5 outrageous things I’ve done for the love of books

Quick story time (or maybe not — I do tend to babble). I’ve been reading for as long as I can remember. Literally. When I was a little girl, my lola (Filipino for grandmother) read books to me every single day, especially right before my bedtime. According to her, I immediately became obsessed with it.

Every night, I would go to her room, carrying two or three books with me, and ask her to read all of them in one sitting. More often than not, after she finished reading, I’d still ask for more. It got to the point where lola actually tried to deceive me by skipping a few pages here and there (I assume it’s because she wanted to get rid of me more quickly) — and naturally, three-year-old me called her out on her attempts every single time. Feeling defeated (and likely really fed up with me), lola decided to teach me how to read on my own. In the end, I learned my alphabet, as well as how to read, before many of my older cousins did (#flex).

Needless to say, reading has always been a massive part of my life — and who I am as a person, if I’m being honest. But the love for the written words comes at a steep price: fluctuating bouts of spontaneity, if not, irrationality.* So, for today, I’m going to share 5 uncharacteristic things I’ve done because I love books.

* We all have these moments, yeah? I can’t be the only one, right? Please validate me.

1. Take a gamble and upgrade to WordPress premium.

I’m probably one of the thriftiest people I know, to be honest. If I could avoid spending at all, I would. But if I can’t, I try to save at least a third of whatever amount of money is given to me. In fact, over the years I’ve been in college, my mother has regularly called me to remind me that (non-verbatim) “You don’t have to save your allowance. I give you that money to make sure you’re well fed and well taken care of, even though you’re far away from home.” But I digress.

Although I’ve been blogging for years, my inherent thrifty nature consistently rejected the notion of financially investing in my blog. Even though all I wanted was to get my own domain and purchase the Ultimate Book Blogger Plug-in from Nosegraze — I’m not trying to sneakily advertise or anything, I really truly think that the plug-in would have helped me write content faster and more efficiently (but yep, if you decide to purchase the plug-in using my link, I will receive a small but helpful commission) — I stuck to the endless limitations and many downfalls of free WordPress.

But everything changed when the Fire Nation attacked.

But that all changed this year! With the unwavering support of both offline and online friends, I’ve finally found the courage to bleep it and to invest in a premium plan — and I honestly could not be happier. I’m doing what I love with a renewed passion (that is, blogging about books), I have a ton of bookish projects that I’m excited about, and I finally have a platform I’m genuinely proud of.

2. Start a business sideline.

To keep this blog running and to buy more books, obviously. In all seriousness, I really never thought that I’d eventually try my hand at monetizing my blog, especially when there is still a prevailing stigma attached to book bloggers earning from their platforms (P.S. If you’re a book blogger hesitating on whether you should monetize your site or not, here’s my two cents: GO FOR IT!!! Your time and the work you put in are valid and valuable, and you deserve to be compensated).

It seemed totally impossible (and outrageous) at first, but here I am, earning extra cash from doing what I love. I have beta reading services available, as well as Caffeine Book Tours, where I get to work with authors and publicists in promoting books and getting them into the hands of the right readers.

3. Attend Saturday class and commute in full costume.

For #FeelsFest2018, a local bookish event organized by the amazing #romanceclass authors, costumes were highly encouraged and I decided to attend the event as Wednesday Addams from the Addams family. With a three-hour Saturday class, I did not have the luxury of changing outfits after dismissal. Which meant that I braved class hours and the Philippine public transportation system in full-on braided, Gothic attire. Considering how awful the public transportation is in my country, what I did was pretty much heroic, really.

Photo taken by Kate @ Your Tita Kate. For more photos and a well-written event recap, check out her blog post.

Well, maybe not Gothic Gothic. A lot of people mistook me for a demure Catholic schoolgirl instead. Can’t really blame them, in my opinion.

4. Brave the storm to attend a bookish event.

The rainy season in the Philippines can get really intense, given that the country lies along the typhoon belt. Having said that, it came no surprise that last year, on the day of a local event for Filipino readers and bloggers, the storm led to flooded areas and some roads being temporarily closed. Despite the heavy rains and flooding, I still traveled from my home province to the event venue in Metro Manila, which was a two to three-hour commute.

Related: My 1st #BookwormsUnitePH — book haul, photo grabbing, & ARC giveaway!.

5. Willingly take a video of myself babbling about a book I love.

For many, many reasons, I do not have a booktube account, and I am sure as day that I won’t ever venture into the glamorous career of a booktuber or any kind of vlogger for that matter. I have nothing against the platform itself or the people who use it to express themselves. It’s just that videos are my least preferred medium of self-expression.

As I mentioned earlier, I have a ton of reasons — most of which I won’t really delve into, but the main ones are:

🌻 I don’t think I’m photogenic, much less video-genic.
🌻 I’m not a huge fan of how my voice sounds like, and I hate it even more when I hear it in recordings. Eww.
🌻 I consider myself to be a very poor, very ineloquent speaker.

However, despite my endless reservations re: me filming myself and/or me being filmed in general, I recently posted my first attempt at vlogging. In this video, I shared some of my thoughts about Joan He’s recently released debut novel, Descendant of the Crane. And yes, I still don’t see myself making more videos in the future. (But hey, at least I finally addressed one of book blogging’s greatest mysteries in my video: how to pronounce Shealea.)

This post is inspired by a weekly prompt from Top Ten Tuesday, which was first created by The Broke and the Bookish in 2010 and is now hosted by Jana @ That Artsy Reader Girl.

I decided to do last week’s prompt: Outrageous/Crazy/Uncharacteristic Things I’ve Done for the Love of Books (e.g. skipped meals, camped outside a bookstore, broke up with someone because they don’t like to read, traveled long distances to bookish events).

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I’d love to hear from you!

🌻 Are you a bookworm? What is the most outrageous or most uncharacteristic thing you’ve done for the love of books?

🌻 Have you had experiences similar to the ones mentioned in my list?

🌻 Have you written a post for Top Ten Tuesday? Leave the link in the comments section below so that I can check it out as soon as I can!

Twitter: @shutupshealeaPinterestGoodreadsBloglovin’

13 thoughts on “5 outrageous things I’ve done for the love of books

  1. I love this list! The story of you reading with your Lola is so adorable! I have the same scenario memories with my mom 😂
    Also that Gothic costume picture of you is adorable! I’m so glad that you went premium. I mean your old blog was great and I was sad to see it go but this one is totally next level 😍❤️

    PS: I’m gonna go shout at WP for making me unfollowed you ٩(๑`^´๑)۶

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Loved your list this week. Plus, I had to pop over to your video to make sure I was pronouncing your name right. Yes! I was!

    Also, loved the heroism of dressing up to go to the bookish event. Sometimes you have to go out of your comfort zone for books.


  3. Woah you’re so adorable in that picture of you as Wednesday!! ❤ ❤ I highkey don't know anything about the Adams (is it Addams ?) family, but I love it.

    I used to read books under the desk in elementary school and I highkey miss those times where I could just not pay attention in class and still get top marks 😭 lmao


  4. I just want to take a second to say that I feel so proud and impressed and just, well, proud and happy to see your absolutely gorgeous blog and to see that you manage to monetize your book blog, too. You’re such a role model to me and you’re such a force in the book blogging community, too, I’m so happy you are proud and happy of your new platform and premium plan and that you took that step! And I hope you continue to be happy, proud and feel how amazing you are ❤


  5. Love it, Shealea! And the fact that you finally decided to shift to a self hosting blog. Hopefully I can do it too soon. ♥️


  6. I love this post, it’s great! Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about investing in WordPress Premium to take my blog to another level and I’m eager to do it but at the same time it’s so scary. I’m very happy to know that it worked well for you 💛✨💛


  7. Daaaammmn Shealea, you really are the Book Blogging Queen that I’m proud to call as my liege. Blood of my blood!

    After more than a decade of being a devout bookworm, I’ve done my fair share of outrageous things for the love of books. Like that time in high school where I found myself a nice and quiet corner during intramurals week so I could read in peace. I started reading early in the afternoon and by the time I resurfaced to the real world, it was already dark and my eyes were stinging. Then there’s the time I joined a local book club and even went to the meet-up. At the time, I was still extremely awkward around people but I managed to enjoy myself around virtual strangers. It helped that we all talked about books haha. I stayed in the book club for only a couple of months though because it turned out to be… let’s say, not about reading books as it was about owning them. It was a bit weird leaving especially since I actually won two tickets to The Fault in Our Stars movie from that book club lmao

    Also, I don’t know if this counts but I was actually known as a bookworm before I started seriously reading books. As a kid, I had a habit of picking up a book and flipping through the pages, pretending to read. Somehow this made people believe that I liked reading, haha!


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