and that hurts. Holding a book puts me at ease and reorganising gives me a sense of purpose…if that makes sense. I just want my books back!

Thanks for stopping by,
Caron

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Why I Chose Librarian as My Future Career Choice

I love books and I love learning and oftentimes for me, those two go hand in hand. I sometimes wonder how it could’ve taken me so long to realize that Librarian was the obvious for me.

A bit of back story: When I was 7, I wanted to be a Policeman (man, not woman), then an Artist, a Writer (kind of achieved that in a sense), and a Nurse -for a hot second. I didn’t put much thought in career choices after that; I liked everything. In grade 5, when I was 11, I was told I’d make a good Psychologist because I was a good listener. I thought that building things would be fun so I decided that I was going to be an Architect and hope to get in on the actual building. That lasted till 8th grade when I had to decide what stream I wanted to go into: Commerce or Science. I found out that you need Physics for Architecture and I wasn’t about that life so I changed my career choice to Chartered Accountant. I kind of suck at Math and Accounting wasn’t as fun as it was in the beginning for me so I was now in 11th grade without a clue on what I was going to be.

I became an active reader a few months after I graduated high school (2013) and my love for books was ignited and now, 4 years later, it’s shining brighter than ever. It wasn’t until last summer when I was freaking out about my non-existent future when I came across an article about librarians online. I can’t remember what it was exactly but I did some researched and tried to gather as much about Information Science as I possibly could.

In an instant I discovered what I wanted to be. A librarian. And I’m extremely ecstatic about this plan.

This takes me to my favourite quote in one of my favourite TV Shows, Doctor Who:

 

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In 3rd grade I was at this school that had this motto: Knowledge is Power. I never knew what it meant at the time but I thought they were trying to tell me that school was important so I took it at face value and carried on with my day.

Of course now I know that knowledge is in fact power and what you do with that power is entirely up to you. Knowledge can be dangerous because I think it’s one of those things that you can’t fight. It just is.

I should’ve seen this coming to be honest but I’m glad that it took me a while to figure out. I was taken by complete surprise and it was an epiphany and a half. Books means so much to me and they’ve helped and carried me through the worst of times and I am so thankful that these things exist. That authors decided to pick up a pen and share their worlds with us. People think that books are dying out but I think not. I want to teach the younger generations the importance of books. Pass on the knowledge that they hold. Maybe they’ll fall in love with them the way I did.

I read this book a little while ago and I really suggest you check it out. This is What a Librarian Looks Like by Kyle Cassidy.

When people ask me what I plan on studying, I get so happy because I’ve never sounded surer about anything than when I answer: Library and Information Science. I’m ready for this journey and I may love learning but I’m not a fan of studying. I’m willing to put that dislike aside because this is a goal that needs to be achieved. I got this!

Just the thought that I started reading as a means to help me with my anxiety and now I’m doing so much better and books are still active and present in my life. Words can’t even express how I feel right now.

I’ve made my choice. I’m happy about it. I’m looking forward to it. Let’s go!

The picture below is the Cape Town Central Library. It’s located in town, opposite the parade, next to City Hall. It’s an amazing library but here’s the catch…I’ve never been inside.

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I’ve passed by it probably a hundred times but I never knew of its existence. I used to go to the parade a lot as a kid (they sell almost everything there. It’s like a sort of fair that’s pop up shops and basically the community coming together), but I didn’t know of this amazing library that was right across the street.

See, whenever I went to town I always marvelled at the castle- never been there either- but never noticed the library. I swear, it was under the Fidelius charm this entire time!

The moment I have a spare moment, I want to go there and just take a deep breath and bask in the beauty that is this library filled with all that knowledge.

P.S. I’m hoping to make the Central Library my ‘grand’ return to the library. 10 years is way too long.

I found this online and I had to laugh. It’s the rules and stuff of the library.

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I swear I got a bit emotional while writing out this post. It’s been almost a year since my epiphany and the excitement is still as real as the day I figured it out. I’m so so so excited. I have no idea what awaits me but I’m ready. Or as ready I can be anyway.

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Sources: Doctor Who gif: rebloggy.com
GoT gif: Giphy.com
Pictures taken from Google Images

RST: Book Worlds I Would and Wouldn’t Want to Live In

I’m pretty sure most of us have read a book and fallen in love with the world it took place in. The way the author/character describes this magical (or not so magical) place is very important especially to us readers because we want to travel with the characters; see what they see, feel what they feel.

I’ve come across quite a few book worlds over the years that I pretty much have a set opinion on. I either love it and want to pack my bags because when are we leaving? Or…I want to hide behind a brick wall and never see its likeness again.

I will start in the order of my favourite worlds I’d want to live in instead of which I discovered first.

World of the Shadowhunter Chronicles

 

 

I’ve been yelling out into the high heavens that The Mortal Instruments is my favourite series, and since my death wouldn’t be imminent upon my arrival, naturally I’d add this to book worlds I’d gladly live in.

I prefer The Infernal Devices over TMI because the way the Victorian Era was described makes me want to sit down for tea while we discuss how we’re going to handle the demons that are running wild in the city. Obviously I’d have no internet which might pose a problem for me…

Either way, I’d love to see what I’d end up being if I stepped into this world. Shadowhunter, vampire, werewolf, warlock, faerie? A Demon?? *takes break to go find out*

Buzzfeed tells me I’m a shadowhunter. I can deal with that. I would’ve had a problem if I came out being a regular human. Nothing wrong with that but it’s so…mundane. If I stepped into another world I wouldn’t want to be what I am already, you know?

I always have difficulty choosing between Middle Earth and the Wizarding World. The time is now.

Wizarding World of Harry Potter

There are countless fans out there who’s dreamt of living in the wizarding world. I can’t even say how many stories I’ve read from people who waited for their Hogwarts letter to come when they turned eleven. I’d heard once that someone said J.K. Rowling created a cult which according to Merriam-Webster: “great devotion to a person, idea, object, movement, or work (such as a film or book) criticizing how the media promotes the cult of celebrity; especially :  such devotion regarded as a literary or intellectual fad” is not entirely wrong.

I myself have imagined being a witch and attending Hogwarts and becoming a Potions Mistress or a Professor…maybe I’d have even become a Healer. Who knows. Watching the Harry Potter movies and reading the books, then placing myself in those situations really makes me feel like I’m living the story. God bless JKR. She’s helped so many people with this series and I find it amazing that there are people out there having Harry Potter themed baby showers and freaking out in general whenever new news about the fandom is released.

I’m just saying…if I’d attended Hogwarts, I don’t think I would’ve disliked school Not at all.

Middle Earth

Oh the beautiful Middle Earth. I’m pretty sure I fell in love with this world at first site. I’d watched the LoTR movies before I started the books but the love was there, and it was real. I have yet to read The Return of the King but soon I’ll devour it just like I did the others.

The world that J.R.R. Tolkien created is so beautiful and so amazing, I’d be honoured to live in it. Playbuzz tells me I’m a human. Hmm…apparently I’m proud of my people. Is there a downside to this? I don’t know yet. We’ll see how well I fare in battle.

I feel like going on an adventure right now. Where’s is my Gandalf?

 

There’s only one world I’m on the fence about. I can’t decided whether I’d actually want to live there or not.

Inkworld

I watched the movie adaptation years ago and I didn’t know that it was originally a book back then. It took me a while to actually read the book and when I did, I took my sweet old-time with it.

I liked the idea of the story. That for a gifted few, when they read out loud, they literally bring the story to life. That’s awesome me thinks.

The reason why I’m on the fence about this is because imagine if I had this talent, and I lived in this world…I’d never be able to read to my kids. What if a monster popped out. No thank you.

 

Last but not least, the worlds I would not want to live in.

Panem

I love The Hunger Games trilogy. It’s very good and I’d read it a million times over if I could. I would never want to live in that world though. Here I am, going about my business, and suddenly I hear my name being called out. No sir, I’m not here for this.

Another thing…many of these districts suffer because they are disregarded by those who believe themselves to be better. I’d feel bad no matter where I ended up. If I were a part of the poorer districts, I’d resent those that seem to have everything. If I were from a well off district…I’d resent myself because how could I live in luxury when there are people suffering and I could’ve helped.

Basically, it’d be a bad idea for me to live in this world. Nope, I do not volunteer.

The World of Ice and Fire

No, nope, nein, nee, la. Definitely not. I do not even want to risk what kind of power I’ll have in this world, and if I have none, I’m doomed.

The lengths one has to go to in order to stay on top in this world is insane and I do not want any part of that.

I love the books and the show but that’s as far as it goes for me. I’m getting shivers just thinking about it.

Honourable mentions:

  • Doctor Who – Yeah!
  • Star Wars – Yes, please
  • MCU – That’d be cool
  • World of Hannibal Lecter – Oh hell to the no

That concludes this post. It took me a while to figure out what should go and what should stay. I’m sure there are many other worlds that I’d either want to live in or not, but these were what came to mind first.

Thanks for stopping by,
Caron xx

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Source: Gifs taken from Giphy.com

Going to Picture-Perfect Places With No Books for Pictures

Ever gone somewhere and the scenery or view is so beautiful you wish you’d brought a book with because the moment is perfection?

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Yea, happens to me a lot. It’s usually my own fault because I don’t really like carrying things so when I do go out I’m always wearing a jeans with pockets so my phone can come with me. If I need money…pockets. It’s very rare that I’ll bring a book with me and even if I do end up reading on a long trip, it’s on my iPad.

These book-related pictures have to be planned to the smallest detail. Where are we going? When are we going? What’s the weather like? What’s the location like? I need to know all these things and only if I feel like it will I risk my books leaving the safety of my library.

There are the odd times when I’m in the mood to go wild and will take a book or two out with me. One that comes to mind is when my family went out for a desert photoshoot and I thought eh, why not, and just took some desert-themed books along for the ride.

I’m not really a photo junkie so I don’t take pics often, be it of me or things in general. Most of the time I forget because I get so lost in actually looking at the thing in real life. The other night on our way back home, there was this beautiful display of lightning and we wanted to take pics but we kept missing our opportunity so we just enjoyed it for what it was. <<<This is not me saying ‘put your phone away and live in the moment’. I think it has a lot to do with personal preference.

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There’s this mountain-ish hilltop in the area I live in and people go there often. I prefer being indoors so I don’t always take the opportunity to go up there but when I do…I don’t have a book with me. It’s so funny though because I could always just leave the book in the car so there’s no excuse really but still, it’s like I’m allergic or something.

My point is, all of these are missed opportunities for me because I forget that pictures are a thing and I’m usually so busy freaking out that the thought of sharing my excitement doesn’t even cross my mind. I’m lucky that my house is beautiful enough to allow me to still take pretty pictures. Most of my bookstagram pics were either taken on my balcony or in my dad’s garden.

A few pics I took on location:

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So that’s it for this post. Maybe I’ll be able to take more pics in the future. I currently don’t have a car so I can’t just leave when I want but a girl can dream.

Thanks for stopping by,
Caron xx

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Gifs source: Google Images

My Thoughts on DNF’ing Books

A little while ago I watched a video by Catriona from Little Book Owl on YouTube where she talking about DNF’ing books and I thought: ‘Hey, why not’

To start off, for those who don’t know what DNF is, it stands for ‘Did Not Finish’. There are many reasons why a person can choose to DNF a book and I myself am no stranger to this act. My main reasons for DNF’ing a book revolves around a lot of things. I go through this whole thought process before I actually mark a book as Unfinished. Sometimes I say ‘unfinished’ because maybe I’ll get back to the book but that’s not always the case.

I’ve said in my Review Policy that I try not to judge a book by its author and there are one or two authors whose books I won’t read because I’ve tried a few and there’s no…spark for me.

Things that could possibly make me decide to DNF:

  • Annoying main character
  • Writing style that I’m not a fan of
  • I found the book boring
  • It ends up involving a genre that I have no interest in
  • The plot makes absolutely no sense

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My main reason for DNF’ing would be an annoying MC. I don’t care if any of the supporting characters are annoying, but if the MC is, then that’s an issue for me. I have to go through this entire book that’s narrated by this person who I imagine horrible things happening to and that poses a problem for me because sometimes I really want to like a book, but the MC gets in the way.

I applaud authors who have the guts to go out there and have their work published. It helps readers like myself have more books to look forward to. It helps reviewers help them get the word out that there’s a new book on the market. I said in a post a while ago that even though anyone can write, there is some talent behind it. You have to be able to draw a person in and then also keep them interested. The writing style of an author plays a big part for me where reading is concerned. I may like the characters, the world, the plot, even how the author went about with the idea of the story. But if I don’t like the writing style in general, everything else that the book holds would have to be really good to have me continue till the end. I’ve finished books that I didn’t like (because of annoying characters, poor execution) just because I was a fan of the writing style. I do think that it’s possible to grow as an author and become better so there’s hope for everyone.

I have this thing, almost like a motto where I believe that if I’m not liking the book and/or I find it boring, life’s too short for me to waste time on it. I can read any other book that I might enjoy a lot better. At first I thought that this was a bit mean but now I make no excuses. There are many books out there that want to be read so why should I use my energy reading something I’m not even enjoying? It’s as simple as that. *Another thing to add is: if I feel like a book is sending me into a reading slump, I’ll put it down and read something else and get back to it at another time.

I love unpredictability in a book. I live for it. When I’m hit with a plot twist, I feel giddy because the author got me this time. I actually want to say: I did not see that coming. Of course a book can have multiple genres and that’s awesome. But if the book was categorised as a Fantasy/YA/Suspense, for example, that’s what I’m going to expect. If I read this book and there’s hardly any fantasy, no suspense because everything is so predictable and romance on every page, I’m not going to be happy. Why? Because…was Romance listed as one of the genres? No, it was not. I ge that to some this might not be a big deal but we each have our genres that we stay away from. Mine is Romance. I don’t even watch RomComs (sometimes, but those are usually throwbacks to my preteen years). I’ve encountered a few books like these over the years and sometimes I feel tricked because what I read is not what I was promised. The betrayal is real.

A confusing plot can possibly ruin the story for me because what was the person trying to achieve? Sometimes I try really hard to understand and most time I shrug it off and end up DNF’ing the book because somewhere along the lines a game of Broken Telephone was played and what I heard is not what was said. Time to put that book down.

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You’d think that with how much I write in these posts, that I’m saying all I need to say. Nope, I still talk a lot in my daily life.

Anyway, this was my take on DNF’ing books. Clearly I’m all for it if the situation calls for it. There are a few books that I’m going to get back to (Marley & Me, The Return: Midnight, The Sky is Everywhere) but it might take some time.

That’s all for now.

Thanks for stopping by.
Till next time,

Caron xx

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*Source: All images taken from Google Images