Why Is Reading So Important?

Hello dear readers, welcome to a bit of a longer post.

Reading is such a big part of a lot of people’s lives. Whether its for entertainment, research, or just stress relief, reading is important to a lot of people for different reasons.

Since reading is so important, I thought I’d do a bit of a discussion piece about it…so I hope you enjoy!

Reading is Fundamental in Society

Reading is obviously important for everything you do. Reading this post, reading a recipe, or something more common like road signs. Reading is everywhere, even if you don’t really think about it.

Developing reading habits when you’re young is important, because without at least a base level of skill, things become frustrating to you. Following instructions, filling out an application, or even finding a job can be that much harder if you don’t have reading skills.


Reading Develops the Mind

Reading helps develop your mind in so many ways. Your mind is a muscle, and any muscle needs exercise. What’s one way to exercise it? By reading, and developing your language skills.

Reading also develops the imagination.With reading, a person can go anywhere they want. They can literally imagine fantastical worlds. Non-readers don’t get to explore these worlds like a reader does. It helps build your creative skills. It gives you a chance to imagine the story how you want it, and your mind changes the story with each new piece of information it receives.


Reading Helps Us Discover New Things

How do you discover new things if it wasn’t for reading? Sure you could watch a show, but you read what that show is about, you read that new magazine, that new book, that review. You read to discover new things that you might enjoy.


Reading Improves your Focus

The internet has fundamentally changed our world for good and bad. For many people, a large part of their day is spent mindlessly surfing, chatting, watching videos, or doing other mindless things online.

Reading draws your attention. It draws your focus to the page, and forces you to concentrate on what you are reading. It helps us to train our brains to live in the present.


Reading can do some marvelous things if you let yourself sit down and do it.

What does reading do for you? Let’s talk about it in the comments, or send me a message on social media!
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Harry Potter, The Boy Who Lived: A Character Analysis

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Hello dear readers, I hope you are doing well. Today I am going to give you a new post idea that I am excited for.

I wanted to do a character analysis on some of the more famous characters in literature. This won’t be anything that goes into the nitty gritty details, but it will have some depth to it, so I hope you enjoy!

The first will be about someone I would argue is in the top 10 most well-known book characters of all time.

These are opinions are my own, and I understand some may disagree with them. If you do, let’s talk about it!

From the beginning, Harry is a loyal lapdog to Dumbledore. He sees that Dumbledore is often right, and knows more about what is going on, so Harry decides to put his absolute trust in Dumbledore. Even when being loyal to Dumbledore gets him into trouble, Harry follows him without question.

Harry creates an order of underage wizards, calling them Dumbledore’s Army, to fight against the rising threat of Voldemort. Of all the magical items, beings, and creatures in his world, he names his army after the man he looks up to the most.

When Dumbledore ultimately dies, Harry is determined to follow in his footsteps, and fulfilling his destiny of defeating Voldemort.

This loyalty to Dumbledore is supplemented with his loyalty to his friends, Ron and Hermione. He befriends them in his first year of Hogwarts, and only grows closer to them as the years go on. Though he is loyal to them, and trusts them completely, he sees them more of an equal than a mentor.

It is because of these three relationships that Harry grows into a curious, determined, brave wizard, one fitting the Gryffindor name…

But what does being a Gryffindor ultimately mean? It’s one simple word. Brave.

The only real requirement to be considered a Gryffindor is bravery, but that’s a vague ideal. Bravery can mean many things. Cedric Diggory was brave, but ultimately he wasn’t Gryffindor. All those who joined the DA? Yeah, some were Gryffindor, but some weren’t. They were all brave because they knew they could get into trouble.

We know that Harry should have been a Slytherin, but he told the hat he wanted to be anything but. The next natural choice? The house he almost perfectly fits into.

Harry isn’t particularly smart, he’s not overly skilled at anything but flying a broom, and I would argue he is slightly better than average in a fight.

Then what makes him a good main character? Despite all his flaws, he is brave. He is always the first out of the gate, whether it’s chasing down the Dark Lord, going to his death in the Forbidden Forest, or running through Platform 9 3/4 after just discovering magic.

His bravery is the one thing that holds him above the rest, and his loyalty to his friends, to Dumbledore, and to his destiny are accounts to that.


If you tear away all of the Boy Who Lived prophecy talk about Harry, and look at who he is as a wizard, he is extremely ordinary. He pales in comparison to the famous witches and wizards we hear of. Dumbledore, Voldemort, Snape, McGonnagal. They’re all amazing at what they do, but Harry isn’t. Harry wouldn’t be special in any sense of the word if it wasn’t for his destiny.

I would even argue it is because his destiny, that he is who he is. He grew up not knowing anything about his true self, but when he finally discovers it, he lets it shape him. He lets it fill his every fiber and turn him into the true Gryffindor.

We lose sight of how unremarkable Harry really is when he arrives at Hogwarts.

When he is with the Dursleys, he is treated like trash, but he is definitely far from special. There’s nothing about him that stands out other than he is abused and mistreated. When he gets to Hogwarts, the tides change and suddenly he is like a hero out of legend.

The Boy Who Lived is whispered around the halls, and suddenly he’s the hero of a world he never knew existed. It takes some time, but not much until Harry experiences confidence in himself.

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With his newfound fame and confidence, Harry could become the next Lockhart, boasting about his accomplishment.

Instead he doesn’t. He doesn’t particularly like his fame. He treats those that could be seen as less than him, as equals. He detests Malfoy’s use of the word Mudblood, he treats a house elf with kindness and respect, he doesn’t detest Filch as a squib.


But with this internal sense of respect, Harry also has an internal sense of what is right and wrong, often to the point of putting himself and loved ones in danger.

He doesn’t let others tell him what to do, he decides for himself. If it means breaking the rules for the greater good? Then so be it.

Harry decides what is right and what is wrong, and often answers the evil with violence. We rarely see him think before acting. Whenever Harry needs to think to solve a problem, he has Ron, Hermione, or any one of his Hogwarts friends and allies to help him.

Instead of coming up with a plan to defeat his enemies, Harry is often lucky, or gets help from someone. It is rare that he thinks a problem through before acting.


But that is part of what makes Harry the hero that he is. He isn’t special in a lot of ways, but he is loyal and he is trusting. He has allies that he can rely on and that rely on him. Friends, classmates, mentors, family. He has people beside him almost every step of the way to lift him up when he needs the help.

Sirius, the Weasleys, Hermione, Ron, Lupin. These and many more help Harry, whether it is through connections in the past, or a connection to Harry.

Harry’s true power isn’t being the most powerful wizard. His true power is uniting people, and relying on each other to vanquish the darkness. He never had a true family, but the love of his parents, and the family he makes through his time at Hogwarts is what helps him defeat Voldemort.


With his reliance on others, comes weakness. Harry isn’t perfect, he is human. He gets angry. He gets stressed. He falls in love. He feels the wait of Umbridge’s reign of Hogwarts.

It is the weakness that makes him relatable. It makes him someone who can be understood, someone that readers can see themselves as.

Harry loses many friends and family members along the way. Family he never knew, family he came to love over time, and family he only realized he had when it was too late.

These losses make Harry a stronger person. They hurt him, but at the same time they mold him, shape him into who he is. The losses show him that life is painful, that it isn’t all magical as he sometimes forgets.

Harry could give up at any point in his many years at Hogwarts. Each year he struggles with friends, school, and is constantly fighting for his life. He rarely has a moment of rest, but that was Voldemort’s mistake. Each struggle, each battle, each hardship gives Harry the strength he needs to endure, and an ally that will support him till the end.


A lot can be taken away from studying Harry’s character, whether good or bad. Some say he is too headstrong, acting without thinking, and other potentially harmful behaviour.

Others see Harry as a good example, one who follows through with his actions, is a loyal friend and will do what he believes is good.

Everyone will have their own opinions, and they are welcome to.

Personally I am not a fan of the Harry Potter series as a whole, but I do realize that it is something that a lot of people love.

It has lessons that can be learned, it has characters that can be aspired to, it has ideals that can be upheld.

What do you think of Harry. Was he someone you looked up to, or was he a brash fool. I don’t think there is one correct answer to this, so let’s talk about it in the comments or on social media.
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My Oldest Books

Hello dear readers, you’re in for a treat today whether you like it or not, because today I am going to share the oldest books that I own!

Most of my books are from this century. Even if it was a book written before 2000, I probably have a modern version of it.

There are a few exceptions however, but before I show them to you, I’m going to tease you a bit more.

When I went to University, every few weeks there would be this man that would show up with hundreds of used books for sale.

He’d get these books at garage sales, other book stores, estate sales, or even from people who left their large collections to him in their will.

He had recent books, he had old books, he had books everyone has heard of, and he had books that you’ll never hear the name of again.

I probably spent way too much money on his books, at a time when I definitely couldn’t afford it, but I’m a sucker for a book sale.

I didn’t buy these two books together, but when I did buy them, my friend and I were having a competition to see who could find the older book.

My friend is currently winning, unfortunately, but I haven’t given up hope yet.

BUT

Without further adieu ladies and gentlefolk…here are my oldest books!

These two were only from the 1970s, but they’re on the older end of things for me.


1921 was a good year for Tennyson Poems, and I love the texture of the cover too!


And last, and definitely the oldest book in my collection…More Tennyson poems from 1893!


What’s your oldest book? I’d love to see it if you’re willing to share.
Show me in the comments or on social media.
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100 Books You Should Read

Hello again respected readers. Today I want to show you something that I am very excited for, but also a bit worried about.

It was an awesome gift I received from my girlfriend for Christmas. Knowing I’m a big book fan, she found this awesome little gift for me online, and knew it was perfect…and she was right.


Simply, it is a poster of 100 Books that you should read in your life (mostly because they are “classics”).

It’s a nice looking poster, and each of the 100 books on the poster has a box you can scratch off, to reveal a simple image that relates to the book.

I have only scratched out a few of the boxes on the poster, but I own some of the other books, and plan on reading them all one day!

Take a look at the poster

What books have you read that are on the poster? Let me know on social media.
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March Madness: Book Edition

Hello again dear readers, it’s a pleasure as always.

I am not sure how much of a sports fan you all consider yourselves, but there is a sports tournament in the U.S. every year that has inspired me to come up with this idea.

Basically the way it works, is that 64 college basketball teams play against each other in a March Madness tournament, until there is a champion.

Teams are ranked from 1st to 16th in one of four conferences, and they are paired up accordingly: 1v16, 2v15, 3v14, and so on.


As much as I love sports, I thought I would come up with a bit of a different idea for March Madness…and that is to do it with books!

I don’t have the entire list ready yet, but I am going to do some research over the next week and come up with 64 books, split into 4 different categories.

I won’t be deciding the winner of each match up…that will be left to you, my readers.

Each day in March I will post one or two of the matchups in a Twitter poll, and you can vote for your winner.

I will also be looking through social media to see if either of the books are being talked about. For each post I see about the two books facing off against each other, that will count as one vote.


Now I don’t have a large Blog, or Twitter following, so I am hoping my followers will be helping me out a little bit with this one and retweeting some of my Twitter Posts.

I am not entirely sure how well this will work, but I have my fingers crossed that it will go well. Depending on my research, I may reduce the number of books in the contest to 32 or 16, but we will cross that bridge when we come to it.


Anyways, thanks for any support you give me dear readers. It is all greatly appreciated and I hope you are as excited for this as I am.

If all goes well with it, I might have a contest with this idea for next year.

And as always, don’t forget to follow me on social media!
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12 Books to Gift for Christmas

It’s almost the weekend dear readers, and last week I gave some ideas of bookish gifts you could get for a bookish lad or lassy in your life.

This week I have 11 books that are perfect for that special reader in your life.

There are countless other books out there, but these are some of the most popular ones I have found.

Hope this inspires your gift ideas.


A pop culture celebration of Fred Rogers and the enduring legacy of his beloved, award-winning PBS show Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood that offers essential wisdom to help us in our troubled times.


#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

WINNER OF THE BOOKER PRIZE

The Testaments is a modern masterpiece, a powerful novel that can be read on its own or as a companion to Margaret Atwood’s classic, The Handmaid’s Tale.


From #1 New York Times bestselling author Stephen King, the most riveting and unforgettable story of kids confronting evil since It.


This powerful photography collection, drawn from the celebrated National Geographic archive, reveals the lives of women from around the globe, accompanied by revelatory new interviews and portraits of contemporary trailblazers including Oprah Winfrey, Jane Goodall, and Christiane Amanpour.


Barbie Forever: Her Inspiration, History, and Legacy presents a detailed, fully authorized portrait of this beloved doll through all-new interviews, original sketches, vintage photos, advertisements, and much more. A double-sided foldout timeline showcases important moments in Barbie history. Explore how the doll came to be, what it takes to create one of her many looks, and how her legacy continues to influence the world.


Discover wonder.

“A wanderlust-whetting cabinet of curiosities on paper.”— New York Times


Girl, Edna O’Brien’s hotly anticipated new novel, envisages the lives of the Boko Haram girls in a masterpiece of violence and tenderness.


The first ever B-format edition of Tolkien’s complete Father Christmas letters, including a new introduction and rare archive materials.

Every December an envelope bearing a stamp from the North Pole would arrive for J.R.R.Tolkien’s children. Inside would be a letter in strange spidery handwriting and a beautiful coloured drawing or some sketches. The letters were from Father Christmas.


A charming, comic, and ultimately poignant story about the creation of the most famous Christmas tale ever written. It’s as foggy and haunted and redemptive as the original; it’s all heart, and I read it in a couple of ebullient, Christmassy gulps.” ―Anthony Doerr, #1 New York Times bestselling author of All The Light We Cannot See

Laced with humor, rich historical detail from Charles Dickens’ life, and clever winks to his work, Samantha Silva’s Mr. Dickens and His Carol is an irresistible new take on a cherished classic.


THE OFFICIAL BOOK, FULLY ENDORSED BY QUEEN ELIZABETH II

From Her Majesty’s trusted confidant and Dresser Angela Kelly LVO comes a lavishly designed book of never-before-seen photos of The Queen, Her wardrobe and Her jewels and features intimate anecdotes from Angela’s 25-year career working closely with Her Majesty. A truly unique keepsake and collectors’ item to be treasured.  


New York Times Bestseller

In this spellbinding exploration of the varieties of love, the author of the worldwide bestseller Call Me by Your Name revisits its complex and beguiling characters decades after their first meeting


Thursday Thoughts: Coming up With Ideas

Since starting the blog over a year ago, there is one thing that I have never had an issue with…and that’s coming up with ideas.

I’m not trying to brag about how I am some creative genius and I constantly have ideas flowing through my head…because that is far from true.

I’ve just learned a trick or two that has helped me come up with different ideas for what to write about.

There are three simple things that I do to make sure I don’t run out of ideas.

1.) Plan Ahead

It sounds pretty simple, but this is probably the most important of my three tips. if you’re rushing last minute to come up with ideas, you are going to enjoy it a lot less.

Trust me, I’ve been there.

I’ve rushed last minute to come up with ideas and by the end of the post, I am disappointed. Both with myself and with what I had written.

I’m not saying you have to plan out the entire post before hand, but at least knowing the topic you will be writing about puts your head into the proper space, and the information comes a lot easier.

I have heard of some people that prepare their posts days or weeks in advance. I personally don’t find the time to do that, but it is rather impressive when I hear of people that do it.

I find that writing ideas for the month on a calendar lets me see what’s coming up, and helps me prepare for what to write each day.


2.) Steal Ideas…Creatively

Don’t copy someone’s hard work by reposting their content as your own. That’s stealing and also is a quick way to be disliked by a lot of people.

What I mean by stealing creatively, is using others’ ideas in your own way. Change them up a bit, add your own flare, and your own content.

If you see someone with a good idea for a blog post, use the same idea, but give it your own flare. By now, it is probably impossible to come up with a 100% original idea, but you can come up with an idea that you have made your own, and that fits your blog, or website, or whatever it is, better than any others.

For example, you see a blogger posting a character analysis of Harry Potter characters, or different female protagonists.

It’s a great idea to write about, and maybe you like the idea. Don’t take the exact idea, but maybe you want to take a look at different characters that have similar features, or you want to look at different villains.

Similar ideas, but you’ve made it your own instead of just copying someone else.


3.) Write Things Down

This one isn’t always easy to remember, but I try to do it as often as I can.

When I see a quote, or an idea from a movie, or even an idea from a book, I try to write it down in a journal that I always carry with me.

They don’t always pan out to be something amazing right away, but in the future you might have an idea that works with something you wrote down months ago.

I’ve come up with plenty of ideas for creative writing pieces, blog posts, or even ideas I want in my future book just by writing them down when I come across them.


In the end, everyone has their own ways of coming up with ideas for what to create. You may do some of the things I mentioned, you might do things completely different. Either way, let me know your process in the comments. How do you come up with new ideas for posts?