Category: Discussions

My Hatred of Hardbacks

My Hatred of Hardbacks

Ok, so I feel like I might be a bit weird in this respect, but I’m going to come right out and say it: I really dislike hardback books. Yes, they look nice on your shelf and are much sturdier than paperbacks, but there are a number of reasons for my hatred of hardbacks: They’re so unwieldy. Hardback books are bigger and much more unwieldy than paperback books in my opinion, and are just much harder to read. You can’t open them as wide or as flat as a paperback, so I can personally never find a comfortable way to… Read more »

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5 Ways To Stay Creative On the Go

5 Ways To Stay Creative On the Go

There tends to be this traditional idea of writers and artists as people closeted away from the world in their lonely garret or remote gothic mansion, crafting their masterpieces in isolation… However, in today’s world creatives are generally people who lead busy lives full of jobs, social occasions, family, friends and relationships, and creativity is something they have to squeeze in around these commitments. So in a world where it feels like there’s always something you have to be doing, or somewhere you have to be, how do you manage to stay creative whilst constantly on the go? Personally, I feel… Read more »

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5 Genres I’d Like To Read More Often

5 Genres I’d Like To Read More Often

I think as bookworms we all have at least a couple of genres that we mostly stick in, and the big one for me is fantasy. There’s just something about kings and queens, and dragons, and magic, and sword-fights that I just can’t get enough of, and this has pretty much been the case since childhood when I became obsessed with The Lord of the Rings. I also have a pretty strong penchant for historical fiction (must be all those kings and queens and sword-fights again!) and YA (mostly fantasy YA, to be honest!), and for the most part, I seem… Read more »

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What makes a good villain?

What makes a good villain?

As surprising as it might seem, villains have just as big a role in a story as the hero. Yes, we may spend much more time with the hero, but essentially there is no story without the villain there to oppose the hero’s every move. But what makes a good villain? What is it that enthrals us so much, and makes us love to hate them? And what makes them fall flat and not seem like much of a threat? Well here are a few of my ideas about what makes a good villain! Essentials: Good villains have clear motives… Read more »

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Life Crisis: When You Don’t Know Which Hogwarts House You’d Be In

Life Crisis: When You Don’t Know Which Hogwarts House You’d Be In

Is it me, or has there been an influx of great Harry Potter merchandise around recently? Every time I venture into Primark there’s something new from t-shirts and sweatshirts, to duvet covers, mugs, cushions and socks, and Waterstones is currently full of great gift items ranging from bags and pin badges to full sets of Quidditch balls (seriously…they’re awesome!). Put simply, it has my greedy little bookworm-eyes lighting up, and I’m literally itching to get my hands on most of it! There’s just one problem I have with buying Harry Potter merch, and it’s been haunting me for months, ever since… Read more »

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The Pros and Cons of Second-Hand Books

The Pros and Cons of Second-Hand Books

I’ll confess: I’m a book-buying addict. There’s really no point denying it when I’m writing this in a bedroom with books stacked high on every available surface, and with a bookcase stuffed full of more books downstairs in the hallway (and there are also books stacked on top of the bookcase too…as I say, I have a problem!). They’re literally everywhere, and I love it! The only problem with my book-buying addiction is that it can be a pretty expensive habit: brand new paperbacks seem to start at an absolute minimum of £6.99 these days, and a hardback can go up… Read more »

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Books and Memories

Books and Memories

Sometimes it seems to me that books are like sponges, soaking up my experiences, not just of the story inside, but of my own life when I’m reading them. All it takes is for me to crack that book open again and the memories come flooding back, and I remember where I was when I first read it, and what I felt. It doesn’t happen for every single book: only the ones that are truly memorable, or that changed me in some way. A lot of my childhood favorites, for example, are infused with memories, perhaps because I read many of… Read more »

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6 Inspiring Quotes from ‘Wild’ by Cheryl Strayed

6 Inspiring Quotes from ‘Wild’ by Cheryl Strayed

Cheryl Strayed’s book Wild: From Lost To Found is a book I’ve been meaning to read for so long… I’d heard a lot about how inspiring and uplifting it was, and when I read it recently I was pleased to find that it was all that and so much more. For those who haven’t heard of Wild (which I suspect most people will have – it was made into a film with Reese Witherspoon in it several years ago!), it’s about 26 year old Cheryl Strayed’s journey hiking thousands of miles along the Pacific Crest Trail in an attempt to find herself and figure… Read more »

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On Being A Kindle Convert

On Being A Kindle Convert

Years ago, I would never have thought this day would come…the day when I, Laura, would be singing the praises of an e-reader. Literally, since the release of e-readers, I’ve been resisting them. Despite their obvious advantages, to embrace a digitalized way of reading seemed like a betrayal against my beloved books. And books had been my constant companion since childhood: the feeling of paper beneath my hands and the smell of ink meant comfort, and wonder and joy to me. Reading words on a screen just didn’t have the same charm or same associations as actual books, and so for… Read more »

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How To Juggle Multiple Writing Projects

How To Juggle Multiple Writing Projects

Recently, I seem to be swamped with writing projects. I’ve been trying to working on: My novel. Blog posts for this blog. Blog posts for my freelance writer website. Blog posts to pitch to other websites (to build up my freelance writing portfolio). Short stories for a couple of competitions I want to enter. So, I think it’s safe to say I have a lot on my plate, even if it is all self-inflicted! Because I’ve been trying to juggle so many projects, I’ve been trying to figure out different ways to really maximise my writing time so that I’m… Read more »

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