Interview With a Librarian

How often have you had the assistance of a librarian in your life? For myself, a self-professed bookworm, librarians have helped me on many occasions. They’ve helped me through essays, found my favourite authors and been the guardians of the wonders that are books!

How much do we actually think about the librarian during our visits to the library? For myself, I’m usually so absorbed by finding my next great read that I don’t pay a lot of thought to the people who keep one of my favourite places running.

It’s time to #loveyourlibrarian and acknowledge the fantastic work they do in literacy and education!

I hope you enjoy today’s post!

Today on the blog I’ll be chatting with my friend Katie (pictured below) from @KatieWritesStuff. Katie is a fellow creative and a librarian. She kindly agreed to being interviewed on my blog today. Thank you Katie!

How did you become a Librarian?

When I decided I wanted to work with books, I figured I had two choices: bookstore or library. I didn’t think I’d be any good at sales, so I went for the library route and trained as a library technician.

This was a two-year Diploma course and I came away with a qualification and a husband, which was an added extra they hadn’t mentioned in the course guide!

I’ve only ever worked in school libraries because I always felt they were the most interesting and had more variety on offer. I have never regretted that choice: school libraries are endlessly different and definitely full of variety!

My most recent role was advertised as a librarian position but I felt I had the experience to qualify for it… and the interviewers agreed with me. So after quite a long time working as a library technician, I’m now technically a librarian. I have considered doing some post-graduate study to become a qualified librarian, but I have too many other activities I love doing in my spare time, so I don’t know where I’d fit it in.

I started working in my first school in 2003 and I’ve worked in five schools so far: three state schools, a private school and a catholic school. They’ve all had their differences and their similarities and I honestly can’t see myself working in any other type of library.

What does the average working day look like for a Librarian?

It’s different every day. The great thing about working in a school library is you get to do a little bit of everything.

On one day, I might be putting on Hogwarts robes and striding about during lunchtime with my wand. On another day, I might be cataloguing a new order of books, on the next, I might be off taking photos of an author’s presentation to Year 7 students… You never know what’s going to happen next!

In between all of that, my main tasks are to keep everything running smoothly, which involves getting new books onto the catalogue and onto the shelves, weeding old books (yes, it’s a necessary part of library life), helping students at the desk, loaning books, returning books and pushing in chairs.

No-one told us we’d spend so much of our time pushing in chairs…

What is it that you enjoy the most about the library and your work?

The students are definitely the best thing about my work. We have a great programme where students can sign up to help in the library and they receive regular perks and rewards for their assistance. They’re so keen to help and they love having a bit of responsibility and learning new skills. It’s been so much fun to get to know them and to hear their stories.

My other favourite part of work is the catalogue. I’ve always loved putting things in the right place, so cataloguing is perfect for me! I could easily spend a day combing through sections of the catalogue and making sure the records are consistent and set up so they’re easy for people to find. Basically, my two favourite aspects of work are about connection: connecting with the students who use the library and connecting people to the information they need.

Have you got any library pet-peeves? 

Push in your chair! There’s a bit of a joke that people spend ages qualifying to work in libraries and when we get there, we spend the bulk of our time pushing in people’s chairs after they leave. 

What do you think the future of the physical library looks like in the digital age?

Oddly, I think it looks much the same as it always has, except with the addition of a collection of ebooks.

Perhaps people might think that students prefer ebooks, since they’ve all but grown up with a device in their hands, but it’s not true: they love real books. In fact, they prefer real books.

Libraries should always be a place where you can come for an escape from the real world or for help with the real world. You should always feel safe asking questions in a library. More and more, libraries are being designed as places where people can find their own little spaces and make them their own for a while. Regardless of whether you’re settling in to read, watch some Netflix or get on with some essay writing.

Do you have a favourite library that you’ve visited? Which one and why?

I tend to visit book shops rather than libraries, although I have spent a fair bit of time with my writing group in the reading room at the State Library of Victoria and I absolutely love that place. When you’re surrounded by such majestic architecture and the hush of people being quiet, it’s easy to feel inspired to write!

What books are you recommending at the moment? 

We’re building up our sci-fi section at work, so I’m recommending a lot from that particular genre!

The Illuminae series is one of my top picks and I just ordered in the Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer and there’s already a huge queue waiting for the first book to be returned. I’m encouraging the manga readers to try Assassination Classroom and whenever I find someone who likes a bit of ghosty goodness, I suggest they read the Lockwood & Co series – it’s so much fun!

Who are some of your favourite authors?

Terry Pratchett is an all-time favourite – I’m currently re-reading my way through the Discworld books at the moment. I also love Charles Dickens, Marissa Meyer (she’s written a fabulous series of fairy tales twisted into a sci-fi universe – I highly recommend Cinder), anything Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff write together, Diana Wynne Jones, Jackie French (she is so amazingly prolific!) and Garth Nix.

What book got you into reading and why?

I don’t even remember when I started reading!

Two of my earliest memories related to reading are:

1. proudly telling my dad I’d read an entire Famous Five book in the time between my getting home from school and his arrival after work.

2. Finishing the box of readers so quickly in Grade 1 that I had to be sent to the Grade 2 reading class so I had something new to read (otherwise I’d just go to the box and pick out my favourites!).

Reading has always been part of my life and I never go anywhere without a book if I can help it.

If you could be a book character for a day, who would you be?

I’d love to take myself into many a book and join in the fun! Discworld would probably be my first choice. There are so many adventures to be had there, but I’d happily wander around to Garth Nix’s Old Kingdom or find my way to Chrestomanci Castle in Diana Wynne Jones’s books. Or join in the ghost hunting in Jonathan Stroud’s Lockwood & Co. books. Or discover life after Sauron in Middle Earth… There are too many options!

Thank you!

Thank you Katie for sharing a bit about your work at the library and your love for books. I think I’d love to wear Harry Potter robes to work! As I write from home there’s a possibility it might happen sometime…

Libraries should always be a place where you can come for an escape from the real world or for help with the real world. You should always feel safe asking questions in a library. More and more, libraries are being designed as places where people can find their own little spaces and make them their own for a while…

Katie, Katie Writes Stuff

I love the above quote from my interview with Katie. The library has certainly been a sanctuary for me, and I know it is for many others. It’s a beautiful thing that libraries exist in our world. I’m grateful to those who make this space possible for so many people, myself included, to enjoy!

I’ll be sure to push my chair in…

Have you got a #loveyourlibrarian moment you’d like to share? If there’s a librarian or librarian program that has impacted you positively I’d love to hear about it! Let’s chat in the comments below and celebrate these amazing people.

Let’s connect

If you enjoyed today’s post please subscribe below to never miss a post! I update weekly with reviews, interviews and lots more bookish content.

If you have social media you can find me @stephuddlestonwriting on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. If you’d like to know more about what I do on the blog and in my freelance writing you can visit the About Me page for more information!

5 Reasons to Read Aurora Rising

*This post contains affiliate links. If you choose to purchase through this link I will receive a small commission, at no additional cost to you. If you’d like more information, please head to my disclosure page. Thank you for your support!

Today’s book review is Aurora Rising by Aime Kaufman and Jay Kristoff. A sci-fi young adult novel it’s action packed and truly enjoyable! If you’re looking for reasons to check out this book, today’s post will give you five.

But first,

What’s this book about?

It’s 2380 and the graduating cadets of Aurora Academy are being assigned their very first mission. Star pupil Tyler Jones is all set to pick the squad of his dreams, but when he rescues a girl stranded in space, his plan of leading the best Aurora squad goes out the window.

Tyler is left with the recruits no one else wanted. A confident and sarcastic diplomat, a scientist who really is mad, a tech-whiz with a giant chip on his shoulder, an alien warrior with anger issues and a tomboy pilot who’s definitely not got feelings for the squad leader.

Added to that bunch is the mysterious girl he rescued. Aurora Jie-Lin O’Malley. She’s been trapped in space for over 200 years, cryogenically frozen. She’s awake thanks to Tyler, a girl out of time and space.

Follow this rag-tag bunch on their first mission as they figure out what is going on with Aurora and try to save the galaxy in the process.

Why should I read this book? Five reasons why:

1. Fantastic Writing

Aime Kaufman and Jay Kristoff are the author duo that brought us the Illuminae Files. (If you haven’t read my full review on that series you can do so here). This duo writes really well together which is apparent from that series as well as Aurora Rising.

They write in a way which is hilarious, but still maintains emotional integrity. You feel deeply in their stories. After how much I enjoyed Illuminae files I wasn’t sure if this latest book was something that could live up to my previous experience. It did.

This book is written in traditional format as opposed to Illuminae files. This did make it quite a bit easier to get straight into.


This year I’ve read more sci-fi than I think I ever have before. I started off the year with Out of the Silent Planet by C.S Lewis and Illuminae Files. I also read Genex of Halycon by Joshua Stelling for guest review on the Independent Book Review. I’ve really enjoyed spending some more time in this genre!

Aurora Rising was another fantastic sci-fi adventure. The world is unique and believable. The additional information sprinkled throughout the book was useful and entertaining.

The Mister is a big Star Trek fan and we’ve watched quite a bit together. The Aurora Academy gave me similar vibes with the Aurora group’s purpose aligning somewhat to Star Fleets. If you’re a trekky you will probably really enjoy this book!

That being said, this book holds its own against star trek and other sci-fi space organisations. The book has a very colourful and flawed array of characters which was extremely entertaining, and the book quickly moves to distinguish itself from books and other content like it.


I genuinely liked all the characters in this book! Kaufman and Kristoff manage to handle six seperate point of views throughout the story. This is no easy feat. All the characters have their own distinct voice and in depth story.

I enjoyed the diversity of characters. You’ve got humans, space elves and characters facing stigmatisation because of mental health and physical disability. Did I mention the space elves? These characters are really great. I enjoyed how the authors took the tropes that could’ve been associated with these characters and did something unexpected with each of them.

If I had to narrow down my favourite characters…it would be Aurora, Finian and Kal. Bravery in the face of isolation and rejection seems to be the common thread between them all. No more or *spoilers* will be disclosed!

4.Squad Goals

You’ve probably seen #squadgoals around the internet. As a society we tend to idolise having a group of people to belong with.

Yes, it’s a wonderful thing to celebrate having friendships. Having people you can rely on, trust and do life with is very important.

Many people don’t have this. For different reasons, it can be hard to form meaningful relationships with those we share the world with. The fact is many times we live in isolation. It’s a issue when we constantly strive for something that can be unattainable. #squadgoals I think can, at times, perpetrate an ideal of friendship, not the reality.

I appreciated the way this book is aware of that fact. I want to share the author dedication from Aurora Rising with you:

If your squad was hard to find, or you’re still looking, then this one is for you.

Aime Kaufman and Jay Kristoff, Aurora Rising dedication

I connected with this dedication. It acknowledges the way people feel when everyone else seems to have a #squad and they’re on the outside looking in. Yet it also offers a sense of hope, as does this story, that eventually you’ll find people who will be close friends.

It might not be an easy journey, and they might not be who you first expect, and that’s okay. As this is a young adult novel I think there will be a lot of teens reading this book who will hopefully feel encouraged by this message.


This book was really entertaining. If you’re looking for a fast-paced, adventure packed book, check out Aurora Rising. I read this book in a day, which I haven’t done in some time!

Aurora Rising has also been optioned for a television series by MGM. Very exciting! Even if you’re not a fan of sci-fi, this book is one that I think many people would enjoy. It has a good dose of action, drama and comedy! It just happens to occur on a spaceship…

Final Thoughts

This is one of my favourite books of 2019. It was a lot of fun and the characters were wonderful. The plot has left me wanting to know what happens which is usually a good gauge for me in terms of how much I enjoyed a book.

As a result of enjoying both Aurora Rising and Illuminae Files I have resolved to read some of both Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman’s work independant work.

I’ve started with Never Night by Jay Kristoff which is an adult fiction novel. So far so good, it’s definitely dark but with a lot of humour. I’ll let you know my final thoughts on this book in a few weeks time with a review.

Where can I get a copy of Aurora Rising?

Good question! As Aurora Rising was released in May 2019 it is now available from most booksellers.

*Alternatively you can pick up a copy from The Book Depository here.

Let’s Connect

Thanks for reading today’s post! I hope you enjoyed today’s review. If you’ve read Aurora Rising I’d love to hear what you thought of the book, comment on this article to let me know. If you haven’t read Aurora Rising what is your favourite/least favourite element of the sci-fi genre?

If you’re looking for more bookish content in your week please do subscribe by selecting the buttons below. This blog updates weekly with quality book reviews, author interviews and much more!

You can find me on social media @stephuddlestonwriting on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook! If you know someone who might enjoy this blog I’d really appreciate you sharing it with them, so we can have more fun bookish conversations. Thanks for the support! x

5 Tips on How to Read More

Are you ever inspired by all the beautiful photos of books on #bookstagram? I know I am. Ever feel like there’s so many books to read but you just don’t have the time in your life to read? Yep me too. Maybe the last time you read a book is a distant memory but you really miss reading. Perhaps you’ve never been a reader, but you wish you were.

Today’s post will hopefully give you some reading tips on how to build your reading habit! There’s some cute cat photos today for an extra bonus. Enjoy! (Ginger cat: Magnus Mewington, Black Kitten: Luna Bean)

1. Find a book you’re going to love

As a book reviewer, I read a lot of books. Some of them I really enjoy, others I find a struggle to get through. A lesson I’ve learned is that when I’m not feeling like picking up my book it’s probably because I’m not enjoying it. If I have a few books in a row that I don’t enjoy, it’s a struggle for me to keep up my reading habit.

By finding a book that you’ll love, chances are you’re going to want to spend time reading that book. If the content is boring, or you’re reading a book because you feel obligated to (everyone else loved it, or someone gave it to you) motivation to keep reading will be a struggle.

Choose a book on a subject matter that interests you. Be it a celebrity you admire, a sport, or a book set in a distant land with a good dose of magic. Grab the book that catches your attention. Maybe check out some reviews on it (just watch out for spoilers!). Ask your friends for recommendations of books they think you’d like to read.

If you’re not liking a book, it’s okay to set it down and pick up another one. (I know not everyone likes doing this) I find that sometimes a book just isn’t right for me at a particular time. If I persevere with reading it through that feeling, I often don’t enjoy the book and my experience is coloured by that.

2. Switch up the format:

Maybe reading visually isn’t something that is going to work the best for you. It can take up space carrying a physical book, and isn’t always practical. When you’re busy in your day you might not have the hour (or even half an hour) to sit with a book and just read.

Using an audio book is a great way to read a book whilst doing something else. Chores, commuting and cooking are all prime audiobook times. In the digital age of today, we really have no excuse for not reading! There’s a plethora of apps that give you access to audiobooks both free and paid.

Try reading on your device. That way if you’re out and about and you have some extra time (maybe waiting for an appointment) you can whip out your phone and do some reading. It’s a great alternative to the endless social media scrolling that can suck us in so easily!

3. Identify times in your day to read

Do you have some time on your lunch break to read? That’s one of my primary reading times out of my day. I generally read better in the morning and during the day so I like to find times to read then.

Do you scroll on your phone before bed? I’m guilty of doing this too. It a habit that’s actually pretty bad for our health. The blue light emitted by our phones can disrupt the circadian rhythms that help us to sleep. So if you’re struggling to sleep, swapping the phone out for a physical book could actually be a great idea!

4. Join a book club or participate in a read-a-thon

Here’s a social reading tip. Book clubs and read-a-thons are a great way to build up your reading habit! Reading doesn’t have to be a purely introverted activity. Discussing the book you’re reading with other people is a lot of fun! You might even find your next great read this way.

Check at your local library to find out where your closest bookclub might be. If there’s no bookclub near you, why not start your own? You can invite your friends, and maybe some new people and have a great time.

If the sound of going to a physical bookclub doesn’t appeal to you – why not join one online? There’s lots of groups on Goodreads or Facebook that are dedicated to reading and discussing books together. You could even participate in a read-a-thon or book of the month via YouTube or Instagram.

Sharing what you’re reading with other people is great. It helps to make new friends and keep you accountable to your reading habit.

5. Choose to read.

If reading is a habit you want to develop you’re going to have to choose to read. There’s no way around it. Sorry. There’s always distractions, always other things we could be doing. Sometimes we get so wrapped up in being busy that we loose sight of what time we could have.

Yes, there are things that we do need to do. Work and family and the responsibilities that come with those things do take up time, and they should. But the rest of the time, what are we doing with it?

I really appreciate that Apple has built into its latest phone software update the ability to check our screen time and make informed choices as a result to have down time where apps are locked. It can be shocking to realise how much time we spend looking at our phone!

The self-imposed limits of the Apple software I think is a great step toward making sure we’re caring for ourselves. Having some down time is important. Mentally, physically and spiritually we need time away from screens to unplug.

I find reading to be something that’s really relaxing for me. It helps me unwind, and destress. It’s important to make time for activities that help us to do that.

Final thoughts

What do you do to relax? Let me know in the comments below. I hope you liked the photo of my beautiful cat Magnus at the start of this post and picked up some useful reading tips!

If you enjoyed todays post, please hit that subscribe button for more bookish content coming to you every week.

The Winter Guest – Pam Jenoff

*This post contains affiliate links. If you choose to purchase a product via this link, at no additional cost to yourself, I will receive a small commission. Thank you for your support.

It’s not winter anymore, it’s officially spring in Australia. Yay! This book is wonderful and was probably my favourite winter read of 2019. A heartbreaking, and complex romance novel set in World War Two in German occupied Poland. Two sisters must learn what love and loyalty is in the face of extreme danger.

Helena and Ruth are caring for their siblings the best they can. With their father dead and mother in care, they must feed and protect their family against all that threatens them. They’ve always been a united force. Yet when Helena discovers a wounded Allied paratrooper, she chooses to hide Sam, risking the safety of her family. Loyalties are torn, and a betrayal is made that will impact all of their lives.

What I liked about this book?

This book was sent to me in July as a part of my Relove Print book subscription. I felt impressed at how well they had personally selected this book for me based on the preferences I’d provided them with. (If you want to see my full review of Relove Print check out my post Are Book Subscriptions Worth It?)

I thought the family dynamic in this book was really well done. The girls love for their siblings is sacrificial and deep. They do their best to provide and protect their family in the midst of the trauma of living during a brutal war.

Both sisters have strengths and weaknesses and I grew to really care about both Helena and Ruth. Family is supposed to be where you feel safest. The people in your family have the power to hurt you the most.

I enjoyed the overall story weaving that occurred in this book. As you begin the novel you start in the present day. There’s a bit of time jumping that occurs as an older character shares the story from their point of view.

Sometimes this can distract from what a book is trying to achieve, and you end up confused about the time and place you’re reading about. This wasn’t the case for The Winter Guest. Instead, the time hopping highlighted particular elements and characters from different perspectives.

The ending… *gasp* …If you’ve read this book, please tell me below so I can have someone to discuss this ending with, without spoiling it for everyone else! Well, yes. It was a bittersweet ending. That’s all I’ll say on the matter for now.

What I liked least about this book?


Overall I liked this book a lot. It did some great characterisation, the plot was well paced and the ending was really good.

I do have mixed feelings about the betrayal in the book that is mentioned in the blurb. Whilst it took me by surprise and wasn’t what I was expecting, I felt it was a bit cheap and undersold the intelligence of the characters. That being said, I think the conflict was necessary and gave the book great tension for its ending.


If you like reading historical romances, this book is worth checking out. The Winter Guest is about far more than just male-female romance.

It explores family love, loyalty and the price of both expertly. I found this a really good read and would highly recommend it for fans of the genre.

Content warning: The Winter Guest discusses the genocide of Jewish people in World War Two. It is therefore quite emotionally charged. Whilst this book isn’t too graphic in describing these events, you may wish to be aware of it going in.

Where can I get a copy?

*If you’ve decided to read this book (Yay! We can then discuss it!) you can pick up a copy from The Book Depository here.

Let’s Connect

If you enjoyed today’s review hit the subscribe button below to get more bookish content, delivered to your inbox. This blog updates weekly with book reviews and related discussions. I hope to see you here again soon!

What’s your favourite historical fiction? Comment below and let me know.

You can find me on social media @stephhuddlestonwriting on Instagram, Facebook and now Twitter!

A Bookish Escape – Daylesford, Australia

Hello there, If you’re from my part of the world winter is almost over! Which means goodbye to sniffly noses and cold toes. Hello Spring! But before we farewell the cold months, I wanted to share about some of my winter adventures. Read on if you like weekends away, bookstores and books! (That’s all of us right?)

The thing I really enjoy about winter is drinking hot chocolate and curling up with a good book. It’s even better if you can share that book with someone. The Mister and I recently had a weekend escape which was lovely! We didn’t really escape the winter cold per sae. Rather we found a charming country town drank hot drinks, curled up by the fire and read books together. Sounds good doesn’t it?

Our escape was to the Australian country town of Daylesford, a cute country town with good cafes and one of my absolute favourite bookshops.

Paradise Books. The name of the bookshop pretty well sums it up doesn’t it? It’s a book lovers haven and well worth checking out if you’re in the area. Read on for more information about this bookish haven and the other bookish delights from our time away.

Paradise Books

This bookshop may have played a part in my suggested the location of Daylesford to Mister as the destination for our getaway. I mean, actually it was a pretty significant part really. I first visited this bookshop around five years ago and was enchanted by its rabbit warren like hallways and cozy reading nooks. I knew that this bookshop is one I would always enjoy coming back to.

The signage from the outside of the shop is a delight, and as a cat lover draws me in straight away! Cats and books, they were made for one another.

The charm and quirkiness of this bookshop is apparent from the outset with this cute little statue to greet you as you make your way inside. Once in, a plethora of tall shelves greet you. In the front rooms are the new releases, while throughout the long hallways, back rooms and upstairs are a series of second-hand books and comics.

We took our time meandering through the store, and both the Mister and I came away with a book each (only two I know!). Book shopping is lots of fun and a great opportunity to spend time together, share a few laughs all on a budget.

If you’re making your way to Daylesford Paradise Books is definitely worth checking out during your stay. The cozy environment of the shop was a welcome reprieve from the cold weather outside. Finding both new and old editions of books is always a joy.

Doesn’t this look like the perfect reading nook?

Book lovers this store is calling you!

Other things to do in Daylesford

Shopping: If you haven’t had enough shopping for bookish treasures, stop by one of the number of antique and second hand stores in town. The Amazing Mill Market is by far the largest antiques collection. You’ll find a variety of second hand books as well as furniture, knick knacks and other treasures here. Brick Lane Bazaar is another fantastic shop to check out. The store has a rockabilly vibe and sells a wide variety of memorabilia, clothing and vintage items.

Art: Daylesford has a lively art scene with many local artists displaying their talent through a galleries, cafés and shops throughout town. We visited The Convent Daylesford which was wonderful.

Once a home to nuns living in rural Victoria in the 1890s The Convent is now home for many beautiful artworks. The gallery was established by its founder Tina Banitska in 1988-1990s in order to restore The Convent and re-open it as a gallery. The gallery is gorgeous and pays its respects to the religious heritage of the building.

A historical display has been thoughtfully set up for visitors to learn about the Holy Cross sisters who inhabited the convent and their work. The upstairs room has been left in a semi-derilect state as a reminder of the past. The history of this place feels the most tangible there, amongst the flaking plaster.

The Mister took this photo in what was originally the Infirmary of The Convent. It’s been left in near original condition as a reminder of the age of the building.

If history isn’t for you (or even if it is)… There’s a nice cafe in the atrium of the convent which has a lovely conservatory feel with soaring glass windows. The Mister was very excited when his coffee size was offered to him as: “medium, large or bucket?”

Speaking of coffee Daylesford Cafés: We didn’t actually get to many cafes! There was lots on offer though. We enjoyed The Convent café, as well as Pastry Kings bakery which had a nice vanilla slice.

If you’ve been to Daylesford, which cafés would you recommend? Second question, how do you pick a café when you’re out? What do you look for?

One of mine and the Misters favourite things to do together is Walking. We end up having such great conversations. It’s good to get into creation, enjoy nature and the company of each other.

Daylesford has a lot walking tracks to suit lots of different fitness levels. We checked out a portion of the Goldfields Track and did a lap of Lake Daylesford. Aside from being a little rainy it was a lovely walk. There’s a bridge on Lake Daylesford where people have embraced the tradition that you see these days around the world. Locking a lock on a bridge with their loved one. Have you ever done this? We didn’t happen to have a lock with us, but we enjoyed reading some of the sweetly engraved locks that others had left behind.

Lake Daylesford.

Now we come to what Daylesford is predominantly known for! Spas and Mineral Springs. This is what most people think of when coming to Daylesford and the surrounding area. We actually didn’t go to any spas centres, as our accomodation had a spa already. I hear Hepburn Bathhouse and Spa is nice.

The Daylesford area is full of mineral springs which you can find pumps for around the place. The water is regularly tested for safety, but its generally better to drink the locally processed mineral water you can buy in town.

What did we read?

A lot of our getaway was spent reading, which was really nice! I found it very relaxing to take this time away slowly. To not rush around and try to do everything (there was a lot of things we could have done!) but rather just hang out and be quiet for a while. With one another.

Maybe it’s just me, but I find reading alongside someone really nice. Me reading my book, them reading theirs. Every now and again you look up and chat about what’s happening in the worlds you’re both lost in. It’s just nice.

Now let’s chat what books we read while we were away!

I read:

Reading by the fire in winter? I think so.
  1. The Winter Guest by Pam Jenoff. I received this book in my Relove Print July Subscription and have been looking forward to getting into it. I won’t do a full review here, but let me just say… The ending of this book. Wow.
  2. A Crown of Coral and Pearl (ARC Copy) by Mara Rutherford. This book is one I received as an Advanced Review Copy from Harlequin Australia & MIRA HQ Publishing. I really enjoyed it! Fantastic characters and an interesting world. Want to read the full review? Check it out here.
  3. The Binding by Bridget Collins. I bought this book a while ago, and I’ve been chipping away at it. The premise is interesting but it just didn’t grip me as I read. The cover is gorgeous though!

The Mister Read:

  1. Turtles All the Way Down by John Green. I read this one a while ago, and it’s been on the Mister’s to be read list for a while now. He enjoyed it and says: “An Immersive read, without any kind of plot“. It may seem a harsh comment, but on deeper conversation about this book we think it’s more of a reflection on the nature of character driven narrative as opposed to plot driven. On a whole he enjoyed the book.
  2. Illuminae Files 0_1 by Jay Kristoff and Aimee Kaufmann. After my raving about this book The Mister didn’t have much of a choice about reading this one. My glee at watching him read the book was barely contained. If you read my full review of Illuminae Files you will know what I’m talking about. His current impressions of Illuminae Files are: “I really enjoy the format”

Holiday Book Haul?

While some people might bring home tea towels, magnets or clothes as souvenirs (nothin’ wrong with that!) on my travels I usually bring home at least one book or bookmark. This time the Mister and I picked a book each from Paradise Books in Daylesford.

I picked: an anthology of H.G Wells stories including: The Time Machine, The Invisible Man, The Food of The Gods and The War of the Worlds.

The Mister picked: cthulhu Mythos tales by H.P Lovecraft.

It’s funny we both picked anthologies when we were in totally different areas of the bookshop. Our authors both go by similar initials and draw on fantastical elements. My copy is second hand whereas the Misters is new. We’re both excited to read these stories!

Homeward bound

All holidays come to an end. So did ours! It was lovely to get away for a few days, see some sights, relax, read and most importantly have some quality time together.

We came home and enjoyed catching up with friends and seeing what mischief our house/cat sitter had gotten up to (Check out the photo at the end of the post).

I hope you enjoyed todays post! It was a lot of fun! I really enjoy travelling. Have you got a favourite bookstore? Do you prefer a lake or beach holiday? Tell me about it by commenting on this post. Hopefully I can get to visit some of them.

If you enjoyed the post today don’t forget to subscribe, tell your friends about it and like and comment!

Do you have social media? For more bookish content in your week you can find me @stephhuddlestonwriting on Instagram or Facebook.

Happy reading!

Can you spot our house sitter’s prank? I feel like I’m still finding these little Dinos around the place!

Interview with Relove Print – Book subscription creators

Have you ever wondered who puts book subscription packages together? Have you ever thought about the process involved in putting these wonderful subscription packages together?

Maybe you have, maybe you haven’t – but todays post on the blog we get some answers to those questions!

You might remember a few weeks ago my post Are Book Subscriptions Worth it? In the post I reviewed my book subscription from Relove Print. A book subscription service with a difference.

On todays blog I’m chatting with the creators behind this service! Read on to find out more about the behind the scenes of a book subscription service.

If you don’t know about Relove Print they are a book subsciption based in Australia. Based on information you provide them with, they will pick out a gently used second-hand book for you to enjoy each month. How cool is that? Each month in addition to your book you will receive a handmade bookmark, and a few additional goodies.

Throughout this post I’ll be sharing some photos from my July parcel. At the end, you’ll find a discount code if you feel like giving Relove Print a try this month!

My June subscription. Approved by Magnus (cat)!

About Relove Print:

Who makes up the Relove Print Team?

Our team is made up of a partnership. We also have some family and friends that help out around packing time to get our subscriptions out!

What inspired you to start up the Relove Print book subscription service?

We were really into going to garage sales/facebook marketplace. We started to see how many books were getting thrown out because people just had too many and not enough space. We hated to think that they would end up in landfills. 

Where do you source the second-hand books from?

Garage sales, facebook marketplace, gumtree and ebay. Mainly we try to intercept books getting thrown out! We also keep a close eye on op shops that are overflowing in books.

What is the process each month in putting together your subscribers package?

Basically, a lot of hard work finding and choosing a book that suits everyone of our subscribers is always a challenge. Getting them all packed using sustainable/eco friendly packaging rather then putting it in a box is a very intensive task. It makes it a busy time of the month. 

Is it difficult personally selecting books for your subscribers?

The surveys subscribers fill out when signing up provide us with a good guide to people’s taste which makes selecting books a lot easier. There is difficulty because we do strive to get that perfect book for everybody!

What are some of your favourite past items you have included with the books for subscribers?

We have teamed up with QI tea a couple times to provide tea for those months. That was probably our favourite as we both really enjoy their tea. We really enjoyed working with QI tea as they really supported and promoted us when we were just starting out. 

My July subscription – This book cover is stunning. The notebook is really cute!

Get to know the creators:

Who are some of your favourite authors?

We both enjoy different authors which helps us cover a range of genres. Some of our favourite authors would be: 

Gwen Harwood, Sarah J Maas, George Orwell, the H.P Lovecraft universe, John Silvester and growing up Lemony Snicket really got me into reading! 

What are you currently reading?

One of us is reading Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Mass and the other Aftermath: Empire’s End by Chuck Wendig.

If you could be one literary character for a day, who would you be and why?

I think everyone has dreamed of being in the wizarding world. We both wish we got that Hogwarts letter at 11.

Tea or Coffee with your book?

I am definitely 300% coffee but my business partner is probably 500% tea.

“We started to see how many books were getting thrown out because people just had too many and not enough space. We hated to think that they would end up in landfills.”

Dylan – Relove Print

Thank you!

One of my favourite things about this book subscription service is their environmental consciousness. They strive to give books that would otherwise be disposed of, a longer life. To give readers a new book to love that’s perfect for them. I think that’s pretty great!

My books that I’ve recieved from Relove Print have been wonderful, and I’ve enjoyed them immensely. I’ve been surprised by how well the team matched my reading preferences to the books they’ve supplied me with. You can tell there’s a lot of care and thought that goes into the books selected, as well as the items included with the book.

At this stage Relove Print only ships within Australia, so apologies to my international readers. However, if you’re in the land of Aus like me, you’re in luck.

Relove Print has generously offered a discount code to subscribers of Steph Huddleston Writing. Yay! Enter the code: Stephwriting when you check out to get 15% off your first month subscribing. Thank you Dylan and the rest of the Relove Print team! You guys are awesome!

This book subscription service is really affordable! A three month package costs me under $11 a month, which is awesome. Using the discount code above this subscription service is even more affordable for you! Living in Australia, most book subscription services might not even ship to us – or if they do it can be expensive! Today subscribing is even cheaper for you if you use the discount code: Stephwriting.

If you’d like to subscribe to Relove Print (or even gift a subscription to someone special) head to their website here.

Let’s connect

Thanks for reading todays post! If you enjoyed reading this, hit the subscribe button below to follow along with this blog. New post comes out every week.

If you have Instagram you can find me @stephhuddlestonwriting and on Facebook at Steph Huddleston Writing.

What’re you currently reading? I always like to hear what book recommendations people have. Reply to this post below to let me know!

A Crown of Coral and Pearl – Mara Rutherford ARC review

For this weeks review I’m talking about A Crown of Coral and Pearl. In a society where beauty determines worth two girls who refuse to let the world tell them who they are and what they can do.

This book is a young adult novel for fans of strong female leads.

Special thank you to Harlequin Australia Publishing for giving me an advance review copy of this book!

What’s the book about?

Nor and Zadie were raised to believe their primary purpose in life was to be chosen to honour their families by being the next Ilarian princess.

For many generations the princes of Ilaria have married beautiful young women from the ocean village of Varenia. But becoming royalty can carry a cost higher than any of the maidens could possibly imagine…

Nor dreamed of seeing the world, a dream that only being chosen could realise. But a permanent scar on her face means that it is her sister Zadie that will have that honour.

When an unfortunate accident occurs Nor must take her sisters place as princess of Ilara. Sent to marry a prince whose coldness could only be matched by his palace, carved into the face of a mountain. Nor is distraught, even more so by her feelings for her fiancés brother.

However, Nor’s unique position allows her to learn things she would never have dreamed possible from her ocean home.

She soon uncovers A plot of a murdered queen, a failing bloodline and a plan to decimate her people back home. In order to navigate this new world, and save her people, Nor must act. But how?

What I liked about this book:

This book had great family dynamics. The relationship between Nor and her sister Zadie was beautiful. The sisters were real with one another, sharing their strengths and weaknesses with understanding.

With the fixation on beauty I thought this book did a good job on commenting about the objectifying of women and negativity. A fixation on physical appearance can be destructive to relationships. In particular I appreciated Nor and Zadie’s dislike of being compared to one another for physical attractiveness.

This book has strong female characters who fight for what they believe in. Primary and secondary characters do this in different ways.

I really liked the world building in this novel. Varenia captured my imagination, as did the rest of the world. The author’s descriptions of the world were entrancing. There seems to be a lot more of the world to explore, as well as the different people groups in the world. I’m intrigued and want to know more about this land and the unfolding politics within it.

The author of A Crown of Coral and Pearl, Mara Rutherford, has said on Goodreads that this book is currently only a one book deal. There is however a strong possibility of a sequel.

I’m certainly hoping there is, as I want to know more about this world and it’s characters!

What I liked least about this book?

As I mentioned above, it was really good to have the book make a stance against beauty not being all people are about.

However, I did find it undercut that point a little when all of the good characters were attractive. Those that were bad were primarily described as repulsive. Whether that’s physically or in personality or actions. Villains are often described across literature in this way.

I thought the villain in A Crown of Coral and Pearl was really interesting and chilling!

Side note… Who are your favourite literary villains? Comment below to let me know!

While this book might’ve fallen into the trope of having all the characters be beautiful people with very minimal flaws. There was also a bit of the ‘Love at first sight’ cliché. Overall it was fine and the author did attempt to minimise these tropes.

This was a really enjoyable read and I don’t have much really to comment about for this section!


For fans of strong young adult female characters, this book is for you. The beauty pagant element of the story is very strong and reminded me somewhat of the biblical story of Queen Esther. Elements of this book reminded me of The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins and The Selection series by Kiara Cass.

If you’re not a fan of young adult or YA books involving politics and romance this may not be the book for you.

Where can I get a copy?A Crown of Coral and Pearl comes out in a few days on 19th of August 2019! You can pick up a copy in stores from then. Pre-order your copy from Book Depository here.

Who is your favourite female book character? Why? Comment below to let me know! Mine would probably be Hadassah from The Voice in the Wind series by Francine Rivers. I found her strength in the face of persecution, and temptations of all kinds inspiring.

If you enjoyed todays review please consider subscribing, commenting or liking this post. Thank you! If you have instagram I can be found @stephhuddlestonwriting.

Author Interview: Abbie Emmons, 100 Days of Sunlight

A few weeks ago you may recall I posted a book review of 100 Days of Sunlight by Abbie Emmons. The book has now been published as of this week! To celebrate the publication of 100 Days of Sunlight I am excited to interview the author of this delightful book on the blog today – Abbie Emmons.

We’ll be chatting about Abbie’s debut novel 100 Days of Sunlight as well as about her experiences writing and the journey of self-publishing her book. This interview is a part of a blog tour so you may be seeing Abbie’s book around the internet a fair bit this month!


On 100 Days of Sunlight:

What inspired you to write 100 Days of Sunlight?

I feel like 100 Days of Sunlight is a story that has always been in my heart, I just didn’t know it until April 2017. The idea came to me quite literally like a lightbulb turning on. The whole premise just popped into my head, completely out of nowhere. I immediately fell in love with the idea — two characters experiencing loss, recovery, and hope; two characters connecting to help each other heal in ways they wouldn’t have been able to alone. I knew it would be a love story, but not just about romantic love — it would be about the love between brothers, and grandparents, and friends. The story captured my heart before I even knew how it would end.

Do you relate personally to any of the characters from the book, and why?

Oh yes. I feel like I can relate personally to every character on a different level. Tessa’s obsession with control and independence, Weston’s sunshiney optimism, Rudy’s quiet seriousness, Grandma’s tough love, Grandpa’s faith, Henry’s sensitivity… I feel like there’s a little piece of me in all of these characters. But, at the same time, there is something I can learn from all of them. That’s just one of the many things that makes writing so cool!

How long on average has it taken you to see this book be written and published?

About 2.5 years. Like I said, the idea first sparked in April of 2017. Then I brainstormed and outlined it for about 7 months and wrote the first draft in November of 2017. After that, it was just editing, editing, editing… then at last I made the big announcement in May of this year.

On Writing:

What scenes do you find the hardest to write in a novel? (You can be specific to 100 Days of Sunlight or to other writing in general, I don’t mind) 

Ooh, that’s a good question. I would have to say: big time jumps. It’s hard to zoom through time without making the reader feel like they missed something – or worse, like the pacing is too quick. In 100 Days of Sunlight I pulled off the flashback time jumps by entering a moment in the past and “reliving” it with a mixture of narration and dialogue. Still, I needed my beta readers to give me feedback when they first read the book and tell me how they felt about the pacing. 

Whenever I’m struggling with a certain aspect of writing, it’s usually just that I’m overthinking it and it’s actually really good. My beta readers definitely help me to see that. 

How do you come up with the names for your characters?

I have a running list of character names that I like, and I reference that a lot when I’m crafting new characters. But sometimes I’ll be crafting a new character and a name will just come to me, out of the blue – and I know that character is meant to have that name. It’s always something that suits them perfectly! 

What is one thing that you think people misunderstand about the genre you write in?

I love this question. I think what people misunderstand about contemporary is how deep and compelling it can be. A lot of people think that sweet contemporary romance is fluffy, shallow, and saccharine – but it doesn’t have to be! My goal with writing in this genre is to show how serious and important contemporary stories can be. In 100 Days of Sunlight there are many sweet and lighthearted moments… but there are also many serious and emotional moments, too. Real life is a combination of happiness and heartache, and I think contemporary captures that paradox in a beautifully intimate way.

What is your ideal writing environment?

I’m blessed to be able to look out the window at a beautiful lake while I write, and I love it best when the weather is warm and breezy and the windows are open. A quiet house, a hot cup of tea beside me, my laptop (and Scrivener) in front of me, and my little dog Pearl sleeping nearby – that’s pretty much my ideal writing environment. 

On Publishing:

What has been your favourite experiences in self-publishing 100 Days of Sunlight?

Seeing how excited everyone is for it. I’m overwhelmed with gratitude! It still feels so surreal to me every time someone posts a photo on Instagram of their Kindle or phone with 100 Days of Sunlight on the screen. And that’s just been the ARC readers! I can’t imagine how bowled over I’ll be when I start seeing photos of folks holding the paperback or hardcover in their hands. OMG. I am so eternally grateful to every single person out there who is excited for this book – you all have made my dreams come true!!

What have been some of the difficulties of self-publishing? 

All the back-and-forth formatting! It’s a process of proofreading for errors, fixing errors, uploading new files to my printers, waiting for eproofs, approving the eproofs, ordering print copies, waiting for them to ship to me…and finding some other minor thing to perfect! Ugh, it’s a bit of a headache. But this is my first time publishing a book, so I tell myself I’ll get much better at this in the future. 😉

Some people believe being a published author is glamorous, is that true?

Not at all. It’s satisfying, for sure! But it’s funny how the creative process really does not change. No matter if you publish one book or ten, or if you make it to the New York Times bestseller list, you will still be a writer who sits in front of a notebook or laptop and writes a story – and that’s a quiet, beautiful, sacred creative process, but I don’t think I’d call it glamorous. However, it is awesome. And so, so fulfilling. 

Thank you so much for interviewing me on your lovely blog today, Steph! It was a pleasure.

Author Information:

As well as being a superstar for publishing her own novel, Abbie Emmons is a blogger and has her own YouTube channel dedicated to helping aspiring writers learn how to hone their craft.

You can check out Abbie Emmon’s website and blog here. Her YouTube channel is here. I highly recommend checking out her videos if you’re an aspiring writer!

If you want to follow Abbie on social media you can find her @abbieeofficial on Instagram and Abbieeofficial on Facebook.

Thanks Abbie for allowing me to interview you. Wishing you and the debut of 100 Days of Sunlight all the best!

Where can I get a copy of 100 Days of Sunlight?

You can buy a copy of the book on Amazon here. If you missed my review of 100 Days of Sunlight you can read it here. If you like the sound of this book I really do encourage you to pick up a copy as it’s really great to support self-published authors.

I’m in awe of the work self-published authors put in and the amazing books that we may not get the chance to read if it weren’t for their efforts. All thoughts and opinions on this blog are my own. I’ve opted in to champion this book because it really is a beautiful story worth checking out.

No matter if you publish one book or ten, or if you make it to the New York Times bestseller list, you will still be a writer who sits in front of a notebook or laptop and writes a story…

Abbie Emmons

As an aspiring author it’s so encouraging for me to hear the stories of those further along the path. I hope that you reading along today feel a little encouraged after todays read too! Even if you’re not a writer, it’s great to hear stories from people accomplishing their goals.

It was a long post today, so thanks for reading on through! If you enjoyed this post don’t forget to subscribe to the blog for more bookish content every week.

Want even more books in your week? Find me on Instagram @stephhuddlestonwriting 🙂

What stood out to you from todays interview? What goals do you have? If you’re comfortable sharing, I’d love to hear from you in the comments section below!

If you’re an author or writer (published or unpublished!) and you want to answer one of the questions from the interview today, feel free! I always enjoy hearing the experiences of other people. Comment below.

The Illuminae files – Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman

*Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. By purchasing through these links (at no additional cost to yourself) I will receive a small commission. For more info you can read my disclosure statement. Thank you for your support.

Sci-fi and Young Adult fans listen up, this review is for you! I’m a bit late to the party in reviewing the Illuminae files series as it’s been around for a couple of years now. I had put off reading this book because a flick through the pages in the bookstore gave me the impression this book was a bit unusual and I was right… but in the best way possible.

What’s the book about?

In the year 2575 corporations battle against one another to control a tiny ice planet, Kerenza.

No regard is given to the people currently living there.

Kady thought her issues with her boyfriend Ezra were the biggest problem to face her. That is until her planet is invaded and she an Ezra have to battle their way off-planet.

The struggles don’t stop there, with a virus mutating onboard the vessel supposed to be carrying them to safety. An enemy vessel in close pursuit and the AI of the ship corrupted and potentially dangerous. The teens will have to face these challenges head on, as well as figure out just what is going on aboard the ship, and why.

This story is told through a dossier of hacked files including emails, military files, chatroom discussions, schematics and more. The first in the trilogy The Illuminae Files _01 came out in 2015.

I first read this book as an ebook from my library and enjoyed it so much I picked up the hardback. Isn’t it pretty?

What I liked about this book?

Let me just preface what I’m about to say by saying I had very low expectations for this book. I’ve seen it in bookstores, on blogs, and social media (especially #bookstagram) with rave reviews.

I generally find books with a lot of hype surrounding them to be a disappointing experience when I do get around to reading them. Is this the case for anyone else, or just me?

I didn’t know if the format of this book would be something I would enjoy. The book is told through various different mediums, as I mentioned above. Flipping through the book at a glance can therefore look pretty confusing.

I actually really, really enjoyed this book! It’s currently my top read of 2019 The formatting of the book actually added to the experience. I would describe the book as drawing on some elements of a graphic novel.

I think the authors really understand that it’s not just what words you put in your novel but how you present them that can impact the reading experience. This book was action packed, yet had moments of quiet and beauty.

The characters of this book are great. They’re amusing, but so strong. I enjoyed the banter. You find yourself caring about even the relatively minor characters. The clever way the authors didn’t have any swearing in their novel at all was entertaining. Instead they made the lack of swearing an element of the story in and of itself (all cuss words are redacted with a black mark).

What I liked least about this book?

There’s not much to write in this section. I was surprised by how much I really genuinely enjoyed this book.

Some people may not like the format of this book, or find the romance between the two main characters Kady and Ezra a bit cliché. There are certainly moments of that, but overall I think this book does a pretty good job of being unique and really well written.

I have read the second and third book of this series, Gemina – Illuminae Files 0_2 and ObsidioIlluminae Files 0_3. I have a few critiques of those books but as I’m not reviewing the series as a whole here, I’ll save those for another day.

Do you look under the dust jackets of your hardback books? The Illuminae files cover is so detailed and beautiful, the dust jacket is an opaque plastic so some of the words shine through when it’s on.

About the Authors

This book is co-authored by Aime Kaufman (author of the Starbound trilogy) and Jay Kristoff (author of the Lotus War trilogy). These authors live in Melbourne, which it always excites me to see authors from the same city as me. There’s something about the closeness of these creative people that is inspiring.


There you go. I just wrote one of those hype reviews I was talking about. But after reading this book I know why. It’s because this book is AWESOME.

If you like fast-paced books, books set in space and books that make you care about all characters deeply – this book is for you. I can’t recommend it more highly. The experience of reading this book is unique and beautiful in its medium, and the story it tells.

*I picked up my beautiful hardcover copy from the Book Depository here. If you prefer paperback editions you can find them here.

If you enjoyed todays review hit that subscribe button below for more bookish content straight to your inbox. Blog updates weekly.

Looking for more bookish content? Find me on Instagram @stephhuddlestonwriting.

What are some of your favourite reads so far in 2019? Tell me about them by replying to this post. I’m always adding to my to be read pile.

Happy reading!

Are book subscriptions worth it? Relove Book subscription review

Have you ever had a subscription to something? Maybe it was the paper, a magazine or a gardening club. When I was younger I remember my mum subscribing me up to a crafting magazine that would every month send you crafting materials and a magazine filled with ideas for things you could make. It was called ‘Make it Groovy‘ (yes it was as awesome as it sounds).

I guess these days there’s Pinterest for our crafting inspiration!

Subscriptions have been around for some time now, and in today’s internet dominated society you can find a subscription for just about anything! Including books. If you’ve been hearing about ‘Book boxes’ or considering a book subscription service todays post is for you.

Today on the blog I’m going to be talking about the Relove Print book subscription service specifically. This review isn’t a paid ad, all opinions are my own and are honest. I hope you find it useful if you’re considering subscribing to a book subscription service!

I’d like to extend a thank you to Relove Print for being great people and providing a discount code for my readers! Hang around till the end of todays post to receive 15% off your first month with Relove Print.

Time saving and decision making

If you’re someone who is time-poor, a book subscription service might be just right for you. You don’t have to make time to go to the shops, or spend time clicking through online bookstores to find your next great read.

Relove Print personally selects a gently used second-hand book for you to enjoy each month. When signing up you get the opportunity to tell them what genres, books and authors you like and dislike so they get a feeling for what to select for you. No more um-ing and ah-ing in the bookstore isles.

This month my subscription included the book The Winter Guest by Pam Jenoff. The blurb sounds amazing and I’m really looking forward to reading it.

Environmentally friendly

My favourite thing about this book subscription box is it’s focus on sustainability. Many books once they are read will sit on a shelf, sad and collecting dust. (Unless you take them down regularly to take photos of them of course…). At some point though most books are eventually discarded.

This service gives books another chance by connecting them with readers who will enjoy the words written again. It’s also really affordable compared with buying books new and compared to some other subscription services out there.

One of my previous posts: Five reasons to buy books second hand was all about the benefits of buying second hand books, so naturally finding this book subscription service was a win for me.

Australian based

I was really excited to discover this subscription service because as an Aussie, shipping can be quite expensive. While there are lots of global book subscription services, your location might dictate whether getting a subscription is worth it for you.

I really like to support local business (also is great for the environment!) when I can, so subscribing to Relove Print was a great choice for me.

Extra goodies

Like many book subscription services, Relove Print includes extra items each month in addition to your book. The extra gifts are useful and thoughtfully included. This month I received a handmade up-cycled bookmark made from old encyclopaedia pages and a bamboo toothbrush. (I’ve been looking into getting a bamboo toothbrush to replace my plastic one for some time, so this was pretty exciting for me!).

The extra goodies for the cats in your life? Crinkly paper and twine. Everyone is happy!

Gift idea

Book subscriptions make a great idea for a gift for the bookworm in your life! You can buy one month, three month or ongoing packages. The attention and care put into the selection of the included book is really lovely.


While a book subscription service would never be the only way I find books to read, it certainly has value. I’ve really enjoyed finding books that I may not have picked up myself.

I find visiting a bookstore really fun, but there’s also something fun and exciting to wait for your book mail to arrive. The anticipation, and excitement is real. It’s like a present, and the cute wrapping really adds to that level of the experience for me.

I’m really glad that I gave Relove Print a try, and I will continue to subscribe to them for a while longer. I do still buy some physical books new, use ebooks and frequent my local library, so this is yet another avenue to access books for me.

Will a subscription service be right for you?

I think that largely depends on what you’re looking for. If you want a book subscription service with personalised book selection Relove Print is a great option for you. It’s also really affordable.

However, if you don’t like second-hand books this service probably isn’t for you. There is, with any book subscription service the small chance you will end up with a copy of a book you already own. The information you give Relove Print when you subscribe is important to avoid this. I think with a second-hand book service you’re probably less likely to get double-ups than with a new release book service.

For more details and information on how to subscribe you can check out Relove Print‘s website here.

Discount Code

Hey there! Thank you for reading todays post. If you want to try Relove Print you can use my special discount code: Stephwriting for 15% off your first month with Relove Print. How great is that?!

That’s a really great deal from an awesome subscription service! Visit Relove Prints website and enter the code: Stephwriting at the checkout to get 15% off your first month of subscription.


Let’s talk more

Do you have any subscriptions? Have you tried a book box before, and which one? Let me know in the comments below what your experience was like with other book subscription services.

If you have instagram follow me @stephhuddlestonwriting for more bookish content in your week.