Hey everyone! I hope you’re all doing well during these stressful times. I know for many, if not all of us, strict rules have been applied to our current states of living, and so many of us are turning to books to be able to find some solace among the chaos. So, to bring about some cheerfulness, I thought I’d share five fun and/or practical things us bookworms can do to keep at least somewhat sane during these times.
5. Organize your shelves, bookmark collection, candles, etc.
I, for one, know my shelves are a mess. Like I don’t have enough space for all of my books to fit nicely, so some are just stacked in front and it’s not all that pretty, but it’s functional. If you’re like me, now is a good time to set to organizing your shelves the way you want to!
Want to organize them by color? DO IT!
Want to organize them alphabetically by author? DO IT!
Want to organize them by large vs small, genre, hardcover vs paperback, etc. DO IT!
There’s seriously so many endless ways you can organize your shelves. I love seeing people be super creative in their organizational skills. It inspires (and also intimidates) me, and I really want to try to rearrange my shelves with the limited space I got so everything fits. Even if it means double stacking/shelving.
Another thing you can organize is your bookmark collection. If you’re like me, you probably have a fairly sizable collection of bookmarks. Maybe take this time to organize them and really look at the ones you want to keep, give away, or throw away. Do a little KonMari while you’re in quarantine; you might feel better!
4. Support your local bookstores by buying online!
Because this fun time is really hitting everyone, especially small businesses, look into your local independent bookstores and see who is selling online. Many stores are doing free shipping along with ordering, so really it’s a win-win situation.
If you want a list of independent bookstores, check out IndieBound! Not only will you be able to find a local bookstore in your area or state, but you might also be able to visit those places once quarantine is over!
3. Participate in online read-a-thons or book clubs.
There’s never a dull moment in the book community, let me tell you. Not only are there local book clubs that you can visit in person (once this is over), but there are TONS of read-a-thons happening online all the time!
As you already know, this month of April is the O.W.L.s read-a-thon, which I’m participating in, and takes place every April. Not only that, but the subsequent N.E.W.T.s takes place every August, so there’s even more to look forward to as the year progresses with this Harry Potter themed read-a-thon.
Not only that, but there’s read-a-longs going on, as well, such as Cosmerealong, where people are reading some of Brandon Sanderson’s fantasy books. Really, just do a quick search online and you’ll find plenty. Plus, a lot of independent bookstores have their own book clubs or books that they highlight, so I suggest you check those out.
2. Blog, Booktube, Instagram, etc. ALL THE BOOKISH THINGS!
What you’re doing right now? BOOKISH! But really, go blog! Do the Instagram thing, make your photos aesthetic af, go watch or make some YouTube videos, etc. Stay in touch with other readers and try to keep the mood light during these tough times. It’ll seriously be super rewarding for you, I’m sure.
1 . When in doubt, read.
Obviously, as readers, we read. It’s just the thing we do. But if you’re feeling overwhelmed by all of the other things, pick up a favorite book and reread it, allowing yourself to escape into that world you love so much. Or pick up one of your books for one of the read-a-thons you’re in, or a new book, or even read some webcomics! It doesn’t matter what form the book takes, but just take the time to actually read and unwind throughout the day.
I hope you all found this little list helpful. I just wanted to do a light-hearted post about things to do during quarantine, so I hope this gave you a few ideas. Keep up the great work you’re doing, and have fun!
What are you reading right now? Have your organized (or dusted off) your shelves lately? Let me know!
Hello lovely people! Today I have a fun tag that I saw on Sam’s channel on Thoughts on Tomes. The original creator of this tag, Bree of Falling for Romance, created the tag to get to know the romance reader, but the questions here were tailored more toward those who read fantasy (which I do lol). So, let’s jump right into the tag, shall we?
1 . What is your fantasy origin story? (How you came to read your first fantasy novel)
Oh man, I have to think way back. Unlike many people my age (late twenties), my first fantasy read wasn’t Harry Potter or Percy Jackson (both of which I’m reading for the first time now, in my twenties). I think for me it was a collection of some fairy tales such as Rumpelstiltskin, The Old Lady in the Shoe, etc. I can’t for the life of me remember who this particular collection was by, but it should still be at my parents’ house somewhere.
But, in much further memory, the first fantasy/paranormal book that really pulled me into the genre was A Certain Slant of Light by Laura Whitcomb. It was on the reading list for that year’s summer reading and, admittedly, the only time I actually did summer reading and enjoyed it. I mean, it’s hard to get high schoolers to actually read something off of those lists, let me tell you, so to say I’m glad it was on her list is an understatement.
It was the first young adult novel I read where I was actually hooked on the story and the characters and wanted to learn so much more about them. I still have the book and hope to do a reread of it sometime this year or soon to see if I’ll still enjoy it, but it has a special place in my heart as the first fantasy-esque book that sent me off on my current journey today.
2. If you could be the hero/heroine in a fantasy novel, who would be the author and what’s one trope you’d insist be in the story?
Oh man, Laini Taylor, hands down. I’d love to be written beautifully into one of her worlds – new or old. She’s an incredibly poetic author and I love her books and worlds so much.
As for a trope I’d insist being written into the story… Ooh, I know: give me that enemies-to-friends-to-lovers trope. I love iiiiiiiit~
3. What is a fantasy you’ve read this year, that you want more people to read?
I mean, considering at the time of writing this post I’ve only read one fantasy novel so far this year, and that’s Strange the Dreamer (which I loved, spoiler alert), I definitely want more people to read it. It’s beautiful and so complex and intriguing. Go check out my review for more mushy feelings about it.
BUT, I do have a few fantasy-esque webtoons/comics I can definitely recommend!
4. What is your favorite fantasy subgenre? What subgenre have you not read much from?
My favorite fantasy subgenre is probably high/epic fantasy. I love to be immersed in new worlds, magic systems, political systems, and just all manner of things. And the books and series are usually super huge, so I can stay with those characters for a lot longer, which is nice.
The subgenre I haven’t read much from is probably grim dark. I’m the kind of person that enjoys reading about happy things and really loves fluff. Not that I mind reading the darker stuff, I just don’t like it when it’s all encapsulating in the novel. But sometimes the darkness of my soul needs to be fed, so.
5. Who is one of your auto-buy fantasy authors?
I was just going to move onto the next question, but I guess I’ll elaborate a little lol I just love her worlds and the way she writes. I feel like I can taste and feel and sense what her characters do, and I get so attached and want to know what will happen next. She’s just a fantastic writer and I look forward to her work.
6. How do you typically find fantasy recommendations? (Goodreads, Youtube, Podcasts, Instagram..)
Ah, well, because I pulled back a lot from the book community in the last year, I haven’t actually been getting a lot of recommendations (which is fine, my TBR appreciates it), but typically through YouTube or just browsing sites like Amazon or WEBTOON.
7. What is an upcoming fantasy release you’re excited for?
The Stormlight Archives book 4, Rhythm of War, by Brandon Sanderson. I mean, I know I’ve only finished the first book in the series – Way of Kings – but it’s one of my new favorite series of all time, so of COURSE I’m excited for this book, even if it takes another five years to get to it, but by that time, the fifth book will have come out, so it all evens out haha!
8. What is one misconception about fantasy you would like to lay to rest?
Not all GOOD fantasy books are written by white, straight, male authors. There are many female writers who write amazing worlds, stories, characters, scenes, etc.
9. If someone had never read a fantasy before and asked you to recommend the first 3 books that come to mind as places to start, what would those recommendations be?
Oh man. This is a tough question because 1) every book I ever read would cease to exist in my mind, and 2) I’d need to know their own reading tastes and such before telling them, but these three are ones I think I’d recommend:
Oh hi, so, I haven’t done a challenge on my blog in a millennia, and since I haven’t decided if I want to rejoin the Booktube community (because I’m lazy and don’t know if I want to make videos), I decided I’m going to do the challenge and post my results here!
The challenge was originally created by Keeping Tabs on YouTube.
So it’s a 20 questions challenge to see just how well you know your books. Now, I’m not going to race against the clock, but I’m going to do my best to find the books on my shelves! So this post will be a bit image heavy.
Here we go!
1. Do you have a book with deckled edges?
2. Do you have a book with three or more people on the cover?
3. Do you have a book based on another fictional story?
4. Do you have a book with a title 10 letters long?
5. Do you have a book with a title that starts and ends with the same letter?
6. Do you have a mass market paperback book?
7. Do you have a book written by an author using a pen name?
8. Do you have a book with a character’s name in the title?
9. Do you have a book with two maps in it?
An Ember in the Ashes series by Sabaa Tahir
10. Do you have a book that was turned into a TV show?
11. Do you have a book written by someone who is originally famous for something else? (celebrity/athlete/politician/etc)
12. Do you have a book with a clock on the cover?
13. Do you have a poetry book?
14. Do you have a book with an award stamp on it?
15. Do you have a book written by an author with the same initials as you?
16. Do you have a book of short stories?
17. Do you have a book that is between 500-510 pages long?
18. Do you have a book that was turned into a movie?
19. Do you have a graphic novel?
20. Do you have a book written by two or more authors?
And that’s everything! This was a fun challenge, and some of these prompts were actually a lot harder to find things that I thought they were going to be. I tried really hard not to use repeats, so I’m pretty proud of myself!
If you want to do this tag, please feel free to do so! It’s fun to explore your shelves and get acquainted with your books every once in a while, you know?
Do you have any books by an author with the same initials as you? Or how about a book that starts and ends with the same letter?
1. Since I started blogging, I’ve been to the followingauthor signings: Jodi Meadows & Erica Bowman, Sarah J. Maas, Maggie Steifvater, and Leigh Bardugo. Each of the events were super fun and I highly recommend going to one if you’re able to!
2. I’ve been super into webcomics the last few years, hence my lack of book reviews and content. They’re easy to dive into and where I’m a visual person, the illustrations help me to escape into those worlds. You can check out my most recent recommendations here!
3. I’ve been listening to Brandon Sanderson’s audiobook for The Way of Kings for months now… it’s 45+ hours long… It’s fine… But my fact is that, because of this audiobook and The Kiss of Deception, I’ve definitely warmed up to audiobooks as a medium for myself much more and have since bought more books to read in this form!
4. So before we moved, my workplace was throwing away this hutch that was in an office, and I said I’d take it home and turn it into a bookshelf. Lo and behold, when I got home, my husband surprised me with another bookshelf that same day… so… I told my dad he can sell the hutch or keep it if he wants to because I didn’t have a use for it anymore lol
5. My reading tastes are changing, bit by bit. I’ve been noticing this for a while now, that I’m gravitating toward more adult reads than YA reads. There’s nothing wrong with this, of course! I believe I’m looking for more relatable content, but I’m not going to stop reading YA – or MG now that I’m into the Percy Jackson series! – anytime soon.
6. I’ve started a reading/bookish bullet journal! August will be my second month using it, and I’m really enjoying it so far. I’ve tried – and failed – two or three times to use an actual bullet journal, but my life is not that exciting so as to really need one, you know? So I started this bookish bullet journal and I love it! I’m playing around with the format and what I want to include in it and such, but there’s still plenty of flexibility with it. I’ll do a post about it soon.
7. I’m trying to get back into reading novels. Like I said earlier, I’ve been into reading webcomics like nobody’s business the last few years, and that’s due to life circumstances and depression that caused me to stop reading novels. But I’m trying to reintroduce myself to them bit by bit. I think the readathons I’m participating in are helping a bit.
8. Speaking of readathons, I love how many are popping up, but I realized that I need to focus on one readathon at a time. I’m amazed at how I see people participating in three or more at the same time, and I’m just like, “Are ya a wizard or something!?” I get overwhelmed easily, so for August I’ll only be participating in one readathon – the Disney-a-thon!
9. I’ve unhauled and donated soooo many books over the last two years. I didn’t realize just how many books I bought purely for the hype or because I was super interested at the time, but then grew out of it as time went on. And yet I still have no room on my shelves…
10. I’ve been buying a lot more ebooks lately so I can 1) put my kindle to good use and get my money’s worth lol, and 2) they’re cheaper and more convenient.
1. My husband and I moved! We moved to North Carolina at the beginning of July, and my dudes, it’s hot af here. Like. Why is it so humid all the time? Whyyyyyyy I miss my cooler Massachusetts weather. *cry* We moved because he got a job with a company that’s widespread so he’ll be an electrician’s apprentice.
2. I got two more tattoos! They’re both on my left forearm and done on the same day. The one at the top is the four elements (from the top going clockwise): air, water, fire, earth, and the center is spirit, and the lines that connect everything together. And then my constellation of Leo!
3. My husband and I have been together for 11 years this year, and married for five of them this year, too. CRAZY.
4. I’ve been getting more into spirituality lately again, and so I’ve been picking up tarot and oracle cards and learning to read them. I’ve gotten a lot of conversations from them for myself and a lot of guidance, so that’s been nice.
5. I went to Anime Boston earlier this year and cosplayed as casual Uraraka Ochako! (She’s a character from the hit manga/anime My Hero Academia.) It was super fun and I wish I could go again next year, but I don’t see that happening. I went by myself, too, which wasn’t as fun because it’s great going to conventions with others for the experience and fun times with one another, but I still had a good time. We also got to see MIYAVI live again (we had seen him in early 2018) and he was SO GREAT! He played a bunch of new songs off of his album that hadn’t been released yet and it was just so good!
6. Speaking of concerts, my husband and I also went to the Love Yourself tour for BTS last year in September in CANADA! We met up with some friends up there and it was such a blast! The boys were great and we had a great time. We also got to go to the Jingle Ball concert and see artists like Camilla Cabello, Sean Mendes, and Monsta X! Both concerts were great.
7. I’ve written a bunch of fanfiction of one of my all time favorite couples (non-canon): Bakugou Katsuki and Uraraka Ochako from My Hero Academia. I fell hard into this fandom and this ship, and I just had to write (and draw) my own stories about them. If you want to check out my works, here’s my AO3 for you to peruse. I’m pretty proud of them as I’ve gone on, to be honest. I’ve even been part of a zine and wrote a story for it, and so I have some of my work out there in the world! It’s cool!
8. I have a RedBubble shop now. I’ve got a few different anime prints available of fan art I’ve done, so check it out! I hope to do more in the future. It was a big leap for me, and I’ve had a few sales, which is nice! But yeah, you can see some of my favorite ships and characters. I’ll definitely draw some more as time goes on! Not strictly related to anime, but other things, too.
9. I fell in love with the online show Critical Role. It’s a DnD show where “a bunch of nerdy ass voice actors sit around and play Dungeons and Dragons” (to quote Matthew Mercer). I had never had much interest in DnD before. I had joined a campaign with some close friends, but we quickly stopped because it just wasn’t fun at the time (the campaign got revamped a year later but then, you know, life happened so we stopped again). And my husband had tried to show me this show before, but I was determined at the time to not like it. Don’t ask me why lol
And then, one day, I was sitting around last summer and was like, “Oh, they started a second campaign? They’re not too far into it… Okay, I’ll give this a chance.” And so I started watching campaign two, episode one, and I was hooked. I’ve caught up with the current campaign and have been watching the liveshows for months now (hello 10PM start time and 1:30AM end time lol), every week on Thursdays (unless cancelled or moved).
I fell in love with not only the characters that are being played, but also the voice actors themselves, and also with the game that is Dungeons & Dragons. It’s crazy! I haven’t had much opportunity to play, but I’ve got dice, I’ve got some characters, and I’m ready to go!
(I also got these beautiful posters – with one of them signed by the cast – and I love them so much! *cries forever*)
10. I started to get into wearing wigs! Let me tell you, they’re so fun to wear! As of this post, I have a total of seven wigs. Here’s some pics to show them off because I love them. I just find them fun, and they don’t damage your hair like regular dye and bleach does, so if you want to wear one one day, and then have different color the next, you can!
Aaaaaannndddd… that’s it! I had a hard time trying to figure out what to say about myself, let me tell you lol But I hope you enjoyed learning a little bit more about me!
Tell me one bookish fact about yourself and one non-bookish fact that you’re comfortable sharing! I want to learn more about you guys, so tell me about yourselves! ^^
So I happened to be perusing Twitter one day some time in December and saw that Leigh was going on a book tour for King of Scars. Well, authors don’t always come to my state, so I was like, “There’s no way she’s going to come here.”
And then I looked on her website and, lo and behold, there was a tour stop date listed for not only my state, but also for my favorite independent bookstore. Of course I had to go! I’d be stupid not to. (Plus it was my half day at work, so I didn’t have to rush around to get out to the Boston area on time).
So I drove to Alewife, which is a parking garage in the city, and took the train in (which I love doing; I’m such a tourist). Mind you, the polar vortex was coming in that night, so I knew it was going to be cold, but wasn’t expecting what came once I left the store. Anyway, I’m enjoying my trip in, and I get there about quarter after 5PM, which was when people could line up to get in.
I saw a few cosplays as I made my way around toward the end of the line… which was wrapped around the block and down the street a bit. Fun stuff.
It might not look like a long line, but trust me, in 10 degree Fahrenheit weather standing outside for over a half hour? It was long enough.
So once I finally got into the store, the way they had the lines sectioned was by group: group one had green wristbands and were guaranteed seats downstairs where the Q&A and signing would be, the blue wristbands would be in the standing section of the downstairs, and then orange bands would be in a line upstairs, but still hear all of the event going on and such.
I got a blue wristband, which meant I got to stand in the back for when the event took place. Whoop whoop!
So when I finally get into the store and grab my book, there were SO many people! It was crazy! The photo doesn’t really do justice to show how many people were in there, but it was a lot.
There were stations set up around the store where you could find out which Grisha Order you fall into, as well as pins that correspond to the orders (and a Darkling one). I took the little quiz on the card and discovered I’m Etheralki! (I was secretly hoping for Corporalki, but I’ll take this one, too.) My heart says I’d be an inferni, but I’d probably be more useful as a tidemaker, who knows? I also took one of each pin because, well, why not?
If you want to take the fun little quiz yourself, here’s the card! I posted the questions below it.
Mostly A’s: Corporalki, the Order of the Living and the Dead. Mostly B’s: Etherealki, the Order of Summoners. Mostly C’s: Materialki, the Order of Fabrikators.
The next two stations included a polaroid that you could take against a King of Scars backdrop, and then have it taped into the passport you could get at the station after that! I thought it was really nifty, and you can use the passport at other Leigh Bardugo events and get the stamp that corresponds to that event! Pretty exciting, not gonna lie.
So then I go downstairs and I’m waiting for the event to start, and, well, let me just show you where I was and how quickly it filled up:
Yeah… I was at the very back by the employee door. It was fine, though, because Leigh actually walked out from behind me through that door, and all of us in that area were awestruck and I said hello, and she said hello back, and I was super fangirling internally at that point. XD It was great.
So then the Q&A starts and it was so much fun! The staff did a great job of maintaining the crowd and having the event run smoothly, and Leigh was so funny! She’s got a great personality, and even when she speaks it’s like she’s telling a story. We laughed, we gasped, we made sure that no spoilers were given (one almost was for Crooked Kingdom, but Leigh asked if there were still people that haven’t read it ((aka me and a few others)), so she refrained from saying anything too spoilerly, thank god).
It was a really fun time. I ended up getting King of Scars signed and personalized, as well as Leigh’s other new release, The Severed Moon: A Year-Long Journal of Magic, which is a journal that consists of prompts and quotes for 365 days to spark your creativity in writing, and I also got my passport signed.
And even though I didn’t get these signed, I also bought the paperbacks of the Shadow and Bone trilogy in the new covers because I think they’re gorgeous and I’ve been debating with myself for months on whether or not I should get them, soooooo, here were are.
All-in-all, it was a very fun event and I had a really great time. I plan on finishing Six of Crows soon, then Crooked Kingdom, and then jump into King of Scars.
Have you been to a book signing recently? How was your experience? Are you excited to read King of Scars? Which Grisha Order do you belong in based on the quiz? Let me know all of the things!