Category Archives: Books

Problems Only Book-Lovers Will Understand

Reading, while incredibly awesome and we will love it no matter what, is not without struggles. As the Olympics have wrapped up and we learned all about the obstacles our athletes have had to overcome, here is a sample of some issues that face an under-rated species of human – the book-lovers.

Being tired all day because you spent your night up reading  until the wee hours of the morning.

Tired readers

When the plot twist that forever changes your life happens…

Surprised Burt

…and you have to clear your schedule for the day.

Go away reading

When you want to read but some force of absolute evil is stopping you.

So much laundry

Similarly, when someone keeps trying to converse with you and it is not okay. 

Bitch I'm reading

Having to wait for sequels. 

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When you’re forced to buy a second copy of a book because you’re wearing out your first one. 

Book shopping

Getting legitimately angry with a fictional character.

Mad Brah

On the other hand, when characters are so awesome you wish they existed in real life.

LET ME LOVE YOU

When you want to know what happens to the characters after the book ends but there’s no follow-up.

Wondering

Reading a hilarious book in public and attempting to keep your cool.

Trying not to laugh 

A slippery sleeve on a hardcover book that just won’t cooperate.

Annoying book covers

When your bookmark escapes.

How Rude

Looking anti-social because you want to bond with the characters in your book instead.

Convo over

Knowing there will always be more books to fuel your obsession.

LOVE ME

Why You Need to Read More

Alright guys, time to fess up: when is the last time you read something that was not homework? I’m talking about for fun here, no one made you read it and you’re not getting marked on your understanding of it. No participation grades here.

If you can say within the last month then by all means I applaud you, especially if you’re a student.

However if you can’t think of the last time you held a book or periodical in your hands we need to have a little chat. Step into my office. These are some signs you need to tab over from Perez Hilton and shift your attention to something a little more beneficial to your overall life:

  1. You can tell me exactly how much weight Snooki has lost but can’t list one benefit of protein.
  2. You know what projects Kim Kardashian works on but draw a blank on what the Manhattan Project is.
  3. Your idea of catching up on the news is reading your Facebook timeline.
  4. You hurry to a restaurant if someone tells you to run like you’re in the Hunger Games.
  5. You get called a Muggle and don’t even understand what you’ve just been told (proving Muggle status).
  6. You think the only way to get a general knowledge of a topic is to Google exactly what you’re looking for.
  7. You can list off what LMFAO, LOL, ROFL, AFK, and BRB all stand for but acronyms like HIV, NASA, AM/PM, BC/AD, or even P.S. give you trouble.
  8. You know National Geographic as the magazine that had pictures of boobs.
  9. Your mind will be blown when I tell you Romeo and Juliet were teenagers who knew each other for merely days before they killed themselves.
  10. You know more about Anna Kournikova than Anna Karenina.

How’d you do? I know we all enjoy knowing what’s going on with our favourite celebrities but we can’t just settle with this information and call it a day. Perhaps you’re very busy and miss reading for fun or perhaps you just don’t enjoy reading period. Whatever the reason, it is truly in your best interest to pick up some literature and dive in. There’s so much out there you cannot possibly convince me that there is nothing you’re interested in. Its all just a matter of finding what you enjoy learning about.

It happens
It happens.

Below is a list I put together of reasons why you should blow the dust off those books you said you would read but haven’t yet. Maybe its the sapiosexual in me but I truly believe we can all improve ourselves with a little mental workout every now and again.

1. So you can understand cultural references. 

Do you know how many expressions/allusions originate from books? The answer you’re looking for is “countless.” From classic opening lines such as “call me Ishmael” (Herman Melville’s “Moby Dick”) to 2013’s sayings-du-jour like “may the odds be ever in your favour” (from Suzanne Collins’ “The Hunger Games”) there are few better moments of insight when you truly understand the reference someone is making and because you not only understand the meaning behind said allusion but also what it is they’re telling you becomes so much more clear.

2. So you can better connect with people.

How cool is it when you can carry on an actual conversation about something that interests you? Its a wonderful moment when you can discuss and debate your favourite book.

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3. So you can honestly understand what people are talking about.

You know that feeling you had when you told the teacher you did your homework and sat there silently praying they didn’t ask you a question about it because you did not actually do said assignment? Same applies when someone references a classic novel or important piece of news. You’d be surprised how often these references will appear in the most random places and when that lightbulb goes off you feel like you’ve been let into a secret club. Only those who read it will understand and this fills you with a great sense of power (just use it for good, not evil). Read “Pride and Prejudice” even once and you will find Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy everywhere. I know you already said you already have so just finally read the damn thing for real!

4. To keep up with what’s going on around you.

It is so easy to lose sight of the big picture and sometimes when you’re busy it does happen. I’m not here to judge. I’m simply saying you would better off in the long run to keep up with the world’s events than the Kardashians. There are bigger and more important things going on in your country and the world around you than your friend’s #SelfieSunday Instagram.

5. The books are always better than the movies.

As good as the movie can be, the books almost always hold so much more story to learn about and connect with. Why spoil the major plot twists by watching the movie first?

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6. Intelligence is sexy.

With the infinite number of things you can learn from reading you’ll become well-rounded and this is a highly attractive quality. Obviously you can have your areas of expertise but there is a magazine containing a mix of information on pretty much any topic you can think of. Magazines are basically scaled down textbooks on glossy pages. By the time you finish it you don’t even realize how much you learned. Easy peasy. If you doubt me just ask Ryan.

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7. To escape.

I read somewhere that a good book is the cheapest vacation you can take. How else can you wander the streets of Victorian London with Sherlock Holmes one week then end up in Middle Earth entering battle with great wizards the next? What if you wanted to live the life of  jazz-age flapper with Daisy in New York before making your way to war-torn Afghanistan and discovering how to kite run? Anyone who knows me knows how much I would love to go to Hogwarts and my ticket to Platform 9 3/4s comes via a book. Not only can you enter the world(s) of the book’s characters but you get to leave the troubles and stresses of your own life for awhile. All without actually leaving that cozy blanket.

8. Because Hermione Granger didn’t become so awesome by ignoring the wizarding world’s literature.

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Need more reasons? 

This guy knows what’s up.

Questionable “Harry Potter”-inspired Parenting Advice

 Perhaps it is time to shake up your mundane Muggle parenting techniques or you just simply feel as though you were Obliviated and have absolutely no idea what you’re doing. Whatever your reason,why not teach your children with advice that is inspired by the Wizarding World? Its just your children’s future, how bad can it be? 

1) Sort your kids into Houses once they reach the age of eleven. To do this, buy a hat, place it upon their heads, and based upon their characteristics and qualities, sort them into one of the mighty houses of Hogwarts. Prior to their sorting you can encourage good behaviour by reminding them that they don’t want to end up in Slytherin. Or worse – Durmstrang!

Tip: Decorate their bedrooms according to their house’s colours and symbology! What fun!

The_Sorting_Hat_by_twilinympho

2) You could also allocate or take away House Points as your children complete chores, do their homework, and based upon other good or bad deeds.

HousePointsChartAlt

3) When kids misbehave, put them in time-out and hand them a Time-Turner. Ask them what they did wrong and how they should’ve handled the situation. After taking away House Points for naughty behaviour, points can then be earned back according to the quality of their answer.

"No, Harry, that was wrong. Let's try again."
“No, Harry, that was wrong. Let’s try again.”

4) Your little Hinky Punk won’t eat their dinner? Tell them how sad the house elves will be when they see how much of the food they so lovingly prepared is left over. When Dobby sees how much asparagus is left on that plate Dobby will be very sad and nobody wants a sad Dobby. As long as the kid doesn’t threaten to call S.P.E.W. you’re alright.

If this doesn't make you sad, you're a Dementor!
If this doesn’t make you sad, you’re a Dementor!

5) While you should never force your children to sleep in a cupboard under the stairs, you don’t want to go all Dursley on your Dudley. That kid was spoiled rotten and his attitude and chins showed it. Be sure not to reach a stage where the kid rules over your household and you become their personal house elf. There isn’t enough birthday presents or birthday cakes to keep those kids happy.

Every time you spoil a child, Dudley grows a chin
Every time you spoil a child, Dudley grows a chin

6) Teach your kidlets not to share information that will jeopardize their safety and security by telling them what happened when Hagrid told the stranger in the hood about how to get Fluffy to snooze or when Neville lost the list of Gryffindor passwords.

Don't be this guy, kids.
Don’t be this guy, kids.

7) Teach your knee-biters about saving money by telling them about how they can get their own vault at a place like Gringotts. Whether you actually want to take them to a place filled with mean little goblins is your choice but I’m sure Griphook would be proud of your little saver.

Looks like a trustworthy face
Looks like a trustworthy face

8) Uh oh, there’s a death in the family. Take this time to teach your child about that while death is sad, it is also inevitable. So many of our beloved magical friends did not make it to see Voldemort’s end but even then the Deathly Hallows won’t bring them back to a happy life. Even Nicholas Flammel had a chat with Dumbledore and called it quits so live like Fred Weasley (may he rest in a laughing peace) and make sure every moment is full of laughter.

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9) Your little spawn still won’t eat those veggies? It might be time to make a non-chalent comment about how Flitwick also never ate his greens and now he’s too small to play sports. Or have dessert.

Professor-flitwick

10) If your little guy has no interest in a subject or their teacher keeps making a Trelawney of it, simply hire a centaur to teach it. Everything just got instantly cooler. Also a good time to tell your children about respect and equality!! We don’t want them going to the way of Umbridge.

About to go HAM on teaching Divinity!
About to go HAM on teaching Divinity!

11) When those rug-rats want a pet that is too much responsibility for them, don a moleskin coat, a shaggy and wild hairdo (paired with beard!) an’ explain to yer kids tha’ they need teh know how ter properly care fer Flobberworms before they can care fer tha’  Norwegian Ridgeback.

Listen to the professional, kids!
Listen to the professional, kids!

Top 10 Reasons Why I Wish I Went To Hogwarts

Dear Reader,

I am pleased to inform you that you have been accepted to my blog to read about why I wish I attended Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Please find enclosed a list of all the reasons why this is so. Reading begins once you have finished this paragraph. I await your comments and appreciation by owl no later than upon completion. 

Yours Sincerely, 

Jennifer,

Blogger and Potterhead

 

1. It appears to be free! 

No one who has ever been to a post-secondary institute in Canada can under-appreciate the free ride that Hogwarts students seem to get. While I am nearing the end of my degree, I am faced with the gut-wrenching task of coming face-to-face with my nightmare: student loans. While the Weasleys were not financially well-off, they certainly didn’t have to worry about tuition. A few cauldrons, books, and owls cost pennies compared to what we students have to pay just to go to these classes. So how do they do it? I have yet to read about wizard taxes going to the upkeep of the school – the students just seem to go! I could be wrong though, I haven’t read a Daily Prophet in ages.

2. You only need to complete your OWLs and NEWTs to get a career!

Now after you’ve sold all your limbs and spare organs to pay for your degree, you are still not guaranteed a job in the real world. You actually need to pass your classes in both high school and post-secondary. Once you’ve added all this decoration to your resume the best you can do is cross your fingers and hope you get a job you enjoy and have the credentials for. Not Hogwarts students! They seem to have a pretty clear idea ahead of time of what they want to do and the positions come with exact requirements. While it may suck to have to take another year of Potions, at least you know it gets you one step closer to becoming the Auror you’ve always wanted to be. None of this wishy-washy, unclear credentials business you find here in the muggle world. PLUS they attend Hogwarts from the age of 11 to roughly 17. Consider in the fact they do not need a post-Hogwarts school, they have not only saved a lot of time but a ton of Galleons too.

3. Practical and Interesting Courses!

I don’t care how creepy (or awesome) Snape sounds and how much of a jerk he can be, if I was taught how to make something magical from throwing a bunch of ingredients into a pewter cauldron I’d so be down! Learning to transfigure things? Who doesn’t need to know that?! “I’m sorry honey, we’re out of spare goblets for the Yule Ball tonight.” “Oh no worries dear, we’ll just use the rat that’s been running around the garden.” So. Many. Problems. Solved. I on the other hand struggled through high school math only to never use it again. And people say Herbology is lame.

4. Location, Location, Location!

Look at the Hogwarts grounds! Seriously. Look at it: 

How friggen cool is this place?! You’ve got not only the coolest-looking castle around, but a Quidditch pitch, a lake (complete with giant squid and merpeople), but also the Forbidden Forest. Think of the scholarly opportunities that the grounds alone provide: Meeting new species in the Forbidden Forest, learning about gillyweed in the lake, or the aerodynamics of broom-flying. This campus is ripe with resources just waiting to have primary research conducted upon it. There is also so much space to do things like read Hogwarts: A History, run from werewolves, chase unregistered Animagi, eavesdrop on Hagrid’s love-life. The possibilities are endless when your school is as bad-ass as Hogwarts.

5. The Castle Ghosts!

While Harry and his peers don’t describe having a ghost pass through you as the most comfortable sensation, it would still be pretty cool to befriend someone who lived in a different century as you. Think of all the information you could find out, all the Headless Hunts to watch, and Death Day parties to avoid. Ugh. I just wish my university had ghosts. Just maybe not the Bloody Baron. He seems little too intense for my liking.

6. Owl Post!

Everybody loves getting mail. Now add to that the excitement of getting your envelopes and packages dropped above your head from a great height! Not only will your hand-eye coordination improve (out of necessity) but having an owl buddy who brings you your stuff will make you feel that much more important. Heck, if letters regarding my student loans were dropped off in such a manner it might take away a few tears and soften the blow (probably not, student loans are comparable to Dementors).

7. Did I mention its a castle?! 

I’ve always loved castles. Since I was young I’ve been fascinated by them. My dream come true would be to run around a castle with towers, spiraling staircases, and a mystery in every room. If I went to Hogwarts I would run around like a sugar-fuelled child, springing from room to room absorbing the history of the 1000 year-old building. I just hope I don’t open the door with Fluffy behind it. Or the Chamber of Secrets. Or Umbridge’s office. *shudders*

8. Quidditch!

I don’t even have to make the house team, I would just be happy with an intramural Quidditch league. I wouldn’t even be upset with the fact that there doesn’t appear to be any other sports in the wizarding world other than this. It is simply a beauty of a game. On broomsticks.

9. School Spirit and House Rivalries!

Every year the Sorting Hat comes up with a new song about Hogwarts. This spirit is reflected in how far Hogwarts students will go to prove how awesome their school is (although it is pretty self-explanatory). Each student will also fight tooth and nail in a battle of “Which is the Best House?”. Every school year the houses compete for not only the Quidditch Cup but the House Cup. Students will duke it out all year to win although as long as Slytherin doesn’t win its all in good fun. Sorta. Not Really. If my house won I would join the rest of my house as we flashed our house-coloured ties in everyone else’s sorry faces. A little competition is great for a school and makes for rivalries that last a lifetime (I’m looking at you here, Harry and Malfoy).

10. The Food and Feasts!

Go all S.P.E.W. if you want but those house elves know how to put out a spread! Plates that magically refill themselves once empty? Its a student’s dream! And we’re not talking prison-food mush here – we’re talking about legit dinners with appetizers, various meats, and desserts. So much desserts. And on the Halloweens where no trolls find their way into the dungeons or on the Christmases that you couldn’t bare to go back to the Dursleys’ (all of them) you can just stay and feast under the unparalleled decor until you’ve had your fill of pumpkin juice and toddle off back to your dormitory. Or until Filch tells you to get a move on.

While this list is by no means exhaustive, I must return to my muggle homework. I do not have any enchanted quills that can write my report for me.

“Hogwarts will always be there to welcome you home,” – J.K. Rowling