Thursday, 25 April 2013

Books: hardback vs paperback

I always find it very hard to pick a certain edition from a book, especially when I am ordering them from the internet. There is so much choice! Especially with very popular books like those of Tolkien and classics like Jane Austen or Charles Dickens. While I have a very weak spot for beautiful covers, I tend mostly tend to pick the less expensive ones so I can buy more books.

The most common decision you have to make while buying books is the choice between hardback or paperback. I absolutely love hardback books and have a couple of them. They look great on my bookshelves and they don't get damaged as easily as a paperback. There is, however, a downside. Hardbacks are heavy and more expensive. If I'm reading at home, the weight isn't such an issue, but I always try to take a book with me where ever I go and than it because an issue, especially if I have more things with me. So if I start reading a hardback, I mostly have a take-with-me-book as well. It is annoying sometimes, because if the take-with-me-book is more interesting, I might read it as home as well instead of reading the hardback.
Another issue is the price. Hardbacks cost more (and sometimes a lot more) than paperbacks. This is actually the main reason why I mostly buy paperbacks. The downside of paperbacks is that they are damaged more easily. While I am very careful with my books, I have some that are damaged. It isn't rare that the plastic thingy that protects the cover comes loose or you get creases on the spine.

Beside hardback or paperback, you can sometimes chose between buying the works of a certain author collected in one book or all in different books. I prefer to buy it all in different books because it is a lot easier to read and to take along. I have a few collected works (all from the Wordsworth Library Collection) because I found them for very little money. It is not very practical to read though. The books are huge and heavy so i won't be able to take them out.

My bookcase is mostly filled with pocket paperbacks with here and there a bigger hardback and a collected works. What kind of books do you prefer to buy and why?

Monday, 22 April 2013

Review: The Summoner by Gail Z. Martin

It was the cover and the title that caused me to buy the book. The summary on the back of the book was very promising as well. Unfortunately, the book isn’t as good as I had hoped. The story is filled with clichés and the characters aren’t so great either. 
 I found a summary of the book on It is a little different from the back of my book though:

The comfortable world of Martris Drayke, second son of King Bricen of Margolan, is shattered when his older half-brother, Jared, and Jared's dark mage, Foor Arontala, kill the king and seize the throne. Tris is the only surviving member of the royal family aside from Jared the traitor. Tris flees with three friends: Soterius, captain of the guard; Carroway, the court's master bard; and Harrtuck, a member of the royal guard. Tris harbors a deep secret. In a land where spirits walk openly and influence the affairs of the living, he suspects he may be the mage heir to the power of his grandmother, Bava K'aa, once the greatest sorceress of her age. Such magic would make Tris a Summoner, the rarest of magic gifts, capable of arbitrating between the living and the dead.

 The book pulled me in from the very beginning. The world in which the story takes place is really interesting and the learning curve isn’t too steep. I liked Martin’s writing style: it’s very fluent and she describes just enough of the world and the characters. While the plot is loaded with clichés and I already have an idea how the story is going to end, I am still curious about the other books. What annoyed me endlessly about the story was that there barely was a break from the action. The action sequences followed one another up in a very high tempo. It was as though I was reading a video game.
   The characters were very stereotypical and flat. Only one actually developed a bit during the story and there was only one character I really started to like when the story progressed. What is nice in the story, are the different points of views you get. It is really interesting to see what certain characters think of the situation.
  I have to conclude by saying that this novel feels more like a Young Adult story then a mature fantasy story. That is not necessarily a bad thing, but it can be quite a disappointment when it’s in the rack with the other fantasy books. I would give this book 2.5 out of 5.  



While I already have a personal blog, I decided to make a new one to dedicated wholly to literature and writing. I will review books I've read on this blog, talk about literature and writing and perhaps I'll even publish essays I have written for school. 

A small introduction might be useful.
I am Carry, born in 1991. Ever since reading the Harry Potter series by J.K Rowling I have fallen in love with books and words. I try to read a lot of different things, though Fantasy is my favourite genre. This passion for words and books has helped me pick my education: right now I am studying Dutch and English Linguistics and Literature at the University of Antwerp (Belgium). 
Besides reading, I also write. I have written a lot of (incomplete) fanfiction until a couple of months ago a friend and I decided to write something together. It started as fanfiction but the idea turned out to be quite interesting that we decided to turn it into an original story and if it is good enough we will publish it as an e-book, though that will take a while since we are both very busy. 
I co-own a horse with my boyfriend and I have a great love for music. I listen mostly to metal, though my favourite band, The Rasmus, is a poprock band. I try to be open to new experiences and ideas, though it is not always easy. If you have any questions, feel free to ask them in the comments. if they are not too personal, I will try to answer them!