My Unboxings this month…..

So, over the past few weeks, I received four subscription boxes; TheBookishBox, LitJoyCrate, MyBookishCrate and NerdyPost. I wanted to share with you the contents of each box and what I thought of them!

  1. The Bookish Box


Well this was August’s FairyTales Box and it didn’t disappoint. It included a Lunar Chronicles-inspired mug by the ever talented Evie Seo, A Peter Pan-inspired silver necklace and Disney quote sticky notepad, both by TheBookishBox, A Beauty and the Beast bookmark by Lexy Olivia on IG and an Appraising Pages Tee with this wonderful quote from A Court of Mist and Fury. This was a fun box and I especially loved the Tee, Mug and Necklace!


2. LitJoy Crate


So I received my first ever litjoycrate last week and it was sent to me in return for an honest review. we my honest review is that I was delighted with my box and all the items included are perfect!
Included were…..
– a hardbacked copy of The Gilded Cage by Lucinda Grey which sounds intriguing! As a historical fiction, it’s just up my street so I was happy to see this one
– a beautiful floral, foil notebook by riflepaperco which is super sweet
– The Werewolves of Millers Hollow game which seems to be one of those traditional parlour games so that should be great fun!
– a beautiful custom-designed art print by canary_jane which shows one of my favourite quotes from one of my favourite books!
– a sample of tea crystals from piquetea which has excited me because I’m a huge tea and coffee fan but I have never used crystals before!
– a $20 discount voucher for chatbooks I had never heard of this concept but, after a little research, I cannot wait to start building my first books!
– and you can’t see it very well but there’s also a fiercereads tote bag which is HUGE!
3. My Bookish Crate

So this is one of my last posts as a mybookishcrate rep and, boy, am I going out on a high! This box…..this box…..was FABULOUS! The HP theme has been done time and time again so it must be difficult for bookish subscription boxes to keep coming up with something novel. Well My Bookish Crate NAILED it! Each box was personalised to its subscriber, depending on which Hogwarts house they belonged to. Quite obviously, I’m a proud GRYFFINDOR (although with slight Slytherin tendencies at times, hence the dropandgivemenerdy House-Divided blanket in the background 😂) We received
– a GRYFFINDOR bookmark by Rachel Leite
– a GRYFFINDOR tote bag which was designed by the ever-talented @tjlubrano I adore her designs anyway so I was over the moon with this
– a personalised Hogwarts letter which I was way more excited about that I should have been at my age
– a GRYFFINDOR candle by bookandnookshop which smells exactly how I imagine the GRYFFINDOR common room to smell
– a mystery mini Hermione funko
– an art print by mybookishcrate and, because I had chosen the GRYFFINDOR box, I received a Hermione quote. I loved this but I was also pretty jealous of the Slytherins who received an “Always” quote because….you know….Snape
– and a hardbacked copy of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, parts one and two
4. Nerdy Post
I’m still waiting for September’s Nerdy Post, which is SUPERNATURAL themed(!), and I made the stupid decision not to order August’s Doctor Who book because I didn’t think, as someone who has never even seen an episode of DW, that I would ‘get’ the quotes etc.  How wrong I was! The quotes used throughout the whole box were appealing to ALL nerds, whether a Whovian or not. Not ordering it was the worst decision I’ve made this last while *sob*
Anyhow, because I don’t have last month’s box (tube?), I’m going to show you July’s Game of Thrones box which was SO good!


Building a book collection……..

harrypottercollectionI own eight bookcases.  They’re all around the house.  That’s not including the kids’ bookcases. We have 6 kids and the 5 eldest have their own bookcases too (the ‘baby,’ aged 3, has a book-box which holds around 150 books, at a guess) As you can imagine, our house is crammed with books. Most of which, I just have one copy of. Then, there are my favourites………………

I have three different copies of The Hunger Games series because….well……they’re all gorgeous covers and I just had to have them. I also have two different covers of the Twilight series because, you guessed it, I loved both.  Two and three copies isn’t actually too bad, even if my hubby looks at me as though I’m mad because, after years of being married to me, he’s used to my book-hoarding obsession!

However, 18 years ago this year, the first book in a series of seven was published for the first time. It was written by an (at that time) unknown author by the name of Joanne Rowling. That book, of course, was Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. I picked up the first book, buying into all the hype, and planned on keeping it for my future kids.  It sat on my shelf for a few years, along with book two, Chamber of Secrets and book three, Prisoner of Azkaban which I had bought as they were respectively published.  At this point, I had had my first baby and she loved me reading to her so I decided I would take out the Harry Potter books (that everyone had been talking about) and read them aloud. It didn’t matter that she was so young and didn’t understand one word that I was saying, all she wanted was to listen to my voice while she fell asleep.  Night after night, I read  and, as I did, I fell completely under Harry Potter’s spell (excuse the pun!) I started to read the books even when Rosie was sleeping and I had soon read all three AND WAS CRYING OUT FOR THE NEXT RELEASE!!! I had awakened a monster…….While I was waiting for Book four to be published, I decided it might be nice to get the paperback UK editions to go alongside my hardback versions.  Then I spotted the adult paperbacks and I just HAD to get those too………you get the idea; I was completely in love with all the beautiful Harry Potter editions and this began my obsession.

18 years later, I am the proud owner of 9 full sets of Harry Potter editions. (I finished off my American hardback set this evening when I ordered the two that I was missing!) I also own Harry Potter :  Page to Screen and Harry Potter : Film Wizardry. I’m hoping to add The Creature Vault to these soon!

It’s not just the books that hold the attraction for me; I was ‘sorted’ into Gryffindor on a dozen different fan sites so I have the maroon and yellow tie and scarf. I have a time turner, a golden snitch, Xenophilius’ necklace, a diadem, the marauders’ map…………I pick bits and pieces up whenever I can.  It would probably have been easier if I’d have had a limitless supply of money and could have just bought the box sets/merchandise whenever I wanted.  However, I don’t believe I would have had half the fun that I have had over the years, looking out for bargains! The thrill of finding a near-impossible-to-find copy in my price range, bidding on it then chewing off my nails until the auction ends, well that means a great deal of satisfaction when I win and the book is delivered in mint condition!

Everyone likes to collect things, whether that be handbags, shoes, make-up. Me? I’d probably go barefoot before I’d waste my book money 😀 😀 😀

My obsession is books. More specifically, Harry Potter books.

What’s yours……….?



Are you a did-not-finish-er…..?

bookpile4From being a very young reader, I was always under the impression that when you started a book, you read it through to the final page.  I’ve read hundreds of books in my 30 odd years that I just didn’t enjoy but I still struggled through to the end.  I don’t know what I thought would happen if I just gave up and set the book aside….Maybe a bolt of lightening from the God of books? Anyway, for whatever reason, I ALWAYS finished every book that I started.

Then, about 8 months ago, I was reading a book and really struggling to get through it.  I set it on my knee (for the hundredth time) with a sigh and looked over at my six foot bookcase which was stacked with books that I still had to read and I decided to rebel. Why should I make myself unhappy for another couple of days, reading a book that I clearly wasn’t enjoying and just couldn’t get into, when I had so many more books waiting for me? Wasn’t reading supposed to me a hobby, a pastime, a fun thing?? I closed up the hated book and set it on my shelves to try again another time.  I’m not unfair, the author has put an awful lot of blood, sweat and tears into their book so it’s only fair that I give them a fair chance and maybe I just wasn’t in the mood for this particular book at this time.  I then started a new book and, guess what? No bolt of lightening, nothing. I’d been stressing myself out for no reason.

Since then, I don’t waste time struggling with a book that I’m not enjoying or can’t get “into”. I don’t give up in the first few chapters, I always give each book a fair chance because, let’s face it, sometimes the good stuff doesn’t start at the beginning of the book but some slow-starters turn out to be wow! when you keep reading.

My other rule is that, if a book is a did-not-finish, I don’t review it.  I don’t think it’s fair because I’d be judging a book on reading just a half or two thirds of it.  It wouldn’t be fair to the author.  The only books that I now read in their entirety, even if I’m not enjoying them, are books that have been sent to me for review.   I read ARC’s and review books from start to finish so that I can give a clear review of what I thought. I don’t count these books as reading-for-fun (although I usually DO enjoy them!), more like a reading-for-work so it doesn’t matter what my thoughts are while reading, I read the whole book.

What about you? Do you continue to read a book to the bitter end, even if you struggle with every page? Or are you a rebel like me who thinks that there are just too many other books out there that still need read and why faff about on this one that you’re not enjoying? I’d love to know what you all think!

Happy Reading

Alison x


_80755103_harperlee1_gettyI am so excited about the news that, 55 years after the original book came out, Harper Lee is bringing out the sequel to To Kill a Mockingbird this July! I thought it was fascinating to read her interview and hear that this ‘sequel’ was actually the first book she wrote, about an adult Scout going back to her hometown to visit her ageing father. The book contained flashes of her childhood and her editor suggested that she write a book about Scout’s childhood through the racial tensions of that period, instead – she did this and that book turned out to be TKAM.  Ms Lee’s first manuscript (about the adult Scout) was then lost for years but, when it was recently discovered, she decided she would publish it as a sequel to Mockingbird.

I honestly haven’t been this excited about a piece of literary news EVER! Now I need something to keep me occupied between now and July…….then again, It’s not like I don’t have an ENORMOUS tbr pile to work my way through 😉

PS. For anyone who uses The Book Depository, they’re offering 25% off the RRP on all pre-orders!