Book Haul #5: I discover Book Outlet and other bookish treats

Unfortunately for my bank account, I’ve discovered Book Outlet. I’m pretty sure this wonderful website is the bane of all book lovers’ bank accounts but one just can’t ignore those low, low prices on books. Again, I blame this one on booktube. It’s there that I discovered the site. Vloggers kept mentioning it and I got curious and investigated and boy was I pleased with my find. I immediately placed an order and have since found it hard to not visit the site frequently every day to purchase something else. If you follow me on Instagram, then you’re probably already aware of these but here’s what I bought:

Seraphina by Rachel Hartman

Seraphina

As I said in a Exploring My Bookshelves post, I didn’t have a physical copy of Seraphina so I bought one when I saw it on Book Outlet for $4.99. It’s the price that got me and then the cover. I was hoping to get the original cover, though it wouldn’t have matched my Shadow Scale copy, but I’m glad with this since it’s purple.

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Book Haul #4: With Comics & a Mag Thrown In

It’s a May book haul!! Hopefully it’ll be my only one because I need to save money. This one was unplanned. I thought to visit the bookstore to restore some calm in my day but while there I fell into a conversation with the seller in the kids department. She had just read some YA novels that she was excited about so of course I got excited and told her to show them to me, which she of course did. We spent a couple minutes discussing books, almost half an hour, and by the end of our discussion I had a pile that I refused to get rid off so off I went to check out. What I got:

Talon by Julie Kagawa

Talon

I grabbed this one first because I like the concept of the story — dragons turning into humans and being hunted. It reminds me of Seraphina, and I want to compare the stories. Also, I love the cover. It looks like scales and its texture makes it feel like scales too.

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Wishes for My TBR Pile: 6 Books Added

Ahh…books. I can’t help my attraction to books, especially new titles with tantalizing covers. So far my new year is going well but financially, it’s a bit shaky so there’s no telling if I’ll be able to afford those listed here when they’re released. Of course, I could just go to the library but I’m a horrible library patron. I tend to highlight passages and forget to return what I borrow; or I’ll borrow a book and forget to read it. For me, it’s best I purchase my own reads since my library fee will probably be the same amount. So here are the books I’ll simply add to my Goodreads TBR list:

In Search of Lost Dragons

In Search of Lost Dragons by illustrators Elian Black’Mor and Carine-M (Dynamite Entertainment, February 2, 2015)

“On the trail of dragons forgotten, an intrepid illustrator and reporter journeys from Europe through the Middle East and finally to Saigon in search of the dark caverns and mountaintop perches where the elusive winged serpents dwell. With the gift of seeing the invisible, our explorer friend records each encounter in a journal of gorgeous, fully painted artwork, capturing every majestic and fearsome visual detail of the scaly behemoths, and accompanies his findings with snippets of local lore as evidence that these hidden beasts continue to shape the world in ways we may never expect!”

Okay, so this one I have to purchase somehow because—dragons! That’s all that was needed to draw me to this book but the trailer sold me. It’s awesome! I considered preordering a copy but whenever I preorder a book, my copy doesn’t arrive at the store until the day (or couple days) after the release. 😦 So I decided to wait instead. Two days to go!

Related YouTube video:

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Wishes for my TBR Pile: 5 Books I Want to Buy

I’m super excited because I came home to find two 20%-off coupons from Barnes & Noble waiting for me in the mail. I can’t wait for the weekend so I can get to shopping. The following are books I’m eager to add to my TBR list. I’ll be honest here and state that most likely these books will be bought and placed on my bookshelf, where it will sit and collect dust for a few months before I actually read them. But I am a book-lover, a bibliophile at heart, so I can’t pass up an opportunity to collect more books. Though I am on a book-buying ban, I shall lift it for the weekend because—coupons!! Possible purchases might include:

The World of Ice & Fire

The World of Ice & Fire: The Untold History of Westeros and the Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin (Bantam, Oct. 28, 2014)

“This lavishly illustrated volume is a comprehensive history of the Seven Kingdoms, providing vividly constructed accounts of the epic battles, bitter rivalries, and daring rebellions that lead to the events of A Song of Ice and Fire and HBO’s Game of Thrones. In a collaboration that’s been years in the making, Martin has teamed with Elio M. García, Jr., and Linda Antonsson, the founders of the renowned fan site Westeros.org—perhaps the only people who know this world almost as well as its visionary creator.”

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Mess is Where the Books Are

Daily Prompt: Sweeping Motions

What’s messier right now — your bedroom or you computer’s desktop (or your favorite device’s home screen)? Tell us how and why it got to that state.

It used to be my bedroom. Papers and books scattered across the floor like a second layer of carpeting with art supplies lining the walls but all that has been picked up and cleared away because of the attack of the silverfish. Now the messy place is my nightstand, where bills are thrown and forgotten.

Actually, it’s not a nightstand but a small office bookcase (too broke to buy a nightstand). The spillover from my bookcase is stocked on it as well as art supplies and a few electronics. On top, I have a lamp, alarm radio, batteries, medicine, Bible (of course), an exiled Nook Color, a few articles I’ve printed, an old purse, Our Daily Bread (a daily devotional), Christian Rudder’s Dataclysm (which I just completed), pens and highlighter, a bottled water, booklight, and a stack of bills I try hard to make invisible by the force of my mind.

I’ve tried tidying it but every time I succeed in doing so, it refills within a few days. Sometimes I wonder if my family contributes to the mess. It simple cannot be just me. The thing is my nightstand has become an easy place to throw things I’d rather not think about—bills—or to place things that I can quickly access from my bed—currently-reading books, medicine, Bible, and water, a bit in that order.

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The Odd Thing I Discovered Today: Book Scorpions

The pseudoscorpion Chelifer cancroides was nam...
The pseudoscorpion Chelifer cancroides was named Acarus cancroides in 1758. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This may come as no surprise to a few of you who read Bec Crew’s blog post on Scientific American’s website a few weeks ago but there is such a thing as book scorpions. Yes, you’ve read correctly: book scorpions. They are real, unfortunately.

I discovered their existence this morning while catching up on emails. I’m way behind. I’ve subscribed to one too many newsletters. I think it was while reading a newsletter from Shelf Awareness that I found a link directing me to Crew’s blog post. My morning was going great until then. One of my biggest book peeves is bugs that eat books and while I should love book scorpions since they feed on such pests, their appearance is not one I would be glad to see.

According to Crew, book scorpions, properly known as pseudoscorpions, are tiny insects that hunt booklice and dust mites that feed on the starch-based glue used to bind books. Like a scorpion, they have long, pincer-like claws protruding from their sides called pedipalps that are twice as long as their legs (I wonder if they ever get tired carrying those around). The one thing I found cool about these bugs is that their respiratory organs are called book lungs because they “look just like the warped pages of an old book.” They’re more bookish than me.

Book scorpions grow to about 4mm in length. They look a bit like bed bugs to me. When not hunting and feeding, book scorpions can be found engaging in a mating dance, prepping to create the next batch eewy-looking bugs. Crew provides a quick run-down of this mating exercise. Though helpful, I do not want to see these bugs scuttling about my bookshelves. As with the silverfish, I will war against them. And since I’m a bit paranoid after reading this article, I shall now proceed to cleaning my bookshelf and reinforcing it with book spray. (A link to Bec Crew’s article is below.)

 

Bookish Pet Peeves

So I’m sitting in my room lost in a daydream when I see an insect scamper across the wall. Shocked, I immediately jump out of bed and hunt him down. I had never seen an insect like that before and it prompted me to run a Google search. The more I discovered, the more pissed I became which led me to do this post on my bookish pet peeves.

  1. Bending the pages
    • I HATE when people do this to my books. I can hardly tolerate it when they do it to their own or to library books. Treat the books with some respect! Though, there is something charming about a well-worn book that is all bended, folded, scraped, and torn. A book that has been held in many hands and read in myriad places.from frabz
  2. Asking to borrow my books
    • Yes, I am one of those snobbish bibliophiles who hate to loan a book. I’ll even go so far as to purchase the book for you so you’ll leave mine alone (family members and close friends only). It’s selfish and silly but loaning books lead to bended covers, torn pages, and possible loss of the book since borrowers never seem to remember to RETURN what they borrow….speaking from experience on that last one. I refrain from borrowing books. I have a library card. I hardly use it. I’m one of those people who usually have an unnecessarily high library debt. Why? Because I forget. I can’t help it. It’s not intentional, I just do.
  3. Silverfish….and other book-eating bugs
    • The reason for this post. Unfortunately in this world there are insects who love to eat books and even more unfortunate is that my house is plagued with them. Where are they coming from? I don’t know. We recently moved and I guess they were here awaiting our arrival. I’ve seen them a few times at night, lurking in corners, crawling on walls, waiting for me to turn off the lights and go to sleep so they can attack my precious. These bugs are quick, little scampers. They are silvery-grey and have too many legs. They like warm, humid climes and love to feed on starch. They do not bite or spread any diseases and it seems that one could live peaceably with them if one does not mind many-legged insects crawling about the house but I’m not such a person. The mere sight of them is enough to rile me and have me running for the insect spray. So I’ve declared war on them. Prepare to be eliminated little fuckers!
  4. Soggy books
    • I had the misfortune of being caught in a deluge the other day. I was returning from a trip to New York and the sky was bright and sunny. No need to worry about a thunderstorm, I thought. A few minutes walking down the road proved me wrong. The sky quickly grayed and it suddenly began to rain as if the clouds were unable to hold their water once they appeared. Luckily, I had an umbrella but it was of little use! I was soaked within minutes. My suitcase was as well. I was dragging it behind me and it was filled with paperbacks given to me by my aunt. Once I got home and started to unpack, I saw that my books were all crinkled and soggy, the pages sticking together. I almost cried. They were new books. I just hate it when my books are ruined before I’ve had the chance to read them.book overload
  5. Unnecessary tomes
    • I’m thinking of Robert Jordan’s 13-book series (which I am nowhere near finishing). It’s too damn long for no good reason. I am on book five of the Wheel of Time series and I wonder if I will ever finish the books in this lifetime. I am not daunted by large books or long series. What turns me off is when a book is large because the author is stalling, or when chapters are filled with pointless internal dialogue or an overkill on landscape descriptions (all of which Jordan does). I am sure the books could have been condensed to a series that is half of its current amount.

Well, that’s it for my tirade. What are your bookish pet peeves?

Note on the featured image because it’s so cool. It’s a photograph taken by Cara Barer, a photographer based in Houston, Tex. She transforms damaged books into art and also does book-sculpting. I’m in love with her work. I guess it’s the only way I can tolerate a damaged book.

Confessions of a Book Whore

I Am a Book Whore

I’m such a book whore! Seriously, why can’t I just stick to one? No, instead I start reading one and then another catches my eye and then I’m off with that one too, reading them both at once. Sometimes I feel guilty because I tend to give more attention to one than the other – most times, to the second than the first. I wish I could settle down with just one book but whenever I try to do so, my mind wanders and I begin to wonder if there’s something better out there that I’m missing out on.

For the New Year, I decided to read 30 books. It’s a doable goal. Last year’s 60 books didn’t work out well and I only read 45 by pushing myself hard. “30 books” is more relaxed. So far I’ve read 5 books, which has surprised me because I didn’t expect to read that much in just a month. The month isn’t even over yet.

The first book read was The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky. I was so captivated by this book that it didn’t even cross my mind to consider running off with another. This book lassoed me and held fast. Most times I couldn’t even tear my eyes from the pages. Everything was done one-handed and with a quarter of my attention while I read, which caused many accidents to happen—especially in the kitchen—and shoddy clean-up jobs.

After completing The Perks of Being a Wallflower, I jumped into The Magician’s Guild by Trudi Canavan. This one is a bore. I’m still trying to make my way through it. The chemistry is simply not there and I kept wandering off so I began reading The Writing Life by Annie Dillard. Although Dillard’s book kept me interested, it was not enough to turn me from my whorish ways so I began reading A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula Le Guin.

I ran off with A Wizard of Earthsea and had a blissful affair. We were involved once when I was a teenager but then I forgot about it—it’s hard to keep up when you’ve been involved with so many books. But it was great hooking up again and rediscovering what we once had. I promise this time I will not forget. It was a good lay.

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