Lifestyle: Reasons to love

Goodreads is a book lover’s dream app

As you probably guessed from my previous post on my new Kindle, I’m a bit of a bookworm.Needless to say a website that is dedicated to books is absolutely my kind of thing; more than that, it’s something that has factored into my daily routine.


*source is a handy website that allows you to discuss books with likeminded folk, take reading challenges or join book clubs. You can also keep track of the books you have read, the ones you are reading and the ones you want to read.  Really though, I think it works best as an app; you think of a book or you see one in a shop you want to read, you add to your list on the go; it’s great.

Here are the reasons I love Goodreads and why I think you will as well.

1. One of the best things about Goodreads is the recommendations function. You read a book, or add one you’ve read before, rate it and it recommends books to you based on your taste. For example, I rated The Fault in Our Stars with five stars and it suggested Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell, which I read, I rated that and I was recommened more books. 

Goodreads compiles genuinely intuitive lists based on what you have expressed enjoyment in reading, which has, in line with a few bloggers I read, resulted in close to 200 books being added to my to-read list. 

2. You can see what your friends or favourite bloggers are reading. Like any social site you can add friends and you can share your reviews and statuses. This is a great because it gives you another way to gather new books to read but mostly I like it because I’m nosy. I always find it really interesting to see what other people read; it says a lot about them and where they are in life at the moment. As well as that; Christmas present list! You can see what kind of books your friends and family like to read and build a fairly good assumption of they might like as a gift. 

3.  It’s organised! I love anything that brings a little bit more organisation to my life and I probably wouldn’t read as much as I have in the last year if it wasn’t for Goodreads because of the order it brings.

Sound like something you’d be into? Make sure you add me HERE. 



Lifestyle: Kindle Paperwhite Review

First Impressions of a Kindle from a book traditionalist’s view.

I know I am not alone among book lovers in refusing for a lengthy time to given in to the realm of eBooks.

The look and feel of book lends to the experience of reading; the smell of an old book you’ve borrowed from someone or from the library, the touch of the page as you turn it in anticipation.

Recently I was convinced though. A book in my handbag is just added weight to things I “need” to carry with me to work every day. It’s also €11 I could spend on something else, like food or petrol (or 4 kindle books).  Adding that to the fact that my frequent trips to Eason and Chapters have resulted in a lack of storage space, it seemed that eBooks were the way to go. After taking a peek at a friend’s Kindle in work and much discussion with fellow tweeting book worms Karie, Chloe, Sharon and Hazel  (thanks ladies) I decided I was a Kindle person.

Kindle Review

Considering that Sharon and Chloe are wholly responsible for my ever-growing “to-read” list on Goodreads, thanks to their amazing reviews on their respective blogs(Chloe is HERE and Sharon is HERE, you’ll adore them), I figured the Kindle was a good buy for a book worm. Or maybe they’re just  spendaholic enablers.

Down to business… my first impressions of the Kindle. 

I’ve only had the Kindle (The paperwhite edition) a week, and I fell in love with it instantly.

The feel of it; smooth, matte and feather light was what sold me most of all. It means I can read enormous books without it weighing my handbag down. It fits right into the small inside pocket of my handbag and even on a packed train to work I can still comfortable read it because it’s so small. For the lads, it is the perfect size to slip into your coat pocket.

I also love it because of the money saving aspect and the ease of use. The Kindle books are typically around the €4-€6 mark, as opposed to the sometimes outrageous prices you would pay in a book shop. I realise there are cheaper alternatives like The Book Depository, but then you have to wait at least 4 days for your book to come!

It is 100% user friendly, too. With a simple touch screen and a handy user introduction when you first switch it on there is not much you could get confused about. You can even load books to your kindle from your desktop or phone if you think of a book you want to read and don’t have your device to hand.

Finally, I feel like I am reading a lot more now that I have the Kindle. As much of a book worm as I am (I do read every day, typically), I am an abominably slow reader. It could take me a month to read a book normally, sometimes longer. Put it this way; I ambitiously decided to take the Good reads challenge and set myself a target of 30 books. I’ve read 9.

Like I said, I only have the Kindle a week and I am already halfway through the very intriguing Cop Town by  Karin Slaughter (because the aforementioned Sharon reviewed it). It is just so much easier to fly through a book using it.

A couple of other features worth mentioning are the dictionary; one click and you are given the definition and it saves into a little vocabulary log, and the highlight feature; press down to highlight and drag across the sentence, it saves in your notes and you can look back on your favourite lines and quotes whenever you want, this is definitely one of my favourite things about it.

Kindle review, highlight feature

I would absolutely recommend The Kindle Paperwhite to any serious bookworms out there; you’ll save on space, you’ll save on money long term and you can read it under the covers thanks to the backlight. Yes, the look and feel of a book is fantastic and no, I wouldn’t turn my nose up at a book if it was lent to me or gifted to me (I think books are the most thoughtful gift) but this is genuinely the best material investment I have made since I bought my car.

You can pick one up in PC World for €139 or €79.99 for the non-touch screen version.


The Goodreads Tag

I love reading. I’m slow at it, but I love it.

I don’t like to write about books because, well, reading is personal. I lose myself in a book and while one book might mind blowing to me it might totally wash over someone else’s back and visa versa.

I spotted this tag Sharon on Behind Green Eyes and she left the tag open to anyone who fancied it. I thought: “Well I write about everything else, I might as well write about it just this once”.


I’ve been on Goodreads since 2012 but I only really started to use it last year. It is the ideal app for book lovers with the recommendations function being my particular favourite thing about it.  I’m here, if you want to add me.

What was the last book you marked as read?

I finished Little Women by Louisa-May Alcott after labouring through it. I wasn’t a fan of these book at all; while it didn’t fall into the typical remit of the classic novel, it was tiring to say the least; the story falls apart after a few chapters and then it reads like a guidebook for young adults filled with patronising morality tales at the end of each chapter.

What are you currently reading?
I’m reading two books currently. I’m about half way through The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls; this is a memoir, something I tend to avoid but it’s actually one worth reading. Walls’ upbringing is not something most people can relate to and it is astonishing to read all she went through at the hands of two rather neglectful and careless parents; yet she came out successful and compassionate.

The second book I’m reading is Nancy Clark’s Sports Nutrition Guidebook. I’m studying sports nutrition at the moment so it’s more of a textbook to me, but if you’re interested in fitness at all, this is definitely something worth having on your shelf.

What was the last book you marked as to-read?
I added Family Ties by Hans M. Hirschi this week. I loved the cover, which is always what interests me first, but when I read the summary I became immediately intrigued. This seems like the kind of depthful story I could get lost in.

What do you plan to read next? 
I’m not really sure what I want to read next, I never think too far ahead. I usually get near the end of a book and either download, borrow or buy the next one that takes my fancy. I bought my mother I am Pilgrim by Terry Hayes so she would have something to read on her holiday, so I suppose that will be the next one I pick up.

Do you use the star rating system?
I do; purely to get more recommendations based on books I like.

Are you doing a 2014 reading challenge?
I am, I always try to mentally challenge myself to read a certain amount of books a year, but with distractions and responsibilities I tend to take a few months off. This year I’m aiming for 30 books, but I’m already 6 behind. Oh dear.

Do you have a wish list?
My wishlist is my To-Read list on Goodreads and it’s never ending. I don’t cross the books off in order of when I add them too it, just take a look at what I have on it and buy the one that strikes me most at the time. Sometimes I’ll go on a bit of a Book Depositry binge and buy a few off it to keep me going.

What book do you plan to buy next?
I don’t really have a plan, like I said; I buy as the mood strikes me, however I have been edging towards purchasing something by Buckoski lately.

Who are your favourite authors?
John Green, Emma Donohue, Samuel Beckett, Arthur Conan Doyle, John Steinbeck.

Have you joined any groups?
I’m only a member of the Goodreads Ireland Group and honestly, I don’t really interact.

Thanks for leaving the tag open to everyone, Sharon. I’d like to do the same so if you are interested in reading and have a goodreads account, have a wack this tag and leave your links in the comments.