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.

IMG_5107 IMG_5121 2

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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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RST: My Favourite Series

This is just a short and quick post about my favourite series. I don’t have too many so I’ll only mention my ultimate favourites.

I haven’t completed a lot of series in my years of reading but the ones that I have completed are very near and dear to my heart.

The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare

I swear one day I’ll probably get sick of talking about how this series is my favourite but it is not this day. My love for this series is spread far and wide across the universe and
these are not books I ever want to forget.

I’m currently in the process of rereading this series and at the time of writing this post, I’ve just finished City of Ashes. My love for this series and Cassie Clare’s writing grows with every new stitch of information that’s released. I don’t just love TMI, but all of Shadowhunter Chronicles. I don’t have time to reread a series I’ve already read, but I made time to squeeze this in.

I feel so happy when I’m in this world. There are things that annoy me and characters I absolutely cannot stand, but my love is unwavering.

Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling

Here’s a secret: I’ve only read the Harry Potter series once. I am a big fan of the series but every time I decide to do a marathon I get distracted and I turn to something else. Now the movies, those I can watch till my eyes burn. I have read The Deathly Hallows thrice and I read The Cursed Child twice (the second time for unbiased review purposes). My thing with marathoning all the Harry Potter books is that I’m too busy…and I’d prefer to read that series with no distractions which is not a small thing to ask for these days.

The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien

I explained in a recent post how I was introduced to LoTR. I can’t count how many times I’ve re-watched both The Hobbit and the LoTR trilogies. I’m sure by the time this post goes up, I would’ve made some time for another marathon. I don’t think I’ve done it with the entire franchise for the extended versions. Soon!

I have yet to read The Return of the King…still! But I have read The Hobbit three or four times so that makes up for it right? No, no it doesn’t. Gotta get on that ASAP! I did a Let’s Talk post about J.R.R. Tolkien last year and I found out so many awesome things about him. The main thing: he was born in Bloemfontein, South Africa. I lost my mind at this because yes! Also, I found the whole thing about his death being in 1973 and that opening pages, you know how it goes:

Three Rings for the Elven-kings under the sky,
Seven for the Dwarf-lords in their halls of stone,
Nine for the Mortal Men doomed to die,
One for the Dark Lord on his dark throne

We’ll stop there. But I found that awesome! Not the death part but the fact that that’s the year of his death back to front. Out of all the books though,  I have to say that The Hobbit is my favourite. I feel like I connect more with the characters. Also, that book has a dragon.

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

I wanted the first book because I’d read anything that SJM writes (even though now I’m not as big a fan of ToG as I used to be). I actually read ACOTAR because it’s a Beauty and the Beast retelling but I stayed with the series because I love it that much. I’ve read a lot of great books but for the life of me I can’t remember one that trumps ACOMAF. Maybe The Deathly Hallows because that book struck all the chords for me.

I don’t know what it was about ACOMAF that made me fall in love with it but I know that I didn’t want to put it down. People told me that ACOTAR didn’t come near to ACOMAF’s level and I thought they were exaggerating…no, but there’s no such thing. ACOTAR is a really good book but it’s just the beginning, you know. Now at this moment, I’m reading ACOWAR and I’m taking my time with it but I’m quickly realising that I can’t read these books slowly. I literally had to read other books so I could take a break. I think I’m doing this because it’s the end of Feyre’s story and I’m not yet ready for that.

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

I watched Catching Fire in the cinema and promptly fell in love with this series. A friend got me the first book as a birthday gift and the way I feel about this series as a whole…lawd Jesus have mercy. I’ve read Mockingjay thrice so far and I’m definitely going to read a few more times in this lifetime.

Do I want a Hunger Games redo? Nope, not at all. No continuation either. One does not simply mess with perfection.

Honourable mentions:

  • The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare
  • A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin
  • Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan
  • The Heroes of Olympus by Rick Riordan
  • The Enemy by Charlie Higson
  • Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

 

Thanks for stopping by,
Caron xx

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Source: Gifs taken from Giphy.com

RST: Tackling that TBR

Me: *nervously* Hi, I’m Caron and I have a never ending TBR pile.
Fellow Bibliophiles: Hi Caron!

You know that challenge that takes place every year ‘TBR Take Down’? Yea, I can probably never take part in that. The goal is to get your TBR to zero by the end of the year and I can’t resist buying books. It’s starting to become a problem because I have no bookshelf to store my books in, I’m staying with family members and my few books (literally 6 of them) are sitting in a plastic crate. Is it obvious that I’m suffering?

Every year I try to read more owned books than ebooks so that I can decrease my TBR pile and it works. I’m eternally on a book buying ban (See that post here) but because I have a problem…I keep buying more books.

This year I wasn’t able to read as much as I liked because I decided to focus on my studies and while I have finished a few books in the meantime, it’s not up to my usual standard. I used to read up to 14 books a month, now I can barely make it through one, let alone two. Because my studies and my future are important, this is a sacrifice that I was willing to make but that doesn’t mean I haven’t had trouble staying on track. My blog is my safe haven, my books are where I go to escape and find peace and happiness. It’s been difficult but I’ve found loopholes for that as well.

At the time I’m writing this post, I own 346 physical books (bind-ups counted individually) and I’ve read 225 of them. My goal was to have 500 books by the end of 2017, but with my move and everything that went on this year I decided to scrap that and go on a book bargain hunt next year.

It’s gotten so bad that I even have a TBR for my TBR. I’m sure most of you can relate to this. But still, we never stop. I blame these awesome authors for writing such amazing books. I don’t know what I’ll do if my TBR pile ever reaches zero. I’d probably throw a party and then go buy more books. I worry for the day I have children to be honest. Apparently you’re supposed to more attention to them and not the books.

We’ll see how this journey plays out but for now, I’m stuck where I am and I have no problem with it.

Thanks for stopping by,
Caron xx

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Source: gifs taken from giphy.com

RST: My True Thoughts on Book to Screen Adaptations

There have been countless books that have been adapted and made into movies, TV shows and what have you. I think it’s safe to say that a horrible adaptation is a bookworm’s worst nightmare come to life.

I started a Movie/TV Show vs. Book segment on my blog last year and while I enjoy it very much, I don’t always go into detail about how I feel about the situation as a whole. Don’t get me wrong, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with this because who doesn’t want to see a book they enjoyed ‘come to life’ so to say?

The first movie I watched that was based off a book, that I can remember, was A Walk to Remember. I didn’t know there was a movie for it…hell, I didn’t even know that Nicholas Sparks was such a well known author. It wasn’t until I got more involved in the book world and the blogosphere that I really considered the few (or many) differences adaptations can bring forth.

I try not to be too harsh when watching a movie that is based off a book because I have to put in consideration the filmmaker’s thoughts and ideas as well. Of course, as readers we have our own expectations, what we pictured as we were reading and we get a bit ‘annoyed’ when there are unforeseen changes. Nothing wrong with change but if the plot itself is going to be changed why even decide to base the film/show off that book in the first place

My point is that I don’t have any issues with book to screen adaptations… My thing is the ‘how it’s executed’ that gets me. There are some books that I think would be great if they were made into movies or even better, TV shows. I honestly wish that there was a book for the movie Remember Me. I cry every time I watch it and I think the emotions would be just as raw and heart wrenching if it were in the form of a book, if not more.

Let’s have a few adaptations and my brief thoughts on them.

  • The Twilight Saga – love/hate relationship with this series and I’m constantly on the fence about it
  • The Shadowhunter Chronicles – what even was that movie? LOVE the changes made in the TV show…gives it a new and original feel
  • Percy Jackson and the Olympians – great on it’s own but compared to the books, just…no
  • The Harry Potter series – I mean, the movies could’ve been better but I do frequent marathons so I don’t actually dislike it at all

There’s always the fear that a book that you loved so much was made into a movie what you don’t care about. This was why I was so happy when I found out that Cassie Clare was asked her opinion about characters and the world and whatnot during the production of Shadowhunters.

I think it’s very important that they take the fans and readers into consideration when adapting a book because they are the ones that’ll be watching and the internet’s not always a nice place. These days people get so easily offended that it’s not hard to be ridiculed and made a joke out of.

I’m perfectly capable of separating a book from it’s screen adaptation. I don’t get angry while watching City of Bones anymore because my sister and I think of it as a comedy. All in all, I’m glad that we readers are even granted an opportunity to see these books made ‘visual’. I’d be out of a segment if they were to stop lol.

See my Movie/TV Show vs. Book posts here.

Thanks for stopping by,
Caron

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Source: gifs taken from giphy.com

RST: Music I Listen to While I Read

It’s no secret that I love reading. I think it’s pretty obvious since I run a blog that’s dedicated to books and everything related to it. Most of us have our specific things we do to get comfortable while reading. Some eat snacks, others have a drink nearby and many have music playing in the background.

I don’t always listen to music while I’m reading, it depends on the book and my mood. Oftentimes I forget my iPod at home or my phone’s battery is dead (because I’m one of those people who forgets that a phone needs to be charged in order to stay on). I don’t usually read in public because I don’t like distractions especially if it’s a book I’m really enjoying so I tend to read at home more often than not.

I used to have a reading playlist but I don’t have a specific one anymore. I found a few on 8tracks and I relied on those but I don’t always have internet so that became an unreliable option for me. The one playlist from 8tracks that I do remember was ‘He’s My Cup of Tea’ but I don’t know who made it. I made a note of the songs and I still listen to them when I’m in the mood for a chilled out vibe.

That playlist features songs like:

  • Cold Coffee by Ed Sheeran
  • Amsterdam by Imagine Dragons
  • Chasing Cars by Snow Patrol
  • Please Don’t Say You Love Me by Gabrielle Aplin

….just to name a few.

As I said, my choice of reading music changes depending on my mood, the book I’m reading and the phases of the sun. It’s very rare that I read without music or any kind of background noise. I can’t read in complete silence because I feel that it’s better when I’m tuning something out. I’m not even listening to the music as I read. At times I miss three songs before I notice that I’ve been lost in the book and I love that feeling. I love knowing that I’m being pulled in and even more so when I don’t realise that it’s happening.

For my current unofficial ‘playlist’ I have:

  • On Bended Knee by Boyz II Men
  • My All by Mariah Carey
  • I Swear by All 4 One
  • Long Distance by Brandy
  • What Makes A Man by Westlife
  • Back At One by Brian McKnight
  • Make You Feel My Love by Adele
  • Dance With My Father by Luther Vandross

…of what I can remember.

As you can see I mainly stick to those old school slow jams. I need something that doesn’t have a lot of bass and songs that are familiar so I don’t get pulled in by the song instead of the book.

Sometimes I listen to The Lord of the Rings soundtrack but then I end up focusing on the music and not the story which bugs me a bit. My main reason for needing the background noise (and not a movie because there’s talking) is because I have a short attention span and with music I lose track of time, allowing me to read for longer periods of time and before I know it, the sun is rising and the people in the house are getting up for the new day.

Well, there you have it. Just a quick post going through my connection with music while reading. Hope you guys enjoyed it.

Thanks for stopping by,
Caron xx

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