The Problem of being a Bibliophile: No Space, Time to Update?

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So many books, so little space.

To Kindle or Not to Kindle? That is my question

As the shelf space in my tiny room grows smaller and my collection of books impossibly larger, I have inevitably reached that point in my life where I’m beginning to question whether I should invest in that tiny little electronic device.
My mum made this decision a few years ago, investing in an ipad mini. A devote bibliophile herself, mum has treasured books always and worked in a school library for close to 14 years. I expected mum to hate electronic reading- she loves the feel of books in her hands- and when recently questioned, mum looked at me like I was crazy. She said I was nuts for not having switched over already, and then went on to subtly hint my room was far too full already without a new load of books that was coming in the post. She through my own oft repeated words back at me; “Move with the times”.

I would, if I wasn’t so nervous about the purchase.

Mum’s love of books was transferred to me from the time I was born; I’ve always had a book in my hand or nearby, even when I didn’t have the fine motorskills to lift them myself. Books have always been my escape. They’ve taught me much and find tuned my vocabulary from a young age. They fostered a formidable imagination from an early age, one that still serves me to this day.

But that’s just it isn’t it. Books have always been that sturdy pressure in my palms. That’s what makes, to me, the reading experience. The feel of the pages. The wrist aches from reading a book long into the night. The smell of a new book plucked from the shelf. The worn feel of an old, much loved book that someone else had treasured before you. That sense of delight walking into a book store and knowing you’re not going to walk away empty handed.

Can I give that up?

Or do I have to? Could I, for economic reasons and emotional reasons, split my attentions between two very different formats?

In my mind, I can only see one compromise; using an electronic reader and books 50/50. Would that work though? I’m paranoid that I’d invest in an electronic reader and then not like the format itself. I can’t shake the fear that I’d hate it and that itself is probably the main reason behind me not investing in one now.

My books hold pride of place in my room, often to the detriment of my other belongings. A few years ago, I was forced to get rid of some of my books… some…. I was supposed to get rid of a lot more but I sneakily hid them in places that weren’t visible to the eye. I’m immensely guilty about it, and I feel kind of like a 5 year old hording things that absolutely cannot be thrown away.

There’s a box of books hidden underneath my formal dress shoes. There’s some hiding in top shelves hidden behind old memory boxes. Some are hiding in the family’s large storage cupboard behind craft supplies. Some are hiding in a big box my grandmother painted for me that is supposed to hold old childhood toys.

My book collection is still growing. So is my ‘to-read’ list. In fact, my to read list is so big, I will run out of room for these books in my small bedroom within a year. My desire for books is insatiable, and it has never been a problem until now that I’ve run out of room.

This is why an electronic reader is so attractive; it can possibly curb my expensive habit to something much more reasonable. I may also have a chance to save room.

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So perhaps my dreams of a personal library like this need to be put on hold

So I put this question out there; who has made the switch? Is it worth it? Should I put my fears aside and convert or do I have a right to be wary?

Leave a comment to let me know

Attachments by Rainbow Rowell

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Attachments by Rainbow Rowell

or: Awwww. Damn, why do I feel overburdened with estrogen?

Goodreads  ||   The Book Depository

Synopsis: “Hi, I’m the guy who reads your e-mail, and also, I love you . . . ” Beth Fremont and Jennifer Scribner-Snyder know that somebody is monitoring their work e-mail. (Everybody in the newsroom knows. It’s company policy.) But they can’t quite bring themselves to take it seriously. They go on sending each other endless and endlessly hilarious e-mails, discussing every aspect of their personal lives. Meanwhile, Lincoln O’Neill can’t believe this is his job now- reading other people’s e-mail. When he applied to be “internet security officer,” he pictured himself building firewalls and crushing hackers- not writing up a report every time a sports reporter forwards a dirty joke. When Lincoln comes across Beth’s and Jennifer’s messages, he knows he should turn them in. But he can’t help being entertained-and captivated-by their stories. By the time Lincoln realizes he’s falling for Beth, it’s way too late to introduce himself. What would he say . . . ?

Every now and then you just need one of those feel good stories that gives you the warm fuzzies. This is attachments.

Don’t particularly expect any deep sort of commentary on anything, but read it to just simply get swept up in a sweet and believable romance.
That’s Rowell’s strength, writing relatable stories that are just enjoyable to read.
Set at the beginning of the new millennium (begins in 1999 and moves on to 2001), this is a great shoot back in time but its not overwhelmingly jarring. While Lincoln’s (the protagonist) problems stem from the beginning of the century’s problems getting used to the new technology of inter-office emails, the story feels fresh and not beyond reach.
I fell in love with Rainbow Rowell when I read Fangirl, and have since tried to read her work whenever I could. Eleanor and Park was a bit of a miss for me but Attachments was a beautiful story and I loved every second of it.

With immensely likable characters, the story flowed so smoothly and silky (almost like that french silk pie. yum! Thanks Rowell, guess what I’m now craving) that I often jolted back into reality and wondered where the hours went.

I burned through this book and fell in love with Beth, Jennifer and Lincoln and not to mention Doris. There are no confusing unnecessary subplots or unnecessary love triangles and while its so far from my usual genre, its refreshing rather than jarring.
Rowell’s quick wit is a joy and her empathy with the more darker sides of reality is comforting.

This is definitely one of my top books that I have read so far this year.

Review: Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater

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Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater

or: AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!

Goodreads   ||  The Book Depository

Synopsis: There is danger in dreaming. But there is even more danger in waking up. Blue Sargent has found things. For the first time in her life, she has friends she can trust, a group to which she can belong. The Raven Boys have taken her in as one of their own. Their problems have become hers, and her problems have become theirs. The trick with found things though, is how easily they can be lost. Friends can betray. Mothers can disappear. Visions can mislead.Certainties can unravel.

Don’t you love it when books in a already brilliant series just keep getting better?

As the third installment in the Raven Cycle Series, my expectations for this book were astronomically high. I adored the first two, the second one being my favourite, and was curious to know if this book was as good as the others.

It was better.

This book is stunning.

This book series came to me in much the way the Boys came to blue- totally unexpectedly. I read the first book at the beginning of 2014 and the second in mid 2014. I knew there were more books but forgot about them for some weird reason. I am SO glad I stumbled across the existence of this third book.

While taking it slow and purposefully trying to draw out the book, I couldn’t help myself and ended up finishing the second half of the book in a couple of hours one night.

While this book is distinctly more mobile plot wise, it’s a neat culmination of all the character building and world creating that Stiefvater has created in the first two books. If you felt any reservations for Stiefvater’s ability to carve a complex and thrilling mystery it should be totally erased by the skill executed in this book.

This book delivers. Why this series isn’t more well known I have no clue. With main characters so well rounded and equal like Gansey, Adam, Ronan and Blue, it’s hard to pick a favourite. This book however was clearly Blues. While Adam definitely came into his own in this installment Blue was a pleasure and her transformations were stunning. Stiefvater has crafted these characters well and with a practiced ease.

The cover art is gorgeous, the plot fascinating and the reader-character connections strong. You can’t help but love these characters and their flaws.

The plot twists were stunning and definitely caught me by surprise.

The main mystery of the book- the mystery of the three sleepers- is fascinating and highly original. Sticking again to medieval mythology, Stiefvater neatly slides this myth into her previously used mythology. Like Blue and the boys, the reader yearns to understand this mystery and Stiefvater cleverly creates a strong sense of urgency in her audience; we need to work out the riddle and work it out quickly. By the end of the book, though the resolution of the quest to find the three sleepers is complete, there is still unfinished business with the quest and it makes you crave book 4 all the more.

Blue Lily introduces many characters that have been hovering at the periphery for a while, and while we get to meet Mr Gray’s former boss (who quickly became a favourite) we also dance around the unnamed and largely unexplored figure of Blue’s father. To avoid spoilers I’ll stop right here about her father, but I’d just like to warn readers that they may not be satisfied with the outcome. Hopefully that resolves itself in book 4.

This book really develops many of the boys abilities, particularly Ronan and Adam. We come to understand both boys better as they band together to fully understand themselves in an uneasy partnership. Its refreshing that Stiefvater develops and continues to give opportunities to two very nontraditional YA heroes and places a character like Gansey in the stereotypical role for once. This is a series that generally shakes up the typical YA stereotypes and this book is no different. I realise that for some people this is what makes the book unattractive for them. But this is, for me, one of the many reasons I love this series.

Without giving the other books in the series away, i’m sort of limited to what I can discuss here, because I really want people to experience this series with a fresh mind. This is one of those must-read series for me and I’ve got no clue why this series isn’t  popular, this deserves the hype often wrongly placed on other books. But my inner hipster is kind of glad, because surely if it had hype some marketing person would stuff it up.

And boy, what a cliff hanger! Each book in this series contains several cliff hangers from chapter to chapter but Stiefvater always finishes the books with a big one. I’d say this is the most intense one ever. I got tricked into believing on the last couple of pages that there wouldn’t be one. Boy was I wrong. This is definitely a book you need to read to the last sentence. Because the plot points and characters you think are dead, really aren’t.

WILL SOMEONE JUST GIVE ME BOOK 4 ALREADY?!?

Review: The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon

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The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon

or: Congrats Shannon, you are now the proud owner of the last bit of my soul

Goodreads   ||    The Book Depository

Synopsis: The year is 2059. Nineteen-year-old Paige Mahoney is working in the criminal underworld of Scion London, based at Seven Dials, employed by a man named Jaxon Hall. Her job: to scout for information by breaking into people’s minds. For Paige is a dreamwalker, a clairvoyant and, in the world of Scion, she commits treason simply by breathing. It is raining the day her life changes for ever. Attacked, drugged and kidnapped, Paige is transported to Oxford – a city kept secret for two hundred years, controlled by a powerful, otherworldly race. Paige is assigned to Warden, a Rephaite with mysterious motives. He is her master. Her trainer. Her natural enemy. But if Paige wants to regain her freedom she must allow herself to be nurtured in this prison where she is meant to die.

In my first review on this site for Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl, I mentioned how I had fallen in love with it instantly. Well, it seemed history was keen to repeat itself because man, have I fallen in love with this book.

This book definitely makes it onto my top 25 list of books ever.

That is huge praise.

I first heard about this book a year or two ago from the marvelous youtuber itswaypastmybedtime when Carrie reviewed an Advanced Readers copy singing it’s praises. My curiosity was more than raised as Carrie loves lots of the same books that I do and I mentally filed away the title under my to read list.

I later heard about it a year later with people wrapped up in the hype of the Bone Season. Again, this all got filed away into the mind palace for later use. It was on a girly date with my best friend that I finally plucked the book up from the local discount book store for $10. Now that I’ve read the book and fallen in love with it, it’s hard to ignore how the price of $10 cheats this book.

This book is incredible.

If one peruses the Goodreads reviews however, it becomes quickly obvious that this is simply one of those books that you either love or you hate. Being a member of the former group, I will forever sing this books praises. To me this book is a ground breaker in the fantasy genre and it’s a stellar debut novel. Ultimately, I think it will vary from person to person how people respond and finally consider it.

Its hard to believe that this is Shannon’s first novel; its incredibly polished and the world she has created is so amazingly detailed that it’s easy to assume she has been working on this and writing as a craft for decades. She has a flair and a talent for writing that is rarely found and her style of narration is refreshingly modern and just different from most other styles I have read. I am happy to support a writer my own age (Shannon is only 24 and already has a best selling novel) and if anything, it seems like Shannon is the first of a new generation and breed of author.

The main controversy surrounding this book is the utterly stupid decision by Bloomsbrury to market Shannon as the next Rowling. I honestly don’t know what they were thinking but it’s left a lot of people in an uproar and a lot of people are now unable to see the book positively because of this. Which is an utter shame because this book is superb. Is Shannon the next Rowling? No. It’s a pet peeve of mine when companies do this because no two writers are like each other. The HP series and the Bone Season are world’s away from one another and cannot and should not under any circumstances be compared. But is Shannon a good writer and one we need to watch? Hell Yes.

Shannon’s world of Scion is breath takingly complex and at first, its hard to truly come to grips with the world Paige (the heroine) lives in. But, personally, once I fully concreted in my mind what was happening in the present to Paige, the world sharply came into focus. When you have a grasp on the multiple different types of clairvoyant, then it becomes as easy as pie.

The fact that Shannon meshes so many different types of lore about those humans who can touch the other side – the æther in this novel- is quite frankly astounding but also incredibly resourceful. Her Scion’s scary resemblance of the problems in our modern society (typical of post-apocalyptic society fiction) is startling and thought provoking. And even though the book creates a sort of parallel history, its not totally unbelievable.

To avoid spoilers as best I can, I will talk only briefly (and admittedly vaguely) about Shannon’s characters. Paige is refreshing as the main heroine and her carefully placed memories filled in a strong back story without becoming too wanky and drawn out/bogged down in expos`es. It was easy to root for her because she felt like the bad ass friend you always wanted. Warden was exceptional, and you’d be lying if you said you didn’t find him confusing (in a good way). Other notable characters such as Jaxon, the leader of Paige’s crew, of course the lovely Nick, the surprising character of Liss and many more that I would spend way too long rambling on about. In all honesty, all of the members of Seven Dials are physically interesting I just wished we learned more about them and we very may well in later books.

There is two other books that I know of that follow this one. The second one- the Mime Order- was published in January. I am yet to get my hands on it, but when I am in the vicinity of a book store this will definitely find its way into my sticky, little hands because I have A MIGHTY NEED. Book 3 is simply an unknown at this stage, with no info released about it.

This was a delight to read, and the hours I spent reading it were long, pleasant and overly delicious. That being said, it is quite a thick book to read so please venture forth with caution.

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Andy Serkis and his film company have reportedly brought the rights to this book and are intending on turning it into a film which is both exciting and worrying. I sincerely hope that the movie wont waste the chance its been given and I struggle to see how many of the elements of the book can be translated to film but I may be yet proved wrong.

I’m curious to see what everyone else thought of the book, so please leave your comments down below so I can read and we may share in this world.

Seriously I need to talk about this book with someone before I combust.

P.S: I mentioned a review by Carrie Hope Fletcher in my blog and wanted to provide the video for those interested. Because sources and stuff. Carrie actually doesn’t start talking about the bone season until the end of the video around the 4 minute mark but in case your interested here is the link to that video.

Review: Half A King by Joe Abercrombie

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Half a King by Joe Abercrombie

or: Ooops sorry I fell asleep

Goodreads   ||   The Book Depository

Synopsis: Prince Yarvi has vowed to regain a throne he never wanted. But first he must survive cruelty, chains and the bitter waters of the Shattered Sea itself. And he must do it all with only one good hand. The deceived will become the deceiver. Born a weakling in the eyes of his father, Yarvi is alone in a world where a strong arm and a cold heart rule. He cannot grip a shield or swing an axe, so he must sharpen his mind to a deadly edge.The betrayed will become the betrayer. Gathering a strange fellowship of the outcast and the lost, he finds they can do more to help him become the man he needs to be than any court of nobles could. Will the usurped become the usurper? But even with loyal friends at his side, Yarvi’s path may end as it began – in twists, and traps and tragedy...

I don’t often read high fantasy books like this.

I must have forgotten this when I picked up this book.

When I picked up this book, I did so knowing this would be a challenging book for me. I rarely read books belonging to this part of the genre but I challenged myself to expand my tastes and picked up this book because of it’s glowing reviews

I struggled reading this book not because of a bad plot- it was masterfully crafted- or bad writing- Abercrombie’s writing is smoother than silk- it was merely because I didn’t connect with the story…. and I wanted to fall asleep… mainly because I felt like falling asleep.

Those are the only reasons I disliked this book, and it’s through no fault of its own. I can see why people love it, it’s just that I didn’t. But I’m glad I read this book. Yarvi is refreshing and witty and hosts a band of motley characters who would have been charming if I could find a scrap of empathy for them.

I had to force myself to focus on this book. If a book doesnt capture and hold my attention straight away, it’s lost me. And boy did this book loose me. It was ages between each time I picked this book up and it took me almost two months to finish because I was so apathetic towards the characters.

Would I recommend this book to others? Sure. Would I do so to people not interested in this sort of epic-royal/fantasy sub-genre? No. This book caters to very specific tastes. I deeply regret that mine weren’t some of them.

Many people love this book. Goodreads is full of glowing reviews praising this book to the heavens. I wish I could write one too. I really wish I had liked this book. I wanted to. I went into it so open minded, proud of myself for pushing out of my normal comfort zone. I knew exactly what I was getting myself into, I just ignored it because I was secretly hoping this book would be different. Ultimately, its up to you if you choose to read this book, just really question whether this book is right for you and you’re willing to take the gamble.

Review: The Ruby Circle (Bloodlines 6) by Richelle Mead

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The Ruby Circle by Richelle Mead (Bloodlines #6)

Or; I cant remember a time without feels. Someone send help my heart is dead

Goodreads    ||    The Book Depository

This review contains massive spoilers for all of the preceding Bloodlines Books as it is the last book in the series. If you intend to read this series, it’s probably best to skip this review and wait until you’ve reached this point.  

Synopsis: Sydney Sage is an Alchemist, one of a group of humans who dabble in magic and serve to bridge the worlds of humans and vampires. They protect vampire secrets – and human lives. Their forbidden romance exposed, Sydney and Adrian find themselves facing the wrath of both the Alchemists and the Moroi in this electrifying conclusion to Richelle Mead’s bestselling Bloodlines series. When the life of someone they both love is put on the line, Sydney risks everything to hunt down a deadly former nemesis. Meanwhile, she and Adrian becomes enmeshed in a puzzle that could hold the key to a shocking secret about spirit magic, a secret that could shake the entire Moroi world and alter their lives forever.

I was both desperate for this book to be released and defiant that this was the last book in this universe I would ever read. I was not, and will never be, ready to give up the world of the US Moroi and Alchemists.

This is the one series that I will never let go.

6 years. For the last 6 whole years I’ve been following the Vampire Academy Series and Bloodlines series. 6 years of desperately waiting for books to be released. 6 years of falling in love with every nuance of each book; every character and every plot twist. 6 years of tears, laughter and every emotion in between.

This book shaped my teenage years and early adult life. It saw me through the tough and angsty years of high school and the tumultuous University years. In the time I read this series, I’d lost and then gained best friends, got my HSC and my Bachelors Degree and fell in love.

If Harry Potter defined my Childhood, then VA and Bloodlines defined my Teens. A bold claim, but a true one. Mead’s world holds the same importance to me that Harry Potter does, and that’s not something said lightly.

I don’t want to leave this universe and I don’t want Mead to finish these books. But this was by far the neatest and most well done wrap of a series I’ve seen.

Mead hits all points again, and her balance of humour and wit with the intense action sequences seems to become only better as each book goes on. The sophistication but empathetic nature of her writing creates a strong bond between the reader and the character, and its hard not to picture yourself standing right next to Sydney and Adrian the entire time.

I’ve long been a fan of Sydney and developed a strong connection to her in Blood Promise, so I’ve really enjoyed this series as a whole. This was an appropriate ending for such a strong and worthy character and I’m pleased with the ending.

As always, Mead’s ability to throw around twists shocks and delights and as always, there was a few I did not see coming at all. Two in particular come to mind as artfully done, and, to avoid revealing spoilers, I must say, be prepared for things you never saw coming.

The book is fast paced but not rushed, with plot points evenly spaced throughout the book. There is always something happening, and while not everything is prevalent- the story’s told from both Sydney and Adrian’s points of view so seeing everything would be stupid- Its easy to forgive anything she misses. The build up to the ‘final battle’ is tantalizing and if you love adrenaline page turning plot then this is your book.

Its hard to write this review as I’m worried I’m going to spoil the entire series for someone and that would be unforgivable. Now if you’ll excuse me I’m going to go sob in the corner and repeat “the center will hold” a couple of times