Thursday, February 25, 2010

My name is Spangle and I'm a Bookaholic....Part 2

Ok, so all those that have been following the blog will know that I have had a few problems with a delivery of books from Play. Com. Well the good news is that my books are FINALLY beginning to arrive! I received 'Time Traveller's Wife' yesterday and 'Brighton Rock' this morning. So I'm only waiting for one more book.

The problem now, is that 'Brighton Rock' is a book that I have to read for an online book group and I'm also reading 'Kindred' for this blog. So it is going to be difficult to juggle reading the two together, but at least I have plenty to entertain me. One thing I do know though, is that I will reconsider ordering from Play.Com in future.

I've also just received a delivery of a great bookcase which means that I can actually see all of the books that I have, rather than stacking my books where I can find any available space. I'm not one of those people that sort their books alphabetically, but I like to books from the same author together and any series of books e.g 'Harry Potter' in order. Luckily, there is room for a few more new books in the future!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Collections

I have always collected things. Whether it be Pogs and Trolls when I was young, to gemstones and Take That Memorabilla when I was a teenager (did I really admit that?). It's one of those eccentricities that make me who I am and my latest obsession, is collecting notebooks.

I have always kept a diary on and off, but since I moved to Spain nearly 5 years ago, the notebook fascination has exploded, see my collection below:



They are just the notebooks that I could find, I am sure there are more floating around somewhere. The reason that I started this collection, was because since living in Spain and learning Spanish, I find that there are many occasions where I either learn a new word and jot it down in one of the now infamous little books I always keep in my handbag, or will see a word, which I make a note of and look up the meaning at home.

However as my addiction to notebooks has progressed, I now find any excuse possible to use a new notebook, checking quiz scores, Spanish lessons, for my creative writing and art ideas. In fact my obsession has got so bad, that I buy a new notebook purely because I like the look of it and I have a small pile of unused notebooks.

Originally I thought that I was the only one with notebook fever, however I have come across a blog all about notebooks. www.notebookstories.com is written by a fellow notebook addict and I enjoy reading the posts, because the writer has an appreciation for the different papers and covers, as I have. I also enjoy reading the regular 'Notebook Addict' posts, in which followers send photos of their notebook collections, a lot of them are larger than mine!

On my birthday this year, my nephew bought me a hardback sketch book with pencils on the front. I loved it so much that I decided to keep mementos in it. After a lot of research on the internet the idea grew and I discovered art journalling. Art Journalling is where instead of simply writing what happened in your day like a regular diary, you use mixed media, paints, pencils etc, to create art to express feelings or events throughout your life. I have only just started with this, but I am really starting to enjoy the new way that I can express myself and have fun playing with paints. I have also found a website/blog http://oneyearartjournal.ning.com/ which enables members to share tips/hints on different techniques and also photos of their artwork. Each month, a prompt is set for a journal page and photos are published on the blog. So far I have only participated in one prompt, but look forward to doing more. The problem is, it will only encourage my notebook obsession!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Perfect reading weather

Over the last few days, the cold and stormy weather has made it a perfect time to curl up with a good book. However, the saga of the lost books continues and Play.Com are rapidly losing a customer. I find their consistancy to deliver orders efficiently is far and few between and their customer service, providing that you can find any contact details for their company, can be frustrating. So I going to wait until Wednesday to see if anything arrives, after that I shall complain. Anyway, as to not lose any more reading time, I've decided to re-read a book that reminds me of my uni days.













'Kindred' by Octavia E. Butler, was one of the only books that I really enjoyed through my first year of Media and Cultural studies because it captured my imagination, rather than just completely baffling me.

In the meantime, I hope that Play.Com redeem themselves by delivering my long awaited books. However, check back for my review of 'Kindred.'

Thursday, February 11, 2010

My name is Spangle and I'm a Bookaholic....

I'm feeling slightly lost at the moment. Why? Well, it's because I'm lacking in reading material at the moment. That isn't technically true, I have plenty of books at home to read. However, I am STILL waiting for my copy of 'Brighton Rock', the first read for the book group I've just joined on the 'Book Group Online' website plus two other books from Play.com and they are being unbelievably slow!

I have been tracking the order on the website and they said that my books were posted on the 1st of this month, so surely the books should be here by now? Or maybe it's a conspiracy that makes me believe that they have sent my order, but they are enjoying keeping me guessing as to when my order will arrive? Ok that might be a far fetched theory, but I'm so used to having a book to dip in and out of, that my lack of literature is making me feel a bit uneasy.

So here's my dilemma, do I start a book that I already have, taking the risk that my books may arrive tomorrow thus pushing the new stuff further down the 'To Read' list, or do I wait it out and get increasingly fidgety? Knowing my luck if I start a book, the order will arrive tomorrow. I suppose that I could wait one more day...*sigh*

Sunday, February 7, 2010

'The Catcher in the Rye'-Review











Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 978-0-14-023750-4

Length: 192 Pages

Opening Line: 'If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you'll probably want to know is where I was born, and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don't feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth.'

Review:

'The Catcher in the Rye' is a book which has been discussed and argued about since its release in the 1940's. However it has achieved cult status in American Literature and is a classic, even now.

It centres on the character Holden Caulfield, who is expelled from the latest of a succession of schools and the book focuses on his journey through the streets of New York.

Having read this book a second time, I realised that I had not appreciated how multi-faceted this book actually is. The writer J.D Salinger describes the backdrop of New York wonderfully, combined with the first person perspective that the book is written in, he really draws the reader into the story. You could believe that you are reading something from the diary of a real person, rather than a fictional one.

At the beginning of the book, I was quite irritated by the main character Holden. His endless repetitions, constant habit of 'sort of doing things' and starting to do things but failing to, because he didn't feel like it, became exasperating. However, throughout the book I came to see him for more than just someone arrogant and annoying.

I think that he gives a good insight into someone who is going through a mental breakdown and he also represents the struggles, insecurities and in decisions of the teenage generation. Holden perceives himself as worldly wise and mature, but he has the same confusion about life and sexuality, as any teenager. So although on the surface he is an unlikable character, it's what he represents that is most important in my opinion. Also you could argue, that if a writer can provoke emotions of either like or hate for one of his or her characters, then they must be doing their job properly. After all, writers are only playing with words on a page.

Overall, my experience whilst reading this book was a bit of a roller coaster, one minute I didn't like the book, the next I did. However, I feel that this is one of the most interesting books that I have read in a long time.

So even if you end up loving or hating Holden Caulfield, this book is definitely a thought provoking read.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Save the Bookshop!!

Recently I've been thinking that the bookshop may be endangered, 'Why? you may ask. Well, with the introduction of E-books, the availability of buying books online and the average supermarket stocking all the best sellers next to the baked beans, there is becoming less reason to visit your local bookshop. However by settling with convenience, I think that you would be denying yourself a multi-sensory experience.

You may be thinking that I have completely lost the plot and that bookshops are only places selling bits of paper glued together, but in my opinion, there is so much that you can get from just walking into a bookshop.

Being the nosy type, I find that bookshops are great places to people watch. I often wonder about the people milling around the shop. I find it interesting to see which titles they are choosing and I always like to imagine why. For study? work? Or are they simply buying that copy of 'Crime and Punishment', to put on their bookshelf to make visitors think that they are cultured? Whatever the reason, observing people can be a great way to spark the imagination and that helps me with my own writing.

Also, I find that buying a book can be a provocative experience. I love book covers. Particularly the embossed ones that you can run your hand over so for me, being in a books shop gives me tactile element which I love. So a book shop, with its shelves stacked with multi-coloured, embossed books becomes something of a tempting experience. On a few occasions I've bought books, purely because I liked the look of the cover, regardless of what's inside them. In fact, I have actually discovered some of my favourite books this way.

I find second hand book buying even more interesting. Going into a second hand book shop in my opinion, is like going into a cave of discovery. Let's face it, a lot of the time second hand book shops are pretty dark and dingy, but that gloomy quality gives the whole experience a secretive, exotic feel to it.

The thing I like about buying a book in a regular book shop is the untouched cleanliness you get with a brand new book, but buying a book from a second-hand bookshop adds a completely different dimension to buying literature. As I like observing and imagining a customer's choice for buying a particular book in a regular bookshop, with a second-hand book I like to imagine the history of that item. Who was the last person to touch and read the words within the pages? Were they rich, poor? A murderer or an upstanding individual? How far back in history do you have to go, before you get to a books' FIRST owner? So many layers of history are contained within the walls of these shops that if they could talk, I think that they would tell the most fascinating of tales.

As I live abroad I don't buy as many books from a bookshop as I would like to, but I whenever I get the opportunity to do so, I will always support my local bookshop and I urge you to also. It would be a shame to see this special species, become extinct.