One Year Blogiversary & INTL. Giveaway


Guess what January 3rd was?

My Blogiversary

Guess who had no clue until I looked it up on January 3rd?

This girl.

So, I did a Twitter poll, and a few people did it, so it’s been decided that today I’ll do my blogiversary post and celebrate by…

Giving you all a tour of my bookshelves.

Prepare yourselves, we still haven’t really worked out how many shelves we need and we’re still trying to find space to put all this crap that we own so the pictures will be scary in the sense that there’s no sense of order, it’s just chaos. Pure chaos. And mess.

Also, to celebrate my blogiversary I would like to do an international giveaway for a book depository gift card worth £10. It’s not much but I wanted to do something, and I promise there’ll be more giveaways to come this year.

My Bookshelves

First up, my Ikea cube shelf, which, I’m not putting a full picture of because it’s basically blocked by random game consoles and accessories and random pairs of shoes…oh…and a drill. [Looking right at it as I type, shuddering as I realize how messy I am]


The Cube shelf is mostly for my YA books as they’re the ones I own the most of, but we also have had to use this shelf for board games and puzzles and videogames which is why everything’s so smooshed in it. Oh and random videos apparently. Yea, that’s right that bottom right corner picture is Star Wars IV-VI on VHS. Boom.

I try to kinda keep it by genre, generally, but this go it’s literally been like ‘if it it fits, it sits’

You’ll note a Harry Potter lego set, may I just say that was a Christmas present to myself and the husband from my sister-in-law? She knows me too well.

I…I can’t get over how messy this all is! I couldn’t even take a picture of one of the cubes cause it was blocked by so much shite. Bahaha. Okay upward and onward [well downward shelf wise]

On the plus side, these shelves are slightly neater? Maybe?

Anyway, I have a whole shelf dedicated to Cassandra Clare cause she turns out books like I eat chocolates. Also, Mortal Instruments holds a special place in my heart as it was the first YA series I really read after the Harry Potter books.

I also have some books I’ve bought for the spawn AND myself, and I’ve kept them here for now such as Artemis Fowl and Percy Jackson [not pictured here]. The Worst Teachers book is hers too, spawn prefers humorous books and graphic/comic books, I love seeing her develop her own tastes. Anyway, you’ll also see I have a cube of manga, that’s right, all manga there, and it’s three rows deep of manga lol. [Why does that sound dirty?]  I’m actually surprised by how many books I’ve actually read in these four cubes, go me, but haha the rest is all like 50% read, 50% forgot I owned.

Onto the other shelf in our tiny living room!


Fortunately, this one is public appropriate to show you the full shelf lol. You’ll notice this is mostly classics, and hey, what can I say, I do love classics, as does the husband so this is more our shelf whereas the black cubicle one is definitely like all me lol.

I also love to collect older books so the first few shelves are the ones I find in charity shops while the bottom shelf as like our B&N pretty editions lol

And now we’re off to the basement/ground level!


Here we have historical fiction, ‘chick lit’ and more classics. As well as one set of my HP books and my Tamora Pierce books. ❤ The bottom shelf is like all Agatha Christie behind those other mystery books.

On the right we have….wait for it, nonfiction. There are reference books for musicology studies and the general nonfiction that the hubs and I can both bond over. Except he reads boring things like Napoleon stuff while I’m like ‘hey let’s read about actors and the Romanov dynasty’ lol.

Where will we go next? To our bedroom! [Bookshelves only, pervs]

Now, the bottom right picture is actually a different shelf, it’s a small one we keep our TBR books on, and you know, whatever else needs to go on there. You’ll spy Wolf Light and Curses & Kisses on the top of that shelf, I’m so excited to read those lol. The taller shelf holds signed/special edition books and my husband’s Hemingway and philosophy books as they’re important to him ❤

I know I’ve got multiple editions of some books on there, but, these books really made an impression on me so I have more than one copy.

I’ve got Goldsboro and Illumicrate editions of Kingdom of Souls, Fairyloot editions of Girls of Storm and Shadow, The Beautiful, The Merciful Crow, and Serpent and Dove on the first shelf. There’s also the Goldsboro editions of The Gods of Jade and Shadow and Aurora Rising. Pan’s Labyrinth is a signed Forbidden Planet edition, and that’s the Waterstones exclusive edition of The Deathless Girls. The rest of the books are regular editions but they’re all signed and most are personalized to me, they’re the authors I’ve been lucky enough to meet!

Second and third shelf are mostly Waterstones or even Barnes and Noble special editions, and more signed by the author/signed bookplate books. There’s also a Faecrate edition of The Red Labyrinth because I really thought that book was awesome and underrated. Finally the bottom shelf, I want to point out my Goldsboro and Illumicrate editions of Blood Heir, man, I thought that book was pretty great.

There we go, I have shown you all my horribly messy bookshelves, and consider these all ‘before’ photos as we are going to be getting wall/floating shelves for the mess that is the living room.

One Year

I’ve met so many amazing people, and read so many equally amazing books, that I can’t imagine my life without some part of the bookish community. I’ve joined street teams, I’ve found friends, met lovely people in publishing, authors, and book reviewers who have influenced my bookshelves.

I could go on and on about what I’ve done, but I already did a year in review, I read a lot, over 240+ books, put up over 174 book review posts, participated in readathons, blog tours, and Book Ending events, and really all that I can think to write about is how happy it’s all made me and how much fun I’ve had. This is all thanks to the people I’ve encountered and without them, there wouldn’t be this post.

Wouldn’t be here without you either.

Sending love and wishing you all the best, let’s see what another year will do on this blog. [Still updating my Patreon stuff, and will be bringing back Comparing Notes, just for starters]

Now onto the important stuff!

Giveaway Information

Giveaway is for a 10 gift card for book depository, it is open internationally, to be entered for it just comment on my blog OR F/RT the tweet about it. That’s it! [If you comment on here but don’t want to be entered in the giveaway for any reason, just state that you’d like to be exempt]



Finding love for Reading

For anyone who knows me in real life knows, like every book blogger, I’m a super bookworm, I love to read, I always have, and around my friends, I’m also known as being an annoyingly fast reader.

Oddly enough, I didn’t really enjoy books until the Fourth grade. I used to have to stay after school in First grade with a few others to work on learning to read, it was a massive struggle for me but I got there in the end as far as learning how to.

Teachers thought I had no reading comprehension and I was known for not liking reading, I remember passing a book report on Little House on the Prarie in 3rd grade just from skimming it and making some stuff up. [Shhh my mother still does not know this and she doesn’t read this blog, so let’s keep it between us]

I really struggled and I hated how stupid I felt.

Then came along my reading teacher, Mrs. Retzloff. I remember her taking the time to notice me, and she didn’t just pass by my horrible reading grade.

Do you know what she found out?

I was reading things too fast.

I wasn’t actually having a difficult time reading anymore, my problem was that I was doing it too fast, skimming at times because I was reading at such a high speed and therefore not really taking anything in. As far as where my comprehension was at? She tested me and I had a nearly 6th-grade reading level ability and as someone who didn’t really want to touch books other than to look at the pretty pictures, that was saying something. She wanted me to enjoy reading and so she let me pick a book from her personal shelf in the classroom, and lo and behold I picked a book about children dealing with the mystery of a mummy.

This kind:


Not this kind:

[I guess I basically loved mystery type books from the beginning. Huh. Not surprised at my own revelation.]

Anyway, Mrs. Retzloff nurtured my love of reading, she let me pick lower level things still for a while, wanting to make sure I was enjoying it and then she gently helped push and nudge me along, my reading comprehension went past 6, 7, 8th grade, and this is how I read Brave New World in middle school. I wasn’t a genius, but I was a good reader and Mrs. Retzloff brought that out of me. She didn’t see someone who was dumb or lazy. [And let’s face it, some teachers, not most, do sometimes just see a child as unwilling, lazy, or ‘dumb’ and give up, but not all, a lot are like my Mrs. Retzloff.]

By the end of the year, I had succeeded in making a school record (I mean others were up there making the record too, not just me lol) for how many A.R. points I earned (you read a book and was quizzed on it afterwards via a computer) and I got put into honors classes in middle school and the honor society and I can say that would never have happened without that woman.

She is so dear to me even today, and I can’t remember the title of that book she lent me [which low key drives me INSANE] but I remember her. I remember patience and encouragement, her nurturing ways and finally, I was a child who was appreciative of the books my mother had given me with so much love and hope. And it wasn’t just me she helped, Mrs. Retzloff took it upon herself to try and have every single child who stepped through her door love a book, even if it was just one book.

I am so incredibly lucky because I can’t imagine where I would have been without her, people would have continued to think I was, well, not too bright, and I never would have been pushed. I owe a lot to her, especially because forget academics, she instilled a love of reading to me. It’s why I always try with my daughter because it’s one thing to not be a big reader, but I want her to enjoy whatever books she picks, to know that it’s something fun and not a chore.

Haha, this is so cheesy but I find myself getting quite emotional thinking about her, I went back to see her in high school and I was friends with her grandchildren, but, you know, we move, we get older, things change and I haven’t seen her in forever and I pray she’s still around helping children in my old school, I know she was still teaching even up to 4/5 years ago despite people wanting her to retire due to her age but is no longer at my old school.

So, thanks to Mrs. Retzloff for my love of reading, and to all the Mrs. Retzloffs who help kids that are and were like me.