Discussion | Marking Up Your Books

Today’s discussion post was brought to you by this tweet which I saw whilst scrolling aimlessly through Twitter. Yes, this is a discussion all about marking your books, specifically by dog-earring the pages. Please do not shrink away in fear or brandish the sign of the cross at me, I assure you I am not evil. The vehemence with which some people on Twitter were categorising readers who does this as HEATHENS really got my back up… until I remembered, I used to be one of those people. However, nowadays, oh boy… *deep breath* my name is Emma and I dog ear the pages of my books. No, please don’t back away, please I’m not a terrible person, I swear!

Don’t get me wrong, I used to be just like those people on that tweet who are jokingly (or not so jokingly) calling people who mark their books as EVIL. I used to think that anyone who would dare to despoil a book in such a cruel and callous way deserved the fieriest of deaths. Alongside those who purposely crack the spine of paperbacks and take some joy in the sound of the binding crying out in pain. And those people at the back? Those readers who not only annotate in the margins in pencil but in pen too – evuuuuul!

Yes, I am being dramatic. And I am being dramatic in order to present my change in thinking.

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Discussion | What Do You Use Audiobooks For?

Hi folks! Today I bring you a somewhat rare post about audiobooks. This isn’t so much a discussion about which audiobooks I chose or when I listen to them; rather, this is more of a word vomit discussion of a tendency I’ve noticed I have regarding audiobooks. You see, I’ve noticed that I predominantly use them to “re-read” books I’ve already read which may seem pointless but let me explain…

handmaidaudiobookRecently I decided that I needed to re-read The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood in preparation for watching the TV adaptation which finally started airing in the UK on Sunday nights on Channel 4 recently. I decided this on the preceding Friday morning, when I was already in work, so I didn’t have a copy of The Handmaid’s Tale with me, much less the reading time to get through it by Sunday night. It’s not a particularly long book, but it’s also not that quick of a read, so I was very conscious that I probably didn’t have enough hours to physically read the book at the weekend.

However, a quick search of my library’s Overdrive offerings revealed that they had the audiobook, as read by Joanna David, available to borrow. And I was having a slow day in work, where I needed to input fairly monotonous data onto a spreadsheet and do some research via Google to find out some author details. So, I could listen to something. I had tried listening to a new audiobook and I had tried listening to a podcast (I’m currently making my way through Witch Please, why had I not listened to that sooner?!?), but I just wasn’t feeling it. So I popped on The Handmaid’s Tale audiobook and was very quickly swept up in a re-read of the dystopian classic. Not only that, I listened to the majority of the audiobook in the space of my day at work. There’s something quite satisfying about accomplishing that at the same time as being in work.

ravenboysaudiobookMy go-to, prevailing example to explain my relationship with audiobooks is The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater. There is just something about this story that lends itself to a slow-burning drawling audiobook that you can sink into, and the narrator Will Patton’s voice has that in spades. I adore Stiefvater’s The Raven Cycle (I still haven’t read the final book because I can’t let go yet) and I’m more than sure that I will continue to re-read this series for many years to come. In an effort to not completely wreck my paperbacks, I purchased the series’ audiobooks via Audible and, in the midst of doing a series re-read late last year, I eagerly started to listen to Blue Lily, Lily Blue. That was the beginning of the end, my friends, I’m now hooked on these audiobooks. There’s just something about its narration style that is strangely comforting and familiar and makes re-reads feel so cosy.

By using audiobooks for re-reading past favourites I also feel like I’m not wasting time reading which might not sound entirely logical but stay with me on this one. If I re-read a book (as I am wont to do) I feel as though I’m not reading something new and therefore wasting time. After all, we only have a finite amount of time to read ALL THE THINGS and so many books so little time. My tendency to want to re-read and re-experience my favourite things (it’s a comfort thing, ultimately) clashes with my TBR ambitions. So re-reading via listening to the audiobook makes me feel less guilty, because the only time I listen to an audiobook is when I physically can’t read a book because I’m travelling or doing laundry. It’s all about maximising your free (otherwise dead) time and squeezing reading in with minimal guilt experienced about what you happen to be “reading”.

So that’s what I primarily use audiobooks for but what do you use audiobooks for? Do you use them to “re-read” books like I do? Or do you prefer to listen to only new books you’ve never read before? Please comment below, I’d love to hear your opinions on all things audiobooks.


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Review | Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar’s Revenge

Welcome, friends. Last night I saw the latest of the Pirates of the Caribbean films – Salazar’s Revenge (terrible title tbh) aka Dead Men Tell No Tales (the much superior US (?) title). And I have some thoughts about it. This is less of a measured and academic “review” and more of a “Emma has a lot of feelings so let her word vomit them here including lots of CAPITAL LETTERS OF ENTHUSIASM and reaction gifs”… buckle in, folks, it may be a bumpy ride!

I went into the latest instalment in the running-out-of-steam Pirates of the Caribbean franchise with low hopes, such low hopes that I’m not even sure the word “hope” should be found within 10 feet of my expectations. I’d heard 2 and 1-star reviews across the board. So, suffice it to say, I expected a hot mess. What did I get? Well, not a hot mess, more a lukewarm mess, if anything. To me, Salazar’s Revenge made more sense and had more potential than the fourth film, On Stranger Tides, which means I didn’t find it nearly as disappointing as a lot of reviewers and critics did. “Potential” is, I think, the key word here, since not all that potential was fulfilled enough for my tastes, but more on that later. If you’re going into this expecting a ground-breaking sequel, you’re setting yourself up for disappointment from the off, but if all you want is a bit of light relief and nautical adventure? This fits the bill.

Let’s start with the premise…

“Johnny Depp returns to the big screen as the iconic, swashbuckling anti-hero Jack Sparrow in the all-new “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales.” The rip-roaring adventure finds down-on-his-luck Captain Jack feeling the winds of ill-fortune blowing strongly his way when deadly ghost sailors, led by the terrifying Captain Salazar, escape from the Devil’s Triangle bent on killing every pirate at sea – notably Jack. Jack’s only hope of survival lies in the legendary Trident of Poseidon, but to find it he must forge an uneasy alliance with Carina Smyth, a brilliant and beautiful astronomer, and Henry, a headstrong young sailor in the Royal Navy. At the helm of the Dying Gull, his pitifully small and shabby ship, Captain Jack seeks not only to reverse his recent spate of ill fortune, but to save his very life from the most formidable and malicious foe he has ever faced.” (Summary from IMDB)

From this point in there will be blood spoilers so please, for the love of all that is good and holy, if you intend to see this film and do not want to be spoiled then DO NOT READ ON, GO AWAY AND LIVE YOUR LIFE IN BLISSFUL IGNORANCE, GO NOW.

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Discussion | Reading Before Watching

Hi folks, I bring you something of a discussion post regarding something that has been on my mind recently – reading before watching. Let me clarify – reading a book before watching the adaptation.

I think I speak for all of us readers when I say that we tend to hold to the sanctity of the source material whenever a television or film adaptation is announced – if it’s a favourite book we probably worry and fret about whether a production team is about to completely ruin something precious to us. Likewise, we might just be excited to see a story we love come to the big or small screen, and look forward to more people experiencing that story, in whatever format that is.

But, readers, I have a dilemma: what do you do when a new series is announced, based on a book, and you haven’t read the book – do you wait for the TV show so that the adaptation is new and fresh for you, or do you read the book beforehand? My instinct obviously tells me to read the book first before watching the adaptation but part of me always wonders if I’m not potentially dampening my enjoyment of the TV show or film. After all – I know what is going to happen then, and nothing is shocking or unexpected (unless they completely diverge from the source material).

nightmanagerI was thinking about this yesterday as I was doing a re-watch of The Night Manager series and had an inclination to re-read the book again. I recalled that, despite having read the book back in February 2016, before the miniseries started airing, I was still overwhelmingly tense and on the edge of my seat whilst watching the adaptation. Now, admittedly, some of that is because I have a slight inclination towards Tom Hiddleston (understatement of the century) so, you know, what you gonna do… but aside from that I also was tense because I wasn’t sure what was going to happen. In the effort to modernise the source material and make it more relevant for a 2016 audience, the production team had made the decision to change some key elements of the story. This meant that, though I had read the source material, it didn’t ruin my enjoyment of the series by “spoiling” any of the plot’s twists and turns. But not all adaptations are like this.

howardsendLast night I picked up Howards End by E.M. Forster. After having read A Room with a View last week and found myself pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it and how readable I found Forster’s writing style, I decided to give Forster’s most famous novel a read. Then I remembered that the BBC are producing a miniseries of the book which is due to be released later this year starring Hayley Atwell and Matthew MacFadyen (I am sure there are plenty of others too but, I mean, my priority will always be Hayley Atwell because she’s Hayley Atwell). I had a moment of pause then – surely every little twist and turn of the adaptation would be spoiled if I read the novel first? After all, period dramas based on classics or modern classics do tend to push for faithfulness to the source material, for fear of upsetting the delicate sensibilities of readers and their expectations. So if I read the book, would I be as inclined towards watching the series, when it did air on TV?

Despite this momentary dilemma, I am fully aware that it will not stop me from reading the book – as a reader I will always lean towards the side of the primacy of the book, regardless of how excited I am to see an adaptation on the big or small screen, and the book will probably always win. But that doesn’t mean the adaptation won’t put up a damn good fight…

But beware: on the other side of the coin lurks a trap, a trap that I often fall into. On the occasions when I do see a film or TV show adapted from a book first, even if I end up loving the adaptation, sometimes I never quite get around to reading the book afterwards. I know, I know, I’m a terrible reader! After all, I know what happens in the story, so reading the story suddenly isn’t quite as high priority as all the other books on my TBR. I know how it goes, I know how it ends, I’ve experienced the story, regardless of the format it was in… and there are so many other stories that I haven’t experienced yet that deserve my time and attention. This happened with another le Carré book – Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy. I had embarked on a mission to read the book once upon a time, got super confused, and abandoned it. Then I watched the 2011 film starring Gary Oldman as George Smiley, and, though I thoroughly enjoyed it, the book suddenly didn’t really seem a priority any more. I knew so what was the point any more?

Well, Emma, I’m sure the book is much more nuanced, I hear you say, to which I say: touché. And so the vicious cycle keeps on spinning…

Do you have this dilemma too? Do you have to make sure you read a book before watching its TV or film adaptation – or does it not bother you so much? Do you think the effect of a TV or film adaptation is sometimes “spoiled” because you know what’s going to happen, because you read the book first? Does this cause anyone else as much indecision as it does me? On the more positive note – what TV/film adaptations are you looking forward to in the future? Chat to me in the comments below, I’d love to talk adaptations!


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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!


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Feature | Books That Made Me

As people we are all inevitably shaped by the media and culture we consume. This is especially true of our formative years, especially childhood. I think that’s why any books, films or TV shows that we enjoyed as children hold a strange and special place in our hearts, even as we get older and even if we might notice ‘problematic’ things about them.

This post is inspired by the wonderful Cinzia whose videos I adore and who does a sort of annual favourites video which she titles, for example, Books That Made Me 2015. These aren’t just books that are her favourites of the year; they are the books that contributed a more lasting impact on her life in that given year and whose effect will last many years into the future. This got me thinking about my own favourites, the books that “made me”, and I felt like a wander down nostalgia lane in the form of revisiting some of the books I read as a child that I think contributed into making me the reader, and the person, I am today. I thought it might be an interesting feature post to share with you lovely folks, and perhaps we could start a little discussion about what childhood favourite books made you into the reader you are today?

Even more timely, earlier today I came across Comma Press’ blog from their staff talking about their favourite childhood books in honour of World Book Day today. Today seems like the perfect day to publish my own blog post dedicated to the books that came to me as a child reader and still influence the reader I am to this very day. This is going to be a long one, kids, so buckle up…

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Discussion | Blogging Stats and Validation

This might be a relatively brief ‘discussion’ which, actually, is pretty much summed up by the title of this post.

I’ve never been much of a numbers girl. I’m well and truly a right-brained, artsy, wishy washy, literature girl through and through – to the extent that I sometimes struggle now with remembering how to do long division (I wish I were kidding). And we all know numbers, whether those numbers stand for followers or number of posts or views or likes, they’re all nice enough in terms of analytics but, actually, become meaningless in the grand scheme of things. That follower count? Just a number, a mark on a screen, nothing more.

And, don’t get me wrong, whilst it’s nice to have the validation via those pesky numerals, it’s not the be-all-and-end-all of why most bloggers blog. I blog because having to sit down and put words together to express an opinion is actually something that has helped my own sense of self and my confidence enormously over the past few years.

I’ve always been someone who struggles with very deeply ingrained insecurities about whether anything I have to say is worthwhile saying… or worth anyone reading, for that matter. Hence why I sometimes seem to slip into radio silence on this blog. Chances are I’m still reading and thinking about books, but I’ve just had a moment of ‘oh woe is me, I don’t have anything new to say, let’s not bother’. That is a destructive and cyclical mindset and having this blog has actually really helped me try to break out of that vicious cycle.

So, “what is the point of this ‘discussion’?” I hear you ask. Well, I recently reached 200 followers. To me, that’s amazing. The fact that 200 people care about what I (occasionally) write? That’s astounding. I’m definitely not the biggest or most prolific blogger ever (ha, not by a long shot) but the fact that someone else cares (let alone 200 of you) is really quite something. And it does wonders for silencing that ol’ inner critic of mine who does so like to pipe up at every opportunity.

So, sincerely, thank you to each and every person who has ever read, commented, and/or liked anything I’ve written on this little blog of mine.
I appreciate your support more than you could ever know.


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Hey girl, whatcha’ doing?

So… you may have noticed a somewhat lacklustre attempt at blogging as of late. Sure, there have been posts, but I haven’t really been as engaged as I would like to be, as active as I would like to be, or as thoughtful as I would like to be. There are a few reasons for this and I thought, well hey, why not make an updates blog post about them because whilst some of them are a little on the sad side, they’ll be glossed over quickly for the bigger and better – some recommendations of cool stuff I’ve been enjoying.

I casually mentioned in a throwaway comment that we recently experienced a death in the family. Towards the end of last month we lost my wonderful, loving nanna, and it’s been rough on the family as we try to work out how life looks without her and, especially, how it’s going to be with my granddad from now on. That is a whole other personal side of things that I won’t get into on here but let us just say that, sometimes, death can be revealing and sometimes what it reveals isn’t so shiny or nice. Ignorance, as they say, is bliss. Especially when it comes to your family. Your family is your family so the minute that you see that they are just as vulnerable and flawed as anyone else is certainly a moment of realisation.

The job hunt 2k16 still continues, to not much avail. I’m trying to stay positive and it’s very much an up and down process day-to-day, as I get really excited about a particular opportunity, obsess over my application, submit it anxiously, then get summarily rejected, making it feel like all those little dreams I had have been crushed. It’s an ongoing process but, hopefully, it will get better, I just have to be persistent.

Now we’re going to move onto the more positive part of this updates post… my lack of consistent blogging is mostly down to me watching videos instead of doing any reading or writing myself.

So I blame Netflix… specifically Archer

For those of you who haven’t seen the show, it’s a cartoon (an adult cartoon, heed that warning!) about a suave-but-absolute-arsehole-of-a-man named Archer (the name’s Archer, Sterling Archer), who works for a spy organisation called ISIS (it proved to be an unfortunate acronym, yes), the head of which is his mother. The cast of characters is fantastic (Woodhouse is hilarious, Cheryl’s a fave, and who can forget Pam?) and the show really has a way of making everything so exciting and funny, from the mundane situations of HR wanting all staff to complete peer reviews to the absolutely ridiculous and farcical time (/whole season) in which the gang became a drug cartel. It happens to the best of us.

I haven’t done a good job of summing up the plot but the truth is, it really is a show that you just need to watch a couple of episodes and see if you get it or not. I can see that its sense of humour probably isn’t for everyone and, to be honest, I was mildly surprised that I ended up loving it, but I fell for it, hook line and sinker, after the pilot episode.

Moving onto my second Netflix recommendation that I’m sure needs no explanation: Firefly. Oh Firefly. Loved by geeks everywhere, this geek included, top of so many lists of ‘TV shows that were cancelled too soon’. I was reminded of the genuine joy that is Firefly when I tuned into Nerd HQ this weekend and saw Nathan Fillion auctioning off his shit. No, really, that’s pretty much how he describes it – he auctions off merch and fan stuff he’s amassed (probably cleaning out his closet in the process) for charity and it’s kind of great. But, back to the point, Nathan Fillion reminded me of how charming Captain Malcolm Reynolds is so obviously I had to revisit Firefly. 

For those unaware, Firefly is a Space Western, created by Joss Whedon and starring the likes of Nathan Fillion, Gina Torres, Alan Tudyk, and Adam Baldwin. It’s set in a future where, after Earth burned up, humans moved to other planets and star systems, a sci-fi extension of the idea of a pioneer and frontier culture you see in westerns. The show is centred onboard a Firefly-class space ship called Serenity, crewed by a rag tag group of misfits who are living on the fringes of society and their star system. They make a living how they can – sometimes that’s salvage, sometimes it’s legitimate cargo runs, sometimes it’s straight up smuggling.

As with many of Whedon’s other outputs, what you get is an interesting premise that promises comedy, peril, drama, and genuine heart-warming moments as you see a group bond to become a sort of found family. The politics of the tyrannical Alliance vs. the little guys (though I’d hate to call Serenity’s crew that to their faces), the mix of Western and Asian culture as is seen through the use of Mandarian Chinese dialogue for swear words (a good way to keep the show’s rating down too!), the very distinct characterisation of each of the ship’s nine passengers, it’s all so clever. Plus it’s a hell of a lot of fun.

Let’s move away from television and onto a little (or not so little) thing I mentioned above: Nerd HQ. For those unaware, Nerd HQ is an event that runs alongside San Diego Comic Con and, to be honest, I much prefer it. For me Comic Con always seems much too intense, it’s like information overload, a constant stream of updates and excitement and !!!, and I feel claustrophobic just looking at a photo of Hall H (like this one for example), let alone how I would feel if I actually ever got the chance to attend. Nerd HQ, by comparison, is much smaller, but nonetheless amazing, and if I were ever in the position to fly to San Diego for the sake of a weekend, I would so be there for Nerd HQ.

Run by Zachary Levi and the team at The Nerd Machine, it’s an alternative to Comic-Con, meant to connect fans and creators in a more low-key, intimate, and welcoming setting than that of a huge international convention centre. Of course those same creators are already in town for SDCC so of course they could swing by Nerd HQ. The reason I like Nerd HQ as a concept is that it seems a much more welcoming and approachable community, plus they live stream all their Q&A panels (they call them “conversations”, yet another move to be more inclusive) and upload them to YouTube quickly afterwards so you can re-watch that 2013 Tom Hiddleston one over and over to your heart’s content. I mean, what, I don’t do that…

The other great thing about Nerd HQ? Charity. Tickets for the panels or signings are sold for around $20 (a steal compared to the price of a con ticket), and throughout the day there are ways to donate money for Operation Smile, a charity which provides cleft lip and palate repair surgery to children all over the world. This year I saw plenty of people asking a question during a panel but then also adding ‘I bought some merchandise and I thought maybe I could get Zach to sign it and then you could auction it off later for charity?’. This is the kind of charity I like, it’s meaning that you get to enjoy the hell out yourself at this amazing Nerd HQ event but you also get to do a little something whilst you’re enjoying the hell out of yourself. Always a plus.

If you need any more convincing, Zachary Levi is endearing as hell and has a really great rapport with all of the people that come to Nerd HQ. Seriously, it’s uncanny how entertaining I found panels for shows that I don’t even watch, simply because it was so fun to have this back and forth conversation between him, the guests, and the nerds themselves that got to ask questions.

I gushed about Nerd HQ for maybe a bit too long there. Comic Con is also a nerd’s dream, obviously, and it’s the time of year to drop the latest film or TV show trailer. It’s no surprise to hear that I was extremely excited about three trailers in particular: Kong: Skull Island, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, and Sherlock. I’m still not sure whether Doctor Strange will be for me or not, but I’ll inevitably start to eagerly anticipate it once they start press for it. I’m so easily swayed by Marvel. Sorry/not sorry. There are just a lot of things coming up to be excited for. For example…

This weekend I’ll be visiting a friend who lives in Oxford and we’ll be doing all sorts of bookish and touristy things (including YALC on Friday which I’m ridiculously excited for) so I think a blog post on that when I come back is more than likely – stay tuned folks!

So, sure, I might not have been reading a great deal but I have been consuming stories, just via Archer, Firefly, and Nerd HQ. And they make for pretty compelling stories. I would recommend them. Anyone out there got any recommendations of stuff you’ve been enjoying, whether that’s books, music, film, tv, Internet stuff? Share them below!

Discussion | Book Genre Snobbery

I am guilty, my friends, of book genre snobbery. I like to think I’m an open minded reader, but there are still underlying prejudices that have been instilled into me through years of secondary, further, and higher education. Literature with a capital L is one thing, commercial fiction enjoyed by the masses is another. Or so the story goes.

Every time I realise I’m getting sucked into yet another young-adult fantasy there is a little bit of my brain that says ‘oh it’s quite good, considering it’s YA‘ which is an awful knee-jerk reaction to have, but it’s inbuilt at this point. Sometimes I feel like I have to justify or apologise for reading YA. Sometimes I don’t even own up to my recent reading including mostly YA fantasy. And it’s because of previous book genre snobbery that’s built up over time. I still feel the need to make a joke or a slight nod to the fact that I’m a 23-year old literature graduate who studied Early modern literature, spent months writing a dissertation about humoral theory, body criticism, and Shakespeare’s Coriolanus, and yet has also read and enjoyed, without irony, Leigh Bardugo’s Grisha trilogy and Cassandra Clare’s The Infernal Devices trilogy. Continue reading

Discussion | Self-Identification Online

This week, in the midst of trying to put more care into my online outlets, I actually took a proper look at my online profiles and realised that perhaps it was time for an update. My Twitter profile, for example, still listed me as an English literature student – a fact I still can’t seem to let go despite the fact I graduated in December. So it’s safe to say that it required some changes, as difficult as that might be for me to admit. But, as soon as I clicked on that ‘Edit Profile’ button, I paused. I realised quite abruptly that I didn’t know how to define myself. Who was I? What did anyone online need to know about me? What did they really need to know my location, my nationality, my age, my Hogwarts house?

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This is something I’ve always struggled with. I’ve never been very good at, nor quite comfortable, writing ‘About Me’ pages – this blog’s ‘About‘ page is testament to that fact, as I lean more on other peoples’ quotes to reveal something intrinsic about myself. The less ‘public’ my profiles are, the more I am unapologetically myself, and less anxious about how I come across. (This is most apparent in my personal tumblr, the url of which I will never openly share but, trust me, at the moment it’s just a shameful amount of The Night Manager gifs.) Conversely, when asked to introduce myself or, worse still, provide a ‘fun fact’ about myself in icebreaker situations in new classes or group interviews, I blank entirely. In the past the ‘fun fact’ I’ve provided is that (touch wood) I’ve never broken a bone in my body. Yes the term ‘fun’ is debatable, but it is factual. From casual icebreakers to online profiles, I have always struggled with how to identify myself appropriately for the context. I notice this most acutely online, however, so it’s that which I’m going to concentrate on discussing for the purposes of this post. Continue reading