Reading Retreat

Screen Shot 2019-07-20 at 11.05.39 PM.pngYou know how people go on weekend retreats? Well, there is one for booklovers too. My jaw literally dropped and I was all “Yes, I need that!” (even though I technically don’t). From what I gather, a handful of people go to this farmhouse and just read, then talk about their books over dinner. Quite often one book is chosen in advance so everyone has time to read it before/during the retreat to discuss it together.

At first I thought, if you really need to get away from your family that badly just to get a little reading time in there must be something wrong. But then I realized you may want to have a romantic bookish weekend away with your significant other rather than you are wanting to run away from them. That children don’t comprehend “me-time” and how a little personal space is necessary for keeping one’s sanity. And bosses sometimes don’t get “time off” means you should not be on call 24/7. The world has got to learn we bibliophiles need to rejuvenate our energy stores through reading, so don’t bug us!

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Special Post!

july16perfect dateQ

Today is a special day for me so, despite the fact I am sick in bed right now, I decided to celebrate in the only way I can. I will be posting throughout the course of the day, both here and in my stories on my bookstagram account jk.booklover  to commemorate the occasion!

I am going to start things off with a riddle:
Do you know what this scene from Miss Congeniality and the photo of a bookish tea party I had with Marie ( ramblingsofadaydreamer )  have in common? 

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Marie Kondo and Books

mariekondo_netflix_heroimagewebhome_768xWhile I have not yet read Marie Kondo’s book “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up” or her sequel “Spark Joy” (I’m waiting on them from the library), I have just binge-watched the TV show that came out on Netflix recently. I had only meant to watch one or two episodes the other night before bed, but got hooked and watched half the season in one go. Once I finished the season I really wanted to do a possession purge… this is problematic as I am currently living in Ireland with only a modicum of stuff, while all my excessive belongings are stored at my parents’ house.

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New Year = New Start

screen shot 2019-01-08 at 2.12.25 pmAgain.

It seems like no matter how many times I intend to revitalize my blog, the plan quickly fizzles out. Last year I got a full-time job that has me often working odd hours and overtime, so I did not have much energy for anything else. My entire life became work, eat, read, sleep, repeat.

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Bookish Merchandise

When looking at bookstagram it is not just the books being added to my ever growing TBR list that make me drool. I also see candles, funkos, bookmarks, artwork, pillowcases, book cozies, and all the other wonderful merchandise to be had. It is rather amazing there are so many bookish things available for people who love to read.

I remember when reading made you a nerd rather than a fangirl, when it made you a bit weird rather than part of a world-wide community, when there wasn’t much swag to be had outside of bookmarks and even those rarely depicted book related things –though unicorns and puppies are cute. In fact, growing up, I don’t know of anyone who made such things even just for themselves, because it was just something no one really thought to do. It makes me wonder how this phenomenon started, at what point reading became a major marketing campaign. Does anyone remember or know?

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Pop goes Bookstagram

screen-shot-2017-02-17-at-7-32-22-pm(photo credit to Marie Landry aka sweetmarie_83)

Have any of you been on instagram and seen all the fabulous posts by bookstagrammers? These people take photos of various books in various settings and various placements with the end result of appearing like the pix were taken by professional photographers.

Booklover that I am, the idea appealed. Naturally I thought to take part in some book-themed photo challenges to join this fabulous community, but given my travelling I didn’t have much by the way of stuff to put in my pictures. Once I got home there was a lot of knickknacks about, but I still couldn’t quite get the aesthetic others are capable of. I just didn’t have the knack for it (just ask my friend Marie who saw proof I’m singularly bad at it) and am all the more impressed by those who do.

If you have been checking out some of the same accounts I have, then you’ve noticed all the Funko Pops. They are these vinyl figurines of book/movie characters that look absolutely adorable and make those of us without them drool. In my envy I thought that if I had some Funkos myself then my photos would vastly improve… though this may have been an attempt at justifying the purchase of what is essentially a “plastic toy” any logical adult would know better than to fork over hard-earned cash to buy.

The top of my wish list has the Winchester brothers from Supernatural as I’m absolutely obsessed with the show. Other fans who just discovered Funko Pops will know my pain of trying to find Sam, Dean, and a trench-coated Castiel with or without wings. I lucked out in locating a website that sells the wee dollies and managed to snag a Dean and Charlie, but the other two have eluded me.

I went to the mall with Marie not long ago and we searched all the stores potentially selling the bobbley things. With HMV closing, that was our first stop hoping for a killer sale price on anything, and I came away with Lorelei and Rory from Gilmore Girls. A stop at our second store got me a fabulous sale on Cher and Dionne from Clueless (both for the price of one!), and a third shop had Audrey Hepburn looking fantastic in her Breakfast at Tiffanies attire. Somehow I left that day with five Funkos and I’m awaiting two in the mail.

Unboxed and on display among my books now I think… why? Why did I spend so much money on something that will just collect dust? I still do plan to use them in any instagram photos I can, but I can’t help but wonder if it was worth the price. I love my wee Funko Pops, and even have Audrey beside me on the desk, but are they really just toys I’ll soon tire of and wish I saved my money for something else—like more books?

What do you think about this fad, will it last? Do you have any Funko Pops yourself? Which ones and where do you keep them? Do you think them completely worth having or do you regret wasting your money?

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My Top Ten Brit Books

I may not have posted many reviews while living in London, but I was definitely reading! In fact, I was working in a secondary school library and spent much of my day surrounded by books.  I had access to a lot of young adult novels, and the kids often asked me for recommendations. What choice did I have but to read as many as I could so I would be familiar with our stock?  The funny part is there was a rumour I had read all the books in the library, as a couple asked me straight out if I really had. It would have taken me a good five or six years to manage, but I was certainly trying my best!  I did nothing to quash that wee tale, either *L0L*

All the books I have chosen here were written by authors who live in the UK and that I had recommended to a student at some point over the past two years. Hopefully you will find some new author you’ll like!

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