The Madness Begins

Well, not exactly, madness, although…

Anyway, like I mentioned, The International Belgrade Book Fair is coming, and I usually start buying a little before the beginning, because it’s more practical to buy some books that way. On the picture above, you can see At the Edge of the Orchard by Tracy Chevalier (up, right), Kuća od soli (the rough translation would be The House of Salt or The Salt House) by Miomir Petrovic, an excellent Serbian author (up, left), and Tajne priče (Secret Stories) by Mirjana Novakovic (down; you can find her awesome novel, Fear and Servant, on Amazon).

And this is just the beginning. This year, I’ll try to keep you updated on the books and the Fair (I usually do that on my blog in Serbian, but this time I’ll try to do it here, too). So, if you like, stay tuned for more books!

P.S. I have tried to stick to the plan and read the magazine I mentioned, but my mother borrowed me her copy of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, and Conversation About the End of Time by Umberto Eco, so, the magazine will wait for a bit.

Instagram Makes Me See, Err, Notice Things!

I take my camera with me on impulse; or, if I feel too lazy to carry it around, I don’t. However, Instagram has inspired me to take photos more often, and it has inspired me to pay more attention.

A few months ago, I posted some photos of street art. It’s just the stuff I see in my neighborhood, but people liked it, so I started paying attention, and I started noticing it everywhere. And taking photos of it. And recently, one of my followers tagged me in a photo of street art she’s taken.

Some things are classics, of course. Cats, dogs, birds… People like pictures of them. Sunsets, too, or the sea. Or flowers. But who knew that there are so many people who enjoy in photos of clouds? I expected a photo of popular cosplayers to get noticed, but my fencing mask?

The more time I spend on Instagram, the more I realize just how diverse the interests of people are, and that, in turn, inspires me to be more curious. To pay attention, explore, and notice more. To capture it. To share it. To keep coming up with interesting stuff. And to have fun while doing it.

It still surprises me when people I’ve never met like my photos on Instagram. I’m glad, of course; it means that I’m doing something good. But it’s steel a feeling of Someone liked that? But it’s just… And I like that feeling. It reminds me that there’s always something interesting around us, if only we remember to notice it.

And Instagram and the wonderful people there keep inspiring me to notice.

Project: Decluttering (Books)

How many times have you told yourself that you wouldn’t buy more books until you finally read all the ones already on your bookshelves?

Yeah, right.

Besides, books are wonderful. There are always new ones to read. There’s nothing wrong with buying new books. Books are awesome.

But clutter isn’t.

There’s nothing awesome (at least not to me) in not being able to locate the book you’re looking for, because it’s in the third row somewhere. Maybe. Or maybe somewhere else.

And there’s nothing wonderful in the I’ll never read so many books I really want to read, even though they’re right here on my bookshelf feeling.

And after a while, all that clutter becomes a burden. Over and over again, I’d find myself looking at the shelves, and feeling so overwhelmed I’d give up on reading anything. (Well, that’s where reading fan fiction becomes handy. Unhealthy amounts of fan fiction. But it doesn’t reduce the clutter).

So, I came up with a plan, and so far, it’s working.

The plan is not to stop buying books, because that wouldn’t work, but to buy less. And to stop visiting the library for a while. That way, I manage to read almost all of the books I buy each year, plus a number of books waiting patiently on the shelves. An then, after I read them, I decide whether to keep them, sell them, or give them to someone.

A couple of years after I started with the plan, it shows on the shelves. No more three rows of books on any shelf (no, I didn’t buy new shelves), and only one shelf with two rows of books. I’ve even managed to read through a bunch of fanzines, and now I’m going through a bunch of magazines (you see one in the picture).

It’s working.

Then again, as some of you may know, I’m writing this a week before the beginning of the Belgrade Book Fair. That’s where and when I buy most books.

Oh, well. Do you want to see the pictures of the new books after I buy them?