Monday, December 19, 2016

Review: THE PAPER MAGICIAN by Charlie N. Holmberg

Rating: 3.5/5 stars

I enjoyed The Paper Magician quite a bit. The beginning was a little hard to get into because of the unique, descriptive writing style, but I eventually got used to it and started loving it. I also loved the setting of early 1900s London; it just felt so happy.

The entire middle portion of the book, when Ceony is inside the heart, was a little slow for me. It was interesting to see Emery's memories and wishes, but I found myself just wanting Ceony to get out already and get back to Emery.

My favourite parts were when Ceony was learning to Fold with Mg. Thane in his house. I liked learning about the specifics of paper magic. And the ending: the ending was adorable and really made me want to read the next two books.

Overall, I'd recommend this book if you enjoy eccentric historical fantasy stories that involve materials magic.

Monday, December 12, 2016

I cannot read all the books.

I currently own over 400 unread books. Every one of those books I bought because I wanted to read it at one point in my life. I never had much time to read in high school, so almost all the books I bought during that time are still sitting unread on my shelf. Many of them I have no desire to read anymore. For a long time, I have felt that I still will read them, or at least that I should read them, not because I own them or because I want to read what was popular six years ago, but because I feel I will be depriving my former self if I don't read them. I wanted to read those books at one point in time, and I want to satisfy my high school self by reading now what I wanted to read then.

I understand that that sounds rather weird, but that is how I feel about the situation. I feel like a part of me will be missing out if I don't read those books. I wanted to read them back when I purchased them but didn't have the time. I kept telling myself, I'll read them next year when I have time; I'll read them eventually. But now that I have time, my reading tastes have changed quite a bit, and I'm not so sure I want to read all those books anymore.

It is a hard realization to accept, but I know that I cannot read all the things I want to in my lifetime. I see books all the time and think to myself, I'll read that eventually when I've read everything else I want to read, but I have come to accept that there will always be books that I won't have time to read or won't ever choose to pick up.

Similarly, I hear people say all time how they've been meaning to read a certain book for a few months or a few years but they haven't gotten to it yet. The simple fact of the matter is that if you keep putting off that book, you probably don't actually want to read it anymore. That's not to say you've been putting it off because you don't have time, but if you have been choosing to read other books rather than "the one you've been meaning to read for quite some time," then it's probably time to reevaluate whether or not you are actually still interested in reading that book or finishing that series.

I have been doing a lot of reevaluating of the books that have sat unread on my shelves for many years, and I've realized that it's time that a lot of those books and I part ways. I bought them for a purpose but the time has passed for that purpose to be fulfilled, and I shouldn't feel bad about that. What I've learned is that I need to read books within a year or so of acquiring the book or I will most likely lose interest in ever reading it. Ideally, I'd like to read books within a month of purchasing them, but that's not currently possible for me.

A good question to ask yourself when looking at all the unread books on your shelf is this: If I went out to the store today, would I still choose to purchase that book? If you find yourself saying definitely not, then it may be time to donate that book instead of stressing out if and when you'll ever find time to read it. Don't feel bad about getting rid of books; feel relieved instead that you have fewer books that you "need" to read.