Confessions of an Addict [41]: Lonely Reader

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I’ve been lucky enough to have married the most indulgent husband in the world. He understands my passion in everything. All through the years that I’ve known him, he’s always been receptive of whatever it is that’s got me salivating. In some instances, he’s able to share my passion. Case in point, Kings of Leon. If the band is on tour, he finds an unchartered US city where they’re playing and would book us a jaunt for that particular weekend. I’ve also shared his passion for the San Diego Chargers. For a weekend in September or October, we fly to California to see them play.

But for the last few years, I’m all about the books. You all can attest to this. As much as I love him for doing everything he can to help me prosper in my latest obsession, there is one thing that I want us to love mutually, and that is reading. Don’t get me wrong, he does read. He’s just more interested in current events and sports rather than fiction. I asked him once what was the last book he read and he sheepishly replied that he couldn’t remember.

A few weeks ago, I tried to get him to read The Passage by Justin Cronin. I thought that if I can find something that he could perhaps like, it could possibly stir up his love of reading again. When he was a boy of 6, he’d read comics and the newspaper. He’d tell me that he used to save his allowance just to buy comics on the weekend; and that he used to split the newspaper with his dad. I suppose that’s where his preference for current events originated from, and that he now have a pretty good collection of comics to bestow on our son.

I share all my frustrations and gushing about whatever it was I’m reading with him. I tell him when a book is “shit” or when a book is the “best thing I’ve ever read”. Sometimes, I’ll  voice out my annoyance with a character who can’t seem to use their head in the book. Or he’ll acquiesce with me when a certain plot point doesn’t make sense. But even with all that, I still wish we’re able to debate about it all; when he can agree or disagree with because he read the same book. I think it would be nice to that. For someone to bounce ideas with.

One time, I just about ripped his clothes off because he mentioned reading The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams. I think I said, oh my God, baby. You’re so hot right now. I mean seriously, is there anything hotter than a well-read man? I am keeping my hopes alive that someday soon, when we’re both retired and old, we’ll be sitting on our own rocking chairs and enjoying the silence in the company of our books.

 Is your partner/spouse a reader like you? 

 

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Confessions of an Addict [40]: Tantric Reading

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Tantric reading: a state of stupefaction, hypnosis, and immersion in the printed word.   When the real world just fades away and the novel transports a reader to a time suspended, and they become witnesses to an event unfolding before their eyes. Some books have this wondrous ability, and  some books can pull time in a taffy-like motion that all a reader want to do is to go back to that moment before they picked up that book in the first place.  Admittedly, it’s been a while since I’ve had the time and dedication to just sit in one spot and read for hours.

According to Guiness World Records, the longest time a person has spent reading is 113 hours and 15 minutes. He read 17 books from 13 different authors in one sitting. That’s reading aloud. I wonder if he had any voice left after his attempt? This had me thinking about how nice it would be if we had no distractions in life. If our kids aren’t coming to us constantly with demands that we feed them, or help them find a missing shirt or socks? Or that we all have the capabilities to ignore all the basic body necessities such as eating, drinking and going to the bathroom?

Indeed, it would be easy, isn’t it? If we don’t have responsibilities or if life is one big vacation? This week, I’ve been trying to do just that. Unfortunately, none of the books I brought with me is holding my attention. It is now fourth day of my vacation. I have not finished a book. But I’ve not lost all hope. Today, we’re driving back to the city where I’m more comfortable reading in my bedroom.

I suppose there are so many factors for achieving that reading zen. But real life is one big distraction. It’s almost impossible to say, ” I read this book in one sitting”. Like, literally ONE SITTING. Where you don’t move from your spot to go have a drink of water or use the bathroom facilities. Unless you’re hooked up to an IV and sporting a comfortable caterer, I suppose all you can say is, “practically in one sitting”.

When was the last time you were in a “reading nirvana”?

 

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Confessions of an Addict [39]: Where Have All My Bookmarks Gone?

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It always happens. You could’ve sworn there was a book mark in there somewhere. But as you’re about to mark your page, the blasted bookmark is gone.

Do you use the nearest thing to you to mark your page? Do you ever wonder where your bookmarks go? To someone like me, bookmarks are like socks that go missing in the wash. They just disappear into the thin air. I had a moment of Eureka last weekend when I was trying to find a bookmark and couldn’t find any.

Today, I’d like to talk about the books sitting beside my bed. Those that I’ve started and have been reading off an on for a while now. In total, I have found that I’ve marked a total of 19 books during the course of a few months. Nineteen bookmarks marking where I left off. Admittedly, I can’t even begin to tell you what was happening in the books when I last picked them up, and I probably have to start over with some of them. Okay, most of them.

There could be a multitude of reasons why I start and stop in the midst of a novel. Sometimes, I just lose interest. Unfortunately, I’ve lost the will to read some of them. I suppose you can consider this my “set-aside-for-now” pile. And the reason why I haven’t DNF’d a book yet this year. I’ve not entirely given up, but I’ve set them aside for now because I refuse to give up. Incidentally, this list also includes the books I’m reading now. So I guess you can say, I’ve got 16 books on my set-aside pile.

My interest flits from the one book to the next. Nowadays, my reason is usually because I have to read something for review before I could read something for pure pleasure. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing because the books I get for review are books that I actually want to read in the first place.

The problem is, there are books being published every week. And every week that these books are left fermenting beside my bed is another week when a most-anticipated novel gets published. In other words, the further along they sit in the bottom of the TBR pile.  I do feel like I should make an effort at least. Perhaps use my credit from Audible to listen to them if I can’t get to them  right away. For now, I’m going to try my best to add at least one of these books in my On the Night Table post until I read all of them. Either way, this is such a bad habit I need to break.

  • OBASAN by Joy Kogawa, Chapter 3, page 28.
  • EVERYTHING, EVERYTHING by Nicola Yoon, page 197 of an ARC paperback.
  • LAST YEAR’S MISTAKE by Gina Ciocca, page 73 of an ARC paperback.
  • INFINITE SKY by C.J. Flood Chapter 11, page 85 of an ARC paperback.
  • WAIT FOR YOU by J. Lynn Chapter 9, page 90
  • AND THE HIPPOS WERE BOILED IN THEIR TANKS by Jack Kerouac and William S. Burroughs Chapter 4, page 41
  • THE RAVEN by Sylvain Reynard Chapter 10, page 85
  • BLACK CITY by Elizabeth Richards Chapter 8, page 63
  • THE END OF YOUR LIFE BOOK CLUB by Will Schwalbe, Seventy Verses on Emptiness, page 28
  • THE QUEEN OF BRIGHT AND SHINY THINGS by Ann Aguirre Chapter 5, page 49
  • THE INFINITE MOMENT OF US by Lauren Myracle Chapter 3, page 47
  • THE BURNING SKY by Sherry Thomas Chapter 9, page 160
  • GLORY IN DEATH by JD Robb Chapter 2, page 45
  • PRINCESS OF THORNS by Stacey Jay Chapter 4, page 43
  • THIS IS A CALL [The Life and Times of Dave Grohl] Chapter 3, page 69
  • CHE by Jon Lee Anderson Chapter 5, page 75
  • THE LITTLE PARIS BOOKSHOP by Nina George Chapter 7, page 47
  • THE NEW NEIGHBOUR by Leah Stewart Chapter 7, page 31
  • THE HUSBAND’S SECRET by Liane Moriarty Chapter 8, page 83

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Confessions of An Addict [39]: Falling Behind and May Reads

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It’s June 1st! Almost halfway through 2015, y’all. The passing of time is always a such a surprise to me. I can’t figure out why. Perhaps it’s because January doesn’t seem like forever ago, but just mere days. Here we are, six months to the day.

May was a good reading month. Not quite as great as April was, but I’m still way ahead of my reading goal. I’m working on my 95th book of the year (reading Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell). I read 17 books and am currently 33 books ahead of schedule. I didn’t quit on any books this month (hasn’t since 2015 started), but I did have a couple of 1-star reads.

I’ve been stalling writing a review for An Ember, mostly because I know it’ll be a scathing, ranting one. I really don’t have the energy to expend on writing a negative review at the moment. So perhaps it will remain unreviewed on the blog.

I finally started my quest on catching up with In Death series by J.D. Robb, and I’m happy to say that I’m glad I decided to take up this endeavour. It’s fantastic! I’ve read quite a few wonderful books in May, but if I had to pick the best one, I have to say it’s Made You Up by Francesca Zappia. I don’t have a review written for it yet, but I promise to post it some time in the next few days. Here’s the rest of the books I read last month:

Unfortunately, I’ve fallen behind on the blogging front. I’ve drafted only one post for next week this weekend. I usually have the week planned ahead of time, but I had quite a busy Saturday. I’m also a little behind on commenting. Please bear with me!

In other news…

I’m going to make a concerted effort to curb down purchases next month. I’m hoping there won’t be too many good books coming out in June. I’m also going to take advantage of my relationship with a few publishers who know my existence and perhaps request books that I absolutely want to read instead of always resorting to “panic-request”. Also, I’ve been really good with my Net Galley books, so perhaps I’ll take advantage of that one as well.

As a result, you may only see one or two Hoarders post this month instead of weekly. I think that if I train myself to do a monthly haul post instead of weekly, I will be able to avoid bookstore shopping every week.

June Releases I’m excited for:

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The Charley Davidson Series Giveaway is still running. It will be over tonight, so enter if you live in the States!

Happy reading, and have a great week, everyone!

 

 

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Confessions of An Addict [38]: Surviving the Weekends

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Spring is in the air!

…so are the allergens that pester me at this time of the year. Sigh.

I’m so excited for the warm weather, y’all. This means we can at least enjoy the cabin for the entire weekend instead of just one night like we do in winter. I’ve always loved it there. Lately though, it has put a damper on my weekend blogging. I used to be able to bring my laptop and my trusty rocket stick for internet connectivity. But since Apple  upgraded their software to Yosemite, I haven’t found one that’s compatible. I guess the rest of the world hasn’t quite caught up yet.

I’ve been trying to make excuses not to spend the entire weekends at the cabin for this very reason. Saturdays and Sundays are usually the time that I allot for doing some advance postings. Because I don’t have an internet at the cabin, I’ve been finding ways for us to only stay for the Friday night then go home first thing on Saturday. I know that’s horrible, and selfish of me, but it has come to a point where blogging is a fun hobby instead of a chore. I crave it, even. That’s not sad, is it?

However, all is not lost. This past weekend, I discovered the magic of writing my thoughts on a notebook. I’ve got to admit that I have not tried this method before. (Yes, yes, I’m a little late in the game). Who knew how productive the practice could be?! I’m telling you, I’m a changed woman. Which is funny to me because this is hardly cutting edge stuff to most of you, most likely.

I’ve never been one to write and read at the same time (still not a fan), but I find it easier down my thoughts soon after reading the book. It used to take me days before I’m able to write a review, but with this new thing, words just come easy.

Tomorrow is the start of a long weekend for us, Canadians. This means, I might not be able to visit y’all until Monday. I’m going to try and convince my husband to go home Sunday afternoon so I can get some writing and blog hopping in – wish me luck, but I’m pretty sure he wants to stay until Monday. I never thought I would come to this point of my short blogging life when it had become fun again. I think that’s all thanks to you, wonderful people who continually visit and leave wonderful comments on my posts. You are the best motivators! If I haven’t thank you yet, I’ll say it now: Thank You. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.

Besides reading, what else do you do to survive the week/weekend?

 

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Confessions of an Addict [37]: Hoarders, and Silencing that Voice in My Head

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A God in Ruins by Kate Atkinson | Off the Page by Jodi Picoult and Samantha Van Leer | Night Play by Sherrilyn Kenyon | The Hobbit by J.R.R Tolkien | City Love by Susan Colasanti | Lord of the White Hell 1 & 2 by Ginn Hale | The Fill-in Boyfriend by Kasie West | Rook by Sharon Cameron | The Wrath & the Dawn by Renee Adieh | Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen | We Are All Made of Molecules by Susin Nielsen


It has been a terrible, terrible week.

Do you ever get those little bursts of determination once in a while? The one that gives you the gumption to finally take control of your finances that’s currently on the tailspin? Yeah. That was me two weeks ago. I told my husband that if I ever ask him to go to the bookstore with me, I give him permission to tie me down to a chair. That didn’t work, obviously.

I went to the bookstore twice this week and this is the result. Three of these books were sent to me by the wonderful people of Random House Canada and the rest is courtesy of my hard-earned money. I love and hate weeks like this. When I’m overcome by this uncontrollable urge to go to the bookstore and spend money. Full disclosure: I spent almost $200 this week on books! Ugh. I hate myself. Hate. Hate. Hate.

Sometimes, I can get away with telling myself that buying used books is for a good cause (depending on where I buy them), and that I’m not the only one benefiting from my purchases. While that may be true, it really does not help me cull my book-buying binges and hoarding tendencies. This week, my hunt for more Nora Roberts/JD Robb books continues, but of course I usually end up with more than a couple…or six among other authors I just can’t resist.

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The problem is, how do I quiet that voice in my head that tells me there are new books coming out this week? Books that I just have to read? How do I not give in to the call of excitement/hype over the next ‘big thing’? Truth is, it’s tough. Book bloggers are excellent marketing/sales people. We are excitable people whose enthusiasm over a book is contagious. We are a tempting lot. It doesn’t take much for me to get suckered in. Mere mention of potential fictional crush and I’m foaming at the mouth.

I found that it is easier to give in that it is to deprive ourselves. “YES” flows out more smoothly out of our mouths and uses less of a force than the word, “NO”.

Confessions of an Addict is where I share the nuances of what it’s like being a book hoarder lover. Sometimes, I’ll share some tidbits of helpful tips. But most of the time, this is where I ask for your help. I think it’s fair to say that the latter is the case in this instance. I don’t know how you guys do it. I don’t know how you discipline yourselves into NOT buying a book.  At this point, I will subject myself to physical restraints just so I can skip a book shopping expedition. Someone needs to cut off my financial resources. Unfortunately, I can’t depend on my husband for that one. That man does not know the concept of the word, “no”. And I know that I’m probably not going to get any sympathy from some of you, but I just feel like if I can’t come to you, my fellow bibliophiles for help, who else could I turn to?

Oh the struggle. The struggle is real.

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Confessions of an Addict [#36]: What My Kids are Reading these Days.

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When my daughter was 8 years old, I bought her a copy of Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice. It was written in a way that kids her age would like: big fonts and illustrations to boot. She grew bored of it after a couple of chapters, I think. Her teacher told us that she’s a couple of levels ahead of her age group on her reading skills. So after that, I didn’t bother forcing her with “good books”. I let her be.

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Nowadays, she’s into manga and anime. Sometimes, I wonder just how violent and graphic these books are. But I’m not about to censure her reading preferences. I learned my lesson after I told her that I won’t allow her to read Looking for Alaska by John Green. She was 12 at the time. She still found a way to read the book, and I’m not about to teach my daughter that she needs to hide things from me.

I don’t know anything about these books because I’ve never been into manga. I think that if she’s learned to marry reading for fun and reading for school in her schedule, we’re off to a good start. I decided to sit back and watch her grow into someone who’s confident with her reading taste.


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At the beginning of the school year, my son brought home books with very little excitement. I started to worry. Soon, he stopped reading altogether. I brought him to the bookstore one day and asked him to pick any book he wanted. I was surprised when he picked a book about volcanoes. After a few more trips, I started to realize the reason why he doesn’t like the books his teacher was giving him: he doesn’t like story books. He’d rather read books about sharks, water, and the weather. He’d rather read about facts than fiction.

During the Christmas break, we went to the Florida Aquarium in Tampa. Man, this boy was spewing out facts like a seasoned marine biologist. Who needs a tour guide? He knows what kind of creatures to look for in certain habitats. He knows what they eat. He knows their rituals. He knows why they do the things they do. I was awestruck.

I’ve been lucky enough with my kids’ reading comprehension levels. Both of them are a level or two higher than their grades. I think that if you give them freedom to read, they’ll learn to trust their instincts.

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