13 Places to Donate Your Books to This Holiday Season

I've been breathing Christmas as soon as finals ended. I jumped into making holiday cards (screw Buzzfeed, mid-December is perfectly fine time to make and mail Christmas cards.) The post office line was not kind but I did manage to save some time by buying holiday Forever stamps a couple of visits back.

Despite the fact that my family isn't into the whole Christmas thing and the fact that I am a bit too into the Christmas consumerist culture of tacky bright lights, ugly sweaters, trees and hot chocolate, I somehow manage to survive Christmas with my family.


But as the years go on and the books pile up from the months earlier, I've worried about the burgeoning state of my bookshelves (and my room) so this year, I've compiled a list of places you can donate your books to. I've tried my best to include local and national so I hope you can find somewhere that suits your interest!

Tech Meets Books// I like big books and cannot lie

I've been in a holiday mood way before Thanksgiving, much to my chagrin. It's not even Thanksgiving yet, my inner self screamed. Now that Thanksgiving is over, there's nothing stopping me from being in the holiday cheer, maybe except for finals.

I love a good sweater. I live in sweaters, especially now that the polar vortex is supposedly worse than last year's (yikes!). In the words of my friend, unbelievable. It's supposed to snow a lot more this year, which I'm not looking forward to, either. Where's the good weather? In lieu of good weather, I'm presenting you holiday vibes instead, because that and books will ward off all the nasty snow, cold and wind chill.


This winter, ugly sweaters and books unite.

Download the wallpaper without the watermark below the jump

Review// Jane Austen Cover to Cover by Margaret C. Sullivan

Trends come and go but Jane is forever 

I've been a fan of Jane Austen for a long time now, since middle school but unlike my love for Winnie-the-Pooh, it wasn't love at first sight. Rewind two-years before my love for Jane Austen when I chanced upon Pride and Prejudice in the classroom library that consisted of Tupperware containers (yes, I was that young), I really disliked Austen. Granted, the only English classic I liked at that point was Sherlock Holmes, despite the fact that "The Adventure of the Speckled Band" scared me (It still does, a bit.) 

Fast forward to today--I've got a collection of Austen paperbacks and various Jane Austen products from a Pemberly pennant to a Jane Austen journal. Enter Jane Austen Cover to Cover: 200 Years of Classic Book Covers from stage left. It combines a lot of things I really enjoy-- history, graphic design, and Austen. It's almost as if it had my name on it. 

Mobile Apps for Exercise and Health

Like most people my age, my phone is part of my life, as much as I wish it wasn't. I have apps to check my email, the weather, my schedule, online shopping, books, etc. The last time I did a mobile app round up was back in June when I updated my list of apps that I use to help me blog and be more productive in general and I thought I'd do another list of apps that help me be accountable with exercise and health. 

Mobile Apps for Health and Exercise

Let's Discuss// Balancing Blogging With Life

There's something fascinating about people who live dual lives. 

Blogger-slash-student. That duality has always fascinated me and I've invited some of my favorite blogger-students to share their experiences about balancing blogging with school and some of lessons learned. 

Social Media Grind

social media purgeBut in all honestly, I find it a little tiring that I'm bombarded with notifications and that there's an expectation to respond immediately

Over the past four days, I caught up on sleep (I've never felt this exhausted and so great after 12+ hours of sleep), shows and Buzzfeed.

One can never have too much Buzzfeed.

I realized that I really, sometimes just want to be a recluse, in a joking "I went outside and died" t-shirt kind of way. We live in a culture where everything is instant-- our foods are fast, our internet needs to be fast, our TV shows better be online within 24 hours, and that guy you like should respond to you ASAP.  I jokingly said to a friend that I was going to go on a social media purge and she looked at me.

Tech Meets Books// Marimekko: In Patterns

There's something really bright and lovely with Marimekko's floral prints.

I'm a huge fan of minimalism, which can be evident through Creative Spaces, but I'm an equal fan of Marimekko, too, especially their bedding and their fabric lines.

Marimekko, a Finnish pattern house founded in 1951, is known best for their Unikko poppy flower design as well as their bright and graphic aesthetic. 

I just found out that Chronicle Books released a Marimekko book, Marimekko: In Patterns, a collection of prints and patterns with behind-the-scenes photographs of the creative process, which I find terribly interesting. It's so fun to see something go from a rough idea or sketch to the finalize product as well as what gets tossed out or edited. (Psst, Chronicle Books has a 30% off sale and free shipping with code GETBOOKS!) 

I made a wallpaper inspired by Marimekko and fall; I hope you like it!

Creative Spaces// Home Libraries

A speedy hello from me, in between sorting 600+ slides of information and attempting to figure out 21 sections of one out of three chapters (#midtermweek), about home libraries.

I FELL IN LOVE (dear Reader).*

Not quite with a person, but with the idea of home libraries, books stacked literally to the ceiling, walls filled with books and color-coded shelves. A girl can dream about books, books for pleasure instead of whatever textbook I'm stuck in right now. These interiors are much more appealing right now than LTP's but hey, it's those LTP's that are helping me through the exams so I should be thankful, right?

Literally, I've discovered the addictiveness of Pintrest and I've been pinning things through my study sessions. Strictly during breaks, though.

Also, the new OS for Mac (Yosemite) is gorgeous. It's more like iOS 8 but for the Mac.

Home Library Uneven Shelving
I'm super in love with the uneven shelves paired with the open window dividers that frame the shelves. I love the calming sense that I get from this.  

Home Library Slanted Loft
I adore how this image is framed-- the two-toned ceiling/wall and the slant of the ceiling. Granted, I totally wouldn't want to live in a loft like that since I'd probably fall. I like how simple everything is. 

Tech Meets Books// Orange You Glad

I haven't made a wallpaper in the longest time ever and as a way to destress, I made a wallpaper! Not quite a literary-inspired one, unless you count all the puns that I've come across in books as an inspiration for this week's wallpaper. I feel like there's a character who likes puns and it's on the tip of my tongue but I can't remember what who it is. If you know, definitely let me know. It's going to bother me all day.

A great book of puns for the pun lover in your life is Gemma Correll's It's a Punderful Life, a short collection of her illustrations paired with puns. Most of them are silly but I still find them funny and amusing. Basically I share the sense of humor as that dorky teacher you had in middle school. 


Download link below jump

What Does Success Mean to You?

It's Wednesday morning and we're midweek into the grind of the work day or school day, depending on who you are. Wednesdays are neither close to Monday nor Friday and I think that's my biggest problem with it.  On Wednesdays, we wear pink. Have I ever told you I dislike the color pink and Wednesdays, too? 

Wednesdays tend to make me unusually tired and sluggish, which is in part due to my long Wednesday schedule, but it's also due to the fact that I tend to reflect back on the past couple of days and re-evaluate my plans to tackle the rest of the week, savoring the sensation of relaxing come Friday night. 

In part, my habits stem from the fact that I need to be reminded of my goals and to make sure that I'm working towards them. I think it's partially due to the fact that  I used to spend a lot of time admiring people's successes, but lately, what success means to me has changed. It's a lot less about being in a tangible"place" and more about the intangible experiences I've had.

Book This// 6 Book Inspired Objects

Online shopping has slowly inched its way up my favorite-things-to-do list since I've been so busy lately to stop in stores. I just love seeing everyday things-- tumblers, bags and more that are inspired by books. Things that are book related just make me want to buy something just a little bit more. I thought I'd compile a list of some of my favorite things to share in a feature called Book This!

DIY// 5 Simple DIY Ideas for the Book Lover

I'm always on a perpetual search for DIYs and more often than not, you can find me on Pintrest or in stores thinking, "How do you DIY that?" When I was younger, my mom let me run around in Michaels buying up their 10-cent felt sheets that I would take home and cut up, making clothes for my numerous teddy bears.

Felt bear clothing aside, I've been making things ever since and during a study break, I chanced upon these super cute and simple DIYs for that are perfect for the book-lover. I personally love the Harry Potter Kindle DIY (can be adjusted for other tablets) because it's simple yet cute.  From bookmarks to shelves, I hope you'll find a project that you like!

Let's Eat Cake! + Birthday Giveaway

A couple weeks ago, it was my birthday. I ate four different cakes, all thanks to the loveliest friends that I could have and eaten my belly's full of Filipino food, which I've discovered is amazing. I've discovered that I'm atrocious at blowing out candles even on the second round of cakes and candles  and that I am terribly shy when large groups of people sing "happy birthday" to me.

It's strange that how just like that, I'm on my last year of being a teenager because I would've sworn that being an awkwardly-tall-thirteen year old was just a little while ago. I can't get over how the thirteen year olds now have no recollection (thankfully?) of black plastic chokers and pens that are made out of pen tips. I've somehow become a person who says, "Remember when..." to a group of young preteens only to be met with a blank stare. Youth.

Yet, I'm happy that I'm getting older. I'm happy and forever grateful that I can write, do bit of research, play with social media and take opportunities when they come.

I'm looking forward to being a real adult, thinking of all the possible places that my life could lead me. And, because it's always fun to give when you get, I'm doing a giveaway, in celebration for another year and all the years of pixels that I've added to the web.

Here's to the adventures that led me to write and read, all while studying (though not at the same time) and I can't wait to see what lies in the year ahead.

Our Obsession with Perfection

Midweek, my MacBook Pro suddenly didn't start up and I freaked out. I had a test on Thursday and papers due the next couple of days so I needed a computer. I had bought a Mac in part because people said that Macs were more reliable and less prone to malware than PCs but even then, Macs aren't perfect. They can break and while I'm happy I was about to fix the problem myself, I'm reminded that I need to let go of the idea of perfection.

As a blogger, it's easy to get caught up in the numbers. You got  mid-hundred hits on a blog post but only got around 100 hits on the latest one? You made a mistake. You're supposed to create things, things that get hits, get attention, right? Wrong.

As a human, it's easy to get caught up in the next big thing. You want the A on the test, you want the cute boy, you want the raise, you want the job, you want the 2.5 kids with the white picket fence and a dog but what happens when you don't get something? Are you less of a person? Are you somehow a failure? No, you're not.