Do you have one thing you always go out and buy when you’re feeling a little down, a bit meh, or slightly avoidey? Some people like to ‘eat their feelings’, others get a kick out of retail therapy. Me? I buy books. Lots and lots of books.
Pretty much any high or low in my life is dealt with by getting my hands on a shiny new novel. Feeling sad because you didn’t get that grade you wanted? Buy a book! Need a break from real life? A book will do just the trick! Super psyched you passed that tough assignment? Well done you clever clogs you worked so hard, you know what you deserve? Yepp you guessed it, a book.
Over the last month one thing has occupied my thoughts, the imminent return to university accompanied by a pang of back to real life anxiety and the imminent doom of my social life (Hello unrelenting assignments. Why did I choose a science degree again?). So, naturally I compensated by investing in some spellbinding stories. 🙂 So without further ado, let me present you with reading my feelings! Or er…buying them.
Rainbow Rowell has been writing up a storm in the literary world. Her breakout novel Eleanor & Park quickly gained the attention of Young Adult readers. I knew as soon as its beautifully simple and quirky front cover turned up on my Goodreads feed for the first time that I had to have it, before I had even read the blurb! Once I did though I was pleased to find that it sounded exactly like my kind of story. Two utterly flawed teen misfits falling in love? Yes please! Where do I sign up? 🙂
I managed to restrain myself from buying Eleanor & Park for quite a long time, all too aware of all the other books I ‘just HAD to buy’ that were still unread on my shelf. I was doing well too until Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell came out. I loved this cover even more than the first! It’s beautiful mint green, the quirky pink writing, the obsessive fangirl sitting at her computer on the front. WHO COULD RESIST THAT?!? Honestly. Then of course I found out that it was about an obsessive fangirl suffering with the growing pains of starting university among other things and I couldn’t believe it! Everyone tells you that your university years are supposed to be the best of your life, but nobody tells you exactly how difficult, terrifying and full of anxiety it is. I think like anything there is a certain myth around university life, kind of like the American Dream. Sure, for a selection of people it IS the best time in their life, independence, crazy parties etc. but it hasn’t turned out that way for me or a lot of other people I know. It’s certainly not all bad, but just like anything university comes with both good and bad aspects and I was so pleased to come across a book that chose to highlight this. When Fangirl finally came though my letterbox I could barely contain my excitement, I kept stroking the cover, sniffing it and when nobody else was in the room I would just sit and stare at it with a dorkish smile on my face. Books make me so haaaappppyyyyyyyyyy. 😀 I’m so excited to get started on Fangirl and Eleanor & Park, I hope Rainbow Rowell won’t disappoint!
My third brand new purchase was also a book I had been lusting after for quite some time, A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness, another author who seems to be doing incredibly well in the YA market. His Chaos Walking series has been a huge hit since the rise of dystopian and apocalyptic worlds and he has continued to receive acclaim ever since.
I actually first laid eyes on A Monster Calls before I knew who Ness was, I discovered it while browsing in Waterstones and was drawn to it. The books desolate and artistic cover stood out surrounded by your run of the mill paperbacks. I took it off the shelf and was surprised when I flicked though it to see that the story was illustrated. It was something I had never come across before but the book was still expensive at that point so I made a mental note of it and put it back on the shelf. Finally a year or so later I have managed to get hold of it for a decent price, huzzar! I should probably also mention here that not all versions of this book are illustrated and it’s one of the reasons it took me so long to get hold of because the illustrated version was naturally, more expensive. EVIL RETAILERS. Don’t they know I’m a student? Hmph. The story is a little cryptic, it’s about a young boy and monster. I do know a little more than that but I have a feeling this is one of those books that has more of an impact the less you know about it so I won’t expand!
As well as being a little indulgent with my online basket I decided to take my physical one out for a spin. On my first day back at university I decided that I would have a prowl around all the second hand book and charity shops around my area in search of a bargain, and bargains I did find! My original intention was to acquire a copy of Gone Girl, and while I did find one it was battered with smudges and stains on the cover as well as throughout the book. It was also overpriced for what it was so I exercised my will of self restraint and grudgingly left it behind, instead picking up three books that were still less than Gone Girl would have been altogether! Each book was only 50p as it was still considered to be in the Christmas sale bringing my expected crazy spending spree to bank-breaking £1.50. 😛
I picked all these books up in the same charity shop, although I can’t remember which. There was a small corner tucked behind a wall with two overflowing bookshelves. You really had to rummage around to find anything because the books were packed in tight and double stacked but I managed to uncover a few gems!
When I saw the second book from Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time famous fantasy series I snapped it up straight away. I have owned the first novel for at least three or four years now but have been hesitant to start it because of the length of the series. Taking into account how much it will cost me if I decide I like it enough to continue reading, I figured I need to save all the money I can!
I mmed and ahhed over my second purchase, a two book combo of Huckleberry Finn and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer but eventually decided to go for it. I must admit I have never really had a yearning to pick either of these books up. I have often heard the horror stories about how tough they are to read. However in my quest to complete The Rory Gilmore Challenge and read more classics I thought why not? I can always work up to Twain by reading a few easier classics first and I have already surprised myself a few time by enjoying books I never would have picked up otherwise. Besides, it was only 50p after all and that made it 25p per story! The kid on the front cover looks a little creepy though, his head and legs are way out of proportion with the rest of his body and I swear his eyes follow you like the Mona Lisa.
How I Live Now was probably the second hand purchase I was most enamoured with. I recently finished Meg Rosoff’s latest book Picture Me Gone (full review to come soon hopefully) and was impressed with how striking and honest her narrative voice was. Her story left me with the feeling that I wanted more so I couldn’t believe it when I found this books shiny cover on the shelf, as if it had been waiting for me! The story is said to follow a young girl who is shipped off to live with her cousins during a war of some kind (I think). The title seemed strangely familiar to me and when I returned home I remembered why. The story had received a lot of acclaim and recently been turned into a movie starring Saoirse Ronan which for some reason mostly passed me by. Ronan is one of my favourite actresses and I still can’t believe she’s MY AGE. How is she allowed to be that phenomenal and gifted and why can’t I have some of it?!?! LOL. I have never seen a film of hers that I haven’t liked, so now I am even more excited to read the novel. 😀
And so I guess that’s a wrap! It felt so good to do a book haul post again, I have missed reflecting on my book buying spree’s and having fun messing around with pretty photos. I actually have a tonne of new books I have yet to share with you guys which predate my back to school spurge. I hope I will have the time to spotlight them at some point but I thought this was enough to contend with for now. 😉
Do you ever go out and buy books as rewards or to cheer you up? Have you been on any book buying sprees lately? I would love to hear all about it! 🙂
All my own, please do not reuse.