30 May 2016

Monthly Wrap Up // May

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Okay, so I don’t know where my May went but I kind of want it back. June is the month where I live alone for three weeks and have to be a proper grown up for a while. I’m not good at doing that so I kind of want my May to carry on a bit longer.

Anyway, I’ve been a bit slower in my blogging and reading a lot. I’ve visited the library again and am attempting (quite poorly) to renew my efforts to not buy too many new books. Let’s take a look at how my month has gone.

Can’t Stop Listening

Cake By The Ocean – DNCE
History – One Direction
Biscuits – Kacey Musgraves

May Reads

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May Posts


May Links


It Starts At Midnight // Do Retellings Have Prerequisites?
Pages of Starlight // Cliffhangers and Why They Suck
Broc’s Bookcase // At What Point Do You DNF A Book?
Confessions of a Book Geek // I Hate Branded Media References In Fiction
Nick & Nereyda’s Infinite Booklist // When Nick & Nereyda Don’t Like The Same Book (a lesson in having a difference of opinion)

How Has your month been? Gotten up to anything exciting? Read any good books or something online you simply have to talk about? Tell me all below.

29 May 2016

Sunday Summary // 29.05.2016

Sunday Summary
It’s time for the last Sunday Summary of May and I’m excited to fill you in on my week. Not that my week has been any different from any other week, I’m just excited to get blogging again.

I gave myself a mini blogging break this week. It wasn’t intentional or planned, it really only happened because I got busy reading and seeing people. I posted just one post on Tuesday and had every intention to get some blogging done during the week but things just kept popping up instead. I found myself having read no blog posts, replied to practically no comments and basically just having a relaxing week instead. I didn’t even really turn my laptop on, which is very unusual for me. It’s so nice to take little breaks from blogging now and again. It’s like recharging your batteries. I’ve written several blog posts today and I’ve got ideas bouncing around in my head and I feel motivated again. Maybe I should give myself more breaks?

This week was an excellent reading week (more on that later) and also a good week for doing things. I finally got around to watching the new Captain America film on Wednesday and really enjoyed it. I also discovered the wonders of my local cinema’s VIP seats. They have a cup holder, a twisty table and (most importantly) they recline! They are so big and so comfortable and it means no more trying to avoid sitting in a seat behind a giant because they are perfectly tiered to avoid this. I will never go back to regular seating now I have experienced such luxury.

The film was good too.

I then had to deal with some friend drama on Thursday. I played councillor and ear to rant in. I can’t say my advice was the best, but I tried. I won’t reveal all, but there was work drama and turns out I’m not the only person working for a crazy company, she also had complaints about talking and things like that. What is wrong with the world?

I ended up buying a few things Friday (it’s my brother’s fault, he wanted to watch the last X-Men film before we see the new one next week so I ended up buying all of them on Blu-ray and then a few books just fell into my basket along the way) and I managed to order my Fairyloot box for July before they sold out in 24 hours! I am so excited to see what will come in that one, and I can’t wait for my June one to arrive. I think a general chat about book subscription boxes may have to happen soon because I want to know other’s thoughts on them.

What I’ve Been Reading

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As you can see, I have been on a roll with my reading. I read Falling Fast Sunday evening as I needed something light (it was less light than I expected, but still enjoyable).

I then took a day to recover and read fanfiction before I began reading Second Chance Summer. I forgot how good Matson’s writing was until I began reading that, I did have to put it down, though, because I almost started crying on the bus home Tuesday, not a good look. I’m just the crazy girl crying in the corner. I had to speed read it Tuesday night and finished just before I left for work Wednesday so I was red-faced and slightly puffy eyed from crying. It’s good, though, it’s the kind of crying where you feel for the characters and can’t help yourself.

As for the rest of my reads, Magic Bitter, Magic Sweet was alright but not ground-breaking. Definitely unique. I enjoyed Every Exquisite Thing but the book did feel a bit abrupt in some ways. And I started Night Owls yesterday and just knew I was going to enjoy it from the first page. I love that feeling of loving the writing as soon as you've started.

New To Me

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Yeah… well… you see… I have a problem, OK? In my defence the last 5 books are from the library and The Shadow Hour and Sing are both NetGalley requests. The rest were purchased, though. I won’t buy any more books this month, though. I promise.

How has your week been? Has anyone treated them self to a break from blogging and felt better for it? And have you read any of the books I’ve gotten, which should I read next?

24 May 2016

My Thoughts // Why I Like Used Books

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My Thoughts is a feature where I attempt to write bookish discussions. If you had spent any time with me in real life you would learn I have this habit of blurting out random thoughts from time to time when I allow my mind to wander. It’s from these random thoughts these posts emerge as I attempt to write some coherent thoughts about what’s been on my mind. I am trying to combine this with my attempts at participating in the Discussion Challenge this year.

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I am becoming a big fan of used books. This came as quite a shock to me as I have been a complete Kindle reader for a long time. In the past couple of years, I have found my habits changing, though, and I am buying more and more physical books. Turns out buying physical books is an expensive habit and so I have slowly been trying to discover the best ways to save me some money. There are the usual websites where you can get cheap deals on new books (like The Works and The Book People) but they tend to only have a limited number of books and that’s for random buys, not for targeted buying. I needed ways to get access to more books I want.

It turns out used books are cheap and you can get them in so many different places. Why not benefit from other’s castoffs?
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Why Do I Like Used Books?


They’re cheap. Let’s get right down to the simple truth of the matter. You will struggle to get a book cheaper than it’s used counterpart, especially when searching for a physical copy. It’s just hard to argue that point.

I’ve never cared much about the appearance of my books (my Harry Potter books have seen better days) so having books which are worn or a bit battered doesn’t bother me. Are they going to be the prettiest books on my shelf? No, but they will be well loved regardless. I mean, I am a former dogearer of pages so I cannot be too critical of a book's condition. As my brother said the other day, books are made to be read. Any book, or any paperback anyway, is going to show a bit of wear and tear after reading. You will bend the spine reading a book, you will scuff up the cover carrying it around with you. So what?

They are a cheaper option to some Kindle book prices and perfect for those books I want to read but am not dying to read. They are the option for when I can’t get a book from my local library but know I still want to read something. Ever since I was at university I have been a fan of used books. They are so cheap how could you not?

The downside to used books for me is the fact the majority of mine are bought online so I have no way of actually knowing what condition I will get them in. You can get a vague assessment of it being in ‘good, ‘very good’ or ‘like new’ condition but that is very much up to the individual to decide how used they like their books. It does bother me I can’t inspect my book before purchasing, it’s not like buying brand new where you expect it in pristine condition, it can come with a bent spine, dog eared pages, or underlining of things. It’s very hit and miss and they always have all their pages and all that good stuff, but I know some people or fussy about the outside too.

Where Are My Favourite Places to Get Them?

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I will never convince you to buy used books if that’s not your thing, but for those who are interested I can tell you where I get my loot.
charity
The most obvious one is used book shops. I know they aren’t everywhere, some people have one in their area but then others (like me) don’t. The next place outside of used bookstores are charity shops, of those I have an abundance. The thing with used book shops and charity shops is that the options are limited. You might get lucky and get a rare find but more often than not it will be copies of Gone Girl and things like that. Good to pop your head into but not a place to used as a reliable source.

If you’ve got nothing in your local area you will have to turn to my friends, the internet. I love the internet for shopping, I could spend thousands if I let myself.

amazon
The most obvious place to go for books? Amazon. I know some people have their issues with Amazon for books, but when it comes to used books your supplier could be anybody and the issues are completely irrelevant (I think) because Amazon isn’t using their same shady tactics.

Pros: Wide selection, lots of sellers, dead cheap, free delivery available, good deals
Cons: Some sellers are questionable, depends if you want to support Amazon doesn’t it?

World Of Books
One of my favourite sites to use to stock up on a few books at a time is World of Books. This is a website I found by accident when I bought a used book on eBay and discovered the seller had a whole website and were offering me a discount code. I now visit it often to see what’s available because it’s a really good used book site based in the UK (yay). This place has such a wide selection and a good 3 for 2 offer on a lot of books. I could browse for hours on there, it’s so interesting. I strongly recommend this site as the quality of the books is very high. I also love the fact they’re delivered by Royal Mail as I can collect them from my local delivery office if I’m not home.

Pros: Wide selection, good offers, high quality, free delivery, UK based
Cons: Slow delivery (it can take up to a week to arrive), some high prices at times

Better World Books
The final site, and a new discovery, is Better World Books. This is a site I’ve used only once and I did like it. There you get used library books and they tend to donate books to charity for the books you buy. You can feel good whilst getting yourself something nice. As they are used library books you tend to have the usual library stickers on the spine, they can come with the sticky plastic stuff on the cover as protection, with plastic book covers on them, and the usual library stickers inside. They are good library book condition but be aware they may stand out a bit on your shelf. Again, they do free delivery (worldwide) and they deliver via Royal Mail so I like them for that. Their used conditions are a tad more lenient I think, but they aren’t falling apart and they are a passable condition so I wouldn’t knock them for that. They also have a US site with a really wide selection and they do worldwide shipping too.

Pros: Both UK site and US so wider selection, free delivery, gives back to charity
Cons: More lenient in their conditions, can come with stickers on them,

There are other sites I’ve not tried. You could always try eBay (but I’m always a little wary) and there is also AbeBooks which is much like Amazon with various sellers selling through it. Really, all you have to do it look and there are plenty of places to get a good used book from.

Do you buy used books? If not, why not? Have you used any of the sites I’ve mentioned, or are there any more you wish to recommend?

22 May 2016

Sunday Summary // 22.05.2016

Sunday Summary
I will prepare you all now. You can rejoice in the fact that I will not be complaining about work. In fact, the only work related thing I have to mention is that they sent an email around about our office move. It was the most pointless email it was the ‘I can confirm we’re moving office, but I can’t say where or when until our offer has gone through but please stop gossiping about it’. It was an email meant to assuage people but only ended up churning up more gossip. You have to question what management is thinking sometimes.

Now, on to the rest of my week. I’ve been spending a lot of my time at home the past couple of weeks, there have been my usual trips to the pub on a Thursday (which makes work hard on a Friday) but I’ve actually been quite antisocial. I think this is mostly down to the fact my parents go away in a couple of weeks. They will be abandoning me to fend for myself and look after the animals (I may be 25 but given half a chance I will be lazy and allow myself have my meals cooked by mother and generally do very little). I’m trying to get as much time as possible with them before I’ll be living alone for 3 weeks. I’m treating it as good practice for when I move out so I know what to expect.

I’m sorry I’m not more chatty today, but I’m actually feeling a bit rubbish. I’ve got the worst headache and stuffed up nose, a dreaded head cold may be developing here and it’s making me want to go back to bed, not type in front of a computer.

What I’ve Been Reading

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Another good reading week. I’ve now read two-thirds of my library books and enjoyed them. I will forever follow every recommendation of Danya’s, City of the Lost kept me up way too late Sunday night (Monday morning?) and I was dying at work but I simply couldn’t put this book down. Kelley Armstrong may become a favourite author if the writing in all of her books is this good. I also adored Rosie Hopkins' book I don't know why I didn't read it sooner because it was utterly fantastic. I can't believe I waited almost a year after buying to read, I will try and not keep making that same mistake.

The rest of my reads were good but not quite as rave-worthy. I enjoyed The Boy Most Likely To, but not as much as My Life Next Door. I was interested by The Curse of Lord Stanstead but felt a bit let down by it’s ending. And, as for Between The Notes, I'm still reading it so I'll let you know. It's been a fun read so far.

New To Me

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I am so impressed with myself. I have bought just one book in the past two weeks and that is Between The Notes and I've already started reading it. Every Exquisite Thing was sent free from Headline and I am so excited for it. The Silver Linings Playbook was a book I read at the end of uni and I loved it. It was a book which started to help me get back into reading again so I’m glad to go back and read another book of Quick’s. I’ll tell you all about it soon because I’m excited.

What have you been up to lately? Read any good books? Got any recommended reads? And please offer me all your advice for living alone to prepare me for June.