On Reading Harry Potter For The First Time At 30

OH HEY GUYS:

 

Screenshot at Apr 20 11-21-29

 

Ever since I started this blog, in 2010, I have been (lovingly) harassed about the fact that I have never read Harry Potter. I knew this was a serious rarity in the YA book world but alas….I had not.

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On Picking My Books For Vacation

T-minus 17 days until we leave for Europe for 2 weeks. OH EM GEE.

 

omg-im-so-excited

 

I’ve got soooo much to do and pack and get together for our trip in this time but of course, like the cliche bookworm I am, all I’m thinking about is what books I’ll bring. Because obviously….books.

After a vacation back in 2013 I mused on the fact that I never read as much as I think I will on vacation. I have that “eyes are bigger than my stomach” syndrome that my mom always would get on me about when it came to putting food on my plate. It’s the same way for books. I end up bringing 3x more books than I actually read. 3x more than I could ACTUALLY read in a time frame if I’m being honest. But I think I over pack on books because we all know that my reading moods dictate what I read so what if I’m not in the mood for the more conservative number of like 3 books that I’ll read and I’m left book-less because I just cannot even try to read something I’m not in the mood for.

I mean, Rory explains it best:

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On Bookshelf Organization

 

bookshelf-organization

 

So if you caught my #shelfgoals post recently (I’m writing both of these on the same day so no idea when I’m actually scheduling them haha) I shared the current disaster that are my shelves (embarrassing pictures and all) and talked about my plan for a revamp project for my shelves this Spring.

I outlined a number of things that I’d be doing to revamp my shelves and one of those things was to think about my shelf organization but I had so many thoughts about this so I promised a full post instead of jam-packing that post with it. So here we are to talk all about bookshelf organization.

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#ShelfGoals On My Mind

If you peruse Instagram or Tumblr on a daily basis, you might find yourself drooling over some personal libraries and shelves that are pretty much the epitome of #shelfgoals. I mean, they are beautiful and clean and organized and adorned with the cutest of cute things. And every day I pretty much have bookshelf envy.

Just a few examples.

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12 Reasons I Am Totally In Love With My Library

 

why I love my library

When I was a wee little anklebiter  I used to go to the library weekly with my stepmom in the summer. My sister and I would always run to the juvenile/teen section and she would go off in the adult fiction area. We would spend hours (well, at least it felt like that as a kid but alas I probably had no concept of time) and I’d come home with a stack of books I could hardly carry (I had a concept for that burning in my arm muscle so that is accurate for sure). I LOVED the library so much. It was my favorite place to go and I always looked forward to the trip — I have such great memories of going.

But then, as I got older, I sort of fell out of love with the library. Some of that was just my decline in reading during my older teens and early college so it makes sense. I only went during college for research for classes. After that it could have been that I avoided it because of the fact I wracked up the biggest fine ever because I lost a really expensive book when I was in my early 20’s. It also could have been because I became a book buying monster when I started blogging in 2010. I RARELY went to my library for the first couple years of blogging but then….unemployment. Unemployment changed a lot of my book habits but it helped me to fall back in love with the library and it’s really stuck as I’ve changed the way I buy books. I loooove going to the library again and have found it great for SO many reasons as an adult.

So let me tell you WHY I love my library so much!!
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11 Book-Related Things Or Experiences That Delight Me

 

There are just some really delightful book related experiences in life that can just make me happy on any given day. I could have easily made a list of 50 things but I decided to just talk about 11 things that make me happy/that I’m grateful for/makes me giddy as a bookworm.

 

1. The smell of a book: #booksniffer — New books, old books. I just love the smell of a book. (Maybe not so much super moldy or smoke filled books that make me hack up a lung but well taken care of used books). Speaking of which I really want this old book smell candle.

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Random Musings On Accessibility To Your Heroes

Things have changed so much in the author/reader space since my childhood/teen years. If I loved a book or something I didn’t have Twitter to jump on to exclaim my love for it directly to the author immediately. I had to write a letter on my best stationary (probably multiple times because I always would mess up or sound dumb), beg for a stamp from my mom, lick the icky envelope and mail that puppy…more than likely to the publisher who would then forward it and WHO KNOWS if the author ever got my letter. I sure never got a response. Sidenote: sometimes I really want to send snail mail to the authors of my most favorite books to show my appreciation rather than popping off a quick tweet or blog post.

I’ve talked about this before but authors, and our heroes/idols in general, are so incredibly accessible because of the internet. It’s great. It really is. I love being able to connect with an author whose book I loved. To talk to them about it. To show them my appreciation. To sometimes even create really good relationships past that. I love having some access to my favorites — to see the behind the scenes and get to know the person. To learn more about them. To go on this journey with them. It can all be a really positive thing.

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To Continue On Or Not?

That is always my question after finishing a book in a series: am I interested enough to continue on? 

It’s a hard question all around. I’m awful at finishing series in general and I’m the woooorst at deciding whether or not to put down a book when I’m not liking it. I have a list of reasons why it’s so hard for me — some of those feelings apply to my fear of abandoning a series.

Most of the time I’m pretty solid on my YES or NO if I want to continue on but I do have a good chunk that stay in that “Hmmm I’m not sure” area. However, what prompted me to think about this, is that over the summer I read but nearly DNFed a book 1 in a series that I just really didn’t like and was pretty sure I had no interest of continuing on. I didn’t think the writing was that great. It was pretty eye-rolly. Didn’t love the characters. But THEN..behold…book 2 shows up in the mail from the publisher and my curiosity was piqued again and I have NO idea why. I didn’t even like it! WHY would I even consider it? Maybe it’s because I’m curious. Maybe I’m just a glutton for punishment. Or maybe it’s because I am the most indecisive person who likes to doubt their decisions. Oof we sure are getting a little more into the psyche of Jamie territory there.

But here we are…a book that was solidly a NO is now possibly a maybe? GAH.

 

Typically my method looks a little bit like this if it’s a first book:

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10 Things I Wish Someone Would Invent

Sometimes I have these times in my life where I’m like GOD I WISH THIS THING EXISTED TO MAKE MY LIFE EASIER OR BETTER. Sometimes I find out that it’s like, in fact, a THING made by those As Seen On TV people and sometimes it just stays a great idea in my head because an inventor I am not.

There are quite a few things over the course of my reading life that I wished existed so if anyone wants to put their inventor hat on or like find a magical way to do these things I will be your first customer.

 

1. A device that helps you unsee spoilers: Y’all know that blatant spoilers are the bane of my existence but SERIOUSLY this would be perfect for those times that you are minding your own business on the internet and your eye hones in on a big fat spoiler for something you love on Twitter or Tumblr or in the comments section. You just hit the button and BOOM never saw that shit. Related: a device that shocks people when they are assholes about spoilers? Too cruel?

Cannot-unsee

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A Readerly Woe

I’ve talked a lot about how I suck at series! I’ve got some ideas why — getting distracted by other books during the wait between books, being afraid to move on, loss of interest over time — and it’s so sad because I LOVE a good book series. I even tried Operation Make Jamie Suck Less At Series and this year one of my bookish resolutions is designed to help me with this. I just want to be better at reading series and not leaving so many loose ends.

A thing happened to me recently….and I wonder if this is some of my hesitation when moving on with series….sub-consciously.

So I recently picked up a book 2 of a book I LOVED last year and that had just released this Fall (I barely read this Fall because of adopting Finn so I never got to it). Like suuuuuper loved. I was obsessed with the world and the characters and soooo emotionally invested. I couldn’t believe I had to wait for a book 2. I mean, I am on the HIGHEST of book highs upon finishing this book.

So I crack open the book all ready to be wholly immersed in this series again and just pick up where we left off……and I felt nothing.

I mean, sure, I was having a case of book amnesia as I always do (which reminds me…I have a post related to that that has been sitting in drafts for a bit and should publish that). But I read a summary and some spoilers about what happened thinking that might help. But it didn’t. I just did not feel those same feels heading into this book. I mean, it took place like pretty much right after the explosive ending of the first book so I should have been right back in there.

But there I was….feeling not much at all. I’m like OKAY OKAY you will get back into this, and I did, but it took a while…like 20-30% of the way in to finally feel those feels and that connection to the story and characters again. And I mean PRAISE KANYE that I ended the book again on the highest of book highs because it got even more amazing.

And I kept wondering….is it the book? Is it just not up to par? Or is it that year in between that just wedged itself in between book 1 and book 2 and slowly siphoned my excitement level and connection.

It doesn’t always happen to me. I can think distinctly of a few series that a year later (ummm Queen of Shadows!!) and I’m right back in the game. Maybe some of those are different? Maybe I talked about them and discussed them more with people throughout that year? Maybe it’s because some of them weren’t book 2’s but further into a series or a conclusion? I don’t know.

All I know is I think that is why sometimes I dread picking up the next book in a series when it’s been a while in between books. I know there is a chance that all that head-over-heels-in-love-with-this-series mega fangirl love and excitement has faded away a little bit with time. I’ve read 100 books since then. I’ve fallen hard for new books and characters. I’ve forgotten the details that made me fall in love. I can’t feel the pain or the exhilaration or the joy the book gave me with the same FEELING.

And it’s SAD. It makes me want to just wait til more books are out so I can binge read/semi-binge read but I also really like supporting the books when they come out and also it’s fun to read when a lot of other people are. In an ideal world, I would love to always be able to reread a series book before I moved on so I could at least come close to replicating those feelings and be super ready to dive into book 2 and rid myself of any of this disconnect (that isn’t the fault of the book itself).

But alas…I am a mere mortal.

Anyways, there is no real point to this post other than 1) I wanted to share how sad it was to have such a hard time being plugged back into this great story I loved and 2) I figured out yet another reason why I suck at series….despite loving being invested in a series.

 

Does this happen to anybody else??? Or is it just JAMIE PROBLEMS — table for 1?

 

PS. Some of my other readerly woes — the logistics of reading heavy books and all 10 of these bookworm problems

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