BQW – Reading Journals

Do you have a reading journal?

I have always wanted a reading journal but if you’re anything like me, you’ll buy yourself a day-by-day diary, write in it for the first week and forget all about it by the second week.

I’ve seen some incredible reading journals and the one at the top of my wishlist is StellaBookishArt’s marble reading journal 😍😍😍

It is one stunning journal, and the art and quotations inside of the journal is beautiful!

But over Christmas I got myself Literary Listography – My Reading Life in Lists which I think, may actually be the perfect reading journal for me.

It’s not a day-by-day thing, but is literally a book full of lists for you to make. Some of the lists you can make are titled “fictional characters I would not get along with” and “fictional characters I’d go on a date with” 😂

It’s kind of like a scrapbook that you can add to as you read something new.

Plus, it’d be kind of a cool thing to pass down the family when you’re older so you can share your favourite reads and it might encourage other family members to start a list too!

It is definitely much different to a reading journal, where you can track your progress and write down your favourite quotes…etc.

But for myself – who can’t stick to writing a journal but wants to spend a fortune on one – thought this list idea was great.

Have you got a reading journal? What are your thoughts?

I look forward to reading your responses in the comments 😍😍

Bookish Question of the Week

Do you buy a book based on the reviews or on the rating? Or neither for that matter?

Recently I have been more aware that I have been buying books that have no less than 4 stars on goodreads…and I’m starting to feel hella guilty.

I find that I’m not picking up books because I like the sound of them, I’m actually getting my phone out and checking the rating on goodreads to make sure it’s worth my time reading.

It’s totally unintentional and I have only just realised I’m doing it. Maybe because I hardly ever have enough money so when I buy a book I want to make sure it’s worth it? Regardless, it’s not fair on all the other books that are going unread by me because of the rating on goodreads.

It was over the past few weeks where I read a great review about a book that I personally would never have read because I didn’t like another book by the same author, but it’s called The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern.

I’m aware now that it does have over 4 stars on goodreads, but what I didn’t do is look at the rating first before the review. Then I thought…why I haven’t I been doing this all along?! No need for judgemental stars, but honest words and opinions by those that have experienced the books themselves.

Do you find rating a book difficult? Because I don’t understand the rating system that much; I tend to rate books high (5 stars) or not rate them at all if I’m not sure. And if I’m not the only one that doesn’t full understand, then is buying a book based on ratings unreliable??? 😱

The epiphany is real, and I’m definitely going to be more conscious about buying a book due to their rating.

It would be great to hear your answers to my questions, so I look forward to your lovely comments 😍

Bookish Question of the Week

I’d like to introduce you to Bookish Question of the Week!

As I’ve been writing all of my blog posts, I’ve come across a few questions that made me think ‘I wonder if anyone else thinks/feels the same?’ So I thought I’d take this opportunity to ask you all your thoughts.

Is a reading goal restrictive or a little intimidating?

So far, I have read 21 books this year. I should be proud of that right?

But because my goal was to read 30, I feel unaccomplished. Which made me raise the question, is a reading goal restrictive or de-motivating?

I think reading as much as you want, when you want and what you want to read is the most important.

I’m a fast reader but finding the time to read can be difficult sometimes, between work and my social life. But when I do find the time, I enjoy every moment. That is what reading is about 😍

Is a goal necessary? Should we perhaps keep a list of the books we have read and total it up at the end of the year and see how much each one of us have accomplished? What are your thoughts?

That Bookish Monday

Between illness, work, and my social life, I’ve had no time to write. It’s not until I stopped writing my weekly blog posts I realised how much I have missed it! But don’t worry, I’m hoping it won’t happen again (and I even bought myself a new planner just to ensure I always make time to be creative!!).

I just finished Bone China by Laura Purcell…and was unfortunately disappointed by it.

I can’t fault Purcell’s great writing, but the timeline of it didn’t flow as seamlessly as The Corset. The book was split into different parts and some of it was set 40 years ago, and it just made the storyline a little more confusing than it needed to be. I’m not a lover of a story jumping back and forth between characters or timelines, and this story reminded me of why I dislike it so much 🙈 However, I just bought The Silent Companions by Laura Purcell so I haven’t given up on her!

I have a confession to make…I don’t like/watch TV that much…

Because when I do, I end up binge watching, like I have done with the Netflix series, Chesapeake Shores.

So it’s incredibly cheesy, yet beautiful and poetic, and it’s so scenic. I wanted an easy watch and that is exactly what I got. But it also encouraged me to realise that life is more important than rushing around, overthinking and worrying, but actually to take it slow, be prepared, but follow your dreams. A lovely sentiment I think.

It was also a dream come true to see Christina Aguilera in concert!! She merged Burlesque with Moulin Rouge which was EPIC, and sang every song so beautifully and from the heart. I do wish there wasn’t as many costume changes though; it kind of broke the flow of the show up if you get me?

Excitingly, my birthday is on Saturday, and I’m off shopping in London for the day. My friends and I will be going to Cecil Court and if you haven’t heard of Cecil Court, it’s supposedly the ‘Diagon Alley’ for booklovers. If you click on the link, it’ll take you to a page about it. It’s basically a place with lots of antique and secondhand bookshops!! I’ve always wanted to go so I’m super excited and I’l post pics on another blog post once I’ve visited so you can all enjoy it with me.

I hope you enjoy your week, and I’m going to leave you with a very motivational quote until next time 😍

That Bookish Monday

Had a great time at FriendsFest in MK this weekend!

The sets – although definitely not the real ones and definitely not to size – were amazing to see. To stand in Monica’s apartment, and Chandler/Joey’s apartment was so cool!

I have popped some panoramic pictures below of the sets.

I was really concerned about whether the coffee was any good in Central Perk, and if it wasn’t, whether it would ruin my whole perception of the show…but it was incredible coffee!!!

I also got to look through the peep hole in the door, so I was super happy to get this shot 😍

AUDIOBOOK OF THE WEEK

My job as a medico-legal proofreader sometimes takes its toll on my ability to read by the evening sometimes; my eyes get super-duper tired after intently staring at a screen all day. So listening to an audiobook is really relaxing. I was recommended a book called The Girl who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill.

Synopsis

Every year, the people of the Protectorate leave a baby as an offering to the witch who lives in the forest. They hope this sacrifice will keep her from terrorizing their town. But the witch in the forest, Xan, is kind and gentle. She shares her home with a wise Swamp Monster named Glerk and a Perfectly Tiny Dragon, Fyrian. Xan rescues the abandoned children and deliver them to welcoming families on the other side of the forest, nourishing the babies with starlight on the journey.

One year, Xan accidentally feeds a baby moonlight instead of starlight, filling the ordinary child with extraordinary magic. Xan decides she must raise this enmagicked girl, whom she calls Luna, as her own. To keep young Luna safe from her own unwieldy power, Xan locks her magic deep inside her. When Luna approaches her thirteenth birthday, her magic begins to emerge on schedule–but Xan is far away. Meanwhile, a young man from the Protectorate is determined to free his people by killing the witch. Soon, it is up to Luna to protect those who have protected her–even if it means the end of the loving, safe world she’s always known.

—-

It’s an easy listen and a very interesting concept. I’ve enjoyed listening before bed, although, if I turn my lamp off I tend to fall asleep so better to not do that 😂🙈 I’m sure I’ll do a review once I’ve finished listening!

—-

Instead of telling you about my goals for the week, which are most likely the same as last week, I would love to know if you have set yourself a goal? Please comment below what it is you want to accomplish by week end!

That Bookish Monday

Good evening to you all 🌛

It’s that time of week again, that I do my weekly bookish blog.

I’m so excited for this weekend because I’m off to FriendsFest!! I will post some pics next Monday!

If you’re not sure what this is, basically they recreate the F.R.I.E.N.D.S TV set 😍

Also, this month, I am taking part in #secondhandseptember, a campaign by Oxfam to raise awareness of the environmental impact of fashion. I was shocked at the 11 million items of clothing that are sent to landfill every week and to find out that 1.2 billion tonnes of carbon emissions are produced by the fashion industry.

How quickly we buy and chuck away clothes has now been termed ‘fast fashion’. It refers to inexpensive clothing that is produced rapidly by mass-market retailers in response to the latest fashion trends. As you keep up with the latest trend, you discard of the clothes you used to wear and replace them with newer ones.

Oxfam’s #secondhandseptember is encouraging people to buy secondhand clothes from places like charity shops, or sites like eBay…etc., which will save clothes from going to landfill and at the same time possibly save you money and have the chance to donate to charity.

My friend sent me a really informative video on YouTube about how fast fashion adds to the world’s clothing waste problem. It describes the recycling process and how only 1% of clothing is being truly recycled, and where your clothes are really going. Give it a watch here to gain some more understanding of how you can help.

I think this month will be very insightful for me. I tend to buy clothes that are only in the sale, because half the time I buy clothing at full price it ends up in the sale a week later. But thinking about this, I really am just adding to ‘fast fashion’. Buying secondhand clothing will be great for my bank account, but also great for the environment, so it’s a win win!

I hope by reading this post, some of you are encouraged to take the pledge. I’m going to hold my hand up and say I don’t think I’ve ever bought clothing from a charity shop before, and there has only been a handful of times that I have bought secondhand clothing from Facebook Marketplace or eBay. I wouldn’t hesitate at buying a book from a charity shop, but why have I all this time, hesitated to buy clothes?

This is the first day of #secondhandseptember and it has already got me thinking. So I would definitely recommend trying it for at least one month to see how much it can change your lifestyle.

Are you already participating? Or have I convinced you? Let me know in the comments below ☺️😍

——

BOOK OF THE WEEK

I am still reading Laini Taylor’s Strange the Dreamer and it’s already so incredible. It is gorgeously written, and just from the bit I’ve read so far, I have a favourite quote:

“None of us became monks to be nursemaids.”

To which the child Lazlo replied, with fire in his soul, “And none of us became children to be orphans.”

Strange the Dreamer – Laini Taylor

Blunt realism. Love it!

——

Exciting news! I completed all of the goals I set myself from last week, and I plan to continue with them this week!

These were:

  1. To read for 15 mins before going to bed
  2. Play piano twice a week
  3. Write a blog about another topic, not just a review

So pleased I finally nailed it, and I feel much more productive for doing so.

I hope you all have a great week!

That Bookish Monday

I have been soaking up every bit of sun I can this bank holiday weekend before I return to work tomorrow.

During the weekend I went to Welsbourne Market, the gym and to a fun fair. Very fun and very productive at the same time, and mostly outside ☺️😍 What have you been doing this bank holiday weekend?

MOST ANTICIPATED READ:

Literally yesterday I found out that Laura Purcell, author of The Corset which I reviewed a few weeks ago, is releasing a new book in September called Bone China!!! Extremely excited and it sounds so intense!! The pic below also references another of my favourite books Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier.

Here’s the blurb:

Consumption has ravaged Louise Pinecroft’s family, leaving her and her father alone and heartbroken. But Dr Pinecroft has plans for a revolutionary experiment: convinced that sea air will prove to be the cure his wife and children needed, he arranges to house a group of prisoners suffering from the same disease in the cliffs beneath his new Cornish home. While he devotes himself to his controversial medical trials, Louise finds herself increasingly discomfited by the strange tales her new maid tells of the fairies that hunt the land, searching for those they can steal away to their realm.

Forty years later, Hester Why arrives at Morvoren House to take up a position as nurse to the now partially paralysed and almost entirely mute Miss Pinecroft. Hester has fled to Cornwall to try and escape her past, but surrounded by superstitious staff enacting bizarre rituals, she soon discovers that her new home may be just as dangerous as her last. 

——

Sounds so eery and mysterious; creepy and fantastical. I really like how Purcell is incorporating sinister fairy tales into the plot; it’ll be interesting to see how she does this. The supernatural powers in Ruth’s sewing from The Corset was fantastic, so I wonder how she’ll weave the eery fairy tales into this book. Anyone else a fan of Laura Purcell or excited to read this book?!

——

I also feel especially guilty because I have completed zero goals from last week 🙈

My 3 goals last week were to:

– Play piano for 15 mins a day

– Wake up earlier to read

– Post a blog about another topic, not just a review

So I have done none of them and feel so so soooooo ashamed…

Therefore, I’m setting myself new ones  because clearly mine aren’t as achievable as I thought, apart from one….

1) Read for 15 mins before going to sleep

There has been no dragging me out of bed 15 mins earlier to read, so I thought this was a better alternative. My phone is an annoying distraction at night before I sleep, so I’m thinking if I set my alarm before I read, I won’t have to touch it again before I sleep and it’ll then help me wind down for the night.

2) Play piano twice a week

I set this originally at 15 mins a day, but to be honest, the majority of my evenings I’m out and about, or I have people over. So it wasn’t realistic for me to say I have to do 15 mins a day because sometimes it wasn’t physically possible. Thus, twice a week is more achievable, plus I’m not limiting myself to a time.

3) Post a blog about another topic, not just a review

I do have a post currently in the works that I hope you’ll all enjoy.  I have factored in plenty of time to complete this and share it with you! I have loved writing it and I hope you see why…

I hope you all have a fantastic week

💖