[Bookish Discussion] Books in TV

The other day my husband and I were watching random TV shows in the afternoon while the kids had their nap and quiet time (the one time during the day I can find my sanity again) and we settled on an episode of The Goldbergs. In case you didn’t know, The Goldbergs is an awesome TV show that started 3 or 4 years ago and it’s about growing up in the 80’s. We absolutely love this show since my husband and I both grew up in the ’80s, so reruns are always fun to watch.

The episode they were playing was called “Stevie King” and it starts being all about Stephen King and how popular his books were. He was the master of horror and Adam, the narrator of the show, decides that he wants to try his hand at writing his own horror story about his “smother” and it all gets a little like Stephen King’s Misery when his mom decides he has to change his story and says he has to stay in his room until the story is changed.

Now, if it hadn’t been for It coming to theatres last year, I probably still wouldn’t have read any Stephen King, but I had wanted to see the movie and saw the book at Costco one day, bought it, started reading it that day, and fell in love. I think Misery was the second book I read. This was around Halloween because I remember the movie was going to be on TV. I loved the book and the movie so this episode of the show was even better because I actually knew what everything was based on!

And when I read It, I remembered that movie of Friends where Joey is reading the Stephen King book and Rachel is reading Little Women. I watched the episode again and saw it was The Shining that Joey had put in the freezer, so I picked up that one next. Of course, I then had to pick up Little Women as well, then rewatch the episode because then I knew all about the books they were talking about (and that those popular lines of “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy” is actually from the movie and not the book). Now, I find it so much more enjoyable to read the books featured in TV shows because the episode is always so much better!

Going back a little, when I had originally watched Gilmore Girls, I absolutely loved Rory’s character and how she read so much. I had actually bought a lot of books off of the Rory Gilmore book list years ago and am just now reading a lot of them. Maybe this will lead to a rewatch of the series once I’ve read a considerable amount, but who knows. All I know now is that when you’re a reader, bookish episodes of TV shows are so much fun! I’ve even been known to Google that phrase, “bookish episodes of TV shows” just to see what comes up and see if any of my favourite shows were ever based on books because then I would be determined to read the book and watch to get the context fully.

Ultimately, the best is when an entire TV series is based on a book (hello, Outlander!) but episodes featuring books are also so much fun.

Tell me I’m not the only one! What is your favourite bookish episode of a TV show? Have you ever seen a book featured in a TV show and then had to pick up the book to get a better context of the episode? 

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[Bookish Discussion] Let’s be real – how much do you spend on books?

This year I told myself that I was NOT going to buy any new books. This is a really hard thing for me, BUT last year I spent a ridiculous amount on books. To be completely honest, I’m sure I spent well over $1,000 just on books which is absolutely WRONG. I mean, I love to support my favourite authors, but there are so many other ways that I can do that without buying a book – one way that comes to mind is to get my library to buy the book. That way I can still read the book and support my favourite author (or new to me authors) AND they still make something off of the book being sold. Not only that, but the author then gets more reads with the book being available at the library which could lead to people reading their backlist or buying future books.

It’s something that I’ve had to repeat to myself many times so far this year, that I can still read books without buying them, that I can buy a favourite book AFTER reading the library book. I’ve also realized that I’d rather buy backlist books or classics for my collection because I find they’re usually more reasonably priced AND you can usually find a lot of them at library sales for cheap, and if you buy online you can usually save a bit of money because they can be marked down more, whereas new releases tend to not be marked down very much.

Because I know that I can’t go a whole year without buying anything, I’ve been trying to make a point of using gift cards from Christmas or birthdays on sale books at the bookstore, on older books that haven’t been published in the last 18 years, or on classic books online that I can’t find through the library, or that I know I’ll love and will want a copy for my shelves.

This has also led me to create a bit of a budget for the year of around $75 to be spent on books, which means that a lot of my shopping will have to be from book sales and NOT full-priced at the bookstore. Last year I had told myself that I would only buy 2 books a month AND read them as I bought them, but I didn’t want to do that this year because a book sale can have amazing deals where you can get 20 books for $20 which is definitely the way to go.

Thinking about this made me wonder about other people and how they go about buying books. Do you pay attention to how much you’re spending? Do you keep a spreadsheet or a certain part of your wallet with money ONLY to be spent on books? Do you say you can buy only a certain amount of books in a month or year? Do you buy only ebooks, or only physical books? Do you only buy books at sales?

But mostly, I’m curious how much other people spend on books in a year. Do you spend:

  1. Under $50
  2. $51 – $100
  3. $100 – $250
  4. $250+
  5. $0

If you’re #5, I commend you. I love that feeling of a fresh new book, but the library is a GREAT way to get books, too.  I’m at that point where I’d love to have my home library kept at a certain number of books (it holds about 1,000 books), but I don’t want them to be just anything. But even then, I don’t want to buy everything just because it’s available. I have to draw a line somewhere, right?

So, to go back to the above questions: Do you pay attention to how much you’re spending? Do you keep a spreadsheet or a certain part of your wallet with money ONLY to be spent on books? Do you say you can buy only a certain amount of books in a month or year? Do you buy only ebooks, or only physical books? Do you only buy books at sales? And referring to my spending question, where do you fall? How much do you allow yourself to spend on books?  

[Bookish Discussion] Being a Bookish Mom

Something I’d always found interesting, from back when I was pregnant with my first child, was the people who always told me that I would have no time to read when I became a mother. Like, “Have fun with that thing you love to do! You’ll be lucky if you read 5 books in a year!”

This was something that seriously had me scared. I loved reading. Before I had my first child, I worked in a library, helped shelve books in a school library, ran this blog, went to book events, read SO many books, and just led my best bookish life.

Becoming a mom changed all of that – and not necessarily for the bad.

First things first, I do miss a lot of things. Especially working in a library. I have read the thoughts of some people who work in libraries and they say that it’s a job and nothing else, but I loved library work. I always wonder where I’d be if I hadn’t had kids – would I have a full-time position? Would I have moved on to another library? Would I have another bookish job? But that’s not really fair to do. I absolutely ADORE being a mother and wouldn’t change any of that for anything – and maybe one day I’ll go back to library work, when my kids are older and more self-sufficient.

Second, I really miss book events, but that’s not to say I can’t go to them any more. I almost feel more out of the loop now, not really sure where to find out about events, and I can’t keep up with what’s happening sometimes in the bookish world.

BUT …

I do find that becoming a mother has made me make my free time count. I’ve learned that my free time doesn’t have to be all reading, blogging, book events, etc. Sometimes I like to watch a show or movie and blog, or maybe I’ll catch up on a show and bake something. When my kids are up, maybe we’ll read some books together, play hide and seek, bake something, go to the park, or watch a movie. Life is full of spontaneity when it comes to my kids – plus a routine for other things. But my free time can be spontaneous, too. I mean, I still love to read but it’s not something I do in ALL of my free time. Okay, maybe some days, but not all days.

I’ve also found that becoming a mother means less free time than I used to have so I’m more picky about what I’m reading. I tend to not read a book just for the sake of reading or force myself to finish something I’m not enjoying. If I’m not into a book, I’ll DNF it, or put it aside for later. If I know I’m not going to get to a book, I’ll donate it or give it away. Lately I’ve even learned to not just follow the hyped books that everyone is talking about, but rather read books that have been enjoyed for decades by readers, or exploring books I should have read years ago.

My audiobook listening has also changed – my kids aren’t exactly chatterboxes, but they do chatter at me quite a bit. There’s lots of “Mommy! Mommy” throughout the day, and lots of explaining of what I’m doing or what they’re doing, or teaching them new words, or constantly telling them where we’re going or where someone is (I think I tell my littlest no less than 30 times a day that daddy is at work). Before all the talking, it was easy to listen to an audiobook, but since I generally have 1-2 kids with me all day long, I find it really hard to fit in an audiobook (this will definitely change once both of them are in school and then I can listen to an audiobook while doing stuff around the house, but for now I just can’t). I also find that when I have time to listen to an audiobook, I’d rather have silence or just put on music – I don’t have that drive to read/listen/consume books all the time.

One thing I will say is that if reading is something you love, you’re going to read a lot – even if you have kids. Reading is something that is so important to me and since I’m one of those people who like to recharge in silence, it’s a great way for me to relax and recharge my batteries. Sometimes I might do a little light reading when the kids are playing with one another, but one of the things I love right now is to dive into a book I’m really looking forward to when they’re down for a nap or in bed – whereas before having kids it was the norm, now it’s like a treat.

There are still bookish habits that I can’t break – like taking a book with me everywhere even when I know that I won’t have time to read, or buying too many books when I know that I won’t have time to get them all read in a timely manner (something I’m working on) – but I do love that reading has stuck with me. I love reading a physical book and having books around the house and hope that they encourage my kids to read. As it is, they will bring down random books for me to read from my own shelves and we’ve dug into Lawrence Hill or Jane Austen on a whim during afternoon lulls. Hopefully, with reading being something that’s important for me, it will turn into something that’s important for them.

How has reading changed for you, if you’re a mom? Are there habits that you can’t break, or ways that you’ve become more picky as a reader? What have you still continued to do as a reader? What have you learned to let go of?