The Majesty of books

This post was actually written 4 years ago before I began my degree course in 2012. It was preserved in the drafts section of this oft neglected blog and I felt it should see the light of day. So here are my thoughts on books from 24th August 2012 at 4.10pm (according to wordpress anyway!)

Recently I found myself needing (yes needing) to sort through my bookshelf. I’m sure I had an ulterior motive (avoiding study maybe) but that didn’t negate the fact that I just found myself wanting to clear out my shelves and be surrounded by piles of books for a few hours. To be completely honest with you, I love staring at and being around books almost as much as I love reading them. So a couple of days after finishing my exams I closed the door to my room and started taking down my books one by one. I was surprised by the different emotions attached to each one. Some novels (mostly the thrillers and the one’s I’ve neglected to read) I found I had almost no attachment to. I owned them but that’s as far as it went. As I kept going through my collection, I found myself stopping more and more to remember a cherished character, a favourite scene or a happy childhood memory preserved behind a cover. There was my collection of Harry Potter still with their dust jackets with my scrawled signature on the front page of each, showing my changing handwriting (believe me it only got worse over the years). Then to my shame there was the twilight saga, it made me laugh to remember how I HAD to have the next book, getting my aunt to drive me to every bookshop in a 20 mile radius until I found them. More nostalgically there was my extensive collection of dragon books with my copy of ‘Eragon’ sitting pride of place, despite the fact it’s literally falling apart from being read so many times. It’s my favourite book for that exact reason. The books my mom read to me when I was younger. She would never complain when I’d beg for another chapter (though my rose tinted glasses may be out). Each book seemed to symbolise some milestone or jold some memory, But there was one book that stopped me in my tracks. It was lodged in the very back of the bottom shelf hidden from view. It was a book given to me by my late grandfather, my first dictionary, literally entitled ‘My first Dictionary’. I remember him giving it to me and that he had written something, the date I thought. I opened it hoping to see some of the images I still had imprinted in my brain. I was amazed when stickers fell to the floor. Pokemon stickers. There was a time you’d find them everywhere I went so it seemed fitting that there’d still be a few hanging around. But as I flipped through the pages I stopped on the first page. There, in black and white was a simple inscription in my granddad’s familiar scrawl. I had a vague memory of it but was surprised by the memories it brought to the surface. This is the majesty of books, they are set out into this world to convey a story, or teach a skill but more often than not they transcend this and preserve and signify specific moments in a person life. They are special and I can’t wait to spend the next three years exploring my love of them.

Lone venture

I regret to inform our readers that from now on this blog shall be a lone venture (hence the name change). Kate has decided that she would prefer not to post but has urged me to continue. I was disappointed that we couldn’t do this together but at least I’ll have someone behind the scenes making sure I post regularly. I decided to change the name because it didn’t feel right still posting under the joint name (thought it was a pain in the neck to change). I’m going to continue the blog because I’m really enjoying the challenge it has presented. I love being able to talk about what I read and my views on different aspects of literature. I will be posting reviews regularly on Monday’s (hopefully I’ll venture into the classics soon) and I want to write a couple of discussion posts in the coming weeks which are basically already written in my head. 🙂

I feel I should tell you more about myself as it’s now just little aul me. I just graduated from secondary school(high school). My two great passions in life are History and English and I hope to start a degree in both in September (fingers crossed). It’s a love which my mom instilled in me from an early age. I still remember her telling me that if I had a book I’d never be alone. As I grew up I saw just how true this could be and how much reading can enrich our lives. I doubt she ever dreamed of what that seed of interest would grow into.

As I write this I don’t actually have a favourite genre, nor do I really have a favourite author (though Ian McEwan comes close) I just enjoy what I read and find it hard to categorise it or limit it. I’m trying to widen my horizons by branching out into contemporary, post modern and classic literature. But it was the fantasy genre which grabbed my young imagination all those years ago. I fell in love with the adventure and pure escapism that the genre presented.( I also had/have an insatiable obsession with Dragons which needed to be fed.)

In regards to what I define as a good book, it really comes down to the characterisations. I love relationship driven works and by that I don’t necessarily mean romance novels. I love to read about friendships and if a book has that to fall back on I’m instantly engaged. Other than that I can forgive a book a lot though the ending is the clincher. If an author can’t tie up all the loose ends then they can wax lyrical all they like because I’m not going to enjoy the book half as much as I would have.

I hope you stick with me 🙂

Happy reading!

Amber

Introduction

Hello!

We’re Kamberlit, better known as Kate and Amber. We thought a proper introduction was in order before bombarding the cosmos with posts. We’re a couple of girls from Ireland who love book covers. This blog is dedicated to those special occasions when we get past the pretty picture on the front and read the actual words inside. Besides both being YA fanatics, Kate loves graphic novels and anything set in the future, while Amber holds a fascination for fantasy, as well as relationship driven works and is currently battling her way through a list of classics. While it’s a rarity for us to disagree it does happen and our taste in books, while similar, does differ, so there will be a variety of genres and topics covered in the blog.

As for what you can expect from our blog…the plan is loads of reviews, discussions and maybe even fancy pants literary analysis when we’re feeling smart enough. We talk about books constantly and this blog is going to be used as an outlet to channel all our opinions, thoughts and questions regarding the stuff we’re reading.

We’ve decided that we’re going to do individual book reviews weekly. So Amber will post Mondays and Kate will post Fridays. When we get into the swing of things (so to speak) we’re also going to try doing a discussion post on Wednesdays. We’ll hopefully be documenting our struggle through Nanowrimo in November. Maybe we’ll even read Ulysses someday. Or maybe we’ll start Ulysses, throw it at a wall, and pick up 50 Shades of Grey instead.

Besides books, Amber likes dragons, sleeping and historical debate.

Kate likes animals, matching socks and speaking in the third person.

We both consume way too much coffee and Sherlock fanfiction. Everyone has their faults.

Now we’re going to review stuff. Well, we’ll try.

-Kamber