Bookworm Quirks: Favorite Bookish Memories

Many bookworms have memories and sentiment tied to their love of books. Just like it’s difficult to pick one favorite book, it’s hard to pick one favorite memory. Here are a few of my top bookish moments.

Dressing up with Sis for Halloween

Halloween 2014

I never really got to celebrate Halloween as a kid, so dressing up as book characters for the bookstore was so much fun. Sis and I discussed our costumes, I made her antlers and muffin, and I got to remember how much I love the name Liesel. I hope we get to this again soon!

NTTBF

NTTBF 2016

One of the (many) reasons we love books so much is that they remind us that we are not alone. Three years ago, Irving Public Library hosted the first North Texas Teen Book Festival. There was no one else I could go with other than the woman who inspired my love of reading: my sister, Mandy. We got to see some of our favorite YA authors speak in panels, get books signed, and bask in a shared love of reading. We also befriended the world’s best publisher rep, Mary from Simon and Schuster. It was just a day for bookworms to enjoy being bookworms, and I loved the whole day.

Wizard’s Ball

Wizard Ball

My first year at Tarleton, I joined the Quidditch team, purely as a nonathletic member. One of our biggest projects was to start an annual ball for Potterheads, and to give them a reason to dress up and have fun. We had the first one in the spring, so we called it the Wizard’s Ball rather than Yule, but it was still so fun. Because it was near the passing of Alan Rickman, we had donated a portion of the proceeds to pancreatic cancer research. Pictured here (L to R) is my best friend Katie, who came into town for the night, me, and the Tarleton Quidditch president, Bertie. We had fun in the photo booth, shooting nerf guns at Umbridge targets, and dancing to wizard rock. It was such a great night that let us celebrate our love of this life-changing series.

WWoHP

WWoHP

On the greatest spring break trip ever, my sister and I ¬†visited my dad and we all made our way to Florida to see Universal Studios and The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. This was before the expansion, but it was so phenomenal and perfect. We had butterbeer, rode the rides (FORBIDDEN JOURNEY IS THE ABSOLUTE COOLEST), picked wands, and sent mail from the Hogsmeade Post. There’s something life-altering about walking into a place that you have imagined since you were a child, and I wouldn’t give up these memories for anything. While there was a lot that we didn’t get to, I had so much fun and I’m hoping for a second visit soon.

Collecting words and quotes

Quote Box
(A tutorial for this box is available here.)

A couple of years ago I started a quote box inspired by one of my favorite bookstagrammers, Ursula Uriarte. I bought a plain box and fun journaling card and got to work. I try to add a favorite quote or two from every book I read, but I am very behind. I’ve collected words since the 4th grade, and this is one way that keeps them feeling a bit more personal than a Pinterest board. Now they’re in a book-shaped box rather than the one pictured, but I can’t wait to see how full it gets as I continue my bookish journey.

Being published

Anthology

Last year I was published in Anthology, a collection of work from Tarleton students. It wasn’t the first time I was published, though. That happened my sophomore year of high school when a six-word memoir of mine was picked for one of their books. This felt much more official, though. There was a reception at the school and my parents both came and took me to lunch to mark the occasion. It felt really great to be acknowledged for my writing, and I decided to take a creative writing course the following semester. I also just found out I’ll be published in the anthology again this year!

Running the bookstore

Bookstore Days

As you probably know, I ran my sister’s bookstore for about a year before she sold it. It was so much fun and will always be one of my favorite jobs to date. There was a bakery next door, so I could pop over for treats whenever it was slow, and I was paid to read books and be around them all day! It’s almost every bookworm’s dream job, and I hope to get back into the book industry at some point.

Reading the Hunger Games series

Catching Fire Premiere

One of the sadder parts of Harry Potter being part of my childhood was the fact that I was a child. Even if I had friends that enjoyed the books as much as I did, we couldn’t exactly go off on adventures and outings without adults. But Hunger Games was another story. I read the first book because my friend Holly lent me her copy, and I had a vacation coming up that gave me the time (this is the same spring break during which I went to WWoHP). My sister was also reastarting the series, but she had all three. So we read together, and I still remember frantically reading the last book on the drive back to her house because she wasn’t going to let me leave with it. I ended up sitting on her couple for a couple of hours until I was a crying mess, and then I was allowed to leave. Haha. From there, I had to attend every movie premiere possible. Above is the midnight premiere for Catching Fire, and we all dressed up for the occasion. Katie makes another appearance, dressed as fire (red shoes, orange shirt, yellow scarf, and grey cardigan for smoke). What you can’t see is the flame barrette I made for her, and the bread one in my hair. You might be wondering why my mouth is full, and that’s because I took my role as Peeta very seriously, sneaking in a loaf of french bread and jar of nutella to tide me over until the movie started. Also pictured is Blair and Taylor, our two favorite fellow nerds! They are a huge part of my college nerd memories, and I miss hanging out with them so much! #WolfPackReunion

Getting sucked back into books

Book Love

One of the best things about working at the bookstore was that I had time and motivation to read more often. I was surrounded by one of my favorite things, and paid to engage in that interest! I brought my TBR with me and worked through it so much faster than the years before. I discussed plots and authors with customers. It was so refreshing! I’ll always miss that little bookish haven.

Getting my bookcases

Bookshelves

One of the best things about having my own place was that I got to arrange the entire apartment around how I wanted to display my books. I found these perfect grey wood shelves at Walmart and waited for them to come back into stock for the longest time. When they arrived, I moved and arranged and played with the layout for weeks. I’m never going to be done messing with my shelves, and can’t wait to have a need for more.

Sound off in the comments: What are your favorite bookish memories? Who or what got you into reading? Do you dress up as characters for Halloween? Let me know!

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Top Ten Tuesday: Couples I Don’t Ship

Top Ten Tuesday

As always, T10T is hosted by the cool cats over at The Broke and The Bookish!

This is a freebie week, and since I’ve been seeing a lot of these on tumblr lately, I thought I’d talk about the couples I don’t really see as being good together. DISCLAIMER: Ship whatever you want! There is no ship hate here. Just my preference. Also, feel free to make your arguments in the comments; I’ve come around to a few couples just from exposure and people convincing me there’s some good reasoning behind them (I’m looking at you, Dramione).

Agatha and Tedros

Typically, I love couples that start out hating each other. And maybe this would change if I was going to finish the series. But I don’t feel any inclination to do so and so this couple will never hit just right for me. Part of it is because I think the whole concept of the book is flawed (Seriously, Sophie acted JUST LIKE all the other princesses, but somehow she’s the only evil one? Whatever.) and without some serious fine-tuning, I’m not going to be okay with any aspect of it, especially the main couple that seems thrown together for the sake of a (predictable) twist.

America and Aspen

Wow, I hate Aspen SO MUCH. I don’t see how he can claim to love America so completely and still think that this independent woman should be dependent on him. WTF?! Not an ounce of me ships it and never will. I hate him so much.

Charlotte and Mr. Collins

No one can tell me that Mary and Mr. Collins were not made for each other! They would be simpering and high and mighty together! Charlotte deserved so much more than a marriage of convenience and so did Mr. Collins. I think Darcy should have let Lizzie hook up Charlotte and Colonel Fitzwilliam because they are both so practical yet fun and then Lizzie and Charlotte could hang out all the time with Jane and the fearsome threesome would never have to part. But maybe that’s just me.

Draco and Astoria

Draco, my dearest, why must you continue to suffer at the hands of an author that does nothing but use you as a vent for her bitterness? I’ll get into this with Neville in a little bit as well, but JKR seems to just throw people together at the end just to tie up loose ends with absolutely no history. As someone that stays in the potter world and says all the time how she loves and owes everything to her fans, she sure loves to skimp on the things she knows we want. Astoria is NEVER mentioned in the books, only a couple name drops of her older sister Daphne. But we’re supposed to be content because at least Draco is married. But was the marriage arranged? Does he actually love her? Is she good for him? Does she inspire him to be a better person? Are they good parents? Was Scorpius planned? Or just conceived so there was a Malfoy heir? Is it a loveless marriage or a joyful, loving one? I HAVE SO MANY QUESTIONS and she’ll never answer them because she hates Draco and his fans.

Gatsby and Daisy

Oh, Gatsby. Oh, Daisy. I feel like this is the more contemporary version of the high school freshman that thinks Romeo and Juliet is a perfect love story with no irony or satire or anything. An amazing story, of course. But Gatsby puts Daisy on an impossible pedestal that no one can live up to, let alone a woman as smart as Daisy (seriously, how can anyone read the beautiful fool quote and NOT think that Daisy is totally aware of her position and how precarious it is?! She’s the Sansa Stark of the 1920’s). While I wish Daisy had divorced Tom and taken her child away to a life of independence, it just wasn’t realistic for the time period and it would only work out because it’s a work of fiction.

Josh and Rashmi

Obviously, this couple doesn’t last. But man, did anyone expect them to stay together? Is sex the only reason they hooked up in the first place? Terrible pairing. Just terrible.

Minuette and Will

Minuette and Dominic forever! William, though I love him, is a spoiled king that can’t imagine someone not loving him. Even though that’s exactly the case. Silly Will. Though also, stupid Min for not being honest that second and saving everyone a loooooot of heartache.

Neville and Hannah

Same as Draco and Astoria above. Just slapped together. WTF, JKR?!

Neville and Luna

Part of this is due to my absolute love of Neville and absolute hate of Luna, but this is the dumbest coupling ever. Neville has always wanted to just fit in and have the respect of his peers and Luna doesn’t care AT ALL (pretty much her only redeemable quality, imho). She would think he’s ridiculous and he would be embarrassed all the time by her. Friends, totally! I love that! But as a couple, bells no.

Peter and Wendy

Wendy is like many little girls in that she wants adventure, but she also wants it to be tied up neatly in the end with a wedding dress and happily ever after…which is the exact opposite of what makes Peter who he is. Never gonna work out, friends only, no thanks.

What couples do you think wouldn’t work together? Do we have any in common? Is one of your OTP’s on this list? What are your reasons for either? Let me know in the comments!

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Bookworm Quirks: My Dream Library

This is my new feature, Bookworm Quirks. This week is about your dream library. If you’d like to join in on the fun, either leave a comment with the link to your post or email me at bookybunny@gmail.com and I’ll add the link to end the of this post. Thanks for reading!

I think all bookworms have a dream library. If you grew up watching Beauty and the Beast, it might be that gorgeous room that the Beast shows Belle and takes her breath away.


(swoon)

It could be the Hogwarts library or Flourish and Blotts.

Mine is twice as big as it probably needs to be. It’s a mirror image of itself (itself? or itshelf? Get it? Ha). It has the exact same books on either side, but one half only has clean copies, and the other has notes written in the margins, highlighted and underlined passages, dog-eared pages, tabs, post-it notes, everything. In the start of these shelves, I’ll have a little area with all the note taking accessories a bookworm could want, like a mini office supply. There will be seating in hidden nooks and crannies, and at the front will be a stereo so I can listen to whatever music matches my book, as well as a snack/coffee bar. Of course, there will be tables and outlets everywhere so I can write and work in there.

When I start a family, my kids will pick out a favorite place to read. Every month, they’ll find a new book off of their wishlist waiting for them on the little table next to their comfy chairs, all wrapped in brown paper and string. I want to have all the popular books so that they can read whatever they want at a moment’s notice. From Magic Tree House and Junie B. Jones to John Green and Rainbow Rowell, I want to have everything on hand.

As you can tell, I think about my library quite a lot. It’s my happy place, and I can’t wait to bring it from dreamland to reality. Tell me about your dream library. Is it filled with antique books and first editions? Does it have a mini-Starbucks in the corner? Sound off in the comments!

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Bookworm Quirks: How Harry Potter Ruined Me for Other Fantasies, or, What the English Language and The Wizarding World Have in Common

This is the first in my new feature, Bookworm Quirks. This week is how a book has ruined a genre for you. If you’d like to join in on the fun, either leave a comment with the link to your post or email me at bookybunny@gmail.com and I’ll add the link to end the of this post. Thanks for reading!

As anyone that has ever met me can tell you, I love the English language. I’m wonderful at spelling, I love learning all the little tricks and complexities of grammar, and I try to avoid ending a written sentence with a preposition at all costs. Though sometimes I don’t realize I’m about to. ūüėČ

Because of this, I’m really terrible at other languages. I’ve delved so deeply into English that the thought of starting over in another language just exhausts me. Nothing sticks and everything sucks (especially my accent). Though I’m about to start learning to sign, I’ve never had any luck with a language besides English, no matter how much I want to learn.

This is exactly my relationship with Harry Potter. I love the Wizarding World. I love all the little hidden gems JKR has left for fans, I love the intricate back-stories of all the characters, I love finding out new canons for every little facet of the realm. My boyfriend jokes that when it comes to Harry Potter, I can truly say that I’ve forgotten more than most people ever know. And because of that, other modern fantasy books just don’t excite me.

Draco Reading Something Odd

Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against the genre and I still really like some other books in it, such as Percy Jackson. But the problem is that my childhood, like many others my age, was and is defined by those seven magical books and all works inspired by them. I’ll never know another character as deeply as I know Draco Malfoy, or long to give pep talks to a different outsider like Neville Longbottom, or idolize someone as much of a BAMF as Hermione Freakin’ Granger.

What I’m wondering, dear readers, is this: Has a book/series had this kind of an effect on you? Did you overcome it? How?! Let me know, friends. Your girl needs some help.

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Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Book Boyfriends

As always, the Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the lovely ladies over at the Broke and the Bookish.

Ugh. Has there ever been a more relatable TTT topic? I don’t think so. We all have the fictional characters we would love to date, no matter our real life relationship status. We all probably have a few in common. YA fiction has some of the dreamiest guys in literature, and if they came to life, the world would be a much more wonderful place. Alas, we’re left with hopes and dreams that can only be filled by imagined nerds, jocks, and magical folk alike. Which leads me to my number one daydream dalliance:

1. Draco Malfoy (Harry Potter by J.K.Rowling)

Draco Reading Something Odd

Forever my favorite character in all of literature, Draco has always struck me as a boy with such a capacity to love but never had the chance to show that side of him. We all know how fiercely he loved and tried to protect his family, even trying to kill in order to keep his parents safe. Can you imagine if you were in his heart as well? You’d get to enjoy his snarky comments, go to fancy events, and show him all that he is capable of doing! Who knows, maybe if JKR was nice to Draco for one second and gave him a love interest, the series could have gone a totally different direction! But I guess that’s out of character for her, so I shouldn’t push the issue. (I’m not bitter, I promise. -eye roll-)

2. Neville Longbottom (Harry Potter by J.K.Rowling)

You and Whose Army

UGH. Speaking of characters deserving of love. I’m going to have at least one more HP character on this list, so get used to it. But Neville? Come on! This guy is arguably the best, most noble character in the series. While Harry spent 7 books and 8 movies telling people that he has to do this on his own and arguing with everyone that actually had an ounce of common sense, Neville knew he couldn’t do it on his own and lead Dumbledore’s Army after Harry left. He was so much more than he was taught to believe! He was talented, smart, brave, loving! I just love him so much.

3. Ronald Weasley (Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling)

Smirk

Obviously, this is only if Hermione wasn’t in the picture (#OTP). But do we really want to live in a world where Hogwarts and magic exist, but Hermione doesn’t? I don’t think so. Anyways, Ron is so funny and sweet and completely adorable. He’s kind of shy when it comes to romance (unless you’re Lavender Brown) and he’s always been close to my heart.

4. Etienne St. Clair (Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins)

Messy Hair and Shirtless
(
I chose a young Gaspard Ulliel for my Etienne. Can’t you see it?!)

Seriously, do I need to go into detail about why Etienne is so wonderful? Okay, I will. I’ll write a whole book about it. I’ll call it¬†Anna and the French Kiss¬†and I’ll use the pen name Stephanie Perkins.

5. Cricket Bell (Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins)

Alfie Enoch
(
Alfie Enoch, duh.)

Same with Cricket, the boy engineering genius that’s too tall and gangly for his own good. But I’ll call this¬†Lola and the Boy Next Door.

6. Dominic (The Boleyn King by Laura Anderson)

Bash
(Torrance Combs will forever have my heart as Bash. Not that creepy as all get out Thomas Culpepper.)

Dominic. Oh, how I love him. He’s just so good. He’s the voice of reason to the Holy Quartet and so so sweet to Minette. Oh, Dominic, let me be your star?

7. Brian (My Life Undecided by Jessica Brody)


(I have to go with Jonathan Taylor Thomas. He’s the best cute nerd ever.)

Brian was SO CUTE. And so funny and sweet and realistic. I swear, I’ve known Brians all my life and have loved them all.

8. Fitzwilliam Darcy (Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen)

Mr. Darcy

I’m not even going to elaborate on this at all. If you need reasons, you need to rewatch and reread every Pride and Prejudice thing out there until your head is on straight.

9. Mr. Bingley (Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen)

Charles Bingley

Charles Bingley, Darcy’s adorable and awkward bestie, is all kinds of my dream guy. I just need him in my life asap, okay?

10. Levi (Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell)

Bradley James
(Bradley James is the perfect amount of adorable for Levi)

Leviiii. I would curl up in a bed and read to him for the rest of our perfect lives. Reading aloud in exchange for flavored lattes is only my dream relationship.

Do we have any in common? Let me know!

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