Thursday, 23 October 2014

Tips For Buying Books In Charity Shops | Books

vivatramp uk book blogger lifestyle blog how to buy books in charity shops tips advice thrifty book buying
Interestingly, a large percentage of the books that I own come from charity shops. This is probably largely down to the fact that it makes book buying affordable and accessible to me and there are 11 charity shops in my hometown and not a lot else...I also really like that I can support local charities in a pressure-free environment, donating a few pounds as and when I can. With regards to the books themselves, it's nice to be able to browse a plethora of different editions from different eras and it's nice to stumble across a variety of genres and titles. People often ask me how I find so many books at such good prices and, honestly, I  don't know whether it's just pure dumb luck on my behalf or what. Regardless, here are a few tips that I've strung together with regards to how to buy books in charity shops: 

CONSIDER your LOCATION - contrary to popular belief, more affluent areas often have poor selections
plan your route - note which shops are best for each particular genre - do any do deals?
visit regularly -  charity shops rotate their stock and get regular deliveries so visit often
COMMUNICATE - get to know the staff as they may be able to keep a look out for certain titles
do your research - know what titles you want and are looking out for and consider keeping a list
read lots of reviews - know what titles are worth picking up before you go
don't lose your head over the price - is it in good enough nick? Is it a decent edition? do you really want to read it?
take advantage of post-holiday unwanted gifts - new year is a great time to buy new books in charity shops!
donate books yourself give a little bit back to the shops. re-donate the books you probably won't re-read.
be patient - be prepared to sift and visit other places!
Do you buy books in charity shops? If so, what are your top tips? Also, what's your favourite charity shop book purchase? 

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Monday, 20 October 2014

Sea Fever by John Masefield | Poetry

my favourite poem uk book blogger lifestyle vivatramp john masefield sea fever maggi hambling

I love to read poetry. However, despite doing this whole blogging thing for four years, I've not shared any of my favourites until now! In honour of National Poetry Day, which took place a couple of weeks ago, I thought I'd share one of my favourite poems: Sea Fever by John Masefield. Sit back, relax and put your poetry heads on. 

sea fever john masefield poetry vivatramp book blogger lifestyle blog uk

I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by; 
And the wheel's kick and the wind's song and the white sail's shaking,
And a grey mist on the sea's face, and a grey dawn breaking.

I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying, 
And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.

I must go down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,
To the gull's way and the whale's way where the wind's like a whetted knife;
And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover,
And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick's over. 

maggi hambling art lifestyle blog uk poetry sea fever john masefield vivatramp                                                                                                                                    Credit: Maggi Hambling
I take enormous amounts of strength and comfort from this poem, with its seascape imagery and rhyming couplets. There is something incredibly comforting in being afforded peace once we have weathered the most horrifying of storms and something ridiculously beautiful in the idea of sending stars to steer loved ones by in their time of need. I think it's quite an accessible poem, due to its form, so even if you aren't much of a poetry reader, I hope you can find something to like about it.

vivatramp lifestyle book blog uk sea fever john masefield

What's your favourite poem and why? I'm always looking for new poems to enjoy so leave me some recommendations. What do you think of Sea Fever? Feel free to be honest!  

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Thursday, 16 October 2014

On My Shelf #6 | Books

vivatramp on my shelf tag lifestyle book blogger uk book blog

Hai! Before I get started, I just want to say a big thank you to everyone that read, shared and interacted with my last post. It was so nice to see people engaging with a topic that means a lot to me and I really hope it helped people on both sides. You guys are the best! Anyway, onto today's post...Here's the latest installment in my On My Shelf series - the feature that gives you the opportunity to snoop around my bookshelves. Each month you guys give me some numbers that correspond with where my books sit on my shelves and I then tell you a bit about that particular book, the story behind its purchase and, if I've read it, what I thought about it. This tag was created by Iain BroomeLet me know in the comments if you've read any of these books as I'd love to know what you thought of them...

Monday, 13 October 2014

How To Be A Good Friend To Someone With An Illness | Advice

vivatramp how to be a good friend to some with an illness friendship advice lifestyle book blog uk

Being diagnosed with Crohn's Disease had a huge impact on my friendships. In some instances, it strengthened them and brought us closer together. However, others, to use the formal terminology, went to shit. I always find myself pining for those friendships, wishing I could restore them to what they once were and wishing I could just say: Hey! I'm still me, just with a lot less bowel! Why aren't you being like this instead of like this? 

Lets face it, illnesses aren't nice for anyone and I'm guilty of ignoring the impact that mine has on my loved ones and friends. It's not always black and white and it can be pretty scary to support someone that is ill. However, I'm here today to share some thoughts with you and share a few tips on how to be a good friend to someone with an illness. Whether you're the person with the illness, who may want to share this with their loved ones, or whether you're the friend who has been feeling a bit awkward and uncertain as to how you should behave, I hope you find this post useful. Obviously, I'm only one person with one condition so I can't say that this is how everyone feels. Take it with a pinch of salt. No wait, that's tequila...