Saturday, September 10, 2016

The Art and Science of Moving Books (Also, BOOKSHELF PICTURES!)

I am officially back from my unofficial hiatus due to moving. Thank you for all your kind comments that you left on my last post.

This past month, my sister and I moved out of our parents house. As we both love read and both work at libraries, we had a lot of books. You know what's not fun? Moving books. You know what is fun? Setting up new bookshelves. So this post will have a bit of both.

On Moving Books: 
As you know, books can really heavy really fast. The classic way to move books is in small, sturdy boxes. This method is fine, but I feel like we stumbled upon a much, much better way to move books. It all started when we realized that we didn't have any boxes, and were too lazy to track some down, so we started packing stuff into re-usable bags. They say laziness leads to innovation. The reusable bags turned out to be a great solution for us because you can carry a bag in each hand, which is way more books than one box. Since we were moving in the same city we would fill up all of our bags, empty them at the apartment and then fill them up again. We probably filled up about thirty bags, overall.
Some of the bags we used to move books. 

Tips for Using Reusable Bags for Moving:

  • Get the sturdy bags that can hold two piles beside each other in the bag
  • Periodically test the weight of the bag as you're filling it. Stop before it gets too heavy. 
  • Mix light books (e.g. paperbacks) and heavy books (e.g. hardcovers) in bags for maximum fill-age 
  • Tie the handles together once you've filled a bag, so they don't spill during transportation
  • If it's raining use a regular plastic bag to cover the books that could be exposed
On Setting up Bookshelves:
Between my sister and I, we had seven bookshelves. By the end of the move, we had 6.5 bookshelves. I'm not going to give any tips on moving bookshelves because we clearly are not experts. During our move we had a bookshelf snap in half. It was getting old and it was just a cheap Canadian Tire shelf that I built incorrectly in the first place. Ahem. Luckily, it split at a natural joint in the shelf, so it's now been made into a half bookshelf. A blessing in disguise really, because we now use it as a place to throw our keys/mail/other junk on when we come in our door. 

Moral of the story: Build things properly and be careful when you move them. 

Now, let's look at how we set everything up!

We decided to put the majority of our fiction in our dining area. Then we added a little gallery wall and a few other decorations, and of course our dining set that I painted. 

We originally were going to have all of our books in this area, but we though that it looked a little crowded. Here's a picture of how it was going to look: 
We nixed this idea because of how unbalanced it looked from the other part of the room with the bookshelves sticking out from the wall. This plan also required us to buy another skinny bookshelf to fill in the gap on the back wall. I glad that we changed to what we have now, because it feels a bit more modern and way more open (also, we didn't have to buy ANOTHER piece of furniture for the apartment). 

So where did the other 1.5 bookshelves end up? Right here:

This is along the wall in the our living room. To the right of the picture is our bedrooms and our front door; to the left is our kitchen and behind is the actual living area. We decided to incorporate my sister's desk into the setup, because it blended in so well. It was narrow enough that it didn't stick way out from the shelves and the colour matched perfectly! We added a few prints over the desk and a mirror over the half shelf and now it's all balanced out. No one would ever know that the shelf was supposed to be the same height as the other, haha. 

I had to include this picture that I took at night, because I love how cozy it looks with the lamp on the desk like that. And finally, a few other detail pictures:
My sister and I are so grateful to be in a position where we could move out of our parents house, and we're really enjoying our new space. If you have any ideas tips (or horror stories) on moving books, you should definetly leave them in the comments. Let me know what you think of our new digs! Also, how was the end of your Summer? I was away for that last month, so I'm anxious to get caught up with everything. 

Reading: The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman
Listening: The Lumineers
Watching: Scandal season 2

Friday, August 19, 2016

I'm Moving!

Hello Everyone,

Long time, no blog. I've had a not-so-secret project going on since the beginning of August. I'm moving! Not on the internet, but in actual, real life. The time has come to move out of my parents' house.

My sister and I had been casually searching all the Kijiji ads for a place to live, not with any urgency, when we stumbled across a lovely little apartment. Within a week we had seen the place, put an application in and got accepted! We signed the lease starting August 1. It was a bit of a whirl wind, but we're knew something good when we saw it. So over the month of August, we've been packing and moving and packing and moving some more. Every spare minute has went into the moving project. Luckily, we're in the same city as my parents, so we've had the luxury of moving slowly gradually. However, that's left very little time for blogging.

Now, with our move winding down (hopefully done by Monday!), I wanted to drop everyone a line and give you a little peek into my life outside of the internet. I will be back within the next few weeks with a post all about the enormous task of moving books and probably other chronicles about the move.

Here's a little sneak peak of our moving process: 

Hope everyone is enjoying their summer! Be sure to leave me any last minute moving tips in the comments!

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

What Do Your Bookshelves Say About You?

Photo of where we camped last week.
Last week I was up in Manitoulin Island area working at a children's day camp on a First Nation's reserve. The week was wonderful, and when we weren't running camp we had the opportunity to explore the reserve, which was beautiful. One afternoon we went into the second hand store of the reserve and of course I looked at the books.

If you've read SOI for awhile, you'll know that I'm in love with used books. Practically, I love them because they're cheap, but on a more romantic level, I love reading a book that has a history to it. Someone else has owned the book, maybe someone gave it to them, maybe they read it on a  vacation, who knows! I especially love it when some of that story peeks through. Maybe it's an inscription or some underlining, but whatever trace of the previous owner, that's left in the book, creates that history that I find so interesting and meaningful.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

How to Handle Books that You Disagree With

1. Don't read the book
Other people's reviews and opinions are more than enough to inform your rock solid stance on the issue. If you're stance starts to waver, get far away from the book and go read another blog post.

2. Steel your defenses
If you really cannot resist the temptation to read the book, make sure you go into it with your opinions already formed. This is the best way to make sure that the book does not force you to re-evaluate your standpoints. The person who said "if your opinion is truly correct than it can stand up to any questions" has clearly never been in a Twitter battle before.

3. Keep the controversy front and center
Now that you've got your opinions fortified for battle, don't lose sight of your enemy. Characters may be charming and the writing may be poetic, but don't let those features distract you from the purpose of your reading. By all means, do not let yourself get emotionally involved; boarding a ship will only sail you away on a sea of feels away from that controversy.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Spring Recap: Why I've Been Reading Realistic Fiction

Tonight, I was talking to some friends about what types of entertainment that we enjoy (basically books and movies). One of my friends said that she loves the escapism of the Fast and the Furious movies (if you're reading this, you know who you are, haha). Another friend said that she loved dumb humor in sitcoms. We definetly bashed a few books that we had read and been disappointed with, which I took part in (but would never post about so openly online). What I do want to post very openly online, was my answer to which types of entertainment that I prefer. In particular, I want to talk about which genre of books that I've been enjoying lately.

That genre (spoiler alert, the title says it) is realistic fiction and memoirs. A few YA contemporaries, but mostly fiction that's about everyday people's lives and how they live them. There's just something that I find so beautiful about the simplicity of everyday relationships. Good realistic fiction has a way of exploring the human condition through some of the most mundane, yet complex character relationships and scenarios.

I'm in a phase right now where I crave books that strip away the melodramatics and extra fluff. Of course books should have high concepts and extreme stakes, but sometimes the most extra stake can be whether or not a friendship will weather through a period in someone's life. I think I'm so attracted to these books because they feel authentic and relevant to how I understand my own life and friendships. These "slice of life" books definetly underscore the idea of books helping to extend the reader's range of empathy.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Reviewing Books by YouTubers: Make Up by Michelle Phan

It's time for another edition of reviewing YouTuber books! Last time I reviewed Grace Helbig's satirical style book, and this week I'm reviewing Michelle Phan's real style book, Make Up: Your Life Guide to Beauty, Style and Success -Online and Off. What a nice coincidence that this book came in for me at the library right after Grace's book.

I'm not going to repeat my big intro that I've used for the last few reviews, because I'm getting tired of writing it, so I'm sure you're getting tired of reading it. If you're new, or missed the last few reviews, feel free to check out the entire series here

A Brief Introduction to Michelle Phan
In lieu of an explanation of the series, I've decided to expand my introduction to each book to include some information about the YouTuber.

My familiarity with the Youtuber: Not subscribed, had not watched any videos until reading this book.
Michelle Phan's subscriber count at the time of this post: 8, 601, 841
YouTube Genre: Beauty Guru (obviously)
Sample video:

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Sunny's Reading Habits (Tag)

Thanks for tagging me Victoria!
A long long time ago (Oct. 2015), Victoria Grace Howell tagged me in the Day and Night Reading Tag. I saved the link ages ago, and only just saw it again today #bloggershame. Since I'm always interested in hearing about people's reading habits, I thought I would share mine via this tag. Be sure to check out Victoria's post on her blog, Wanderer's Pen, here.

Onto the questions!

Do you read more in the morning or at night?
I definetly read more at night than in the morning. I pretty much have a built in reading time right before I go to sleep at night. I am not a morning person, at all, so I can't really imagine reading a novel right after I wake up and before I start my day. The only time I read in the morning is if I need to read something for a class that I'm on my way to, haha. I do listen to audio-books when I take the bus to work and school, so if that counts than I do read in the morning.

Are there any books that changed the way you thought about things?
This is a tough question, because I feel like books do that all the time to me. I'm not going to go into detail here, because I want to write an entire post on this. However, I will center out a few:
A Year of Living Prayerfully by Jared Brock
The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon
The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros
Some of these books made me think about life differently and some of them made me think about literature differently. Stay tuned for an entire post on this.

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