3 books to read if you enjoyed Stoker’s Dracula

3 best vampire books after Dracula

If Stoker’s Dracula fascinated you, you’re not the only one. Vampire stories have a way of capturing the reader’s attention (which is why this isn’t the first time we’ve written about vampire books!)

If you don’t want to stop reading vampire stories at this ultimate classic, here are three excellent reads you can continue your quest with: Continue reading “3 books to read if you enjoyed Stoker’s Dracula”

The 5 best graphic novels to read this Fall

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Let’s admit it: we’re not always in the mood for a long read. War and Peace might be your thing, no questions asked. But at some point, you’re going to need something lighter. And this is where graphic novels, mangas and comics come in.

An art form of its own, this category of reading has its own charm. There’s something about the beautiful artwork that makes you fall into the story so hard and fast, it is almost magical. So, here are our best 5 recommendations if graphic novels are your thing! Continue reading “The 5 best graphic novels to read this Fall”

Time for the spooks: 5 books you should be reading on Halloween!

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Raise your hands if Halloween is your favorite season!

There’s sea-and-sun people, and there’s Fall people. And although every season has its own charm, we’re here to talk about the most amazing time of the year: Halloween!

Books for the spooks

Now, we’ve done an article about Halloween books before, but so many amazing books have come out since then, that we just had to create another one!

Any complaints? No? Good! Here are five recently published (or soon-to-be published) books you should be reading this Halloween. Continue reading “Time for the spooks: 5 books you should be reading on Halloween!”

5 books your children will love this year!

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You know the saying – ‘A child who reads is an adult who thinks”. A person usually comes to love reading in their childhood, so we can all understand the importance of books in early stages.

But children are an exceptionally tough crowd. Which has inevitably made children’s books more imaginative. There are so many to choose from nowadays. So which one will your children appreciate? Here are five books we think your children will love – and so will you! Continue reading “5 books your children will love this year!”

Stories that break our hearts, and why they are worth it

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Here’s to books that break our hearts

I could start by telling you how important books are, but you already know that. Instead, let us talk about some of those special, rare findings that make  us feel sad, but which we get to love nonetheless: the books that break our heart. Have you ever come across a book that was very hard for you to read, but in the same time felt like home? If so, then you know what I’m talking about. Continue reading “Stories that break our hearts, and why they are worth it”

The Year of the Snake : Plots, Murder and Rome at its peak

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The Year of the Snake is out now by Endeavour Media

 

While mystery has always been a popular genre for readers, historical fiction has also started to trend lately. Ancient Rome and Greece are now the preferred settings for readers. And they are not wrong. Most of us learn so much about these ancient worlds since we have been children, that they are absolutely intriguing to us!

I missed no chance in reading The Year of The Snake when I came into it. Here’s a book that combines some of my favourite things: mystery, cunning and a very well researched historical setting. But let me tell you more about the plot first, and there’s also an interview with the authors afterwards; trust me, you will love what they have to say about it. Continue reading “The Year of the Snake : Plots, Murder and Rome at its peak”

On why your reading speed doesn’t really matter

 

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Ads about speed reading, ads everywhere….

On the last few weeks I have bumped more than once on advertisements about speed reading. Posted everywhere on social media, I imagine they’re targeted to people who read a lot. So, some of you have also come across such ads.

Promising that “you can, too, read one book every day!” or “how to read all the Great Classics in a month!”, they tend to actually make a lot of people feel bad. Should I be reading like a madman? Should I be reading 300 books a year? Do I need to feel bad that I don’t?

Of course not. And the reasons are very simple.

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Not everyone reads at the same pace.

 

Some people are inherently better than others at reading faster. And, yes, many of them have the ability to retain all that information. Others read at a slower pace, sometimes finding it helpful to revisit some sentences (or even paragraphs. And both reading styles are absolutely fine.

 

Let’s talk about time.

 

Ahhh…time. The thing we always chase, the thing we seldom find. It’s very hard to find adequate time for yourself.  It’s understandable .Whether it’s school, work, family or any of the above combined, there’s not much free time in your life.

But, for the sake of the argument, let’s say you actually find a couple of hours a day in which you can unwind or do personal chores. Even when you find some little precious time for yourself, you have to be relaxed enough to be able to concentrate on your book. You couldn’t possible read War and Peace after 10 hours of work, an hour on commute and three hours of doing chores, could you? ( If you can, I beg you to show me how you do it).  So why on earth would you be so hard on yourself for not reading a book a day?

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Reading is meant to bring joy, not stress.

I sometimes feel that us readers forget the most important thing about books: they are there t make us happy. It can be one book a month, or a book a day. Does it matter?

If reading 300 books a year brings you joy, then that is absolutely great. It’s marvelous. To be honest, I’m both happy and jealous for you. But if something like that sounds even remotely stressful, then relax and remember: reading is supposed to bring you joy. It exists to make your life better, not to make you worry about not reading enough books, or not reading fast enough.

What is important is that you do, indeed, read.

No matter the pace, you’re doing it. You’re making time for your book, and that is enough. You have nothing to prove to others, no challenge to complete, no reason to feel anxious about it. After all, it doesn’t matter how slowly you’re going, as long as you don’t stop, right?

So, enjoy yourself at your own, comfortable pace. Books are and always will be royal friends. They will still be there, waiting for you, until you make time for them!

On finding more time for your reading obsession

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Sirius, my reading buddy, and a part of February’s tbr pile

Free time is scarce

…this doesn’t look like a very promising start for a post about reading, does it? Bear with me, it gets better.

I know most of you have little precious time to devote on your reading habits. Working 9-5 (at the best of situations) leaves most people tired and drained, and we all know that a tired mind can’t fully enjoy free time, let alone a book. Then there’s the grocery shopping, the studying, the household chores. The social life (for those brave enough to have one on weekdays). What’s left of your precious time for that book that has been waiting for you on the nightstand for the past couple of months?

We need more time, but where can we find it?

Night time is my favorite part of the day to read. I’ve had time to do the chores and relax a bit, and then I snuggle with a book and read for an hour or two before bed. (Occasionally, as I’m sure a lot of you have done, I’ll pull an all nighter when a story is particularly catchy).

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But there is more than just bed time

Have you ever wondered how much time we spend every day aimlessly scrolling on our phones? How many times do we put our phone down just to pick it up in a matter of minutes, if not seconds? There’s all kind of amazing apps in there, I get it. And then there is, of course, the social media.

Don’t get me wrong, I use them as well. A lot. So much so that I decided to make a rough estimate on how much time I spend on social media in a day. Now, social media on moderation can be amazing. I connect with many friends that live far away. And, of course, as a book blogger, I use them amply for promoting my work.

But what happens when we overdo it?

Five minutes here, ten minutes there, and you end up consuming three to five hours daily on social media. Mind you, they are not even active hours. In the biggest part of that time, we just scroll around.

And it’s not just social media

It’s not just about social media. It’s not even just about our phone. There’s aimlessly watching TV shows you don’t even like that much, or spending time on any activity that, deep inside, you find time consuming and aimless.

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Spending time on what you truly love

So, starting January, I tried being more mindful of the free time I spend on various things. Where do I spend my time? Do I like what I do with it? Could I use it on something I like better?

And, just like that, I cut off on my social media “aimless scrolling time”, gaining about 2 more hours of reading every day. I caught up on my tbr list, and I loved it. It doesn’t mean I don’t pick up my phone to have a look from time to time, but it does mean I don’t do it aimlessly that often.

Bottom line, whatever it is that consumes your time a bit too much (and it certainly is something different for everyone), try doing it consciously. You’ll find you can cut down the time of it while still enjoying its fun side, and soon enough, you’ll be spending more time with those friends that patiently wait for you on your bookshelf.

 

A January Reading Recap: Irish Folk Tales, Dystopias and Vikings.

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January. The month of fresh starts.

The time of optimism and setting goals. Sometimes those goals are a little bit unrealistic, but we all deserve to hope, right?

My humble goals for the New Year revolve (unsurprisingly) around books. So I vouched I would read more diversely. Fiction will always be the (bookish) love of my life, but that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t try out other styles.

So here I am. It’s February 2nd , and January’s reads have given me an insight into topics I didn’t expect I would get to study into any degree of details.

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Vikings and Fairies

The Sea Wolves by Lars Brownworth gave me a glimpse into a people that strove to live in  inhospitable environments, trades, explored and conquered. Irish Fairy and Folk Tales by W.B.Yeats taught me a thing or two about faeries. I learned what a Banshee is (not a pleasant being, but interesting none the less). I also realised that Irish Gaelic is incredibly difficult to pronounce – but what a gorgeous language it is!

A first dive into Dystopias

January was also the month of my initiation in Dystopias. To this day, I have to admit I never got round to reading the Hunger Games. This month, I read Scythe By Neil Shusterman. I will be honest with you. Was it good? Better than what I had expected, and a good introduction to the genre. Still not my cup of tea, though.

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Getting acquainted with the works of Rupi Kaur

Poetry is a word many people are afraid of, and I used to belong in that category. Reluctantly at first, I started Rupi Kaur’s Milk and Honey, the result being that I also read her The Sun and Her Flowers poetic anthology in the same day. I found her writing beautiful and empowering. There, all fear of Poetry is now gone. That’s a definite win.

Thrillers? Yes, please!

Final Girls by Riley Sager was quite the thriller! With lots of twists and turns, it was one of those books that you read through a single night. Have you ever found yourself muttering “one more chapter”, never actually putting it down? Well, that’s what happened with me and the Final Girls.

Getting better sleep

The Sleep Solution by W.Chris Winter was, bottom line, a self help book about sleeping better. Although I don’t usually encounter problems with my sleep, there were some interesting facts in there. You can learn a lot about the way your brain functions during sleep, what kind of problems can arise, and what you can do to have a better night’s sleep. I’m still not a big fan of self help books, though.

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Evil Librarian

Reading outside your comfort zone doesn’t mean you shouldn’t read some of your favorite genres as well. This month I got to read the Evil Librarian (see full review here), a hilarious,smart fiction book. I also read The Ocean at the end of the Lane by Neil Gaiman (which was long overdue).  In between trying new things, always go back to some of your loved ones as well. Reading, after all, shouldn’t be a chore.

In total, I managed to read fourteen books this past month. I don’t expect every month to be as prolific, but that’s not the point. This January, I read some books that I knew I’d probably like, but I also tried new genres. In the best of situations, I discovered new kinds of literature I liked, and learned various things. In the worst of situations, I confirmed my not liking some types of styles and plots, which I also count as a good thing.

So here’s to a different, more diverse bookish year. I hope you have made some bookish resolutions, too. But even if you haven’t, there’s always time. You might discover some interesting things about yourself. And they say there’s no better time than the present, right?