Physical Book vs eBook

There’s always been this physical book vs eBook debate from the moment eBooks became a thing, and it is something I have wanted to express my opinion on for a while.

Firstly, I want to mention that I read both physical and eBooks semi-regularly (school has been making it harder for me to find time to read. Ugh) so have had a variety of experiences with both.

My thoughts on physical books. Well, I own a lot and they’re all beautiful to look at with a variety of sizes (height and width), fonts and formatting (paperback or hardcover) and I have definitely developed a preference. I love hardcover books a lot and generally I have more luck with the fonts with hardcover, but paperbacks are so much cheaper and more easy to store because they are smaller, yet there are inconsistencies with font sizes. I don’t have the best eyes ever, I do wear glasses but I also do find myself getting eye strain if I read a book with small font for too long, I much prefer slightly larger fonts, which is something a lot of books don’t have. I love being able to look at them and I love the smell and feel of a book, but also they can sometimes be a bit difficult to take around. I don’t particularly like carrying around a physical book for multiple reasons:

  1. I am scared it’ll get damaged. I am someone who looks after my books and as much as I’m not too fussed about the spine, I do not want the front cover or back cover or any of the pages bent up from being carried around.
  2. If I finish a book, I’m stuck. I don’t have anything else because I would have only brought that book with me. Whereas with a Kindle, I have so many books to pick and choose from.

Now, my thoughts on eBooks. Generally they can be cheaper and there is a wide variety of eBooks available for free. The text size can be however you want it and 5 physical books weighs a lot more than 5 eBooks. They’re so much easier to carry around. If I’m going to be travelling, I can just stick my Kindle Paperwhite in my bag and away I go, I have a case to protect it so I don’t have to worry about damage and I have a whole load of books readily available to me and it barely weighs anything. It’s fantastic.

Overall though, if I am staying at home, I much prefer to read physical books if I can help it, the only time I won’t when at home is because I struggle with the sizing. If I am out however, I much prefer eBooks because they are so much easier to carry around. Price wise, I’m not too fussed, you can get both eBooks and physical books for fairly cheap depending on where you get them. In general, there shouldn’t really be this debate of ones better than the other and I’ve also seen people be so mean to people who specifically only read eBooks. There shouldn’t be such a divide because at the end of the day, you’re still all getting to enjoy a beautiful piece of writing. I would love to know other peoples thoughts on this however, so please let me know by writing a comment!

-Laura

A Girl For All Time – Books

For anyone who does not know of the company ‘A Girl For All Time’, it’s a company that makes both dolls and books about a particular family tree throughout history. They have dolls from the Tudor era, Victorian era, Georgian era and World War 2, the 60’s, and they’re expanding their line even more, but it focuses in more on British history. I’ll admit I own 2 of the dolls, but I also own 3 books (the books are all by Sandra Goldbacher) and I love the company.

IMG_2211The 3 books I own are Matilda’s Secret, Amelia’s Inheritance and Clementine’s Winter and I have read them all. They’re short stories that are probably more aimed at children but they’re lovely little stories to go along with the dolls. They all link together in some way because of the family tree, and currently it starts off with the beautiful Tudor girl named Matilda, who has kinda started off a family heirloom and is related to Katherine Howard, the 5th wife of Henry VIII. It’s interesting to see how these sections of history have been portrayed, especially with the War and the Tudor era, which are two not particularly pleasant parts of history, especially when discussing Henry VIII, but they’re also made child-friendly.

 

Overall, if you love history, or own any of the dolls from the range, I highly recommend picking up the books to go along with it. I’ll definitely be getting more books as they become out. They are wonderful!

-Laura

Aliexpress – Is it trustworthy? 

Over my years of using the internet and developing my addiction to online shopping, I’ve seen many people wonder about Aliexpress. It’s a website with so much stuff on it to buy and a lot of the time it is extremely cheap. Many people I’ve seen are reluctant to use it and don’t trust it because of how cheap it is and that it’s mainly from China and it doesn’t use anything like PayPal, so you haven’t got that to back you up if anything happens to go wrong.

I have used Aliexpress for a variety of things over the years, and have bought things like stationary, jewellery and a few make-up type things (not cosmetics!!) and I’ve honestly never had a problem. If I’ve had issues like things are taking ages to ship or if I have any questions about items, I’ve been able to contact sellers and they have been very helpful and have responded quickly. I’ve not yet had anything not arrive or arrive broken or anything like that, so I’ve never had to deal with refunds but I would think that it would be easy to do, as sellers do seem very helpful and willing to make their customers happy.

Aliexpress does have a buyer protection program, so I guess that if you do have some issues with sellers and they’re refusing to give a refund or help you for whatever reason, you can probably get Aliexpress directly involved, like you can with eBay. Personally, considering the variety of things I have bought, I would have expected to have had issues but all the sellers I’ve bought from are really good, even the quality of the products are great.

I do have tips for Aliexpress though for anyone who wants to buy from there for the first time. My first tip is to look at the feedback. I am always looking at the feedback for items. The feedback can include pictures as well which is something I always prefer checking, and I even provide photo feedback for items I have purchased, which may help other potential buyers. My second tip is pick items that have lots of people buying them. On Aliexpress you are told how many people have put it in a wishlist and how many people have purchased it. I combine both the good reviews with the amount of people buying the product before I purchase something and that may be why I’ve had no issues. I’ve only bought things with barely any reviews a couple of times and that was with a ring and a fake blotterazzi (originally by beautyblender) and I think a washi tape as well and I had no issues but that was probably because there was great seller feedback. I’m not too fussed about the amount of purchases on a product if the seller has got great feedback and has had other items sell a lot with good feedback. Combining those together means I’ve had no issues with Aliexpress and hopefully it’ll continue to mean I have no issues with it.

But, do I find Aliexpress to overall be a trustworthy website? Definitely, as long as you buy from the right sellers and read the descriptions and reviews carefully. Aliexpress is a wonderful website to buy from and everything is great prices. But be warned, these items are coming from China and can possibly take a month or so to arrive. But I do recommend it, and please if anyone does use it, be careful and I hope my little tips were useful.

-Laura

Opinion on the PS Vita

Hopefully everyone knows about the PS Vita, but for anyone who doesn’t, it’s a portable, handheld console made by Sony (PlayStation) that was originally released in 2011. Its kind of been forgotten or abandoned, as honestly there don’t seem to be that many games for it, or at least many big-name games for it.

I own 5 games for the vita, a couple of which I purchased pre-owned at fairly cheap prices from various places (Amazon, eBay, CEX). For anyone wondering, I own the Michael Jackson Experience, Minecraft, Little Big Planet, Mortal Kombat and Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens and they are all games I really enjoy.

Honestly I love handheld consoles a lot, and this is one of my favourites, in my opinion it is a huuuuge step up from the PSP, (PlayStation Portable) which is something I used to enjoy quite a lot. I will admit I don’t use this console as much because I am so addicted to my 3DS, but I have recently been going on it more often and I’m really enjoying it. The games run so smoothly and the graphics are so amazing.

My favourite game for it is probably Little Big Planet because it’s so cute and is just perfect for the Vita. I’m not great at it just because I’m a little clumsy with my fingers and end up doing the wrong thing, but in all it’s really enjoyable and I think a variety of ages would enjoy it. I’m an 18 year old girl and I love it, I’ve loved the games since I was younger and I know a few males that enjoy them too, which shows it’s kinda for everyone! Like I said before, the graphics are really good and nice and for games like Little Big Planet it just makes everything more cute and detailed, and in games like Mortal Kombat you really see the graphic content in full, which is both interesting but also a little gross!

Overall, with the Vita, it’s a really fun handheld and I wish Sony did more for it because it’s so amazing, I love how it has a touch-screen and that there’s a touch pad on the back and I have quite small hands yet it’s so comfortable to hold. I really enjoy it and if anyone has a Vita, please let me know any games you enjoy as I’m looking into finding more interesting games for it!

-Laura

Pandora – A Beautiful Addiction

A company I’ve really come to enjoy since about September 2016 (the month of my 18th birthday) is Pandora. For my birthday, I wanted something that would last a long time and something that would hold memories. When I started looking at Pandora charm bracelets, my parents knew it would be something great for me. I’d recently gotten more into wearing jewellery, as I’d bought many rings and a little bracelet from Aliexpress, and I did want to get something with quality and personalisation like Pandora bracelets.

What I love about Pandora is every piece of jewellery can hold meaning. I have a charm bracelet with 9 charms on it (all given for my birthday, Christmas or purchased with my own money) and each charm holds meaning to me. The 2 cats charm representing my two cats, the camera representing my love for photography and things like that. But it’s not only the bracelets from Pandora that I absolutely love, but the rings too.

The first thing about the rings that I love is that they actually do my size! I’m a size 48 (the smallest) and it fits perfectly and I rarely find rings that actually fit perfectly, apart from ones from Aliexpress as they have such a wide variety of sizes. But again, these rings can hold meaning to you. I have a ring that I wear every single day that I got for my birthday from my boyfriend, and it means so much to me because it was from him.

But since getting into Pandora, I’ve found myself becoming addicted. I constantly check the website for new charms I may want to one day get, or I’ll check eBay for preowned charms that may be from America originally (like the Disney ones) or ones that may be discontinued (that’s how I got my teacup charm). It’s an addiction but a beautiful one, and I love the look and meaning of all the charms, it’s one of the most personalised gifts for someone that anyone can purchase (if that made any sense) and I love it. I’d love to know if anyone else also finds this with pandora? Let me know your thoughts 🙂

-Laura

Reading Slump

Reading slump. That thing no reader wants to go through but does occasionally find themselves experiencing. With me, this happens after I’ve had to take a break from reading because I’ve not had time (because of school) and it happens so much during the exam period. My exams start mid-June and pretty much any spare moment from school and revision is spent either eating, sleeping or spending time with my family or boyfriend. I’ve not had time to read and for me it is awful.

This year I got through 3 Carrie Fisher books really quickly and after that, my reading drifted. I read 1 book with my boyfriend and another book on my own (Star Wars: Bloodlines) and after that, nothing. I don’t even know what sorta book I’m in the mood for! I can’t even really remember what I usually do to get out of a slump, but I feel like what I need is a new-release or a new want to read a certain book that I own, but that epiphany of what to read hasn’t happened yet… Ugh.

I think this reading slump will fix itself once all of my exams are done, as I would have left school and would have had a bit more relaxing time. But any relaxing time, I’ve found myself drifting further towards video games instead of books. Currently, if I want to relax, I’ll either watch YouTube or play on my 3DS or PS Vita. And although I want to do these things, I do feel a little bit guilty that I’m not reading… I really can’t think of anything to do, so I guess this post is a little bit of me asking for help.

Does anyone know ways to cure a reading slump? I will try anything after exams (end of June). Thank you guys in advance!

-Laura

Amiibo Cards – Are They Worth The Money?

If you are a fan of Nintendo, you’ll know about amiibos. For those who don’t know, they’re cards and figures that can connect to some Nintendo consoles (such as New 3DS and Wii U) via NFC (near field communication). They can add stuff into games such as Animal Crossing New Leaf, Happy Home Designer (both for 3DS) and Amiibo Festival (Wii U). The figures tend to go for roughly £10ish depending on where you get them, and the cards in the UK come in packs of 3 (1 special, 2 normal) for about £3.49 according to Amazon.
So for just over £1 per card, you’re getting an amiibo. A toy-to-life. But, is it worth it? Personally for me, I love the fauna-ecae38114593b4b3262704833282f7c174c4198025b0e4b637348cd0aa57f440Amiibo cards. As someone who loves collecting and used to collect Magic the Gathering and YuGiOh cards (as well as Vanguard), I love collecting little cards and the fact that these ones, although being more expensive, actually do something in games that I really love, it’s fantastic. I haven’t had the chance to play with them in New Leaf yet, but I have played around with Happy Home Designer and Amiibo Festival and they’ve been really fun.

In Happy Home Designer, you use the cards to phone up specific characters (special characters being ones you can’t design for in any other way) and then you can design their home for them. In Amiibo Festival, if you use an Amiibo Card when organising your town, that specific character can host your game, events can be made around them (such as with birthdays) and if you keep the card with you while you’re in the game, you can use them to roll the dice for you, increasing the chance of getting the specific desired number on the dice, as each character has a specific dice number on the card. Meaning in games, they can be very helpful.

In all, I think Amiibo cards are worth the money and are in general both adorable and fun. They are nice things to collect and can be great additions to certain games. So if you love collecting cards, are a fan of Nintendo, you’ll love these. It just depends on what you think of the price.

-Laura