Discussion | Cataloguing Your Books

Just a (hopefully) short one from me today folks. I recently came across a couple of Booktube videos discussing the ways in which you can catalogue your own personal library or collection of books and the benefits of doing so, specifically Rachel at Kalanadi’s video on ‘Tracking Your Library’. I must admit – this is something I’ve tried (and failed) to do in the past. I used Libib for a while and dutifully scanned my books but then I proceeded to do absolutely nothing at all with that list – I still have the app on my phone and I’m sure I could do something with it if I wanted to but I’ve lost the motivation to do so using that interface.

Enter: Emma watches Rachel’s video and discovers LibraryThing exists.

Again, it’s ostensibly yet another app equipped with a barcode scanner so you can quickly catalogue your book collection in one place under one account name. However, even on first glance, it has much more in-depth features which mean you are definitely cataloguing your books as opposed to just recording them by scanning their ISBNs. This deeply appeals to the nerdy side of me that likes being able to manipulate a data set to filter books of a certain genre or books of a certain page count etc. etc. Plus there’s definitely some satisfaction to be found in getting into a groove scanning barcodes and hearing that pleasing beep as each thing scans successfully.

It’s safe to say that once I return to Liverpool (I’m currently back at my parents’ house for a few days) I will be pulling my books off the shelves in order to catalogue them. Yes, I’m a nerd like that. Also I would really like to have a handily accessible list of my books on my phone somewhere so that I can be 100% sure when I’m browsing a used book shop that that book I’m about to impulsively buy isn’t already in my collection. (Please tell me you’ve also done this?!)

Don’t worry, this post isn’t sponsored by Libib or LibraryThing – it just got me thinking about how (and indeed even if) you readers out there catalogue your book collection in any particular way. Do you have an app for it? Do you use Goodreads’ bookshelves function to its full potential? Do you like to make your own spreadsheet? Do you prefer the ol’ analogue approach of a pen to paper list? Please do let me know in the comments because I’m genuinely quite nerdily interested in hearing about this from my lovely fellow readers!


Goodreads | Twitter | Tumblr | Instagram | Bloglovin’

Review | The Name of the Wind

Title: The Name of the Wind (2007)
Author: Patrick Rothfuss
Publisher: Gollancz
Read: 7th – 15th April 2017
Genre: fantasy
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Patrick Rothfuss’ The Name of the Wind is the first book in the evocatively named The Kingkiller Chronicles, a sure-to-be-epic fantasy series which mimics the storytelling tradition of oral myths and legends. Framed through the device of a Chronicler writing down the deeds as recounted by the enigmatic protagonist, Kvothe, The Name of the Wind is a story which slowly but surely draws you into its world and magic until you are hooked without realising how on earth you got there. And then you realise: here be dragons.

‘Told in Kvothe’s own voice, this is the tale of the magically gifted young man who grows to be the most notorious wizard his world has ever seen. The intimate narrative of his childhood in a troupe of traveling players, his years spent as a near-feral orphan in a crime-ridden city, his daringly brazen yet successful bid to enter a legendary school of magic, and his life as a fugitive after the murder of a king form a gripping coming-of-age story unrivaled in recent literature. A high-action story written with a poet’s hand, The Name of the Wind is a masterpiece that will transport readers into the body and mind of a wizard.’ (Synopsis from Goodreads)

Continue reading

Tag | Book Buying Habits Tag

I saw this tag post over on Emma’s blog, A Dreamer’s Library, and I thought I would give it a little go on this fine Thursday afternoon since it is Tag Thursday after all (yes I’m still trying to make it a thing, shush).

Perhaps doing this tag will also make me re-evaluate some of book buying habits in the process because, let’s face it, I buy too many books considering the rate I consume them at – but I like having my own little library, so sue me. And whilst you’re preparing to sue me… let’s see about this tag shall we?

1. Where do you buy your books from?

Honestly? Amazon. I’ve completely been swayed by the lure of Amazon Prime delivery (the TV is a nice added bonus) and it’s just so quick and convenient. I feel slightly bad when I do order from Amazon but I’m just not financially in a position where I can buy hardback new releases at full price from an independent bookshop, and I won’t feel bad for choosing an alternative for now. I tend to order used books a lot from Amazon too, or else buy them from Oxfam bookshops which is slightly better on the moral front in my eyes.

Although I occasionally allow myself to splurge and buy books from Waterstone’s now that I have a big and very lovely branch easily accessible to me in Liverpool One.

2. Do you ever pre-order books and if so do you do this in store or online?

I don’t think I’ve ever pre-ordered a book in-store but I do know my grandma used to pre-order the Harry Potter books for me from book 5 onwards, to make sure I always had a copy waiting for me on release day. How sweet is that? But if I am in charge of the pre-ordering I tend to do it via Amazon… more accurately, I usually end up pre-ordering then the day before release day my book still hasn’t dispatched so I end up cancelling the pre-order and re-ordering it so it will be delivered the next day. No I don’t know why Amazon is so slow with pre-orders sometimes but I don’t really trust it anymore to actually get a book to me on release day. The only things I’ve really pre-ordered have been my auto-buy authors’ next books, i.e. Samantha Shannon and V.E. Schwab.

Continue reading

Musings | On Feeling Goalless

I’ve been doing some thinking lately (a dangerous start to any blog post, I know), mainly inspired by productivity videos I have seen on Amanda aka shesomickey‘s channel and Leena’s recent ‘How to Slam Your Competition (kind of)’ video. Both of these women are amazing YouTubers and inspire me to think a little more about myself and my own life, sometimes in a flippant way and sometimes in a “deeper way”.

(Yep, you’re in for one of those blog posts, so strap yourself in and get ready for some self-involved and (mostly) selfish musing that is particular to my own experience and in no way informed enough to speak to anyone else’s experiences or priorities. Disclaimer over…)

Both Amanda and Leena have recently discussed life goals and career goals, seeing that next step you want to make in your life, and the skills or experience you need to acquire in order to reach it. Last year for VEDA (Vlog Every Day in April) Amanda specifically made a video about 100 Life Goals, a tool to get you thinking about yourself and your priorities and do a little self-audit of where you are and where you would like to be “at the end of the day”. It is exactly what it says on the tin – you take out a pen and paper (or a blank Word document if you so prefer) and list out 100 goals. These can range from “visit Japan” to “write a book” to “work for a non-profit” to “learn ASL”. They can be a mix of travel, personal, or career-focused goals, in fact I think the best lists probably are a mix of those things. The key thing to having goals, though, is making them achievable, phrasing them so that they are a clear Thing to aim for, whether that is to visit a certain place or to live in a certain city or learn a certain skill. Although skeptical I could come up with 100 distinct goals, I was nevertheless encouraged by Amanda’s video to get out my own pen and paper and draw up my list…

Continue reading

Tag | Reader Confession Tag

Another week, another Thursday dawns, which means it’s time for another tag! I saw this tag over on Thrice Read (don’t I seem to start all my tag posts saying that?) and I couldn’t resist doing it myself, so let’s just get started on the Reader Confession Tag.

Have you ever damaged a book?

Not intentionally. I may have slightly ripped a page corner or creased a spine or two in my time as a reader. I also dog-ear pages to my heart’s content now so I mean… I guess some people consider that ruining a book?? I’m kind of not sorry about it any more though – they’re my books, I’ll do what I want with them. And I’d much rather be able to enjoy a book fully and annotate or dog-ear to my heart’s content – if I want a pristine copy I’ll buy it new and in a fancy edition but if it’s just for reading’s sake then yeah I “damage books”.

Have you ever damaged a borrowed book?

I don’t think so. The only books I ever really “borrow” are from the library and handily they put those protective plastics covers on them so it’s nigh-on impossible to really damage them. I haven’t yet borrowed a book from my friend Liz but I’ll be sure to be considerate when I do.

How long does it take you to read a book?

Depends entirely on the book. If I’m really invested in it and it’s about 300-350 pages then maybe 3 or 4 days, if it’s a long fantasy book or a classic I need to take my time on then it could take me closer to 10 days. That being said, it definitely just depends on the book and not necessarily the genre because I’m pretty sure I finished a re-read of A Gathering of Shadows in like 2 days and it’s easily a 500-page book.

Books that you haven’t finished?

I’ve definitely DNFed books, more than my DNF shelf on Goodreads would suggest. Some just fall of my radar and then I come across them months later at the back of my bookshelves and remember I was reading them at some point because there’s a bookmark left in there. My most personally shameful DNF is probably Edmund Spenser’s The Faerie Queene or John Milton’s Paradise Lost, both of which I enjoyed but never actually read to the end. (My MA was in early modern literature, just so you have some context as to why it’s remotely embarrassing to have not completed these books!)

Continue reading

T5W | Books As Video Games

Welcome one, welcome all, to ‘Emma Remembers Top 5 Wednesdays Exists And Decides To Join In’… again. Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme/challenge which was created by the wonderful Lainey from gingereadslainey and is now overseen by the equally lovely Sam from Thoughts of Tomes. Every Wednesday, participants devise their Top 5 based on a given topic.

This Wednesday’s topic is Books That Would Make Good Video Games. Given Sam’s penchant for video games, I can understand that this topic comes from a place of deep love for that genre but I’m not really much of a gamer myself… principally because I suck at them. So, my top five comes with the caveat that I don’t really know how viable any of these would be when translating them into the video game genre – I just happen to think they could make pretty damn cool games to play. Let’s see what we have…

Continue reading

Review | Hard Times

Title: Hard Times (1854)
Author: Charles Dickens
Read: 29th March- 4th April
Genre: classic
Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars

Published in 1854, Hard Times is one of Charles Dickens’ shortest novels and presents a pretty damning indictment of mid 19th-century industrial society, taking a swipe at the social and political philosophies of Bentham and Mill, but ultimately failing to deliver an engaging or cohesive plot that would match the opening chapter’s brilliance.

“Now, what I want is Facts. Teach these boys and girls nothing but Facts. Facts alone are wanted in life. Plant nothing else, and root out everything else. You can only form the minds of reasoning animals upon Facts; nothing else will ever be of any service to them.”

Hard Times tells the story of Coketown, a fictional 19th-century Northern industrial town which plays home to a host of polluting factories and their downtrodden employees, all overseen by factory owner Josiah Bounderby and his friend and Utilitarian Thomas Gradgrind, the schoolmaster who seeks to stamp out any sense of imagination or Fancy from the town’s schoolchildren. On the outskirts of the town cavorts Mr Sleary’s circus, a troupe of performers whose antics could provide a nice sense of distraction for the downtrodden ranks of Coketown’s population.

Continue reading

Tome Topple | Updates Post

Hi folks, this is my Updates Post for round 3 of Tome Topple. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, please do refer to my TBR post which has all the information. Basically, there’s a readathon happening for the next fortnight where you have to read tomes (i.e. books over 500 pages), and I’m going to try to not suck at it. This post will be updated at a regular intervals and is mainly my way of keeping myself accountable and hopefully reading more than I ordinarily would. Let’s see how that goes, shall we?

Continue reading

Tome Topple | TBR

Some of you may remember that I participated in Tome Topple back in November (take a peek at my TBR and Updates from then, if you’re interested) and it’s back again, for Round 3! This round is taking place from midnight (in your timezone) on 7th April to 11:59pm (in your timezone) on 20th April! The basic rule is that all books read must be 500+ pages. There are some optional challenges too:

Challenges

  1. Read more than 1 tome
  2. Read a graphic novel (that’s over 500 pages)
  3. Read a tome that’s part of a series
  4. Buddy read a tome (use goodreads and twitter to find buddies!)
  5. Read an adult novel

For this round I’ll be foregoing challenge 2 completely since I don’t have any graphic novels that are even close to 500 pages, but I’ll be trying my best to complete the other challenges – everyone loves a trier!

TBR

  • Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling (#3)
  • A Feast for Crows by George R.R. Martin (#3, #4, #5)
  • American Gods by Neil Gaiman (#5)
  • The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss (#3, #5)
  • Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor (#3)
  • The Old Curiosity Shop by Charles Dickens

As you may be able to guess this is less a TBR and more of me looking through my bookshelves and finding tomes that I might vaguely consider reading over the next fortnight. Undoubtedly I’ll actually end up reading something I never intended. I do need to finish Order of the Phoenix though because I’ve been listening to it on audiobook for a couple of months now and it’s getting faintly ridiculous that I haven’t yet finished it, so I’ll be switching over to the physical hardback and counting it for Tome Topple. Liz is potentially reading A Feast for Crows too so that’s the motivation (and potential buddy read) to try to read that again since I DNFed it sometime last year. As for the others, who knows what mood I will be in but hopefully I will pick up one of the above tomes and join in with all the Tome Topple goodness!

If you’re interested in Tome Topple, check out the Goodreads group, Twitter, or founder/host Sam’s video.

Are you participating in Tome Topple? What are you planning to read? Let me know down in the comments or link your post below!


Goodreads | Twitter | Tumblr | Instagram | Bloglovin’

Tag | The Ultimate Book Tag

It’s Tag Thursday time! (Just look at all that alliteration, huh?) Tag Thursday completely isn’t a thing on the Internet but I have decided to try to post any tags I want to do on Thursdays because… well because it begins with a T too. Is that sufficient explanation? I think so, let’s get down to business…

This week I bring you The Ultimate Book Tag. I saw this recently over on Thrice Read and it seems like fun so I thought I’d give it a go myself.

1. Do you get sick while reading in the car?

Absolutely, yes. Although, the only car I’ve ever tested it out in was driven by my dad and I have a sneaking suspicion my dad’s driving style just makes me feel sick since I’ve never felt generally car sick whilst riding in anyone else’s car but his. Sorry, padre. Curiously enough though, I’m fine reading on trains now, I think I just forced myself past nausea because I wanted to read.

2. Which author’s writing style is completely unique to you and why?

I struggle with this question because most authors have their own distinct voice. However, I would say Neil Gaiman and/or Maggie Stiefvater. Both have very compelling and magical writing styles, completely unlike anything I’ve read before, and I would say they’re very distinct so that they just do not work for some people whilst others love them.

3. Harry Potter series or the Twilight saga? Give 3 points to defend your answer.

Harry Potter. 3 points to defend my answer? Ok…

  1. It’s a freaking wizard school in Scotland that teaches a generation of wizards that co-exist alongside us muggles. (That completely beats sparkly vampires. Sorry Edward)
  2. Remus Lupin (HP‘s portrayal of werewolves shits all over Twilight‘s. Sorry Jacob.)
  3. Hermione Granger (I’m not even going to bother comparing her to something/someone in Twilight because I mean, come on.)

I don’t even hate Twilight, I really enjoyed the first book when I read it and I will defend anyone who wants to read it to get into reading. But also I still feel traumatised by the knowledge that Edward fucked Bella so hard she hit her head and blacked out and then she had his little half-human/half-vampire baby and he got it out of her womb by biting the amniotic sac. It’s been years since I read it and I still remember it vividly… it haunts my nightmares…

Continue reading