Dreaming Novel Things: Conquering the Never Ending Book Wish List

dreamingnovelthingsDreaming Novel Things is a feature in which I discuss book related subjects, but in a creative way. I’ll use interviews, narratives and lists to talk about book trends, book opinions and bookish matters. If you have any book related subjects you’d like to see me discuss just leave me a comment below!

Being a bookworm means possessing an unquenchable thirst for stories. We are constantly collecting, hoarding and buying books in attempts to quench this thirst, but in fact with each story we read our thirst only deepens. It’s a life we happily accept and enjoy… for the most part. But aren’t there moments where you feel like your drowning in your desire for books? Here are three telling signs that indicate you might need help managing your endless book wish list.

  • You have a wish list but its spread out on several sheets of paper scattered about in your room
  • You have a wish list on your computer but you’ve kept adding randomly to it for so long that you there is no kind of prioritizing to it
  • You don’t have a wish list you just scour the shelves or online hoping to suddenly remember that book you’ve been wanting

Recognize yourself there? Don’t be ashamed, that was me too. There’s nothing wrong with always wanting books, you just need a way to organize it so that it doesn’t consume your life. Luckily for you I have a few helpful hints.

First of all I think it’s important that you understand that we must start anew. This does not mean that everything on your current list will be deleted but that we will not making any amendments to the current list. You need to pull out a fresh piece of paper or a new word document. It’s not only easier but it signifies your new organized ways. (Pretty deep, eh?)

So continuing with our steps:

1. Pull out a fresh sheet of paper or new word document. Take a moment to ponder the possibilities this canvas holds. Now stop.

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Personal Note: I like to use a word document because then I can link the books to Goodreads and Amazon.

2. Now, divide your entries into genres.

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3. Now, alphabetize each genre by the authors last name, making it easy to find a novel by your favorite author

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4. You’ve now got a pretty organized list. If you chose to use a word document, you should consider linking your books to goodreads or amazon to make it easy to check reviews or for purchasing.

Now comes the bonus step. Time to create your Quick Fix sheet. The Quick Fix sheet is a list of books you want that rank highest in priority. Meaning, you want those books PRONTO! The trick is to not make the list too long as then it just becomes another ordinary wish list. I try to limit myself to the top ten books I want.

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Congratulations! You have now conquered your never-ending book wish list! As long as you keep adding books in the right categories and order, you shouldn’t suffer from the overwhelming feeling of the mass amount of books crushing your tiny body. And I can’t recommend the Quick Fix sheet enough, it has done wonders for me. It’s the first thing I check when I go book shopping and its easy to change. In fact, share your Quick Fix sheet with me!

How do you stay on top of the never-ending book wish list? Share below and happy reading!

 

 

Spread the Word: The Butler at Dewey Decimal’s Butler

spreadthewordIt’s Saturday and you know what that means! Spread the Word! This feature was inspired by A Bookish Heart with her Bookish Friends feature. This is a weekly feature that I have started to shine the spotlight on other bloggers that have caught my eye. There are so many great bloggers out there that keep me giggling or thinking with their blog posts and it’s gotten to the point where I want to shout it to the world so that others can discover their greatness too.

I don’t ask them questions or anything like that as it can be time-consuming to the featured blogger who is busy…blogging. So instead I just go through their blog with a fine tooth comb and learn everything I can to share it all with you. Ready? Good! Excited? Me too!

Today I would like to turn the spotlight on a blogger that first caught my attention with their clever title. A blogger whose cleverness extends beyond their title and into each post. Her witty book reviews often left me exclaiming, “She thinks like a literature teacher” and then lo and behold I discovered that she IS a literature teacher. A brilliant one too.

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She is the Butler @ Dewey Decimal’s Butler

She first caught my eye with her book reviews. This lady has a serious talent for writing book reviews as they were both in-depth AND entertaining as well. Some of my favorites that she has done include Pride and Prejudice and Invisible Man.

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“The Brontes can take their emotional diarrhea and shove it,” how great is that line? Don’t even answer, because it’s not necessary. The Butler’s literary wit knows no bounds.

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Do you see what I mean? She has such a talent for delivering a concise view on the novel while holding her audience’s attention the whole time. She lives by her famous rule, show don’t tell. She does just that by showing us how she feels about the novel instead of telling us about the novel. It is a skill mastered by few.

That’s not the only fascinating tidbit about the Butler, check out her about page below. It’s hilarious!

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How could we fellow nerds ever judge her for doing and loving the same things we do and love: read. I’m glad she gained faith in us and revealed a little bit more about herself. It’s always nice to see the blogger behind the blog (and really  nice to see a fellow fan of Colin Firth– but listen up Butler, HE’S MINE).

The Butler also runs a feature titled: Literary Moments.

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In this feature she talks about scenes you see in life that feel a little too literary. Each one is thought-provoking and interesting.

Here are a few facts I’ve gathered from reading the Butler’s blog:

  • She’s a big fan of Jane Austen
  • She dressed up as Juno while pregnant with her son
  • She has Scottish roots (awesome)!
  • She prefers older books
  • She kept her gender anonymous during the early days of her blog
  • She’s a fellow fan of Narnia

So make it your mission to check out the Butler’s blog and add her quality posts to your reader, you won’t regret it!

Friday Favorites

Friday Favorites 02I stumbled upon this meme at the adorable blog, Tessa’s Wishful Endings. Really it’s as simple as the name; you talk about a favorite book related subject on Fridays. It could be anything from favorite authors, books and genres to favorite reading spots, opening sentences and love triangles. Basically the world of novels is our oyster and with Friday Favorites, we can conquer it.

Favorite Opening Lines

Call it cheating if you will, but I have more than one. Hey, don’t look at me like that you try to pick just ONE opening line throughout the entire novel universe and tell me it’s easy. Not likely. There’s just so many great ones that it would be unfair to only share one with you fellow bookworms. So read on if you would like to learn my favorite opening lines in novels (if you don’t then scroll down anyway, you’ve read this far might as well read the entire thing).

1. It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife”– Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

It’s a classic for a reason, in ONE line she sets the tone for the entire novel leaving the reader with no question of subtle (and not so subtle) satire. When I read this I instantly get a feel for Austen’s humor and want to know more. From this line we can see that we are in for a novel full of wit and fun in the best kind of way. Not many people can sum up their novel in one line, but this right here ladies and gentlemen is a prime example. Bravo, Austen!

2. “There was a boy called Eustace Clarence Scrubb, and he almost deserved it.”– The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C.S. Lewis

I couldn’t help but laugh when I opened up this book to find this hilarious opening line. Right away Lewis breaks the rule of the ‘Fourth Wall’ and interacts with the reader, adding a level of excitement to the tone. I immediately wanted to know more about Eustace and already had an idea of what I was in for with this character. The opening line’s job is to get the reader hooked, and Lewis does just that with this one.

3. If you are interested in stories with happy endings, you would be better off reading some other book.”– The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket

Again, we see another master with the ability to stroke our curiosity. Snicket also breaks the rule of the ‘Fourth Wall’ by interacting directly with the reader and this only adds to the overall tone of the novel. Plus, it is an inevitable truth that telling someone not to do something only enhances the want to do it. Snicket knows how to grab a reader.

4. To Sherlock Holmes she is always the woman.”– A Scandal in Bohemia by Arthur Conan Doyle

I guess for this line to resonate with a reader the reader has to have had a familiarity with Sherlock Holmes otherwise, it’s an ordinary line. However all the Sherlock fans will recognize the greatness that is this line. Sherlock was always this person that was more brain than human so to refer to a true love captures our attention right away. The line refers to a side in Sherlock that we have never seen before, therefore we can’t resist the temptation. As Yoda would say, “A true master, Doyle was.”

5. Mr and Mrs Dursley, of number four Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much.”– Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling

I know, I have an issue. I just can’t help but find a way to mention Harry Potter in almost every post, but you know what the reason why; is because it is an EPIC story and therefore justified in every way. In this line J.K. Rowling like Lewis sets a tone of playfully poking at characters. The way she implies the Dursleys of being proud of being normal suggests almost a type of satire as if we should laugh at these characters. The reader can’t help but wonder why someone would pride themselves on being normal, an explanation being that abnormal must be abundant. Why is it abundant and why is it bad? From line one J.K. Rowling has the readers inferring about her book and it a genius move on her part.

What’s your favorite opening line in a novel? Share it below and happy reading!

Reading for Fun vs. Reading for School

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Reading for school

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Reading for fun

I just finished reading To Kill a Mockingbird and it got me thinking of my old high school days (all of three years ago).

I was remembering reading To Kill a Mockingbird my sophomore year as a class. I remember laughing at the obvious funny parts in the story but I didn’t really read the book. I read it just enough to write a paper but I didn’t really get into the novel.

I found that this time round with To Kill a Mockingbird, I actually read it… and thoroughly enjoyed it. It made me sad that I could have read this five years ago and felt the way I do now.

Then I got to thinking, this isn’t the first time this sort of thing has happened.

I ‘read’ Pride and Prejudice my senior year– I didn’t get past the first page. I just wasn’t interested in even giving the novel a chance. However last summer my mom bought this gigantic book that contained all of Jane Austen’s works. It was so pretty that I found myself wanting to read it. I picked it up and have been in love with Pride and Prejudice ever since.

Let’s get something clear. It’s not like I didn’t love to read when I was in high school. Oh no, I was constantly reading in those days (especially Harry Potter). But give me a book that a teacher says I MUST read and suddenly my interest in reading disappears.

I have a couple of theories on this. My thoughts are maybe we automatically associate school with boring, so our mind tells us that the book is uninteresting even when it is, but I’m not sure about this one.

I think this one is more likely, when we are given a book by a teacher, we know we are going to have to pick it dry. We are not reading it for entertainment’s sake but to delve some hidden meaning of why the author made the curtains blue.

If they gave us a novel and said, “I just want you to enjoy it” then maybe we would actually read the novel. When I read for enjoyment, my curiosity starts to peak and I automatically start picking at the novel without even realizing it. If teachers went along with this I guarantee many more students would actually read the book.

What about you guys? Did you struggle with this in school? Do you have any theories as to why it happens? Let me know by commenting below and happy reading!

15 Day Book Blogger Challenge

15-Day-ChallengeThis great idea came from the wonderful blogger of Good Books, Good Wine (what a great title). It’s as simple as following the challenge day by day– so here I go. (Oh how I have a way with words).

Day 1: Make 15 book related confessions:

1. The Harry Potter series is my biggest source of comfort.

2. My mom has been trying to get me to read Stephen King forever but I’ve always been to big of a scaredy cat. Yesterday I decided to add some of his novels to my get-to-eventually list. (If I have a nightmare I can tell you guys about it right)?

3. Fantasy is typically my favorite genre.

4. I didn’t think the Twilight series was terrible (please don’t hate me).

5. I would marry Will Herondale from, The Infernal Devices, in a heart beat.

6. I have 169 books on my Barnes and Noble wish list.

7. There are many children books I still love to read: Nancy Drew (the original series) and A Series of Unfortunate Events being included.

8. I have to finish a novel even if I hate it. (Often times this rule extends to a whole series).

9. The scariest book I have read is A Thousand Splendid Suns, because those terrible events still take place today.

10. After I finish a great book I beg my family members to read it so we can discuss it but they never do. (Part of the reason I started a blog).

11. I am scared to pick up a novel in which I am unfamiliar with the author.

12. Even though its typical, Pride and Prejudice is my favorite Jane Austen novel.

13. The first time I read a novel with the word “damn” in it, I told my mom so she could make sure it was age appropriate.

14. I have yet to read a book that was not better than it’s movie adaptation.

15. Reading is the only thing that can make me forget food.

Now that I’ve told you my 15 confessions it’s only fair for you to share yours, so tell me about them (even if you have to make some up– not saying that I did or anything like that) and have a wonderful day!