Monday, January 22, 2018

Do books have expiry dates?

This photo was originally posted on my Instagram here

I've always been of the belief that a good story has no age limit. I mean, I'm always as excited to revisit old childhood favorites as I am to pick up a new book that's geared more to people of my current age group (I'm turning 25 next month, in case you were wondering ^^). And while my list of to-be-read books is a never ending one, with new entries constantly being added as new books are released everyday, I always take the time to reread my favorite books. Harry Potter? I must have read the whole series at least 8 times now. 

And then there are those books that we just kinda... stop reading? You know which books I'm talking about. You totally do. We all have books on our shelves that deep down we know for sure we'll never read again. I don't mean the unwanted books your aunt gave you for Christmas and which you had to act excited about because you didn't want to look like an ungrateful jerk. And I'm not talking either about those books you never finished or which you hated.  Or had to read for school and hated and never finished. No, I'm talking about the books you actually really enjoyed at the time, but which somehow, as time passed, you knew you'd never crack open again. 

Which brings me to this post's title. Do books actually have expiry dates? Or rather, do stories have expiry dates? The short answer: yes. 

And here's why this happens: 

1. The hype has died down and you realize your once favorite book wasn't all that great after all

Ahem, Divergent anyone?? So, this one is something most of us have been guilty of at least once before. Every now and then, we'll have a book that gets so hyped among the bookish community that even if it's something we would normally never even reach for, we find ourselves having to buy it. Remember all those boring, super cliched dystopians we had to read just because we needed something to fill the void left after the Hunger Games ended? And don't get me started on all those stupid love triangle filled teen romances with vampires and demons and werewolves we would pick up because we were all still so enamored with Twilight. And of course, the angel books. So many angel books! Hush, Hush anyone? That was like the Twilight of angel books. So, of course I bought it. Didn't we all? XD. 

Ah Twilight... Those days were fun though, weren't they? ^^
- Source -

2. We sometimes outgrow our favorite children books

This one makes me sad. And it's largely what inspired this post. See, when I was a kid, I used to love the Saga of Darren Shan by Darren Shan (Yup, the author's pen name is the same as his character's name). It was basically the Harry Potter of the children horror genre. I loved those books with a passion and read the whole series 2 or 3 times. Recently, I decided to give it a go again, simply out of nostalgia. Two books into the series, I realized that I wasn't enjoying it the way I used to. Don't get me wrong. The books are still amazing and I absolutely recommend it to new readers, especially younger ones. It's just that all those epic scenes I remembered? They now fell a little flat for me. And on top of that, 24 year old me couldn't help but be overly logical and analytical with books that, to be fair, really should be just enjoyed as they are, being children books. I'll still remember this series with a lot of fondness. But the truth is that I've simply outgrown it. And yup, like I said, that does make me a little sad. Especially since 12 year old me totally had a crush on Darren (the character, not the author XD). 

Gotta appreciate the pretty spines here. Not to mention the colors.
- Source -

3. Guilty pleasure reads

These are the books we pick up even if we know they aren't the epitome of quality literature, just because we know they'll be fun anyway. These are the holiday reads and the books you pick up on your way to boarding a plane. The racy romance novels your best friend recommends with a knowing wink. The cheesy and overdramatic YA books you secretly love to read every now and then, just for the heck of it. We all have our guilty pleasure reads and by all means, if a book makes you happy, go for it! That being said though, most of the time, these are books most of us will probably never reread again. Because once the fun element of indulging in them is gone, they just lose a bit of their appeal. Especially since there are so many other books we often would rather read instead. These books will still always have that special place in our bookish hearts though.

Would a romance novel really be a romance novel without Fabio on the cover?
Source -

4. Some classics just don't age well

Yup. And for me, this is the case mostly due to slang terms that are of no use today. Or worse, that are considered rude or offensive today. I'm thinking mostly of all those racial slurs that we would condemn in today's world, but which were perfectly normal expressions back in the day, making many classics "accidentally" racist. The authors, in most cases, weren't even trying to criticize a particular group of people. But they still would strike a wrong chord with many modern readers. Aside from racially offensive slang, many classics also reflect a well dated depiction of women. This could be either in the depiction of female characters, or in the way male characters address these women. Again, these books are probably only "accidentally" sexist, simply because things just were different back then. Either way, many modern readers would probably still find these books problematic, making them seem a little obsolete in our bookshelves. 

If you are familiar with this book, you probably know what I'm talking about... 
- Source

5. The book isn't relevant anymore

I mean, do you know anyone who would actually need to read a 19th century book called Studies in the Art of Rat Catching?? I'm not making this up. This book actually exists. Look it up, hehe. Back in the 19th century, when vermin control was a question of life and death for the population, this book was something most households would probably have wanted a copy of. Flash forward to 2018 though, unless it's for academic purposes or the like, this book just isn't relevant anymore. I rather like the title of the book though ^^

- Source -

So, that's it for today's post guys. What are your thoughts on books and stories having 'expiry dates'? Do you think a day will come when even our beloved Sarah J. Maas and Cassandra Clare books would have become obsolete?! Or when kids will gradually stop reading Harry Potter, just like with the Famous Five, Sweet Valley kids, the Baby-Sitter Club and so many more? Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below ^^

Sunday, October 29, 2017

5 Easy DIY Halloween Projects For You To Try This Year!

Hey guys! So, today I thought it would be fun to share with you some of my favorite DIY Halloween Projects from around the Internet. I don't know for you, but I personally love making my own decorations, may it be for Halloween or for other holidays like Christmas. Since I'm currently living in small dorm room, I don't think I'll actually be able to do a lot of DIY this year, which makes me a bit sad. However, if you decide to try any of these, do let me know 'cause I'd love to see your creations! You can message them to me on Instagram if you want. You'll find the link to my account among my other social media on the right. 

If you want to learn more about how to do any of these projects, just click on the links that I've included in the descriptions and they'll take you straight to each project's original tutorial post. 

1. Decorated Witch Hat 


This fun project by Cheryl over at TidyMom is very easy. All you need is a witch hat and some extra tidbits to decorate it. Whether you want to use it to decorate your room or as a centrepiece for your party table, this project is not only super easy to make but it's also very pretty. Click here for the full tutorial

2. Decorated Witch Broom


I love, love this one and I really wish I was at home so that I could do it to! This tutorial is from Trisha at MomDot and it's perfect both as a costume accessory and as a decorative piece. I'm a sucker for pretty tulle in Halloween decorations myself so this one is definitely a project I'll do at some point. Click here for the full tutorial.

3. Witch Shoe 


This tutorial is from the blog Dale Detalles and it's another favorite of mine. For this one you'll need some regular heel shoes along with some paint and other little embellishments. It's not very hard to do and would make for a really pretty addition to your Halloween decor. Click here for the full tutorial

4. Witch tutu dress


This tutorial by Rececca from the blog Simple As That is a real lifesaver if you are on a budget or don't have much time to come up with a fancy Halloween costume. I personally also want to try this one out myself. Since this year I don't think I'll be able to dress up, I'm bookmarking this one for next Halloween! Click here for the full tutorial.

5. Halloween Door Sign


This tutorial from The Ladybird Blog is perfect if you're looking for something to decorate your front door. The tutorial even comes with a template for you to easily recreate the one from the picture. It's easily customizable and while the tutorial is for a chalkboard sign, this could just as easily be adapted for a cardboard sign instead. Click here for the full tutorial

So that's it for this post guys. Did you like these DIY projects? Are you going to be trying some of them out? If you are, do let me know! You can also message me the pictures of your creations on Instagram. Take care and have fun with your Halloween preparations! 

Friday, October 13, 2017

5 Awesome Places to Visit for Halloween

Book your plane tickets, grab your travel guides and pack your bags, 'cause we're off for a celebration of Halloween across the globe!

Hey guys! I'm here today with another Halloween special for you. But first, in case you missed my last few posts, I'm actually currently hosting a special Halloween event on the blog this month. So if you missed my latest Halloween themed posts, you can click here to read about the movies that I'll be watching throughout the month. You can also click here to see the books that I'll be reading this month. 

So for today's post, I thought I would do something a bit different and share with you a list of the places that I'd love to one day visit for Halloween. These are well-loved travel destinations that every year undergo a magical transformation to become extra spooky around Halloween time. So whether you're just hoping to add new locations to your travel bucket list or you're planning your next Halloween holiday trip, I hope you'll enjoy this post! As always, if you have other recommendations for me, feel free to let me know in the comments. 

Disney World during Halloween time (Florida, US)


Disney Parks are always places of magic and wonder, regardless of the time of the year. However, during the Halloween season, the theme park undergoes one of its most magical makeovers of the year to enchant visitors even more with a deliciously spooky wonderland that would make Jack Skellington and the folks over at Halloweentown feel right at home. 

St. Helens, Oregon (US)


If you're a fan of the classic Disney Channel Halloweentown movies, you probably already know this but St. Helens actually served as the shooting location of the first movie. Every year, the small town goes all out for Halloween and puts together an amazing month-long celebration of Halloween. This year the festivities will be extra special as the cast members of the movie are coming together to celebrate with the fans and also to pay tribute to Debbie Reynolds, who passed away in 2016 and who played the role of Marnie's grandma Aggie in the movies. The town's Halloween celebrations went viral in 2015 when Marnie's actress Kimberly J. Brown made an appearance to light a giant pumpkin in the spirit of a similar scene at the end of the first movie. If you are in the area and want to find out more about this year's celebrations, click here for full details of the event

Transylvania, Romania 


What better than a visit to the birthplace of legendary vampire Dracula to celebrate Halloween? Once home to Vlad the Impaler, the cruel prince who inspired the story of Dracula, the historically rich country of Romania is the perfect travel location for lovers of Gothic art and architure. Indeed, apart from its association with vampires, Romania is also full of equally entrancing historical sites. Oh and the best part? If you're thinking of visiting Transylvania, you can actually visit Dracula's Castle! The castle, whose real name is the Bran Castle, even opened its doors in 2016 to visitors who were given the exclusive chance to actually spend the night there! If you want to find out more about how to make a visit to Dracula's Castle, you can click here for additional information

Sleepy Hollow, New York (US)

Yes, Sleepy Hollow is a very real place and while many of us might be more familiar with its fictional counterpart, which features in Washington Irving's famous short story and its multiple screen adaptations, the real location is not without its own ghostly charms. The town organizes multiple events for visitors to celebrate Halloween in all its spooky glory, from haunted hayrides to a walk-in mansion decked up in full house of horrors fashion with the legendary Headless Horseman himself as the evening's host! The town also serves as Washington Irving's final resting place and visitors can visit his grave during cemetery tours, along with those of other public figures. You can click here to plan your trip to Sleepy Hollow if you're thinking of dropping by this Halloween. 

Salem, Massachusetts (US)

This list would be incomplete without the town that held of the famous 17th century witch trials. Whether you just want to explore the town's tragic history or make your Halloween more interesting by visiting some haunting places, the town of Salem is a great place to visit during this time of the year. Much like Sleepy Hollow, the town has embraced its haunted legacy and now puts together amazing events each year for its Halloween visitors. If you feel like visiting Salem this Halloween, you can click here for full details on how to plan your spooky trip, including lodging, food places and cool events happening in the town. 

So that's it for this post guys! I hope you enjoyed my recommendations. If you've been to any of those places or you're planning to, whether for Halloween or otherwise, do share your travel stories with us in the comments ^^ As always, if you have other recommendations of awesome Halloween travel locations for me, do let me know also.