Book Week Scotland 2015

This week is Book Week Scotland, which is a great event that is held in all book shops, libraries and wherever you might find books.

I have tried to promote the week at the FE I currently work at, which wasn’t really a hit, but I created a display!

Then I began to think, when I was in my “academic years”, from secondary to university to post graduate study, did I read for pleasure very often? I did, but not as much as I would have liked.

I was lucky enough to have friends in my undergraduate university that I had had from the age of 12, and who were also fellow bookworms, but we were the minority of our class. We liked to read for a past time and gave each other book recommendations, went to book stores together, even, loaning books to one another. We have that level of friendship! (Yes, I am a lucky girl)!

We are all working now, lawyers, doctors, accountants, executive assistants, library assistants…. And it seems that not all of us read for pleasure anymore?

I suppose our working week has made us tried, we stare at screens all day and we just wanted to relax when we get home or on our commute by listening to music, binge watching a TV show or checking on our Facebook feed.

Can that really replace a book? Have we exchanged the feel and touch of a hard or paperback cover for the cold small communication device that we all keep in contact with one another now we are on different parts of the globe?

I recently took part in a “Social Media Diary” as a research participant, which has made me reflect on my online usage immensely.

For 7 days I had to write down (on a Google Doc, so not even on paper) when I logged into my social media accounts, what I saw and how I felt about it.

After a day or two I noticed that I check my Facebook the first thing in the morning and the last thing at night, which shocked me.

I began to use my phone less, and read in bed more, listen to Podcasts more regularly (I highly recommend the The Penguin Podcasts, very very interesting) and I picked up a book from my TBR shelf!

I picked up a Stephen King I bought in September called “Revival” and I am hooked. I read a lot of King’s works when I was a teenager, I loved being shocked, scared and sometimes terrified at the way he could make me feel about the characters inside his pages. I also loved the looks on my teachers faces when they saw what I was reading when I had the chance.

I suppose, in the profession that I am currently in, I need to have the passion for books that I had from an early age, that my friends did as well. Bookworms 4eva! I am lucky I can go through out fiction section and borrow a book and have the time to pick something  I know I will like, and have the time on my lunch break to relax and read what I want to read.

Not everyone is as lucky, but we should encourage others to try and fit in some time for reading, for fun.

You too can be a bookworm, it is more fun that is sounds!

Thanks for reading!

Jade x

If there are any topics you would like to write on, please feel free to leave a comment 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Knowing when to QUIT… reading a book!

There is nothing more frustrating than spending time in your local library or bookshop, finding something that catches your eye, taking it home and diving in….. but hitting your feet off the bottom!

Of course I am not physically jumping into a book like in Sabrina the Teenage Witch (yes I am that old).

I am speaking about trying your hardest to read a book that you just can’t get into, you don’t like the writing style, the plot is boring or simply you do not like! I would try again, and again, to get through a book I had, renew it at the library two or three times to get through it. It was so frustrating and I didn’t want to read at all, which of course is not a place I want to be!

I was watching my BookTube videos and it was in the comments that I saw some had decided to have an “100 page rule”. This was very interesting to me, especially since I was only reading library books to help my budget (I was just finished my undergraduate degree and wanted to buy a new car) and my TBR shelf/pile was getting out of control.

So I did it! I decided if a book was too tiresome or a chore that I would not read past 100 pages.

It freed me.

I gave away the books I couldn’t get through to charity (after giving them another chance of course) and found myself falling in love with reading again. Gone were the days of dragging a book around from place to place in the house that I felt I would never finish! It closed in on my TBR and my library books were making it back without needing to renew.

I was able to look up recommendations and discovered the Young Adult (YA) genre of books, which blew my mind.

I went deeper and had a phase of dystopian fiction where I read all the trilogy of “The Hunger Games” in a fortnight.

The little girl who would get the maximum of books from the library and read them all, even though I was not doing as such, was back… well her giddiness and appetite for reading was back.

It is hard, I am not going to deny this, I was reading what I thought I would love and be fantastic, “Armanda” by Ernest Cline. (His first book is amazing, honestly I have read it three times, and I thought I would love this one too, it’s called “Ready Player One.” Check it out at your local library)!

And… it didn’t live up to my high exceptions. It is well written, the plot makes sense, the “in” jokes for geeky games and film buffs were there, but I guess what was going to happen!!!

It was too much like a film I had seen and it was driving me up the wall. I renewed the book three times and have had it for 2 months from my local library. Last weekend I said, at page 96, that was that. I might come back to it someday, but I just couldn’t do it, and that’s okay. This doesn’t mean I hate it, or it is written badly, I just didn’t want to read it right now.

Instead I went to my TBR shelf and picked up “We Were Liars” by E. Lockhart. I read this in a week! 🙂

Again, I guessed the ending, but the emotions poured out of the page and I teared up a little towards the end.

It is about a a posh, upper class family, who holiday on an island every summer.

There is an accident, that the main character, Cady, is involved in, but we don’t know what it is until the very end.

She has a brain injury so she can only remember very small bits of information, and we get to see her put the pieces back together while she heals and learns how to deal with the outcome of her memories coming back.

It is fantastic. Some parts feel like you are reading her thoughts and other parts you are not sure if it is a memory of a reflection or a poem!

I would highly recommend it for someone who is looking for a book to read on holidays, as it is 242 pages and it doesn’t involve a lot of thinking, great for the commute!

So ditched that book that has been lurking in your handbag that you can’t get your mind around, pick up something else and give it 100 pages, if it catches your interest you won’t even see the page numbers fly by!

I hope you are all having a great week so far!

If you have any questions or any suggestions for books for me to read, please comment or contact me on all the socials.

Thanks for reading!

Jade x

Reviewing a YouTubers Ebook! – “First & Then” by Elmify aka Emma Mills

As I have previously mentioned in my older blog post, I watched a lot of YouTube.

Since my last post regarding this topic, my partner and I have actually bought a fancy (ex-display) TV with all the trimmings, and most importantly, YouTube and Netflix buttons.

I have read a lot of books thanks to BookTube community online, my first book by a YouTuber was “Papertowns” by John Green, if you have not heard of him you need to fix this straight away:  http://www.youtube.co.uk/user/vlogbrothers

He is half a duo to the Vlog Brothers, Hank Green being the other half, and they are really great a making learning fun (I never thought I would write that) and also entertaining. Lots for charity and lots for ending ignorance on various subjects, basically awesome. DFTBA. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y0VnI1dI7zw

After watching John and Hank for a few years, I stumbled upon Elmify’s channel, through the “Suggested Videos” box which is, sadly, no more on this 8.2.3.4 version of YouTube. http://www.youtube.com/user/elmify

She made me laugh, nearly all the way through her videos, due to her alter ego/inner monologue self who “told it like it is”.

I followed her journey through school, college, amazing singing videos with her Dad at Christmas, and now she is in Grad School (or as best to my knowledge, I don’t stalk her or anything). I felt like I grew up with her, as we are close in age! She felt what I felt, she was just better at expressing it.

She mentioned a few months back that she was coming out with a novel, which made me super excited as I have not been disappointed by any YouTuber books, or recommendations of books either. I preordered “First and Then” and waited for my 4-year-old basic Kindle to get my order when it was released.

Do you want to know what makes the YouTube community extra awesome? It’s accessible, to anyone who is lucky enough to have an internet connection. Elmify was uploading more often, due to excitement of the up and coming release, and I sent her a quick Tweet to show my support and also my excitement for the book too! And she REPLIED. This made me super excited and I showed my other half with a few “Ep!” noises thrown in.

Unbeknownst to Elmify (okay, her name is Emma, but I will always refer to her as Elmify), I had been let go from my job and was super sad when I sent the tweet (I was let go due to the price of oil and the economy) because I was really looking forward to reading something besides job postings.

I got the email to say it had arrived, so I screenshot it on my Kindle App from my iPhone and sent her another Tweet to say I was excited to get started, and she REPLIED again! This just made me giddy at this stage. So you can say I was bias when I started reading her book.

“First and Then” is an amazing book to read. I know nothing, seriously nothing, about American Football but it was explained in the terms of Jane Austen which I was able to break down and understand. There is grief, teenage angst (I love this in books) loss, love, frustrations, pressures that teenagers go through and much much more.

I rarely am able to see elements of myself in a lead character of a book, I actually can not think of a time I did, except this one. She is a head strong, stubborn, sometimes a hermit, sometimes a social butterfly, girl who doesn’t know what she wants just yet and needs to be pushed by the people who love and care to reach her goals. Me, basically, when I was a teenager.

The love story is NORMAL, I mean this in the best way, it isn’t *fall into each other arms* or *I am a vampire let me kill you and blah blah zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz* It is simple, first and not-so-innocent love that when I was a teenager I went through.

I would recommend this book to any teen girl or boy, or any person of any age, or adults with teenagers who need to understand why their child is struggling for any reason.

Go buy it! http://www.amazon.co.uk/First-Then-Emma-Mills/dp/162779235X

5/5 Stars! 🙂

Now…. to Tweet this at her! 😉

Jade x

Reading….. for fun!!! – “Finding Audrey” by Sophie Kinsella

So the last couple of months have been, in Irish slang, MENTAL TED, so I have been lacking on this blog of late.

I am managing to read more, books that I have bought and am excited to read on my daily commute, who would have thought it would have made my TBR shorter to get the bus every weekday?

I am slowly getting used to having time to myself, and my social life, in the evenings and have started to have this thing called….. a life again? Strange, I know.

Last month I finished “Finding Audrey” by Sophie Kinsella, I read it in 3 days! I haven’t been that involved in a book, or had the time to be, for going on 2 years that were not academic so I was very excited to read it. 

I really enjoyed the writing style, and the topic was mental health of a teenage girl after intense bullying in her school (which every woman can relate too, teenage girls can be cruel). I have seen on the BookTube land that it is actually not getting the best reviews, due to the main character, Audrey, kissing a boy really quickly after not knowing him that long (even though she has very very bad social anxiety with new people).

In my opinion, I could tell that this book was written by an author who was coming from a place of reflection on the topic, that they had had experiences that they were describing previously in their younger years (as I have had some of these experiences myself) and when you are looking back at hard or good times, you tend to speed it up a little. I am not saying that you would lie or make up certain parts, but it is more of the “cream from the top” style reflection.

Audrey has had her breakdown, she is working towards healing in the book, so you do not see how hard she has worked to become the young woman she turns into, you only meet her in the middle/end of her journey with understanding her own mental health and how she is the only one who can build herself back up again.

I would highly recommend this book for readers of all ages!

I found this book by browsing through the stacks at my local library, so it didn’t cost me a penny to read.

Maybe you could find a book you love at your local library! Go explore the stacks!

Jade x