Monday, 19 October 2020

Reading Record | Library Borrows + Book Mail

My reading record posts are a way for me to document all things bookish and reading in my life - I aim to post these consistently, with them most often being in a weekly format, however readathons and certain books will have their own specific reading record.

This past week I have been conscious to work through my library borrows, as reserves kept springing up on me and I didn't want to be overwhelmed with due date deadlines; I am currently in a good & manageable place with my library books. 

I'm intrigued to know how the library services are running for you.

Here where I live in Wales, the libraries have been closed since March, so whenever I refer to library borrows they are of the digital format (ebook or audiobook). At the very end of August the local council set up a collect system for books - so you put your order in online and then the librarians gather the books and you just pick up the bundle - but I haven't used it personally... For two reasons, one: it is only at specific library branches and my nearest collect point is a bit of a distance and two: because I am quite content with the selection on the library app for now (as well as my own physical books now and again) and for me one of my favourite elements of visiting the library is the browsing aspect, which of course is not available right now.

So what are the libraries like at the moment where you live?

On to my week of reading... 

I carried my audiobook of Big Lies in a Small Town by Diane Chamberlain into this new week with just under 4 hours of listen time left - today I listened to half of that, two hours. 

Also, I started a new ebook today: The Silver Arrow by Lev Grossman. My impressions so far are that I'm in for a fun fantastical adventure with this middle grade read.

This morning I finished the remainder of my audiobook and would say I concluded the book having had a good reading experience overall. I did mention in my last reading record post about feeling detached from the present day timeline of this dual timeline narrative, and I still stand by that. I didn't really take to the characters within that side of the story and found it to be a bit repetitive at times, however I do acknowledge that it had its place and purpose in progressing the story as a whole. The other narrative - Anna's story from the 1940's - I was wholly engrossed in and it made the book for me. 

Further reading in The Silver Arrow, 40 pages.

I started a new thriller today - The Memory Wood - with the first 52 pages being read. It has been a little while since I last read a thriller, and this one has me intrigued.

43 pages read in The Memory Wood and I'm still holding positive impressions about this book. The story is unfolding with three narrators, each with their own timeline but all surrounding the same event of a child abduction - I think this is an interesting storytelling method and I like that all three voices are so distinct from each other.

This morning I finished reading The Silver Arrow - as I said when sharing my initial thoughts, this was indeed a fun fantastical middle grade adventure, and I like the important environmental message that was seamlessly woven in too. One of the things I love about being an adult who reads middle grade fiction is that I can scout out books that I think my son would love, and The Silver Arrow is going on that list of books to share with him.

In contrast to the lightness of middle grade fiction, I did also make progress in my thriller read today too. I have read over 160 pages now in total, which means I have passed the half way mark, and I am gripped by The Memory Wood; very dark & twisty.

To break up the darker read, I did also start a new nonfiction library borrow this evening: Happiness, a Mystery by Sophie Hannah. This book is a short read, at just over 100 pages, and there is such a bubbly tone to the writing... Exactly what I needed to run alongside my thriller mystery.

I found myself wholly engrossed in The Memory Wood this morning and finished the remainder of the book! It has been some time now since I picked up a thriller and found myself to be blown away by it - but that was the case with The Memory Wood. Given that this is a debut novel, it is so well written and incredibly clever... As I mentioned before though, it does feature child abduction at the centre of the plot, so I'd bear that in mind as I know some people don't like to pick up thrillers with children central to the storyline.


Earlier on in the week I ordered some books from Waterstones (one of the main high street book retailers here in the UK), and received three of them today (one was a January preorder). The three books that arrived were: Tilly and the Map of Stories by Anna James (Book 3 in the Pages & Co series), The Ghost of Gosswater by Lucy Strange and The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration by Isabel Wilkerson. My preorder, for anyone wondering, is The Ghost Garden by Emma Carroll. So three middle grade books and one nonfiction. 

Having just my nonfiction book on the go, later on in the afternoon I picked up one of my new books - book 3 in the Pages & Co series. This series about a girl who can wander in to books and travel through stories and I have loved following along with the other two books. Previously I have written dedicated reading record posts for this series, so of course I will be carrying that on and share my thoughts on this book in that one post (it will probably be my next post after this one), but I will say, the Pages & Co series as a whole is full of imagination, intrigue and warm bookish goodness.... And so far, book three is continuing with that.

Over the course of about three sittings today I finished reading my nonfiction book: Happiness, A Mystery. This is one of those easy nonfiction books, with Sophie Hannah delving into various methods of happiness, attempting to solve the mystery of the much sought after feeling of 'happiness'. It is light, fun, and I flew through it as it is written in such a conversational tone.

Four books finished - this was a great reading week!


Happy reading!


  1. My library has been open since the summer, but I use the reserve and collect service now which is brilliant,especially since I've moved a lot closer. I also use the Libby app which has a good selection of old and new books on it.

    1. Sounds like you have plenty of choice with regards to library books to select from!

  2. I live in the Arizona, USA. Our physical libraries closed in March, although you could still borrow e-books. Then, they opened for curbside pickup (you reserve books online, then the librarians pack them up and deliver them to your car). Now, they're doing both curbside and "pop-in" pickup. Pop-in means you go inside the library to pick up your holds and they have a small selection of books and DVD's that you can browse. I've been really thankful for curbside pickup since I prefer physical books to e-books.

    I'm glad you enjoyed BIG LIES IN A SMALL TOWN. I did, too. Chamberlain is a new author for me and I've liked all the books I've read by her so far.

    1. Interesting... I prefer physical books to digital ones also, so I'm happy to have had some of my own unread ones on hand to alternate between the formats.

      It sounds like your library is transitioning its services over time, which is nice to see a progression I'm sure.

  3. Our library belongs to a system along with 148 other libraries in a 60 mile radius. We can select books within that system. This works well especially when our library might not own the particular book I want or, perhaps my library has the print but, not the audio version etc. There is then a delivery system which comes to our library 3x a week. With the virus, it takes time to get the books as they quarantine the books for a week when they arrive as well as when books are returned but, I use it all the time. We can put holds on up to 20 books that we want.

    My local library (2 miles away) is open 6-days a week now but, you must make an appointment to go inside to browse (45min max). You can take out a max of 50 items: books, movies, audio, magazines etc. They also have curbside pickup - they brown-bag your items with your name and arrange them alphabetically, and you can pick them up during regular hours at the entrance without entering the main library. It has been working out very well. (2) large book drops outside to return items as well.

    Right now I have 18 items I'm waiting for and 6 at home.

    1. Oh wow, that is pretty large system - I bet the selection of books is vast!

      That does sound like quite a good process they have in place for COVID times. I believe they quarantine the books with our click & collect service also.

  4. I’m always overwhelmed by my library holds. I’ll get nothing for weeks, and then they’ll all come in at once. Then I can’t read them and have to put myself back on the waitlist. I’m glad you got through a few library books.

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

  5. Our libraries are open but I don't have access to them right now other then digitally. I've been making serious use of the audio options! I hate when a dual timeline isn't equally good. It's so maddening!

    1. My audiobook listening has definitely been on the up since the whole pandemic also.


Blog Layout Designed by pipdig