Postcards are one of the rarer features of my blog but I’m excited to be doing another one! I found myself in Oxford this weekend, a beautiful city in the south east of England. My boyfriend and I had a couple of spare days and we decided to look around and found some amazing places. I never realised what a bookish city Oxford is, and reading Harry Potter at the moment made it even more perfect!
On the first day, we looked around a lovely indoor market, many shops and ended up in a botanical gardens. Even though most flowers weren’t in bloom, the greenhouses were so beautiful!
On Sunday, we had another wander around Oxford and found a really nice bookshop. It was just as lovely inside!
This is the basement alone – you might not be able to see it, but there’s 3 different levels just in the basement! There were so many sections, including my favourite, below.
As I’m currently reading Harry Potter, this section was amazing. It was full of merchandise, a full size broomstick and something else…
This gorgeous mug, which my boyfriend bought for me! Isn’t it lovely?
We also visited this beautiful place, which was used in some of the Harry Potter films! Oxford is actually famous as a HP set, and that was so exciting.
Before we left, we also stopped off at the Oxford Museum of Natural History, which is actually breathtaking! There are so many amazing exhibitions and I loved it.
So I had a lovely weekend in Oxford, a beautiful city I’d love to go back to sometime!
I finally went on another Bookish Adventure for the first time since August! I’ve been meaning to visit a nearby book barn for a while, and I finally went yesterday with my boyfriend. It was a while away, but definitely worth the drive!
We started in the cafe, which was covered in these cute little signs and there were even books on the beams!
From our table, I could practically browse the architecture section – seriously, I was sat down to take this photo.
Starting to walk around, we found books everywhere (the books are everywhere)! Even under the counter and under the stairs we found books, they were in every nook.
The shop went on forever, which is both amazing and dangerous! At the very end of the barn, we found The Snug, a small room with a fire in the middle and comfy sofas around the fire. I ended up buying 6 books for just £13, so I think that’s worth breaking my book buying ban for!
As you may know from my post on Saturday, I attended the Young Adult Literature Convention on Sunday. I could only make it for one day, but it was an awesome one!
Honestly, YALC is the biggest event on my bookish calendar, and it didn’t disappoint! After the biggest drive I’ve ever done without my parents (around 3 1/2 hours?), me and my lovely friend Elise arrived. What a day. Seriously. What. A. Day. (Warning: this may be a super-long post!)
We attended 2 talks in the day – the Life Advice panel and the Patrick Ness interview, chaired by Juno Dawson. Unfortunately, I didn’t catch much of the Life Advice panel as I spotted both Katherine Webber and Cecilia Vinesse in the audience and sneaked over to have my books signed! However, what I did catch sounded awesome, and pretty similar to a panel I remember from last year.
Due to our long journey, I unfortunately missed both Katherine Webber and Cecilia Vinesse officially. But I did catch them unofficially in the Life Advice panel audience, as mentioned above.
I officially attended the Patrick Ness, Holly Bourne, Non Pratt, Maggie Harcourt (as pictured above!), Sara Barnard and Chris Russell signings. As Chris didn’t have a queue when I went up to him, he’s probably the one I enjoyed meeting most. I also happened to bump into him a lot throughout the day and he said hi every time. How great is that? (Below are the books I had signed)!
Collections, Stalls and Book Buying
A big perk of being at the last day of YALC is the publishing companies put the price of books down! A lot of stalls were having half-price sales, 3 for 2 or 3 books for £10. Because of this, I’m pretty proud of the fact I only bought 3 books!
My friend Elise wanted to buy Lady Midnight from a 3 for £10 stall, so I pitched in and chose Alex, Approximately and my last Morgan Matson read, Since You’ve Been Gone. Cue a mini-freak out from me when the guy on the stall tells me the Morgan Matson book is SIGNED. What? She never comes to the UK!
While looking around the stalls, I picked up as many freebies as I could! I think every stall had something – postcards, bookmarks, samples and much more. My Kinda Book had a few cases full of free samples, one of them being Floored. Floored is a book scheduled for publication in July 2018. The book is about six different people meeting on the same day over several years to remember a lost friend. Apparently it’s going to be a mixture of The Breakfast Club and One Day, which sounds amazing!
Other freebies include a lot of bookmarks and cards (pictured above)! I also picked up posters, stickers and pins (pictured with Floored). At the moment they’re all in a free tote I picked up, but I’ll eventually sort them and probably have most on my wall!
So it’s safe to say I had a pretty hectic but amazing day at YALC 2017. Bring on next year, when I’ll hopefully be able to stay all weekend!
Whoop – it’s been so long since I added a new section to my blog so I’m really excited! As you may know, I was lucky enough to spend the past week on the beautiful Portuguese island of Madeira. It was the first time I’ve visited and I really fell in love with the incredible landscape, lovely people and relaxed atmosphere.
I have a few things planned over the summer and since I’ve now passed my driving test, these rare ‘A Postcard From…’ posts are going to showcase my trips. Different to Bookish Adventures, these will just be to talk about my other travels!
Here’s our beautiful veranda on the bungalow we stayed in – trust me, a lot of reading happened in this hammock over the week!
Early on in the week, we headed to the peninsula of the island for a walk and swim. While on the walk, we came across some thirsty lizards eager for a splash of our bottled water. The rocks are so hot there, we ended up with a swarm of them wanting to cool down. I was lucky enough to get so close that one even climbed on my camera lens!
One of the loveliest things about where we were staying are these gorgeous little kittens. They kept us company (along with their mum and another cat) for the whole week!
The town we were staying in actually had a folk festival over the first weekend, and we wandered down to join in. One of the things we noticed was how this fire would never be allowed in the UK because of health and safety laws!
Madeira is a volcanic island – so sandy beaches are pretty non-existent out there. However, there are these beautiful lidos and other facilities, which we really made use of!
One of my favourite things from the trip – this lovely little library at the side of the street. I spotted a few of these in the style of classic Santana (the town we were staying in) houses.
We mainly stayed out of the capital (Funchal), but did venture in for the magnificent cable car.
At the top of the cable car line, a short walk took us to this beautiful pool. Of course, we couldn’t resist swimming (and jumping in!).
One of the most incredible things about Madeira are the mountains. Not just the mountains, but the walks and viewpoints that are dotted around them. Some of the views we were lucky enough to see were just simply breathtaking!
Later in the week, we drove and climbed to the top of the highest peak on the island. Above the clouds and looking out on panoramic views, this is definitely one of the highlights of my week.
Our last full day took us above the clouds once again – on a drive and walk over another amazing mountain.
Unfortunately the only picture I could get of this was out of the car window – but this is honestly one of the most magnificent views I’ve ever come across.
The cloud literally collects in valleys, and this is what you see from just above. The cloud is almost liquid-looking and fluid-like, pouring out from between the hills.
Overall, it’s safe to say Madeira is the most beautiful place I have ever been. Although I missed a lot back home (tea, my guinea pig and of course my lovely friends), I had an incredible week and it’s definitely one I’d like to repeat in the future!
Hi everyone! So while I’ve been busy all week and writing really short posts (sorry!), I have been saving up something really special to tell you all about! It’s been a while since my last postcard, so we’re well overdue for another one.
So my special news is….I got to hang out with a couple of authors last weekend!!!
Through the amazing book club I attend once a month, I was asked to not only read an ARC copy of the lovely Unconventional (review here), I was also invited to meet her!
Oh, and wait for it. Along with the wonderful Maggie Harcourt, I also got to meet Lauren James and Miranda Dickinson! I’m not kidding.
So I am lucky enough to say I walked into my local bookstore last weekend and got to sit at a VIP table with Miranda Dickinson opposite me, Maggie Harcourt two seats down and Lauren James just along the table.
Not only that, but I was sat next to the host and interviewer Chelly Toy – a blogger over at Tales Of Yesterday! We spent an amazing 45 minutes discussing books, cats, signings and Elvis.
We then headed up to the talk and spent about an hour listening to Chelly ask Lauren, Miranda and Maggie some great questions! It was great to hear about their lives as authors and experiences they’ve had.
After the talk, I managed to get to the front of the queue pretty quick! I unfortunately didn’t have any of Miranda’s books, and I haven’t yet read The Next Together – so I was mainly there for Maggie.
However, both Miranda and Lauren were lovely and Lauren made sure to sign my unread copy of The Next Together! In fact, when we took the above photo, Lauren noticed my Arrested Development phone case and preceded to write loads of quotes from the show on the title page of my book! She (and Maggie and Miranda) was so lovely.
Thanks for reading, I’ll be back tomorrow to share a very special book I bought this week!
Hi bookworms! I’m sorry I’ve been away for the past few days – but I have a good excuse, honest! I’ve actually been at a literature festival in Hay-On-Wye in Wales. You may remember me mentioning going to the (main) summer festival back in June or July, and I just couldn’t resist going back again!
The town was decorated – and not just with Christmas lights (although they were very pretty, too)! I loved the cute bunting hanging around the village.
The town was decorated with books in many ways – even in little cupboards in passageways!
I attended several talks in Hay, but none were really YA related (or 100% my thing, to be honest…), so the bookshops were my thing! I love the cinema bookshop with these bin things outside that close up at night! You’d think they couldn’t fit any more books inside…
And that thought is right! The multiple storey (story…haha) bookshop is crammed to the brim – including the basement!
This has to be one of my favourite signs in the whole world – and yes, I have bought books from there before.
This is also a special full-to-the-brim bookshop that I’ve fallen in love with!
While walking back through the village, I spotted a cute little book shed! Isn’t it awesome?
You may be surprised to hear I didn’t actually buy any books this weekend. The thing is, I mainly (apart from literally a couple of novels) read YA. And unfortunately, there are hardly any YA books in Hay! Anywhere! I’ve found that (at least here in the UK), many independent shops don’t sell YA at all. It’s a shame, but at least I can still shop online and from bigger shops.