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A few days ago I went to the new Value Village that opened in my neighbourhood and I was pleasantly surprised that they had a book section. For every used book-lover out there, you know this is bad news. I browsed through the books, picking out some of my most sought-after titles which were all in really good shape. I had at least 15 books that I wanted to get right then and there for a discounted price, but I had to stop myself.
At home, I have more than enough books sitting on my bookshelves, all of which I brought home with me in that same rush of enthusiasm that I felt that evening in Value Village. I have spent more than enough money on unread books, and here I am willing to spend even more on books that will, undoubtedly, collect dust on my shelves as I try to go through my collection of to-reads.
And then I got even more contemplative. Do I love to buy books for the notion that I actually will devour and treasure them, or do I love to buy books simply to say I have a large book collection? There are many people I know who have half the books I have and love each and every one because they only bought the ones they loved most from the library. Then there are people who have 3 times the collection I do and know only half of the books well enough as dear friends, and the rest are more like acquaintances.
So which am I? I only have two books shelves-full of books, which is not nearly as much as I would like in the future. I love the look of books in a home—bookworms have that air of knowledge, of secrets revealed, of many lives lived. I want people to come into my home one day and say, “Wow, look at all those books! I’m so jealous!”
But more importantly, I want to have a large collection of books that are like dear friends to me. Of course, I don’t enjoy every book I buy—I have plenty of books on my shelves that didn’t floor me, but I didn’t give them away. Those books are like extended family members who maybe you don’t get along with but feel you still have invite to family functions. They still have a place on my shelves because at one time I had hopes for them. And maybe those hopes were unfulfilled for me, but maybe my children will enjoy it or a friend of mine will like to borrow it. It’s these off chances that make me hold onto these books, making my book collection continue to grow.
Books have been my escape since childhood, and maybe, in some very strange way, they’re also like my walls. I take a book with me everywhere just in case I feel awkward in a social situation, am bored or just need to find out what happens next in the book. Heck, I even took Harry Potter with me to Disneyland! I feel protected by my books. Perhaps that’s also why I feel such a need to have walls of books surrounding me.
Maybe I’m not supposed to know why I collect books. Maybe I’m just supposed to collect them because they make me happy. Maybe I’ll never read every single book I buy (I truly hope this is not the case!), and maybe that’s okay.
Maybe I’m just supposed to thank every book that’s ever entered my life, and hold onto them as important experiences—some as best friends, some as acquaintances, and perhaps even some as enemies. But they each shape who I am, and maybe that’s why I’m meant to collect as many books as possible. For the hope that they will one day change my life or another’s.
And besides, a home just isn’t a home without books.
I don’t know about you, but in Calgary snow is falling right now. In fact, it’s been like this all day. And while I know it is April, it just doesn’t feel like it—meaning summer seems even more unlikely. But while this cold weather will probably continue for another few days, I have to remind myself that summer’s heat will one day be shining down on us and free time will be a bit more abundant than it is right now (thanks to exams and assignments due in the next two weeks).
And with summer comes plenty of reading.
My friend shared with me this website to help me choose my next great summer read—and let me tell you, it was really tough for me to choose just one answer! Many of them sound like great choices that I will, undoubtedly, read at some point. But based on my answers, it led me to Never Let Me Go by Kazuo IshiGuro. Have you read it? And if you have, would you also recommend it?
Now I’m curious about what books you all have been suggested. Click on the link here to find out what book you need to read this summer and then let me know in my comments!
It’s normal to fall deeply in love with a character…right? It sure looks like it, from what The Broke and the Bookish’s weekly meme is revealing! Well, regardless, over the years I’ve been smitten with many memorable male characters and I’m all too happy to share my obsessions with you! So, without further ado and in no particular order, here they are:
10) Augustus Waters from John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars. He’s charismatic, funny and will fight to the end. I don’t care that he’s younger than me; he’s a total babe.
9) Kartik from Libba Bray’s A Great and Terrible Beauty series. For one, he’s Indian and I’m half-Indian. Secondly, he’s gorgeous, and has a bit of an attitude problem. He’s dark (and no, I don’t just mean his skin colour!), mysterious, a fantastic kisser and cares a ton for Gemma but has a hard time showing it.
8) Gilbert Blythe from L.M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables series. He was my first fiction crush (grade three) and I grew up wanting a boy just like him. I’ll always harbour a soft spot for him and will continuously be envious of his and Anne’s chemistry. The movie’s version of Gilbert (played by Jonathan Crombie) was definitely a great casting decision. Mmmm :)
7) Fred Weasley from J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series. As you’ll see further on, Rowling wrote many wonderful male characters—many of which I fell in love with at least once in my years of reading. But Fred was always my favourite of the twins, mainly because he usually offered the most quips and his personality just radiated through the pages. I love his sense of humour and the way he always cared for Ginny. And the actor who played him in the movies (James Phelps) was absolutely perfect—but I’m still crying over the way they portrayed his death in the seventh movie.
6) Simon Lewis from Cassandra Clare’s Mortal Instruments series. Simply put, I loved him WAY more than Jace. I have a thing for guys in glasses and with dark hair, and he fit the bill. Not to mention his total geekiness and strange ways. And his secret love for Clary—unrequited love sucks and back in high school I could more than relate to him.
5) Will Traynor from Jojo Moyes’ Me Before You. As you know from my latest review, I absolutely love this book—and a lot of that has to do with Will. I can’t blame Louisa for falling for the guy. Even though his mobility was limited, his mind was sharp and his personality mesmerizing. He was knowledgable and worldly, he had a great sense of humour and he genuinely cared for Louisa more than he cared for himself. A man like that is hard to find, which is why it was so easy for me to love him.
4) Ron Weasley from J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series. Love. Love. LOVE. I cannot begin to describe my love for Mr. Ronald Weasley—in both the books and the movies (especially the movies). I didn’t fall for him right away, however. It took me a few years to appreciate him, but it definitely hit me in the fourth book when he was trying so hard not to fall for Hermione and ultimately hated Krum. He was too cute. And Rupert Grint made me love Ron Weasley more than Harry Potter in the movies (which is a hard feat, let me tell you…)
3) Mr. Darcy from Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. Need I really explain? His dark, brooding, proud, attentive and sexy ways would make any woman swoon. And as you can tell from my in-depth analysis of the movie adaptions, I think that Colin Firth’s portrayal of the infamous man is the best. I don’t think I’ve ever fallen for a movie character so fast as I did for Firth’s Darcy.
2) Peeta Mellark from Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games. His character made me laugh, cry, scream, sob, smile, bawl, fret… He made me realize all the emotions I was holding back. I often dreamt of him at night, thought of him during the day, pictured him holding me in his strong arms, and my life with him. Yes. I was that obsessed last year. Josh Hutcherson is a cute Peeta, but not exactly how I pictured him. The Peeta in my head will never be beat. Ever.
1) Harry Potter from J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series. I’ve been saying it since I first laid my eyes on him in the first book: He’s my soul mate. I grew up with him. I cheered for him. I hated him. I feared for him. I laughed at him. I fell in love with him with each book. I didn’t care if he got moody in the fifth book. I didn’t care that he got overshadowed by Ron and Hermione’s love story in the later books. I can even forgive him for falling for Ginny. But I will never let my love die for him. He shall be mine always, and I’ll always be his. Whether he wants me or not.
It’s that time again!
The Goodreads Choice Awards 2012 is back, and they’re ready for your votes. I’ve voted – have you? Which books are your picks?
I read this post from The Guardian this morning, and I couldn’t help sharing it with you all. There will always be a never-ending debate between e-books and real books, and while I still vehemently believe in the printed word, I am beginning to understand the lure e-books have for people. They’re incredibly convenient and are as light as anything — the opposite of many Stephen King novels, as this columnist points out. I appreciate her honesty, and am pleased that the power real books hold over her will remain forever. As a student, I see countless others in my university carting around Kindles, Nooks, etc. because e-books are far less expensive than textbooks and weigh much less, too. But as I’m in my last year, I can’t justify buying an e-reader for school — and I’m also slightly terrified that if I have an e-reader, I’ll be more likely to purchase e-books rather than going into my nearest Chapter’s or second-hand bookstore. Will I never buy an electronic reader? That I can’t say. But I can say this with unwavering hesitation: the smell of a book beats the smell of an electronic device any day.
Oddly enough, I began reading Pirate Latitudes by Michael Crichton yesterday — before I found out that today is Talk Like a Pirate Day. I’ve been promised it’s a swashbuckling good time, so I can’t wait to share my thoughts with you when I’m done.
In spirit of today, though, I want to know what your favourite pirates tale is and who is your favourite pirate?
We all love books. Otherwise you wouldn’t be here reading my blog, would you? But have you have ever given thought to HOW you love books? Have you ever considered what sort of reader you are?
The Atlantic Wire published this awesome article on book lovers and non-booklovers alike, and I couldn’t help but let you all know about it.
After going through their list of types of book readers, I have to say that I’m a proud “Delayed Onset Reader #1″ and “Bookophile.” As you know, I love all books — from the old, rare and over-used novels hidden in the corners of second-hand and antique bookstores to the fresh-faced, clean and crisp pages of the new books displayed proudly on the shelves at Chapters. But even with my passionate love affair with novels of all shapes and sizes, I have a tendency to finish reading them in a timely manner. I will constantly go to bookstores, see a book I like, buy it, put it on my “to read” shelf at home and leave it there for months (heck, even years) on end until I have the time to carefully ingest each and every one of them. Funnily enough, the books the Wire recommended for me are all novels I’ve been meaning to read but haven’t yet (minus the first novel of Anne of Green Gables).
So tell me, what sort of reader are you? Do you think it’s fair to classify readers in certain types? And what novels are prime examples of your type?