Monday, 15 February 2016

5 Things University Taught Me About Reading

1). How to be analytical and critical of what I am reading.

This seems to be an obvious one, but uni taught me how to read and really analyse and take in what I am reading.

2). It’s not all about the ‘classics.’

Before I went to university I almost became obsessed with Victorian novels. I thought they were the be all and end all of literature. Not that I don’t still absolutely adore the classics still, but university helped me appreciate that there are a plethora of other works out there that are just as good, even better. I am not going to lie to you I was a bit of a literary snob before I went to uni.

3). How to appreciate reading for pleasure.

I spent a lot of time whilst at university reading for my course, so I found that any time reading what I actually wanted to was very much appreciated, longed for even. I still managed to read quite a bit of my own books but I found that time was much more sacred after reading Freud for 2 hours.

4.) How to appreciate the book for its physical form.

I took a module in my third year that explored the physical form of the book and it opened up my eyes to the way books are made and it just made me appreciate the physical form of the book for what it is, before I went to uni I think I took books for granted.

5). That I bloody love Shakespeare.

In my third year I took a Shakespeare module and I am so, so, glad I did. I just learnt so much about Shakespeare and his works, and I got to study plays I would probably have never picked up, as well as learning more about the historical context of his plays,

Monday, 8 February 2016

My Literary Heroine - Hermione Granger

I feel the need to express my love for this character so here goes; she is ‘brilliant’, to quote Ron Weasley, let’s just get that out of the way. She is smart, resourceful, and rational. She’s generally a fantastic role model. I looked up to Hermione Granger a lot when I was younger, I wanted to be like her so much, and I am pretty sure an aspect of this has stayed with me, and always will. In hindsight I was already somewhat like her before I read the Harry Potter series, but I took a lot from her. That’s one of the reasons she is my idol, I, like many other girls, related to her. Admittedly she was not the most likeable character to begin, but she was the sort of person I wish I could be, and to an extent, she still is. Despite being unpleasant in the start, I think it’s clear that she was eager to please and wanted to prove that she deserved to be at Hogwarts as much as any other student; she was insecure. I could certainly relate to this at aged 11, where I joined a new school halfway through the year. Anyone who has done this knows how mortifying this is. I didn’t know anyone and I was nervous, desperate to fit in, just like Hermione. Also like Hermione I was worried about keeping up with the other students intellectually, (though we know she goes on to blow them all out of the water).

Hermione Granger is almost too perfect okay? Not only is she ridiculously intelligent, but she is genuinely kind, considerate and compassionate. She has such a good moral compass, something else I have always admired her for. Take for example Goblet of Fire, she becomes a sort of activist and desperately attempts to free the House Elves working at Hogwarts.. Sure they didn’t want to be free, but her intentions were honourable and admirable, at least, I have always thought so.

So we’ve established that she’s clever, that much is obvious, it’s Hermione, but I also admired her bravery. She never backs down from danger, she faces it head on. It’s a quality I am jealous of. No wonder she’s in Gryffindor, she has nerves of steel, and she uses this to do good and with complete selflessness. For instance, she completely wipes any memory of her from her parents minds so they will safe from Voldemort, a truly brave and selfless act.

Not only this but she kicks arse. She’s always willing to do whatever it takes to protect the ones she loves, she’s fiercely loyal, protective and very maternal on top of being a badass, (much like the wonderful Mrs Weasley). Not only this but can we talk about her relationship with Ron and Harry for a moment? I like that there is an actual platonic relationship between both the male and female protagonists. Not once is there any hint of romance between Harry and Hermione, (sorry Harmony shippers but it’s true), and I love that. Not only that but she is very willing to call Ron, her love interest,  out when he is being arse, I think that is beautiful. I love it in Deathly Hallows when a Ron and Harry get into a massive argument and she decides to stay with Harry, because she knows it’s the right thing to do, she knows Ron is being less than fair, and she subjects herself to a miserable few weeks without him.

   I could go on, but I have rambled enough. Hermione is pretty much flawless. She is a complex and wonderful character. I applaud Rowling for giving us such a great role model for young girls to be able to look up to.

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

I'm Back!

So, yeah, I'm back... again.

I'll be honest I lost interest in blogging for a while, life got in the way. Between work and many other things, I just felt like I didn't read enough to warrant blogging about it. I still read, of course, but nowhere near as much as I used. Recently however I came to the realization that it doesn't matter, I don't have to post a certain number times a week or whatever. I think that was the problem before, I made myself feel like I had to blog once or twice a week in order for this blog to be worth it, and that simply is not true.

I am going to aim to post once a week, but I am not going to force myself.

So sorry for the absence, and please enjoy my previous posts! x