To cope with any stressful situations I deal with in my day to day life, my instant quick fix is a visit to the bookstore. Seriously, it works every single time. Even if I am in a good mood, going to the bookstore reinforces positive energy into my life. I think what I love most is the order. I find that in all the chaos that sometimes is my life, the bookstore is the one place that will always make sense.
When I was pondering about my ‘quick fix’ solution to happiness on a drive to work one morning, I realised that I have adopted this bookish habit since I was in primary school. My safe haven at school was of course the library at lunchtimes. I even made excellent friends with the Librarian and used to read his short story collections he wrote in his spare time (providing him with glowing reviews!) I guess old habits die hard. I use the term bookstore extremely generously, as even just a quick pop into K-mart with the $16 wall of new release books warms the cockles of my literature pumping heart.
The silly thing is, I find myself
browsing, buying, talking and thinking about books that I am running out of time in my busy schedule to read them! I always fit in reading time whenever I can, sometimes even a cheeky chapter during the day at work.#literaryconfessions
But I have come to realise that I am a more effective reader when I sit down for a longer period of time...
A few years ago when I was chipping away at my literature degree at university, I was cooking my regular hot lunch and sneaking in the 12.00pm lunchtime session of Ellen. I realised I should probably get started on my ‘Wuthering Heights’ essay on Romanticism which was due the next day. So naturally I decided to go and check the mailbox like the ‘responsible’ student I was. Unexpectedly, my #bookmail from Book Depository had arrived with my brand new copy of John Green’s ‘The Fault in Our Stars.’ I had heard many positive reviews on this story, but I had successfully managed to do a very ‘okay’ job of avoiding all things Hazel Grace and Gus. I promised myself “just one more chapter,” and then I will start my dreaded essay. I have no idea how I managed to do it, but I read the entire book in a single sitting.. It was such an awesome experience. I was transported into Hazel’s life and was completely captivated by the language. The best part was losing track of time. So often during the day I found myself wishing my uni degree would be soon completed. I remember reading ‘The Fault in Our Stars’ had me feeling refreshed and totally ready to write my W.H essay! And dear reader, I wrote from my heart and scored very well!
Over my recent school holidays I had the opportunity to trial out some more single sit reads and these are some of my recent winter book flings (including tea cup reviews out of 5 🍵)
‘A Monster Calls’ by Patrick Ness
I picked up this story randomly at a charity book sale knowing nothing about it. Sometimes, the unknown books are the best…
Patrick Ness delicately infuses his own narrative voice from the ideas from Siobhan Dowd. The writing was seamless and I would never have known that it was technically two writers. The story follows fourteen year old Connor’s struggle with his Mother’s battle with cancer and trying to fit in with the cool crowd at school and the monster outside of his house.
The language was so beautiful and I didn’t put this book down for three hours. I was completely transported into another universe- something I haven’t experienced from reading in a while. I would definitely recommend reading this story. Although dark, this is the kind of story that has stayed with me well after the book was finished. I’m so excited to learn that this book is becoming a film and it will be interesting to see how true the film will be to the original story.
‘The Ice Dragon’ by George R.R. Martin
The school holidays started off exceptionally well for me as I was able to consume in it’s entirety Season Six of Game of Thrones within a 24 hour period. I managed to dodge all conversations in the staff room at work and avoid any poisonous ‘spoilers’ on social media! I must say, it was well worth the trouble!
To fuel my love for the ‘Song of Ice and Fire’ series, I packed George R.R. Martin’s novella ‘The Ice Dragon’ on holidays with me. It tells the tale of a young winter Child Adara, who befriends the Ice Dragon who is feared by the entire town. It was such an enjoyable reading experience, combined with the illustration by Lois Rayo. What I noticed as I was reading this story was that I felt like I was following an adventure of Arya Stark. I couldn’t help but wonder if this was an intentional authorial decision on Martin’s part. Regardless, it was the perfect read for me as I overlooked the rainy beach of my hotel room over three hours. I would definitely recommended to all ‘Game of Thrones’ lovers.
‘Franny and Zooey’ by J.D. Salinger.
This book has always been on my #tbrlist simply because of the character’s names- I think they’re marvelous! I picked up this book from my local Robinson’s bookshop and it was another one that I read across a day. The story was extremely political and I found the narration of Zooey at times to be quite overwhelming religious. I wouldn’t go rushing to pick it up again any time soon, but I did appreciate the way Franny and Zooey cared about each other.
I also managed to pick up another of J.D. Salinger’s stories ‘The Catcher in the Rye’ in my latest op shop book haul! Even though I wasn’t the biggest fan of ‘Franny and Zooey,’ I do hope to find time to read Salinger’s most recognisable story very soon.
‘Happy People Read and Drink Coffee’ by Agnès Martin-Lugand
Wow, this book grabbed my attention from the get go! I am a much happier person when I am both reading books and drinking coffee. Sadly, that is where my love for this story stops. There was not enough reading books and drinking coffee and I found myself transported into what could only be described as a very tame Mills and Boon novel. The main character Diane in her grief even moved to Ireland, one of my favourite places in the world and it still couldn’t ignite any sort of connection for me.
Regardless, I still finished this story over a day, but learnt the lesson never to judge a book by it’s title so quickly again.
If you are a busy book lover like myself, I cannot recommend single sit reads enough. It was so nice to get swept up in a story without the long term commitment of a lengthy series. These short term reads inspired me to sit down and reassess my personal reading goals. I have been consitently putting time aside to read for at least 30 minutes at night time. I have been so looking forward to going to bed again to read! If you don’t have the energy for a bulky book series, a book fling might be exactly what the doctor ordered. (As well as a cheeky trip to the bookstore!)
Miss Book Dependent xo