Books without batteries

Reading is one of my only constant obsessions so I know a thing or two about the magic of a book, I have a serious appreciation for a well researched and curated plot and of course, about reading an actual book and reading an e-book.

I purchased my first e reader about four years ago through Kalahari (I really wanted a Kindle but at the time couldn’t afford one and the Gobi that Kalahari stocked was reasonable and came with a free book voucher so I jumped on it). I was a little disappointed when it arrived because I expected more, nevertheless I read a few books on there, swopped between books and e-books and eventually it just lay there.

In December last year I decided I wanted a Kindle for Christmas because I battle to read books at night, without doing proper research and jumping the gun, I purchased a second hand Kindle in mint condition. I was disappointed in this too because a) I expected more and b) I needed a Kindle paper white (I think) because the one I got was no good for reading at night but rather for in the sun. Within a few days I re-sold the Kindle.

Since then I have been reading actual books and I purchased a bright desk lamp to use at night.

I have nothing against e readers and would like to buy a Kindle (the right one) one day, but I will never, ever, ever stop buying/borrowing books. There is just something I love about holding a new or used book in my hands. Of course, there is also the bookshop trips which I will never give up.

Every time I see a magazine closing down due to lack of sales and each time I see something go completely digital, I get a chill because I will literally cry if this happens with books. As much as I know there are thousands of books out there and that we will never be left with zero books, I am so afraid that authors and publishers decide to start going digital only – perhaps for the environment or because that’s what sells more. Does anyone else worry about this?

I vote for books without batteries!

Two months away

This morning I woke up with exactly two months to go until I become a Mrs, until I say my I do’s and till I change something that has been with me my whole life – my surname.

The planning of 2 May has seen me throw tantrums (well, not quite, but almost) it has had me depressed one minute and excited the next, it has made me want to just go to court or elope but most importantly it has taught me that there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that I am ready to be a wife and also that I have really chosen a partner who is a good fit.

I have spent so much time trying to get the day to be perfect that I haven’t taken any time to reflect and think about my future as a Mrs. Basically, my thoughts, my planning, my future has gone as far as 2 May 2015 and not any further.

All my effort, all my money, all my time has gone into the 2nd of May but then what?

I don’t want it to be an anti climax, I don’t want to put everything into one day and then feel a sense of purposefulness after the day has passed and it is “back to reality”.

So I have decided to take some time out to start planning mine and my husbands future, think about ways to keep things fun and alive, to be the best fiancé I can be and then the best wife I can be.

Of course, I want the beautiful day and I know that I wont have any regrets about the planning, time and money spent on my special day but seriously only once you are planning do you realize how much you want to impress other people rather than create a day for love and to what extents you would go to have one perfect day and not even think about the rest of the days.

I don’t quite know what the point of this blog post is, whether it is to tell you that a wedding is just one day so don’t make that your be all and end all, or whether it is just me acknowledging that I have been so materialistic the last few months (which I don’t want to be). It could  also be me admitting that I got so wrapped up in this that I didn’t care for much else until I had a wake up call.

But whichever way you take it, I hope you gained something from it

Where does the time go?

Today I feel confused, excited and scared.. It is the fiancés birthday and while it is exciting that I get to spend another birthday with him and I get to experience his growth and maturity, I also cannot believe that it is already time for another birthday.

I met him when he was 20, today he turns 28, so yes, that means 8 years together (almost) and it also means that he has basically gone from a young adult to an adult. The change in him is huge – not only appearance but in all aspects. This is exciting, we have gotten to share so much together and still will experience a lot (because we tie the knot very soon).

The confusion and fear sets in when I realize that it has already been 8 years, but it feels like yesterday. He is another year older and I too will be another year older soon. Time has just run away with us, and as much as we have achieved and accomplished on our own and as a couple in these 8 years, I still feel shell shocked and overwhelmed because I really and truly only realized now how quickly time goes.

Shit is getting real – marriage, talk of kids and a bigger home (not that I want to do it with anyone else) but because time is just going so quickly. I barely feel like I have a chance to make these big decisions because it’s like now or never. Time is not waiting for us.

Am I the only one at 25 feeling like this? I don’t want time to move so quickly because I want more time to do things, more time to spend with him, more time to make decisions.

Naturally, the first solution that came to my mind is the old clichés – that I must use time wisely and make every moment count, stop wishing time away, etc. They may be cliché but they are the absolute truth so here is me, starting my cliché little timesaving life.

Let’s talk about Fifty Shades

I still haven’t seen the movie. I have read the books. I have also seen so many letters to women going around now that the movie is out – urging us not to watch the movie, telling us to think about the psychological side of this book/movie, advising us that this is abuse.

The concern is valid because this is the first book of its nature to go mainstream and it changed things, it gave more authors the guts to write about this topic, it created interest about “the lifestyle” and it has basically opened a whole can of worms which many don’t want to eat.

My argument is this; firstly, Fifty Shades is fiction and I am pretty sure we all know not to take fiction too seriously. Yes, the book is based on things that actually happen and what people actually do in their “relationships” but this book was never meant to be a life guide. There was no gun held to anyone’s head telling them to read it or that if they do, they must live that type of lifestyle.

The reason this book is so hyped and popular is because of the story beyond the “rough” sex scenes and abuse. Women love this book because they love the idea of someone loving them enough to change, to let them in. Women don’t literally want a Christian Grey (most of us would be petrified) but women do want cheesy romance, they wouldn’t mind a hugely successful and attractive man who basically falls for them instantly and is willing to do just about anything for them.
I enjoyed the story but that doesn’t mean I want it to be my story and I know many will agree with this statement.

I don’t feel like the book has made abuse acceptable. It also has not convinced someone to choose this lifestyle. If anyone wants to walk that path – they had it in them and would have eventually walked it with or without Fifty Shades. This lifestyle is something that many choose and enjoy and yes a lot of you will think that they have some psychological problems but who are we to judge?

I am in no way trying to defend the book or my reasoning for reading the book but I really don’t think women are so gullible that they are actually going to change or live their life according to the book? But maybe I am gullible for thinking that….

If you can remember a few years ago, every woman wanted to be Bella – every woman wanted to have two hot guys fighting over her. Edward Cullen was everything! People obsessed about Twilight but they didn’t go around biting each others neck did they? Twilight, just like Fifty Shades was fiction, it gave us a new story to love, new characters to envy, but not for the reasons all the anti’s think. Some people get overly engrossed and obsessed with novels yes, but that is not an authors fault.

Naturally I wouldn’t want my daughter (if I had one) to read this book and think that the way Christian treated Ana was at all acceptable but the way to teach young and even older women this, is not by trashing an authors work or even by trying to hide it. It is by educating each other. The fact that this book has brought the lifestyle into the open could be a good thing because it is educating.

I would love to hear your thoughts on the topic because it is highly debatable. Don’t attack me for my opinion, let’s play nice and each have a say.

A reason

I am a firm believer in “everything happens for a reason”. Sometimes I don’t understand the reason or I get angry at the reason but I know that somehow the universe and the higher power is looking out for me.

Last night was an example of this…

My friend, mom in law and I were meant to watch Fifty Shades of Grey, of course, I was super excited to spend time with them and watch the movie BUT the universe wasn’t as excited about this…

Firstly, the logistics were an issue – we all stay in different areas but I don’t have a car, so I needed to somehow get there and nobody wanted to drive alone because the movie started at 8 so would finish late and who wants to drive home late at night by yourself. Nevertheless, we sorted out logistics last minute.

My friend and I were going together but before we left she offered to pick my mom in law up, which she declined because she wasn’t ready.

We arrived at Galleria and had a problem with parking.

We then went to get our tickets from the self service machine and none of them would accept the card, eventually one of them did and it said “printing” but nothing came out. We had to go to the cashier and get her help but she couldn’t help us and had to call a manager.

We were standing in line waiting to get our popcorn and I received a message from my mom in law (who still hadn’t arrived) saying she had been in an accident.

She is fine, the car is quite wrecked but we are grateful that she is fine!

Basically, my friend and I left to go and be with her and on the way we agreed that it wasn’t meant to be that we watch the movie. Everything was against us and sometimes when you don’t listen the first time, you will get reminders.

I don’t know what possibly could have happened if we didn’t follow our gut at that point, but I woke up fine today and for that, I can thank the universe, my gut and my God.

We may never know the reason we weren’t meant to stay and watch the movie, we also may never know the reason my mom in law had to suffer the trauma of an accident but I do know that we are all okay today and for that I am grateful.

Trust your gut, obey that niggly feeling, go with your instincts and keep you ears and eyes open to the messages you are being sent.

Book awards anyone?

So you know how everybody goes gaga over the Grammy’s and a big deal is made about the Emmy’s, why is there not a book version of this?

A hyped up, talked about event for books (technically authors). Authors work hard to create their characters, their settings, their plots and twists. It is not easy keeping a person engaged for a whole three hundred or so pages, so authors that can do this, deserve an award.

Authors are just as artistic and creative as singers or actors (if not more) so why don’t they get the big red carpet recognition, in the form of the award shows we are used to? Yes, yes, you get the book to film adaptations which sometimes get widely acknowledged but it is not the same thing….

Best female/male character

Best plot development

Best plot twist

Books that brought out all the emotions

Most likeable/relatable character

Most memorable chapter

Get where I am going with this? Why is this not a thing?

Besides the fact that amazing writers will get recognition, the hype created around it and all the talk about books will have people intrigued, people would perhaps read more.

It is a win-win situation so like, why are we still waiting for this to happen?

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Book review: How to be Normal by Guy Browning

About the book: 
Normal people are extremely unusual. Think of all the people you know and ask yourself how many are normal. None of them! In fact you’re probably the most normal of the lot and, let’s face it, even you’re not that normal.
 
All normal people believe they are a little bit different, a little bit unique and a little bit special. On the other hand no one wants to be abnormal, so it’s a fine line to tread. Happily, this brilliantly funny book shows everyone exactly how to be uniquely normally normal.
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What is normal? Do you want to be normal or do you not? These are questions that Guy Browning addresses in this hilarious book. He tackles all the thoughts and situations we find ourselves in, those that we can relate to and makes sense of them in a humerous and rather helpful way.

I enjoyed this book so much and constantly have it next to my bed and will just open it on a certain page and start reading because it isn’t something that needs to be read in order – it is just there as a helping hand when life is being difficult. It is also a pocket size hardcover so sometimes I just pop it in my bag because honestly I can read it over and over again.

Life through Guy’s eyes is simple really, he takes the complicated thoughts and ways we have and makes them simple. His thoughts are so interesting and unusual to me, yet they make so much sense so I find myself wondering why they are so unusual to me because it is so simple really.

Here are a few quotes and snippets from the book – if ever there was a “self help” book you should read, its this one.

“Everyone wants a nice cup of tea, but virtually no one wants nice sex”.

“In the fifties people used to aspire to nice things. With inflation, niceness is worth almost nothing and people now want incredible, sensational or awesome thing. Enjoyment has been supersized.

“Moderation can be very dangerous, especially when you’re trying to do something difficult and extreme. For example bungee jumping off the kitchen table is likely to be far more dangerous than doing it off Humber bridge”

“Humans are the only species that smiles. Other animals may smile but it’s probably behind our backs. A smile is the sunroof of the head (although in a slightly different position). It lets the sunshine in your soul pour through for a moment until you revert to normal overcast conditions.”

“Saying that someone is simple is a little bit insulting, whereas it should be the highest compliment. It’s very simple to make things difficult and very difficult to make things simple. Things generally start simple, get difficult and then become simple again. The middle bit is where you learn the value of simplicity and try to regain it.”

Happiness is like a scooter; once you’re up and running, you can just scoot along. It’s getting up in the first place that’s the tricky bit.”

That is all I am going to share but as you can see, there are some serious words of wisdom in this book.

Available from Kalahari here