Photo Vomit [16]: New York in Black and White

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Nope. I’m not in New York this week. I took these pictures last year when I attended BEA.
Are you feeling a bit jealous of those who are in attendance? Well, I thought I would be jealous too, but the more I reminisce about my experience, the better I feel. I do hope everyone’s having a great time out there. The madness is just not my thing. The city is gorgeous, but overwhelming. If you’ve ever felt alone in a sea of people, that’s how I felt the four or five days that I was there.
In NYC’s defence, I’m the kind of person who always feel out of sort without the company of my brood. So it doesn’t matter where, really. If I’m not with my family, I can guarantee you I’m not having a good time.
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Photo Vomit [#15]: Instagram Tags

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Book and a notebook. Tagged by Amir of Not so Literary!

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Book and lipstick. Tagged by @crochetandbooks on Instagram.

DSC_0990Pressured reads. Tagged by @mariannelee_092 (Boricuan Bookworms) on Instagram.

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Books with plaid. Tagged by @booksandbaby (Educating Elsa) on Instagram.

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Bookish breakfast. Tagged by @lilytales on Instagram. Tea, strawberries and a granola bar.

I’ve been horrid at responding to tags on Instagram, so I thought I should try and catch up. If you’ve tagged me in the past and I have not responded to it yet, don’t fret. I’ll make it up to you soon. I’m on Instagram, in case you want to see more of these bookish pictures.

@Joyousreads

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Photo Vomit [#12]: Sunshine. Books. Poetry.

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 If only the burst of sunshine

could inspire me to write,

that one great novel

you and I could love.

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If only these books could speak to my mind,

of stories and tales

from their pages

to my hands.

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If only I could rest on the pillows of your words,

perhaps the strong verbs

could summon the peace I deserve.

If time and silence were on my side,

perhaps I could speak

a language so divine.

Photo Vomit is a periodical feature on my blog where I post pictures that inspire my creativity.
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Friday Finds [3]: Penguin Vintage

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I had a dentist appointment last week. They had to refill a filling that wasn’t done properly. The procedure took hourssss. I swear, at the end of it all, I couldn’t close my mouth.

I have a point.

The dentist’s office is right beside an antique store, which also sells used books. How convenient, right? I had a few minutes to kill before I had to go pick up the kids from school, so I decided to spend it unwisely. It was not the first time that I’ve been there. In fact, I go there when I’m in the mood to browse for some vintage books. It was also one of the two stores where I find these Penguin gems, which, I simply adore.

I am a huge fan of these books for artistic (and aesthetic) purposes. And honestly, most of them are so worn that flicking through their pages may just cause their untimely demise. I’m probably not going to be reading them anytime soon, but I love how they look on my shelf.

At first, I only wanted to collect the orange ones, but this was also the first time that I’ve seen the green ones on their shelves.

DSC_0766Incidentally, I picked up one stork among the penguins. I didn’t know they also had that edition.

If you don’t know it by now, I am as much of a collector as I am a lover of books. So don’t be surprised when I do posts like this one. [ See it here and here].

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Photo Vomit [#11]: A Well-Worn Book

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Finding books at a used book store could be just as fascinating as the story it holds.

I always assume that if someone bought a book, they are in essence, a book lover to the extreme. Don’t get me wrong. A book lover who borrows books from the library is just as crazy over books. But someone who spends money on a book is one who truly appreciates ownership; and seeing them lined up on a shelf is like looking at new born babies on the other side of the nursery room. So when I see books that were donated to a thrift shop, I often wondered why they gave them up.

Besides for want to create a space in an exploding book case, and all the philanthropic reasons one may have, do you ever think that owner had another motive?

Perhaps it’s Spring. And the owner woke up one day with a new lease on life. New perspective. Clean slate.

Maybe the story reminded them too much of a painful past.

Maybe the idea of reading about a pair of solemn brown eyes stabs them right in the chest.

Maybe the owner bought it on a day when she met someone special for coffee that led to a bookstore jaunt…a walk in the park…dinner…something more? Months later, they can hardly stand to look at each other’s eyes?

Perhaps it’s the romantic in me who reads more into a reader’s reasons. But I’d like to think that the world is full of readers who love their books so much that they can’t bear to part with them. At least, when left with no choice, and that the only reason why is to save themselves the remembrance of a heartache.

I digress.

This book, for example, looks so worn; and well-loved. It made me wonder how many owners it’s gone through since it found its way to the thrift shop? Or how many times it’s been read until its original owner decided to give it up? How many hands flipped through these pages before they decided, “I don’t want to spend $3 for this.”

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This book also bears scars: nicks and curled pages. I wondered if the owner got so frustrated with the story that she or he threw it across the room in a fit of discontent and fury?

It also bears evidence that the pages got soaked.

Perhaps she was taking a bath, with her mobile on vibrate sitting listlessly on the bathroom floor. She was waiting for a call, or a text message, you see?. And when it beeped, she scrambled, and proceeded to drop the novel in the tub.

“Shit! Shit!” she says. Then picks it up, and tries to salvage the waterlogged pages.

These are the kind of things I think about when I stand in the aisle of a used book store. I must admit that it’s becoming their foremost draw.

Do you think about such things when you hold a used book in your hands?

Do you look at it and wonder, what’s your story?

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Photo Vomit [#10] More Vintage Penguins

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I’m sure most of you know me by now and can attest to how much I love collecting vintage books. On the weekends that we stay in the city, I do my used bookstore rounds. There are only a couple that I’ve been to, but I suspect there are other stores that I can look up on the internet.

The first thing that I search for are these Penguin Vintage. One of my goal is to have a shelf full of these books. At this particular store, they are about $3-$5 a piece; depending of course on how old they are and how much wear the book has gotten over the years. They are significantly cheaper than the first store that I’ve been to. What’s more interesting is that some of these books still has their original price. Like this book, for example:

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The best $.50 you can ever spend!

I also found a couple of books that still has their original dust cover, like this book written by Anton Pavlovich Tchehov, translated by Constance Garnett.

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So far my collection is not very big. But the joy of collecting is that feeling you get when you actually find them on the shelves of a bookstore. One of these days, I will do a post of these stores that I go to, so you can see how difficult it is to find them. Moreover, I don’t just pick up any orange vintage. You can find some like these ones:

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They’re collectibles nonethelss, but I prefer these ones:

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What about you? Do you have a used bookstore nearby? Find anything interesting?

Click here to find my first Penguin Vintage post.

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Photo Vomit #9: Penguin Vintage

Last week, I found myself at a used book store. I really wish I had the time to take pictures of this place but I figure, I’d probably need a permission to do so. One of these days, I’ll find enough courage to approach the owners.

I’ve recently found the wonders of Tumblr. I follow some pretty cool blogs that feature lovely photographs of books and readers alike. I’ve also seen them post pictures of those orange vintage covers from Penguin. So last week, I had the inkling to find some copies for myself. Here are the books that I’ve found:

It was tough finding these old Penguins. The bookstore that I found myself in had wall to wall, floor to ceiling shelves of antique books. The prices vary from $4.00 to $20.00. In the end, I had to put some back because it was getting ridiculously expensive. As it is, this pile cost me $65, to my husband’s dismay. Anyway, I love them, and they make such a good addition to my collection of vintage books.
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Photo Vomit [7]: White Covers

Do you ever find yourself in the bookstore with an urge to buy a certain type of books? And I’m not talking about genres at all. When I go to my bookstore, I sometimes get these weird inclinations to pick up random books. During one of those ventures, I found myself buying some books that have predominantly white covers. I don’t know what they’re about, but I picked them up anyway.

Aside from The Vow by Jessica Martinez, the rest of these books are virtually unknown to me. They are also in the Fiction section of my bookstore so of course, reading them might take some huge undertakings. 
As much as it would make me sound like a superficial reader, I bought these books because they’re pretty (ugh). However, that’s why I started doing this feature on the blog. I want to showcase books in all their beautiful glory. 

Books Links:
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Photo Vomit [#6]: Well-Read Women by Samantha Hahn

Well-Read Women [Portraits of Fiction’s Most Beloved Heroines]
Chronicle Books | Hardcover, 112 pages
Published August 27th, 2013
Non-Fiction
Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

My first Photo Vomit feature of 2014 is what I would consider a Picture Book for Grown-Ups. It  is a collection of watercolour drawn portraits of literature’s most memorable heroines. I do have reservations on the title of the book though. I thought it would’ve been more appropriate to call it, “Most-Read Women”, which implies that the women featured in the book are famous women read by millions of people. Granted some of these women are also well-read but the common denominator amongst them is their unforgettable quality.

I’ve been a huge fan of Art books, but when Art and Literature are combined into one drool-worthy publication, nothing can keep me from picking up a copy. All in all, there are about 53 women drawn in their most vulnerable, exposed, and admirable selves. They are in love, they are broken; they are lost. The portraits are vivid – the quotes, even more so. I’d like to apologize in advance because I don’t think I’ve given this work of art enough justice. But anyway, here are some that I’ve picked from the book:

 “All right…I’m glad it’s a girl and I hope she’ll be a fool – that’s the best thing a girl can be in this world, a beautiful little fool. “ 
– Daisy Buchanan The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald.
“This sensation of listlessness, weariness, stupidity, this disinclination to sit down and employ myself, this feeling of every thing’s being dull and insipid about the house! I must be in love; I should be the oddest creature in the world if I were not – for a few weeks at least.” 
– Emma Woodhouse, Emma by Jane Austen  
 “I was a daisy-fresh girl, and look what you’ve done to me.” 

– Dolores Haze, Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
 “Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same.”

– Catherine Earnshaw, Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
“If you knew how great is a mother’s love…you would have no fear.”

– Wendy Darling, Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie
 “Our souls are knit into one, for all life and all time.”

– Mina Harker, Dracula by Bram Stoker
“A lady’s imagination is very rapid; it jumps from admiration to love, from love to matrimony in a moment.” 

– Elizabeth Bennet, Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen. 
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