Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Bookish Brits Vlog 28: A Guide to Book Swapping


I love this hat. I have never worn it outside. I have worn all my other hats out, but this one is blue and it doesn't go with much of my clothing.

Anyway, book swapping!

In this video I recommend Bookmooch (worldwide) and ReadItSwapIt (UK only). If you're in the US you can also try PaperBack Swap.

If you don't want to post books, look into BookCrossing. You may also want to see if there are any Little Free Libraries near you.

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Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I'd Quickly Save If My House Was Going To Be Abducted By Aliens (or any other natural disaster)

This week's Top Ten Tuesday is actually a freebie, which means that you get to make up your own topic or choose one of the past topics that you missed or want to redo.

When I scrolled through the list of past topics my eyes quickly lighted upon this one, which I felt I had to do for the title alone. I mean, abduction by aliens? I'm pretty sure that's an unnatural disaster if ever there was one...
View on Instagram.
Top Ten Books I'd Quickly Save If My House Was Going To Be Abducted By Aliens
(or any other unnatural disaster)

1. My signed hardback copy of The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks, by E. Lockhart. Because getting to meet E Lockhart after having loved her books for years, in a room full of people who also loved her books (and this after years of feeling like one of about three people in the UK who'd even read her books) was so cool and I'd want to have this book to remember it by.

2. My signed copy of Kiss and Make-Up, by Sarra Manning, which contains my favourite bits of the Diary of a Crush trilogy. I met Sarra and had it signed back in 2010, at a Chicklish event at Dulwich Library. I was unbelievably excited because a) it was the first YA book event I'd been to b) I got to meet some bloggers for the first time c) as well as Sarra Manning, who had been my hero when I was 14, I got to meet Keris Stainton, Luisa Plaja, and Simmone Howell. It still remains the only multi-author event I've ever been to where I'd read at least one book by every author!

3. My copy of Burning Your Boats, by Angela Carter
4. My copy of The Curious Room, by Angela Carter
5. My copy of The Magic Toyshop, by Angela Carter
6. My copy of Angela Carter's Book of Fairy Tales...because they're all fancy hardbacks and the first two are definitely out of print and the bottom two might be.

7. My hardback copy of The Diviners, by Libba Bray, because it's a way nicer cover than on the paperbacks and I want to get it signed one day.

View on Instagram.
8. My childhood copy of The Secret Garden, by Frances Hodgson Burnett, because I read it so many times it's all battered and worn-in and a new copy would never be the same.

9. My childhood copy of Matilda, by Roald Dahl, for the same reason.

10. My first edition, second printing, of The Asylum for Wayward Victorian Girls, by Emilie Autumn, because even if I don't decide to keep it I could sell it on eBay for monies. Ditto for all of my digipak CDs.

What books would you save? Have you met any authors and had any books signed? If you did Top Ten Tuesday this week, which topic did you choose?

Top Ten Tuesday was created and is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

A Tour of Little Free Libraries: The Sky is Everywhere is Everywhere

Earlier in the year, I was staying over at Nick's old house in Walthamstow. It was a bright, sunny weekend, just perfect for a little local adventure.
 Stop one on our Little Free Libraries E17 tour was Cleveland Park Avenue.
It’s purple with bears, hares, and pears. View on Instagram.
I'd recently been sent a box full of copies of Jandy Nelson's The Sky is Everywhere, as part of Walker Books' campaign to spread The Sky is Everywhere, well, everywhere, and Nick had some books he had decided not to keep (as well as one copy of The Girl Who Tweeted Wolf). So, we decided to explore the local area and visit the Little Free Libraries to leave some of our books and hopefully find some to take away. I posted a video about this a couple of weeks later, but I always planned to write it up for this blog as well, so here goes.

Stop two, Eastfield Road. View on Instagram.
The book I picked up at Eastfield Road.
Little Free Libraries are a concept that's been brought over from the US in recent years - tiny huts containing bookshelves, designed to stand in front gardens and school playgrounds, or inside caf├ęs and pubs. They're intended to encourage people to read more and to participate in their local community.

Cairo Road, stop three. I love the purple, naturally. View on Instagram.
I believe the Walthamstow LFLs were the first in the UK, but Little Free Libraries UK have now brought the idea and the boxes to people in other parts of the country, including Swindon, Birmingham, Bath, and Essex.

Howard Road's foxy Little Free Library. View on Instagram.
I wandered lonely as a cloud...to another Little Free Library,
this time in Aubrey Road. View on Instagram.
Of course they are by no means a replacement for public libraries, but I like to think of them as a gateway drug. Many Little Free Libraries are outside and therefore open 24/7, unlike most public libraries. They're also very pretty and enticing. People will pass them on their way to and from work and be intrigued. They can pick up a book in a spare couple of minutes.

A double-decker Little Free Library at Garner Road. View on Instagram.
A close up after I'd made my donation. View on Instagram.
If someone catches the reading bug, they'll be reading far more books than the Little Free Library can provide, or want to find more books in specific genres, and that will draw them towards their local public library. I hope so, anyway.

This is Brettenham Road, where Nick left a copy of The Girl Who Tweeted Wolf. View on Instagram.
I picked up The Rosie Effect for my sister, who had recently finished
reading The Rosie Project. She's a former reluctant reader who is
currently working her way through an impressive amount of books!
View on Instagram.
Brettenham Road also features a friendly cat!
View on Instagram.
If people start to feel included in their local community, thanks to LFLs, that can also draw them towards their local public library to take part in activities and events.

Our final stop - Ruby Road. View on Instagram.
UKYA alert! View on Instagram. 
I had a great time visiting these Little Free Libraries - they're all so beautifully designed, and it was really nice to walk around parts of Walthamstow that we hadn't been to before.

When I went back home I felt a bit jealous of the people of Walthamstow and their LFLs - though Beckenham has a wonderful public library that I have loved for as long as I can remember.

I wasn't to stay jealous for long...but that's another blog post! Have you read any of the books I found? Is there a Little Free Library near you? Would you like to have one in your front garden? I'd need to acquire a house with a front garden and the salary to be able to afford one first, but I can dream...

If you want to watch my video of the Little Free Library tour, here it is:

Sunday, September 06, 2015

Bookish Brits Vlog 26: Why I Think Reading Fads Are Amazing


I am so behind on cross-posting these over here! If you want to catch up now you can click here to open this video on YouTube and watch the rest of the playlist.

In this video I wear too much eyeliner and tell you why I think going through reading fads is lots of fun!
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