10 Bookish Confessions

Salut!

Comment ca va? See, my French is (slowly) improving! Today, since everybody seems to be writing them at the moment, I thought I’d share with you ten of my bookish confessions. I’m not usually one to follow popular trend, but I am completely lost for original ideas at the moment – my brain has officially shut down now that my chemistry exam is over.

Anyway, here they are:

1. I cannot get to sleep without reading at least one chapter of a book. It’s weird I know, but if I don’t read at night, then I find that my mind wanders all night long.

2. I dog-ear my pages. Please don’t hate me! I know that it’s bad for the book, but I always lose my bookmarks and so it’s easiest just to fold the corner over. This is one habit which I REALLY need to break.

3. I do judge books by their covers even though I shouldn’t. If a book has a boring or unattractive cover, I generally don’t read it. It’s just a fact.

4. I have read each Harry Potter book nine times. That amounts to a total of 63 times. I read them whenever I feel unhappy or lonely or when I just want to escape everything. I grew up with these books and they practically defined my childhood. I still remember how distraught I was when I didn’t receive my Hogwarts acceptance letter.

5. My bookshelf is in alphabetical order by author. Yes, this is what I do with my life. Working in a bookstore certainly has an effect on me. I’ll admit it, I do get quite annoyed when people touch my books and mess with the order. God, I sound like such a control freak.

6. I could never burn a book. Ever. No matter how much I hated it. The thought of burning somebody’s hard work, or even their not-so-hard work, is completely inconceivable.

7. I love finding inscriptions in second-hand books. I love thinking about where these books have been, who they’re from, where they come from.

8. Sometimes I get more excited about owning a book than about actually reading it. Strange, I know.

9. I borrowed a book from a friend years ago and I still haven’t given it back because I can’t bear to part with it and I can’t find another copy anywhere. I will give it back someday, I promise, but in the meantime, shhh…

10. This last confession actually takes a lot of courage to admit. I have read the entire ‘Twilight’ series. That’s not even the worst part. The worst part is that I used to enjoy them. I was twelve, okay?

So, what are your bookish confessions? Own up. Come on, I admitted to having once liked Twilight.

My First (Ever!) Music Monday Post

So, I’ve come to that awkward, but exciting time that is my first ever ‘Music Monday’ post. Cue applause! Today, I just thought I’d share with you some of the songs which I find myself listening to on repeat at the moment. I’m the kind of person who has a new favourite song every week – if you asked me right now what my favourite song of all time is; I wouldn’t be able to give you a direct answer. There is just too much incredible music out there and I don’t think I’ll ever be able to choose just one song or album or artist. I love a lot of music from many different genres; I think that there is great music to be found in any genre. People often judge a genre of music based on one popular song, which is often not a fair representative of the respective genre. Admittedly, I do this as well sometimes, but I try to keep an open mind when listening to music and I often find myself unexpectedly liking music from artists or genres which I usually don’t listen to.

Anyway, I’m waffling again. Here are a couple of tunes which have slowly worked their way into my ‘most played’ list on iTunes!

1. Gray or Blue – Jaymay

I stumbled across this wonderful little song while watching the movie ‘Happythankyoumoreplease’, which I highly recommend to everybody. It’s a beautiful, little indie flick with a great soundtrack, a fantastic setting and some very lovable characters. After finishing the film, I wanted to know more about the soundtrack and so I googled it and found this lovely tune. I love the simplicity of the acoustic guitar melodies and Jaymay’s sweet, fragile voice.
How can anybody resist falling in love with this swooningly lovely little number? I certainly can’t.

2. La Valse D’Amelie – Amelie Soundtrack

I’ll admit it, I’m a sucker for soundtracks. Since I’ve decided to learn French, I’ve developed an uncanny obsession with French music; this song in particular. It’s strange, I know. Anyway, this song is a charming, slightly surreal track which perfectly captures the most romantic aspects of French music. Love it!

3. Nowhere Man – The Beatles

I am, and I always have been a huge Beatles fan. I grew up with their music and I think I can name every single one of their songs. This song in particular has always spoken to me – I’ve always connected with the lyrics and I saw a guy play this song especially for me in a Berlin side-street. There are often stories behind my favourite songs, which you’ll hear plenty of in the future!

So, there you have it. My very first ‘Music Monday’ post. Hopefully the first of many to come! I’m so sorry – I tried to attach some youtube links to the songs, but being the technologically-impaired person that I am, I can’t get them to appear on this post.

Au revoir!

Engrish. Y U NO MAKE SENSE??

Hello all.

Well, I’m supposed to be revising for my chemistry exam, but I just thought I’d take a quick break and share with you some reasons to hate the English language. Yes, this post was spurred by my frustration towards my impending English exam. All this study is getting to my head and driving me insane. Literally. I usually hate it when people use the word ‘literally’ when they don’t mean it, but I really do mean it this time.

Anyway, here are my top ten reasons! Enjoy!

1. Why can’t the English language decide on how to pronounce the letter combination ‘ough’? Tough, though, hiccough, cough, bough, through… DECIDE ALREADY, WILL YOU?

2. The endless conflict between British and American spellings is incredibly frustrating. Gee, the English language is pretty indecisive.

3. We English-speakers suffer from having only one usable word – love – to cover a vast range of concepts. It does not make any sense to me that you can ‘love’ your beloved and at the same time ‘love’ oranges.

4. Why is it that writers write, but fingers don’t fing, grocers don’t groce, hammers don’t ham, and humdingers don’t hum?

5. Doesn’t it ever strike you as odd that we can make amends, but not one amend? No matter how carefully we comb through the annals of history, we can never find just one annal. Oh, and why is it that we can blow something to smithereens, but we can never find just one measly smithereen?

6. Why on earth does the word lisp have an ‘s’ in it? Please tell me.

7. This whole business with plurals which don’t have matching singulars is getting out of hand. If you have a bunch of odds and ends and you get rid of all but one of them, what do you call that one which you are left with? Huh?

8. Why is it that we can only talk about certain things once they are absent? I mean, have you ever heard of a horseful carriage or a strapful dress?

9. In what other language do people play at a recital and recite at a play?

10. And finally, how can a building burn up as it burns down? Why is it that you fill in a form by filling it out? And pray tell, how can a fat and a slim chance be the same thing when a wise man and wise guy are total opposites? You have to marvel at the lunacy of this language.

And that, my friends, is why I have decided to learn French.

Just popping over to exam-land! Be back soon!

Hello again.

Well, I just wanted to let you all know that I probably won’t be writing much for the next two weeks. I’ve got exams next week and I am going to have to leave the blogosphere temporarily and enter the super fun and exciting world of study!

Yes, this will be me next week. So, apologies to my five faithful followers – don’t freak out! I haven’t dropped off the edge of the world. Well, not yet at least.

Once I win the tough battle against exams and sleep, I will return. Hopefully with some new, more exciting ideas! Thank-you and see you soon! :)

Musings About Music

“This thing called “music” is in some way efficacious to humans, central to human life. Yet it has no concepts, makes no propositions; it lacks images, symbols, the stuff of language. It has no power of representation. It has no necessary relation to the world. There are rare humans who may lack the neural apparatus for appreciating tones and melodies. But for virtually all of us, music has great power, whether or not we seek it out or think of ourselves as particularly “musical”.”

-Oliver Sacks (Musicophilia)

So, I’m reading Musicophilia by Oliver Sacks at the moment, which I highly recommend to anybody with a passion for music, a vague interest in it, or no interest in it at all. It’s a fascinating and beautifully-written book about the effect of music on the brain and how we are all, in some way, affected by music. Medical literature at its finest!

Anyway, while reading this book, it suddenly dawned upon me that these meaningless tonal patterns; this thing which we call ‘music’ has absolutely no reason for existing. From a biological perspective, if we were to take music out of our lives, absolutely nothing would change. However, it is so much a part of our society that people study it, write books about it, create it, perform it, listen to it, critique it and even use it as a means of therapy. We even belt out terrible eighties power ballads in the bathtub! Well, I do at least. Unlike some animals, we do not use music as a means of attracting mates (except perhaps the members of One Direction), nor do we use it as a way of marking our territory. It exists for no biological reason. In fact, music exists only for our pleasure. That’s probably why I love it so much.

Anyway, just thought I’d share my musings about music with y’all. Hang on, I’ve just had a brainwave! Since I am a huge fan of alliteration (and music, of course!), I have, as of two seconds ago, decided to write about all things music on Mondays. Music Mondays. It has a ring to it, don’t you think?

Hopefully my later posts won’t be as ambiguous and broad as this one! :P

Digital Copy of ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’

Digital Copy of 'Fifty Shades of Grey'

Such a deep and meaningful story, isn’t it?

As I have a part-time job at a bookstore, I have to sell this book every single time I go to work. Prior to actually reading the novel (if you can call it that!), I believed it to be nothing more than a super-popular romance novel. Yes, I failed to read the tiny print on the blurb which read ‘erotic fiction’. I feel an overwhelming sense of shame and embarrassment every time I think that I actually recommended that book to people. Oh God, I’m going bright red again.

So, I’ve since changed my sales pitch to something more like: ‘Hello. How are you today? Fifty Shades of Grey? Read it for yourself and then you can make an informed decision about it. Or to save you the trouble of actually spending money on it, here’s a digital copy.’

Actually, I’m not really allowed to say that, but it’s what I think every time a poor, unassuming, seventy-something-year-old woman buys it.

Infinite Monkey Theorem

Greetings Earthlings.

So, have you ever heard of the infinite monkey theorem? It’s one of those wonderful, purely theoretical concepts which was probably invented by mathematicians with way too much time on their hands. For those of you who don’t know what it is, the theory states that a monkey hitting keys at random on a typewriter (or in this case, a keyboard) will almost surely type a given text, such as the complete works of William Shakespeare. Alternatively, an infinite number of monkeys smashing out alphabet spaghetti would also almost surely produce a literary masterpiece over time. Crazy, huh? I was so intrigued when my co-worker told me this useless fact that I decided to spend an entire afternoon googling it, running around the house pretending to be a monkey and finally, named a blog after it. Productive use of my time, isn’t it?

Anyway, what I love about this theorem is that it’s purely hypothetical. It’s impossible for a monkey to smash random keys for an infinite amount of time (if a monkey were to sit down and smash keys around, it probably would look something like this blog post), however; there is always the magic ‘if’. If circumstances allowed it to be practically tested, could monkeys really type Hamlet? Similarly, if I had an infinite amount of time, could my blog ever be decent? It’s incredible to think that something so bizarre and seemingly ludicrous can be proven using a mathematical formula and some complex equations. Another thing which I find intriguing about this theorem are the words ‘almost surely’. It cannot ever be certain as there are so many variables to take into consideration, however, there is a very high probability of this being theoretically possible.

Oh, statistical mechanics, how we love you! Anyway, hope you all enjoyed that entirely useless, but nonetheless fascinating fact, and I hope to see you next time!

Ciao.

(Insert original, witty title about first blog post here)

Bonjour tout le monde!

Hello cyberspace.

In the off-chance that anybody do read this post, I would just like to wish you a wonderful day and I hope you have a fantastic life ahead of you. Oh, and thank-you for taking the time to read my waffle – it really means a lot to me!

Oh dear, is blogging a skill acquired over time or is it a natural talent? If it is the case of the latter, then I suppose I am in trouble. Either way, only time will tell. For a while now, people have been pestering me to try my hand at blogging, however, until now,  I have always dismissed it as something done only by hipsters with their macs and dreadful non-mainstream romance novels. How wrong I was. There is a lot of talent and great writing on here which often goes unappreciated. My hat goes off to all you creative, talented strangers! You really do make this world bearable.

Please excuse my poor writing: this is my first post and I am a total amateur when it comes to blogging. Or to use my little brother’s favorite word – I am a total ‘noob’ at this. So before you press the little red ‘x’ in the top right-hand corner of the page, if you haven’t done so already, I would just like to let you know a few things about me.

1. I love to write. I may not be the best writer, but I do love being able to pour my heart out onto a page, or in this case, a website. God, that sounds so corny.

2. I love to travel. When I grow up, I want to be able to go anywhere in the world at the drop of a hat. I have always felt an insatiable desire to see the world and hop from country to country with no obligations to anything or anyone.

3. Music is my life. It sounds strange to say, but it really is. It’s something I can’t imagine living without and it’s so much a part of me that I can hardly remember a time when there wasn’t a tune running through my head over and over.

4. As you have probably gathered, I love a lot of things. I love the sound of the ocean at night. I love the smell of new books. I love singing my heart out in the shower despite the fact that I probably disturb every single person within a kilometer-radius. I love hand-written letters and postcards. I love sunrises and mountains and city lights and red telephone boxes. I love the atmosphere in a dark, crowded theater before the curtain rises. I love reading Harry Potter in front of the fireplace. I love those random acts of kindness that we all live for. In the end, it’s these little things which make life worth living.

5. I think a lot. In fact, my brain never shuts up. It’s probably why it takes eons for me to get to sleep. I often think about how much easier life would be if I didn’t have to think at all. But, I find myself asking the question: would it be better?

Well, there you have it. Enough information to decide whether or not you would like to click the little red ‘x’ in the corner and never look at my blog again, or to come back later and decide for yourself if blogging is a natural talent or a skill acquired with time and billions of blog posts.

Thank you strangers!

Au revoir! :)