Saturday, 26 March 2016

How To Declutter: 10 Books To Unhaul

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I regularly get messages from you guys saying that you cannot possibly bear to part with books and need my help in order to get donating so, in the spirit of Mary Poppins, I thought I would turn the process into a little game. Here are ten books that you should purge from your bookshelves and donate to refuges, hostels or charity at the next available moment...


Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Creative Prompts 5

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It has, weirdly, been about four months or so since I last dropped by to discuss something creative with you. As my creative prompts posts dipped so did my very own creativity and I'm only now really getting out of that weird malaise. Now that Spring is on its way, I'm hoping to find some quiet moments in which I can just sit down and focus on writing my poetry collection. As it stands it's a collection of disjointed ideas but I'm excited to watch it grow! 

I have curated the following creative prompts to help inspire your future creative works. These prompts are extremely vague for a reason; I want you to be able to use them for whatever you see fit: for stories, pieces of art, a series of photographs, ideas for blog posts, whatever takes your fancy! Take them literally or have a bit of fun with them. It's up to you. 


Saturday, 19 March 2016

Book Reviews feat. Donna Tartt

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I don't know whether it's because my mind has been on other things but I haven't been reading a lot of late. As you'll see in these teeny tiny reviews, I'm finding things a little more difficult to process at the moment. I'm okay though - brain fog is just part of the fun when living with a chronic illness.

Despite my slump, however, I did manage to read one novel, one short story collection and one poetry collection during the month of February and I really enjoyed them all. We're a few weeks into March now and I'm yet to pick anything up so hopefully writing about these books will spur me into reading new ones! 


Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Things To Do In York

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On Thursday afternoon, I packed up my things and left the West Country to explore the beautiful city of York with one of my best friends, Lyzi, for three days. We were there to sample everything that the city had to offer, including events from this year's York Literature Festival - which runs from the 10th-23rd March and boasts a multitude of goings on for readers, writers and general bookish people! 


Saturday, 12 March 2016

10 vivatramp posts to read & revisit

I've been sharing things on this blog for 6 years now and in that time I've rarely stepped back and revisited old posts. Being the ball of nostalgia that I am, I thought it was about time that I looked into Vivatramp's past and shared some posts that I, myself, enjoyed re-reading in the hope that you will too! What has been your favourite Vivatramp post so far?  


Wednesday, 9 March 2016

4 Books You Need To Convince Me To Read

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Over the past few months, I've been making a conscious effort to read books that have been sat on my shelves for quite a while. These books tend to have been sat on my shelves for one of two reasons. They're either a) over a respectable amount of pages b) books that I think I will really enjoy. I, of course, always buy books with the intention of reading them but some books get read sooner than others and when you're an avid reader it's very easy for books to pile up.

I've recently added around 30 or so books to my physical 'read in 2016' TBR shelf (that I will do a post on if anyone is interested in its contents) but there are a few tomes that have missed the move because I need further convincing to read them within the next 9 months or so. I'm here today to share these books with you in the hope that you will insist on me reading them sooner rather than later. Please leave your pitches, however brief, in the comments below. 


Wednesday, 2 March 2016

How To Organise Your Reading

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As a reader that shares a lot about books online, I often get asked how I manage to read so much or how I manage to organise my reading effectively to ensure that I'm getting the most out of it. In the interests of being useful, I'm here today to share how to organise your reading throughout the year in 10 easy steps!

consider your storage
The key to more organised reading is organised storage, in my opinion. It's important, for me at least, to be able to see all the books that I own and work out where I'm going from there. Look at your current book storage set up. Is it fulfilling its needs? Is it broken or overflowing? Schedule in an Ikea trip or scour your local secondhand stores or, alternatively, make your own shelving from crates or whatever it is the cool kids are doing these days.

It's also important to order your books in a manner that proves to be most effective to you. As quite a visual person, I personally prefer to organise my books by the colour of the spine. However, you may find it better to organise alphabetically or by read vs. unread. Work out what functions best for you and sort through your collection accordingly. 

donate your books

It's the start of a new year and you've probably got books in your collection that don't really belong there anymore. Set aside time to look through your collection. Are there books that you didn't particularly like when you read them? Are there books that you don't see yourself ever reading, for whatever reason? Put calls out to friends and family or donate your books to local charities. Alternatively, you could try to sell them on or leave them in bookish cafĂ©'s or on transport for those that might need a little light relief. I, personally, donate quite a few of my books to make space for new favourites.

update the physical

Now that you've updated your storage and your collection, you can think about updating the way that you track your reading. If you track your reading physically, now's the time to update your lists, tbr shelves, tbr jars or reading challenge jars.

UPDATE THE virtual

And then, of course, it's time to clear up your virtual shelves too! If you use Goodreads, which I highly recommend you do, ensure that your shelves are up to date and free of any duplicates (there's a button that points these out for you). Why not create a shelf of books  that you want to read across the coming months? Whilst you're having a virtual clean, update any bookish spreadsheets you may have and think about spring cleaning all of  the booktube channels, book blogs and bookish websites or social media channels that you may follow. 

team up with other readers

Reading doesn't have to be a solitary experience! Put the call out for some buddy reads or create your own readathon. Alternatively, search out some local book clubs or create your very own. Teaming up with other readers is not only fun and insightful, it's also a sure fire way of ensuring that your reading is more productive. 

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sort out your bookmarks 

We all use different things as bookmarks, whether it's literal born-for-that-purpose bookmarks or scraps of paper or random limbs. Try and narrow down your bookmark collection to just a few that are up to the job or look up some fun DIYs to create some new ones. My collection isn't necessarily hugely exciting but do let me know if you'd like a post on it! 


The book world moves incredibly quickly and I find myself adding tons and tons of books to my ever expanding wishlist shelf on Goodreads meaning that it can be quite a confusing place to be when it comes to actually working out what I want to buy next. Set aside time to really think about the books that you would really like to read and create a list that reflects those interests. It may help to have two lists, one secondary and one primary, to cover everything that you'd eventually like to get to. 

plan reads across the year

As I touched on earlier, when suggesting that you make a Goodreads shelf of books you'd like to read soon, plan some reads across the year. You could maybe pick out a book per month that you hope to get to and these could also double up as books that you put calls out to buddy read. I have created a physical TBR shelf of books that I'd like to read throughout the year. 

work out how to read more

If I had £1 for every time one of you said you wanted to read more, I wouldn't cri evrytiem I checked my bank balance. Read my post on how to read more for some advice on the matter! 

It might be useful to you to make yourself some reading-related goals for the year. They don't have to be full on things either - no one expects you to want to read the longest or most prolific pieces of literature. Goals could be anything from 'read a book this year' to 'explore a new genre', to 'donate some books' or 'share some enjoyable reads on my social media'. Set goals if you wish but don't forget that reading is a bloody beautiful thing that really shouldn't be made into a chore. 

All of this advice is useful if you're hoping to organise your reading. However, use the advice within the context of your own reading as not all of it will be applicable or useful to you. And there you have 10 easy ways to get yourself up to date and on top of your reading throughout the year. Will you be using any of the aforementioned tips? Fingers crossed there's at least one of you out there! Feel free to share some other ways as to how you're going to get your reading organised this year in the comments below.

If you'd like to scroll through all of my advice posts then you can do so.

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