Discussion

This is a sad post to write.

Ooh, this feels weird to write.

Hey, book blog. It’s been a while.

Although most people who read this blog follow me on various social media, and probably know what’s happened, I realised I hadn’t given a formal explanation here. So here goes!

The bibliomaniac book blog has been put to rest.

I haven’t checked this site in a good few months, so it felt very strange and nostalgic to revisit this right now in order to post this. I love this blog so much, and I do miss it already. We grew up together!

For those of you who haven’t been here long, I started this blog at the age of eleven and I’m now about to turn eighteen. Book blogging provided me with so many wonderful opportunities in my teenage years. I’ve gotten to review and promote exciting books, attend bookish events and meet some amazing people – from authors and fellow bloggers to readers of my little site.

I’m nearing the end of my school education. I’m off to university soon. I’m not reading so much anymore. I’ve begun my journey as a freelance photographer. I need a space to talk about more than just books.

So that’s why you can now find me at @geetakesphotos on twitter, and georgiawalters.co.uk, my shiny new blog for talking about everything.

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Snazzy new site! Lookit!!

If you want to read more about why I’m moving on from this book blog, you can check out my new site for a much more coherent and thoughtfully written piece! Here it is.

Before I go, I want to thank everyone who’s read, shared and enjoyed my blog posts here since 2011. I am so thankful for all of the lovely comments and support I received here. By email, this blog has nearly 2000 subscribers. Whaaaat? That’s surreal! Thank you to all of you, those I know and those I don’t.

I’m not shutting this blog down, by the way! I’m just leaving it be. I’m so, so proud of it. It’s an extensive archive of my writing, teenage life and digital skillz. I also know that some school libraries and teachers use my blog for reference – and I’d love for that to continue.

Don’t worry, I’ll still be talking about books from time to time on my new site (as well as life and politics and media), so head over there and give it a follow on WordPress or keep up to date with my via my new social media handles – @Geetakesphotos on Twitter and @geetakesphotos_ on Instagram.

See you around!

Discussion

Back to School Reading List | Autumn 2017

As I’m writing this, I have one week until I go back to sixth form, and when this post publishes, it’ll be one day (aaaahhh!) I’m sort of dreading starting year 13, especially after a really great summer. I’ve done so many cool things but now I’m preparing to return to a non-existent social life and even more academic pressure than I’ve ever had before.

Sooo, how am I gonna cope with that? BOOKS!

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This blog post is a list of all of the books I hope to read in the (little) free time I have during my first school term.

Disclaimer: I will probably not read all of these books during my first term back. I’m going to be so busy. But the IDEA of reading them is comforting to me, so this post is still valid, right? Without further ado, here’s the five books I’d like to read:

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Haddon Hall: Where David Invented Bowie by Néjib

My dad picked up a copy of this graphic novel, but I had to steal it from him! It’s a portrait of David Bowie’s life, right at the start of his career, documenting his time in Haddon Hall. I’m local to Beckenham and this place Bowie used to live, so I thought it would be a really interesting read. The cover is so vibrant!

Awkward and Definition: The High School Chronicles by Ariel Schrag

I purchased Likewise, another graphic novel by Schrag, before realising I didn’t own the precious books in the series. This graphic novel collects the first two memoirs she wrote, whilst still in high school. I’ve read so many fantastic reviews of this relatable and quirky memoir series, so I’m really eager to start it. And what better time to read it than my last year at school?

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Hollow City by Ransom Riggs

adored Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, the original book and the film. It’s probably one of my all-time favourite YA books. Despite having first read Miss Peregrine’s a while ago, I’ve never gotten around to its sequel. I’m putting this at the top of my TBR pile as I think it’ll be the perfect book for escapism on study breaks.

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Post Truth: The New War on Truth and How to Fight Back by Matthew D’ancona

One of my new resolutions is to read more non-fiction; more specifically about politics and society. It’s hard to stay away from the news in the current political climate, but so-called “fake news” has become so common that it’s difficult to know when and how to respond. I’m hoping to learn a lot from this!

They Can’t Kill Us All by Wesley Lowery

I’ve read so much about Black Lives Matter, but only in small snippets across social media. I’ve wanted to educate myself more about the situation of police brutality in America, so this book has been on my radar for the past few months. The writer is a journalist, who reported on related events over a number of years. This is going to be a very hard-hitting read, but I know it’ll also give me much more insight into an important movement.


 

So, those are the books I’m planning on reading in Autumn! Have you read any? What’s on your own reading list? Leave a comment 🙂

Discussion

Where Have I Been?!

This post might confuse some people, because I haven’t technically been absent from this blog – at least, it hasn’t looked like it. There have been posts around every two weeks so far this year, so there aren’t exactly cobwebs. But I feel like there are. I haven’t actually really written any posts this year; everything from January and February was written around Christmas, and scheduled. In addition, I’ve not done anything hugely creative. Up until a few months ago, I was regularly posting discussions and infographics and things beyond simple reviews.

For anyone who follows me on other social media, though, you may have realised I’ve slipped into the shadows of the internet, in terms of this blog. I used to post on Instagram at least once a week, and Tweet obsessively; that’s dried up now. I tweet probably once every few days, and that’s mainly an automatic thing when a scheduled post publishes.

So what happened? Why have I slowly been disappearing over the last few months?

I thought I’d do a personal post while I have the time now, to let you guys know what’s been happening. Life is busy!

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Here’s one of the products of my recent messing around on Photoshop.
  • I’ve been developing another interest. It’s no secret that I’m hugely into photography, and since beginning to study it, I’ve been pushing myself in my own skills to improve my personal work as well as assignments for school. My free time is even more limited now, so reading time often becomes time where I’m planning, shooting, teaching myself a new skill or editing. If you’re interested in this, you can see what I’ve been getting up to on my Flickr page! It’s not a huge thing, but this is an online space I’m increasingly falling in love with, as I can see my progression. I also have another blog where I post sets of photos.
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This was taken at Wieden + Kennedy, the endlessly awesome advertising agency I had the chance to spend a week with in October.
  • My career ideas are changing. From literally since I can remember, until the start of secondary school, I wanted to be a writer. That changed in secondary school, where for about five years, I was completely dedicated to becoming a future publicist or an editor. Now? I’m not so sure! It’s not that I’ve fallen out of love with their career; it’s still something I would love to pursue, and still seriously consider. However, since starting to study photography and media, and after spending a fantastic week at an advertising agency, my ideas are all over the place! I’m spending a lot of time thinking about what I want to do next; I’d love to still work in publishing, but my options are widening to photography, videography and advertising too. This has meant I’m devoting more time to exploring these interests, and looking into career paths.
  • AS Levels are hard work, man. I thought I’d find it easier to make time for this blog after GCSEs, but even though you study less subjects at sixth form, it feels like three times the work. My school runs mock exams literally every month, and I’m constantly under pressure from that and the immense amount of homework I get. I’m studying English Literature, Sociology, Media and Photography; the first three require a lot of essay writing and revision. My time at sixth form so far, personally and academically, has been incredibly tiring and stressful. Most evenings, by the time I’ve finished homework, I’m ready to sleep!
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Some photos from my mini Tegan and Sara tour – meeting them and their support acts Alex and Ria!
  • February half term! Usually, in my half terms, I’ll read and review lots so this blog remains active during term time… but I spent February’s week off very differently. If you’ve read this post, you’ll know I’m a huge Tegan and Sara fan, and I have a separate part of the internet where I express that! During the half term, I went to London and Manchester two days in a row, to see them live, along with many friends I’ve made within the community. It was an incredible experience, but a hugely busy one! It was really fun to do something so far out of my comfort zone.

So, there’s four bullet points that sum up a lot of why I haven’t been around much. I do miss blogging and reading, and I especially hope I’m able to balance schoolwork better with blogging, because it’s just as important to me and it’s something I love to do. I’m not going to be taking a break from here – and I’m certainly not quitting! Reviews and whatever else I can manage to write will still be going up as often as possible, and hopefully I’ll be back properly soon.

Thank you to everybody who reads, likes, shares and supports what I write here! I am so grateful for all of you.

Discussion

2016: in Words and Pictures

So, well, 2016 has been… Um… eventful.

I ended 2015 thinking, in the coming year, I was going to be SUPER OPTIMISTIC, and this was going to be THE BEST YEAR YET.

Well… It wasn’t. Okay, it was in a few aspects, but largely, on a personal level and a global level, 2016 will go down in history as the year from literal hell.

In a beginning annual tradition on this blog, here is how this year has gone for me, in words and pictures!


FEBRUARY

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My first concert of the year, and my second concert ever! I went to see Halsey on her Badlands tour, with a friend of my mum’s (a last minute decision that was quite fun). Still being a lil shy human, I just stood and watched the whole thing and took photos, but it was honestly such an awesome night.

APRIL

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My sixteenth birthday! Everybody bigs up the whole ‘sweet sixteen’ thing, but I really didn’t feel much different at all. I didn’t have a big party, or even go out with friends – I just stayed in with family given that I was in such a tired state from the slowly increasing exam revision. This birthday was notable because I ended up in the doctors because of a sudden freak acne breakout. Lovely. At least I had a pretty brilliant cake.

MAY

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Although I had done early entry exams for a few subjects, the middle of May marked the start of my GCSE exam season. From mid-May to mid-June, I was under so much stress and pressure that I was either frantically writing notes and making mind maps, or not revising at all and giving up completely. There was no in between. If you’d like to see how I (tried to) balance reading and revision, I wrote a post!

However, this stressful month was made endlessly better by my favourite person ever, who will know who they are when they read this! We met online at the beginning of the year through Tegan and Sara, a shared favourite band, but properly got to know each other this month and support one another through this hellish GCSE exam season! I cannot wait to meet them and all of the other friends I’ve made through Tegan and Sara very soon.

JUNE

Exams finished on the 17th of June, hurrah! considering I was staying at my school for sixth form, I didn’t feel even a little bit sad – I stayed to take some photos with friends after the last exam, then went home and literally slept for a month. When I wasn’t sleeping in the last half of June (and early July…) I was binge watching shows on Netflix. It was well deserved.

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On the 22nd of June, I had one of the most life changing and wonderful nights I could ever ask for. I saw Tegan and Sara live at KOKO London, one of the first shows for their new album. It was absolutely incredible, and such an emotional night for many reasons. I’ve been absolutely in love with Tegan and Sara for over two years now, and their music has been the soundtrack to the most important parts of my teenage life. Plus, this show was very shortly after the Orlando shooting, and Tegan and Sara made this evening such a loving, open and happy space in a time that was really dark. I’m so thankful I got to experience this concert, and I met some people who I’ve known online for months, which was so lovely. At this concert, the opening act Oscar dedicated a song to voting Remain in the Brexit vote (which was the next day) and well, it was lovely while that hope lasted, I guess. Sorry, EU. We suck as a country.

JULY

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After a month of sleeping and winding down from exam stress, I finally left the house! One notable day out was when me and my family went up to London to visit the MinaLima Harry Potter exhibition, which is just around the corner from where the Cursed Child is playing. I haven’t really been feeling the hype around the new film and play, but this exhibition was such a lovely, nostalgic look back at the props and artwork used in the films that were my entire childhood.

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At the end of July, of course, was the third annual YALC at London Film and Comic Con! I’ve been really out of touch with the blogging world this year, so I sort of just floated around this year, going to talks but not really speaking to anyone. The event this year was incredibly well run, though, so huge props to the team for another incredibly successful year. Thank you also to Macmillan for inviting me to the blogger’s breakfast, where I was lucky enough to get to talk to David Levithan and Nina LaCour. I may have been a tiny, quiet kid who just shuffled past with my signed books awkwardly, but it was so surreal to get to meet them! Levithan and LaCour have written the books that are most important to me.

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My leaver’s prom was also in July, and honestly, I didn’t understand the hype at all. People in my year have been squealing about prom since year seven, and I honestly couldn’t care less. I wore a blazer and skinny jeans instead of a sparkly dress, and worked the whole evening as the photographer! A pretty unconventional way to spend what was meant to be the ‘best night of my life’ or something, but hey, I prefer being behind a camera over partying.

AUGUST

I spent the beginning of August working at my school’s summer camp for the second time. It’s a huge stressful job that I take on by myself, photographing the whole camp and producing promo videos in a week’s space – but it’s incredibly rewarding and such great experience. I absolutely love the atmosphere and it’s my favourite job.

The week before results day, I did a week’s internship at a publisher in London. It was in non-fiction publishing, so quite different from what I usually read, but it was a really valuable experience (and also such a good way to take my mind off of results!).

At the end of August, I nervously went to pick up my GCSE results. I had made a tracker whilst revising, with all the grades I was aiming for, and somehow I got every single one – 4 A*s, 2 As, 2Bs overall. I was strangely dissociated from the ‘excitement’ of results day – people were congratulating me on my results, but I genuinely didn’t feel a thing? It was weird. I was happy, of course, and I should have been very excited and relieved but it just didn’t hit me! I signed up to sixth form at my school, then spent a relaxed afternoon with my friends in the park, which was us just basically flopping on the grass like FINALLY IT’S OVER.

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Right at the end of August, I did a thing. I’ve never been able to love long hair and all the things it entails. I’ve wanted short hair forever. So I finally got a pixie cut. Adios, seven inches of hair. If you want the longer story to this, it’s on my photography blog as I took many photos.

OCTOBER

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In October, I was unexpectedly given the chance to spend a week at Wieden + Kennedy, working with a team called The Kennedys to learn all about advertising. This company is so large, and do things in such a cool and creative way. It was an absolutely awesome experience, and gave me totally new ideas about my future career. I’m veering away from aspiring to work in publishing now, and I’m really interesting in film production and photography, particularly within advertising. Thank you, Kennedys! (It was in Shoreditch, hence the artsy wall above… more of my photos here)

NOVEMBER

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I won an award! Although I couldn’t make it to the ceremony, I was chosen as the winner of a UKYA Blogger Award, in the Champion Teen Blogger category. This trophy and book token arrived in the post a few weeks after it was announced, and I wasn’t expecting them at all – it was the loveliest surprise!

DECEMBER

So much tiredness. Sixth form has really caught up with me in the last two months of the year – I’ve been coming straight home to crawl into bed, doing just enough work to get by. I was doing okay at the start of term, but the exhaustion finally got to me. A sad way to end the year, but… Here’s hoping things are more manageable in the next term!


So… That was my year! Last year, I listed my five favourite posts from this blog, but looking back, I’m really proud of a lot from this year. So here’s a top… eight!

Cinnamon Girl Blog Tour: Review Graphic

GCSE English Literature | A Call for Diversity on the Curriculum

Cover to Cover: My Favourite Overseas Book Designs

Favourite Quotes: You Know Me Well by David Levithan and Nina LaCour

Book Review: As I Descended by Robin Talley

The Bibliomaniac: A Bookshelf Tour

GIRLPOWER: My Favourite Girls in YA

Life Online: Thoughts on Internet Personalities

If you’re still reading this very long post, then congrats, and thank you!

Watch this space… In a few days I’ll be posting about my favourite books from 2016 (and films and music… I have a lot of favourites, guys)

Discussion

Ctrl, Alt; Delete: Social Media and Me

26085734If you’re wondering what Ctrl, Alt; Delete is, you’ve been living under a rock and/or haven’t used Twitter in a year. Emma Gannon, social media whizz, blogger and writer has written the memoir everyone from the Internet age needs to read. It’s a fantastic book – I couldn’t wait for it to come out, and I devoured it.

It’s a brilliant insight into Emma’s life, her online world, and how she’a turned her love for social media and online content into a highly successful career. She started off on Myspace, and now writes for huge media outlets, alongside running her highly successful blog and podcast.

Although I’m only 16, like Emma Gannon I have grown up with the Internet. I can’t really remember a time before it was a daily part of my life. So inevitably, I adored reading about Emma’s online experiences – so much of it was (sometimes painfully) relatable. Ctrl, Alt; Delete is hilarious and entertaining, but also raises some very interesting discussion points. Where do you draw the line between personal life and what you share online? How can you tell if people are real? How on earth do we discover small, talented bloggers when there are so many sites out there?

One of the things I love most about the book is that it’s essentially a timeline of Emma’s online life.  It made me think a lot about how my internet use has changed over the years. I thought it would be quite funny to make a timeline:

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I think it’s so fascinating to think about how much of my life has been shaped online. I used to write and draw in diaries up until age ten, and now virtually everything I do is written on a blog, an online notepad, drawn with my graphics tablet, programmed onto a Calendar.

I think I’m very open on the internet, and there is quite a blurred line between my online life and my ‘private’ one. If I go out for a day with friends, I won’t necessarily talk about it online, but I will turn my photos into a blog post. If I’m struggling with school, I’ll complain on Twitter and Tumblr. I switch between talking to my friends to sending them gifs on Tumblr, when we’re both in the same room. Heck, even my Media Studies coursework is entirely virtual, written on a private school blog.

A lot of people probably view my largely-online life as a bad thing. My eyes are probably so bad because I’m on the computer all the time. I don’t really like socialising IRL. I’m not very good at holding a conversation, unless it’s through social media, and I probably should get out more.

But I love it. I love growing up online. The Internet has given me so many opportunities that never would have been presented to me otherwise. I’m studying Photography and Media because I’m fascinated by editing images and online culture. I’m gaining work experience and networking just by running my blogs. I’ve met the most incredible people in my life, whom I talk to every day. I don’t know how I’d live without all of this.

So, I want to know what you think. How much of your life is online? Do you control what people see on your social media, or are you an open book?

Discussion

THANK YOU | UKYABA 2016

So, a few weeks ago, I got a Twitter notifcation. I clicked on it, wondering why on earth I’d been tagged in a thread about UKYABA – and it turns out, to my disbelief, that I had actually been nominated for an AWARD.

I was convinced someone must have nominated the wrong person, but then the awards ceremony (which I sadly couldn’t make it to!) came and went, and people began tweeting me congratulations for winning. I was still convinced they had the wrong person when the lovely Andy Robb, founder of the awards, said he was going to send out my prize to me.

So this turned up today, and, whoa okay it’s real whoa whoa whoa.

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So. I won a UKYA Blogger Award, in the Champion Teen Blogger category. IDK HOW EITHER. My prize was this really awesome trophy, plus a lovely £25 personalised book token.

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I am so, so thankful to the people who made this possible – it’s such a surprising achievement for me, and the people running this award are the loveliest, kindest people in the publishing world for recognising bloggers. I’m so grateful people read and enjoy my blog, enough to award it!

This blog, The Bibliomaniac Book Blog started in 2011, known then as Book and Writers JNR. It’s been through many changes since – in a way, it’s grown up with me. This blog has enabled me to reach so many people and become interconnected with an industry that I adore. I’m very honoured to have even one person read a post – let alone hundreds.

So, to everyone who reads this blog, and of course to the lovely people who nominated me – THANK YOU!

Congratulations also to everyone else who was nominated for/won an award. You’re all awesome and the shortlists were full of so many wonderful people that I’m lucky to be associated with.

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