REVIEW: Page Anchor – Is It Worth It?

Page Anchor Review-- The riverside Library

The one question I get most of all from my followers on Instagram is: 'Do you actually use your Page Anchor?' So, today I'm coming at you with my ling awaited Page Anchor review. I'm about to give you the brutally honest truth (which I can say because they totally unfollowed me on Instagram 😉🤣 )

Also, big shout out to my big sister for getting me my Page Anchor! Thanks a million.

Now, let's dive right into my Page Anchor review.

What is a Page Anchor?

A Page Anchor is a gorgeous looking bookish accessory designed to hold your book open while you read (or take photographs).

How Do You Use It?

The Page Anchor is simple to use. You slot the two pins between the pages of your novel, and slide the anchor down. When it's time to turn the page, you push the anchor up (not the whole way so it falls out), turn the page, and side it back down again. Does that get annoying? Sure, sometimes it does.

How Often Do I Use It?

I use my Page Anchor whenever I'm writing in my diary or reading a tightly bound book (i.e. my Knickerbocker Sherlock Holmes books). I generally don't reach for my Page Anchor for any ordinary book because I don't have an issue holding it open. I try to buy floppy books that will lie flat in my hand or on my bed, so I don't have to struggle to hold them.

Would I Recommend It?

Sure! As I mentioned above, the Page Anchor is a great accessory, so if you have the spare money and want one, definitely go for it! However, it's by no means a necessity for reading, nor does it elevate your status in the bookstagram community (as I've seen a few people theorise). It's simply a great way to hold your book open, and a very pretty accessory to have.

You can get your own Page Anchor here + see a video of how it works.

Page Anchor Review 2 -- The Riverside Library

100+ Bookstagram Hashtags by Post Type

It's probably no surprise that one of my most popular blog posts to date is 100+ Bookstagram Hashtags. Having posted that one quite some time ago, I've had a while to consider how to improve it, and help you readers out some more with your hashtag game on bookstagram. In this post, I've grouped hashtags by post type (ie. bookshelves, library loans etc), and included some new, specific hashtags for you to use.

A Little Bookstagram Hashtag Tip

One of the best tips I've ever received is to save my hashtags as a keyboard shortcut in my phone. To do this on an iPhone, simply go to settings > general > keyboard >text replacement then paste the hashtags in 'phrase' and create a unique shortcut. Then, when it comes time to posting your Instagram photo, you can simply type in your unique shortcut and your phone will replace that with your hashtags!

Quick things to remember: Instagram will only allow you to use up to 30 hashtags per post. Also, I've tried my best to proof read this (and count), but forgive me if there are spelling errors. It really hurts your head to stare at hashtags for so long!


General Bookish

All General (28)

#photooftheday #bookstagram #bookworm #booklover #instabooks #bibliophile #bookish #booknerd #literature #bookaholic #reader #igreads #bookphotography #bookstagrammer #instabook #booksofinstagram #bookporn #ilovebooks #readersofinstagram #bookworms #booksbooksbooks #bookcommunity #readmore #bookobsessed #booksarelife #totalbooknerd #bookaddiction #readmorebooks

Half general (so you can mix it up with more specific ones) (15)

#readersofig #bookreader #bookaddicted #bookalicious #bookishgirl #bookish life #bookaholics #bookster #allthebooks #fortheloveofreading #bibliophilia #bookaccount #bookaddict #bookstagramit


For when you’re reading (28)

#amreading #currentlyreading #readersofinstagram #readingtime #ilovereading #lovereading #lovetoread #readingisfundamental #readmorebooks #ilovetoread #readersofig #bookrecommendation #lovetoreadbooks #bookreaders #readaholic #idratherbereading #readreadread #readingrocks #readallthebooks #fortheloveofreading #readstagram #bookreading #avidreader #readingiscool #readeveryday #readingtime #bookstoread #readingislife


When you’re showing your library love (23)

#library #libraryloans #librarylover #libraryporn #librarylove #publiclibrary #loveyourlibrary #publiclibraries #borrowedbooks #librariesrock #libraryphotography #librariesofinstagram #librarybook #librarygirl #libraryofinstagram #librarybooks #librarygram #libraryshelfie #libraryhaul #librarycard #librarygoals #libraryofbookstagram #librarytime


Shot of a bookshelf (30)

#bookshelf #shelfie #shelfiesunday #shelfies #shelfielicious #shelfiesaturday #shelfiegoals #shelfiedecor #shelfiestyling #shelfielovethursday #shelfielove #shelfielust #shelfietime #shelfieinspo #shelfiemagazine #shelfieday #shelfiestyle #shelfiefreak #shelfiemonday #shelfieselfie #shelfiesnotselfies #shelfiequeen #shelfielife #bookshelves #bookshelfstyling #bookshelfie #bookshelfporn #bookshelfgoals #bookshelflove


Bookstagram Features (27)

(If you're trying to get reposted by a feature account, check their bio first for instructions, and make sure you're following them. I've always found I have better success by tagging them in my photo, rather than simply using their hashtag).

#bookstagramfeatures #bookstagramfeature #bookstagramfeaturepage #bookstagramfeaturess #bookfeatured #bookfeaturepage #bookfeatures #bookfeaturereads #bookwormsfeature #mybookfeatures #bookishfeatures #bookfeaturefriday #booknerdfeature #bookfeaturespage #bookstafeatures #booksofinstagramfeature #bookfeaturefeed #bookwormfeatire #wildbookishfeature #mybookishfeatures #bookfeaturepages #bookfeaturedpage #featuremybooks #mybooksfeature #featuredbooklovers


Book Blog (17)

#bookblog #bookblogger #bookblogging #bookbloggers #bookbloggerlife #bookbloggersofig #bookblogs #bookbloggersofinstagram #bookbloggerbooks #bookbloggerpost #bookbloggerslife #bookbloggteam #bookbloggersunite #bookreviewblog #bookblogginglife #bookstagramblogger #bookblogfeatures


Book Haul/ Book Mail (16)

#bookhaul #bookmail #newbooks #bookaddict #ilovebookmail #bookmailisthebestmail #happybookmail #bookishmail #bookmailisthebest #snailmailbook #surprosebookmail #bookmailbox #booksbymail #newbookmail #bookhauls #bookhauler


Book stack (9)

#bookstack #bookstacks #bookstacksaturday #bookstackchallenge #bookstacksunday #bookstacking #bookstackattack #stacksofbooks #stacksofbookslife


Fantasy (8)

#fantasybooks #fantasybook  #fantasybookseries #fantasybooklover #fantasybooksrus #fantasybookcollector #fantasybookworm #amreadingfantasy


YA (7)

#iloveya #ireadya #yabooks #yabookstagram #yabookseries #yabookstagrammer #yabookworm

Don’t forget to include what YA subgenre your book is #yafantasy #yacontemporary #yaromance #yascifi


Romance (7)

#ireadromance #romancebook #romancebooks #readromance #gottareadromance #romancereaders #amreadingromance


So there you have it! Don't forget to check out my Instagram @riversidelibrary, and drop me a comment or send me a DM if this helped you! I love to chat!

 


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REVIEW: The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary

Of all the books I’ve come across in recent years, The Flatshare would have to have one of the most interesting premises. I was incredibly lucky to receive a review copy from Hachette Australia, and (this may just spoil the whole review for you) it was the complete highlight of my month.

The Flatshare follows Tiffy and Leon – two strangers who share a bed. How? While Leon works nights, Tiffy sleeps, and vice versa. It’s perfect – and they never have to meet. But what if that one person who you never meet, is actually someone you should? That’s the exact question The Flatshare asks.

If you’re a regular reader of my blog, you’ll know that contemporaries are definitely a genre I try to stay away from, although, you’ll also know I like to challenge my reading tastes. It was that particular hobby and the unique premise of this book that inspired me to pick this one up. Once I did, trust me, there was no putting it down and I may have already read it twice.

What I liked

This book is sunshine. Complete and utter sunshine. There were so many things that I loved about the book, so I'll have to narrow it down to just a few for brevity's sake.

I adored both of our lead characters. Tiffy and Leon both had flaws but they weren’t painted in a negative light, in fact, I'd be more inclined to call them quirks instead of flaws. The Flatshare makes you love these characters even when Leon would be incredibly difficult to crack in real life, and Tiffy might be too much to handle. I felt like this book had some kind of gentle magic that made me love these two real, quirky, and flawed characters.

Another thing I appreciated for a heartwarming contemporary was that The Flatshare didn’t shy away from difficult subject matters. Seeing Tiffy’s journey throughout the book was not something I expected, but it honestly made the book so much more enjoyable for me. This was a classic case of something I never knew I needed until it was in my hands, going into my brain. It also added an element of unpredictability for me, possibly because I wasn't expecting the storyline, there were elements in there that really took me by surprise.

What I didn’t like

It feels so strange trying to talk about something I didn't like in a book where I genuinely enjoyed everything.

If I had to pick out one thing that might turn readers away, it would be that Leon’s POV writing took a little to get used to. Coming from a science background, I was kind of used to the succinct, to the point sentences. I also absolutely adored how the writing style subtly changed as the book went on and Leon found himself in a different place emotionally.

You know it's a truly special book when my 'What I Didn't Like' section turns into talking about more things I adored.

My favourite thing

Can I just say everything? I genuinely adore this book, and I think I may have said that enough now to get my point across. I even bought the eBook, so when I'm travelling I will always have a copy (read: ray of sunshine) with me. I can't urge you enough to go out and get yourself a copy, and also, please, take a leaf out of Tiffy's book, and go about life being unapologetically yourself.

Mikaela | The Riverside Library

Book details:

Title: The Flatshare
Author: Beth O'Leary
Australian Publisher: Hachette
Australian Publication Date: May 2019
RRP: AU$32.99

Blurb:

Tiffy and Leon share a flat
Tiffy and Leon share a bed
Tiffy and Leon have never met...

Tiffy Moore needs a cheap flat, and fast. Leon Twomey works nights and needs cash. Their friends think they're crazy, but it's the perfect solution: Leon occupies the one-bed flat while Tiffy's at work in the day, and she has the run of the place the rest of the time.

But with obsessive ex-boyfriends, demanding clients at work, wrongly-imprisoned brothers and, of course, the fact that they still haven't met yet, they're about to discover that if you want the perfect home you need to throw the rulebook out the window...

 


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The Flatshare -- The Riverside Library

How I Manage My Book Buying Budget

How I Manage my Book Budget -- The Riverside Library

Every time I go to an Airbnb and there’s a bookshelf, I spend an exorbitant amount of time perusing them. This is in part, because the only bookshelf I ever really get to see is my own. When I stand there looking over the creased spines, reading the titles I’m always reminded of that John Waters quote. You know the one, “If you go home with somebody and they don’t have books, don’t *ahem* them.”

After a little perusing the internet, I found a full version, which I do prefer: “We need to make books cool again. If you go home with somebody and they don’t have books, don’t f*** them. Don’t let them explore you until they’ve explored the secret universes of books. Don’t let them connect with you until they’ve walked between the lines on the pages. Books are cool, if you have to withhold yourself from someone for a bit in order for them to realize this then do so.” But, I digress.

I don’t necessarily agree with this, I mean, if you go home with someone and they have walls and walls of bookshelves filled with crime novels, true crime books, and books on how to commit crime, maybe run the other way as fast as you can?

The books we own can say a lot about us as people - people with shelves lining their walls evidently enjoy collecting books, those with few are perhaps more selective, a person with a heap of nonfiction may love learning, and someone with a bunch of fantasy probably enjoys escapism.

I like to think my shelves have meaning. For me, that meaning is also a means to keep my book spending to a minimum. I use my library a lot, (like, a lot, a lot) and that’s a massive way that I can read widely without busting the budget. I buy very few books. Yes, sometimes it’s very difficult to resist temptation. Yes, I enjoy perusing bookstores. Yes, sometimes I cave, sometimes I break the rules. But I do have rules, they are what help me maintain my book buying budget.

Firstly though, you should know, I’m a naturally frugal person. I don’t like having stuff. It panics me. Too many books and I feel like they’re going to crush me. This could be, in part, due to living between two countries and having to fit everything I own into a medium sized suitcase. It could also be due to growing up in an earthquake prone area that succumbed to disaster in 2011, where you really couldn’t have bookshelves, because they would crush you if the books all fell out. I refuse to own any piece of furniture that is taller than me. But this isn’t a counselling session, so let’s move on. Now you know a thing or two about me, these rules might make a little more sense.

The Rules of the Shelf

The rules of my bookshelf revolve around the goal of my bookshelf, they are determined by what kind of collector I am, and what I want my bookshelf to say about me. I’m a story person, and I want my bookshelf to tell a story. The books upon my shelf are all books that I have found a piece of myself in. I’m not saying that reading helped me on a path of self-discovery, instead, it was much more that while reading these books I had that, ‘omg! Me too’ sensation, where something the author said or had characters do really clicked with me. Connected with me. Those are the books that fit into the first of three golden rules:

1. If You’ve Read it Twice, and Want to Read it for a Third time, Get It

Truth is, I generally really only reread books I absolutely love. I definitely only reread them more than twice if I really connect with them. If I read a book from the library and spend the next few months after returning it, wishing I had a copy to delve back into, then I’ll buy one. Usually, I’ll splurge to get a really nice copy. Sometimes I’ll wait for it to be discounted, which I don’t mind, because I’m not an impatient person.

I could list every book I own if you really wanted me to, because they all mean something to me, granted, I own about 50 books, so it’s really not a feat. I guess the poetic side of me likes to think that anyone could go to my shelf and read the titles, trying to find the bits I related to, trying to piece the puzzle of me together by the books on my shelf.

If you want to save money on books, I recommend borrowing the ones you want to read and buying the ones you love. Or, if you want to buy all the books, sell them if you don’t want to keep them, and come up with a poetic puzzle to your own bookshelf, something to tell people about, or something to keep close to your heart, like an inside joke between you and your bookshelf.

2. If You Want it and it’s Under $5, Get it

This rule was designed with two facts about me in mind: I like good deals, and I am human. Sometimes I cannot resist the temptation to purchase books. It’s not often that I go to a bookstore and have to have something. I’m good at leaving when I want something really bad but I a) know I don’t need it and b) can imagine it falling off my shelf and crushing me. Having said that, I often buy a handful of Wordsworth classics when they’re on special for under $5, because I like to annotate my classics, and I don’t like writing on expensive books. Sometimes I even push the $5 to $10 if it’s a book I’ve wanted to read for an age but the Library copy is really grotty, and I can’t get into it as an eBook. Honestly, I only own two books that I purchased on a whim for under $5, one that I purchased for over $5, and three that are Wordsworth Classics, which means I've used this rule a grand total of five times.

3. If You No Longer Love it, Get Rid of It

I love getting rid of things. I purge my wardrobe every few months and always manage to get rid of something (having said that, I’m really getting low on clothes), and I purge my bookshelf at least once a year, usually selling and sometimes donating. I un-hauled my entire set of Throne of Glass last year, not because I didn’t like it, but because I knew I didn’t want to reread it anymore. The year before I un-hauled my entire collection of Twilight. Selling books frees up money to buy new books. It’s a very good cycle. Besides, getting rid of things is very liberating, especially if you don’t like stuff like me.  

The Exceptions: There have to be exceptions to every rule, right? Otherwise, they’re not rules at all. On my bookshelf, I make exceptions for gifts. They’re allowed to live upon the shelf even if I haven’t read them, in part, to throw a curveball at a prospective peruses, and also because I adore being gifted books. It’s not something my family or close friends do, they say they can never pick out books for me and know I generally only want books I love, and I already have them, so what’s the point? I do have a handful of good friends in the book world that do know what books to get me, and the others I’ve been gifted were from publishers.

So there it is, the simple way that I manage my book buying budget. Do you guys have a book buying budget? How do you manage them? Or, do you have a poetic mysterious secret that explains your entire collection while perfectly representing your personality? Sound of in the comments, I'm excited to hear!

As always, thanks for reading!

Mikaela | The Riverside Library


 


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10 Epic Features of Public Libraries

10 Epic Features of Public Libraries -- The Riverside Library

I don’t know about you, but I love my local library. I don’t have a massive book budget to fill my shelves with every book that I’ve ever wanted to read, but lucky for me, my library seemingly does (I’ll admit, I don’t know the extent of their budget, but they buy me five books a month, so it’s larger than mine). Though there are a lot of people who use the library, I feel like there aren’t enough. Maybe it’s my divine purpose on this planet to make people realise what a good thing we’ve got, so here you have my top ten epic features of public libraries.

Books

Of course, books are my first reason. The amount of books you can loan will depend on your library, and the length will too. My local library allows thirty books for thirty days. Yes, I often max that out and hit the renew button like it’s a lifesaver, but if you’ve got better time management than me and you can read a book a day, the library will hook you up with 360 books a year. My Goodreads history will tell you that’s more than I’ve ever read, so you’ll be set if you want to really challenge yourself.
If you’re one of those folks who only like to read new releases, you’d be surprised at how quickly the library gets them in. The key to it, is to know of the release well in advance so you can place a reservation before all of the other bookworms in your area.
As for one of the main deterrents that stop people from borrowing from their libraries, sure, some of the copies are a little beat up and dirty, but if the book has been protected with clear contact, you can easily just wipe it down with an antibacterial wipe. It may still look a little yuck, but you won’t catch any nasties.

Wifi

My town is all over free wifi. We have it down Main Street, we have it on the beach, in most cafes, and in all our malls, but my favourite place to sit and use the free wifi is in the library (see number 3 and 6 for my reasons why) Sure, it mightn’t be the fastest internet on the planet, but if you’re from Australia and you’ve been suffering through private NBN recently, you probably won’t notice much difference.
Sure, there are limitations to what you can do on public wifi (no illegal business, sorry folks, but you know you shouldn’t be doing that anyway), and if you didn’t bring your own device, the public computers often have time limits and a lot of websites blocked, and on top of that, there are things you probably shouldn’t do on public computers and wifi, for your own safety and security (leave the online banking for home), but for scrolling Instagram, jotting down blog posts, updating your Pinterest, finishing assignments, and even gaming, YouTube or streaming services, the local library’s wifi is definitely a massive perk, and something I’ll be eternally grateful for.

Air-con/ heating

I live in the subtropics, south of the equator, where summer spans December to February and Winter is just some strange concept or an old memory from living in another place. It’s March as I write this, and the temperature hit about 35 degrees yesterday (about 95 for you Fahrenheit folks) so air con is a must, especially in the humidity. Thankfully my library cranks that air con right down to a lovely cold temperature and places a good amount of seats in the sun, so you can bask in that beautiful light (protected from the UV, and the ozone hole by the glass) while staying at a comfortable temperature. Of course, the free wifi and cold air con do make the library very crowded during summer holidays, and it’s not always the quietest space, but from a reprieve from the heat, I’ll take it.

Requesting titles

One of my favourite hobbies is to spend my local library’s money. It’s their fault for offering this service and putting it on the homepage of their website. Granted, it’s in tiny letters, but I’m fairly good at finding things on the internet. So, you can bet that I fill out that purchase request form a great many times, and thankfully my library always obliges me, and orders in the books I’d like to read. It’s a service to them too, though, because the books always end up with a thousand reservations on them (credit to the internet book world for hooking me up with the hottest new reads, you make me feel popular *insert Glenda, WICKED gif*), also I’d just like to quickly apologise to anyone living in my region who reserves a book that I’ve requested because I always forget to return them quickly, I know, I know - I’m working on it.

Inter-library loans

Sometimes, if I’ve drained my library’s bank account for the month and they don’t have any spare money to let me buy stuff with, they’ll bring in books from other libraries (likely ones with fewer book bloggers spending all their money, but that’s just speculation). The best part about this, is that you have the option of paying for an inter-library loan, or requesting one for free. We all like free things, no? So, don’t worry if your library doesn’t show a particular book in their catalogue, scour their website for small little options to request a book for purchase or interlibrary loan, and if you can’t find that option (likely written in very small letters) pop in and have a chat with one of the friendly, bookworm librarians and they might be able to find it for you.

Reading nooks

It's about 10am as I write this and it’s just hit 31 degrees, but I’m pretty sure the air con is on 20, and this sun is the only thing that’s keeping me from grabbing my cardigan. I love the seats I'm sitting in right now, they’re perfect for curling up in and reading whatever book I can grab. I have sat in these chairs for hours and hours some weekends and read multiple books from cover to cover. I’ve also spent hours annoying everyone within hearing range with my very loud keyboard as I write posts. They’re one of my favourite things, and I’m always a little upset when they’re not available. I know not every library has spots like these, and I’m always grateful my library does. Scour your local library for somewhere warm or cool to sit and read or work. Bring some headphones (or earplugs) if you don’t want to listen to the usual noise of the place. Some Ibrahim’s are quiet, but mine, unfortunately, is not.

Music

My library has a lot of ways that you can listen to all the hip new music, sure, with streaming services like Spotify, I definitely don’t use these services as much as I used to, but I’m grateful they exist. My library allows free loaning of CDs, and you can also download five free music titles a week from their website. We love a cheap Queen.

Movies

My library also has a giant range of DVDs available for loan, both movies and TV shows. Online, you can also watch a lot of indie and local film and TV for free with their unusual streaming services.

Ebooks

So the grotty old library books really got you down? Never fear! The ebook collection is here! My library has two book catalogues, Overdrive (compatible with Kindle eReaders in the United States only), and Wheelers. Both are compatible with Kobo eReaders, like the Kobo H2O I own. Overdrive and wheelers also have apps in the App Store and Google play for mobile devices. The ebook catalogues are way bigger than I thought they were, and requesting a title for purchase is super easy too!

Audiobooks

I don’t use audiobooks half as much as I should. My local library offers audiobook downloads across three apps, Overdrive, Bolinda Borrow Box and RB digital, each site/app have different books on their catalogue, making it easy to find what you’re looking for. I'm not a big audiobook listener, but one thing I really like about having access to free audiobooks is that I can slowly ease myself into listening to them, without feeling as though I'm wasting money by having a subscription to an audiobook service and not using it.

Bonus: Educational resources.

Along with a massive non-fiction catalogue, my library also offers free subscriptions to sites like Mango languages, perfect if you want to learn a new language or brush up your skills. My library also offers free seminars and talks about interesting topics, everything I know about photography I learned from one of these free talks. I'd definitely recommend checking out their events calendar to see if its something they offer.

What are some of your favourite features of your local library?

Mikaela | The Riverside Library


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REVIEW: Enchantée by Gita Trelease | BLOG TOUR

Enchanted Review -- The Riverside Library-2

 

Welcome to my stop on the Enchantée blog tour! Enchantée was one of my most anticipated reads of 2019, and when I discovered it back in October of last year, I couldn’t stop telling everyone about this debut due for publication in Feb. I was extremely lucky to receive an advanced reader’s copy from Pan Macmillan Australia, and now I get to tell you everything I thought of this magical, fantastical, historical book. I’ve tried to keep it spoiler free, but as always, if you’re spoiler sensitive, proceed with caution.

Set both in the rich and opulent court of Versailles, and hunger ridden streets of Paris in 1789, Enchantée follows Camille as she is forced to risk everything to save her family. Just a little trigger warning: this book includes one scene of domestic violence and a lot of gambling.

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These Things I Loved:

My returning readers will know that I am obsessed with three things: magic, books and France (also cheese and a number of other things, but we’re not going to get into that). Enchantée combines all three of those obsessions and mixes it with an exploration of the costs of freedom, the importance of fighting for what you believe in, and characters who sometimes survive off little more than hope. Of course I was hyped for this, it sounds perfect to me.

Magic

The magic system in this book is so unique (I feel like I say that about every book that I review, but seeing as I only tend to review books I like and I really like books with unique magic systems, you’ll read this a lot). I’m not sure what I was expecting from the blurb, but I can say I wasn’t expecting what we got. The magic in this book isn’t an in-your-face style of magic, there’s no spellcasting or wand fights, it’s much subtler, yet it is intrinsically tied to the plot. Though I loved many things about the magic system, my favourite (by far) was the limitations that controlled it. In my eyes, a limited magic system is a good magic system. In Enchantée, magic cannot fix everything, in fact, instead of serving as a solution to problems, it merely acts to further complicate the situation. This increases the number of sacrifices that our protagonist, Camille, makes for her family and also adds to some of the themes that the book explores – but more on that later. First, Camille.

Camille

I am a sucker for any character willing to make sacrifices for their family, this means I am a complete sucker for Camille. She was, perhaps, my favourite character in this book, though I did really like Lazare. At some points, I wished Camille had better communication skills, but every character has their flaws. She more than made up for them with her selflessness, and her bravery. I also liked how her actions really brought up some interesting questions tied to the theme (again, more on that later).

History

Another thing that I really enjoyed in Enchantée was the history. Now, I’m no history buff, so I’m not going to claim to be an expert, (in fact, if I’m being honest, my French history knowledge is entirely from Les Misérables, the second book in the Outlander series and one crash course video I watched on YouTube when I was seventeen) but I did appreciate the historical component of this novel. Enchantée is actually the first YA historical novel I’ve ever read, and I found the world to be fully immersive. I loved the juxtaposition of the opulence of Versailles and the poverty in some parts of Paris. I enjoyed seeing the differences in class of 18thcentury France, especially when, in Paris, the different classes lived so close to one another.

I Wish There Was More of...

I wish there had been more of the villain in this novel. When the villain was present in the book, they were perfectly creepy, and I just wanted more of that. I understand that the presence of the villain was always there, that they were working their master plan the whole time and our protagonist wasn’t particularly involved in it, and I also understand how that even ties into the themes that the book explores – for, if Camille wasn’t so addicted to her life in Versailles, perhaps she would have noticed the villain’s master plan a little earlier, but I just wish the villain had more page time. I could have done with more creepiness (this is a very odd thing to wish for, I know).

My Favourite Thing

Enchantée was nearly exactly what I was expecting, but to my delight, there were themes that took me by surprise. Throughout the book, Camille struggles to leave the life she creates in glitzy Versailles and return to her reality. Gambling is a massive feature of the court, and this struggle that Camille goes through regarding when to leave Versailles really enforces that interesting topic. Whether intended or not, Enchantée really does bring up some interesting questions about gambling and addiction. Rather than jumping into the head of an established addict we see it in a much more subtle and relatable way through Camille and many other characters, including her brother and her friends. Though Enchantée is a YA historical fantasy, there are definitely deeper underlying messages in it, making it perfect for both those who want to be entertained, and those who want something a little more complex.

All in all, Enchantée was worth all of my excitement for it. I loved when the words on the page faded away and opened the doors to the streets of Paris, the top of the Notre Dame, the tempting tables of the Palais-Royal and the superficial perfection of Versailles. I definitely recommend picking up Enchantée and delving into this world. Thank you to Pan Macmillan Australia for gifting me with a copy of Enchantée for review.

 

AUS Cover

Enchantee Aus/UK cover -- The Riverside Library

US Cover

Enchantee US cover -- The Riverside Library


BOOK DETAILS

TITLE: Enchantée

AUTHOR: Gita Trelease

PUBLISHER: Pan Macmillan/Macmillan Children’s Books

AUS PUBLICATION DATE: 26/02/2019

RRP: AU$16.99

BLURB:

Paris in 1789 is a labyrinth of twisted streets, filled with beggars, thieves, revolutionaries – and magicians . . .

When smallpox kills her parents, seventeen-year-old Camille is left to provide for her frail sister and her volatile brother. In desperation, she survives by using the petty magic she learnt from her mother. But when her brother disappears Camille decides to pursue a richer, more dangerous mark: the glittering court of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette.

Using dark magic Camille transforms herself into the ‘Baroness de la Fontaine’ and presents herself at the court of Versailles, where she soon finds herself swept up in a dizzying life of riches, finery and suitors. But Camille’s resentment of the rich is at odds with the allure of their glamour and excess, and she soon discovers that she’s not the only one leading a double life . . .

Want to read more reviews on Enchantée by Gita Trelease? Check out these bloggers!

Enchantee Global Graphic


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ENCHANTÉE REVIEW -- The Riverside Library

Enchantee Review -- The Riverside Library

Read More for Less – Your Weekly Book Deals

The Best Book Prices Right Now -- The Riverside Library

Everyone here knows I love a deal, and I bet you love a good deal too - I mean, why wouldn't you? But we don't all have the time to trawl the internet for deals on our favourite books. Luckily, it is a public holiday where I live today, and I'm confined to my bed once more with the continuation of some really weird illness, and you can bet that I spent a decent hour looking for book deals - and guys! I found some! There's no rhyme to my reason with these, I tried to go with popular books, books I'd read and enjoyed and books I think you should read, just as I think I should read them. Some of them are incredible discounts 60%+! While others are only smaller discounts 20-30%. Keep in mind, I'm based in Australia, so some of these websites are available only to Australians and New Zealanders. Also, these prices might be different to those offered in your country (book prices seem to be a little higher when you're marooned on an island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean like we are).

Enjoy!

The Best Deals

A Court of Thorns and Roses Cover

Crimes of Grindlewald Cover

A Court of Thorns And Roses, Sarah J Maas - Hardback, AU$10, Amazon. Find my review here!

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Crimes of Grindelwald, J.K. Rowling - Hardback, AU$12.04, Book Depository

Books I've Read You Should Totally Pick Up

Tuesdays With Morrie, Mitch Albom - Paperback, AU$7.41, Book Depository.

Fangirl, Rainbow Rowell - Paperback, AU$8.25, Booktopia/ AU$10, Book Depository (if outside AU/NZ).
Find my review here!

Scythe, Neal Schusterman - Hardback, AU$17.70, Book Depository. Find my review here!

Boxed Set of The Mortal Instruments, Cassandra Clare - Paperback Boxed Set, AU$54.48, Book Depository

Or, if you just need one or two to complete your collection, City of Ashes (#2), City of Lost Souls (#5), and City of Heavenly Fire (#6) are also on special at Book Depository.

Invisible Cities, Italo Calvino - Paperback, AU$7.89, Book Depository

Popular Books You've Probably Seen Everywhere But I Haven't Read

The Maze Runner, James Dashner - Paperback, AU$9.22, Book Depository.

The Scorch Trials, James Dashner - Paperback, AU$8.75, Booktopia/ AU$10.50, Book Depository.

The Death Cure, James Dashner - Paperback, AU$9.50, Booktopia/ AU$8.89, Book Depository.

Books On My TBR, Which Should Also Be On Yours

Jonothan Strange and Mr Norell, Susanna Clarke - Paperback, AU$7.14, Book Depository.

If on a Winters Night A Traveller, Italo Calvino - Paperback, AU$8.24, Book Depository.

Wild Embers, Nikita Gill - Paperback, AU$14.95, Book Depository.

I'll have more book deals for you next week - if I can find any. I hope you found a favourite for a discounted price!

P.S. These are affiliate links, so, at no extra cost to you, I earn a small commission from any purchases made from them. Bingo! Thanks for supporting my blog!

Mikaela | The Riverside Library


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100+ Bookstagram Hashtags

100+ Bookstagram Hashtags -- The Riverside Library100+ Bookstagram Hashtags -- The Riverside Library

UPDATED VERSION: 100+ More Bookstagram Hashtags

If you've been playing the Instagram game for a while, you'll know all about the importance of hashtags - hell, even if you're new to Instagram, you'll probably know that hashtags are one of the best ways to get exposure for your account. Instagram is well known for being a little bit sensitive with hashtags though, and there are always rumours flooding the internet that if you use the same hashtag so many times, Instagram will reduce the exposure of your content because they think you're spam, or something like that. I guess that's good? But Instagram, we don't all have a spare couple of hours to trawl the hashtag section to find new ones!

Enter me.

Bedridden this afternoon and bored as an insomniac bat in the middle of the day, I decided to put myself to use, and find a whole long list of Instagram hashtag for bookstagrammers to use.

I've heard that its best to use a mixture of popular and less popular hashtags on your posts, so, not only have I compiled a list of hashtags, I've also found the number of posts each hashtag has. The gigantic table below is organised by popularity, with the most popular at the top and least popular at the bottom. It is in two columns, because a single column was too long for a single page here on my blog, so the second column is a run-on from the first.

Not every one of these hashtags is explicitly bookish related, some were just semi-common ones I had saved in my phone for some particularly odd reason, but I've included them here in case you want to be wild, and mix your hashtag game up a little. Some are also quite specific to particular photos, but I've included them anyway out of interest. Also, this is by no means an exhaustive list, I can now think of about ten that I fogot to add when I was compiling this list (but 130-ish hashtags is enough, right?)

All stats are (mostly) correct as of 27th Jan, 2019. Unless, of course, I've transposed them wrong, which isn't impossible. I'd also like to ask you, kind souls, not to judge me too harshly if I've made any spelling mistakes. My eyes began to gloss over words around the 30th hashtag, and I'm fairly certain there are 130 on this list. So, have a giggle on me.

I put them into random, handy little groups of 27 first, so you can cut and paste them and save them in your phone, with room to add three super specific hashtags when you post. They're mixed in size, with some very popular hashtags and also some smaller ones (remember, apparently the max hashtags you can use in a single post is 30).

P.S. If you wanna buy a book from Book Depository, Booktopia or Amazon, you should totally use my affiliate link, that way, through no extra cost to you, I get a little cha-ching on the side for my hours of insta research 😉

Group 1

#bookstagram
#bookstagrammer
#verilymoment
#bookcommunity
#readmorebooks
#bookrecommendations
#avidreader
#boonook
#bookreaders
#bibliophile
#bookporn
#bookishfeatures
#booktube
#bookreader
#bookflatlay
#bookster
#readinggoals
#libraryporn
#library
#bookblogger
#thatauthenticfeeling
#yalovin
#bookrecommendation
#bookishgirl
#readingstagram
#readreadread

Group 3

#booklover
#bookshelf
#readersofinstagram
#ireadya
#ilovetoread
#readeveryday
#bookreading
#shelfiesunday
#lovetoreadbooks
#bookish
#currentlyreading
#ilovereading
#books📚 (emoji is important)
#bookaddicted
#bookishlife
#allthebooks
#bookaddiction
#librarylover
#booknerd
#ilovebooks
#lovereading
#booksarelife
#readingchallenge
#readingrainbow
#booksonbooks
#bookstagramit

Group 5

#bibliophile
#bookporn
#bookishfeatures
#booktube
#bookreader
#bookflatlay
#bookster
#readinggoals
#libraryporn
#literature
#bookstagramfeature
#bookblog
#totalbooknerd
#readingislife
#readingiscool
#fortheloveofreading
#bookmerch
#2019books
#bookaholic
#bookclub
#bookworms
#bookhoarder
#librarylove
#libraryofbookstagram
#prelovedbooks
#idratherbereading

Group 2

#bookworm
#instabook
#photosinbetween
#readmore
#booktuber
#bookalicious
#booknookstagram
#readingrocks
#featuremybooks
#library
#bookblogger
#thatauthenticfeeling
#yalovin
#bookrecommendation
#bookishgirl
#readingstagram
#readreadread
#readerproblems
#bookish
#currently
#ilovereading
#books📚 (emoji is important)
#bookaddicted
#bookishlife
#allthebooks
#bookaddiction

Group 4

#instabooks
#booksofinstagram
#readingtime
#bookobsessed
#readersofig
#mybookfeatures
#bookaholics
#bookaddicts
#aussiebibliophile (you can change this to your country)
#booknerd
#ilovebooks
#lovereading
#booksarelife
#readingchallenge
#readingrainbow
#booksonbooks
#bookstagramit
#bibliophage
#literature
#bookstagramfeature
#bookblog
#totalbooknerd
#readingislife
#readingiscool
#fortheloveofreading
#bookmerch

Group 6

#library
#bookblogger
#thatauthenticfeeling
#yalovin
#bookrecommendation
#bookishgirl
#readingstagram
#readreadread
#readerproblems
#bookaholic
#bookclub
#bookworms
#bookhoarder
#librarylove
#libraryofbookstagram
#prelovedbooks
#idratherbereading
#booktography
#reader
#booknerdigans
#epicreads
#readingisfundamental
#bookmail
#fortheloveofbooks
#bibliophilia
#readerforlife

The Entire Giant List By Popularity

Hashtags

Number of posts

Hashtags

Number of posts

#photooftheday 625,000,000 #readingislife 171,000
#Bookstagram 27,500,000 #librarylove 161,000
#Bookworm 13,300,000 #Bookmail 150,000
#booklover 9,700,000 #culturetripbooks 149,000
#instabooks 7,100,000 #readingtime📖 140,000
#Bibliophile 6,500,000 #bookstoread 138,000
#library 6,200,000 #bookrecommendations 135,000
#Bookish 5,800,000 #bookalicious 133,000
#Booknerd 5,800,000 #readeveryday 118,000
#literature 5,000,000 #mybookfeatures 112,000
#Bookaholic 3,900,000 #bookflatlay 110,000
#reader 3,500,000 #bookishgirl 107,000
#sweaterweather 3,400,000 #bookishlife 105,000
#igreads 3,200,000 #readingrainbow 97,500
#Bookphotography 3,100,000 #readingiscool 95,700
#bookstagrammer 3,000,000 #libraryofbookstagram 94,700
#instabook 3,000,000 #fortheloveofbooks 93,500
#bookshelf 2,900,000 #prettybooks 92,500
#booksofinstagram 2,500,000 #bookstafeatures 92,300
#bookporn 2,100,000 #weneeddiversebooks 90,400
#Bookblogger 2,000,000 #avidreader 90,200
#Currentlyreading 1,900,000 #Booknookstagram 89,900
#ilovebooks 1,600,000 #bookreading 89,700
#bookstagramfeature 1,500,000 #bookaholics 83,500
#bookclub 1,400,000 #bookster 82,200
#booknerdigans 1,400,000 #readstagram 80,900
#littlestoriesofmylife 1,400,000 #allthebooks 79,000
#shelfie 1,400,000 #booksonbooks 72,100
#amreading 1,300,000 #diversebooks 69,400
#verilymoment 1,200,000 #fortheloveofreading 68,100
#photosinbetween 1,100,000 #Prelovedbooks 67,500
#readersofinstagram 1,100,000 #bibliophilia 66,700
#readingtime 1,000,000 #readersgonnaread 63,500
#bookishfeatures 990,000 #readallthebooks 62,600
#thatauthenticfeeling 914,000 #bookaccount 62,400
#ilovereading 852,000 #booknook 57,200
#lovereading 760,000 #readingrocks 55,900
#bookblog 717,000 #shelfiesunday 55,200
#bookworms 608,000 #bookaddicts 52,600
#Epicreads 606,000 #readinggoals 52,200
#Bookhaul 546,000 #readreadread 51,700
#lovetoread 496,000 #Bookaddict 49,000
#booksbooksbooks 483,000 #bookadict (this isn't a spelling mistake of mine, there's literally a hashtag spelled like this with 49K posts, and I'm sure adict isn't a word?) 49,000
#bookcommunity 482,000 #bookstagramit 47,800
#readmore 460,000 #Bookmerch 44,800
#IreadYA 459,000 #idratherbereading 36,900
#bookobsessed 454,000 #readerforlife 29,500
#Booktube 421,000 #readaholic 27,500
#yalovin 332,000 #bookreadhappyhour 26,600
#books📚 326,000 #favouritebooks 25,800
#booksarelife 317,000 #Bookreaders 25,000
#totalbooknerd 313,000 #featuremybooks 20,000
#bookhoarder 297,000 #diversereads 17,500
#readingisfundamental 279,000 #lovetoreadbooks 15,000
#bookstack 270,000 #aussiebibliophile 14,900
#bookaddiction 267,000 #libraryporn 14,400
#bookfeaturepage 263,000 #readerproblems 12,900
#readmorebooks 248,000 #librarylover 12,800
#Booktuber 235,000 #bibliophage 5,685
#ilovetoread 228,000 #2019books 2455
#readersofig 218,000 #booktography 1300
#bookreader 210,000 #booksforclothes 691
#bookrecommendation 210,000 #diversereading 539
#bookaddicted 188,000
#readingcahllenge 183,000

 


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100+ Bookstagram Hashtags -- The Riversidelibrary

100+ Bookstagram Hashtags -- The Riverside Library

2018 – A Bookish Year in Review & My 2019 Hopes and Dreams

2018 in Review -- The Riverside Library

This is mildly embarrassing – I started this blog post on the first of January, but never got around to finishing it, and now it’s the twenty-sixth…. Nevertheless, despite it being near the end of January, here is my Bookish Year in Review + My 2019 Hopes and Dreams.

Hello, 2019. I feel like I know you well already, perhaps because I’ve accidentally been saying that it’s 2019 for the past few months and it oddly feels like 2020 to me already. That also means I’ve aged myself an extra year, how kind I am. I’m sitting in my local library with music in my ears, books all around me and a surprisingly fast wifi connection – I have all I need, and 2019 is off to a great start. But, before I crack on with 2019, I think it’s only appropriate to look back on 2018 and see how the year went by. So here it is, my 2018 in review.

Books

We shall start this post with the inarguably most important subject – books. I started the year hoping to read eighty books by eighty different authours from eighty different countries, which soon went to the dogs when I realised how difficult it was to find books I actually like. I’m a fantasy girl through and through. Sure, I like to expand my tastes and try more things, but I always find myself gong back to the same genre… and it was somewhat surprisingly difficult to find books from a bunch of countries in that genre. I saw three million literary fiction titles and they’re just not… me. That doesn’t mean I’m très unsophisticated, thank you very much, it merely means I am exceptionally fantastical. But I digress. I soon chucked that goal out the window, and that may have been partially due to the fact that two of my first reads were just… not me.

I was off to a bumpy start with my first book of the year, The Strange Library by Haruki Murakami, which quickly taught me that surrealism is not my genre at all. Don’t get me wrong, Murakami does surrealism well, but a little bit too well for my liking, because I felt like I had a giant huntsman spider crawling up my neck the whole time – if you don’t know what a hunstman is, please come to Australia, they are heaps of fun (read: giant spiders that can grow to the size of a dinner plate). Ergo, this wasn’t exactly the most enjoyable experience for me. The challenge further soured after reading Around the World in Eighty Days, which inspired the whole thing in the beginning, and I did not like it one bit at all. It’s an adventure novel, but honestly! Shopping lists are more exciting than that book. What a dull thing. Sure, I bet it was groundbreaking in its day, but I’m not looking at it through those rose tinted glasses because I was promised entertainment and all I got was… well, let be honest, all I got was a yawning fit (gosh, I’m not usually this salty, and now I have sunscreen in my eye. Leave me alone, karma).

Thankfully, when I soon abandoned that challenge and my reading year greatly improved. I picked up Eliza and her Monsters one afternoon when I wanted a book to make me feel something (unlike you, Around the World in Eighty Days), and boy! That book did not disappoint. I got major Fangirl vibes, and if you’re a new reader here, you might not know how much I love Fangirl, but I love it a lot. Granted, Eliza and her Monsters didn’t quite cement its place in my heart like Fangirl did, but I laughed, and I cried, and my heart absolutely ached. I definitely recommend reading that one if you’re considering it.

Come February, Allen and Unwin NZ sent me a copy of Obsidio, a few weeks before release date and my family had never seen me that excited ever before (they kept telling me that for weeks). I hugged that shiny silver book for a decent hour. All thanks to a half-asleep email I sent at midnight when I was in Wellington and I simply couldn’t bear to wait any longer to read the book, so I simply had to ask for it. I stayed up until 2 am reading it, and I was so stressed but it was everything I personally wanted from the finale to the Illuminae Files, and I adore seeing it sitting pretty on my shelves.

I read Madness, Rack and Honey in May and found an all-time favourite book. My heart aches when I’m just thinking about it. It’s the kind of book I could sit there and weep over for no real reason at all. I just feel like Mary Ruefle gets me, and there are few better feelings than relating to an author or a book like that.

I discovered Scythe midway through the year, and devoured it! Scythe had such an interesting premise, and although there were a few flaws that irked me a tad, I thoroughly enjoyed it and I cannot wait for the final book in the series to come out! I don’t even know when the release is, but I am squirming in my seat for it. I need to know what happens, I tell you! NEED.

I finally read the Fellowship of the Ring during winter, and I can’t believe it took me two years (yes, two years) to simply get past Bilbo’s birthday party! I think I’ve seen that scene in the movie a million billion times, so reading it was a little bit of a bore, but once that was through, I flew through the book and I loved Frodo’s journey. Also, can we just spend the rest of eternity talking about Samwise Gamgee, because I love him. He has to be, hands down, one of my favourite literary characters ever. As someone who values loyalty above almost everything else, I appreciate Samwise Gamgee so very, very much.

I binged some series throughout the year, notably To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, The Mortal Instruments, the Wrath and the Dawn and The Lunar Chronicles. I liked the last two most of all, which did surprise me a little, because I wasn’t the world’s biggest fan of Cinder, the first book in The Lunar Chronicles, but I did really enjoy the books as they went on. I’m not sure why I didn’t expect to love The Wrath and the Dawn, but my word – did I ever! I’m so glad I picked up the sequel The Rose and The Dagger for $2 on a sale stand at a store in New Zealand.

Blog

2018 was an important year for my blog, it was the year it really all began. I tried to post frequently like a good blogger, but I didn’t really manage to achieve that. It definitely gave me an insight as to how difficult coming up with content for a blog is, and how hard it is to finish a blog post (exhibit A: This post).

Some of my favourite posts I published this year were:

How to Write a Book Review

Dear Bookish Social Media, We Need to Break Up

Writing Tips I Wish I Listened To

I see a trend here, don’t you? I was most proud of the posts I wrote with the intention to help rather than to update you on my life (which is totally what I’m doing now. Whoops).

2019

Ah, 2019! A year of promise! Like all years are until Netflix pops itself up on your computer and you end up rewatching Outlander for the 47th time and you realise you haven’t actually done anything constructive the whole year, meanwhile, Netflix has uploaded The Christmas Prince 5 and it’s actually December 2021.

Let’s try to stop that from happening by setting some goals, shall we?

Books

As you’ll know if you’re a regular reader of my blog (which, if you are, can I just say, thank you so so so so so so so so much, you’re one of my favourite people on the planet), I’ve permanently set my Goodreads goal to 20 books. I honestly do not care how many books I read this year – I just want to read books I’ve wanted to read forever (looking at you War and Peace), and the plethora of new releases I am so hyped for.

This is the year I read for the reasons I always read for before. I will read for enjoyment, enlightenment, and escapism. Not to make my insta feed look *fab* and keep my blog *fresh*, not that I’ve ever actually done that, it’s just always been sitting at the back of my mind.

Blog

I’ve been thinking about this blog a lot lately, and I think its about time I start taking it a little more seriously than I have been. It always takes me quite some time to feel settled into a new venture, and it’s taken me a year to get there with this, but I’m finally here, and I think I could actually love doing this – which is weird I guess, and Coetzee may disapprove of my loving something that isn’t a person, but what Coetzee doesn’t know can’t hurt him. Not that he’d actually care. Perhaps I should say his narrator in A House in Spain, instead of Coetzee himself… But I’m off track again. What I mean to say, is that I wish to blog more, and I wish to blog differently. I want to add all different types of content to The Riverside Library, all with a bookish twist, and I know I’ve probably been saying that for eons, but I think this might be time I actually do it. I’ve been making lists upon lists of different types of blog posts that I can make (and add a literary flair to), so now it’s time to get typing away (even though I swear people are glaring at me for my loud keyboard and speedy typing, but then again, they might be glaring because my stomach is rumbling, and I make a weird face at my screen every time I spell something wrong – who knows?)

This is the year of my blog. Also the Pig I think, but I’m not really up with the Chinese zodiac.

Life

I’ve had a story idea plaguing me for quite some time, in fact, I’ve had many. I’m hoping to compile a short story collection to post online, because I love to share what I create. It’ll be a nice change from writing novels all the time (especially novels that’ll just sit on my computer and collect the digital equivalent of dust). So do keep an eye out for that if you’re interested, and if I ever get around to it, which heaven knows if I will.

And thats that! Thanks once again for reading!

What are your bookish/blog/life goals for 2019? Sound off in the comments, I want to hear about all the great things I know you’ll all achieve this year. Let’s make it a great one!

Mikaela | The Riverside Library

You Are the Owner of Your Content – So Own It

A short while ago I posted an article titled Dear Bookish Social Media, We Need to Break Up, in which I explained my falling out of love with bookish social media. I mentioned that I wasn’t deleting this blog or my bookstagram, but I was reducing my time and effort on Goodreads. I received a lot of messages about that post – it seems that many of you are feeling the same way about bookish social media.

And I get it. It makes sense.

Since I posted that article, a few things have changed in my life – the key one being that I moved back to Australia. Since then, I’ve found it increasingly difficult to produce content to share online.  Every time I move I’m faced with this same challenge – learning how to work with a new space is never easy for me, and I find myself uneasy every time I pick up my camera to take photos. 

While in New Zealand I was staying with my sister, so the space I had was hardly mine, but it was set up in such a way that it was easy to take photos. Now, I’m staying with other family while I get ready to move to my own place, and lacking my familiar setting is difficult when it comes to taking photos for bookstagram. If you’re a follower of mine over on Instagram, you’ll likely know that I’m not a master of the flat lay, I prefer more bookish lifestyle photos. This means, more of my life and living situation get included into the photo, even when my surroundings aren’t exactly photogenic. Sometimes it takes a great lot of work to style a photo that will match my Instagram feed. Usually, that’s not a problem. Usually, I have creativity abounds, I can look at a space and figure out how to work with it, but that’s not the case right now. I’m exhausted, and that’s blocking my creativity.  

My instagram has come to a screeching halt. It’s caused me to take a long look at my account and ask myself what I want from it, what I want to share, who I want to be online, and my answer has been the same for months now, but I’ve done nothing about it – I want to be more. 

I feel limited by the hashtag bookstagram. Please don’t misunderstand me, I’m not leaving bookstagram. I love it too much. 

But I was sitting at the beach yesterday evening with my camera sitting on my lap, just watching the world go by, and I got to thinking about bookstagram. I didn’t have any photos to post later that day, but still, I wondered, what would I talk about if I did? I’d probably mention that I’m stubbornly refusing to let anything other than War and Peace be my first read of 2019, so I’m slowly getting through that classic tome. Then maybe I’d ask what the longest book on your TBR for 2019 is. Or maybe I’d ask if there are any classics that you want to read in 2019, but they scare the socks off your feet. That’s a semi decent caption, no problem – but then, what would I talk about the next day? Still reading War and Peace, it’s quite long, a bit dense. And the next day? War and Peace again today, how about you? And the next? 

Sure, I could talk about another bookish topic, we don’t always have to discuss our current reads, but all too often I sit there with the cursor blinking in the caption box as I wonder what to write, and end up writing nothing, not posting at all that day because I want to say something, but I don’t have any words dribbling out of my brain. Then, I think of other things, not quite so bookish things that I could say if I just had a different photo. I could talk about my favourite literary travel spots I’ve come across over the years – like the Moria Gate Arch just north of Karamea that makes me feel like I’m really in Middle Earth, or how the hills south of Auckland all look like they could house Hobbits. Or I could talk about the magical experience that is sitting down in the flax bushes by Lake Wakatipu, looking out over The Remarkables and reading whatever fantasy novel I had on me. Or I could talk about that time I pretended I was Robinson Crusoe on some island in New Caledonia when there was no one else around. Or I could recommend a list of books to take with you on a roadtrip up the Queensland coast incase you break down between Rockhampton and McKay and end up having to stay the night in a town where there’s nothing but a servo and a diner.  

I love books, but I also love more. 

In her poem, This Summer’s Day, Mary Oliver wrote, “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”

Well, Mary, I’m glad you asked, because I plant to go everywhere. I plan to read everything I can. I’m going to finish War and Peace, and you can bet that it will be my first read of 2019, even though it’s the sixth of January and I’m still only 20% of the way through. I plan to visit as many of the Pacific Islands as I possibly can and not be so cagey about the fact that I was born in Polynesia and I’m head over heels in love with coconuts. One day, I’m going to rent a cabin out by Castle Hill and write a book during the nights, and forage for nonexistent fruits during the day. Another day, I’m going to roadtrip the coast of this beautiful country I’m so lucky enough to call home, in a old van that will probably need to be serviced every single time I putt into a new town. At some point, I’ll venture over to England, Ireland and Scotland to see where my ancestors came from and maybe visit a few castles pretending that I’m not quite as far removed from the royal bloodline as I actually am, and I might even find some magical standing stones? You never know. 

And I’m going to share it on the internet, even if 1% of my followers say that they prefer to see only bookish content.

And I hope you do the same, because you are the owner of your content, and I think it’s about damn time you own it. 

Thanks for reading! Wishing you the happiest New Year!

Ka kite anō!
(colloquial shorting of ka kite anō au i a koe, meaning I’ll see you again).

Mikaela | The Riverside Library

 

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