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

BookTube VS Libraries

I do not own a TV, of any kind! I am very proud of this and it does shock a few people when I mention it.

So I watch a LOT of YouTube, everyday, as I love the interaction I can have with other members of the community and even sometimes with the creator of the works.

BookTube is honestly my favorite part of the YouTube community, if you like having conversation about book recommendations or how you hated what happened to the characters in the book you just read, it is a great place to be a part of.

BUT! What annoys me is that a lot of the creators do “Book Hauls” and “Book Shelf Tours”, which can be interesting and honestly does my me jealous of their set up. Why aren’t they using the library if they love books so much? This has always been in the back of my mind when seeing my newsfeed/subbox/timelines/whatever the latest update will call it.

My partner bought me a book shelf and I love it!


As you can see, it is not full at all! That is because I loan the majority of my books out from my local library!

This is how I arranged my book shelf:

Bottom: academic books from my career thus far (mostly second hand to be fair)!.

Middle: read books that I love and will probably read again.

Top: TBR (to be read) books that I have been gifted or have bought with vouchers etc.

Slowly, picture frames and musical instruments have made their way into it, which I don’t mind as I love having somewhere to display them.

Although I do love the BookTube world, I am surprised that they do not recommend the local library more often. The books are FREE!

This is the idea that will be behind my own YouTube/BookTube channel.

What are your book shelves like? I had a bookcase, that was suitcase of books, before I was lucky to get this!

Do you use your local library? If not, why so?

Thanks for reading!

Jade x

Where have you been Jade???

So I have been very quiet on here for a good few months, I also change the settings to private.

I was feeling very stressed and needed to do this:

This is still 4,000 words short for my dissertation :/
This is still 4,000 words short for my dissertation :/

This, my readers, is my 23,000 word first draft of my dissertation for my MSc in Library and Information Studies from Robert Gordon University.

If you have been following me on here, you will know my topic, but for those of you just popping by, it’s basically about music copyright in libraries.

The word limit is 20,000 (+/- 10%). I did a LOT of data collection, surveys and interviews, which has made my appendix…. let’s just say it’s nearly at the double digits.

My current employers have been very supportive and have let me working on this paper during working hours (after I have all my duties done, of course) so I am very happy I made the investment in a Google Chromebook and have 1TB of storage to save everything onto and access where I need (as long as I have Wifi/Internet).

***This blog post is not sponsored by Google, I just want current and future students to know how awesome their products are***

I could not recommend using Google Docs/Drive highly enough, it really is amazing how you can ask someone to edit and proofread along with you!

So what I am doing now is planning a summer of an Irish Road Trip with my friend, Maid of Honour Duties, Kick Ass Graduation Parties….. AND I HAVE DECIDED TO GO FOR CALL FOR PAPER DEADLINES.

I am good at presenting my work and think I would kick some serious networking butt at these things. I just have to make sure my (FULL TIME) job is not disrupted too much in the process.

I think I have a problem, I just love learning 🙂

Sorry it took me so long to post again, I promise after my deadline (May 6th), I will be back in action on here.

Jade x

Card Catalogues and I

As per ermigal’s (here is her witty and fun blog request a few weeks ago, I have been on a looking into the usage of card catalogs in my job to find out when the card catalog has been retired and the answer is……

I have not personally had to use it for a research inquiry, but anything that predates 1993 can be found on the card catalog. It is still available for viewing by members of the public, as the reserve stock (mostly predates 1993) is listed on the cards. Most of the items before that date are also on our Library Management System, which is what I tend to prefer.

Please see the photograph 🙂

My experience with card catalogues from my local library while growing up varies a little, I was allowed have two different town library cards and loved it! (I lived in one town over from my primary school town).
I was aware of the card catalogue being in the brown shelving unit behind the librarian’s desk in my home town, but she would always recommend titles or encourage me to move around the stacks myself to browse.
In my school town, which had a significantly bigger population thus library, there was a full row of the card catalog cabinets underneath the stairs that really was used a lot, for the older children who were doing research for their studies.
I recall once or twice the librarians (or library assistants) going to find information in the shelves for the patrons.

I am a browser, and was no in the study phrases of my life when the card catalogue was changed for the Online Public Access Catalog (OPAC), but to be completely honest…. I would ask the librarian at the desk for help and for recommendations.

When my Mother went back to university when I was a preteen, I was allowed into the library to sit next to her a color and read (yes, I was one of those children)!
For her to find the book she needed, she had to queue up to read the Dewey Decimal Classification books, which I have a photo from my module last year!

She had to know which topic she was looking for, what sub class it was and the ISBN.
Full disclosure: my Mum worked 3 jobs and raised me when mobile phones and laptops were a luxury, you could say she was a hard-worker!
She would look in the DDC and figure out the floor and stack she needed to go to.
I am very happy that I went to the same university nearly 10 years later…. when they had the OPAC and guided library tours that could help little first years who were lost.

Each library is different and the technological advances do tend to be *slightly* behind on the times, but its good to know that if the machines take over the world, there are some places that have original library techniques to guide us through!