Tag Archives: Bookish Stuff

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Reasons I’m Thankful for Books


Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

A white plate covered with a grey napkin that has a sprig of red and brown berries and a card that says “thankful.”Credit for this Thankful freebie blogging idea goes to Rain City Reads who blogged about it in 2019.  It was a great idea for a post, and I’m grateful to use it today.

I will be mentioning the Covid-19 pandemic briefly in this post.

1) Meeting Likeminded Folks

Life can feel isolating and lonesome sometimes. There is nothing like getting to know a character, author, or fellow reader who shares your identity, or your diagnosis, or any other number of labels and realizing that you are not alone. Other people have been through X, too, understand even the parts of it that can be difficult to explain to those who haven’t had those same experiences.

 

2) Answering Common Questions about Group X

I’m the sort of person who is shy about asking people questions about the differences between us because I don’t want to be the tenth person to ask them that question this week or to make them feel uncomfortable. I’d much rather read a variety of perspectives about that topic so that I’ll at least have a framework of what is and isn’t appropriate to ask someone who may be from a completely different religion or culture (or what have you) than mine.

 

3) Providing an Education 

No one is ever too old or too young to learn new things. I think books are an excellent way to learn about so many different topics, from dark matter to math to the stories that I never learned in history class. In 2020, I found comfort in reading about the 1918 Flu of all things. Seeing how people dealt with that pandemic helped me figure out some good coping skills for this one.

 

4) Making Me Laugh

I know I talk about my love of humorous books a lot here, but I’ll say it again. Humour is an important part of life, and I think there’s value in seeking it out as often as you reasonably can.

 

5) Distracting Readers

This is related to #4, but we all need distractions from the troubles of this world after we’ve done what we can to reduce suffering and push things in a fairer and more peaceful direction. Reading something spectacular is one of the tools in my toolbox when I need to rest.

 

6) Showing a Better Future

Not to sound like a Pollyanna, but I think there’s something to be said for dreaming of the way things could be changed for the better in the future. People need hope, and stories can be a wonderful place to replenish that feeling if we read the right sorts of books.

 

7) Meeting Folks Who Are Nothing Like Me 

Whether they’re found in biographies or fiction, I think there’s a lot of merit to purposefully seeking out stories about people who might appear to have nothing in common with you at all at first glance. You can learn all sorts of interesting and useful things about them if you quietly listen to what they have to say.

 

Closeup of pages fanning up and out from an opened book. 8) Finding Good Quotes

I have not always been that reliable at writing down meaningful quotes from books, but I’m striving to be better at it. Quotes come in handy for all sorts of things, from reminding you about key moments in a story to providing motivation in difficult times and more.

 

9) Having Something Interesting to Talk About

This pandemic has made every day bleed into the last for me because of how repetitive so much of it has been as I dodged germs and avoided in-person socialization for most of it. There are only so many conversations I can have about the weather before I feel the urge to talk about something else, and books are a great place to start if the other person is at all bookish or interested in fiction.

 

10) Enjoying Some Non Screen Time

No, I’m not going to be putting down television, smart phones, or the film industry here. I think it’s silly to pit them against books as if one is better than the others.

Sometimes I watch TV or films. I surf the Internet a lot, too.  At other times, reading appeals to me more. I’m grateful for all of these forms of entertainment and how they’ve gotten us all through the past few years.

Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge: Bookmark, Scrap Paper, or Dog-Ear?

Hosted by Long and Short Reviews.

Click here to read everyone else’s replies to this week’s question and here to see the full list of topics for the year.

Coloured tabs of paper sticking out of a book that’s opened and lying on a wooden table. The vast majority of the books I read are ebooks, so my place is always marked in them automatically unless there’s a technological glitch. That doesn’t make for a very fun answer to this week’s prompt, so I’ll keep talking.

Back when I read paper books regularly, I did not have a strong opinion about bookmarks.

A pretty, traditional bookmark? Great!

A scrap of paper? Great!

An old receipt I didn’t need for anything else? Great!

A $1 bill? Great!

A clean, dry piece of toilet paper in an emergency? That was okay, too, although I found it tore easily and would try to replace it with some other paper product as soon as possible.

I will admit to dog-earing a few pages of books I owned when I was a kid, but I soon learned to dislike the way that damaged books and stopped doing it. (What other people do with their own books is of no concern to me).

I know that conversations like these can be more interesting when people have strong opinions about them, but I do not have any strong opinions on this topic. All I care about is that a bookmark keeps my place in a story so that I can quickly jump back into it when I have more spare time.

Although I am always interested in seeing other people’s fancy bookmarks and asking them questions about where they got them and what personal significance the artwork might hold for them if they’re willing to share.

 

Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge: Thoughts on Fan Fiction

Hosted by Long and Short Reviews.

Click here to read everyone else’s replies to this week’s question and here to see the full list of topics for the year.

A woman dressed in chainmail, leather, and wool. She’s holding a funky wooden staff and appears to be dressed as a fantasy character. When I was a teenager, I wrote a little bit of fan fiction for a couple of my favourite worlds (Narnia and the prehistoric world set in Jean M. Auel’s Earth’s Children series that I’ve talked about here so often, if you’re curious).  I never finished any of it and it doesn’t exist anymore so far as I know, but I had a wonderful time playing around with characters and settings I knew so well.

I’ve read far more fan fiction than I’ve written. The quality of it varied depending on the skill of the person writing it, of course, but that’s true for any form of storytelling. I’m interested in experiencing fabulous stories no matter where they come from: fan fiction, self-published books, hybrid-published books, traditionally-published books, tv shows, films, music, or spooky stories told around a campfire.

To me, fan fiction is a hobby that may sharpen your writing, communication, and critical thinking skills if you write and/or read high quality material. I’d compare it to cosplay or role playing a character for Dungeons and Dragons in that you get what you put into it and there are so many different ways to enjoy it.

Some people adore it and do it regularly. Other folks are like me and have dabbled in it. I’m sure there are plenty of people out there who have zero interest in this stuff, and that’s perfectly okay, too.

Hobbies make life more enjoyable. Of course I encourage everyone to follow their interests no matter how young or old you are. Life is too short to be serious all of the time or to worry what others think about what makes you happy.  For some folks, chasing happiness includes doing things like dressing up in fun costumes or making up stories about your favourite characters. I say more power to them!

 

Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge: My Ideal Bookcase

Hosted by Long and Short Reviews.

Click here to read everyone else’s replies to this week’s question and here to see the full list of topics for the year.

This week’s topic was “show us your bookcases.” While I do technically own one bookcase, it’s filled with clothes, random knickknacks, spare charging cords for our various electronic devices, and tic tacs because my spouse loves that candy.

In order to stick to the spirit of the prompt, I’m going to tweak it just a little so I can share my dream bookcase with you all.

A nook in a house that contains a while bookshelf built into the wall. The doorway has a nice wooden frame with some leaves carved into it. Many bookcases out there are quite tall. I’m a little shorter than average, so it always makes me a tad nervous to stand on my tiptoes and try to grab a book on the top shelf. This is even more true if the book is oddly shaped or heavier than usual as I have scary thoughts of one of them falling onto my face and scratching my cornea or cracking  my glasses. (Yes, my fears are quite specific sometimes. Ha!)

Therefore, my ideal bookcase would be one that I could reach every shelf comfortably.

The thought of it existing in a little nook of a house that might otherwise be hard to make full use of delights me, too.

I love the wooden frame over the doorway of this bookcase. Wood is such a warm and cheerful material. I’d want to have rabbits carved into my frame because they’re my favourite animal.

Ideally, my bookcase and the nook it was placed in would be somewhat larger than this one. I would like to have a soft, comfortable chair in that little room or maybe right outside of it in the hallway or next room as well if I could. It would make such a cozy spot to sit and read.

There you have it. Something like this would be a perfect bookcase to me.

 

Top Ten Tuesday: Bookish Merchandise I’d Love to Own


Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

My answers to this week’s prompt might be a little unorthodox.

I have enough bookmarks, ereaders, tea mugs, and cozy socks to last for many years to come.

I do not have enough chocolate to nibble on while reading, but that’s because I have a sweet tooth and chocolate is hard to resist. Perhaps some of you who do not like sweets so much have never had this problem. Ha!

These are the bookish things I wish I had.

A cozy little home library in a the corner of a room. There is a red rug on the wooden floor and a light shining on the books and rug from a nearby shelf.

A Spare Room to Turn Into a Personal Library.

There are many things I love about living in a cozy apartment in a city, but one of the few downsides of it is that housing here in Toronto is too expensive to devote an entire room to reading. If only that were different!

A man using a laptop while sitting on a couch. A woman has stretched out next to him on the cough and has her legs by his thighs as she listens to something.

A Big, Comfortable Couch

I want to gently flop over the sides of the couch and find every position comfortable while still leaving space for someone else to sit there, too.

Yes, sometimes I’d probably sit on the “proper” way, too. But not every time.

Pink clouds floating through the sky near a full moon at either sunrise or sunset.

Peace and Quiet 

I want a few hours of peace and quiet in which to read.

It’s okay if a truck rumbles by or a bird sings outside of my window, but I would rather not have conversation, music, blaring horns, or anything else that might be distracting.

Quiet reading sessions are the best if you ask me.

A little white dog sleeping on a chair.

A Leash and Soft Place to Sleep for My (Hypothetical) Dog or Dogs

Yes, I know that’s worded a little oddly, but let me explain. I don’t think of pets as objects to be owned. They’re members of a family instead.

If I weren’t allergic to dogs and if my home were large enough to accommodate one, I’d also want to have a canine companion or two. (Let’s also assume that my spouse agrees to this plan!)

Ideally, they’d sleep or play quietly for a couple of hours while I read and then let me know that they were ready to go for a walk.

There’s something about taking a walk that makes reading even better. It  gives you time to think about what you’ve read and wonder what might happen next in the story.

Dogs are also good listeners from what I’ve surmised from people who can live with them, so I’d probably talk to them while we exercised together.

It wouldn’t matter to me what the dog looked like. I simply included the picture above because the dog in it looked so peaceful.

Top Ten Tuesday: Bookish Wintry Gifs and Photos

Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl I’m going to be achingly honest with all of you here. The winter holiday season is hard for me for a few different reasons. One, I have seasonal depression that usually kicks in by early November when Ontario’s days grow short and our sunlight is weak and brief at… Read More