Books Kinokuniya – Singapore

I’m trying to make it a point to visit bookstores whenever I go on a trip outside the country, just because it’s fun. Plus for a bookish person like me, it’s always interesting to see various editions of books, especially the ones translated in the country’s local language. The first foreign bookstores I went to were during my trip to Europe. I was only able to check one bookstore in Jakarta (and I wasn’t able to blog about it, eep!). So I went to Singapore last week, and as I was planning my itinerary, I knew there was one place that I should go to: Books Kinokuniya.

I’ve read really great things about this place — and by great, it’s really more This is such a big bookstore and There are really so many books inside. On my third day at Singapore, I hopped on a train to Orchard to get to Takashimaya Mall and looked for this bookstore.

And…I was amazed.

I wasn’t able to take a lot of photos outside and inside that aren’t sneaky photos (I haven’t had that tourist-y talent down pat yet). I was alone when I went there, and I was really too amazed at the selection of books more than I wanted to take photos. Here are some photos I took, though:

kinokuniya02

Rows and rows of shelves!

Two versions of The Lover's Dictionary

Two versions of The Lover’s Dictionary

Continue Reading →

A Case of the Blues

So I was lazily reading (by lazily, I mean it — I’m still such a slow reader from last month) one day this month when I noticed a little curious thing.

It seems like I have a case of the blues.

Literally.

Check out the print books I’ve finished reading lately:

Blue, blue, blue, blue, blue

Okay, Ender’s Game isn’t exactly that blue like the others, but the cover has dark blue tones. But look at all the blue! Even the ebooks I’ve been reading have (mostly) blue covers:

Wonder by R.J. PalacioFreshman Year and Other Unnatural Disasters by Meredith Zeitlin

Have you ever noticed that with what you’re reading? I don’t pay huge attention to covers, but this is pretty cool how I seem to gravitate towards blue covers. Not that the blueness really means much to the stories in the books. There may be a psychology in this, with how there seem to be more blue-toned covers out there, right? Is it because it presents stability (as this infographic says)?

Of course there’s a part of me that makes me want to break this record of blues. I suddenly find the color of the cover affects how I’m choosing the next book I want to read. Just to break the color consistency.

So how about pink? :)

Tada! Pink!

One of those truths in life

People who see me in my glasses often assume I got them because I spend a lot of time in front of the computer. But I beg to disagree. Here’s the truth:

I wrecked these eyes reading

Okay, but most of the reading I did when I was young is not the same kind I do today. When I was younger, having eyeglasses were the cool thing and I thought it looked nice on me, but my parents don’t want to get me those fashion glasses. I figured the only way I can get glasses is to make me need it. We used to have a lot of power outages when I was a kid, so I would read some of my school books by candle light, or read while I was lying down. Come 5th grade, I had my eyes checked and I finally got my glasses.

Now I’m sort of regretting wrecking my eyes. :P I think the amount I spent on glasses, contact lenses and lens solutions is more than the cost of waterproof cameras. I’m not regretting the reading, though.

So. Who else have wrecked their eyes reading here? Say aye!

NaNo Update!

First off, the winner of my High Society giveaway is:

Monique

Congratulations! Expect an email from me soon! :)

* * *

Next, time for a NaNoWriMo update, I think? :)

So it’s Day 19 of National Novel Writing Month, and so far, this has been the strangest NaNoWriMo for me, ever. Just look at my graph:

NaNoWriMo 2011 update

I tried to keep up with the daily word count quota of 1667 words per day starting November 1, but by November 5, I started to fail. Why? Well, by first write-in, I realized that my original idea is not heading anywhere. So during the first write-in (Day 5), I decided to start again with the same story idea but pushed it back a few decades so instead of my story being set post-apocalypse (yeah, I was trying to write a dytopia novel :P), it was set during the apocalypse.

I kept my first 6,000 words in first because I figured that since they’re the same idea, it should still count. However, 5,000 words later, I realized that I don’t know where my story was going again. It was forming to be a chick lit / dystopia / conspiracy novel, but I had no idea how to write a conspiracy novel. I thought I’d have better luck writing about rv repairs instead. *headdesk*

So by the second write-in (Day 7), I was at a loss. I knew if I continued writing my novel, I would hate it and I would end up slaving over it and I would never, ever want to see it again. I needed to do something about it, but I’m not sure if I could still stick with the story.

I was also toying with the idea of writing what I know, particularly, what I read. Not fanfiction, of course, but you know, writing a genre that also want to read. By the night of Day 7, I was toying with the idea of starting my novel from scratch and going for a genre that I have been reading all year: young adult. I mean, the reason I wrote chick lit a few years ago was because I kept on reading them. So why wasn’t I reading a young adult novel this year when practically all that I have read last year was young adult?

Love Books? Write One!So by Day 8, I decided to try writing the start of a contemporary young adult novel I have been toying with since last year. And…I decided to stick with it. I started my word count from zero and worked from there. That’s why there was a sudden decline in my word count — I couldn’t really include the ones I’ve written for that other novel in this novel because I didn’t think it was fair. So with a new word count quota (2300 words a day), I set to work.

The new novel is easier to write and definitely more fun. I guess reading all those contemporary YA novels really helped because it was so easy to get into the world now (especially since I have set the story in my college alma mater — will change that during edits, but for now this should work). It was easier to write that I managed to get 9,000+ words in a day (Day 12-13), and by Day 17, I finally passed daily word count quota.

This is the first time in my eight years (!!!) of doing NaNoWriMo that I changed stories within the month. It was still early when I did that, so it didn’t really make that much of a difference, and I am confident that I will get to 50k words this month. Of course, my story would be far from finished by then, but still, at least that’s a NaNo win. Let’s also hope that I actually finish this novel too, yes?

So that’s basically what made my NaNoWriMo interesting. :D This is me taking Chris Baty‘s words seriously for this year:

“What should I write about?” is a hard question. “What would I like to read about?” is easier. The answers will be the same for both.

Yep, I’m doing exactly that. :) I am at 32,000+ words as of today. See you at the finish line!

One Book, Two Book, Three Book, Four…and Five

I still have about four books left on my backlog of reviews (more to add soon, I think), but because I do not want to bore you all with just those posts, let’s do a combo breaker and answer this meme I got from Chachic, Janice, Angie and Nomes. :)

I should be writing my novel but you know how I love procrastinating sometimes? Maybe next year I should be a NaNoRebel and write a year’s worth of blog posts (or something like that) for NaNoWriMo. Hm.

The Curse of the Wendigo by Rick Yancey     Hallowed by Cynthia Hand     The Future of Us by Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler

1. Book I am currently reading:
The Curse of the Wendigo
by Rick Yancey. I was semi-bullied into reading this (haha, hi, Aaron and Tricia!), but if they did not do that, I probably would not have started reading this anytime soon. I really liked The Monstrumologist so jumping in to this one soon enough after reading that was actually a good idea because the characters were still fresh to me. So far this has been creepier than the first book, but also quite funny and sometimes heartwarming.

Also, Hallowed by Cynthia Hand (!!!). :) Got this from Netgalley and I’m reading it slow so I would get all the Tucker goodness. Seriously, if you ever read a paranormal romance novel ever again, pick Unearthly. It’s very, very good.

2. Last book I finished:
The Future of Us by Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler. Thanks to Pinoy Book Tours for having this on hand and squeezing me in the tour. :D

Falling Together by Marisa de los Santos     Fury by Shirley Marr    Protection for Hire by Camy Tang

3. Next book I want to read:
Falling Together by Marisa de los Santos. I just got this my TBR, and it’s been calling out to me for a while. Hmm. Although I think I may have to read a classic novel to finish some challenges, but I really want something comforting amidst the novel writing stress. So let’s see. :)

4. Last book I bought:
Fury by Shirley Marr. My friend Katia went to Sydney last October and because we know Australian books are just awesome, I asked if she could get me a copy of this. And she found me one. :) Yay. As expected, it was expensive, but it’s not everyday I get to buy a book from Australia. :)

5. Last book I was given:
Protection for Hire by Camy Tang. Okay this one I got from Netgalley too, but since I am on the author’s street team (you should join it, too), I knew about this way back and was expecting to receive an ebook review for this. :) Plus, I got an email that Zondervan has auto-approved me as a reviewer in Netgalley. I’m not sure if everyone gets that, but it’s nice to get that email. :) I cannot wait to read Camy’s newest book.