13.7.17

Reading Journey

Once upon a time...

a boy named Harry Potter introduced a little girl to the wonderful world of reading.

That little girl was me. Sure I used to read in school but I saw it as homework, it wasn't because I chose to read it. I never thought I would come to love reading as much as I do now.

My love for reading started because of Harry Potter. One day, I was at Walgreens with my dad and we were browsing the magazine and books aisle when my dad pointed out a Spanish version of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone and said that he had read in the news that it was a very popular book. I picked it up, read the excerpt, and it caught my attention. He bought it for my sister and me. I had to wait until my sister finished reading it. My turn came and I was instantly hooked on the first chapter. I used to go to sleep really late because I couldn't stop reading. I wanted to know what happened next. I was amazed how someone had the imagination to create a world filled with magic. I discovered that I could imagine the things happening in my head as I read, like it was a movie. I saw it as clear as day. I haven't experienced this before because the stories we read in school were very short and it was read in parts by classmates, which caused me to space out sometimes since I didn't hear them or understood them.

I read the first 3 books in Spanish, but then I decided to switch to English since I understood it better. My native language is Spanish, but when it comes to reading in Spanish they sometimes tend to have some words I don't necessarily know what they mean and sometimes translations may not be 100% accurate. So, since then I have preferred to read in English. Like 97% of my book collection are in English. Recently I've been trying to incorporate some local and Latin American authors. I have found a Puertorrican author that I really enjoy reading his books. He's name is J.D. Estrada. I have two books of his: Twenty Veinte and Daydreams on the Sherbet Shore. The first one is a collection of essays, poems and short stories in Spanish and English. There are some funny ones in there. The second one is a short novel about a world created in a dream. It is simply magical; one of those books that you read and you feel like there's no evil in the world.

When Borders opened stores in Puerto Rico, it was love at first sight. I used to love to buy books there. I would spend hours looking at what was new. I was up to date on what was popular or what was published recently. My sister and I used to attend midnight release parties for books. We went to 2 or 3 of them. I remember we went to a Harry Potter and then a Twilight one. Borders also had a magnificent rewards club, we used to receive like $10 coupon on our birthdays and we also accumulated points to receive more discounts. I always bought more than one book. I used to stack books I found interesting in my hands and when I had finishing browsing the entire store I started choosing which one I would keep or leave. Sadly, Borders closed all their stores and it was heartbreaking. I bought a tall bookcase from them when they were selling all their stores furniture. It has 7 shelves and it is almost full. I also have another bookcase, slightly a bit smaller, that I bought a few years ago but it is almost full too.

I have acquired books buying them in stores or online, as gifts, or free from universities and fairs. When Borders closed, I started buying online because there really wasn't any bookstores that sold books in English that could interest me. The few bookstores that did, sold the books a bit pricey. I wanted to find a way to buy books at great discounts like I did in Borders. That's when I found Thriftbooks. Thriftbooks is an online bookstore that specializes in selling second hand books, but they also sell new ones. They have everything from really old books to new releases. They have a rewards program where you get $5 for every $50 you spend, and believe me you spend $50 fast. Free shipping is also included, which is a big plus. At first I was skeptical because I thought that if they were used maybe some weren't in the best condition. I watched some YouTube videos about book hauls from real customers and I didn't hear any complaints. I was convinced and decided to buy a few books. It was legit! The prices are awesome. I have bought books in really good conditions for $3. They give you the choice on what conditions you would like to buy the book: Acceptable, Good, Really Good, and New. You get the best of both worlds: good books at an economic price and you also recycle, preventing all those books from going to landfills. Though I do not recommend choosing ones that say they come from libraries because they sometimes stick a clear plastic on all the outside of the book and after you peel it off it stays a bit sticky.

Check them out for yourselves. You get 15% off your first order using this link: Thriftbooks

How many books have you read? What started your reading journey? Let me know in the comments.

Hasta Luego!

P.S. Wish I was paid to write this, but I wasn't. All thoughts and opinions expressed here are completely mine and they are from experience.



5.7.17

I'm a mom



       I have been a mom of a cat for almost 5 years. He's my absolute treasure, I adore him. His mom was a stray cat that we had been feeding for a few days. We were suspicious she was pregnant because she was all warm and cuddly with us. Turns out we were right, because a few days later she came home with two little kittens. We fed them and they stayed close to home. Sadly, one Valentine's Day night we arrived home and one of the neighbors had run over one of the little kittens. I took him in my arms and cried like you can't imagine. He was still warm but it was too late, we couldn't save him. We buried him in our backyard with a little red ribbon bow tie. Since that night we were worried for the safety of the other kitten and his mom, so we decided to take them inside. Since that day the surviving little kitten has made my room his home. I named him Mota because he looked like a little white fuzz ball when he was little. He has always been the cuddly one out of the two kittens. He loves attention and when he was little he loved playing with people. He has this weird thing he does that he looks into your eyes like he's seeing your soul. Every time people talk badly about cat's behavior I tell them that they haven't met my cat. He has never been aggressive towards anyone, he's the sweetest cat.

Currently I'm working on building him a catio. A catio is basically an enclosed outdoor space for cats. It was made for cats to enjoy the outdoors without any of the dangers they can be exposed to if they are loose. It makes me sad that he has to be all the time inside my room, so I want him to enjoy some time outside. He loves staring out my window and gets excited when he sees a bird. I hope he learns to enjoy the space. I won't leave him out 24/7 because he is accustomed to sleeping with me, so at night I will bring him inside. 
T.

P.S. Adopt animals instead of buying, there are too many animals on the street in need of a loving family. Search your local pet shelter and I promise you that at least one animal will take hold of your heart. Even though you have a perfect image of what animal you want, you may end up falling in love with another one. 

4.7.17

Update

Woahh!! Has there been a lot of rain and sunshine since I last posted. A lot of things have changed. I'm officially in the most difficult part of life: the what-do-I-do-after-college life. Last month I graduated with a bachelor's degree in chemistry. I know it is recent but I'm already feeling the pressure of finding a job. It makes me anxious every time I search online for job opportunities because I can't seem to find anything. Either everything is too damn far or they ask for 5 or so years of experience. I know I can't be too picky when choosing a job because otherwise I won't find anything, but I'm hoping for that "slightly perfect" job to appear. Regardless of the job I may get it will be temporary because honestly I don't see myself working on a pharmaceutical the rest of my life. Working in the pharmaceutical industry is basically the most job opportunities I have here. The interesting jobs like working in the cosmetics or food industries are so rare to find.

Another thing that I don't like about this whole recently-graduated-stage is that the question everyone always asks when they know I'm fresh out of college is "What are your plans? Are you going for the master's degree?". I never know what to answer to this. I would love to get a master's degree but there's nothing available in the area (island overall) that interests me, and I won't get a master's of something I don't particularly love. Later on, I plan on traveling to get another degree, but for now that's on stand by. The only answer I tell people when they make me those questions is: "I'm going to look for work". But the look on their faces makes me think that I'm disappointing them because I'm not getting another degree. I guess they think I'm selling myself short.

The dreams I have require a lot of work and time. Additionally, I know that this will have a lot of trials and errors, but I'm willing to work through it. It may not be the usual road every college graduate takes but I'm making my own path. I hope it works out. Crossing my fingers I can find a job so I can start working closer to my dream.

T.

 
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