All the Extras
This page is where I'll discuss a mix of other topics which either are important or I just want to discuss and let you know about.
Today I thought I'd share a little bit about me and how and when I shop for books. I was inspired by this post on this blog, as I mainly also shop at Waterstones...
Well, ok. Waterstones is practically my second home. But, you know. Details.
People see me and in my city centre and often say 'Have you been to Waterstones?'
Yes, I'm apparently that predictable.
I'm not going to complain about it.
1. Having people sometimes hanging about, wondering when I'll be done.
This comes about because often 'know' what I'm going in to buy and head to that section. Sounds simple enough, right?
But then I spot all the new releases, or ones that I still want to buy. My thought process goes something like, "Ooh, look at how pretty that cover is!"
"Oh, that's- insert book title here- that I saw mentioned on Goodreads."
"There's the sequel but can't buy it yet as I really need to still read the first one."
"Wait. They don't have the book I came in for? You had one job, Waterstones..." This last one happened last month when I finally had enough money to buy Warcross as it was in hardback and didn't seem to be going anywhere. I made the decision to buy it and came back for it two days later.
Yes, it had gone. I haven't seen it since. I'll have to wait for 2018 to read it.
Um...often between twenty and thirty minutes later, I'm still deciding...sometimes. Or I'll have some books in my hand and am still browsing others. By this point, I'm sure the people with me are rapidly running out of patience and wondering if picking me up and carrying me to the till would get us out faster.
2. Sometimes rearranging books even though I don't work there- and wish I did.
Don't blame me for this one- I don't do it ALL the time. But if it's a series I love or something, I'll take out one of them, pretend to look at it (sometimes not even that) and then put it back in its proper place. I mean, if the books aren't in reading order, then people will just get confused. It's only logical.
In addition, I have also one or twice helped someone out at a few book shops if they've been confused about the reading order and I know it. They 're grateful of course- but then also assume I work there.
I wish, people. I wish.
3. Being happy to see my favourite books like they're old friends.
So this is a thing that happens a lot with me. It's even worse when I visit bookshops- usually Waterstones again- outside of my city. One, I often find books there that aren't in locally, as happened this summer when I broke my August book buying ban to buy one*. Two, it makes me happy when I see the same books around, so that people can buy them and hopefully enjoy them as much as I do! :)
*I think only one was showing great restraint, since they were Buy One Get One Half Price.
That way, I can also give out free recommendations to people I'm with- or just gush about how much I love a certain book. They put up with it well enough.
A mostly accurate representation. I'm Morgana and the books are Gwen. :D
For those who don't know this GIF is from the BBC show Merlin.
4. Finding a decent copy of the book I want to buy.
AKA: Why do people insist on putting stickers on books?!????
It's not unusual to find the first/top book in the pile or on the shelf is creased. Having offers like the one in point 3 above is fantastic- it saves me money and I can stress about the price ever so slightly less. It's very considerate of booksellers.
However, when I can't find a perfect copy, or get home and the sticker on it won't fully come off- or leaves the sticky mark on the cover- I'm less than impressed. Can't we opt for something less hazardous to the book's health?
A massive sign with the offer on it perhaps? Or them coming up when the barcode is scanned?
5. Lot of thoughts about offers
Waterstones actually do several things to make prices seem less scary. They have a stamp card system and a loyalty card, both of which added up over some amount of time can mean free books, or heavily reduced books. Yay!!
But one thing which I simultaneously love and is horrible is their range of offers. I've already mentioned the Buy One Get Half Price, but they sometimes do a 3 for 2 as well. The first is the one that causes me the most issues.
For this, my thought process is something like: "Great! I can finally buy this book, but do I then include this one or this one?"
"But the ones I'm interested in I already have, so can't take full advantage of this offer"
"Do I buy the sequel yet, when I haven't read the first book? But I might not like it and then have wasted money. That's happened before. But if I DO and come back in next week and the sequel is gone..."
For your benefit, all of theses have happened in the past.
So there you go. This is some of my shopping routine when looking for books, along my insane thoughts that go with the experience. Funnily enough, when I'm buying books, I don't have quite so many nerves as when I'm in any other shop. :)
I'm also debating getting my own Amazon account to order whenever I want. Currently, my mother is the only one who has one for Christmas and my birthday. On second thoughts, I think it's probably safer for my bank account to keep it that way!
Bookish friends, what are some of the things you always do when entering a bookshop? Are there any favourites you have locally, in region or country? Do any of mine sound familiar? :)
All the best and keep on reading.
After doing the Harry Potter tag, I found this tag also floating around. Since both Hogwarts and Narnia were my childhood- and I'm currently re-reading The Last Battle- I figured it was only right to follow up with the Narnia tag.
In the spirit of things, I'm most likely going to be hard pressed for just one single answer to some of these. I apologise for, and regret, none of it. :)
Narnia- Magical world you would like to visit
Simple answer- Narnia itself. I've always loved Cair Paravel. The film made the location even greater than in my imagination- and actually is not a million miles away from the illustrations Pauline Barnes did for the books.
In other worlds to visit, I would also choose a) the Grishaverse and b) Prythian, in particular the Night Court. Perhaps whilst being here those years that I spent doing karate would come in handy...a little bit, at least.
Finally, Hogwarts. Of course.
Oops, that's four answers...I told you so. :)
The Magician's Nephew- Book you think is underrated
Continuing with the theme of 'I can't follow the rules', I have two books for this category. The first one is Radio Silence by Alice Oseman, which I adore. I'm not sure if it's because it's set in the UK, but I haven't seen many international readers talking about this.
Please do. You won't regret it.
Secondly, I vote for Frostblood by Elly Blake. It's a great fantasy YA story with more to it than what there may first appear. Basically, I love it and am excited- yet nervous- for the final book to be released next year.
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe- A classic you love
The first one that always comes to mind is Black Beauty, so this is my nomination. Of course, the book heading this particular section is also a classic, but I'm going to be good and pick one book.
The Horse and His Boy- Book you picked up without knowing what it was about
I clearly remember when I picked up Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo. The cover caught my eye and I was rather intrigued by the blurb too. Yes, I know we shouldn't take one look at pretty covers and buy the book, but come on...I know full well I'm not the only one who does that!!
Anyway, long story short is that Leigh Bardugo became one of my favourite and auto-buy authors after I read it- and the rest of the trilogy. Then the Six of Crows duology. You get the picture.
Prince Caspian- A sequel you loved
As with Black Beauty, the topic of sequels comes up and my mind goes straight to A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J Maas, another of my favourite authors. The reasons why I love ACOMAF are long and you've heard most of them before, so it may not come as a complete surprise of me picking it for this part of the tag.
The Voyage of the Dawn Treader- A quest you'd like to be part of
Honestly, I'm really struggling to come up with a decent answer for this part. So I'm going to be really unoriginal and say I would like to join Caspian's voyage in this book. Which I would. It's still an acceptable answer.
The Silver Chair- A book you didn't expect to love (as much as you did)
There are many books that I could talk about here, but I'm going with The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. I'd looked for it for a long time before buying it, then waited even longer still before I finally read it. But the book has so much to it and the whole thing is so rich in many ways, so yes, I love it and it's an easy five out of five from me.
The Last Battle- The perfect series ending
Erm...The Last Battle itself.
The Black Key by Amy Ewing- that one hurt in places, but I loved the ending.
Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo. Again, I cried, but it was still fantastic.
Finally, I have to say that the ending to the Heartland series by Lauren Brooke, Always There, brings a huge mixture of emotions out of me, but it's still a great ending. And that series means a lot to me, as I mentioned in this Top Ten Tuesday post.
The Pevensies- Siblinghood or friendship you'd love to be part of
Oh look! It's time for another list.
The Pevensies themselves- plus the other Friends of Narnia.
Harry, Ron and Hermione- and add Neville and Luna in there too.
Honestly, the whole of the Weasley family, even Percy.
Inej and Nina from the Six of Crows duology. They're amazing and always support and look out for each other. What more could you want from a best friend?
Safi and Iseult from the Witchlands series by Susan Dennard. I've only read the first book so far but those girls have each other's backs now and always.
Finally, I couldn't write this list and not mention the Inner Circle, that wonderful group of family/friends from the Night Court in the ACOTAR series. They'd literally die for each other and I wish they were real.
This piece of fan art from the amazing Charlie Bowater is my favourite of them which she's drawn. All credit goes to her and check out her DeviantArt page here.
Eustace Scrubb- A character that grew on you
I think this has to be Matthias Helvar from Six of Crows. At a time when I already loved the rest of the group, I just wasn't feeling great about his character at first. I was proved wrong, in the end. He's still not my favourite character out of the six (see above), but I grew really fond of him and cared about him a lot.
Mr Tumnus- Your favourite mythical creature
So in the interest of you not reading this blog post for the rest of the year, I've made a conscious decision to keep this a small section. You're welcome.
I love dragons and the Fae the most I think. I suspect I'm at least a third part dragon, since I have a soft spot for shiny things and all. And by the Fae, I of course mean the warrior, have dubious morals and would-kill-you-in-your-sleep-if-you-wronged-them kind.
Thinking on it, I also have a place for centaurs and selkies. However, while seals are cute, in real life, you don't want to make a seal angry.
Caspian- A character with regal qualities
I have two. The first is Nikolai Lantsov from the Grishaverse books. He's a charmer and slightly reckless at times, but loyal and cares so much about his people, so don't cross him. Enough said about the kind of king I think he'll be when his own series gets here in 2019.
We all know of the various retellings of Arthurian Legend- I've read and watched many and never get tired of it...perhaps why I've written my own retellings too! :) However, I really liked The Road to Avalon for many reasons. Throughout the legends, Arthur makes Camelot a place of stability, equality and fairness for everyone in the kingdom. What else would you want in a king? So he gets my vote.
The Wardrobe- Your favourite hideout/place to read
The majority of my reading takes place in bed. I love getting settled and warm, knowing that I'm going exploring in some other world with characters. Plus, my bedroom is my own personal space with minimal distractions.
That's it for this tag! It was actually harder than I imagined, but lots of fun regardless.
All the best.
I've spotted this tag going around with varying questions on different blogs, so I've made my own version for mine. Some have more, but I chose to answer a grand total of 26 questions in the end. Plus, it's Harry Potter, so of course I'm doing one. :)
1. What house are you in?
I'm a Hufflepuff- and proud. It was the house Pottermore sorted me into, along with one or two quizzes giving me the same house. Though according to one of those, Ravenclaw was a close second. I'm not sure I'm that smart, but I'll take it.
2. What is your wand?
My wand is acacia wood with Dragon heartstring core, 12 and 3/4 inches and slightly yielding flexibility.
3. What is your patronus?
My patronus is a St Bernard, like Beethoven, and I'm quite happy with it.
Though apparently, having a Hippogriff is also an option, so slightly jealous at that, because how amazing would that be?
4. What would your boggart be?
I want to say Aragog, like Ron, since I'm terrified of spiders and watching that entire scene in Chamber of Secrets can be hard sometimes. But spiders freak out a lot of people, and I'm also scared of needles and clowns. And knowing I've failed something can be horrible, so I know how Hermione feels on that one.
The conclusion I've drawn from this question is that my boggart would probably be as confused as I am...and then hopefully run away so I wouldn't have to deal with it at all. Yay!!
5. What position would you play in Quidditch?
Yes, the question where I get to let you in on my bad athletic skills! By process of elimination:-
Seeker and Keeper are out because I'm bad at catching things. Seriously, the Seeker would need to be so fast in order to win with me trying to protect those hoops...
I couldn't be a Beater because I'd be scared of missing and getting hurt myself.
Hmm, I am at least pretty decent at running so I could hopefully make a good Chaser if I was needed for it.
Or you'd just find me in the stands cheering Hufflepuff. That sounds like a good plan!
6. Would you be a pure-blood, half-blood, or Muggle-born?
Probably a half-blood. I wouldn't be ready to give up all of my Muggle comforts, but there's no way I could ever agree with the 'pure-blood only' mantra. Sorry, Slytherins.
7. What job would you want after graduating Hogwarts?
Owning or working in a bookshop in Diagon Alley, most probably. I mean, the books! Or helping Hagrid look after all the magical creatures- though I'd have to be quite brave to do that...my percentage for Gryffindor was quite low. I'd give it a go, though.
8. Which of the Deathly Hallows would choose?
The invisibility cloak. I'm happily imagining all of the places I want to visit and how much travelling I could do with it. On top of that, I could sneak out of parties early with no one any wiser when my introvert batteries reach 'Drained'.
9. Favourite book?
I admit I've not read them that much and have just started my own collection this year. *hides* But I think it's the Prisoner of Azkaban. I read this one last- it took me years before I finally found a book copy of it to read and I loved it when I did.
10. Least favourite book?
I'm not sure if this counts as it being my least favourite, but I remember it took me between 1-2 months to read Order of the Phoenix. And I'd borrowed it off friends. They got it back eventually.
11. Favourite film?
Again, I always enjoy Prisoner of Azkaban a lot. Though I do have to credit it with keeping me in the loop of the series when I couldn't find a copy of the book in either of my school libraries when I transitioned from primary to high school. There's so much to love in this film.
Another option would be Deathly Hallows- Part 2. While I don't watch it too often- I don't like to intentionally cause myself pain, ok?- it means a lot to me. I think there was something unspoken yet special in that moment when the credits went up, and the people my age in the cinema screening realised it was truly the end of an era.
12. Least favourite film?
Probably Half-Blood Prince. It's not a bad film...I just don't enjoy it as much as the others.
13. Favourite character?
This answer will always go to a certain witch named Hermione Granger. I'm sure I've mentioned this too much in the past, but I'm saying it again for good measure- my 11 year old self picking up The Philosopher's Stone for the first time will always be grateful for a character like Hermione. And then growing up, I was always grateful for her. Knowing I could identify so completely with a character was so important to me.
Though I also have large soft spots for Luna and Neville.
14. Least favourite character?
Umbridge. For obvious reasons. And Lockhart.
15. Favourite teacher at Hogwarts?
I love Professor McGonagall. I don't think I need to explain that choice. Professor Flitwick doesn't seem to get enough credit but he's great. And Lupin of course.
16. Do you have any unpopular opinions about the series?
While I don't mind Dumbledore, the more I think about it, why did he have to leave Harry with the Dursleys, knowing what he would/might face in their care? I know they were his only family left, but surely someone else- anyone else?- could have looked after him better.
17. If you could save one character from the final battle, who would it be?
First of all, what even is this question??!!
I've seen so many people pick Fred, but no matter how much it hurts, I think his death was really realistic in the grand scheme of things.
So I want to say Lupin AND Tonks, because a) they were both amazing, and b) I always get sad thinking of Teddy growing up without them. But then, under the actual question, I can't bear to pick one over the other.
I'm realising that isn't a proper answer, but I'm also realising how much I hate this question. I'll be back in a minute. *cries in a corner*
18. Favourite villain?
Bellatrix. I can still like her while hating some of the things she did. But she's so unique and different- in a good way- and not just your average cardboard cut-out of a villain.
19. Would you rather duel an elated Bellatrix or an angry Molly?
An elated Bellatrix. We've all learnt that to cross Molly when she's angry is just asking for trouble.
20. Would you rather a) wash Snape's hair or b) spend a day listening to Lockhart rant about himself?
Wash Snape's hair. I've already established my feelings on Lockhart and if it hadn't already been done, I'd be severely tempted to perform a memory charm on him. Or jump out of a window and risk injury to get away from him.
21. Would you rather travel to Hogwarts via a) the Hogwarts Express or b) the flying car?
While I'm sure the car would be fun, I wouldn't be able to pass up experiencing the Hogwarts Express first hand and getting sweets from the trolley. And I'd be able to relax more and enjoy the views.
22. Would you rather fly a) a Hippogriff or b) a Firebolt?
Since I can't say both, and don't know how good I'd be on a broom, I'm going to say a Hippogriff. And I adore Buckbeak.
23. Which class would be your favourite?
I've always liked the look of Transfiguration- plus it's taught by McGonagall. Though Charms would also be useful. However, since I have a degree with animals and like nature, I should probably add Herbology in there- and Hufflepuffs always do well in it!- over Care of Magical Creatures, for reasons stated earlier.
24. Which spell do you think would be the most useful to learn?
For practical reasons, Wingardium Leviosa because I'm only five foot and high shelves can be the bane of my existence. But being able to apparate would really help getting to places and avoid traffic.
25. Which character do you think you'd instantly become best friends with?
Again, I have to say Hermione and Luna. I have so much in common with those two. They're not the most popular people in the room, but aren't afraid to be themselves, despite what others might think of them.
26. Favourite Marauder?
Moony and Padfoot. I love different aspects to Remus and Sirius and I find it great how they can be so different but still be best friends. I will never get over their deaths.
And we're at the end of this tag! That was lots of fun. Comment and let me know your thoughts. What are your opinions on some of these questions and any of my answers the same? All the best.