I’m Breaking My Book Buying Ban

Earlier this year, I decided to join a nice challenge called #TheUnreadShelfProject and I even blogged about it because I was very determined to complete it (and I still am). It went very well (you can check my progress here), until last week, when I started loving more and more The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski.

I’ve purchased the ebook in 2016 because many people recommended it to me and there was so much hype about this trilogy in the Bookstagram/Booktube community back then, plus I managed to get it for only 1,25€ on Amazon (the Kindle edition) and I was very excited about it. But then, I never felt myself in the right mood for it, especially because I didn’t actually know what to expect. If you’d ask me what’s my favourite genre, I would probably tell you it’s fantasy, when it isn’t actually true. My favourite genre has been mystery since I was a teen and I discovered Agatha Christie, but I would always say fantasy first because it happens that the books of my life are The Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter. Also, I’m not actually into young adult and I no longer enjoy getting to know a new fantasy world everytime I read a book, I’m pretty comfortable in Middle-earth, thank you very much.

But, just before Christmas, I’ve been offered Broken Moon for free in exchange of an honest review and I enjoyed it so much that I thought it could be the right time for me to pick up another fantasy YA. And then the magic happened.

The Winner’s Curse has everything I love in a book: not too long (300/400 pages), a good solid plot, a great female main character (the one you read about and think GOALS), effective world-building through all the book, war, a nice love story, and a handsome boy to have a crush for (and he’s 19 so I’m not a weirdo…probably).

The first half of the book was great and I’ve enjoyed reading it every morning before breakfast, but then the story evolved and I couldn’t put it down. I even skipped a whole evening of Netflix in order to read this book (and if you know me, it’s A LOT!) and, after finishing it yesterday, I told myself that I would purchase the sequel after reading at least half of my TBR list. But this self-imposed rule lasted like 10 minutes because I reached for my Kindle and downloaded the second book before midnight.

I’m disappointed with myself for breaking the rules and also because I will probably break them again to read the third book of this trilogy once I’ll finish this second one, but not too much. I justify myself because it’s been ages since I’ve read a book that made me skip a whole evening of Netflix. I’ve read many great books during the last few years, but nothing that made me have ALL THE FEELINGS (maybe Fangirl went close, but not this way).

Many of my bookish friends enjoyed The Winner’s Crime even more than the first book, so I’m absolutely excited about it. Also, I decided to try to read it in 6 days because I’ll have to start Beren and Luthien in March and I want to fully pay attention to that book without being distracted by Rutkoski’s trilogy.

Have you read The Winner’s Curse trilogy? What was the last book that made you have ALL THE FEELINGS? I’d love to know. 🙂

The Unread Shelf Project

One of the things I started doing because of the internet is set up reading goals. I’ve always been an avid reader, but I’ve never kept track of the books I was getting through and never known that setting up reading goals is actually a thing. But after joining bookstagram, following more book blogs, booktube channels and using Goodreads, I felt like I was completely missing out one of the most important things in the bookish community.
Over the years, I learned that challenges and counting the number of books I read are not for me, they make me feel too anxious and like if I was in a race. So, I decided to stop numbering the books I’m reading one after another, I just list them in my notebook and I’ll maybe count them at the end of the year.

However, I decided to join one specific challenge for 2018. #TheUnreadShelfProject2018 is a reading challenge hosted by three incredible bookstagrammers I love @theunreadshelf, @katereadsbooks_ and @calsreads. The purpose of the challenge is to help us to tackle our TBR pile of books we already own. I already planned to make some rules for myself in 2018 because I have too many unread books on my Kindle, but after seeing all the post about this challenge on Instagram, I decided to join. This is something I can do, it’s not about the numbers. And if you want to have fun with the community, be sure to follow Whitney (@theunreadshelf), she’s giving us mini weekly challenges like counting the number of unread books we have, going to a bookstore and not buy anything (!), or share the story behind the books in our TBR shelf.

I still have some physical books to read too, but my main focus is going to be ebooks because I want to be more intentional with my purchases and not just download a book because it’s cheap or free and then forget about it. Also, the physical books are all there on my shelf, while the ebooks are “hidden” inside my Kindle, so it’s much easier for me to forget about them.

Here is the list of ebooks I purchased but I still have to read and that I hope to complete in 2018.

Jane Austen Collection:

  • Emma
  • Sense and Sensibility
  • Persuasion
  • Northanger Abbey
  • Mansfield Park

Rainbow Rowell Collection:

  • Landline
  • Elanor & Park
  • Carry On

Other Books:

  • The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin
  • Still Life by Louise Penny
  • Sweet Tea and Secrets by Nancy Naigle
  • The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh
  • The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski
  • Mary Poppins by P.L. Travers
  • The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius
  • Mindfulness: The Most Effective Techniques by Ian Tuhovsky

I know, this is long a super long list and many people would read all these books in a couple of months, but I’m not a fast reader and most of my days are spent studying or writing my thesis, so it’s important to me to consume other mediums too during my breaks and free time (like Netflix and LOTRO).

Since I got my Kindle and I’ve been able to instantly buy and download books, I stopped experiencing that great feeling of finishing a book and wandering around a bookstore (physical or digital) in order to buy my next reading. This is something I’d like to achieve by the end of 2018. Feel free to follow me on Bookstagram (@alicethelibrarian) where I’m sharing my bookish adventures!

 

Do you have any reading goal for 2018?

 

P.s. I decided to add a static page with the list of the books that I can check off here, to keep myself accountable during the year.

Broken Moon by Sarah Beth Moore

Disclaimer: the lovely Sarah reached me out to send me an ARC of her newest book in exchange for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

In a post-apocalyptic world, Naiya Barrigan’s life flips upside down and she finds herself on a mission and her family to protect. With the help of her adoptive brother, Naiya starts the most dangerous journey of her life.

This fast-paced novel will bring you into a close future where demonic guards and stolen children are threatening the citizens of a big city divided by Upper and Lower. I enjoyed the author’s writing style, the world building and the way the characters are introduced and described. Naiya is a complicated teenager and, even if I’m older now, I could totally relate to her feelings. The end of the book surprised me and now I hope there is going to be a sequel because I really need to know more!

If you like young adult books with relatable characters, an engaging story, and an urban fantasy setting, this is the book for you.

4/5 stars

Goodareads

My Bookish Rules

Living far away from libraries (and basically everything useful) means I always had to buy books if I wanted to read something, even if I didn’t know if I would like the book or not. So it’s not surprising that I have accumulated a good amount of them during the last few years, until the end of 2012 when I got my beloved Kindle and I started buying ebooks. Owning Amazon’s e-reader isn’t amazing just because you can buy books from the comfort of your home and immediately read them, it’s amazing also because you can read a lot saving money and also without filling your shelves.

But no matter what, books were still cluttering my little IKEA Billy (I have a thinner version that they no longer produce), bending my shelves. Fortunately, this Summer my village got a little free library and I’ve been able to donate many books I didn’t care to keep, like those random chick-lit novels or those I didn’t enjoy.

Don’t get me wrong, I still love paper and I’m often tempted to buy new physical books when I visit bookstores. But since my living space is small, I decided to set some boundaries and I came up with some self-imposed rules to manage my impulse buys in 2018.

  • I’ll buy physical books only by my favourite authors (Tolkien, JK Rowling, Agatha Christie, etc.). I know this is a very difficult rule to follow for a bookworm, but believe me, you would try to stick with it if you’d live in a tiny space like mine.
  • I’ll buy only pretty editions. After donating tons of old books, I realized how ugly were the editions I used to pick up, obviously because I was always trying to save money, so I mostly bought the cheapest pockets/paperbacks around. Now, because of my strict rules, if I’ll buy a book, I’ll choose pretty editions, possibly hardcovers (my favourites).
  • The rest of my reading time will happen on my Kindle. Ebooks have many perks because I can highlight passages (this is why I love reading non-fiction in a digital format), read them everywhere, they don’t take any physical space, and so on.
  • Finally, before purchasing a Kindle book, I’ll always send an extract to my device first. This is such a useful service offered by Amazon, but somehow I always neglected it and directly bought the book, maybe to discover later that I didn’t enjoy the way it was written/formatted/whatever.

That’s it! This is how I plan to handle my bookish life next year. Hopefully one day I’ll be able to own a bigger bookcase and I’ll be able to reduce the number of rules for my book-buying habits.

Why Discovering Your Personality Type Matters

Just after finishing high school, my life completely changed because of University. It was a completely new world without a solid routine and much more free time (actually I didn’t have as much free time as I thought and I learned the lesson during the second year). This new life allowed me to explore more the internet, the blogging world, and dust off some old passions of mine. I wasn’t following what my classmates were doing/thinking/believing anymore. Not that I didn’t have a personality in high school, but we know how it works at that age: you always want to be part of the group.

I discovered so many things about myself. First and foremost that I am an introvert. Despite being an only child, I’ve always been surrounded by people because my mom has always been on a mission to not let me become a spoiled kid, so she was the cool stay at home mom who always organized play dates and, later on, study dates. I was a very quiet and shy girl and I loved playing on my own when I was at home but, enjoying so much my time with friends, I never thought of myself as an introvert. I used to classify myself as a people person rather than a lone wolf.

However, I always felt a little bit different from my friends. I never enjoyed drinking alcohol nor going to the disco (despite my love for dancing), I always preferred movie nights at home rather than crowded restaurants, I always had an incredibly sensitive skin, I always hated loud noises, and I’ve always been very emotional in circumstances involving animals. The impatient reactions of my friends to my “issues” made me thought that I was just a whiner. Which led me to a complete unacceptance of myself as a person. Why can’t I just be normal?

Thankfully, the internet taught me that we’re not made the same way and that different personality types exist. I’ve taken many personality tests and read a lot about it during the last few years and I was so pleased to discover that one of my favorite bloggers, Anne Bogel, was about to publish a book all about personality types. The book is titled Reading People and I’ve just finished it. I’m not very good at reviewing books, but this one was so good that I really wanted to share some love.

Anne analyzes different personality frameworks and guides the reader through the whole book telling also personal stories (my favorite parts).

I jokingly say I need two cups of tea and a hundred pages of a good novel to recover from a boisterous night out, but I’m really not kidding.

Oh, Anne, I couldn’t relate more!

According to several different free tests (I never took the official one because it’s a bit expensive), my Myers–Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is ISTJ, The Logistician. And I loved reading more about it in Anne’s book, she helped me to confirm that I belong to this type and to discover that Highly Sensitive People actually exist. I’m a normal person, after all.

The ISTJ is a quiet pillar of society with a deep regard for duty, tradition, and stability.

Reading this passage in the book, I couldn’t help but inner screaming “OMG it’s me!!”. I also learned that my leading cognitive function is Introverted Sensing and the description fits me so well, it’s impressive!

Those who lead with Introverted Sensing respect tradition, uphold the status quo, and do things by the book. They are organized and structured. They prefer routines and predictability and have a tendency toward nostalgia. More than any other type, they believe the past repeats itself.

Pay attention that it’s important to not fall into the trap of making decisions based on our personality type once we discovered it. As Anne says in the book:

Learning more about personality has helped me make peace with the way I was made (even though some days I’d rather trade myself in for a different model). […] My personality isn’t a limiting label; instead, understanding my personality has blown my possibilities wide open.

Visiting the official website of the book, you’ll be able to take a funny reading personality quiz! Mine is the Escapist and I totally agree with it. 🙂


Reading People: How Seeing the World through the Lens of Personality Changes Everything
Author: Anne Bogel
Genre: Personal Growth
Official website: readingpeoplebook.com

We are collectively obsessed with the idea of defining and knowing ourselves and our unique place in the world. For readers who long to dig deeper into what makes them uniquely them (and why that matters), Reading People explains the life-changing insights that can be gained from the most popular personality frameworks, such as Myers-Briggs, StrengthsFinder, Enneagram, and others and shares specific, practical real-life applications across all facets of life, including love and marriage, productivity, parenting, the workplace, and spiritual life. Understanding personality can revolutionize the way we live, love, work, and pray.